Monday, November 25, 2019

Almost a Normal Prime, Zuiko OM 28mm F2.8

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Olympus E-P5, Olympus Zuiko OM 28mm F2.8

Digital Moments:

Almost a Normal Prime, Zuiko OM 28mm F2.8

'Five frames with the Olympus Zuiko OM 28mm F2.8, almost the equivalent of a normal prime on the MFT digital'

When mounted on a 2x crop-sensor MFT (Micro Four-Thirds) digital camera, the Olympus Zuiko OM 28mm F2.8 wide-angle is the equivalent of a 56mm lens on a 35mm full-frame camera. Though a bit on the long side, this 'equivalent' does fall into the category of a 'normal prime' and might be considered as one, which is within the focal range of 40mm to 58mm.

Olympus E-P5,Olympus OM Zuiko 28mm F2.8

While normal lens captures images that look natural and accurate, lenses with longer focal lengths (telephoto lens) will compress the image forward. As can be seen from these images, the effect brings the background nearer towards the front, even if only very slightly, and images may tend to look a bit flat as well.

With a maximum aperture of f/5.6 on the crop-sensor setup, the lens is definitely not a good candidate for good bokeh shots, if you are interested in that area or technique. Instead, the lens is the better option for landscapes, the urban scene, or set to hyperfocal distance shooting for street photography and the like.

Olympus E-P5,Olympus OM Zuiko 28mm F2.8

Physically, the Olympus Zuiko OM 28mm F2.8, which is acknowledged for its high contrast, faithful reproduction of colors, and high resolving power, is an extremely compact retrofocus 6-elements in 6-groups construction, measuring only 32mm and weighs 170 grams. The lens is one of the lightest Zuiko wide-angle lenses when introduced.

Interestingly enough, the Zuiko OM 28mm F2.8 is the only Zuiko 28mm wide-angle that can stop down to a minimum aperture of f/22 for (when you are back in the film world) added depth of field control.


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Monday, November 18, 2019

Mobile Photography, Serene Serenades

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Nokia Asha 300

Mobile Photography:

Serene Serenades

'Five frames with the Nokia Asha 300, serene serenades on an early morning walk in the park'

I have to admit that using the camera on the Nokia Asha 300, a vintage candy-bar feature phone, is both equally as difficult and exasperating to use as well as it is as rewarding. When using the camera, exasperation comes in the form of a 2.4-inch resistive-touchscreen that is a complete washout in any form of bright external light, and images that take ages to record.


Out in the bright light, there is nothing that you can do or see with the screen that is almost blank. The only way to grab a few shots is to do it with the camera held at arm's length and shoot away. A bit of a hipster style, but with the camera held at eye level or slightly higher, guesstimate framing can yield you a few good images.

The Nokia Asha 300, introduced in late 2011, the first phones to have Angry Birds pre-installed, is one of the slimmest feature phones around, measures 112.8 x 49.5 x 12.7 mm, weights 85 grams including battery. The phone has 140MB of internal storage which can store up to a maximum of 112 JPEG images. The camera does not come with a flash.


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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

Analog Diary:

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

'Five frames with the Minolta MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2, the 'perfect' normal lens on the Minolta X-700'

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.

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 whichever Minolta body it is found attached to, it is the go-to lens.


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Monday, November 4, 2019

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

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

Digital Moments:

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

'Five frames with the Olympus Zuiko OM 24mm F2.8, cropped close-ups on the MFT digital, Part II'

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.

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.


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