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Iceland Travelogue and Sony RX1RII User Report

In 1988, The Sugarcubes debut album “Life’s Too Good” was getting heavy rotation in my cd player and served as an introduction to the quirky band’s native Iceland. Over the years other Icelandic bands like Sigur Ros and Of Monsters and Men, continued to sonically and lyrically paint an enticing canvas of their native homeland, further cementing the small country on my bucket list of places to visit. So this fall, while friends planned their winter vacation to warmer climes, I pitched the family on an adventure in the land of Ice and Fire. My wife has come to accept my odd predilections and the kids were just happy to get passports so we booked the flights and began our planning.


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Test Drive – Zeiss Milvus 21/2.8

These days Sony users are feeling the love from Zeiss with the company’s highly regarded Batis lenses and the smaller rangefinder style manual focus Loxia line. While the Batis and Loxia (Zeiss names their lens lines after bird species – due to their visual acuity) are excellent native options, the beauty of the Sony mirrorless system is that we can mount nearly every lens developed for a 35mm sensor. So when I was looking for a 21mm loaner from my friendly Zeiss rep at Precision Camera, he advised that I give the new Milvus 21/2.8 a try.


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Leica Q – Impressions from a Sony RX1 Shooter

 

Over the past few years Sony has disrupted the DSLR industry with their full frame a7 mirrorless line, but the camera that started it all was the original RX1. Regular readers will know that I’m a longtime user of the Sony RX1, – I’ve written about my extensive history with the original here on the blog. Even with the excellent a7 bodies in my bag, I still prefer the concept of a compact, FF camera to have by my side for those definitive moments. Since its release in 2012, the RX1 has been labeled a modern classic – a full frame compact that you could use as your main tool without compromise. But technology moves fast and today there is competition in the space from both the Leica Q and the just released update to the RX1, the RX1RII.

Click through for thoughts on how the Q stacks up to the Sony cameras.


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Fun Fun Fun: The Best Fest

Celebrating its ten year anniversary, FFF Fest proved yet again why it is one of the best festivals in the nation. With headliners such as Jane’s Addiction, performing their 90s classic Ritual de lo Habitual in its entirety, and a resurgent Ms Lauren Hill topping Sunday night in a big way, FFF provides the alternative to overgrown festivals recycling the same lineup of whatever acts are on tour.

Mammoth gallery of all three days after the jump.


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Photo Plus Expo – On the Street

Didn’t get much time to explore NYC this weekend during the Photo Plus Expo but I was able to grab a few shots on my mundane walk from the hotel to the Javitz Center. Even on the 10-minute stroll you could feel the energy of this city. I’ll be back.

Peep the small gallery after the jump… Read More

Photo Plus Expo – From the Zeiss Booth

I stopped by to see my friends at Zeiss during this year’s Photo Plus Expo in NYC. I wanted to show them the old Zeiss Planar 45/2 (Contax G) that I was shooting adapted with AF on the a7R II. They had a booth model posing so I snapped a few shots to see if this old lens was a good fit for portraiture compared to a more recent optic like the Loxia 50/2. I don’t have a comparison but I was very pleased with the results. No touch-ups here, just some color and b/w editing.

Click through for a small gallery… Read More

O-HI-O

Inaugural trip to Columbus (and Granville) Ohio this labor day weekend for a good friend’s birthday. As a native of upstate NY, the Columbus area feels a lot like home with its rolling hills, big oaks and maples, and corn; lots of corn. As always, the Sony RX1 was the perfect travel companion, always on my shoulder but never conspicuous.


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Phase Detect Autofocus with Carl Zeiss Contax G lenses on the Sony a7R II

***UPDATE*** On October 7th,2015 TechArt released v2.1.0 of the firmware described in this post that remedies many if not all of the problems with the initial release. Read on for my original review. I have made edits throughout the text to reflect the new version.

On August 29th, TechArt, maker of the Golden Eagle Contax G to Sony E adapter quietly updated their firmware to support the Sony a7R II. Originally the adapter did not work with the new camera so I contacted the folks over at TechArt hoping against hope that they would soon have a solution. An individual named Lau wrote me back, assuring that an update would be released before the end of August. True to their word, on 8/29 the new firmware v2.0.0, popped up in the TechArt Update app for iOS (download here for iOS and Android). But they didn’t just fix what was broken, they also added support for the 399 fast phase detect sensors on the a7R II!


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