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

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.

About 45minutes into our long drive down to Margaret river we reach the first rest stop after the point were the Kwinana freeway ends. We have stopped here before earlier in the year on our way down to Busselton with the band to play a show, only then I was limited to my Voigtlander 35mm 1.4 on regular adapter M mount adapter, perfectly fine, but not nice and wide for that expansive landscape feel. I was keen to play with re-shooting it with my Minolta 21mm 2.8 on lens turbo, to try to attain that really expansive feel. I had been keen to put this combination to use for landscapes. I do like the really wide feel this shot now achieves, although the softer edges do disappoint me a little. I would like to give this another crack in the future when I get an actual full frame Nex.
(as usual click on images to see larger and sharper)

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

Jess and Simon’s wedding…

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. Continue reading Jess and Simon’s wedding…

A new acquisition: Zeiss Pancolar 50 1.8 Initial test

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 Continue reading A new acquisition: Zeiss Pancolar 50 1.8 Initial test

Expose WA streetwalk with Nex5n, Voigtlander 35 1.4 and Nex5 with Minolta 35 1.8

A few weeks ago Lisa and I signed up for a couple of the Expose WA photo events going on around Perth. The first event to kick things off was Sean Breadsell’s streetwalk around Northbridge and Perth.

Being a street photography walk, it seemed perfect to take the Nex’s and use 35mm for that classic 50mm field of view. I had been meaning to test my recently acquired Minolta 35mm 1.8 so I loaded that on my Nex5 for Lisa, I must admit this lens performed exceedingly well.

(as always please click on images to view larger and sharper)

Taken by me on Nex5 using Minolta 35 1.8 @ f4, setting the camera up for Lisa

Being a street walk where discretion is key, i just had to through my Voigtlander 25mm 1.4 on the Nex5n, I shot this on the day and it performed very well as it always has.

Here is the first shot I took on the day while on our way to meet up with the group. This shot makes me laugh every time. Taken on Nex5n with Voigtlander 35 f1.4 @ f4

I must admit I was shocked to see how large the group was as we assembled near the Alexander library. It was a very impressive turnout.. which also meant discretion may not be o easy to achieve. haha

Taken on Nex5n with Voigtlander 35 f1.4 @ f4

After we were given the basic run down we split into two groups and started off on our walk. The first half of our walk we were indicated that we would shoot down through nearby north-bridge before heading back to the center of town for the second half of our walk… I think that was about the point where the organization ended. haha. We were off in small groups of like minded shooters exploring the streets. haha

Nothing like a line of vespers to state your in a cafe district. Taken on Nex5n with Voigtlander 35 f1.4 @ f4

BYO wing and beer? Taken by Lisa on Nex5 with Minolta 35 1.8 @ f4

After finishing up in North bridge we meandered our way to the meeting point in the center of town near the big cactus monument… Lisa and graham had a run in with an interesting character and generally we just kept laughing and snapping.

Gotta love a sharp seagull. Taken on Nex5n with Voigtlander 35 f1.4 @ f4

Got depth? Taken by Lisa on Nex5 with Minolta 35 1.8 @ f4

Once re-joining the group, most of us just hung around the center of town and kept snapping. It really was a great meetup and it was great to meet some friends we had previously only ever spoken to online. I will leave you with one more shot each, then because I don’ want to bore you with all our shots, I will post a slideshow of the rest from each camera underneath. thank you so much for taking the time to look, and thank you the Expose WA for the walks, I look forward to next year and I hope you enjoyed this short little post.

New friends with great cams. Taken by Lisa on Nex5 with Minolta 35 f1.8 @ f4

The bond between mother and daughter. Taken on Nex5n with Voigtlander 35 f1.4 @ f4

Here are the rest of the shots in slideshow. First Lisa’s amazing photos from the Nex5 with Minolta f1.8

Hood_66's nex5 with minolta 35 1-8 album on Photobucket

…and here are the rest of my shot taken on Nex5n using Voigtlander 35 1.4, thank you so much for looking and I hope you have enjoyed our little street walk.

Hood_66's Nex5n with voigtlander 35 1-4 album on Photobucket

A few HDR’s from Cockman House with the Voigtlander 35mm f1.4 on Nex5n

Sunday a week ago I was left to my own devices as my girl was off doing her own things. This left me with the opportunity to get out for a shoot. I had been meaning for a while to get back out to the Cockman house outbuildings since the fences surrounding them had been torn down. I always enjoy the walk around the surrounding parklands, so it was sorted, I packed my Leica elmar 90mm f4 on my trusty old Nex5 and my Voigtlander 35mm f1.4 on my newer Nex5n. The shots here are a few HDR’s I took on my stroll with the Nex5n and my Voigtlander 35mm f1.4 lens. I have tried to pull these back as tastefully as possible as I know NIK HDR Effex can have a tendancy to oversaturate as it merges your shots. I know my greens were a little nuclear green there for a while, however I feel these now came out quite well. Please do share your thoughts.

(as per usual click on images to view larger and sharper)
This is four exposures shot freehand with about 1ev stop of difference between each exposure. This is probably the most known Cockman House out-building as it is the most readily viewable from the nearby passing main road.

I had come here previously about 12 months prior with my Kogaku 50mm f1.4 on Nex5 however due to the houses being surrounded by a gaudy fence it made the images just not work. It was nice to return with a wider angle with the fences gone and try again.

This is four exposures shot freehand with about 1ev stop of difference between each exposure.

Some of the old dilapidated farm equipment surrounds the out-buildings. It helps to paint the picture of the farming property this must have been back in the early days of settling in WA.

This is four exposures shot freehand with about 1ev stop of difference between each exposure.

There is two buildings here, this being the second, it is still barred up over the doors and windows sadly which detracts from the images. I have less of an idea as to the purpose of this building due to it being locked up and there being less evidence left around it compared to the first out-building.

This is four exposures shot freehand with about 1ev stop of difference between each exposure.

This is four exposures shot freehand with about 1ev stop of difference between each exposure.

This is four exposures shot freehand with about 1ev stop of difference between each exposure.

This is four exposures shot freehand with about 1ev stop of difference between each exposure.

I always enjoy it when I can get out for a good photo walk. This day was no exception as the houses are surrounded by some fantastic parkland as well. Here are a few HDR’s of the local landscape.

This is four exposures shot freehand with about 1ev stop of difference between each exposure.

This is four exposures shot freehand with about 1ev stop of difference between each exposure.

I think this setup worked quite well for catching the moment at hand. Maybe a slightly wider lens choice may have been better but I still think it worked out ok. I think it is also a testament to the NIK HDR software since these were shot freehand and there are not too many ghosts.
I still have a few more shots to share with my Minolta 21mm f2.8 on Nex5n which I shot quickly after these and a few I shot on my trusty old Nex5 with my Leitz Elmar 90mm f4. Stay posted for those.
All in all I think these came out ok, thank you for taking the time to look and I hope my HDR’s were not too over the top for you.


Testing Rikenon (ricoh) 50mm f1.4 manual focus lens in k-mount on Pentax KX

Just acquired this lens recently.
Took it out for a quick test the day it arrived. It is interesting manual focusing without any focus aids, however these preliminary tests still came out alright I feel.
(as per usual please click on images to view larger and sharper.)

These were taken in the imediate visinity around my house. I am impressed by the initial sharpness of the lens on the KX. My reasonable focus accuracy and the overal rendering of the lens.

It seems to render colours quite naturally which is always a plus.

As said before, I am surprised at how accurate I can focus this lens with out the help of focus aids. I look forward to trying this on my K30 which does have focus peaking.

I find the sharpness quite pleasing. I think this could make a good portrait lens.

The depth of field is quite nice. These were all shot around f2-2.8 still nice OOF and good sharpness.

The lens seems to have a nice amount of 3d pop to it.

I’m quite happy with the viewfinder of the KX with composition of this lens, seems quite good. Of course will only be better on K30.

I am very impressed, I must say, with how nicely this lens draws on this 12mega pixel sensor of my Pentax KX. Very sharp and has a nice quality to it I feel. Over all my initial tests show great promise for this combo.

Portraits snaps from Easter Sunday on the Swan River south foreshore. Minolta 85mm f2 and MIIDA 300mm f3.8 on Nex5n

Some of you who read my blog may already have read my last couple of posts sharing some of my landscape snaps and stitches of the Perth cityscape from Easter Sunday down on the Swan River foreshore southside, if not, for those that are interested you can find the previous 2 related articles here:

It was a beautiful day by the river and I wanted to get the most out of it as you can probably tell from the amount of shots I took. However beside the landscape stuff, since I had the family around I thought I’d like to try some portrait stuff. Here are a few of those shots.

This first one I was playing with my big MIIDA 300mm f3.8 manual focus tele lens on my tiny little Nex5n when Saxon suggested I take a snap of my brother Liam while he was trying to photograph something. Well I turn to focus on him, realised I was to close for the big lens, took 2 steps back reset my tri-pod focused and snapped 2 great shots. The first of him looking through the camera, the second he had put the camera down. This is the second one as I believe it came out the best of the two.
(as always please click on images to view full size)

Later in the day I wanted to give using my flash during the day a try for portraits. So I put my Minolta 85mm f2 manual focus lens on my Nex5n setup my tri-pod and Yongnuo 560II flash on external flash triggers and snapped a couple of portraits of my brother… I think Saxon got in there for one too. haha

First up here is the one of Liam and Sax together. Good father and son shot in front of our beautiful city.

This one I feel is the best one of Liam just relaxing in front of the city.

Thank you for taking the time to look at my images.

Easter Sunday, the Swan River Foreshore southside, stitches and snaps from my Contax 137MD on Kodak Ektar 100 for 1 Day in 1 Roll

I still very much enjoy shooting my roll once a month for our 1 day in 1 roll Facebook group. Here is an earlier post from more about he beginning of the group: 1 Day in 1 Roll : Event #1 ….and #2
I find myself so busy these days that the group deciding to have a monthly day that is agreed upon that we will all go out and shoot a roll kind of makes it something that I just regularly put aside each month. I must admit that I was rather happy that last months March shoot was decided for Easter Sunday. I was fortunate enough that the family had decided to go down to the river foreshore for a little easter brunch. I was very happy about this as I had been wanting to get back down to the Swan River foreshore southside for some time to shoot some more film stitches of the city. I had very much enjoyed it last time but had only had 400iso film on me, thus it was grainier than I’d like. This time I was going prepared, with my Contax 137md equiped with my Carl zeiss Plannar 50mm 1.7, Yashica 28mm f2.8 ML and my Yashica 135mm 2.8 all excellent lenses and best of all I had decided to load up some of my absolute favorite film Kodak Ektar 100. I had a bit of a happy snap as I walked around the area we had camped out for our family breakfast. Here are a few of those snaps:
(Please remember to click on images to see at larger size)

This being Kodak Ektar it can be rather saturated at times… but I love the pop it gives to colours.

(Taken using my Carl Zeiss 50mm f1.7 manual focus lens on Contax 137MD using Kodak Ektar 100)

I always have a soft spot for shooting our seagull friends.

(Taken using my Yashica 135mm f2.8 manual focus lens on Contax 137MD using Kodak Ektar 100)

The first thing that gets me every time I visit the south foreshore is that spectacular view of our fair City.

(Taken using my Ysahica 28mm f2.8 ML manual focus lens on Contax 137MD using Kodak Ektar 100)

I remember going out on these boats when I was very young with my step father Saxon. They still create some great imagery for me.

(Taken using my Yashica 135mm f2.8 manual focus lens on Contax 137MD using Kodak Ektar 100)

Still I always get drawn back to the Cityscape.

(Taken using my Yashica 135mm f2.8 manual focus lens on Contax 137MD using Kodak Ektar 100)

(Taken using my Yashica 135mm f2.8 manual focus lens on Contax 137MD using Kodak Ektar 100)

Which brings me round to why I brought this camera these lenses and loaded one of my favorite all time colour films.
Most of this stuff here is still a work in progress, but I wanted to get my roll up so I wasn’t too far behind with the rest of 1 day 1 roll Facebook group.

This is a 4 image stitch, again taken using my Yashica 135mm f2.8 ML, just a nice tight crop of the main building in Perth city’s skyline.

This is a 7 image stitch taken using my Carl Zeiss 50mm f2.8 T* coated. While I love this lens and am happy this stitch, having shot it I instantly remember thinking that the city just felt too small during snapping that.

So that is why I took this next 15 image stitch using my Yashica 135mm f2.8 ML I am quite happy with how this turned out for a large film stitch. Please do take the time if you can and click on the image and view it full size.

Thank you for taking the time to view my 1 day in 1 roll from march. I hope you have enjoyed some of my shots on Kodak Ektar 100 of the Perth city Southern foreshore.

South perth foreshore – a few stitches from Easter Sunday – Nex5n with the Minolta 21mm f2.8, 28mm f2 and Carl Zeiss 50mm f1.7 Planar

One of my favorite places in Perth is the South Perth river foreshore. As soon as you exit your car in the carpark and look over at the grass that meets the beautiful swan river which is just the foreground to our magnificent city here in Perth, you have to be overwhelmed by the view, it is simply breathtaking. Ever since Lisa and I went for a photo walk there last year I had been eager to go back, Easter Sunday presented just such an occasion. I had been eager to shoot the scene on better film than last year, and am keen to get my roll of Kodak Ektar back which I shot at the same time. However I also took my Nex5n and a few lenses so here are a couple of stitches I took from the day too that I would like to share with you.

This first shot is a 7 image stitch taken with my recently acquired Minolta 21mm f2.8 manual focus lens on Nex5n. I love that I managed to get the walkers in this stitch. I really like this lens, it gives you a very wide feel yet still maintains straight lines. This shot was taken earlier in the morning around 9.30am.
(As always please click on images to see larger)

This shot was taken taken using my Carl Zeiss 50mm f1.7 planar manual focus lens. I have had this lens a while a really like it’s sharpness and colours, however I do find it suffers a little from CA. I like all the detail in the building in this shot. This is an 11 image stitch from left to right.

This shot was taken on my recently acquired Minolta 28mm f2 lens. I bought this lens as fast wide to mainly shoot live bands in lowlight but have just been starting to test it. It seems to be a reasonable performer, but what I like most about this shot is the fact that it shows both river shores on either side of me. This is a 21 image stitch shot in a grid.

I hope you enjoyed having a quick look at these couple of stitches from my easter Sunday on the south Perth river foreshore.

Landscapes with the minolta 16mm f2.8 fisheye on Nex5n… first tests and a little play with Nik Color efex pro 4

So my coveted Minolta 16mm f2.8 Fisheye arrived a few weeks back. I had been wanting something nice and wide and with a little curvature for my Nex5n for landscapes for a while so was eager to get out and test this beautiful lens. This Minolta lens was rumored to be so good that it is one of the lenses Leica had Minolta produce for them under the Leica/Leitz badge. In fact I have found documentation which suggests that they bought so many of these re-badged Minolta’s and they are so rarely ordered that if you are a Leica shooter and order one for your kit, you will get one of these exact Minolta lenses re-branded to Leitz sent out to you. haha

These shots here are just a few that I took on my first afternoon test shoot with the lens on my Nex5n. The lens is not a full 180 fisheye on Nex5n as it is an APSC camera so the 1.5X crop takes out some of the curvature but what you are left with is a very pleasantly mildly distorted super wide. Very pleasing for landscapes. I won’t present the SOOC images here as I will save them for my initial test shot article that will come shortly. Instead I present here some of the images I took on my first test outing with the lens after I have had a little play with them in Nik Color Efex pro4. I have not used this software much and will review it in the future. For this project I tried to create a ‘series’ of images that I felt would feel as if they should be displayed together. I am rather happy with the results, even if pushed a little far for my usual tastes, it helps when mother nature lends a helping hand with some spectacular cloud formations. I printed this series and was happy with the results. So without further ado here is my initial series with the Minolta 16mm f2.8 manual focus fisheye on Nex5n:

(as usual please click on images to see larger)

The Minolta 16mm f2.8 fisheye has 4 built in filters, I had a play with them, this is shot with the blue filter. Quite a nice effect.

In hindsight I feel I pushed this one a bit too far, but it is always a learning curve when trying new software.

I actually edited this one with Nik Silver Efex pro 2, which is often touted as the very best software for B&W conversion. I have to say I have had some pleasing results the more I play with it.

…and the same image edited in Nik Color Efex pro 4.

Cheers for taking a look at some of my initial test images I have taken with my Minolta 16mm f2.8 manual focus fisheye lens. I really like this as a portrait lens and look forward to using it more often. I have to say this Nik software is easy to push a little far but I can see how it can be useful to produce unique looking images. Please do share with me your thoughts and whether you feel I may have pushed these a little far?