10 September 2013

Dragon fly on barbed wire

Still trying to learn how to catch a dragon fly in the air with the camera. Not there yet... Not with this shot either. It still got its feet on the wire, but I like it anyway. Sort of artsy. They are damn fast bastards. This is how much one move in 1/180's of a second. For the first time I begin to understand those who demand higher flash sync from Pentax. But it is a step forward. Usually I sneak up to the dragon fly, and in the lucky coincidence that it doesn't go chicken and escape, I snap a couple of shots, at least some of them sharp, of a sitting dragon fly, like the next picture. Then I wait for it to fly...and when it does, I fire of as fast as I can. Usually resulting in an empty frame, or perhaps a bit of the dragon fly inside the frame and the rest outside.

7 September 2013

One of the last days of summer

Finally I had some time to play again with the NX 20 and some manual lenses on adapters. Or more precisely, I stool the time by carrying the camera on the campus during lunch. Here is a Nikon Nikkor-H Auto 50mm f2, which I got so cheap recently that I'm almost ashamed. Build quality is great (in black and chrome like most old Nikon). It is a pre-AI, so it actually mount on my Pentax cameras as well (maybe you didn't know that, but Nikon lenses can be mounted on Pentax cameras upside down, the pre-AI even lock), so I think I will have a lot of fun with this one. This is shot at f2. Two members of the Science student club having lunch (you can see it on the T-shirt). They had picked a perfect spot in the shadow.
Here is a shot with the Nikon Nikkor-H Auto 85mm f1.8, same vintage as the 50mm. At f1.8. I know, it looks like I'm a creep that were hiding in the bushes to shoot this young lady, but I'm not. I was having my lunch at another table identical to the one she sit at, and she saw me shooting her, and she didn't run away ;) What I played with here was to have both front and back bokeh in the same image. It renders quite nicely from this lens. Supposedly these early Nikon lenses where designed for a maxiam center sharpness, with soft corners as a trade off, because that is how the press-photographers wanted it. If you know how they copied 9 out of 10 news images back then, it makes sense. Black and white with extra exposure to darken everything around the person in the center of the images, so that the reader would look at the important part. It worked then in black and white news papers. But I think that I would need to shoot brick walls to really see that the corners are any softer than the center, and I may need full frame. On a APS-C sensor the worst is cropped. These pre-AI lenses has been going up in price. Nikon people generally don't want them, since only the most expensive Nikon models can meeter with them, but now they are getting popular due to all the different mirror-less cameras and all these little adapters. I can see why. Think I need to get some more pre-AI Nikkors...
The last lens in my pockets that sunny September day was the Pentacon Prakticar MC 50mm f1.8. This is a cheapish fast 50 in the Praktica PB mount from the 1980's. Finally Praktica abandoned the m42 mount and made their own bayonet, which includes both mechanical controle and three electrical contacts. Strangely they never added and program exposure functions or exposure time priority on their cameras, just aperture priority. Compared to the Nikkors this lens feels very plastic, although there is some metal in it. The mount is some light metal, Zn perhaps, that scratch easily. If the Nikkors don't focus as smooth as the typical Takumar, they are still a pleasure to work with. But this lens is stiff, and the resistance change over the focus interval. Not good. But optically, the lens does a decent job. Now, I didn't get the PB adapter for these sort of lenses, but to use some of the Zeiss labeled glass that can be found in this mount... Btw, if the students look too young, it is because some hundreds Gymnasie-students (like 18-19 years old) visited the University this day.
The Pentacon 50mm again. I don't think the guys were students at all, but doing some construction work on the Campus, and they just found a perfect spot for a break.
And outside the subway-station, Harry Hole was waiting for someone. Watching for some Norwegian criminals? At least this is how I have always imagined him.

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