Lens Porn Monday!

(Mostly) every Monday I’ll talk about a lens I own or have used, and post some example shots I have taken with it. This week: The Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G Lens!

Sony 70-300mm G lens.Usually when talking about Sony’s long zooms, photographers traditionally refer to the 70-200mm f/2.8 G Master and f/4 G lenses. Now those are great lenses, and I look forward to owning them one day, however for now, I think the Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G lens is a really strong alternative. It can be had at a better price than the f/4, and a much better price than the f/2.8.

I was able to purchase mine used off of B&H for under $1,000 in great condition which makes this lens a more affordable option. Overall, I have been very happy with it, though I am always aware of its limitations — most notably its low-light performance. Read More …

The Sony a5000: Still a Good Purchase in 2018? My Initial Thoughts

I bid for and won a Sony a5000 camera on Ebay to use as a second shooter. What do I think of my purchase? Does this camera even have a place in 2018?

Sony a5000 camera

The Sony a5000 camera. A nice little camera if you keep its limitations in mind.

Well, of course it has a place in 2018. That’s a silly question, but I see a lot of videos on YouTube with a variation of that question as a title. If it takes good pictures, is compatible E/FE Sony lenses, and is easily acquired, it has a place in 2018. Don’t let anyone sell you differently.

I paid a little over $100 for it with a 16-50mm kit lens included. I purchased it so I could have a backup to my a7 and to use as a second shooter. In that role, I think it succeeds admirably. Is it a match for my a7? Not in any known universe, and I’ve been to several… but perhaps I’ve said too much.

With all that said, am I happy with my purchase? Overall I’d say I’m pleased with it, but it’s far from perfect. Read More …

Lens Porn Monday!

(Mostly) every Monday I’ll talk about a lens I own or have used, and post some example shots I have taken with it. This week: The Minolta Rokkor-x 50mm f/1.4!

Man, what a lens…

I absolutely adore this lens. First of all, I really enjoy shooting with 50mm. It’s great to throw it in your bag and run out the door, if you’re not sure what you want to shoot with. I take my camera with me to work almost every day in a rugged haversack that’s just big enough to carry it, and one or two lenses. Chances are, I’m taking a 50mm with me, and more often than not it’s probably going to be this lens — even over my “nifty fifty” Sony 50mm 1.8.

The second reason I adore this lens, is because I just love how it feels in my hands. I find, personally, that it makes my a7 perfectly balanced — as all things should be…

This was another lens that was given to my by my uncle in 2017.Overall, I really like the Minolta Rokkor manual lenses. They are amazing pieces of glass decades after they were made and sold.But let’s get into some of the nitty gritty of this particular lens. As usual, if you’re looking for a more technical breakdown of how it performs, with vignette charts for every f-stop, you’ll be able to find plenty of those elsewhere. I’m going to just talk about the pros and cons of it that are important to me. Read More …

My First Attempt at B-Roll

Well, I’m one step closer to vlogging, and while I don’t have unlimited funds, I also don’t want to push out just any old crap. I feel the best way to prevent that is to practice, practice, practice. In this case I was inspired by some of Peter McKinnon’s videos on the subject, so I wanted to take my first stab at B-Roll — especially 60fps conversion to 24fps in Premiere for smooth slow-motion. I used my Sony a7 and my trusty Soligor 21mm lens as a subject and found some silly royalty free vlog music. Tomorrow my a5000 arrives, so I could also add shots of the a7 recording or vice versa. I can’t wait to try capturing video in the field for future B-Roll. It was actually really fun to do this.

 

Flickr Fridays — 07.06.18

Flickr FridaysWelcome to Flickr Fridays, where I highlight a picture I particularly enjoy on flickr and talk a little bit about it. This week, I feature a shot of the US Capitol at night.

The United States Capitol: for most people it represents something. For some it represents democracy and freedom, for others it may represent gridlock and petty arguing. For me it’s one of the most recognizable symbols of government that we have in this country. It also happens to be one of my favorite places in DC to shoot. My favorite time to photograph the Capitol — as is the case with most of DC’s monuments — is in the evening or or well after dark. It looks so much more grand and stately to me lit up,. Plus, and let’s be honest here, fewer people around after dark is also a huge bonus for an introvert like me. Read More …

Have Some Fun With Long Exposure Photography

Want to shake things up a little bit (well not literally?) Slow down the shutter speed!

Long exposure photography.

Doctor Strange, I presume? Sony a7 | 28mm f/2.8 | 8″ exposure

This Fourth of July in the DC area was, frankly, awful for those of the pale redhead persuasion. The heat was awful. The humidity was awful. I think what I’m saying is that the weather was awful. So rather than fight the crowds, and the Metro, and the heat and all of that jazz, we decided to have a family night in the back yard, with sparklers. Yeah, probably sounds kind of lame – nothing to go boom!

But, I looked at it as opportunity to fart around with my camera and see what happens. Now I’m not such a n00b that I don’t know what happens when you set a camera to a long exposure time and point it at a moving light source – I’ve used it before to streak headlights and to make star trails. What I wanted to do, however was use the opportunity to make some interesting pictures and make the most of what was available.

It makes a great effect, and best of all, if you have the right equipment, it’s stupid easy to do. Read More …

So I Ordered a “New” Camera…

I think I’m going to give a crop sensor camera a go-around and see what happens!

Sony a5000 Camera

I found a Sony a5000 on ebay for around $100 with a low shutter-count, and so I jumped on it. It’s hardly a cutting edge machine, or even a close match for what I’m shooting on now. However, I’ve been looking for something to use as a second shooter and to maybe do a little vlogging with, which will be easier to do with this camera. If there is one thing about the A7 series that I am not a fan of, it’s that the screen doesn’t flip-up for vlogging purposes, and so help me I’m not about to jury rig some setup with clamps and mirrors just so I can vlog with my camera. I feel like getting the A5000 was a good call.

It’ll never replace my A7, but still,I’m excited to play around with a crop-sensor camera. The prospect of turning my 70-300mm into a 107-460mm lens is exciting. Not to mention my 1200mm Frankenstein setup will become over 1800mm…

Should be fun! I’ll be sure to review it and share some pics here.

Lens Porn Monday!

(Mostly) every Monday I’ll talk about a lens I own or have used, and post some example shots I have taken with it. This week’s lens: The Minolta Rokkor-x 200mm f/2.8!

Sony A7 with Minolta Rokkor-x 200mm f/2.8 lens.

Sony A7 with Minolta Rokkor-x 200mm f/2.8 lens.

When I got into more serious photography a year ago, my uncle had given me his A7 camera. Along with it he had given me the Sony 50mm f/1.8 lens start with. However, he didn’t want me to just be able to hit AF and get a perfect shot every time. He wanted to ensure that I would have to work for a good photo, so he also gave me his collection of vintage Minolta Rokkor lenses. Being manual focus, these lenses would require me to think differently, and I was eager for the challenge. I would be the MANUAL LENS KING! MOAR BOKEH!!!!

Yeah right, I was absolutely terrified to even touch the friggin’ things… Read More …

Sony A7III vs. A7RII: Should I Upgrade?

Choosing between the A7RIII and the A7III. Am I crazy for even wanting to upgrade?I’m considering upgrading to the A7III or A7RII. Both look tempting, but am I foolish for wanting to upgrade?

I must admit it, I’m not made of money. When I buy gear, I’ll try to buy it used or refurbished to save as much as I can. I generally wait a good while after a product is released — often waiting until a NEWER version comes out, to drive the price down even further. Yet, I can’t help but find myself drooling for a newer A7. Read More …