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Monday, March 4, 2024

Five Frames, Nikon D200 + AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 D, Early Morning Crops

Nikon D200 + AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 D, Early Morning Crops 01
Nikon D200 + AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 D, Early Morning Crops 02
Nikon D200 + AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 D, Early Morning Crops 03
Nikon D200 + AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 D, Early Morning Crops 04
Nikon D200 + AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 D, Early Morning Crops 05
The CCD Sensor, early morning crops from the garden with the 10MP CCD Nikon D200 and an AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 D.
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It was such a nice day that I had to take these two out for a quick spin in the garden. The D200, a weather-sealed workhorse from Nikon, built around a magnesium alloy chassis, was introduced in 2006. The camera was the last in the series of semi-professional bodies from Nikon with a CCD sensor and was highly praised as a very competent and capable camera. The 10MP CCD D200 was replaced in 2007 by the D300 which has a 12.2MP CMOS sensor. The AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4, just as well, is Nikon's fastest and least expensive super-speed lens and is highly regarded as a super select for low-light photography.

CCDs, as we know them, were the standard for camera sensors from the early 80s till the late 2000s, and as we see the resurgence of film for film photography petering away due to the ever-increasing cost of film, CCDs are now the go-to option for enthusiast for low-noise and high-quality film-like renderings the sensors are acknowledged for. Though cameras with CCD sensors are now delegated to the vintage genre, with the sensors replaced with the CMOS variety, CCDs are still used in areas of specialized photography including Optical Microscopy, Space Photography, and Near-Infrared Imaging

Nikon D200, AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 D
Nikon D200, AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 D

Cameras with CCD sensors, with a whole range of makes and models to pick and choose from, are readily available both from online auction sites and brick-and-mortar stores. At prices for the asking, these cameras will cost you only a fraction of what you will pay when compared to the technically more advanced and up-to-date models that are on the market today. Enjoying a new lease of photography with these lightweight vintages will not break the bank or your back.



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Monday, February 26, 2024

Five Frames, Pentax K-m + SMC Pentax A 35-70mm 1:4, Walking The Zoom

Pentax K-m + SMC Pentax A 35-70mm 1:4, Walking The Zoom 01
Pentax K-m + SMC Pentax A 35-70mm 1:4, Walking The Zoom 02
Pentax K-m + SMC Pentax A 35-70mm 1:4, Walking The Zoom 03
Pentax K-m + SMC Pentax A 35-70mm 1:4, Walking The Zoom 04
Pentax K-m + SMC Pentax A 35-70mm 1:4, Walking The Zoom 05
The CCD Sensor, image making with an SMC Pentax-A Zoom 35-70mm 1:4 on a 10MP CCD Pentax K-m, walking the zoom.
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The SMC Pentax-A Zoom 35-70mm 1:4 is the only zoom lens within Pentax's inventory of K-mount lenses that has a fixed aperture. The twin-ring zoom was produced from 1984 to 1985 for the Pentax Series-A and Series-P 35mm SLR film cameras. The A-series lenses, which saw the introduction of 'automatic' aperture settings on K-mount lenses have both an aperture ring that lets the lens aperture be set manually, and also an 'A' setting which allows the aperture to be controlled by the camera automatically.

The solid and well-built lens, with 7 elements in 7 groups and 6 aperture blades, was produced from 1984 to 1985, and came with a minimum focusing distance of 0.25 meters, measures 80mm long with a diameter of 65mm, takes 58mm filter sizes, and weighs 330 grams, The lens weighs 330 grams. Divided between accolades and brickbats, the lens enjoys a Sharpness rating of 8.3, Aberrations at 7.9, Bokeh at 8.1, Handling at 8.5, and Value at 8.9, on PentaxForums.

Pentax K-m, SMC Pentax A 3-70mm 1:4
Pentax K-m, SMC Pentax A 3-70mm 1:4

I took the opportunity of mounting the lens on the 10MP CCD Pentax K-m (Pentax K2000 in the US) recently and took the camera to the community field across from the road to grab these walking-the-zoom shots against the backdrop of the rising sun. The snug-fit lens felt comfortable in the hand, easy to work with, and was flawless with the lens set to the 'A' aperture setting and the camera working in Program mode. On the equally vintage Pentax K-m, the lens is equivalent to a 50-105mm short tele on a 35mm full-frame camera, a good range for snapshots, portraiture, a walk-around lens, and street photography.



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Monday, February 19, 2024

Five Frames, Konica II B + Expired Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400, A Belated Update

Konica II B + Expired Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400, A Belated Update 01
Konica II B + Expired Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400, A Belated Update 02
Konica II B + Expired Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400, A Belated Update 03
Konica II B + Expired Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400, A Belated Update 04
Konica II B + Expired Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400, A Belated Update 05
Analog Diary, film photography favorites, image making with a Konica II B, and an expired roll of  Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400, a belated update.
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Took these images a while back, a real while back, almost a year ago, on a roll of expired Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400 which I did not have the chance to take to the lab for processing until only recently. While these images from the expired film images were marvelous, this first outing with the Konica II B was a real test of resilience as I was still a complete novice with fully manual exposures. The shoot, though enjoyable, was a real hit-or-miss session where I ended with more under and over-exposed, and a couple that are out of focus, image frames.

The Konica II B, a model from a well-built series of fixed-lens, leaf-shuttered Konica 35mm rangefinder cameras built from 1950 to 1959, with its extremely acknowledged super bright viewfinder, was a joy to use. Its exquisite ornate body shape with a curvaceous body panel design mimics the outline of the hands when the camera is held to the eye, is a hefty body weight of 681 grams without film, and does not have shoulder strap lugs either. Carrying it around is best in the camera's own leather case, or a container pouch.

Konica II B

While I still do relish the moments I spent with a good or an excellent film camera, the ever-increasing cost of film for film photography, and the timeline of its associated services, is the lament that is pushing me more towards the CCD image genre as the new alternative. Digital cameras with CCD sensors do not incur recurring costs or additional charges when acquired, and are readily available at prices for the asking, may, as some are saying, resurrect itself as the new film.


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Monday, February 12, 2024

Five Frames, Olympus SP-510UZ, First Impression

Olympus SP-510UZ, First Impression 01
Olympus SP-510UZ, First Impression 02
Olympus SP-510UZ, First Impression 03
Olympus SP-510UZ, First Impression 04
Olympus SP-510UZ, First Impression 05
The CCD Sensor, low-noise night images with a 7.1MP CCD Olympus SP510UZ, a low-cost option for CCD enthusiasts.
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The Olympus SP510UZ, a 7.1MP CCD digital bridge camera, is another interesting low-cost buy for CCD enthusiasts. The SP510UZ, introduced by Olympus in 2005, comes fitted with a 6.3-63mm Olympus ED lens, and it was the last model of the SP-series (Special Performance) that used the 10x optical zoom lens. The model was later succeeded by the SP550UZ, which has a bigger 18x zoom lens, and the SP-590UZ, which features a larger still 26x optical zoom lens. The camera stores images on xD-Picture cards or its own 21MB of internal memory.

The SP510UZ is powered by a set of 4 x AA batteries, features an EV (electronic viewfinder), a 2.5-inch LCD display, a 10x zoom lens (equivalent to 38-380mm in 35mm photography), and 5x digital zoom in a compact and lightweight plastic body. The camera is also capable of capturing images in RAW format and features Olympus's BrightCapture technology with ISO sensitivity ranging from 50 to 4,000 (though at ISO 2,500 and above the camera's resolution drops to 3 megapixels), and a shutter speed range from 15 to 1/1000 second, and Bulb.

Olympus SP-510UZ
Olympus SP-510UZ

In addition to the range of fully automatic settings that include a suite of 21 beginner-friendly scene modes, the camera offers Aperture and Shutter Priority modes for more advanced photographers. While the camera does not have true hardware-based optical image stabilization, it offers a Digital Image Stabilization mode instead. The system uses a gyro sensor to detect the amount of camera shake and then employs software to select a higher ISO and a faster shutter speed while tweaking sharpening to reduce blur.



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Monday, February 5, 2024

Five Frames, Olympus VR-370 + Drawing Magic Art Filter, People And Places

Olympus VR-370 + Drawing Magic Art Filter, People And Places 01
Olympus VR-370 + Drawing Magic Art Filter, People And Places 02
Olympus VR-370 + Drawing Magic Art Filter, People And Places 03
Olympus VR-370 + Drawing Magic Art Filter, People And Places 04
Olympus VR-370 + Drawing Magic Art Filter, People And Places 05
Magic Art Filter, image making in Drawing mode on the 14MP CCD Olympus VR-370, people and places.
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I was out and about in the city, trying to capture the essence of the city which is ushering in the CNY 2024 spirit, but it looks like I ended up in the wrong location at a place that looked staid and stale with its own itinerary of events and the spirit they are celebrating. Sad, as it all seems unreal that, in these days and times of celebrative entrepreneurship, I could still find such a city spot that could not motivate or incentivize itself to the prospect of having strong economic returns by organizing and promoting recurring celebrative events.

I had fun, though, instead of doing another shoot for the 'Re-Living the CCD Sensor' series, going for the special effect Magic Art Filter, in Drawing mode, on the 2013 vintage point-and-shoot Olympus VR-370, a small and compact 16MP CCD travel zoom category camera. The mode represents an image in a line art or line drawing form against a (usually plain) background without gradations in shade or hue, done usually in monochromatic. The location, just as well, was perfect for the people and place watch.

Olympus VR-370, 16MP CCD
Olympus VR-370

The VR-370, almost the perfect CCD vintage collectible, is a stand-out with its 12.5x optical zoom lens and a 24mm equivalent super wide-angle start that extends out to a 300mm reach. The camera has iAuto, Scene selections, Face Detection, AF Tracking, Magic Art Filters, and Beauty Mode. The camera is also supported by Shadow Adjustment Technology for a more uniform exposure across the image, and by Dual Image Stabilization that combines Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization with high ISO sensitivity to compensate for the image blurring due to camera shake.


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Monday, January 29, 2024

Five Frames, Nikon D80 + Nikon Series E 35mm 1:2.5, First Take

Nikon D80 + Nikon Series E 35mm 1:2.5, First Take 01
Nikon D80 + Nikon Series E 35mm 1:2.5, First Take 02
Nikon D80 + Nikon Series E 35mm 1:2.5, First Take 03
Nikon D80 + Nikon Series E 35mm 1:2.5, First Take 04
Nikon D80 + Nikon Series E 35mm 1:2.5, First Take 05
Sunny 16 Rule, first take with a Nikon Series E 35mm 1:2.5 on a 10MP CCD Nikon D80, fully manual exposures.
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Here I am, looking for a new drift in trying to catch the wind towards re-kindling the interest of doing still photography in fully manual exposure modes, as we did in the early days of film photography, doing it this time, though, with a digital SLR camera that only permits manual shooting mode when mounted with an old-school focus lens. The Nikon D80, an enthusiast-grade DSLR, launched together with the semi-professional Nikon D200 in 2006, is the model I am referring to, and the lens, an equally vintage Nikon Series E 35mm 1:2.5. 

The D80 comes with a 6MP CCD sensor, and has the screw-mount autofocus drive, but lacks the 'Non-CPU Lens Data' menu item or entering information about non-CPU lenses, and the aperture-indexing finger for full-aperture metering with older 'AI' lenses. When used with these old-school manual focus lenses, the D80 will only work in Manual mode, with the option of setting the ISO, shutter speed, and lens aperture opening, manually.

Nikon D80, Nikon Series E 35mm 1:2.5

To get things going, these are the first batch of shots I did earlier in the morning, and as recommended, the shots were taken in color (1/100 second, ISO 100) and converted to monochrome on the tabletop image editor. On the conversion route, the images were tweaked with the green filter overlay and a 50% increase in contrast. 'Chimping' was also used during the shoot, as I did so to bracket the shots.

The Nikon Series E lenses are also acknowledged for other excellent performance and should not be just left aside when they can still be put to good use. To get you started on the same quest as well, the Sunny 16 Rule is the way to go.



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Monday, January 22, 2024

Five Frames, Fujifilm FinePix BigJob HD-3W, An Early Morning Shoot

Fujifilm FinePix BigJob HD-3W, An Early Morning Shoot 01
Fujifilm FinePix BigJob HD-3W, An Early Morning Shoot 02
Fujifilm FinePix BigJob HD-3W, An Early Morning Shoot 03
Fujifilm FinePix BigJob HD-3W, An Early Morning Shoot 04
Fujifilm FinePix BigJob HD-3W, An Early Morning Shoot 05
The CCD Sensor, early morning shoot with the 6MP CCD Fujifilm FinePix BigJob HD-3W.
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A

n early morning session with the Fujifilm FinePix BigJob HD-3W, a heavy-duty ruggedized all-weather 6MP CCD digital camera I am recommending for CCD enthusiasts who are out-and-about, and on the go. The camera is water, dust, and shockproof, can withstand a fall of up to 0.7 meters, and comes with a reinforced glass coating cover wide-angle 3x (28-84mm) optical zoom lens, a big 230,000 pixels 3-inch LCD, ISO sensitivity of up to 1600 for the low noise in low light level shots, and a powerful flash that can be set for up to 10 meters. The camera is powered by a pair of easily available AA batteries.

The camera is reminiscent of the 35mm point-and-shoot autoexposure cameras of the old, easy to use, and comes with ample-sized buttons and a layout that is equally easy to use while wearing gloves, a 5 mode exposure selection button (Auto, Manual, Scene Position, Movie, and CLS), and an equally simplified shooting menu that can be accessed through the LCD interface. The camera has an automatic shutter speed range from 2 to 1/2000 second, has a 27MB internal flash memory, and stores images on xD-Picture Cards. In Manual mode, the camera can be set to a fixed ISO sensitivity level.

Fujifilm FinePix BigJob HD-3W

When the camera was first introduced to the UK and Europe in 2007, it was also promoted as having two world firsts, a 'Detection of Manipulation' system that records whether an image has been edited since it was first shot, and CALS, a mode also takes 1-megapixel pictures for quick and easy distribution by email. The camera was perfect for forensic and insurance investigations then, and could very well be today's go-to camera for the rough-and-tough adventurous outdoors



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Monday, January 15, 2024

Five Frames, Pentax K-m + SMC Pentax-A Zoom 35-70mm 1:4, First Impression

Pentax K-m + SMC Pentax-A Zoom 35-70mm 1:4, First Impression 01
Pentax K-m + SMC Pentax-A Zoom 35-70mm 1:4, First Impression 02
Pentax K-m + SMC Pentax-A Zoom 35-70mm 1:4, First Impression 03
Pentax K-m + SMC Pentax-A Zoom 35-70mm 1:4, First Impression 04
Pentax K-m + SMC Pentax-A Zoom 35-70mm 1:4, First Impression 05
The CCD Sensor, image making with an SMC Pentax-A Zoom 35-70mm 1:4, on 10MP CCD Pentax K-m, first impression.
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A quick take with the small, compact, and beautifully designed SMC Pentax-A Zoom 35-70mm 1:4, the only 35-70mm Pentax lens with fixed aperture. The lens is a 7-element in 7-groups construction, solidly built, and enjoys a Sharpness rating of 8.3, Aberrations at 7.9, Bokeh at 8.1, Handling at 8.5, and Value at 8.9 on PentaxForums. Reviews on its sharpness and image quality, which are good, colorful, and contrasty, seem to be arching towards the accolades. 

I have yet to take the lens anywhere except for the garden, and the few images here, shot in Program mode with the lens aperture setting set to 'A', seem to reflect the thoughts of the forum. On the 10.2MP CCD K-m, the lens is equivalent to (about) a 50-105mm zoom on a 35mm full-frame camera, a good range to have if you are into city walks and street shooting. The lens should be in good company with the 18-55mm autofocus AL, which came as a kit lens with the camera.

Pentax K-m, SMC Pentax-A Zoom 35-70mm 1:4
Pentax K-m, SMC Pentax-A Zoom 35-70mm 1:4

Setting up a manual focus lens on the KAF2 mount of the K-m body is straightforward, all you have to do next is to set the aperture setting on the lens to 'A', and register the focal length of the lens with the camera. The request for this input is displayed on the LCD screen as you switch the camera on after installing the lens. I input 50 as the focal length of the zoom, and it works.

The flashing LED and audible focus confirmation beep of the K-m (also available on other camera make and models) is one of the aids I look for when using the camera with a manual focus lens, which I put at being almost akin to having focus peaking on mirrorless digital SLR cameras. Good thought!



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Monday, January 8, 2024

Five (x2) Frames, Lumix DMC-GH2 + Lumix G 14mm 1:2.5 Asph., Film Emulation Modes

Lumix DMC-GH2 + Lumix G 14mm 1:2.5 Asph., Film Emulation Modes, Cinema
[Lumix GH2, Lumix G 14mm 1:2.5 Asph., Cinema Film Mode]
Lumix DMC-GH2 + Lumix G 14mm 1:2.5 Asph., Film Emulation Modes, Standard
[Lumix GH2, Lumix G 14mm 1:2.5 Asph., Standard Film Mode]
Lumix DMC-GH2 + Lumix G 14mm 1:2.5 Asph., Film Emulation Modes, Dynamic
[Lumix GH2, Lumix G 14mm 1:2.5 Asph., Dynamic Film Mode]
Lumix DMC-GH2 + Lumix G 14mm 1:2.5 Asph., Film Emulation Modes, Smooth
[Lumix GH2, Lumix G 14mm 1:2.5 Asph., Smooth Film Mode]
Lumix DMC-GH2 + Lumix G 14mm 1:2.5 Asph., Film Emulation Modes, Nature
[Lumix GH2, Lumix G 14mm 1:2.5 Asph., Nature Film Mode]
Lumix DMC-GH2 + Lumix G 14mm 1:2.5 Asph., Film Emulation Modes, Nostalgic
[Lumix GH2, Lumix G 14mm 1:2.5 Asph., Nostalgic Film Mode]
Lumix DMC-GH2 + Lumix G 14mm 1:2.5 Asph., Film Emulation Modes, Vibrant
[Lumix GH2, Lumix G 14mm 1:2.5 Asph., Vibrant Film Mode]
Lumix DMC-GH2 + Lumix G 14mm 1:2.5 Asph., Film Emulation Modes, Standard B&W
[Lumix GH2, Lumix G 14mm 1:2.5 Asph., Standard B&W Film Mode]
Lumix DMC-GH2 + Lumix G 14mm 1:2.5 Asph., Film Emulation Modes, Dynamic B&W
[Lumix GH2, Lumix G 14mm 1:2.5 Asph., Dynamic B&W Film Mode]
Lumix DMC-GH2 + Lumix G 14mm 1:2.5 Asph., Film Emulation Modes, Smooth B&W
[Lumix GH2, Lumix G 14mm 1:2.5 Asph., Smooth B&W Film Mode]
Digital Moments, a retro look, and a refresher on the film modes of the 2010 video-orientated 16MP multi-aspect Live MOS Panasonic Lumix GH2.
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The vintage Panasonic Lumic GH2, an advanced video-orientated Micro 4/3 digital introduced in 2010, comes fitted with a 16MP multi-aspect Live MOS sensor with Full 1080p HD video capability. Aside from the highly advanced movie mode, the camera also allows still photographers ample control over their images. The 7-page custom menu, for example, contains more than 30 options, and the setup option another 23, including Panasonic's iDynamic and iResolution modes, functions to maximize the dynamic range and detail resolutions of images captured.

The Film Mode feature, which allows for the adjustment of the color, contrast, saturation, and noise-reduction, comes with selections for Cinema, Standard, Dynamic, Smooth, Nature, Nostalgic, Vibrant, Standard B&W, Dynamic B&W, Smooth B&W, and a trio of My Film Mode presets. Capturing these test images with these modes, as posted here, is my first try at comprehending and understanding what the GH2 is capable of. Using the vintage as an alternative to more advanced and higher-priced models is the opportunity I am looking at. 

Lumix GH2, Lumix G 14mm 1:2.5 Asph.
Lumix GH2, Lumix G 14mm 1:2.5 Asph.

Released as a successor to the DMC-GH1, which was introduced in 2009, the Panasonic Lumix GH2 comes with improvements such as a new sensor capable of 1080p video at 60 or 50 fps, faster sensor read-out, touch-sensitive LCD screen, an ISO range from 160 to 12800, larger EVF coverage, and cosmetic changes to make the camera more efficient to the user. The multi-aspect ratio sensor, which is 18.3MP in size, offers the same diagonal angle of view, and almost a a 100% view of the scene to be captured, regardless of the aspect ratio selected.



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