Nikon 85mm, ISO 100, f/11, 1/80
As much as I do not want to admit it, I am very quickly running out of time to devote to photography, be it for personal engagement or even pay. Graduate work in music performance, my main passion in addition to photography, is surprisingly much more involving than my undergraduate work in music education (what was a very time-consuming major to pursue).
Stubbornly dedicated to a fault, however, I will update this site for as long as I make photographs—no matter how busy other obligations get.
In an effort to catch up, then, a couple months ago I took a brief trip with family to the Daytona Beach, FL area. Only today have I managed to find a bit of time to sort through my photographs, made with my usual Zeiss 32mm and Nikon 85/200mm trinity of lenses on the Sony NEX-7. In stark contrast to my brief trip to Nashville, IN, I kicked back for a good part of my stay, photographing only when I felt up to it, as I knew with the then-late summer heat, humidity, and harsh direct light, photographing during the day would mostly be a pain. Continue Reading
The following is a short guest post on the other new lens in the Zeiss Touit lineup, the 12mm f/2.8. This ultra-wide comes in at an even more premium price tag of $1250 compared to the $900 asking price of the 32mm f/1.8. With that high price you get an extreme 99-degree diagonal angle-of-view to create a unique perspective for many subjects. Just like the 32mm, the 12mm f/2.8 also comes in X-mount with an aperture control ring:
I’ve had the Touit 12mm f/2.8 for about ten days now, but have had little free time to try it out. This morning I took it with me and snaped some shots of the famous Fox Theatre in Bakersfield in good early morning light, and then out at one of our local parks I got to play with its bokeh, which isn’t easy to do at 12mm.
The lens handles very well, though the hood is very light and easily snaps out of its locked position, which causes vignetting. The focus ring feels great, just like on the 32/1.8, though I still have to give the nod to the Sony Zeiss Sonnar 24/1.8 for build quality, if just barely.
The lens does have that unique Zeiss color, though I must confess that it is far wider than anything I’ve ever used before, and I’m just barely into what I expect to be a significant learning curve.
I believe that the lens has distortion correction programmed into its firmware as Apple Aperture seems to apply whatever is in the camera. DXO relies on its own lens profiles and doesn’t have one for this lens yet, so the uncorrected image can be seen in DXO. Correction appears minimal though as the lens seems to be well-corrected optically.
Not much more that I can say yet as I’ve barely used it. Fortunately I have until the spring to learn fully how to handle such a wideangle before my next trip to Asia.
For all you pixel-peepers out there, I’ve posted his titled examples at full-resolution, click on each for maximum detail. All shot with a NEX-7 in RAW, and converted straight to JPEG in Aperture 3 with no post-processing:
12mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/800
I may have stated in my last post that there would be no “weekend update” post today. Though that is technically the case, I was able to make some time to go on a much-needed photowalk with a friend downtown yesterday with my NEX-7 and trusty 105mm macro to get some more impressions on the lens for all types of photography. Just as I wrote about my “first” impressions with my 300mm f/2.8, I’ve had this wonderful macro for many months now, and it has been my go-to lens for product shots and “serious” macro work for its crazy edge-to-edge sharpness stopped down (just exactly how sharp remains to be determined via formal testing). However, with it’s fast f/2.8 aperture (providing the same shallow depth-of-field control as the 100mm f/2.8 Series-E), the 105mm f/2.8 can be used for anything from sports to portraits, if need be.
I hope to do some testing on this lens for the next few weeks when I can make some time, so don’t hold your breath for a full review by next weekend. 😉 All of the following taken near sunset through a walk in the city with the NEX-7 and this macro, handheld. First up, for most of the photowalk I had this strange fixation on seeing and capturing patterns. I’m not sure why, but so many stood out to me:
105mm, ISO 100, f/8, 1/400
For a detailed comparison of all of Nikon’s Series-E lenses, click here!
The second 2x zoom in the “consumer” rated Series-E lenses by Nikon, the 36-72mm E comes in as the most compact zoom of the three, thanks to its pancake design. When at 72mm (collapsed), the lens is actually about the same size as the 100mm E. Despited my general dissatisfaction with zoom lenses, the convenience they offer to photographers by having multiple focal lengths in one lens makes traveling light easy, and, theoretically, more shots are possible at any given time since composition can be more flexible. In my case, personal habits acquired from shooting prime lenses still carry over even to zooms: I either use this lens at the wide or tele end. Rarely do I zoom to get a shot. As such, I treat it as two prime lenses in one.
As many know, features such as fast maximum apertures, non-distorted lines, and close-focus abilities are often sacrificed to gain convenience, especially in the smaller zooms. The question here then is does the compactness and generally useful focal range (on APS-C) of the 36-72mm E outweigh likely performance drops? Let’s find out! Continue Reading
Well, first off, apologies for being two days late. To make a long story short, I have had some crazy work hours the past 5 days. Each day essentially went eat–>work–>eat–>sleep–>repeat, with no free time in-between. I’ll make up for the wait with some great photographs at the end. 🙂
Regardless, I’m back now, and ready to continue my exploration of the Series-E lenses. What you see above is the final prime in the “consumer-rated” series Nikon made accompanying their much more expensive AI-s counterparts. With a semi-wide (more like a short normal) field of view and not-so-fast maximum aperture on APS-C cameras, the 28mm E doesn’t seem to be a lens to write home about. Its close focus is about the same as the 35mm E, but with the wider angle, this lens doesn’t make as good as a “poor-man’s macro”. Unfortunately it also isn’t a very cheap lens either, most copies on eBay go for $100/€82 or more (though, the AI-s version usually sells for at least $250/€204).
What the 28mm E does do, is take pictures with a wider field of view than I’m used to. My previous widest lens was the aforementioned 35mm E, but this new personal record-holder gives photographs a completely different perspective. As some may know, shallow depth of field photography is something I love, but with this lens, getting that shallowness is only possible at, or near, close-focus. As such, framing is crucial. Any objects in normal distances better be appealing, I can’t blur them out even wide open!