Tag Archives: Minolta

Joondalup Night Markets: A walk around with the Minolta 50mm f1.4

I was busy writing an article for PROTAS last Friday night, when I got a phone call from Lisa saying she wanted me to meet her at the Joondalup Night Markets after she finished work. ‘Great’ I thought, we had not been since last year. It always has a great atmosphere and particularly this year it had some great lighting. So I packed up the Nex-5 and threw on my Minolta 50mm F1.4 lens. This is already my favorite low-light lens, but it is quickly becoming my favorite all round lens. Great colour rendition, even in dark situations, and it is pretty darn sharp to boot. Any way I will let you be the judge.

This is not an official review of this lens yet. Just a good low-light test for you all to see how this lens performs on the Nex-5. This lens gathers up the light so nicely I was actually able to stop it down between 2.8 & 5.6 all night, quite amazing actually!

As you can see this Minolta lens is a stellar performer! I will have a full review of it for you guys soon.

The Joondalup Night Markets run from December to March every Friday evening. I definitely suggest checking it out, there is a great atmosphere. I also suggest taking the camera, as you can see the place is just so vibrant and photo friendly.

 

Film: Roll 2 comes back… Fuji vs Kodak

Today started out rather average I must admit. Being the only one called into work the day after Australia day is never what you want. It was tedious and everything seemed to be playing up, but it did not get to me too much, I knew I could pick up my second roll of film today, the roll of Kodak 400 I shot after the Fuji 400 I shot first.

The first thing I did today when I left work was to rush down to see my mate Max Dellaway camera guru, as I had given him my newly acquired Jupiter 8 to clean for me as it was terribly dirty. Of course upon receiving it back it was perfect, I can never fault Max’s work. He also had a new toy for me, a working Minolta 700si! I was very happy, as I had a nice Minolta 30-80 just sitting there waiting for it.

Anyway, upon leaving Max’s I rushed to my local Big W to pick up my second film. I practically raced back to my car, to check the digital scan disc on my car stereo dvd player. Again I was very happy with the results, great colour! I am not sure yet whether I can truly spot any difference between the Kodak and the Fuji, I want to say the Kodak seems to be warmer and the Fuji has more greens, but I believe that to just be the difference between the two different types of subject matter. (I really should have shot more similar things for better comparison) I like the colour in both and I also like that characteristic slight film graining. I will keep shooting some film for fun, it is great!
Here is the two sets for comparison,
I hope you enjoy.

First up the newly shot Kodak film:

 

and secondly the Fuji I shot 2 days beforehand:

I think you can be the judge yourself of these first two test rolls over which you prefer.

I actually went out and shot with my new 500si and 700si on Kodak film and my Nex-5 digital to try and do a comparison of similar subject matter between the 3 for next week. I have to say I am thoroughly enjoying shooting my 2 Minolta film cameras, they are both a dream to shoot!

Film: A return to a long lost love!

Quote:
Man I love film!!
After years of only shooting digital, I felt like giving film a whirl again as I love the grittiness of it… it is so raw and beautiful, the imperfections make it special!
Anyway, just got my first film back, had to wait 2 days! haha
…and the anticipation…. whew, I was hoping they were ok….
and then you open the first photo and you see this!!

Man, I love film!! ūüėÄ – my facebook comment last night. (this photo is straight from the file given to me after processing. No post editing what so ever!)

 

I’ve been shooting digital exclusively for about 8 years now. I have been totally happy with digital, it had not even occurred to me to give film a whirl again until I received two old film camera bodies, with a lens I got on ebay. The thought crossed my mind to give them a go, however I just shelved them, more concerned with playing with the lenses on my digital.
Anyway, a few weeks later I was on Steve Huff’s blog and he posted one of his daily inspirations, it was Nepal shot on Kodak Kodachrome film. It looked awesome! The film just had so much character! I started looking back into the merits of shooting film when I came across Ken Rockwells site, another treasure trove of info, and some great general film shots from him to prove it’s validity still.
So I went straight to ebay and ordered 10 rolls of Fuji 400 Superior and 5 roll of Kent-mere B&W 400 and pulled down the old Minolta 404si I had planned to now shoot (I have a real soft spot for Minolta gear).
(Shots of cameras etc. were shot with our NEX-5 using my MIIDA 35mm manual lens)

I was lucky enough to visit with Lisa’s parents later that afternoon, after they heard about my intended venture into film, they bestowed upon me a great opportunity. They pulled out the old 1974 Canon Ex-auto rangefinder camera. This is beautiful, this is a piece of art, this is from back when real cameras were made of heavy metal!

Wanting to get them serviced before I went out shooting, I took them down to see my friend Max Dellaway camera serviceman extraordinaire. If you have any problems with any camera or lens I can recommend no-one better to take your loved camera equipment to, he is a fountain of knowledge and does fantastic work.
Back to the story at hand, Max Inspects the 404si for me, then walks over to his ‘junk box’ pulls out a perfect looking 500si and says ‘this one is clean, I’ll sell it to you for $30, I’d charge you $50 to clean that one’. I of course jumped at that deal, how could I not and went home a very happy man. With a nice clean Minolta 500si and a cleaned and serviced Canon Ex-Auto, my anticipation for the arrival of my film was building.

Funnily enough my first 10 rolls of Fuji arrived that very afternoon, so of course I had to go test shooting. I loaded up the first roll in the 500si and went out the back and snapped a couple of flowers and our 2 dogs. It was a very satisfying clunk as the shutters opened and closed, then the thought ‘I hope that is a good one’. Ahh film, how different it is, you do not know whether you wasted your time or not until you get the film back from processing.

Not wanting to waste my whole first roll at home I put it to bed till the next Monday afternoon when I decided to go to the park to test it in a few scenarios. I took my time playing with the settings, getting used to focusing through an optical viewfinder again. I snapped birds and trees and rocks, until that whirring noise that indicates you have finished your film and it is being re-wound back to the start. I quickly ran back to the car and drove straight to Joondalup Big W, where I had found out earlier in the day, still processed film and would scan the negs to disc for me for $12.95.

I walked on into the Big W and the first thing you see is this massive Fuji booth, is it just me or is film coming back? Apparently Fuji posted an increase in their film sales last year, maybe this is the reason for the investment back into processing booths. Either way I dropped off my film and was informed it would be ready in 2 days, so I bought a roll of Kodak to compare to the Fuji I had just shot and went straight out and shot some sunsets. hahaha So addicted to shooting.

Anyway 2 days passed and the day had arrived to pick up my film. I was filled with both anticipation hoping they were good and trepidation hoping they weren’t crap. I dropped off the roll of Kodak I had just finished shooting¬† and picked up my disc and negs. I practically ran to the car, not wanting to wait to check the pics, I threw the disc straight into my dvd player car stereo. Bang, they looked awesome, but they were small and contrasty on my crappy computer screen, so I had to race hope to check them on my monitor. I raced through the door straight to the computer and loaded them up, they are awesome! Man I love film, from the unknown of whether you made the shot, to the vibrant colours and characteristic grain that only comes from great film.

Here are the shots from that first test roll, I am very happy, I can’t wait to see the results of the Kodak and my B&W film. I will definitely be shooting some art pieces in film again, there is just something about it you cannot attain with digital. I still love digital and will shoot it a majority of the time, however my film shooting will now increase again too, there is just something so magical about it.
Here is a slideshow of that first test roll, I hope you enjoy:

(Photo-bucket is playing the photos in reverse so all the bird shots are at the front, please just click to the end if you want to see the other shots)

I intend to go out shooting with the Canon EX-auto too and test using different films in the future, I will post my results here.

When shooting jewellery… you can never have enough light!

So Lisa has been busy setting up her Etsy store for all the awesome jewellery she makes, so of course I offered to help with the taking of the photos.
Now having done this a few times I have learned a thing or two…

  1. Set your self up properly, make yourself a nice little rig for draping the jewelery, where you can aim plenty of lights.
  2. Get yourself a macro lens, you want to get really close to the subject. It is good to use a nice prime to shoot the object in a nice setting, but you want the macro to show the real detail in the product. For this, the nice close up macro shots were taken with my Vivitar 35-75 FOV FFL manual focus macro zoom lens, and the set shots with the flower and candle were taken with my Minolta 55mm 1.9 FOV FFL manual prime lens.
  3. Most importantly, you can never have too much light! Use whatever you can, as you can see I have even brought in a torch just to bring in some extra side light to help diffuse the shadow I was getting on the right side of the pieces.

 

Here are just a few of the shots I took of her jewelery for her yesterday:

       

        

        

         

 

Isn’t her jewellery great!
You can check it out here if you are interested:
Metal Fish Handmade Creations