Thoughts on Digital Photography

Posts tagged “Sony

My Camera System is better than your Camera System

In truth, all the systems kind of suck and have their own foibles.

Pentax can’t make a full frame camera that everyone wants.

Sony Alpha can’t not have a light robbing possibly sharpness reducing SLT mirror.

Sony NEX has shitty corners in their flagship camera for WA lenses. Sony has only made 1 great lens, ONE for the whole damn system… so far.

MFT is being championed by a JENGA teetering colonoscopy company.

Canon forgot how sensors are made.

Nikon can’t seem to work out bugs before releasing a camera (D600 dust, D800 focus, etc) that has a too strong AA filter.

Leica can’t even update a damn LCD screen on a new camera. It will come in new colors and stupid luxury brand tie in editions though. Great.

Samsung, seriously they make cameras now?

Ricoh, where’s our 16mpx M module? It’ll probably arrive when everyone else has moved to 24mpx and that is the new normal. Also, update the damn EVF.

Fuji, amazing ideas, incredible bodies, horrible execution.

Sigma, hire some software engineers and stop turning every file into an over sharpened mess by default.

I think that about covers it.


Olympus OM-D E-M5 versus Sony NEX-C3

Just a small preview of some more extensive tests.

I underexposed these two images with nearly the same framing, then I boosted exposure +2 and shadows +100.

To my eyes, it appears the NEX-C3 holds on to a bit more shadow detail and just more detail in general but it’s darn close.

Click the image to see it in better detail.

Will be posting far more detailed comparisons shortly.


Sample shots from Sigma 19mm F2.8 on Sony NEX-7

It has been very difficult to find a decent performing wide angles lens for the NEX-7. You can use an adapter and go with a big wide lens but that isn’t ideal if you want a compact solution. The rangefinder lenses have almost all shown magenta shift on the corners on the NEX-7 such as the Voigtlander 15mm and 12mm. Even the Sony 16mm F2.8 shows magenta shift and smearing at infinity in bigger apertures.

This is why it’s delightful when Sigma comes along out of nowhere with the lens equivalent of a double barrel shotgun. The Sigma 19mm and Sigma 30mm F2.8 lenses are both excellent lenses that are compact and high performing. What they give up on aperture speed they make up for in image quality.

The Sigma 19mm does show some CA but it’s very manageable and easily mostly removed with the auto chromatic aberration correction tool in Lightroom 4. It’s strength seems to be close up performance but it also does well at infinity. The colors are magnificent. At $200, this is a must buy lens especially right now with the shortage of good E-Mount lenses.

Here are some samples on the nex7, No saturation or vibrance added, except for 1 where it’s obvious.

The color separation and just fine detail close up is easily that of a $600 lens.

Click Below for Many More Sample Images
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Sony NEX-7 and ZA24 F1.8 Zeiss Samples

There is a lot of money tied up for me in this combination. I’m trying to decide if it’s worth it.

I know there’s also a lot of interest in this combo as well so I thought I would share my experiences.

From reviews on sites and forums, it seems to me that people are thinking that the lens is optimized for close range use and lacks for landscapes.

I’m inclined to agree.

On this first day of shooting, I notice quite A lot of purple fringing and chromatic abberation wide open even in the center if there are bright highlight edges with a strong contrasting background. When Stopped down to F5+, center CA improves a lot but the corners remain somewhat softer and CA never goes away completely.

From my initial impressions though, this lens has the Zeiss look. Think of it as a weaker smaller autofocus Zeiss 35mm F2 Zx. The wide open center rendering is remarkably similar, high contrast with high saturation. Actual resolution is above average but not spectacular. That improves when stopping down but the contrast is really rather exceptional.

AF is fast enough but not ZA 24-70 SSM fast. I’m still a little confused on how NEX does autofocusing, should read the manual. It seems to sometimes to go huge screen box and sometimes small boxes…?

Center sharpness and contrast is good even wide open. It only improves slightly when stopping down. Objects have high saturation and have a dimensionality to them.

Files out of the camera feel like they need very little post besides fixing the CA if you had branches against a white sky.

I can’t wait to shoot it more. Tomorrow is the New York Public Library.

Click Below for Many More Sample Images

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Shooting inside a Bar – Panerai 372 and Panerai Bronzo 382

Some watch photography I did with an unorthodox kit. Sony A850 with a Sony ZA Zeiss 24-70mm F2.8 SSM and a couple of flashes. I used just a Marumi Achromatic +5 Close up filter to enhance magnification on the already macro friendly ZA 24-70mm. My simple leather jacket was used as a backdrop and a small metal sheet I fit into my small bag. The important thing is to just modify your light and use RF triggers so you can have off camera flashes.

While a lot of patrons of the bar did not appreciate flashes popping left and right, I’m relatively happy with the results.

F.P. Journe

F.P. Journe

Rolex Vintage Submariner

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph

Rolex Explorer 2 mk2

Rolex Explorer 2 Mk2

Panerai Bronzo 382

More Pics In the Link

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Sony NEX-5N with Sony 35mm F1.8 SAM on LA-EA1

Playing with the 5N + Sony 35mm F1.8 SAM with the LA-EA1 adapter. Half tempted to get the LA-EA2 if it comes up for a decent price.

Sharp lens but doesn’t seem quite as out of the camera saturated as the 24-70 zeiss. At least on initial impressions. Interesting bokeh, decently sharp starting at F3.5.

Overall, quite a bargain lens for having an internal AF motor. AF takes about 3-5 seconds on the 5N with the LA-EA1.

Sharp at F3.5, this looks way over sharpened due to FLICKR!

Interesting Lively bokeh, centrally sharp at F2

Decent 3D effect


Switzerland and Thoughts on Travel Photography


This is a continuation of a series from here: Iceland Photos


If you found this page via a online forum, I recommend visiting the link above. It has some personal shots you might not have seen in my original post.

The second leg of my journey took me to Zurich. I knew going into Switzerland that it would be very picturesque. What I didn’t know was how delicate the political situation is in Switzerland as well as the somewhat interesting melting pot yet immigrant fearing culture. I was surprised to find out that there is a Canton (sort of like a US State) in Switzerland that didn’t grant women the right to vote in elections until 1988. Astoundingly some political groups founded by women even opposed it!

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Part 2 of Switzerland

This is a continuation of Part 1 found here: Part 1

B1

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Iceland

I recently took a European tour with two friends joining me for the first leg of it. Even though we were delayed 24 hours with the worst airline I’ve ever traveled (Iceland Express, make sure to travel Iceland Air), it was still quite worth it. We lost a day and a night in Iceland which made the more nervous/jumpy of us (Mike) almost want to cancel the trip. Fortunately we still ended up going and it was an amazing experience. The highlight for me was the Blue Lagoon, it was a singularly unique experience and makes all other thermal mineral spas seem quaint by comparison. The in pool bar and massages really bring the experience forward to another level.

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Fuji X ILC Interchangeable Lens Camera

www.sonyalpharumors.com/and-here-it-is-the-first-nex-7-competitor-the-fuji-x-leaked/

Fuji X

More pics in the link.

Looks like the ILC space is getting heated with some unconventional players! Who would have guessed that Sony and Fuji would be out innovating Nikon and Canon in the digital camera space in 2011 and 2012. I’m lukewarm about Nikon’s somewhat ugly V1 and underwhelming offering although I hate it less now after reading Huff’s impressions.

I do love the hybrid viewfinder in the X100, seeing the framelines is actually very useful for street photog to see what kind of action will happen.

Perhaps the Fuji X will be for street shooters and the Nex-7 for product and landscape photographers.

I’m guessing the Fuji X will have the same or improved sensor used in the excellent X100. I sure do hope that EV dial is much firmer. It was my biggest pet peeve and one of the reasons I sold my X100, the EV dial would move on it own in my bag and messed up my shots 50% of the time.


Iceland, Switzerland, France Travel Report for Friends

I recently took a European tour with two friends joining me for the first leg of it. Even though we were delayed 24 hours with the worst airline I’ve ever traveled (Iceland Express, make sure to travel Iceland Air), it was still quite worth it. We lost a day and a night in Iceland which made the more nervous/jumpy of us (Mike) almost want to cancel the trip. Fortunately we still ended up going and it was an amazing experience. The highlight for me was the Blue Lagoon, it was a singularly unique experience and makes all other thermal mineral spas seem quaint by comparison. The in pool bar and massages really bring the experience forward to another level.

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Zeiss ZA 24-70mm F2.8 vs Contax 35-70mm F3.4

My 24-70mm just came in and I’ll pitting it against my Leitax adapted Contax Zeiss 35-70mm this weekend on my trusty A850.

Plan is to test landscape and mid distance subjects in their overlapping focal lengths at F5.6 and F8. I’ll also be doing a macro test. Any bets on the winner?

Essentially I’ll be doing this testing to see how much performance I lose on the 24-70mm zoom which is a lot more flexible. The 35-70mm zoom is significantly lighter and can focus closer though so it might not be a terrible idea to have both.


Event Coverage with a Zeiss Prime 85mm

Shot an event I took for two friends running the Spartan Race 2011 NYC!

I actually just used the Sony Zeiss ZA 85mm F1.4 prime the whole event even though I brought a zoom with me. Did not bump saturation at all, added some contrast due to the overcast conditions. Shot all in CRAW with standard settings. A zeiss 72mm Circular polarizer was also used.

Missed some key shots because I was simply ignorant of the course. Make sure you find that out if you’re covering something similar. The sweet spot of the ZA 85mm F1.4 is about F2. F2.8 is when it sharpens to a point where it will beat most other lenses at any aperture. At F4 and up, no other 85mm lens rivals the micro contrast and resolution. The lens is slightly tainted by greenish CA bokeh wide open but the situation is much improved by F2.

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Contax Zeiss 45mm F2 G on NEX-5N No Post Processed JPG out of camera

First, DO NOT buy the cheap ebay adapters, I’m returning mine to the sketchy seller. I purchased a Photodiox version and while it looks Identical on the exterior to the cheap ebay version, it doesn’t grind and stick. I also have a Metabones adapter on the way.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the Focus Peaking feature is pretty critical if you’re not using a viewfinder. I’ve finally gotten much better at figuring out how to use it. You can’t rely on it for critical focus. You will have to zoom in. But for focusing quickly, it will help you a lot. As you rack the focus you can see how your plane of focus shifts back and forth so this will be very useful in placing that where you want it. For low contrast objects however, it is often hard to see peaking highlights.

These are Out of Camera JPG with Noise on LOW and mode on Standard.

I have NOT POST processed these at all except for slight straightening and import/export out of Lightroom. The included lens hood was used, no polarizers or filters of any kind (more…)


Why you shouldn’t buy the Sony LA-EA2 Adapter

The Sony LA-EA2 adapter is a a follow on to the LA-EA1. What the LA-EA1 gave you was full aperture control functionality from the NEX line of cameras for your alpha mount Minolta and Sony lenses. The focus on the LA-EA1 was  still manual however.

The LA-EA1 was a compact adapter with a removable tripod mount. It was a high quality adapter and allowed you to use the very impressive stable of Sony and Minolta alpha mount lenses. I would recommend people pick up the LA-EA1 over the LA-EA2. Here’s why. (more…)


NEX-5N Corners

Previously on the NEX-5 and NEX-3, the corners of images taken with wide angle lenses would get smeared. This was thought to have occurred… (more…)


NEX-5N Initial Impressions and Photos

I received my NEX-5N two days ago from Beach Camera. Here are my initial impressions and some test shots.

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