My first play with my dream camera, the Sony A7r!

Ever since I first got into the Sony Nex system cameras early in their inception with the Nex5, I knew there was something special about these little cameras and their 18mm e mount. Packing the power of an apsc dslr sized sensor into a tiny package that can easily be thrown in your girlfriends handbag, it was pretty easy for me to fall in love with it. The only thing that held it back was the lack of lenses. We originally started out with the 16mm 2.8 prime and the 18-55mm kit zoom. The zoom is satisfactory but the surprise of the two was the great little 16mm f2.8 prime lens, which is a great little wide angle.

Photographers in Perth, first official photowalk… Part 1.

I had been an admin as part of the Facebook group Photographers in Perth since it’s earlier days. I had for a long time been in charge of setting the group theme challenges, when one day I was informed by my fellow admin that they had in fact decided that they no longer desired to run the group and had made the decision to leave the group completely. I was informed that I could either take the reigns of the group or shut it down entirely. I straight away decided shutting down the group was not an option so the only other way to proceed was to try to keep the group rolling. We have come a long way since then and our membership has more than doubled to over 300 members. A few months ago I brought in Lisa and my mate Graham to help with administrative duties as it was now growing to be more than I could keep on top of on my own. All good things, we managed to keep our little photography group and even grew under the circumstances. It had dawned upon me however that we had never had a proper group photo walk since I had been bestowed with running the group and also since I had made the minor name change to Photographers in Perth, Western Australia. Which was made as we had a few Scot’s starting to sign up as they though it may have been photographers in Perth, Scotland. haha.

Photo walk with boris and my minolta himatic 9. My first home film dev. continued…

As I spoke about in my recent 1 day in 1 roll post, it was my first time home developing my own b&w film. What I didn’t mention however was that my dev tank can fit two rolls to be developed at once. So this is in fact what I did. The Friday night before we went to the royal show and shot our rolls for 1 day in 1 roll I went for a shoot with Boris, a friend from our film users group.

1 day in 1 roll – Royal Show – September 28th 2013

As a few of you may have noticed I have fallen behind on my 1 day in 1 rolls… not that I haven’t participated I just have fallen behind in posting my rolls here online. I intend to start to rectify this in the future, but for now I thought I would start with my roll from this month, shot on September 28th at the Perth Royal Show on my Minolta Himatic 9 fixed lens rangefinder with Kentmere 400 b&w film. This was also my very first attempt at home developing my own film by myself and scanning on my recently acquired Canoscan 8400F.  (as per usual click on images to see fullsize.)

Initial test shots from Nikon 35-105 f3.5-4.5 macro zoom on nex5n

While doing my testing of my Quantaray 70-200 f2.8 I thought I may as well test a couple of other lenses I had been meaning too. One of these lenses was my Nikon 35-105 f3.5-4.5 macro zoom lens. This lens is in tip top shape and like all the Nikon glass feels very nice in the hand and operates smoothly and precisely. I only had time to do two quick initial test shots as the light was fading, but I must admit I quite like this lens, it has that typical buttery smooth Nikon rendering.
( as usual click on images to view as intended at full size)

Iso 100, f3.5, 1/250, I two toned this image to give it that golden dry grass feel.


Next I wanted to test the macro mode on this lens, it seems very precise, it is probably more of a close focus than a macro but it certainly does open up your options and makes this lens a potentially very nice walk around lens.

Initial test shot from my Vivitar 35-105 f3.5 (constant) macro zoom on Nex5n.

While doing my initial tests of the Quataray 70-200 f2.8 I thought I would also try a couple more lenses which I had still been meaning too. One of these lenses is my Vivitar 35-105 f3.5 constant aperture macro zoom. Unfortunately this lens arrived with a problem, it arrived with the lens stuck in macro mode. So I was only able to quickly test it in macro mode, but it does seem to render quite nicely and holds great potential. I have since fixed the lens problem being stuck in macro mode, so I will need to return to testing this more thoroughly in the future but for now here is an initial test shot on Nex5n. The lens could also use a clean from the inside as there is also some haze on the rear element. This lens has a serial number beginning with 37, thus it is a Tokina made zoom.
(please click on images to view larger and sharper)

Iso100, f3.5, 1/500, converted to b&w using DXO film pack 3

Initial tests of my Quantaray (sigma) 70-200 f2.8-3.5

So I usually do not really go for zooms. I most definitely consider myself a prime man. However in the not too distant future I have some jobs coming up where I have to shoot some wedding videos for friends. I occurred to me that maybe some zooms may be good for this, so I have gone about collecting a few different types to try. I have collected some fast ones like this f2.8 to see if the speed is desirable and some constant aperture ones to see if that is more desirable. Over the coming weeks I will be testing these lenses and putting them through their paces. My first initial test is of my recently acquired Quantaray 70-200 f2.8-3.5 manual focus push pull zoom.
(as usual click on images to see full size.)

Iso 100, f4, 1/125, 70mm

Our overnighter in Margaret River, part 1. (nex5 with Minolta 21mm 2.8 with Lens Turbo adapter)

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As you would know from my last post, just the other week Lisa and I went down to stay in Margaret river for a night for our good friends Jess and Simon’s wedding.
It was good to get away, if even for just one night, and I was determined to make the most of it. I packed my new Sony camera backpack up with a decent selection of lenses along with my original Nex5 and my newer Nex5n, my trusty tools of choice 90% of the time. I the end I only really shot my Minolta 21mm 2.8 rectilinear wide angle on my Nex5 and my very recently arrived Zeiss Pancolar 50mm f1.8 which I recently shared test shots from here.
In this post I am just going to share my shots from my Nex5 with Minolta 21mm f2.8 from the trip. As I have stated in a few recent posts I have been testing the Zongyi/Mitakon Lens Turbo focal reducers, which effectively remove the crop factor from apsc allowing you to use your full frame lenses with the point of view more or less you would get from a full frame camera. The lens turbo also gives you an extra stop of speed, which can be handy for low light situations and really creating good subject separation. The adapters being an optical device is not without drawbacks, it accentuates soft edges if your lens does in fact have soft edges (I have tested whether it is lens dependent and it in fact is, more on this in a later post). It also is more prone to lens flare and thus light refractions resulting in a blue dot in your shots under certain lighting conditions, I affectionately refer to this phenomenon as the ‘blue dot of doom’. But more on this later when I get around to doing a proper review.

Jess and Simon’s wedding…

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This past weekend I got the opportunity to travel down to Margaret River for the wedding of two close friends of ours, Jess and Simon. The ceremony and the reception were held at the beautiful Vasse Felix estate at this perfect time of year.

As is most often usual I took my two trusty nex’s, my Nex5 and my Nex5n. As mentioned in my last post I have also been testing these new Lens Turbo adapters produced under the Zongyi branding by manufacturer Mitakon. The lens turbo is basically a focal reducer allowing you to get fullframe field of view and depth of field on an apsc nex. While being a fantastic tool for ones kit, it is not without it’s drawbacks, but more on this in a later review of the lens turbo.

A new acquisition: Zeiss Pancolar 50 1.8 Initial test

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Just last Friday afternoon this nifty little Carl Zeiss Jena 50mm f1.8 in m42 mount arrived on my doorstep.

I had scored it for a fair price on the old eBay and was keen to give it a quick test run. Being Friday afternoon and that Lisa and I were off work as we were off to a friends wedding the next morning it seemed like the perfect time to take it out for a quick shoot, so we decided to go down to the pub for a quick beer while at it. haha