Monday, November 11, 2019

The Perfect Normal, Minolta MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2

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Minolta X-700, Minolta MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2

The Perfect Normal, Minolta MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2

'Analog Diary - Five frames with the Minolta MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2, the 'perfect' normal lens for a 35mm full-frame camera'

One of the accepted definitions of the 'perfect' normal lens for a 35mm full-frame camera, a lens that reproduces a field of view that appears natural to a human observer, is based on the diagonal of the film frame, which measures 43.3mm.

Minolta MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2
A lens unique to the interpretation of this definition is the Minolta MD Rokkor-X 45m, F2.0, a very compact lens with a focal length that is very close to the measured distance.

Introduced in 1978, and only available as an MDII version, this lens is a rare case as Minolta will normally be replicated and made the lenses available over their camera version releases.

Not quite a true pancake, the lens is a blend of a plastic body and a 6-elements in 5-group glass. It measures 30.5 mm in length and weighs 125 grams, comes with 5 aperture blades, a minimum aperture of F16, and a minimum focusing distance of 0.6 meters.

With a large open aperture of F2, the lens is also a potentially good bokeh lens, and with its compact size, it makes the lens a worthwhile consideration for the street shooter, fashion or lifestyle photographer, simply as a lowlight lens or one to get good background separation with.

The 45mm focal length places the lens right smack in between a slightly wider 40mm and a slightly narrower 50mm. This could very well be the perfect fit for the do-it-all category, which are lenses recommended for family snapshots, travel photos, city and urbanscapes, and whatever have you.

Minolta X-700, Minolta MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2

At most time unnoticed, and grossly underrated except by gig lens connoisseurs, the Minolta MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2 is more than the sum of its parts. Images are exceptionally sharp, with good mid-tone contrast and accurate color reproduction. It is a lightweight both on the wallet and in the camera bag, and to whether Minolta body it is found attached to, it is the go-to lens.


Shop Now: Minolta 35mm MF SLR Camera Lenses

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Monday, November 4, 2019

Cropped Close-Ups II, Olympus Zuiko OM 24mm F2.8

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Olympus E-P5, Olympus Zuiko OM 24mm F2.8

Cropped Close-Ups II, Olympus Zuiko OM 24mm F2.8

'Digital Moments - Five cropped close-up frames with the Olympus Zuiko OM 24mm F2.8 wide-angle lens mounted on the 2x crop-sensor Olympus E-P5'

Compared to the ultra-wide Olympus Zuiko OM 21mm F3.5, the 24mm F2.8 has a 10° narrower angle of view and is considered as the widest of wide-angles. Lenses at these focal lengths tend to have a strong rendition of the perspective when used in the context of the surrounding. For cropped close-ups, however, this is not necessarily something you have to delve too deeply into.

Olympus E-P5, Olympus OM Zuiko 24mm F2.8
Mounted on the 2x crop-sensor MFT (Micro Four Thirds) digital camera, a 24mm lens will give you the 35mm full-frame equivalent focal length of 48mm, close enough to that of a 50mm focal length lens, which is considered as the standard for a 35mm full-frame camera.

The H.Zuiko 24mm F2.8, as used in this assignment, is the earlier version of the series, 8 elements in 7 groups construction with floating elements design, weighs 180 grams, and focuses down to 0.25 meters. The floating element design incorporates an automatic close focus correction mechanism that counters possible aberrations while keeping the excellent optical performance of the lens intact.

Though the lens is actually a cheaper and lighter alternative to the acknowledged Zuiko 20mm F2.0, the F2.8 version is still as formidable as the former. The lens is equally capable of delivering high contrast images that are sharp with minimal flare even when used in slightly unfavorable conditions. As an added advantage, the lens one of the lightest and most compact in its class.

Olympus E-P5, Olympus OM Zuiko 24mm F2.8

Shooting with the lens wide open, i.e. at its widest aperture, is shooting with a very narrow DoF (depth of field). Getting the perfect focal point in the composition you are looking at, as in the case of these sample images, may take a bit more time and experience to master. And, of course, I am in need of the same.


Shop Now: Olympus OM 35mm SLR Camera Lenses

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