Throughout the history of modern photography, there are few lenses that have garnered almost universal praise from photographers – a tough bunch to get to agree on anything gear related. One of those lenses is the Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm f/2 for the Contax 645 medium format system. A quick Google search will return many reviews in praise of the Planar and its unique and beautiful rendering that came to define the look of wedding photography in particular. I’ve used the lens on and off over the past 10 years to shoot everything from live music to portraits and weddings, and there is no denying the special character it produces.Read More
Sony 50mm f/2.5 G Lens Review: All the G you need?
Most photographers, your author included, will admit to a nagging case of lens lust. Fast primes, ultra sharp zooms, and monster telephotos are marketed as must have. No doubt, the modern professional lens is required equipment for demanding client work, but do we always need the biggest and fastest to get the job done? A promise of mirrorless has always been a smaller piece of equipment, and the new line of G primes from Sony (24mm f/2.8, 40mm f/2.5 and 50mm f/2.5) were designed to make good on that pledge.
I recently received my copy of the 50mm G and have spent enough time with it to put some thoughts to Internet. I was curious if this “baby GM” could do the work of the larger fast 50mm primes in situations that don’t depend on low light, ultra-fast aperture performance, and specifically, would this compact everyday 50mm satisfy for portraiture?Read More
Lens Review: Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM Return of the King
Back in 2012 I was clicking around the Instagram of that era (Flickr) and stumbled upon images taken with the Sony Zeiss ZA 135mm f/1.8 lens on the 24mp Sony a900. Those impressive images eventually led me to a full platform switch from Canon to the Sony A-mount system and Sony Zeiss prime lenses. I’ve always loved Zeiss optics and the fact that I could shoot them natively on Sony’s platform sealed the deal.
Whip Smart: Sony’s new FE 35mm f/1.8 is the lens we have been waiting for
There is a “journey of focal lengths” photographers take on the road from beginner to expert. In the film era, you would start with a normal 50mm lens and then move to longer or wider focal lengths, eventually settling in on a preferred way of seeing. For many, that favorite FOV is 35mm – a classic and flexible focal length, well suited for landscapes, street, reportage, weddings, fashion or portraits. 35mm is a desert island lens – the one you would keep if you could have no other.Read More
Sony G Master FE 24mm f/1.4 Review
Spoiler alert – if you’ve researched anything about the Sony G Master 24mm f/1.4 lens prior to making your way here, prepare for further confirmation of its greatness. If you are a lover of compact, fast primes, this is a lens you are going to want in your bag.Read More
Day For Night with the Sony a7RIII
Across the world, the communal experience of gathering with thousands of like minds to celebrate your favorite bands has become an annual rite. Music festivals have become larger and more popular, with no sign of slowing down. And while the largest of the festivals offer much of the same – large grassy fields, mega crowds and hundreds of acts scheduled over a long weekend – the smaller, boutique festivals are making their mark and winning fans by providing something different.
NFL with the Sony a7RIII and a9
A few weeks ago I received a message from Sony Artisan of Imagery Gene Lower, team photographer for the Arizona Cardinals. Gene is one of those guys that gives freely of his knowledge and has been offering up very special opportunities to shoot NFL games to his fellow Sony Artisans. As an advisor to the Tokyo based product team, he was also an unsung force in the development of the acclaimed Sony a9. So when Gene presented the chance to shoot the Cardinals at their away game in Houston, I didn’t hesitate.
One Camera, One Lens : Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f/1.2 and Sony a9 in Baja
You know that moment when it’s time to pack your camera bag and you can’t decide what to take so you grab everything? I know this feeling well but this time I committed to the simplicity of one camera, one lens.
My default vacation lens kit usually consists of a traditional 35mm, 50mm and 85mm combo. To pare down to one lens, I would choose either the 35mm or the 50mm; but, what if there was a magical fov somewhere in between, say a 40mm? And what if that 40mm was also super fast, like f/1.2 fast? Luckily, the new Voigtlander 40mm Nokton f/1.2 manual focus lens does exist and it graced my doorstep just a few days before leaving for a quick recharge at Hotel San Cristobal outside Todos Santos, Baja California Sur.
Konica Hexar AF lens conversion – The Summicron Killer
As a self professed classic film compact camera junkie, the ability to use some of the lenses that were originally affixed (not interchangeable) to those cameras, is intriguing. In the past I’ve written about converting the Summarit 40mm f/2.4 from the Leica Minilux and even using the converted lens with the Techart autofocus adapter. Today we have another personal favorite – the 35mm f2 lens from the legendary Konica Hexar AF.
First Music Festival with the Sony a9 – Float Fest 2017
July in Central Texas, 14 days of triple digit temperatures with no break in sight and someone had the bright idea to throw a music festival. It may sound like a level of Dante’s Inferno, but the Float Fest producers have it figured out, with a leisure float down the cool San Marcos river, on-site camping, a carnival, helicopter rides and stages headlined by Cage the Elephant, Weezer, Zedd and MGMT.