August 2007


Mid summer is THE time for flowers – by this time, the colors of early Spring are long forgotten, gone are the flowering spring bulbs, the cherry and the peach blossoms. By late June and early July, the second wave of color manifests itself, with the annuals and summer perennials coming into bloom.

This is also the best time for wildflowers, and beautiful roadside displays in the countryside. Strictly speaking, these aren’t “native” wildflowers – but out in the country, there is always a kind soul that scatters seed along the grassy verges where they tend to naturalize over time.

I came upon this country home, with an extensive garden reaching out to the roadside.. flowers everywhere. So were the bees, drunk with the nectar. I pulled over and dragged out my trusty Minolta 800si. I had some 400 Speed film in there since I had been testing my Toyo 500, but the flowers were too beautiful to pass up the opportunity.

I used a Sigma 50mm Macro lens for the flowers and my trusty Phoenix 28-105mm general purpose zoom for the old barn next door. I would have preferred a slower film with the 50mm lens, perhaps a 200 ASA or even a 100 ASA, but since I was working with the 400 speed, I set the camera to aperture priority and stopped down to f/13 and used a polarizer to get the light down to a useable level and help with color saturation.

It was early afternoon, the time of day when the light is high and flat, and hardly any modeling. With a manual camera I’d have underexposed a little to be sure of retaining the subtle colors, but the Minolta Dynax 800si’s matrix metering is so accurate that I did not have to worry. Besides, Fuji Superia 400 is very forgiving and has a great deal of latitude, behaving splendidly in bright sunlight as well as shade.


Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Sigma 50mm f/2.8
Phoenix 28-105mm
Phoenix 28-105mm

Photographed with a Minolta Dynax 800si, Sigma 50mm f/2.8 1:1 macro and Phoenix 28-105mm f/2.8-f/3.6 lenses, Fuji Superia 400 film. I used a Polarizing filter.


text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.
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McDaniel college in Westminster, MD – thats where the Raven’s have their training camp in the summer. Its a nice little campus, old buildings, Ivy league look and education, without the costs. The buildings are captivating at any time, but especially late in the evening when the old red bricks glow from the setting sun.

I have photographed these buildings several times – in color and black and white. This time, I was testing a vintage Fujicarex II that I’ve been cleaning and restoring. This has the most amazing selenium cell, no batteries needed, and the meter was spot on after all these years. I cleaned it up, and put in some seals as well.

This is an unusual camera from the early sixties – 1963, I think. This is one of the few SLRs that were made with an interchangeable FRONT element. The back element was fixed, and the front element changed as needed. Due to fixed real element, only a few focal lengths were possible a 35mm, 50mm and 80mm.

Only Fuji, Canon and Kodak ever introduced this type of camera, and they never caught on. I’ll have a more complete description of this camera and some pictures in the Classics section soon. I was lucky enough to find one in great condition, with all the 3 lenses. In these pictures, I used the 50mm f/1.9 element and the 35mm f/3.5 element.

Fujicarex II, 50mm f/1.9
Fujicarex II, 50mm f/1.9
Fujicarex II, 50mm f/1.9
Fujicarex II, 50mm f/1.9
Fujicarex II, 50mm f/1.9
Fujicarex II, 50mm f/1.9

Fujicarex II, 35mm f/3.5
Fujicarex II, 35mm f/3.5
Fujicarex II, 35mm f/3.5
Fujicarex II, 35mm f/3.5
Fujicarex II, 35mm f/3.5
Fujicarex II, 50mm f/1.9

Photographed with a Fujicarex II camera, 50mm f/1.9 front element interchangeable lens, Fuji 100 film


copyright 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites and brands referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.
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On this last trip to Colorado, I has planned to drive out into the mountains in the evenings after work. My goal was to make it out to Estes Park, near the entrance of the Rocky Mountain National Park. I did make it there, but it started raining heavily, and my plans to photograph Estes lake and surrounding areas was a bust.

I did manage to get around though. On the advice of a colleague, I took Pearl Street west to Canyon Road, and drove out of town meaning to get a closer look at the rocky outcrops just outside of Boulder, CO. I’d originally intended to drive out to the famous Flatirons, but it was late by the time I got out of the office, so I settled for the shorter drive.

Canyon Road runs alongside Boulder Creek, and is very picturesque. I have to commend the City of Boulder for all the parking available by the roadside, practically every couple of hundred yards. I pulled over at a couple of places, and just sat by the beautiful rocky stream. Here are some of the pictures. I got the smooth effect on by shooting the stream at 1/8 of a second at f/11 with a polarizer. I didn’t have a tripod, so I braced myself on a nearby rock.


Boulder Canyon
Boulder Canyon
Boulder Canyon
Boulder Canyon
Boulder Canyon
Boulder Canyon
Boulder Canyon
Boulder Canyon
Boulder Canyon
Boulder Canyon
Boulder Canyon
Boulder Canyon

Boulder Creek 1/8 sec at f/11
Boulder Creek 1/125 sec at f/11
Boulder Canyon

Photographed with a Minolta Dynax 800si, Maxxum 35-105mm and Tamron 70-300mm lenses and Fuji Superia 400.


text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.
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I was in Boulder CO earlier this month (a work related visit), but I stayed in a hotel in Louisville CO, since it was much cheaper (and easier) to get a room, and besides, it’s only 10 minutes from Boulder. Louisville is a nice place, lots of places to get a decent meal.

I was exploring one evening and just driving along north from my hotel, when I stumbled upon this little gem of a recreation area. Davidson Mesa is an “open space” with minimal impact trails, and it’s the one place to get a clear view of the Front Range without any buildings and traffic getting in the way. It’s one heck of a resource for the good citizens of Louisville and surrounding areas.

For this trip, I had lugged my big Minolta Dynax 800si along with the Tamron 70-300mm and Phoenix 35-105mm, and for good measure, an old Vivitar 24mm f/2.8 (OM-Mount) with a OM-Maxxum adapter. The film was 400 and 200 speed Fuji film.

I’d have liked to have used higher resolution 100 speed film, but I had 2 zooms with me, and besides, the light in the foothills changes rapidly, and I wanted to have the additional latitude. On my last trip to Colorado last year, I had some 50speed slide film with me, and I was limited to using my 50mm f/1.7 since none of my other lenses were fast enough to handle the extra slow film.

I had the Tamron lens on the camera that evening and the Vivitar 24mm f/2.8 OM mount lens with a Bower adapter to fit it on the Minolta. I had included the zoom in my camera kit at the last minute, just in case I wanted to photograph some of the hard to access rocky crags along Boulder Creek. Normally one would not associate a long zoom with landscape photography, but the distance was just right to encompass the open space.

With ISO/ASA 400 film, the Tamron 70-300mm is great for portraits as well – just set to about 100mm and open to f/4 and you’ll get a couple of feet of depth of field, just enough for a person, throwing everything else pleasantly out of focus. I took a couple of pictures with the Vivitar 24mm as well, the Bower mount works like a charm. I just set the camera on manual and exposed at 1/500 sec at f/11.

I also wanted to get a soft and fuzzy view of the distant mountains, and emphasize the foreground and trail… there was also an interesting fence going off into the distance that I wanted to work into the composition somehow. For the soft shots, I used the camera on Portrait mode, hunkered down to minimize camera shake, picked the foreground subjects (rocks and grass) and shot.

There was a storm in the mountains that day, so the lighting near the Mesa was spectacular. The grass simply seemed to glow… modern film emulsions do a great job in capturing subtle colors, but some things are just too ethereal to capture. I did my best.

Here are the pictures from Davidson Mesa. The second picture is from another park right across the road from the Mesa parking area. It’s called Harper Lake.


Davidson Mesa
Harper Lake

Davidson Mesa
Davidson Mesa
Davidson Mesa
Davidson Mesa
Davidson Mesa
Davidson Mesa – Vivitar 24mm f/2.8
Davidson Mesa – Vivitar 24mm f/2.8

These pictures were also taken near Louisville, from a lookout point on Rte 36

Rte 36
Rte 36
Rte 36
Rte 36
Rte 36
Rte 36

Photographed with a Minolta Dynax 800si, Tamron 70-300mm f/3.5-4.6, Vivitar 24mm f/2.8 with Fuji Superia 400 film


text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.
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It’s been so hot and hazy all over Maryland, especially around DC – the humidity saps the strength, and the lighting just doesn’t inspire one to whip out the camera – I’ve been trying to shoot regularly though. I’ve been playing with an ancient Fujicarex II which I picked up recently on EBay in pristine condition in its original case, along with the instruction manual and – get this, 2 additional lenses. Turns out that this is one of the few cameras made with interchangeable front elements. I’ll have a post about this camera soon, just shot a roll of Fuji 100.

I feel guilty that I haven’t posted an entry to OlympusZuiko all of August – but I have been working on restructuring the site, adding a Macrophotography section and Classics section. The Macro section is to try and describe all the macro equipment that I seem to have picked up – from screw-in supplementary diopter lenses, extension tubes and macro lenses to bellows (with their neat dedicated bellows lenses).

In addition, I plan to have a subsection about special purpose cameras like the Honeywell Repronar 805/805A system with its modified early Pentax camera and the Yashica Dental Eye with it’s fixed 50mm ring flash macro lens. The Classic section will cover the few other cameras I have (this would be a good place for the Fujicarex) – the Yashica TL-Super, Yashica Electro 35 GSN rangefinder and of course, this will be the new home for the Ricoh Cameras.

Fall will be a busy time for photography – the quality of the light at any time of day makes it especially attractive, and I plan to make the most of it. I’ve also been working on cleaning up and restoring ( as far as I can manage) the Pentax Honeywell Repronar camera. I should be able to use it for macro pictures in a couple more days, as soon as I figure out how to stabilize the camera and bellows without the Repronar base.


text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.
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