Shooting Vintage 50’s ~ Rikenon 50mm f2

X-Pro2 Classic Chrome Film Simulation Shot @ f2

X-Pro2 Classic Chrome Film Simulation Shot @ f2

                        Given all the options available to us in the cheap 50mm category this is one that has been sitting in a drawer for almost 10 years. The Rikenon 50mm f2 is really nothing that spectacular when it comes to the build quality but paired with the Fuji X-Pro 2 it actually looks quite good and handles fairly well. Made mostly of plastic on the outside it still feels robust enough for most situations.  Purchasing this lens on eBay will only set you back $50 or $60 Canadian dollars but the resulting images make it feel like it’s worth every penny and more. 

            Often when I mount a vintage lens on my my XPro2 I feel as if it’s to large or look like it doesn’t belong. this is usually the fault of the adapter not the lens. In the case of the Rikenon 50mm it seems to balance quite well with the XPro2. One of the main reasons is that the K Mount adapter is quite shallow in comparison to others that I have tried, so in combination with a lens that is already only just under 1.5 inches in length. Combined the lens and the Adapter is only 2 3/4 inches in length which is still incredibly compact. 

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              Handling the Rokinon 50mm f2 is quite good. The Aperture control had nicely defined Clicks from f2 (of course) to f16, but are still relatively smooth. The focus dial has smooth yet fairly short focus throw which allows you to find focus in less than 180 degrees. 

                Image quality is such a subjective topic. Somewhere between MTF charts, brick walls and  endless shots of images at each f-stop lies what is actually important. Does the image tell the story you are trying to tell, does the lens capture the trueness of the moment or is the character of the lens visually appealing to the viewer. Those are the things I consider when looking at a lens review, HOW DO THE PICTURES LOOK!!! Do they look good? If so then it’s a good lens. 

                     Thanks for reading my very informal lens review of the Rokinon 50mm f2, Please consider leaving a comment, I would love to hear what you think of this lens. Here are just a few more of the images I shot. 

 X-Pro2 Classic Chrome Film Simulation

 X-Pro2 Classic Chrome Film Simulation

 X-Pro2 Classic Chrome Film Simulation Shot @ f2

 X-Pro2 Classic Chrome Film Simulation Shot @ f2

 X-Pro2 Classic Chrome Film Simulation Shot @ f2

 X-Pro2 Classic Chrome Film Simulation Shot @ f2

 X-Pro2 Classic Chrome Film Simulation Shot @ f2

 X-Pro2 Classic Chrome Film Simulation Shot @ f2

Shooting Portra 400 on the Minolta AF2

                Testing out a camera with Portra 400 is expensive and therefor a tad bit risky. At over $10 per roll at most available locations it’s a hard roll to waste. Fortunately though this little beauty worked just fine. I shot it all at about a half stop over exposed and as expected Portra shined. As one of the most forgiving films out there Portra has up to 8 stops of latitude. That makes shooting this stuff a breeze.

                A quick word regarding the Minolta AF. This camera was super simple to use, your only option to manipulate your exposure is to adjust the ISO dial. This little Rangefider camera is also auto focus which some might find to be a great feature. I actually find it a bit boring to shoot with. The shutter sound is wimpy and the over all feel is very Plasticky.  I guess one can’t complain for only $15 bucks. I think I will go back to my compact SLR’s (the Pentax ME and the Canon AE1). What you can’t argue about on this camera is it’s image quality. When it locks it’s focus the results are actually pretty decent. See for yourself below and feel free to reach out and let me know what you think of this Camera and remember whoever you are and wherever you are keep shooting. 

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Note 5 camera. A visual review

Recently I just upgraded my cell phone from an iPhone 5s to the relatively new Samsung Galaxy Note 5. I know what you may be thinking, from IOS to Android. Why? As a photographer my decision making when it comes to gadgets is usually based on image making and this one was no exception. With a 16MP f1.9 camera, the ability to shoot optical image stabilized 4K video and features like Auto real-time HDR it seemed like a no brainer. To round off the list of amazing features you capture this all in DNG raw format, now thats awesome. After having it a week I can tell you that in my experience it out shines the iPhone both in the UI department and sheer image quality. This is not an exhaustive review rather just an opinion. Here are a few images I took at a recent father's day car show. I edited all of the images in VSCO film and some minor tweeks in Snapseed. Enjoy.

 

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