Blooming 105mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/640 Now that plants are starting to bloom (though this technically is a weed), I will be able to get much more sample shots for when I can make time for the 105mm f/2.8 Micro AI-s review.
To make a long story short, I am in a bittersweet mood about my NEX-7 finally being back in my hands. I’m happy I finally have a “real” camera again, but am a little disappointed that A)The sensor cleaning function still doesn’t seem to work and B)The rear LCD turned out to be peeling when I took the plastic off (when I sent it in, the rear LCD was immaculate). I believe Sony has sent me a refurbished NEX-7, instead of my own camera. Not too keen on getting back a camera in worse shape than when I sent it in for repair, so I’ll be contacting them this week to see what the deal is.
But in the meantime, I’ve been busy! I photographed everything from tiny flowers to the sky this past week and managed to shake off my “camera blues” from not having my NEX-7 for over three weeks.
First up, I learned a little bit more about light painting in my photography class. Though I feel this genre is overdone and cliqué in many ways, I tried to be as original as possible Continue Reading
I always look forward to hearing from readers on my site, whether they like a post, have questions regarding photography, or are even excited to get into “higher” photography by moving away from the P&S snapshot style.
Victor Hernandez is one such reader. We’ve been in contact for a little while now and through some constructive conversation we’ve settled on the NEX-6 to help jumpstart his journey into photography. He’s still getting used to focus peaking, balancing colors, and composition, but things can only improve from here. Here’s a small excerpt from our recent talks:
I’m BohemioVic and have been following your blog avidly…. You might recall I recently got a NEX-6 and have been asking you various questions… Thank you so much for your responses and advice… I’m digging photography so much!!!! Just a lil background of myself: I have over 17k pictures on my Mac that I have taken with P&Ss through the past 7 yrs… YES, I love photos and specially the memories… If you recall from your blog and our conversation, the NEX-6 was my big jump to real photography! Your blog has been instrumental on my approach.
This past Friday I finally received my legacy lenses; a Minolta Rokkor 58mm f/1.4 and MD 50mm f/2… Yesterday I got the Fotodiox Pro Minolta MD-Sony… Took a few shots and have been getting use to the Focus Peaking feature that the NEX offers…Here are some pics I took with the new lenses:
50mm, My friend and her daughter
50mm, My step-son
58mm, My pregnant girlfriend
Keep it up Victor, I hope to hear from you again soon!
P.S. To my readers, there will probably not be a weekly update this weekend. I’ve been bogged down with exams, an out-of-town conference, and an overall lack of sleep. As always though, I will post when I can. Take care guys and gals.
Now that school is back in full swing I will have to go back to my weekly update format for the near future. This way, I can have at the very least have a quality post every week filling you all in on my photography happenings. Special events and subjects (such as intermittent lens reviews and the like) will usually warrant their own post. For instance, in a couple weeks I’ll be doing a non-profit portrait session for a local organization that I will most likely be reporting back on here. Photos here and there (many of which will make it into these weekly posts) will be posted to my Google+ and Facebook pages, if you just can’t stand to go without photos from me every day.
But back to the update, I’ve used the 35mm f/1.8 OSS a little more now, and am still enjoying it thoroughly. I’m starting to be able to catch where the aberrations wide-open are, but for the most part I can edit them out, so it’s no big deal. The lens can work for full-body portraits if there is substantial distance between the subject and background, but you still won’t get near the subject separation like a 50mm f/1.4 will provide on a full-frame camera:
Excited to finally see the U.S. version of the new firmware for the NEX-7 (download it here), I put together a quick video showing three of the five features that were added/improved upon. As Mitch pointed out to me yesterday, the fact that Sony didn’t update the bracketing to allow the use of the remote is rather disconcerting. Hopefully it’ll be fixed soon, but who knows if/when. Regardless, here’s the before/after video:
The Sony NEX-7 has been out for almost a year now (though realistically was delayed for a few months due to the Thailand floods), and many customers–including me–were hoping for an early firmware update to improve basic functionality, and give the camera features that should coincide with its “flagship” designation. Well, after such a long wait, the Sony Germany website has just released an update which gives five new features (this is copied from their website, note that unless you are one of my Germany readers, wait until the update becomes available for your country’s Sony website to avoid compatibility issues) to the NEX-7:
Addition of capability to enable or disable the MOVIE button
Addition of exposure settings of bracket shooting (three frames /1.0EV,2.0EV, 3.0EV)
Improvement of response for showing auto review image
Improvement of image quality when using a wide angle lens
Improvement of indication when setting “Flexible Spot”
So what this means is:
No more accidental time-wasting movies due to the awkward placement of the movie button
True flexible exposure bracketing is now available for proper HDR photography (more than three frames would have been welcome, though)
Responsiveness is improved
Lenses such as the upcoming 10-18mm f/4 OSS, 16mm f/2.8, and 24mm f/1.8 should perform better, at least in JPEG
I don’t really know about the last point, but I’m sure it helps out with overall operation. I’m very glad Sony has finally listened to some of the biggest complaints with this otherwise amazing camera (movie button, crippled +/- .07 bracketing). Though there are still features which I feel should be “standard” on a camera of this class, such as the option to set an Auto ISO range, the ability to manually enter EXIF data for non-electronic lenses, or even a basic intervalometer function (the Nikon d300 has all of these, and more), Sony is at the very least headed in the right direction. Until now I had honestly lost all hope for an update. As a result, I was losing hope in Sony as a camera company, because I was feeling they weren’t supporting their high-end products like a good camera company should. Well, the support is finally here (though a little late), and I can’t wait until it becomes available on the Sony US website! Sony has–for now–gotten my loyalty back.
These won’t be first impressions (as I still need to work more on the Series-E zooms) of the Nikon 105mm f/2.8 Micro AI-s. Instead, I’ll just share a few pictures taken recently. All handheld (working on using a tripod more!) with the NEX-7:
Blue Dragonfly 105mm, ISO 100, f/8, 1/100 50% crop, this little guy is about two inches long
For my second entry in an ever-continuing series on what my mind sees in a photograph, rather than what the camera captures, I visualized something special in this “useless” out-of-focus and flat photograph of a stalk of grain:
The near-uniform background and lack of clarity made it perfect to turn into a watercolor painting. At least, to give it that effect after multiple edits:
A short post today, I know, and it has been a while since my last one. Rest assured, I have only been busy, but have many photos to share with you all (and am still working on the 300mm review). The above photographs were taken with a new (old) lens, the Nikon 105mm Micro-Nikkor f/2.8 AI-s.
It’s a killer optic. More to come from that later.
In an effort to spruce up the website, I have uploaded a few tight crops (in the 9.5×2 ratio) into the banner at the top of your page that randomly changes as you either refresh or go to a new post/page. If you have a spare 10 seconds, I’d like to hear your opinion in this little poll, you can leave comments if you’d like if you had any other suggestions:
Hello everyone! I didn’t want to leave anybody out in the cold with my absence these past few days. I’m busy finishing up the Nikon 180mm full review, will hopefully post that up by tomorrow afternoon. Thank you for your patience. In the meantime, just hang tight.
The editing is done, the orders are filled, and I have finally gotten caught up with the thousands of photos captured over the past few months! It has been a lot of fun, really. Over the course of pretty much no time at all, I have gone from not having a clue to what I was doing, to today really starting to utilize the intricate features of my camera and lenses, quirks and all. I can only hope it keeps getting better from here.
This set contains some of my best captures from the last game of the season in particular, along with a little update at the end. All taken with the NEX-7 and Nikon 300mm f/2.8 AI-s. Enjoy!