Tokina AT-X Macro 90mm 1:2.5 Review

In this review I have a look at this popular manual macro lens from the 80’s and test whether it can defend it’s reputation as one of the best macro lenses ever in the digital age.

product

Introduction

The Tokina AT-X 90mm 1:2.5 Macro is a manual focus lens, with a maximal magnification of 1:2. It is well know for it’s supposedly great bokeh, it was even nicknamed Bokina because of this.

It was produced in any major mount like Canon FD, Nikon F etc., my copy has a Minolta SR mount.

Their wide range of applications make macro lenses in the 100mm range quite popular, so I will show you in this review if the Tokina AT-X Macro 90 mm 1:2.5 could be a good option for you.

Continue reading

Novoflex Adapter E-Mount Review

Is the Novoflex adapter worth a three digit figure when I can get one from China for 10 bucks? That was the question I had in mind when I bought it.

DSC00071

Currently I don’t own a single lens with an E-mount for my Sony Alpha 7,  so every lens I use is adapted and I use adapters all the time. Over the last three years I have gained some experience with  cheap adapters but I hadn’t used one of the more expensive ones. So I decided to buy a Novoflex NEX/CAN adapter,  which was made in Germany and put it to the test. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Carl Zeiss Sonnar 135mm 1:1.8 ZA Review

DSC03287
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:

Continue reading

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

beforeAfter

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

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

WintermorgenHD_4

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.

Continue reading