Monthly Archives: May 2015

Minolta AF 500mm Reflex Lens

Finally got a hold of a Minolta 500mm Reflex Lens, which is a catadioptric photographic lens. This lens, and the repackaged but optically identical Sony Version (SAL–500F8), are the only production mirror lenses designed to have its focus controlled by the camera’s autofocus motor in conjunction with TTL autofocus sensing. In terms of the Minolta AF and subsequent Sony α DSLR systems, these lenses are an anomaly, being the only lenses guaranteed to auto focus at f/8.

This lens will, by default, set the focusing to spot and cannot be changed. This restriction is because of the lens design using mirrors. Since using spot focusing, one must make sure to place the spot focusing square on the subject so it focuses properly. Doing this, focusing is very good, however the depth of field is super slim up close.

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A Cloudy Morning, Antioch – Project 365

Lots of clouds this morning, interesting enough there were of two different types. Towards the South/West the clouds over the foothills and Mount Diablo were large and fluffy, where as to the North over Delta it was a large layer of overcast. All photos were taken from the top of the hill in Prewitt Family Park, just a block away from my house.
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Contra Loma Park, Antioch – Project 365

Walked this morning up to the top of the Fishing Reservoir’s Dam in Contra Loma Park. Great views of the foothills in the background. The water level is rather low. Noticed the stones along the border, the lighter stones are normally under the water. BONUS: The last two photos are of an otter that was looking for his breakfast.
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Lime Ridge Open Space, Concord – Project 365

Stopped by Lime Ridge Open Space on my way to our Tuesday’s lunch in Concord. Lime Ridge Open Space is a vaguely key-shaped parcel of land stretching from Concord south into Walnut Creek. I used the park entrance on Montecita Drive, of Ygnacio Valley Road and walk along Fire Trail to take these photos. It was very cloudy, but the photos did turn out not to bad.
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Antioch Regional Shoreline Park – Project 365

I concluded yesterday my weeklong portrait orientation photography. Now back to landscape normal shooting, however, I do have gain more appreciation of using the portrait view, as you will see in today’s set as well. I spend this morning down at the Regional Shoreline Park to take some photos of the bridge and fishing pier. My attempt was to catch the lines of those two subjects. The last photo was taken with my 37–300mm zoom lens to catch a bird I noticed relaxing under the bridge.
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Brentwood’s Delta Theater – Project 365

Last day of portrait orientation photography. This set is all about the Brentwood Delta Theater. It was built in the 1930’s and was originally a one screen with a stage in front of it which doubled to show plays. In the early–1990’s it was turned into a two screen theater. In the early to mid–1990’s it was a second run theater, which did moderate business at best. After closing down for a couple months CineLux bought the theater in 2000 and has been open and doing well ever since.
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Oak Tree at Oakley’s Central Park – Project 365

Continuing with the portrait orientation photography, today’s set is all about the old preserved Oak tree that is part of the Oakley’s Central Park next to City Hall. The city’s name “oak” comes from the abundance of oak trees, while the suffix “-ley” comes from the Old English word for “field” or “meadow”.

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A Few Scattered Clouds – Project 365

Another set about clouds, this time using both the Portrait and Landscape view to show the differences using the same focal length. You be the judge which one you prefer.

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Nothing But Clouds – Project 365

Today’s set is all about clouds shots in Portrait mode. I got the idea from the new David Taylor book, "Mastering Landscape Photography.’ BTW, it is a great book! I used the wide-angle with limiting the foreground to the foothills. Again, I have a favored shot in this set, the one using the powerlines and street markings to add some centering to it.
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Downtown Pittsburg, CA – Project 365

Today I went downtown Pittsburg to take some more portrait shoots. Since the corner of East 5th Street and Railroad Avenue has some nice stone work, which serves as entrance to a small park, I used some of that as the foreground for capturing the northern part of Railroad Avenue. I also utilized in the last photo some of the decorative grass as foreground. This last photo is what I consider my best picture so far in my efforts to use the vertical (portrait) orientation for landscape photography.
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