As many of you may have noticed when reading my reviews I am a former Nikon DSLR-user. In the past I had a D40, D5000, D300, D700 and still have a D800 (which is also for sale right now).
I was never unhappy with the results I got from these cameras and I think the Nikon engineers are the best at getting the most out of the Sony sensors. Still I ended up selling most of my Nikon gear. In case you are interested to find out more about this story be welcome to read on!
In the film era a vast amount of filters was needed to alter the colours, the temperature or to add certain effects to the photos. In digital photography many of these filters have become pretty much useless as they can be recreated in post processing with the added bonus of more control over the effect without any disadvantages.
But there are also some useful filters which can’t be fully recreated in post processing and still have a place in digital photography and these are the ones I’m going to talk about. Update 09/27/2016: at Photokina 2016 in Cologne I checked out all the big filter manufacturers and have updated some sections accordingly. I am also working closely with NiSi filters now – not just because I think their filters offer the best quality – but because they listen to their customers and I hope to be able to help them develope the first holder I find nothing to complain about 🙂
The Leica Summicron-M 90mm 2.0 in the version reviewed here has been Leica’s top of the line portrait lens from 1980 to 1998. In search for a decent yet fast and small portrait lens for the A7 series I decided to give this one a try, so read on to find out how it fared and if it can still be found in my bag.
For 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.
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.
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.