All posts by BastianK

My name is Bastian and for many years I have been mostly shooting Nikon DSLRs. As of today I have made my transition from Nikon to Sony and I am mainly using small but capable manual lenses. My passion is landscape photography but I also like to delve into other subjects from time to time.

Review: Samyang 14mm 2.8

Introduction

samyang walimex rokinon 14mm 2.8 uwa ultra wide astrophotography distortion sony a7 a7r a7rii a7s
Sony A7rII with Metabones adapter and Samyang 14mm 2.8

Despite the release of the native E-mount 14mm 2.8 AF lens by Samyang their older – all manual – 14mm 2.8 still has a significant fan base. It is one of the very few lowcost ultra wide angle options and well suited for astrophotography. But it is also a lens known for its ridiculously high distortion and questionable build quality, so let us find out what the whole package has to offer!

Most sample shots have been taken on Nikon DSLRs as in the last years I have pretty much exclusively used this lens for astrophotography on my A7 series cameras.

Sample Images

saymang 14mm 2.8 14 review ultra wide uwa wideangle sony a7 a7r a7rii a7r2 a7rm2 a72 a7m2
Nikon D800 | Samyang 14mm 2.8 MF | f/11
saymang 14mm 2.8 14 review ultra wide uwa wideangle sony a7 a7r a7rii a7r2 a7rm2 a72 a7m2
Sony A7s | Samyang 14mm 2.8 MF | f/2.8
saymang 14mm 2.8 14 review ultra wide uwa wideangle sony a7 a7r a7rii a7r2 a7rm2 a72 a7m2
Nikon D800 | Samyang 14mm 2.8 MF | f/8.0

Continue reading Review: Samyang 14mm 2.8

Rolling-Review: Laowa 15mm 2.0 Zero-D for Sony FE

Introduction

laowa 15mm 2.0 fe venus optics review
Sony A7rII with Laowa 15mm 2.0 Zero-D

The Laowa 15mm 2.0 Zero-D is a lens I have  been waiting for eagerly since I took a few snaps with the prototype at Photokina in 2016. It is one of the very few lenses making actual use of the narrow flange distance of mirrorless cameras.
But does it only look good on paper or can it keep up with my high expectations? Find out in this review! 
This is a Rolling-Review, bits and pieces will be added as we get to know the lens better.
Last Update: Handling section updated regarding use with filter systems  (08/08/17)

Sample Images

laowa 15mm 2.0 fe venus optics review
Sony A7rII | Laowa 15mm 2.0 Zero-D | f/2.0
laowa 15mm 2.0 fe venus optics review architecture
Sony A7rII | Laowa 15mm 2.0 Zero-D | f/8.0
laowa 15mm 2.0 fe venus optics review
Sony A7rII | Laowa 15mm 2.0 Zero-D | f/5.6

Continue reading Rolling-Review: Laowa 15mm 2.0 Zero-D for Sony FE

4 tips to improve your Astrophotography

Introduction

astrophotography improve panorama sony a7 natural night didymium filter stacking exposure tracker guided guiding
Sony A7s | Voigtlander 35mm 1.7 + 5m PCX OptoSigma + NiSi Natural Night filter | panorama from 5 shots

The shot above can be found in higher resolution here.

With the increased High ISO capabilities of even entry level cameras astrophotography has become available to almost anyone. But if you want your files to show low noise and high dynamic range – or you want to print big – it might be worthwhile using some of the techniques I am going to show you in this article.

Continue reading 4 tips to improve your Astrophotography

Extension Tubes for Fullframe E-mount cameras

Introduction

Kenko and Fotodiox Pro extension tubes emount e-mount macro makro zwischenring extension ring full frame fullframe fe
Kenko and Fotodiox Pro extension tubes

I do own a macro lens (Sigma 150mm 2.8) that I use for most of my product shots on this blog, but I rarely take it out for shooting as it is quite bulky and heavy. Nevertheless I like to take a close up shot from time to time so I decided to try out the Kenko and Fotodiox Pro extension tubes, to turn my Loxia 85mm 2.4 into a macro lens.

Sample Images

extension tube kenko fotodiox pro ring zwischenring loxia zeiss carl 85mm 2.4 10 16 26
Sony A7rII | Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 | f/2.4 | 16mm Kenko Extension tube
extension tube kenko fotodiox pro ring zwischenring loxia zeiss carl 85mm 2.4 10 16 26
Sony A7rII | Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 | f/4.0 | 10+16mm Kenko Extension tube
extension tube kenko fotodiox pro ring zwischenring loxia zeiss carl 85mm 2.4 10 16 26
Sony A7rII | Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 | f/2.4 | 16mm Kenko Extension tube

Continue reading Extension Tubes for Fullframe E-mount cameras

Review: Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 E Hyper Wide Heliar

Introduction

Sony A7s with Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E
Sony A7s with Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E

The Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E aspherical is the second native E-Mount lens by Voigtlander and it is also the widest rectilinear lens ever produced. I am a wide angle junkie so I was eagerly awaiting this lens. Read on to find out what one can do with such a wide lens!
Update
(06/06/17): long term experiences after one year of usage added

Sample Images

voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 review sample
Sony A7rII | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/16 | higher resolution
voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 review sample
Sony A7rII | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/11 | higher resolution
Sony A7rII | Voigtlander 10mm 5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E | f/8.0 | higher resolution

Continue reading Review: Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 E Hyper Wide Heliar

Review: Nikon Nikkor-H 50mm 2.0 RF

Introduction

nikon h nikkor rangefinder nikkor-h 50mm 2.0 rf sony a7 a7rii
Sony A7rII + Voigtlander VM-E close focus adapter + Nikon Nikkor-H 50mm 2.0 RF

This review covers the Nikkor-H 50mm 2.0 rangefinder lens, it may be a stop slower than its faster f/1.4 brother but shares the same great build quality. Might this be the better Nikkor 50mm rangefinder lens in the end? Read on to find out!

Sample Images

nikon h nikkor rangefinder nikkor-h 50mm 2.0 rf sony a7 a7rii bokeh oof out of focus
Sony A7rII | Nikon Nikkor-H 50mm 2.0 | f/2.0
nikon h nikkor rangefinder nikkor-h 50mm 2.0 rf sony a7 a7rii bokeh oof out of focus
Sony A7rII | Nikon Nikkor-H 50mm 2.0 | f/2.0
nikon h nikkor rangefinder nikkor-h 50mm 2.0 rf sony a7 a7rii bokeh oof out of focus
Sony A7rII | Nikon Nikkor-H 50mm 2.0 | f/4.0

Continue reading Review: Nikon Nikkor-H 50mm 2.0 RF

Making of series part 3: “Milky Valley” with Voigtlander 1.7/35

milky way astro astrophotography twan dark night stars milchstraße valley dolomites italy sony a7s voigtlander 35mm 1,7 asph ultron
Sony A7s | Voigtlander VM 35mm 1.7 Ultron + 5m PCX filter | f/1.7 | higher resolution

For decent Milky Way shots you need really good conditions – which don’t come often – and a good location. Regarding the latter I decided to go for the Dolomites in Italy, so I followed the weather forecast for quite some time and one weekend the conditions were finally said to be what I needed, so I decided to go there and challenge my luck…

In the Bag

As I wasn’t bound by airline carry on restrictions this time I brought a little more gear than usual. For astrophotography I carried my trustworthy Mindshiftgear rotation 180 panorama* backpack. In the belt comparment I was carrying my A7s, Zeiss Loxia 21mm 2.8, Voigtlander VM 35mm 1.7 + 5m filter and my Samyang 14mm 2.8. I also carried a very sturdy Gitzo Series 4 tripod and of course a remote trigger.

Continue reading Making of series part 3: “Milky Valley” with Voigtlander 1.7/35

Review: Leica 135mm 4.0 Tele-Elmar

Introduction

leica 135mm 4.0 f/4.0 tele-elmar teleelmar elmar-m sony a7 a7rii a7r2 review build quality handling
Leica 135mm 4.0 Tele-Elmar via Voigtlander VM-E close focus adapter on Sony A7rII

Leica rangefinder lenses are very expensive? Most of them are, but the Leica 135mm 4.0 Tele-Elmar in its earlier versions can be found for less than 200$ used, so what is the catch with this lens? Read on to find out…

Sample Images

leica 135mm 4.0 f/4.0 tele-elmar teleelmar elmar-m sony a7 a7rii a7r2 review bokeh
Sony A7rII | Leica 135mm 4.0 Tele-Elmar | f/4.0
leica 135mm 4.0 f/4.0 tele-elmar teleelmar elmar-m sony a7 a7rii a7r2 review bokeh
Sony A7rII | Leica 135mm 4.0 Tele-Elmar | f/4.0
leica 135mm 4.0 f/4.0 tele-elmar teleelmar elmar-m sony a7 a7rii a7r2 review bokeh
Sony A7rII | Leica 135mm 4.0 Tele-Elmar | f/4.0

Continue reading Review: Leica 135mm 4.0 Tele-Elmar

Review: Voigtlander 180mm 4.0 SL APO Lanthar

Introduction

Sony A7rII with Voigtlander SL 180mm 4.0 APO-Lanthar via Rayqual Nikon to Sony adapter review sharpness bokeh
Sony A7rII with Voigtlander SL 180mm 4.0 APO-Lanthar via Rayqual Nikon to Sony adapter

The Voigtlander 180mm 4.0 SL APO-Lanthar has become quite famous for its small size coupled with good optics, but unfortunately also for being a rare and expensive collector’s item. So does it make sense getting one for actually taking photos with it? Find out in this review…

Sample Images

voigtlander 180mm 4.0 apo lanthar sl sony a7 a7rii a7r2 a7rm2 review tele 200mm sharpness bokeh portrait
Sony A7rII | Voigtlander 180mm 4.0 APO Lanthar | f/4.0
voigtlander 180mm 4.0 apo lanthar sl sony a7 a7rii a7r2 a7rm2 review tele 200mm sharpness bokeh
Sony A7rII | Voigtlander 180mm 4.0 APO Lanthar | f/4.0
voigtlander 180mm 4.0 apo lanthar sl sony a7 a7rii a7r2 a7rm2 review tele 200mm sharpness architecture sunstar
Sony A7rII | Voigtlander 180mm 4.0 APO Lanthar | f/11

Continue reading Review: Voigtlander 180mm 4.0 SL APO Lanthar

Review: Nikon Nikkor-S 50mm 1.4

Introduction

nikon s nikkor rangefinder nikkor-s 50mm 1.4 rf sony a7 a7rii bokeh
Sony A7rII + Voigtlander VM-E close focus adapter + Nikon Nikkor-S 50mm 1.4 RF

This review covers the rather exotic Nikkor-S 50mm 1.4 rangefinder lens, which I got the chance to review thanks to a reader. It is small, it is lightweight, it has exceptional build quality, but what about the optics? Read on to find out!

Sample Images

nikon s nikkor rangefinder nikkor-s 50mm 1.4 rf sony a7 a7rii bokeh
Sony A7rII | Nikon Nikkor-S 50mm 1.4 | f/2.8
nikon s nikkor rangefinder nikkor-s 50mm 1.4 rf sony a7 a7rii bokeh
Sony A7rII | Nikon Nikkor-S 50mm 1.4 | f/1.4
nikon s nikkor rangefinder nikkor-s 50mm 1.4 rf sony a7 a7rii bokeh
Sony A7rII | Nikon Nikkor-S 50mm 1.4 | f/5.6

Continue reading Review: Nikon Nikkor-S 50mm 1.4