l We Apologise For The Inconvenience: July 2005

July 10, 2005


So, let us get started then, shall we? This blog will serve to showcase my photographic eye--or lackthereof. My focal length of choice, for indoors family candids and architecture is of course 28mm, which is as wide as I have the moment.

Sometimes it would be nice to have a wider lens, but things get expensive very quickly from here on out. A wider aperture would make focussing indoors somewhat easier as well; however that is also a function of the focussing screen in the camera body and there I am limited: the camera meters off the screen, and a brighter screen would throw off exposure by an indeterminate amount for differing brightness levels. Thankfully, wide angles have the inherent advantage of deep depth of field, so as long as subjects are more than 6 or so feet away, things work out well. Very sharp.

Next up on the ladder of lenses is the 50mm option, of which I have three! No kidding! Four, if you count the 35-70mm zoom... But let us not get too far ahead. This lens too, as the previous one did, was part of the kit I bought. Used to be my default lens in the beginning, also incredibly sharp and like all Zuikos small and light.

Significantly heavier and larger is the f/1.4 version which I bought seperately with a semi-rigid leather (I think) case for the camera body. Initially its planned use was for low light shooting--the faster aperture should help with focussing.

The difference between f/1.8 and f/1.4 isn't all that much, really, so the unintended benefit of the faster lens lies in its weight: if you imagine the SLR camera viewed from the side, it has a tendency to rotate about the mirror-flip axis. Hanging additional weight off the front side of this "lever" increases, significantly, the polar moment of the whole body. Since low light implies slow shutter speeds, it helps to anchor the body and prevent movement during shutter release.

Finally, there is the macro variant, the purpose of which is self-explanatory. While suitable for daily use, the majority of the helicoid is devoted to critical close focus range, so it seldom sees duty except when called on to take pictures of flora.

That takes care of the 50s.
Oh, hang on! Almost forgot, another 50 for my grandfather's camera, WWII era. Interesting lens, a bit soft from fungus, but gives a unique look to the pictures, but not used a whole lot since as you see, I have three other primes in this focal length to chose from, all fitting a more modern body. So as this Domiplan doesn't get lonely, I bought a 135mm lens which is even softer...but that flaw is ideal for portraiture. It makes even consumer grade film, normally much more contrasty than my emulsion of choice (Fujifilm NPH) look very much like NPH. Just need plenty of window light or open shade and a subject who is willing to be patient while I focus on the pop-up finder (no eye level finders in those days, certainly not standard). It has more aperture blades than I can count and while the f-stops are marked off, they are no detents. The entire aluminium barrel is finished in a pearlescent look. Ding on the bezel doesn't impact function in any way, no fungus on the glass either!

Even longer (without the optional matched tele-convertor also in my possession) is the 200. Mainly gets taken out of its leather pouch for graduations and the like. Also packed along when travelling out of town to capture those scenics with a compressed perspective or far away barn, etc. Neat built-in slide-out hood helps control flare on clear bright days. Bought this in mint condition to replace a 75-150 Zuiko that came with the camera; now it shows many signs of wear, but hey, that's what they are for, not to collect dust in a case!

The observant will have noted the 35-70 is missing in photos; one of these days I'll get around to scanning it (oh yes, that's how I got these, flatbed scan of the lens).