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Testing the Sony FE 28mm f2 Lens

©2016 CRAIG LITTEN

Hop-a-Long

I was out at my usual hot spot today testing the Sony FE 28mm f2 lens. All of the positive things I've read and heard about this lens are true. It's razor sharp, has a nice smooth bokeh, fast focus, is small and light, and very pleasant to shoot with. I think it's the perfect companion to the Zeiss FE 55mm f1.8, and all I may need for most shooting situations--an ideal set-up to have while carrying two camera bodies. More to come, so stay tuned.


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Apogee

jupiter


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Fill Flash

©2015 CRAIG LITTEN

Dinner at ISO 1600

This photo was shot during a quick testing of Sony HLV-F43M Flash, on the a7s w/Zeiss 55mm f1.8, in a real world (and really dark) situation. The flash performed flawlessly--better than any Canon ever dreamed of, and as good as, if not better than, a Nikon or Olympus strobe. This flash has a few really good things going for it. One is the unique way it does bounce flash (which I obviously used in the example above). Sony calls it: Quick Shift Bounce. Admittedly, it does make the flash a bit chunkier, but this unit was released prior to the a7-series of cameras, and was intended for the Sony A-Mount cameras. But it's still a good fit, especially on the second generation of a7's like the a7II, a7rII and a7sII. Another big plus is the fact that it's weather sealed as I can't tell you how many times I've been caught out in the rain worrying about my flash during past assignments back during my Canon days. Finally, besides all the other bells and whistles that modern flashes have, such as wireless triggering, etc., it has a built in video light which could possibly come in handy for stills too. I rented this one from Lens Rentals.


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Just Touit

©2015 CRAIG LITTEN

Crisp & Clean, No Caffeine

I was out between raindrops today testing the Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8 on my Sony a6000. It’s equivalent to a 48mm or standard lens. I won’t waste any time, and immediately tell you that I love this lens, and have since it was first released several years ago! PopFlashPhoto was kind enough to send me the Touit 12mm and 32mm for testing on my Fuji X-Pro 1’s (back when I shot Fuji), and I fell in love with them both. I couldn’t justify the price of the 32mm (it was $900 at release) as I already owned the stupendous Fuji 35mm f/1.4, plus I didn’t need another standard lens. I really liked shooting with the 12mm too (18mm equivalent), but I rarely if ever shoot super wide lenses, so I wasn’t even considering it.

This tiny Zeiss Touit 32mm has been on my mind, or should I say heart, for quite some time

This tiny Zeiss Touit 32mm has been on my mind, or should I say heart, for quite some time, and I wanted to add it to my kit. With the recent price drop from $900 to $499, I finally decided to get one. After my first day of testing, I think it’s definitely a keeper. It’s not just sharp, lots of lenses are sharp, but it’s crisp and it renders fine detail amazingly well. It also has that Zeiss dreaminess (that’s what I call it)—sharp yet it has a certain glow to it (depending on the subject), and of course, the Zeiss 3D pop where subjects actually look three dimensional rather than flat and two dimensional like so many other lenses. Whatever that intangible quality is, this lens has it. This is why I love Zeiss lenses. I don’t know how I went so many decades without using them. I give credit to Steve Huff, who first made me aware of Zeiss and Leica lenses—thanks Steve! Leica lenses are just as lovely, but in a different way. The problem is, Leica lenses don’t autofocus nor do they have a Sony E-Mount.

©2015 CRAIG LITTEN

©2015 CRAIG LITTEN


Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8 on Sony a6000

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Giving Thanks

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There is nothing better than spending Thanksgiving with family, and I'm thankful for those family members I was privileged to spend time with over the past few days. Not only are they blood relatives, but they're also in the family of God through Jesus Christ, so we'll have plenty of time to be together in the future.


He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,
— Ephesians 1:5

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Pigeon Forge

For the Joy of Photography

Sometimes a change in scenery is needed for photographic inspiration, or sometimes we just need to change our gear. Yep, new camera gear can motivate us for sure, but that's not what I mean really. I'm talking about a different type of camera gear, mirrorless. This time last year (2014), I began my journey with the Sony mirrorless system. Several years prior, I literally bought and tried every brand of DSLR and mirrorles cameras except Panasonic. But to keep this short, I won't go over that right now. I love the Sony mirrorless system. It's not perfect, but no system is as they all have their positives and negatives. But the Sony's are FUN! Yep, that's right, fun. Isn't photography supposed to be fun? That's why so many people do it isn't it? I found that hauling around my antiquated, clunky DSLR's was no longer enjoyable. In fact, it was work. I remember when the Canon 10D came out--it was revolutionary, 6MP and all. It was small, fast and...fun. But using a DSLR's today feels like work, and when you start to discover and use all the new tech that the Sony mirrorless cameras bring, well, you won't look back.

If you make your living shooting weddings, or portraits or architecture or any other type of photography, do you still allow yourself to take pictures on your days off? Or are those big "pro" cameras just too, well, big and pro to carry along when you're not getting paid? Do take your camera along when you go out with family or friends? How about during your lunch hour? Yea, the sarcasm is getting thick, but I'm trying to make a point here. How do you feel after a 12-hour shoot? Me? One word: Refreshed, LOL! Seriously, this past May I did a 19-hour shoot (crazy I know). I was tired, I was hungry, I couldn't wait for the shoot to end, but I never once felt the burden of my cameras. I was shooting with a Sony a7r paired with the Zeiss 55mm f1.8, and a Sony a7s paired with the Zeiss 35mm f2.8. Boom, done!

Do you still have fun shooting?

A good friend of mine, who has been shooting as long as I have (since the 80's), recently dumped his clunky, old Nikons in favor of Sony mirrorless (at my persuasion of course). His weapons of choice were a pair of a6000's and three lenses. He loves them so much that he now takes pictures when not working--in other words, for fun. And yes, he does make his full-time living with photography--the a6000 is that good.

Another very good friend is a wedding photographer. He started by purchasing a Sony a6000 and the tiny Sony 20mm f2.8 pancake lens to use for street photography (also at my persuasion). He loved it so much that as soon as the current wedding season ends, he's dumping his anachronistic (yes, I used a thesaurus) Canon gear in favor of a pair of Sony a7's (A7rII and a7sII) plus an arsenal of Zeiss lenses. He has already acquired an a7rII and the Zeiss 35mm f2.8. Sweet!

So the bottom line is this: Do you still have fun shooting? If not, why not? I do, and I've had a camera in my hands since 1985 (not literally the whole time though, I do have to sleep), and I now have Sony to thank for it (the fun, not the camera--I had to buy that). The above two photos are just snapshots, not portfolio pieces or masterpieces, taken during my lunch hour. I was shooting simply for the love of photography. That day I had in my hand the trusty, and super fun, Sony a6000 paired with a friend's Zeiss 16-70 f4 zoom. That day I was shooting just for the sheer joy of photography. Can I persuade you too?


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