Exploring a subject – Intimate Landscapes

wasserFor me it has been a great practice to visit the same subject close to my home again and again and it has taught me many things:

  • How different lighting affects  images,  until today I am often astounded how much light can affect my images and I constantly learn about new types of light and with which subjects they work
  • It is a good way to improve  compositional skills, because you can compare different compositions of the same scene an see which compositions worked and which did not
  • It helps to discover new perspectives, with time the known perspectives will become boring and I will feel an urge to discover new ones

Well that’s at least how it works for me, but I think it won’t be that different for you. I wrote this article mostly to reflect on my own photography but I hope it might give you an idea or two as well.

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Carl Zeiss Sonnar 135mm 1:1.8 ZA Review

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The SAL135f18z is an marvel of a lens, which gives spectacular results and features AF with some minor drawbacks. In this review I share my experience with it from a personal point of view.

The ZA135 is a high end lens with Sony A-mount: it is big, it is expensive and it is one of the best lenses I ever used.

I used it on my Sony a7 with a Sony LA-EA4 adapter for this revie Continue reading

Rolling Review: Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* FE 4/24-70 ZA

This is my now final review of the Sony SEL2470z.

Keep in mind that I do lots of landscape photography so I emphasize certain aspects others won’t find as important and vice versa.

SEL2470Z

SEL2470Z

Introduction

This is the fourth lens released for the Sony FE-System.
In theory it should be good for many applications like reportage or travel photography. In this Review I will try to assess how well it performs.

Specifications

Size: (diameter x length): 73mm x 94.5m
Filter Thread: 67mm
Weight: 430g
Minimum Focusing Distance: 40cm
Magnfication:
0.2
Price:

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How I create Images – Part 3: Postprocessing

In party 3 of my series I will  tell you about my approach to post processing. This is my personal approach and there are many different approaches, some of them more sophisticated than mine, but I found that it works quite well for me this way.

In case you haven’t read part 1 and 2 yet, here are the links:
How I create Images – Part 1: looking for motifs and light
How I create Images – Part 2: working with the Sony a7

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I will talk about this image later, but it makes a nice intro

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Minolta MC Rokkor 58mm 1:1.2 Review

Minolta MC Rokkor 58mm 1:1.2

Minolta MC Rokkor 58mm 1:1.2

Introduction

This is the most popular manual Minolta lens, I sold it twice just to buy another copy because it is such a nice lens.
Its most distinctive quality is the great bokeh.

It is pretty heavy and large for a standard lens and sharpness from f/2 is a tiny little bit worse than the much cheaper and somewhat smaller Minolta MC 1.4/50 but this lens has superior bokeh and is a joy to use.

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How I create images – Part 1 : the search for good light

I always found it interesting to read or hear how other photographers create their images and to learn about their workflow.
The two books which have influenced my photography the most are Ansel Adams’ Examples: the Making of 40 Photographs and “First Light” by Joe Cornish in which both authors talk about their image making process.

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Over the years my gear has improved quite a bit but what has improved even more is my photographic process and I am sure that this is much more important. If I had to use the Konica Minolta Dynax 7d with that Minolta 2.8-4/17-35 today, which was my first serious camera the results would be much better than those my 18-years-old self took back in 2006, because since then I have learned a lot about light, improved my composition, can operate a camera by intuition and know when to use which setting.
My post processing has improved as well, back in the day I shot raw because I had read that raw is superior to jpg and that every serious photographer shoots raw, not because I had any idea how to really work with a raw file.

I don’t think that my 18-years-old self would have taken significantly better images with a Sony a7 because my photography was trial and error, sometimes I got a decent image but neither would I have recognized most photo opportunities nor could I have reliably turned the image I saw in front of me into a decent photograph.

What I really want to say that gear isn’t the key to better photographs, mastering the photographic process is much more important. And I hope to help other photographers to become better photographers and also to learn about other people’s workflow, there are many photographers out there which are much better than I am and I still have a long way to go.

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Sony LA-EA4 Review

The LA-EA4 makes it possible to use Sony A-mount lenses like the mighty ZA 1.8/135 on E-mount bodies like the Sony Alpha 7 or Nex-6 with full AF support and aperture control.

In this article I want to give an overview about its functionality and share my experience with it.

This adapter was loaned to me by Sony for this review.

Technical Data

Dimensions (approx. mm, W x H x D): 78.5 x 86.5 x 44.5
Weight (approx.): 160g
Price: $349.99 in the US, 349.99 € in Germany

The Adapter

LA-EA4

The Adapter is much bigger than adapters for manual lenses because it has to include an AF module, an AF motor and a second motor to control the aperture.

It replaces the older LA-EA2 which wasn’t full-frame compatible and it can be used with APS-C cameras like the Nex-6 or a5000 as well as with full-frame cameras like the a7.

The LA-EA4 uses Sony’s SLT technology, so a semitransparent mirror redirects a some of the light coming from the lens  to a AF sensor. This makes it possible to have liveview and fast phase detection AF at the same time. The cost for this is that 1/3 stop of exposure is lost so you have to compensate with a longer shutter speed or higher ISO.

The adapter is compatible with almost every A-mount lens made by Minolta or Sony from 1985 until today, the only exceptions are most Xi lenses and the Macro-Zoom, Sony  Australia has a list of incompatible lenses. 

Carl Zeiss Distagon 2/24 | LA-EA4 | Sony a7 Continue reading

Carl Zeiss E 4/16-70 ZA OSS for Sony Nex Review

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Introduction

This is the first high quality standard Zoom for Sony NEX cameras. At around 1000 $/€ it is priced quite high.

It is a super handy lens because it covers a useful focal range and features a good AF and an optical image stabilizer.

Image quality is really good in my eyes, but the lens is not without its weaknesses.

About this review

I am just beginning to publish reviews so I am always happy about constructive criticism.

I am a landscape and nature photographer and focus on aspects which are important to me.

All images are taken with a Nex-6, processed with Adobe Lightroom 4 and can be found in full resolution at flickr by clicking on the image.

Specifications

Size: (diameter x length): 66mm x 75mm
Filter Thread: 55mm
Weight: 308g
Cose Focusing Distance / max. Reproduction Ration: 0.35 m / 1:4.35

Price: 999$ in the US, 999€ in Europe

Visit Sony to get the full specififcations.

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