(This is a new series for me, some basic camera “how-to’s” that I feel like writing)
Cameras, careful as we may be, will always get dirty eventually. Some will get filthy faster depending on the area a photographer lives in, such as a coastal, desert, or tropical area (salt, sand, and humidity issues, respectively). However, the constant for all of us is that our viewfinders get very dirty, very quickly. Grease from our faces and dust from our eyelashes are the two main culprits. When we are sweating or blinking, this only speeds up the process. After about a month of shooting for me, the viewfinder on my NEX-7 gets awful, enough so that images are a bit cloudy–getting to the point of making it hard to get accurate focus on some shots.
Warning, the following picture is pretty nasty.
A heavy layer of grease and some large dust clumps do a lot to hinder image quality when looking through the viewfinder. I’m pretty sure I see some stuff growing, too. Eww.
Wow, when I looked at this photo up close, I wondered if I could ever end up with a clean viewfinder after cleaning. Here is the following method I used, and what I recommend to others as well. Continue Reading
Okay, okay, so it’s 11:30 p.m. I’m not exactly “on time” for wishing the world a Happy Thanksgiving. Better late than never I suppose. The past couple weeks have been insanely busy on my end, what with term papers and big tests on top of multiple photo assignments (hence why there was no weekend update this past Sunday). But, the good news is that I hope to shoot with both the 70-210mm f/4 E and 50mm f/.95 Noktor HyperPrime this weekend, writing a review on one of them (not sure which, yet). Regardless, you all take care, and have a great Thanksgiving (all 30 minutes left of it!).
50mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/500 (Taken with the Noktor)
P.S. Amazon is running a super deal on the Sigma 30mm f/2.8 for E-mount. It’s $50 off the already amazingly low price of $200. I won’t be reviewing this lens since everyone and their mother knows how great this lens is if they own an e-mount camera, but for anyone who was previously not sure about this optic, at $150 it’s just more of a steal than it already was.
Let’s get this show on the road.
First up, some more thoughts on the Noktor Hyperprime 50mm f/.95 by SLR Magic. So far this lens seems to be a toss-up for me. The build is certainly impeccable, the operation is smooth, and hey! The amazing subject separation possible at f/.95 gives images that “full-frame” look along with supreme low-light capabilities! That comes at a cost, though. Detail is only fair in the center wide-open. As a subject moves away from the center of the frame, the total loss in sharpness is noticeable even at the image level. Throw in what appears to be pronounced field curvature, and the corners almost always look awful with this lens. Icing on the cake, contrast at f/.95 is pretty low (though, this can be helped somewhat in post-processing).
I haven’t really stopped it down that much to see how much the image improves at f/1.4 and f/2 (beyond that, what’s the point?), but if I don’t really see a marked improvement, I won’t see this lens getting a good recommendation from me. That said, I don’t tend to let technical issues get in the way of photography; I have taken it along with me the last couple of days to see how it fares in making images, wide-open for the most part. First up, at an art gallery:
50mm, ISO 100, f/.95, 1/80
No pictures with the lens yet (I’ll get around to doing a first impressions after I’ve used this for a while with my photo assignments), but MAN! What a solid optic that just came in today! This lens sports the same aperture as the $10,000+ Leica Noctilux, but this sells for a 1/10th the price. Unfortunately, the couple minutes that I played with it so far show that the f/.95 aperture is only for depth-of-field. Due to the “small” APS-C sensor, anything past f/1.4 doesn’t gain any additional light gathering power for the sensor. Looking at a white wall, I would get a shutter speed of 1/60th at f/.95, and 1/50th at f/1.4. No big deal, because if this lens performs really well at f/1.4, I’ll be a happy camper.
Still though, this E-mount optic has the potential to really be an artist’s lens with it’s crazy depth-of-field and bokeh. I can’t wait to shoot with it (many thanks to Mike Sims for letting me test drive this bad-boy!). One thing of note, this lens is not to be confused with the $3500+ Noktor CINE 50mm T.95. They are completely different lenses.
Update: I’m not sure why SonyAlphaRumors featured this post on their page, calling it a “test” of this lens, as obviously there isn’t anything here save for some thoughts on what the lens may be capable of. However, I have shot with this lens a little bit now, and will have some first impressions of it in my next post. Sorry to keep you waiting.
Some keen readers might know of this certain lens that is coming in the mail soon…
Yes, that’s f/.95. :)
I won’t spoil what it is for others.
For my second weekly round-up, allow me to get you caught up on my happenings. This time, it’s a very picture-heavy post, rather than a narrative-guided one. All of the following were taken with the Sony NEX-7.
First up, I’ve been tasked with taking “Environmental Photos” of the professors at my university. The goal here is to capture a professor while teaching:
50mm, ISO 400, f/2, 1/80
105mm, ISO 800, f/1.8, 1/200