Dienstag, 25. Juni 2013

The battle of the mid-range-zooms: the first candidate Canon FD 35-70 mm f/4.0

The zoom lenses between 35 and 70 mm have been sold as kit lenses since the 70s. The focal length range is short and the optical calculations for the lenses were relatively simple. For very little money you can buy many of these used lenses from the 70s and 80s. I'm going to present here on the blog three of the most famous mid-range zooms: the Canon nFD 35-70 f/4.0, the Olympus OM 35-70 f/3.6 and finally the Minolta 35-70 f/3.5. Let's start with the Canon lens.

Since 1981 there is to buy  a new (nFD) Canon 35-70 f/4.0 zoom. The legend says: It is an optical highlight and you can buy it for next to nothing. Admittedly: it is to have really cheap. In good used condition it can  get also be times of less than 10, - Euro. The main reason for this low price is a long known mechanical faults. After a while, the adjustment of the distance does not work properly. To be precise: it can no longer reach the focus at infinity. Unfortunately even with my copy this was like that. Normally this does not bother much. Unless you are viewing the photos with a 100% magnification on the screen.
Otherwise, the lens is already sharp even at full aperture and 35 mm. At 70mm, it is better to stop down one or two times. In my opinion, the best sharpness and brilliance is achieved at an aperture of about 5.6 or 6.3.
The lens is 87mm long, has a maximum diameter of 63mm and is just 305 grams. The filter diameter is 52mm, but note: the filter thread rotates with the Focus. The shortest focus is 0.5 meters and it can reach a maximum reproduction ratio of 1: 6,7.
Up to the often occurring mechanical error so a highly recommended lens. But in the next report, we compare first of all with the Olympus OM 35-70 / 3.6.

Here are a couple of photos from the last few days with the Canon nFD 35-70 f/4.0.

Mittwoch, 19. Juni 2013

The Olympus OM Zuiko Auto-W 24mm f/2.8

The OM Zuiko Auto-W 24mm Olympus is the most compact wide-angle lens that you can buy for a good price. It is only 180 grams and has a length of only 31 mm. The filter thread is 49 mm. By the way: the minimum focus distance is only 25 centimeters.
I received an excellent copy of this lens from the company "OM Laboratory" of the best German OM -specialists Frederick Gordon in Frankfurt / Main.
Although it is so small it is still one of the best performers among the old manual wide angle lenses. Even at full aperture, it is very sharp and reaches its best image quality when it stops down to f/5.6. The bokeh is fantastic and it has an undetectable edge drop. Distortion is virtually non-existent.
Compared with the also very good Tokina 24mm no difference in sharpness and image quality can be observed. The Olympus Zuiko-W has the great advantage that the lenses used are specially sealed. This lens is not so much sensitive against light.
The following two pictures show the same subject photographed each other with the lens. There are no significant differences observed. The first picture was taken with the OM 24mm f/2.8, the second with the Tokina 24mm f/2.8.

I can fully recommend the OM 24mm f/2.8. It is particularly suitable for adaptation to the Sony NEX cameras and other system cameras.
Here are a couple of sample photos from the last few days:

Montag, 17. Juni 2013

Workers' Uprising: The Unloved 17. June 1953

It's Exactly sixty years ago. In East Berlin and East German workers in many cities fought against their own political class. An incredible thing. The Communists and all the other gentlemen who had made ​​themselves comfortable in the empty seats of the Nazi bureaucrats were scared to death.
All other uprisings in German history were the result of intellectual thinkers. The left German  Intelligenzia (even modern green converted) refers to Marx, Engels, Liebknecht and Luxemburg. If necessary also on the Russian mass murderer Lenin or Stalin. But Nope: the German workers in June 1953 did not want a new intellectual superstructure, they only wanted fair wages and reasonable working hours. But that can not understand a narrow-minded german communists skull.
These people on the street had to be creepy new Nazis who not wanted to understand how great of communism and the New World Order really are. And with the Soviet occupation army they held all the aces in their hand. As the guiding lights Lenin or Stalin dropped them anything other than the supposed enemies to destroy by force of arms.

The union bosses were firmly on the side of the communist leader. And how did it turn out? The GDR hush this embarrassing event. In western Germany was celebrated every year on the 17th  June as a legal holiday. There were moist holiday speeches, no school and you could extend your weekend. That was all. That's all. The rest is silence.

Sonntag, 16. Juni 2013

The Tokina RMC 24mm f/2.8 - a fairly unknown but interesting lens

If you still want to take good pictures with a small budget, then you need: a clear idea what you want to express and a few good primes that  you have bought quite for a song.
Such primes are correct secret. They are very cheap to buy, but have a very good optical performance. The Tokina with a focal length of 24 mm and a maximum aperture of 2.8 is one such tip.

Once a bit of statistics: Tokina lenses produced since 1950 for photography and video surveillance. Many older lenses have permission productions of other companies. The 24mm wide-angle lens was originally calculated by Kiron (headquartered in Carson, California) and sold worldwide under the name Vivitar. 
The lens is very compact and lightweight. The weight is only 185 grams with a length of 38 millimeters. The filter diameter is 52 mm, matching filters are therefore relatively cheap to buy.
The closest focusing distance is only 27 centimeters.

First the good news: this part is razor sharp even at full aperture (look for example picture with white anemone above this text). If you stop down, then you will only increase the depth of field. So far so good. You get a used lens  from just 20 Euros and should not pay more than 50 euros for it. Normally, I would say: Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. 
But unfortunately, this lens has real problems with chromatic aberrations (CA). These are ugly fringing the contrast edges. Especially at full aperture and at the edges of each photo.
The second problem is the high sensitivity to backlight. It is crucial to use a lens hood. Look at this sample photo:

If you know these drawbacks and can live with it, then buy this cheap lens! I will present a few alternatives in the coming weeks. But they will not be as cheap as this lens.

Here are a few sample images from the last days:

Dienstag, 11. Juni 2013

Once again a craft market in Saalfeld

Once again, the historical guild market was held in Saalfeld. It is very funny when the artisans cases in the rough old clothes. All play a bit of the Middle Ages. But no one really means it. Even if all correct serious look to himself. Have a look at here for a few portraits that I shot over the weekend at the craft market with my little EOS-M camera: