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Photo 150 - Phil Wood

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Phil Wood View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Phil Wood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2021 at 22:24
Week 19 - Theme 3 - Try Something Creative.

Total failure this week when it comes to creative photography. My time and creativity has been directed at putting together an exhibition to go on show in the local museum next month. So here's one of the series of panels that will show the history and activities of the local history society I have the pleasure to chair.

Exhibition Panel (click for hig-res)



Edited by Phil Wood - 25 May 2021 at 21:47
 



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eddyizm View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote eddyizm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2021 at 23:43
I wouldn't call this a total failure. Zero post with zero effort is more akin to a total failure. Looks like you did this, it was creative, educational, and worth while, not to mention a collage of 7 "old timey pics" :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Phil Wood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2021 at 23:45
Originally posted by Wētāpunga Wētāpunga wrote:

I like the way you keep trying out these lenses Phil.
Having used the 35-70/4 I would concur it is much nicer than the the 35-80s and the newer 35-70 that emerged in the early 90s. For all their flaws, those first generation beercan-era lenses had something going for them that their replacements could never quite emulate.

Also...that business name is...unfortunate


Originally posted by ADub128 ADub128 wrote:

OK, I need to use more of my lenses. Congrats on being so consistent with you posts too!


Thanks guys. I collect lenses - but most don't get on a camera very often, I try them out when they arrive, occasioanlly I'll dig some out for comparison purposes or to answer a query, but most of the time, most of them are on the shelf. The idea for the Lens Extravaganza is to use the lenses that don't get used and to remind (or re-educate me) as to their handling and performance.

So here we go with Lens 20 ...

Week 20 - Theme 1 - Lens Extravaganza.

Minolta AF 28-80 f4-5.6

I have to say that this lens surprised me. I plugged it on to my A99ii with few expectations, but I have too say that I enjoyed my day with it.

What I enjoyed was the feel of the lens; butter smooth zoom, rapid AF (not SSM class, but good for a screwdrive) and a general feel that I was using a product that was built to last. And the images weren't bad either - far from brilliant, I'm not going to sell my CZ 24-70, but the colours are great, sharpness is okay and I didn't see any significant problems with flare, ghosting, coma or CA (not that they are non-existent). I even found myself wondering if the 28mm was a little wider than spec - though that was probably illusory.

However, there are issues - pixel peeping into the 42MP images shows that sharpness is not up to Minolta's best, let alone quality modern zooms and it just doesn't open wide enough to satisfy anyone used to faster lenses - f5.6 at 80mm isn't good enough. MF works, but the angle of movement seems ridiculously short - one begins to see how the AF is so quick.

Bottom line, in this sort of range I still prefer the 28-85s and 24-85s (and the CZ).


Augmented wall.


Sony A99ii + Minolta AF 28-80 f4-5.6 @ 80mm. ISO 100, f9, 1/50s
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Phil Wood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2021 at 09:39
Week 20 - Theme 2 - Landscape.

Wallingford Castle Gardens.

Sony A99ii + Minolta 28-80 f4-5.6 @ 35mm. ISO 100, f6.3 1/125s
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Phil Wood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 2021 at 22:43
Week 20 - Theme 3 - Try Something Creative.

Another failure this week, too much time spent on other things.

So I'm going back a couple of weeks to a bit of creativity that has a lot to do with photography, but didn't involve using a camera.

Through this month some shots of mine have been a part of Oxford Photographers' Exhibition for Oxford Artweeks. Howard S got me into this and then suggested that I do a short promotional video - as he had already done.

I can't say that I was keen, but I thought I'd give it a go. The requirements were:
1 Less than 2min 20secs (a Twitter limit)
2 Talk about 3 images (we are each showing 9)
3 Top and tail with supplied graphics promoting the group's show.

So I wrote a script (350 words as advised) and went to open Audacity to record it. Couldn't find it, downloaded, installed and did the recording. Under 2 mins, so wrote some more, recorded it. Now it was too long, but was able to delete enough for it to fit.

Went to open Windows Movie Maker (used it for some time-lapse a few years ago) and found that Microsoft had removed it. Not to worry they say, you can use the video maker bit of Windows Photos. No you can't, it's rubbish.

Downloaded more software (Shotcut) and put images and sound together - here is the result.


Promo video (click to play)



Edited by Phil Wood - 28 May 2021 at 09:22
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2021 at 02:05
That was an enjoyable video Phil- great to have a voice to put to your name now too.

Also I'm intrigued you were able to embed the video into your post. May I ask what posting-wizardry allowed you to accomplish this?
a77ii- Sony 135/2.8 STF, 16-50/2.8, 70-200/2.8 G
a7riii- Zeiss Loxia 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2, 85/2.4, Batis 85/1.8, Voigtländer 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Sony 24-105/4 G, Sigma 70/2.8 M, 100-400 f5-6.3.
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote Phil Wood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2021 at 08:24
Originally posted by Wētāpunga Wētāpunga wrote:

That was an enjoyable video Phil- great to have a voice to put to your name now too.

Also I'm intrigued you were able to embed the video into your post. May I ask what posting-wizardry allowed you to accomplish this?


Thanks for the kind comment.

I embedded the video by posting a picture of the opening frame with a link to the video online. Much the same as doing a thumbnail during challenges. If you click on 'Post Options' and then 'Quote' you can see the code I used.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Phil Wood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2021 at 19:43
Week 21 - Theme 1 - Lens Extravaganza.

Minolta AF 28-80xi f4-5.6

This week I’m using the same lens as last week – almost. The 28-80mm xi from 1991 was remodelled in 1993 as a conventional lens, my selection last week. I enjoyed aspects of that lens so I thought I’d see how the original version checked out.

This is the first xi lens in this little survey of mine, so I guess I need to give a few words of explanation about these revolutionary but flawed designs for those who don't know them.

The idea was to give cameras control over the zoom function as well as focus, a few film cameras are able to do zoom basic zoom functions, but the idea never took off and the control functions were dropped before the digital age.

A single control ring is provided – twist to zoom, pull back and twist to focus. Drive is from the camera’s AF motor. With this lens MF was not too bad, but I find fine control problematic, it’s too easy to overshoot through the focus point. The simple solution is to use AF. With my A99ii the MF button does not disable the AF motor - on some bodies this happens, which means you can't zoom these lenses in MF mode. On the A99ii all works nicely.

As it was the control of the manual variant that impressed me most it is no surprise that I wasn’t so taken with this version. Nevertheless it was nicer to use than I anticipated, the lens is better than I remembered it from past use.

My chosen shot is taken at 28mm and showed plenty of barrel distortion. I have corrected the vertical, but the horizontal retains some curve - so correction is not a simple task.

Nevertheless, it's not a bad lens, just a bit too slow and a lot too xi.

Museum wall.


Sony A99ii + Minolta AF 28-80 xi f4-5.6 @ 28mm. ISO 250, f4.5, 1/3200s
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Phil Wood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2021 at 20:30
Week 21 - Theme 2 - Landscape.

The path home.

Sony A99ii + Minolta 28-85 f3.5-4.5 @ 28mm. ISO 250, f5.6, 1/640s
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2021 at 05:56
Originally posted by Phil Wood Phil Wood wrote:

[

Thanks for the kind comment.

I embedded the video by posting a picture of the opening frame with a link to the video online. Much the same as doing a thumbnail during challenges. If you click on 'Post Options' and then 'Quote' you can see the code I used.


Ah, very clever work around. Thanks
a77ii- Sony 135/2.8 STF, 16-50/2.8, 70-200/2.8 G
a7riii- Zeiss Loxia 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2, 85/2.4, Batis 85/1.8, Voigtländer 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Sony 24-105/4 G, Sigma 70/2.8 M, 100-400 f5-6.3.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Phil Wood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2021 at 11:08
Week 21 - Theme 3 - Try Something Creative.

Yesterday I decided to go for a bit of ICM - I've got a few nice shots from unintentional camera movement in the past (usually forgetting to check the shutter speed chosen), some from anticipated/unavoidable camera movement (handheld long exposures), but intentional camera movement is not something I've tried much.

As expected the keepers were very scarce, but the learning process has begun.

Snelsmore Common

Sony A99ii + Min AF 70-210mm f4 @ 75 ISO 50, f8, 0.4s
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2021 at 23:56
Good to see some creativity on display here.
Fwiw, I've found vertical movements up and down to work best with trees, but finding the optimal shutter speed is always a challenge.
a77ii- Sony 135/2.8 STF, 16-50/2.8, 70-200/2.8 G
a7riii- Zeiss Loxia 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2, 85/2.4, Batis 85/1.8, Voigtländer 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Sony 24-105/4 G, Sigma 70/2.8 M, 100-400 f5-6.3.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Phil Wood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 June 2021 at 00:32
Week 22 - Theme 1 - Lens Extravaganza.

Minolta AF 28-105mm f3.5-4.5 xi

This week’s choice is another look at Minolta’s well respected 28-105mm optical design. In all there were three variants, this one was the first, introduced in 1991 in xi configuration, a conventional version came in 1994 and was updated in 1997 as a ‘New’ or ‘RS’ model. I tried out this last version in Week 16 of this Challenge.

The xi version is rated 4.08/5 by Dyxum reviewers, considerably lower than the conventional versions (4.49 & 4.54) – such is the xi effect!

The oddball xi control system and limitations are by far the most significant difference between this lens and its more conventional triplets, but there is one more change of note - the hood. No hood can really give optimum performance throughout this sort of zoom range, but the manual versions were provided with a nice deep petal hood, which is about as good as zoom hoods get. The clip-on xi variant hood is the opposite, about as useless as a hood gets. It was not alone in this, many of Minolta’s lens hoods in the early days of AF were utterly ineffective. Sadly, the later hood does not fit on the xi (it has a bayonet mount).

The xi was the first version of the 28-105 that I acquired, it was also my first xi lens and I was taken aback by just how good it was. In those days I was used to the Sony DT 18-70 and 18-250 and was amazed to find a 20 year old lens that cost no more than a pub meal could outperform ‘modern’ lenses. I have had a soft spot for the xi system ever since.

However, I cannot in all honesty recommend this lens as a ‘good buy’, simply because the more sensible purchase is one of the conventional variants. The price differential between the variants is minimal – you might get an xi a bit cheaper, but I see the 1994 version going on ebay today for £30, which is peanuts for a lens of this quality. I have also found the xi lenses to be less reliable than their conventional equivalents – I’d say this was inevitable considering their additional complexity, but the failure I have experienced most is sticky iris blades – which is also pretty common on older pre-xi lenses. Which could mean that it crops up after about 30 years and will appear in later lenses before long – or Minolta changed something and fixed the issue (here’s hoping).

This is one of the best non-G standard zoom designs Minolta produced but most seem to prefer the extra range of the 24-105 D or the 28-135, the width of the 24-85s or the metal construction of the first generation zooms (28-85 & 35-105). None of them are really up to modern standards, but they’re all great value for money.


Garden bridge.


Sony A99ii + Minolta AF 28-105 xi f3.5-4.5 @ 30mm. ISO 100, f5, 1/100s
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 4paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 June 2021 at 14:33
Wow - that has pop, or "liquid"!

I have a 35-200 xi (uhh, somewhere ... in a box ... in storage ) surprisingly good (at least 35 to ~135mm)
Oh - I see you have that lens, in the sample forum!
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