Accompanying the other 2x zoom in the “consumer” grade Series-E lenses from Nikon, the 36-72mm E is another no-frills, simple optic for general photography. On film/FF sensors, the optical range goes from kinda-sorta-wide to a short telephoto; a useful range for sure. However, on APS-C cameras, the field of view equivalency covers “normal” to medium telephoto: about 54-108mm. Combined with the pretty slow maximum aperture of f/3.5 (less depth-of-field control) and the painfully far close-focus distance of 4 feet/1.2 meters, the usefulness is much less here. Continue Reading
Three pictures today captured after a light rain. That is all. Sometimes it’s the simple things which merit attention.
All captured with the NEX-7 and Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AI-s Micro-Nikkor:
Update: Fotodiox has since changed the physical dimensions and functions of their Nikon PRO adapter since the writing of this review. Per my request (that’s a story in itself), they have added the addition of an aperture control ring, a feature that is sorely missing on this reviewed adapter for Nikon G-type lenses. Unfortunately with this new design choice, the tripod mount had to be removed. This means heavy lenses that don’t have their own tripod mount (such as the 180mm f/2.8 AI-s ED) will put much more strain on your NEX’s mount. However, Fotodiox has assured me that the new PRO adapter retains the same level of quality as the older version, so many points in this review should still apply. Seeing as I do not own (nor plan to own) any G-type lenses, I will not be purchasing the new version any time soon.
Firmly attached to my NEX-7 in all my lens reviews, the Fotodiox PRO Nikon F to Sony E lens adapter is one of the multiple adapter choices NEX shooters have to attach legacy lenses to their E-mount camera of choice. When I say multiple, there are literally dozens of these on Amazon and eBay ranging from cheap $10 adapters to the $300 Novoflex, made in Germany. This particular version, which currently sells for $59.95 on Amazon (I got mine for $49.95 on sale), sits closer to the bottom price range. Fotodiox also manufactures a number of other PRO adapters for different lens mounts (Canon FD, Minolta MD, and even Leica M) that I hope are of the same level of quality as this adapter reviewed here. Continue Reading
For my second (and final) installment of the variety series, I stuck with one lens for a couple days: the increasingly excellent 105mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor AI-s. I’ll get to doing the “first” impressions (since I have written a few posts already using this lens) sometime, but for now…photographs!
All of the following captured with the Sony NEX-7:
I am not a big fan of zooms. There, I said it. They are bigger and slower than most primes within their focal range. At wide and telephoto ends, distortion can also be a nuisance, but my biggest gripe comes from an artistic standpoint. When you have the option to stand still and zoom into a subject to take a photograph, it’s very easy to become lazy. This can really take the creativity out of a shot and its composition. Zooming speeds up the process leading one to get a quick grab rather than truly thinking about what the picture should look like. Super-zooms (such as the “do-it-all” 18-200 lenses) are my worst enemy because of this, though admittedly, they are okay lenses for traveling light.
That said, I look at the three zoom lenses in the Series-E collection and note how two offer only a 2x magnification (36-72 and 75-150) and the other a 3x magnification (70-210). This is rather interesting, as with the restricted zoom ranges (especially compared to the 11x magnification of an 18-200), these Series-E’s can be treated as two prime lenses in one. For the 75-150, I tend to leave it at either 75mm or 150mm, rarely zooming to the middle of the range. I move forward and backward to frame a shot as I otherwise would with a prime lens—though that may very well be a carried-over habit from only shooting prime lenses. The problems of a relatively slow maximum aperture and unwieldy length are still present, but the shooting process is a bit more enjoyable using this method.
All that aside I’m looking at reviewing the lens here, rather than the methods behind its use, so let’s move on to how this 2x zoom performs! Continue Reading
Clouds are infinitely interesting, yet hard-to-frame subjects in photographs. When observed from the ground floating around with all their randomness, the sight can be mesmerizing. The only problem is recreating the feeling in a photograph, specifically with straight frame lines in a box. The two elements don’t mix.
This problem then usually makes it easier to just treat clouds as part of the scenery rather than a subject such as in most landscapes (a fluffy-cloud sky is usually more appealing than a solid color sky). Thankfully, there are a few times, such as storms or sunsets, where clouds can still be captured front and center with all their power and beauty. Getting that effect straight out of a camera…
I know what I saw when I took this photograph. I saw a raging storm front on the approach, with lower-level clouds seeming to get sucked into the horizon. I visualized something of a super-shade over the water, a dominating force of nature clad in blue. This is what my mind’s eye saw:
Did I go a little overboard? Meh, maybe. But it’s my mind, it sees whatever it wants to. Besides, this would just look really cool printed on a poster. I am pretty tempted…
Take care guys and gals, thanks for dropping by!
I get emails from photographers all the time with various questions on my methods or simply seeking advice. Though I hardly get enough volume to have a weekly reader FAQ like some sites do, I believe it would still be a good exercise to share some of my replies to inquirers with the rest of the world to help others with similar questions. If you have a question of any kind relating to photography, shoot me a line at email@example.com and I’ll see what I can do.
For the first entry in this (more-than-likely) continual series, I recently received a great question from John on using the NEX-7 for critical macro work:
I am a just-retired Horticultural Lecturer who has over the years spent much time building up a slide collection of plant and flower subjects.
I am scanning the best of these and have had some success selling them as framed or mounted prints.
I have only just started to dabble in digital photography and am equipped with an iMac and an Epson Printer (A2) and have been using my brothers Canon 7D to try out.
I have been following your website and in particular your use of the Sony NEX 7. I am considering this together with a Nikon 55mm micro 2.8 manual for further plant photography.
Now to the question based on your use of the NEX 7:- Continue Reading
Since I have been maintaining this site for some time now, I felt it was about time to give some of my frequent readers some exposure. Mr. Bunny Chow has been following my blog for a long time now, and checks in on most of my posts. A man with a penchant for bad luck thumbs, Chow posts on his site “the ramblings of an amateur photographer and professional complainer”. Gotta love that one-liner. And he stays true to it with his project 52, great photo-walks, and unfortunately perpetual “Ouch” series.
Of the photo-walks, anyway, I found this semi-recent post by him to be particularly interesting, with many varied shots from retro street to landscapes. All good stuff. Give this guy a look-see: A walk through South West London.
All the best guys and gals.
Keeping it short and sweet, I’ve been out and about a few days lately with a few different lenses, the 75-150mm f/3.5 E, the 36-72 f/3.5 E, the 105mm f/2.8 Ai-s Micro, and the 50mm f/1.4 Nikkor S-Auto. All four are good in different ways, no doubt about that. Let’s just have a picture-centered post today, shall we? (P.S. Some of the shots in here from the 75-150mm may make it into the review, just so I don’t get called out in the future for a double post!)
All the following taken with the NEX-7:
Kicking off my continuing exploration of the “consumer-rated” Series-E lenses by Nikon, I have had the chance to play around with the small 75-150mm zoom for a little while now. What a change…I haven’t shot with a zoom since I last used my now-sold Tokina 80-200 f/2.8 5 months ago! Instead of needing to move back and forth to get composition just right, I now can just zoom in/out and snap (if I so choose). There are good and bad aspects to this style of shooting, but I won’t really get into detail about that here.