Going Digital with the Olympus E-PL2

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Jazz up this old lens – Leitz Summitar 50mm F2 wide open

I was a bit restless last week-end, still scanning the backlog of films I needed some less intensive activity. Plus my son has a field trip in Indonesia and we were thinking he would be better off wit a cheap camera, just in case he lost it, drop it or got robbed.

So I scratched my head and after a while (and a bit of google-ing) went down to the shop and bought a Olympus E-PL2 and 12-24mm lens plus an adapter for Leica lenses.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Lunch time –¬†Leitz Summitar 50mm F2 wide open

For 140 USD my son have a very good camera although “obsolete” said the shopkeeper. And I can attach my Leica lenses including the russian and japanese ltms to a digital sensor. I can let you see some results.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Gong xi fa cai – Industar 22 50mm F3.5 wide open

 

Like everything this takes time to get used to and I am no expert in micro four-third cameras, but it looks this can be a fun toy. A few things to take into account:

  • the E-PL2 has a crop factor of 2, so the 50mm becomes a 100mm and the Serenar 135 becomes a 270mmF4 lens !
  • even with the adaptor depth there is not much room for recessed lenses, so the Jupiter 8 with its big inner element cannot be used (damn I really wanted to use this one)
  • on the good side you cannot hurt the sensor with the collapsible lens.
  • mmm the camera uses the back screen for focusing which is very difficult for me; and EVFs are a bit expensive just for fun, so I don;t know how much usage I’ll do with thus.

Gong Xi Fa Cai everybody, happy year of the monkey.

Going Digital with the Olympus E-PL2

The German- Soviet Pact (In photography term) – Take 2

For hobbies there is never any reason not to follow the path of silly or failed ideas. As the say goes in Batman: “Why do we fall down sir? So we can learn to pick ourselves up” (or learn from our faillures or do we?).

See : The German- Soviet Pact (In photography term)

So here I was again last December, playing with the Industar 22 lens on the Leica M4. Not only did I do it once, but in fact twice. But I like the collapsible lens on the M body, so slick, and the manual focusing works like a charm.

On 5th Dec I was invited at a charity lunch organized by Mark Weingard for Inspirasia foundation at the Mandarin Oriental in Singapore and brought this combo instead of a DSLR. On my way to the lunch I stopped by my favorite film shop (Ruby photo at Excelsior Plaza) and bought a roll of Ilford 3200 ASA. Well that did not go out too well, light was too dim, even for 3200 ASA, I would have been better off with the Summilux. Only the following shot reach the level of view-able.

Chef Eneko Atxa with Pat

This is trippled Michelin starred and cool chef Eneko Atxa(left) with my friend Pat inside a kitchen before the lunch.

Back from Xmas holidays I have a few shots left on a Kodak Portra, so on my way to the office I changed lens for the Industar and shot happily. Pity the lens flares so much, otherwise with a bit a post production work the results are quite acceptable.

Street Art – Summerset MRT – Singapore

First stop the skate park close to the nearby MRT station, the same street artist is back, so am I. I like his drawings a lot, looking forward to meet him when he’s at work one of these days.

White umbrella – MBFC – Singapore

Across the street from Marina Bay Financial, I was attracted by this white umbrella. Do you notice there are only women in the frame?

Your were warned – MBFC – Singapore

At the back MBFC tower 3, I think I already shot this. Too many signs kill the sign… well you cannot say you were not warned.

Camera:Leica M4
Lens:Industcar 22 50mm 3.5+adapter
Digifilm:Epson V500+Lightroom

The German- Soviet Pact (In photography term) – Take 2

The German- Soviet Pact (In photography term)

I can never resist doing something foolish, so after having owned the Zorki for a few weeks, I googled a bit and flickered a lot and ordered an adapter to put the Industar 22 lens on the Leica M4.

Leica introduced the M mount in 1954, before this time the M39 (LRM or screw mount) was the norm with some variations on the on the thread. Since 1954 it is possible to mount older LTM lenses on M bodies using adapters. Adapters have 3 functions:

  • allow mounting the LTM lens on the M body (the reverse is not possible)
  • enable the usage of the view finder for focusing
  • trigger the display of the correct frame lines in the M viewfinder. This means you need several adapters if you have several different lenses.
  • I found a very cheap adapter on Ebay (8 $ including port) and could attach the Industar on the M4. Hurrah ! I managed to replace a 50mm Summilux F1.4 genuine Leica lens that costs a 1000 bucks by a Industar F3,5 russian lens probably older that costs me 50 dollars at most. The 3 functions above work very well : the rangefinder displays the proper distance, the 50mm frame is shown on the viewfinder and needless to say that the lens is attached.

    I loaded a roll of Fuji Neopan 400ASA, so I can shoot at smaller apertures; we never know and a after a couple of days of waiting I got the results from the lab.


    Walking to the office, I came across this guy painting a very nice mural that can be found on my Flickr. I made a couple of shots at F3.5 and 1/30s; probably the Summilux would have come more handy.


    This lens has a terrible flare; I cannot see any special damage to my sample, so probably it’s a factory defect. I applied a bit of dodging in Lightroom to fix that one. I think the picture has a nice “old time” effect to it.


    This one is my favorite; nothing to add, I just like it.

    So all in all, that works, it’s good fun for 8$, plus the lens is very nice to focus but the aperture is a real pain to set. If you add the fact that the M4 has no internal meter it’s not so easy to take a pic. Or you have to play it but ear; very old style.

    But that’s not the end of the story. During a late Sunday night at home I ordered on Ebay (where else) a Canon LTM lens, a 135MM F4, called Serenar, for 60 USD including shipping. I also got the correct 135mm adapter. This one was a different ballgame:

  • It is not mounting on the Zorki because the thread is different, so it does not lock, plus it may get stuck with the Zorki Rangefinder prong.
  • And it does not couple with the M4 rangefinder prong. Basically once attached the M4 prong is at 12 o’clock and the lens one at 11AM: no rangefinder coupling. Ok I said I can use the guessometer, this useful tool I used for the Zorki, but damn the bloody lens distance scale is in imperial measurements!

    To be short there will be some DIY sooner or later, but however I made a few shots sitting at the terrasse of a Cafe and here is a sample below. Not mind blowing but that works.

    I think I like the 135mm.

  • The German- Soviet Pact (In photography term)

    The first Zorki Film

    If you missed the last episode, I bought a Zorki S for 40EUR in an antique shop and it turned out there are some quite obvious problems with it. Two days later, I tempted my luck with a 6 years expired Kodak Gold film. I shot the film on the way to work, using hyper-focal focusing because the range finder does not work, and I missed one shot out of 5 as the curtains of the shutter stay stuck most of the time. Meanwhile the mini-lab broke down so I had to wait two extra days to be able to have a look at this masterpiece.

    As expected, one picture in 5 to 6 turned out ok in term of exposure and the 4 below are the best of the lot. It’s very difficult to guess for the rest because of the very bad quality of the film (or because of it’s high artistic quality). Well that will need another try.

    In between I have lubricated the shutter by dropping some silicon lubricant on the shutter button and it seems that by firing 20 shots a day the shutter no longer get stuck: good news. Also a gentle fellow user gave me some information on the rangefinder issue so I may run a second roll very soon. Probably an unexpired B&W film.

    Graph at the sate park

    Appart from trying the Zorki out, I liked this mural very much down in the Summerset skate park; it changes from the usual things we see there. Hope I can shot it with a proper camera before its gone.

    Graph at the sate park
    Ice cream stall
    Signs

    Camera:Zorki-S
    Lens:Industar 22 50mm F3.5
    Film:Kodak Gold 100ASA expired 2006
    DigiFilm:Epsonv500, LightroomV3.6

    The first Zorki Film