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Wētāpunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Less is More
    Posted: 20 August 2020 at 23:46
My photography plans have been thwarted somewhat, with the Auckland lockdown. There were some places Iíd planned to go to, to photograph. Iím stuck here. But that gives more time to dwell on the gear-side of the hobby.

Having taken various lenses and tripods on long hikes through rugged NZ forests, a lighter setup appealed. And that basically happened with the a7riii. It was a moment similar to when I got my a900. Then it was the realisation that film-photography was now going to be a hobby. With the a7riii it was a camera that felt like a true DSLR replacement. It was lighter, focused quickly and its sensor was up to the demands of making large prints. The A-mount was now a dead-end.

So Iím making my kit smaller for that landscape work. The Zeiss Loxia lenses are compact, give superb image quality at common landscape apertures and take up little room in my camera bag. Then I relooked at my tripod setup. For years Iíd been using an Induro carbon-fibre tripod, with a Manfrotto geared head. The geared head is about 1.2kg. Itís been perfect for say the a900 and some of the heavier A-mount lenses I use. But with a lighter camera and lenses, the weight is an issue. Iíve many times left it behind on a hike already because it is just too heavy.

Solution- go back to a ballhead. Iíve got time to look. See what the NZ options are. Read the reviews. Iíve now got a much lighter Feisol CB-50D. Itís a model that has been around for years, and it certainly seems to lock into a rock solid position. My tripod no longer feels unbalanced and top heavy. Iím liking this.

The sticking point at the moment is the >100mm focal length. I could carry my 135mm STF lens and an adapter. Or I could carry my Minolta 100mm Macro and adapter. Thereís not a lot of compact lens options available for the E-mount over the 100mm Focal Length. The Sigma 105 and 135mm ART lenses are beasts. And the Sony 135mm f1.8 GM is also on the very large side.

Deeply pondering the Voightlander 110 APO Macro. Itíd give a macro option which Iím bound to use sometime. Still have a decent gap to the 85mm. It doesnít have a 52mm filter size, but with a step-up ring I could get to 62mm and use a lot of my other filters. Still a bit heavier than my STF lens, but not when you add the adapter.

But still, the shrinkage of my camera gear is impressive. All I need now is the chance to go out and start using it
a7riii- Voigtlšnder 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Zeiss Loxia- 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2 & 85/2.4, Zeiss Batis- 85/1.8 & 135/2.8; Sony 24-105/4 G; Sigma 70/2.8 M; Tamron 150-500 f5-6.7; Sony SAL 135/2.8 STF
 



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Jozioau View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jozioau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2020 at 02:30
An interesting read - good luck with your >100mm quest.

As an amateur of advancing years, and owner of 3 a-mount DSLT cameras and a comprehensive collection of quality a-mount lenses from 15mm to 500mm, I'm sticking with what I've got until either it or I give it all away.

However, I am delighted to see and read about others transitioning to e-mount, their obvious delight in the switch, and the amazing images being posted with this latest generation gear. Some of the photos taken with the 100-400mm and 200-600 e-mount zooms on high end mirrorless cameras are nothing short of exceptional.

Hope you (and all of us) will be able to free range again in the not too distant future, and when that happens, it will be great to see the photos being posted after lock downs have been eased or lifted.
"Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst" - Henri Cartier-Bresson
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skm.sa100 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote skm.sa100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2020 at 04:56
Well said, Joe.
Everything you said also applies to me - except the years aren't advancing as fast for me. I'm in the mid 40s and I expect to shoot another couple of decades.
Slowly forming plans of actually doing commercial work, perhaps a few years down the line. At that point, most likely I'll sell all of my A mount gear and maybe that'll fetch me enough money to buy a spare battery in the E-mount!!
wetapunga, good luck with the 100-135mm search. Needless to say the AF 135mm/2.8 is a terrific compact lens that's earned the well deserved moniker of pocket rocket but you'd still need an adapter - and it's not a macro.
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Bob J View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2020 at 06:29
If you are ok with manual focus, one compact solution in the Zeiss Contax G 90mm f/2.8

If you combine it with a metabones adapter I would imagine it should come in relatively cheap.
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Jonas A-R View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jonas A-R Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2020 at 07:07
The Batis 135mm lens comes to mind as a relatively compact option >100mm with exceptional performance to boot
a9 a6300
21/2.8 Loxia 35/1.4Z 50/1.4Z 85/1.4GM 90/2.8G Laowa 100mm F2.8 Ultra Macro 100/2.8GM 135/1.8GM
12-24/4G 24-105/4G 100-400/4-5.6GM 2x TC
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Wētāpunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2020 at 07:08
Originally posted by Jozioau Jozioau wrote:

An interesting read - good luck with your >100mm quest.


I've been reviewing my short telephoto landscape shots, and the bulk are at 100-110mm. A lot of the 135s are just because I was using an STF lens and I could have zoomed in closer with my feet.


As an amateur of advancing years, and owner of 3 a-mount DSLT cameras and a comprehensive collection of quality a-mount lenses from 15mm to 500mm, I'm sticking with what I've got until either it or I give it all away.


If Sony hadn't pulled the A-mount out of the NZ market a couple of years ago, I *might* have gone the a99ii route. I've got some Minolta and Sony G mount lenses I quite like. Even so, the lighter setup possible with the E-mount is appealing.

Hope you (and all of us) will be able to free range again in the not too distant future, and when that happens, it will be great to see the photos being posted after lock downs have been eased or lifted.


Indeed- I like the photography side of photography a lot more than the gear-side. At least in NZ I've got a good chance the interruption won't be long.

Edited by wetapunga - 21 August 2020 at 07:27
a7riii- Voigtlšnder 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Zeiss Loxia- 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2 & 85/2.4, Zeiss Batis- 85/1.8 & 135/2.8; Sony 24-105/4 G; Sigma 70/2.8 M; Tamron 150-500 f5-6.7; Sony SAL 135/2.8 STF
 



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Wētāpunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2020 at 07:13
Originally posted by skm.sa100 skm.sa100 wrote:

...
Slowly forming plans of actually doing commercial work, perhaps a few years down the line. At that point, most likely I'll sell all of my A mount gear and maybe that'll fetch me enough money to buy a spare battery in the E-mount!!

That's pretty much the situation in NZ now. It's persuading me to keep some of my G mount lenses and a77ii. There's very little return from selling them now.

wetapunga, good luck with the 100-135mm search. Needless to say the AF 135mm/2.8 is a terrific compact lens that's earned the well deserved moniker of pocket rocket but you'd still need an adapter - and it's not a macro.


It would be great if Zeiss had released a 135mm Loxia. In the mean time I do have the 135mm STF. I'm still giving the Voightlander 110mm some serious consideration.
a7riii- Voigtlšnder 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Zeiss Loxia- 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2 & 85/2.4, Zeiss Batis- 85/1.8 & 135/2.8; Sony 24-105/4 G; Sigma 70/2.8 M; Tamron 150-500 f5-6.7; Sony SAL 135/2.8 STF
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Wētāpunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2020 at 07:16
Originally posted by Bob J Bob J wrote:

If you are ok with manual focus, one compact solution in the Zeiss Contax G 90mm f/2.8

If you combine it with a metabones adapter I would imagine it should come in relatively cheap.


I have been considering some of these options, but I already have an 85mm Zeiss Loxia. 90mm isn't really a big leap from that (which is why I'm not considering the Sony 90mm macro).

I'm very happy to manual focus. I think every macro and every landscape shot I've taken has been pure manual focus. It's the best way to put the plane of focus exactly where I want it
a7riii- Voigtlšnder 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Zeiss Loxia- 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2 & 85/2.4, Zeiss Batis- 85/1.8 & 135/2.8; Sony 24-105/4 G; Sigma 70/2.8 M; Tamron 150-500 f5-6.7; Sony SAL 135/2.8 STF
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Wētāpunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2020 at 07:19
Originally posted by Jonas A-R Jonas A-R wrote:

The Batis 135mm lens comes to mind as a relatively compact option >100mm with exceptional performance to boot


It's on my list- the weight is quite appealing, but the price is somewhat scary. Especially for something I'd be using roughly for 10% of my shots.

I need a good 2nd hand copy to fall into my lap.
At least the Voightlander 110 gives an additional macro option...
a7riii- Voigtlšnder 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Zeiss Loxia- 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2 & 85/2.4, Zeiss Batis- 85/1.8 & 135/2.8; Sony 24-105/4 G; Sigma 70/2.8 M; Tamron 150-500 f5-6.7; Sony SAL 135/2.8 STF
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Post Options Post Options   Quote SnowFella Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2020 at 08:08
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Wētāpunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2020 at 08:43
Originally posted by SnowFella SnowFella wrote:

Maybe one out of left field?
https://www.dyxum.com/lenses/Venus-Optics-Laowa-105mm-F2-Smooth-Trans-Focus_lens1838.html

105mm STF


Itís pretty left field itís got some nice reviews though. Itís a shame it doesnít have the electric contacts. Any idea on how reliable the brand is? Itís out of my experience.

Edited by wetapunga - 21 August 2020 at 08:50
a7riii- Voigtlšnder 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Zeiss Loxia- 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2 & 85/2.4, Zeiss Batis- 85/1.8 & 135/2.8; Sony 24-105/4 G; Sigma 70/2.8 M; Tamron 150-500 f5-6.7; Sony SAL 135/2.8 STF
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Post Options Post Options   Quote IanC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2020 at 11:53
An interesting discussion and some points to ponder. Cost is a big issue for me presently and I'll be sticking with the A mount for a little while yet. I have a couple of lenses which are highly rated in all the reviews which are good enough for my purposes at the moment. If I had a wish list a good macro lens would be nice to have. There's an old adage "if it isn't broke, don't fix it" which will apply to my gear for a while yet.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote skm.sa100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2020 at 13:19
Ian, I can't recommend the AF 100/f2.8 enough if you're looking for a macro option. The 50mm macros are probably good as well but the Minolta 100mm just wows me every time I use it.
Somebody here once said that no manufacturer makes a bad macro lens; perhaps there's some truth to that.
So check that out and maybe keep an eye out for any good deals.
Good luck!
Sashi
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Post Options Post Options   Quote owenn01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2020 at 13:52
I find this a very interesting discussion - certainly around the 'downsizing' aspects.

I too am very happy with my A-Mount system - a99 and a whole series of lenses that I feel I now 'understand' and love. However, as age and physical issues start to creep in, I find that weight is increasingly the thing that impacts what I can take with me, especially for longer hikes in the countryside.

The A7riii seems to be a great all-rounder and, paired with the 200 - 600 lens would seem to be a perfect system to meet all sorts of demands; the wider side I could probably still deal with through an adapter and my A-Mount lenses and take the hit there in some ways. I'm also very happy manually focussing (it's what I grew up on! ) so my 58/1.2 may see more air time than of late as well.

I'm likely to continue 'as is' for the moment but these discussions do give an insight into what works for others and how that overlaps with my own demands for photography so it's all relevant and interesting.

Oh - and IanC - try the Sigma 105/2.8 Macro as well; there are a number out there on ebay etc and other Used outlets; I've had mine years and it's one of the lenses I will go back to time and again for the quality of the output and the close focussing and bokeh it produces etc. Just another option!

Best regards, Neil.
My Mantra: "Comment on other's work as you would wish to have yours commented upon". Go on - it's fun!
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