The Young Oboist
IMG_20130108_1551_DxO by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
IMG_20130108_1550_DxO by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
IMG_20130108_1549_DxO by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
IMG_20130108_1538_DxO by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
IMG_20130108_1534_DxO by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
IMG_20130108_1532_DxO by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
IMG_20130108_1528_DxO by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
All shots Sony A99 + Rokinon 85mm 1/200s @ f/5.6 Radio Popper + Interfit 200W strobe with a 36" Octabox on camera left.
Just a comment of shooting in studio with the Rokinon 85mm f/1.4: as you can see from the photos above, the lens is sharp! However, in lowlight situations its lack of contrast make focus peaking almost useless. The lens has no electronics, so the A99 is unaware there is even a lens attached. I did have Lens Effect turned off in the EVF so that I would not be shooting blind. It is interesting to note that with the HVL-F60M flash attached, the A99 automatically reflects the flash's contribution to the shot prior to shooting.
Well my Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 just arrived and I will be taking it on walkabout tonight. Will probably have some goodies to post later.
From today's walkabout with the Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 DG HSM:
IMG_20130114_1593_DxO by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
IMG_20130114_1591_DxO by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
IMG_20130114_1590_DxO by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
IMG_20130114_1587_DxO by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
IMG_20130114_1583_DxO by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
IMG_20130114_1581_DxO by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
IMG_20130114_1579_DxO by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
IMG_20130114_1578_DxO by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
IMG_20130114_1575_DxO by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
IMG_20130114_1570_DxO by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
IMG_20130114_1568_DxO by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
Carlos, looks good. You seem to love South Miami. By the way, and I know it was pure coincidence, but my 11 year old son is the redhead stretching post run, immediately to the right of the palm tree in front of Footworks.
I'm there Monday and Wednesday nights every week while my daughter is in choir practice. I challenge myself to find new stuff on my walks. Small world, that I should photograph your son (who appears to be well trained, he noticed me photographing the group right away).
Trickier than Street Photography is shooting photos inside of places like markets and stores (the owners can be quite irritable). I managed to get some shots without bothering people (mostly going for color and texture shots).
Sammiches by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
Decaf by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
Gruyere by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
Seafood by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
Avocado by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
Eggplant, Cukes, & Squash by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
Kiwi by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
Orchid by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
Come and sit next to me, my dear... by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
It seems I am the only one feeding this thread. So be it.
This little package was waiting for me on my doorstep last night:
Look what showed up on my doorstep! by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
in Sony mount!
Sweet35 Pic 1 by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
Edge80 Pic 1 by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
Edge80 Pic 2 by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
and this shot, while not done with the Lensbaby, represent the end of an era down here in South Florida.
The End of an Era by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
BTW, this last one has the latest iteration of my logo. What do you think?
I would feed the thread if I had an a99.
I know you would Mike. What do you think of my new logo on the last image? I was trying to come up with something clever, yet simple for Carlos Echenique Photography as typing that out in a watermark can blot out quite a bit of image. The symbol is a combined lower case "c" and "e".
I like it.
Really Cindy? I thought the reverse E was cool but some folks might have a harder time seeing it as such. That's why I tried the lower case letter approach.
It was raining in the desert today. I love rain in the desert.
Robert (monza) just put the Leitax (and James Lao chip) A-mount adapter on my Leitz 50 f1.4 Summilux-R.
Lampstand on London Bridge at f/1.4
How's the peaking with the Summilux? Mike loaned me his but i found the operation of the lens a bit flaky.
From today's walkabout at the University of Miami:
Lake Fountain via Lensbaby Sweet 35 by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
Student Center - Under Construction by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
Sweeping Pavers by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
Practice 1 by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
Lake Fountain by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr
The rest of the set can be seen here.
My only concern is the whirring that goes on when I turn the camera off. It goes on longer than when I have a MF Rokinon on it. Seems like that would be hard on the battery. I tried turning steady shot off and it made no difference.
What did you find flaky about the lens?
The whirring has nothing to do with SteadyShot. Sony has a habit of parking all lenses at infinity focus (collapsing them like a P&S camera). That's the in body focus motor spinning to "park" the lens.
Mike's lens would only focus peak if I was turning the focus ring counter-clockwise, never clockwise. Very odd.
50/1.4. This lens is in a totally different league to it's price. It knocks the socks off my old Nikon 50/1.4, and is getting close to the leica 50 lux in terms of smoothness (obviously no where near as sharp and colour does not compare). In addition, with the A99, it's superduper light to carry around!
Cindy and Carlos,
The 50 R lux is a funky beast in that it focuses better depending upon which way it is being focused. I have no idea why. My thinking is that the Lau chip is not that accurate or the chip might be bad. My old eyes seem to give me better focus confirmation than does the chip about half of the time. I would use the lens more if I could depend upon the focus. Regardless, when I nail the focus, the lens is a dream.
Thanks Carlos! You seemed in need of some company!
Wentbackwards, You have a beautiful family and your photos of them are wonderful.
Mikal, I only bought the Lau chip so that steady shot would have the lens length info. I'm not using the green dot. I'm used to focusing this lens on the NEX with the magnify feature. I think it is a magnificent lens. I had another copy that I used on the Canon 5D back in the day. Focusing on the A99 is a breeze compared to back then.
Unless I am wrong, I don't have the magnify feature on the a900. I wish I did. I bought a magnifier for the body to use with the 50R but it was useless. I get focus confirmation regardless of whether I focus clock or counter clockwise, but it is more accurate one way than the other. I never remember which.
I am thinking about the a99 but I am also thinking about selling the a900, an M6 body, and maybe my soul, for an M9-P. The files from the digital M look better than almost anything I have seen. If the Epson that I had had more pixels, say 10, I would have kept it because I really loved the colors produced by the sensor. Maybe I will sell the a900 and the M6 body and just a portion of my soul for an a99 and a used NEX.
I want the option of using my two R lenses on a great body (I also have a 180/4 with Lau and Leitax), so I have a few choices to make.
That, or sell off your entire family and get a Leica M (Type 240), Leica R-to-M Adapter, EVF, and swap your R glass back to R mount. Just sayin' ;P
Carlos, there is always selling a kidney on the black market, repeatedly selling blood and / or other bodily fluids, or maybe, just maybe saving my shekels. Actually, I wouldn't dump that kind of jack on a new camera that is bound to have a few issues, as all Leica cameras are wont to have. I will let the real pros who might actually need the type 240 dissect it and kick the tires before I take the plunge. If I get any digital M it will be the M9-P because it is fine for me. But an a99 and NEX might be more practical.
Cindy, you're ok with the Sony files compared to the M9 files?
M9 files are really nice. You have to factor in handling. I like the NEX because I can use M, Contax G, PenF, Minolta/Sony/Rokinon/Sigma and R lenses. For the money that a digital M costs, I can have both of the Sony's. Focus magnification is the biggest bonus. I can nail the focus on the Sony's every time if I use magnification.
I was joshing, of course. I am awaiting the Pro level NEX that has been bouncing around the intertubes. For now, I have to increase my proficiency/familiarity with my A99 while I hunt up a proper long lens for ballet work. I just hope Sigma produces a Sony mount version of the 120-300mm f/2.8.
the files from the a99 look great but can someone tell me how it will handle sports? As my kids get older I am taking pictures of their sporting activities. If the a99 isn't much better than the a99, I will hang on to my a900. Also, I realize that shooting sports has alot to do with the photographer taking the pics, but some of it is camera related.
'can someone tell me how it will handle sports?'
With focus limiting, EVF image magnify (two levels) and peaking, and live histo feedback I would say its would resemble going from a steam engine to a photon wing ;-) I didn't even mention the LV that C/N users have to get by with, the a99 has a great bright new one of those too, which tilts every which way.
The a900 has exactly none of these focus aids. None. Did I mention the 14 bit files that make such a hige difference nor the extra dynamic range? They are there too. Two cards, high FPS, silent button with total customisability, it goes on and on, there is not much it doesn't have. It is such a good camera that few will ever buy one!
The question should be more focused on how well the Sony can focus track in Continuous AF mode ... which is where the Canikon pro bodies thrive and excel, and why they absolutely dominate sports photography. So, how does the A99 stack up? Anyone know? Has anyone tested and compared?
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If you insist on shooting action photography with manual focus lenses because you like the R optical performance (which is understandable), then you should consider learning the "old ways" from a time when AF wasn't available, or wasn't all that great.
Here are a few tips, which I can elaborate upon via e-mail or a phone call if you wish.
Here is one that an old time photojournalist taught me when I was a just a M4 toting whipper snapper: Learn to return the manual focus ring to infinity after each series of shots. That way you will always be turning the focus ring the same direction as opposed to hunting back and forth. This will swiftly become muscle memory. Look at the distance hash marks on the R lenses ... notice how they get closer and closer together yet cover more distance as you approach infinity? This means for a vast majority of shots like you take, the distance you will have to turn the focus ring from infinity will be fairly short. Practice this and you will be amazed how much faster you'll get at manual focus.
Another trick is to learn hyper focal distance focusing, AKA zone focusing. Unlike most modern AF lenses, it is easy to set Hyper Focal Distance on M and R lenses (or any true manual focus lens) because all the f-stop and distance markings are right on the lens barrel. I use zone focusing for a lot of my fast paced M camera wedding and street photography. Here's a rambling explanation video from a street shooter, but I can clarify for you if it gets confusing:
An Introduction to Zone Focusing for your Leica, Rangefinder, or DSLR
Third suggestion: Anticipate the action and learn to pre-focus ... especially with longer lenses. One of my sometime wedding assistants makes his living shooting kid's sports, like hockey, soccer, football, and girl's figure skating and Lacrosse. While he does use AF, he uses pre-anticipation of where the action will peak and manually pre-focuses on that area so the AF has very short work to do ... if shooting manually, you then only need to tweak the focus. Remember, "Decisive Moment" photography was invented well before AF was even dreamt of
Using these techniques, I was able to shoot weddings including action shots with a lumbering Hasselblad 503CW or Leica M ... like Alan Kaplan (God rest his soul) and I did at your wedding ...
Right now I have my A900, A99, Leica M9P, Leica MM, plus a NEX-7 with Sony/Zeiss 24/1.8 plus a Sony zoom, and an adapter to use my M lenses on the NEX ... all sitting on a table while I test/play with each as I heal from a knee replacement. The NEX-7 was given to me by a good friend to evaluate for him since he hates it, and wondered if it was just him being a Luddite, (I had and used a NEX camera prior to getting my hands on this NEX-7, so I know how to employ magnification and focus peaking quite well).
So, I have all kinds of horses in this race, and to be quite clear I think the newer EVF cameras are quite capable of making excellent images (or I would not have plunked down the cash for an A99 and placed my order for the Leica M type 240 with the EVF months ago).
The question that begs asking is whether, for your specific needs, you want/need to learn a whole new set of skills to control these e-cameras, or practice time proven skills with the cameras you already have?
In my other post I outlined some of those time honored skill sharpening exercises that work and are easy to incorporate. On the other hand, EVF and menu driven functions means learning a new set of skills, and despite what others may insist on saying, they are NOT easy to employ ... and require just as much practice as anything else. The question is, what does it gain you compared to the so called old ways? ... being proficient in both schools of shooting, I can say it gains you nothing.
While you can turn off all the video game junk on many of these newer cameras, you cannot turn off the EVF (except with the new Leica M-240 which, thank God, still retains the Optical rangefinder).
Personally, I do not mind the EVF in the A99 for certain 35mm DSLR paying applications because it shows what you will get (Exposure and White Balance), and the articulated LCD is useful ... but I despise the subsequent e-review in the viewfinder, which when shut off also shuts off the LCD review forcing me to press the preview button when I want to chimp my last shot ... an extra step I usually do NOT have time for.
I understand the fascination with the NEX-7 because you can bolt on so many different lenses and use magnification or peaking to focus them fairly accurately (peaking is great, but it isn't as accurate as many would lead you to believe). Hard to beat the NEX for using an array of lenses from a zillion makers if that is your thing.
Personally, I couldn't care less because the NEX, nor the older Contax G, nor any of the new crop of Fujis or Sonys are rangefinder cameras. The Rangefinder is a way of making photographs that offers minimal distractions thus forcing the concentration on capturing content ... not more distractions.
Besides, the microwaves from these electronic cameras causes brain damage as the following rebuttals to this post will prove .
I sent you an email. Thank you for the tutorial. I use the R 180 because that is the longest lens I own. I am thinking of getting the Minolta 200/2.8 for the a900. Between my son's water polo playing and skateboarding it will come in handy.
As for the M9-P, I won't use it for sports but for more stationary things. I also don't like to carry the a900 with me when we go on trips, etc. Natalie likes to see the pix asap so the M6 is used less frequently. I can do without the nex for the time being.
What does EVF image magnify or focus peaking have to do with shooting action photography like sports? 'but lets keep it real.'
The person asking was an a900 user, so it seemed reasonable to presume that was the context of the inquiry. That one of course has no magnification/peaking/LV/focus limiter and is pretty much OK only with the centre AF point. I didn't read any mention of a top Canon body nor of a need for sports domination level performance as a prerequisite or reference point, but my abilities as a mind reader do have limits, so one never knows.
I do read what the other guys on Sony forums are doing and they seem happy enough for sports/birding/action.
There are of course sports and sports, for many of them one can anticipate and use magnify effectively for setup or focus checking, e.g. cricket, baseball, soccer, basketball. Peaking can be turned off or you can choose a level, I find it better for DOF considerations.
For kids' sports with a good AF lens I see no reason why the camera would be a poor choice, and I would much prefer it to the a900. Sports are played in less than perfect light at times, so perhaps the extra two stops of ISO performance might come in handy; and the tight controlled noise pattern together with the improved dynamic range might contribute to final image quality to please some users. Even the resulting higher shutter speeds may help for sports photography...
or perhaps not. Maybe those attributes are not 'real' enough either. And we all have different ideas of 'much better' - it's a pretty open-ended question I should not have answered. It won't happen again, of that you be sure.
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Phillip, thanks for your reply. Why not give your opinion - everyone else has. I use the a900 for sports because that is all I have, along with two Leica M6 bodies. I use the ZA 135/1.8, 85/1.4 and two ancient Minoltas (50/1.4 and 24/2.8) on the a900 to shoot my kids running in races (daylight), playing water polo and skateboarding (daylight) and hopefully gymnastics (daughter just started - but the gyms I have been in tend to have crappy lighting). The R 180/4 is used sparingly, and only when I need a bit more reach. I want to get the Minolta 200/2.8 or a good, fast 300 if I can afford it.
That said, having learned to shoot with an M6 I have become pretty good at anticipating action and zone focusing. The side to side continual focusing is good enough for me, at this stage. I am not a pro but a dad whose wife wants to see pics pretty quickly so she can put them on FB and send them to family. I don't sell my work and if I tried, I doubt anyone would buy my stuff. The other guys I take pics of at the skateboard park have absolutely no money but they let me take pics as long as I promise to send them a few of the good ones.
I hear you about the improved dynamic range but I also think that a quick LR tutorial (thank you Carlos) can also work wonders for opening up the shadows for me.
At this stage it is more important for me to get better / longer lenses for the a900 and save my money for a used M9-P than to get an a99. And here is the kicker for me - maybe, just maybe, since I am not being paid for my work, I can put the camera down and watch my kids for a change. When my kids ask me if I saw them do this or that, I want to answer yes as that is always the first question before they ask me if I got a good picture of them.
Well I just moved to Hot Springs VA, from Telluride not liking here at all, took one for the team, my wife's new job at the Homestead.
Anyways went out the other day and found these water falls.
This was a 3 shoot pano using I believe my Zeiss 50/2 lens
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