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Saturday, October 13

Zuiko 50mm f2 results

I was determined to post some pics from the film I ran through the OM2n and 50mm f2 Macro even though I was still awaiting the replacement for my broken, 20-year-old thermometer. Out of desperation, I resorted to using a kitchen one, the kind used for cooking, just to get the job done. I probably should have waited as it isn't nearly as accurate as a "proper" one and is slower to respond to changes in temperature, neither of which earn it any Brownie points for photography.

The negatives were a little "over-cooked" but they're not too bad so I scanned a few for this post. I've also included a photograph of the negs on a lightbox and inverted that image to produce a faux contact sheet. I managed to squeeze 38 shots out of the roll - knocking 0.4p off each shot. Haha!

I should have realised before I started this post that, sad to say, you're not going to learn an awful lot from these photographs. My scanner is ancient and it was rubbish even when it was new. Over the years it's been shunted from house to house, sometimes without being locked down properly, and I doubt it's capable of getting much out of a negative. The actual negs look sharper than these scans, that's for sure. I've got an old Ohnar zoom slide copier and I sometimes think I should get a Nikon T-mount for it so that I can photograph the negs using the D700. That method would also be an awful lot quicker.


Anyway, back to the photographs. There's not a huge amount to say about them. The film was Agfa APX100 developed in D76 1+1 for 12 minutes at 20C. My guess is that the developer time was about right but the temperature was a little on the hot side. The film was rated at 100 ISO but there were a lot of strong contrasts that day and I'd have been better rating it at 50 ISO and cutting the development time but it would have been largely guesswork anyway with the cookery thermometer.

And what of the Zuiko? Well, I wrote in the last post about its suitability as a walkabout lens, in which role it does an excellent job. Optically, it's very good but I don't see anything particularly outstanding about it. I'd rate it about the same as a very good sample of the standard 50mm f1.8 Zuiko. The negs don't have the sparkle that I get from the Zeiss 50mm f1.4 and I'd much rather have the Zeiss.

These exercises are all helping me to focus on the ongoing "herd thinning" process. Having used the Zuiko macro, I can now see no point in keeping it when I have other lenses that do a similar job. I very rarely shoot close-ups but there's an excellent Yashica 100mm f3.5 macro sitting in my bag should the need arise. The Zuiko macro will be sacrificed on Ebay, possibly to pave the way for a Zeiss 45mm f2.8 pancake, a Tessar design that would turn my Contax 137MD into a nice, compact outfit.









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