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Archive for November, 2013

Sony A7

Last week I got my hands on the new Sony A7 here in Hong Kong, a week or so before it was released around the world. I’m not much of a gear-head, and haven’t actually bought anything new in years, but this camera is interesting. A full frame, 24 MP mirrorless machine. Advance notices were very positive, so I grabbed one on the active HK used market. (I don’t think it had even been used once.)
I just had a weekend to kick the tires a bit and check it out on a couple of jobs. I am using it with manual focus Voigtlander glass – 75/f1.8, 35/f2.5 & 21/f4. I hadn’t used a manual focus camera in years, as my main gig as a kids photographer requires quick and accurate focusing, as I tend to work at wide open apertures with fast Canon primes. (e.g. 85/f1.2 & 35/f1.4)
I was surprised to find focusing extremely easy with the ‘focus peaking’ method, even wide open. Sure, it’s not quite as fast, but almost. The major winner for me is the size and weight. The camera and 3 lenses feels like nothing, much less than some of the Canon lenses I use.
I am going to take it on the road this winter to do some travel photography, along with my Hasselblad Xpan film camera.
Here are a couple of quick samples from this weekend. I will be posting more in the near future.

Sony A7, Voigtlander Heliar 75/1.8

Sony A7, Voigtlander Heliar 75/1.8
Sony A7, Voigtlander Heliar 75/1.8

Sony A7
Sony A7, Voigtlander Heliar 75/1.8

Sony A7, Voigtlander Color-Skopar 35mm 2.5  

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Canon 135mm f2

I don’t use a ton of lenses, I have maybe a dozen. Of these I really rely on four or five to make my living. One of these is the Canon 135mm f2. This is an incredible tool, especially for its size. It has more or less taken over from the heavy 70-200 2.8 IS and the expensive, heavy (but incredible) 85mm/f1.2.
I bought it for travel stuff, but find myself using it for day to day portraiture as well. It focuses incredibly quickly, is ridiculously sharp and creates beautiful out of focus backgrounds when used wide open. For many of my candid portrait sessions, I use it along with the 35mm f1.4. That’s enough.
Here are a few samples from this glass.

battambang
Canon 135mm f2
Canon 135mm f2

vietnam delta
Canon 135mm f2

Canon 135mm f2

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I’m not really into talking about camera bodies and lenses. It’s pretty obvious what you need based on your style. I haven’t bought a big ticket camera item for years.
But, I can talk about camera bags! Since my work takes me to a lot of different places with a variety or camera and lens selections, I have around 10 bags for different purposes.
One of the most useful is Think Tank Urban Disguise. This is an incredibly well designed and constructed bag. I use it for day to day shooting when I need two bodies and four or more lenses. It is also useful for big trips, as it holds an insane amount of stuff. Check out the video I did showing what I safely packed for a big road trip job last year.

Think Tank Urban Disguise 70

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