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Monday, June 26, 2023

Five Frames, Olympus E-P5 + Spiratone Minitel-M 500mm 1:8 Mirror Lens, First Impression

Olympus E-P5 + Spiratone Minitel-M 500mm 1:8 Mirror Lens, First Impression 01
Olympus E-P5 + Spiratone Minitel-M 500mm 1:8 Mirror Lens, First Impression 02
Olympus E-P5 + Spiratone Minitel-M 500mm 1:8 Mirror Lens, First Impression 03
Olympus E-P5 + Spiratone Minitel-M 500mm 1:8 Mirror Lens, First Impression 04
Olympus E-P5 + Spiratone Minitel-M 500mm 1:8 Mirror Lens, First Impression 05
Vintage Lens Test, image making with a T-mount Spiratone Minitel-M 500mm 1:8 Mirror, first impression.
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Hi all, I am back to doing a 'Vintage Lesn Test' this week, after going for a sustained 'Re-Livimg The CCD Sensor' series for the past few weeks. This week's lens is the T-mount Spiratone Minitel-M 500mm 1:8 Mirror, a product launched in the 80s, which nobody seems to remember much about, nor saying much about it even on PentaxForums. The lens costs me USD 30 on the big bay.

Mirror lenses came with the cons of being only a single fixed aperture lens, a very slow one at it, and with quality that is something to be desired as well, including not being as their conventional telephoto counterparts (no, we are not thinking about Hubble here). It does have the merits, though, of being very compact and lightweight.

Olympus E-P5, Spiratone Minitel-M 500mm 1:8 Mirror
Olympus E-P5, Spiratone Minitel-M 500mm 1:8 Mirror

On the 2x crop sensor Olympus E-P5, with an equally easy-to-acquire T-mount adapter, the Spiratone Minitel 500mm 1:8 Mirror is a long throw super-telephoto with a 1000mm equivalent (35mm Full-frame) focal length, and with tweaks to the exposure settings that you can do on the camera itself, including increasing Contrast, Saturation, and Sharpness, and a little bit of Unshark Masking on the table-top, images could be just as equally impressive as I have done to mine as posted.



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Monday, June 19, 2023

Five Frames, Olympus E-P5 + Zonlai Discover 25mm 1:1.8, First Impression

Olympus E-P5 + Zonlai Discover 25mm 1:1.8, First Impression 01
Olympus E-P5 + Zonlai Discover 25mm 1:1.8, First Impression 02
Olympus E-P5 + Zonlai Discover 25mm 1:1.8, First Impression 03
Olympus E-P5 + Zonlai Discover 25mm 1:1.8, First Impression 04
Olympus E-P5 + Zonlai Discover 25mm 1:1.8, First Impression 05
Digital Moments, image making with a Zonlai Discover 25mm 1:1.8, a low-cost manual focus prime you might end up enjoying using.
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The lens was listed on the auction as a Zonzei, and came in a Zonlai sponge lied box, but the lens itself says Discover on its trim ring. I know it is the same make, and you can find the lens listed as Zenzei, Discover, Kenro, Hengyijia, and maybe others as well. The lens is a low-cost manual focus prime manufactured for mirrorless cameras out of the mainland. Visually, it’s a beautiful lens, looks reminiscent of a film camera lens, feels solid and well-built, and comes with a hood.

The lens is fully manual, with a medium throw and a well-damped focusing scale. The aperture ring is clickless and equally well-damped, which I liked very much. The lens mount is equally well built and fits well, making it a standard normal 50mm equivalent on the E=P5. Not too much problem with focusing either as the E-P5 comes with a focus peaking feature which I use all the time with manual focus lenses.

Olympus E-P5, Zonlai Discover 25mm 1:1.8
Olympus E-P5, Zonlai Discover 25mm 1:1.8

For these first impression images, the shots were taken wide open, fairly close to the minimum focusing distance of 0.18 meters, on a quick session in the garden. The images were pretty sharp but the colors were rather subdued, which made me resort to Haze & Saturation enhancement or deduction on the tabletop image editor. The lens, though, is good enough to toy with bokeh shots or street photography walkabouts.



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Monday, June 12, 2023

Five Frames, Pentax K-m + SMC Pentax-A 50mm 1:2 Lens, The Penultimate Choice

Pentax K-m + SMC Pentax-A 50mm 1:2 Lens, The Penultimate Choice 01
Pentax K-m + SMC Pentax-A 50mm 1:2 Lens, The Penultimate Choice 02
Pentax K-m + SMC Pentax-A 50mm 1:2 Lens, The Penultimate Choice 03
Pentax K-m + SMC Pentax-A 50mm 1:2 Lens, The Penultimate Choice 04
Pentax K-m + SMC Pentax-A 50mm 1:2 Lens, The Penultimate Choice 05
The CCD Sensor, image making with a vintage SMC Pentax-A 50mm 1:2 on a 10MP CCD sensor Pentax K-m digital SLR.
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My effort with the 'Re-living the CCS Sensor' series saw me going through a range of vintage digital cameras, cameras that were in production more than 10 years ago, fitted with CCD sensors, which was then the old standard for camera sensors from the early 80s till the late 2000s. For a kit setup, the Pentax K-m (K2000 in the US), and the SMC Pentax-A 50mm 1:2 manual focus prime is my penultimate selection.

CCD sensors are known to produce high-quality images with low noise, better color accuracy and uniformity, higher sensitivity, and a look and feel that are different from CMOS sensors, with some saying that the images are very much film-like. Though more expensive to manufacture CCD sensors still have many uses, including machine vision, astronomy, food science, as well as life sciences, and medical applications.

Pentax K-m, SMC Pentax A 50mm 1:2

The real advantage to photo enthusiasts is having the option to choose from a range of forms and functional capabilities, from ultra-compact travel zooms to superzoom digital bridge cameras, and to the ubiquitous digital SLR cameras. Prices vary, but you may find them costing lower than comparative film cameras, where you will have the added saving on film, film development, time cost, or the cost of acquiring an advanced digital camera that may prove a bit too hard to handle as well.



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Monday, June 5, 2023

Five Frames, Pentax K-m + SMC Pentax-A 50mm 1:2, The Green

Pentax K-m + SMC Pentax-A 50mm 1:2, The Green 01
Pentax K-m + SMC Pentax-A 50mm 1:2, The Green 02
Pentax K-m + SMC Pentax-A 50mm 1:2, The Green 03
Pentax K-m + SMC Pentax-A 50mm 1:2, The Green 04
Pentax K-m + SMC Pentax-A 50mm 1:2, The Green 05
The CCD Sensor, image making with A SMC Pentax-A 50mm 1:2 mounted on a 10.2 MP CCD Pentax K-m Digital, the garden green.
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Testing the Pentax K-m with a manual focus prime lens here, with the SMC Pentax-A 50mm 1:2, a lightweight plastic-bodied lens manufactured by Pentax from 1985 to 1998. The series-A lenses by Pentax introduced the 'automatic' aperture settings capability of Pentax K-mount lenses. The lenses still had the aperture ring, which could be set manually, and they also had an 'A' setting, which allowed the camera to control the aperture automatically.

On the APS-C sensor K-m, the SMC Pentax-A 50mm 1:2 is the equivalent of a 75mm short telephoto lens. When mounted with the A-switch set, the K-m will trigger the inquest for a focal length input which, once set, will permit you to use the camera in its various exposure modes, with the lens triggering the In-Focus button intermittently to indicate that the subject in the frame is in focus. Focusing is still manual though.

Pentax K-m, SMC-Pentax-A 50mm 1:2
Pentax K-m, SMC-Pentax-A 50mm 1:2

Testing was done among the greens of my mini garden, and as you can see, even when the shots were taken wide open, the images were as sharp as you wanted them to be. The color rendition is great and the contrast is excellent. Focusing is smooth, and with the aperture ring set to the 'A' mode, there is no more reason for you to make any adjustments to the plastic aperture ring itself. This lens has an overall rating of 8+ on PentaxForums, but personally, I'll give it a solid 10.



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and Camera Accessories.
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