...pruned and forced by the will of man into a specific shape.
Filtering by Tag: night
I'm sitting behind my big monitor in Amsterdam again, pouring over the hundreds of photos I took while in Ontario. I expect a large percentage will end up in the virtual garbage can while a few will appear on this blog over the next few days. I'll try not to mix those two categories up.
The photos in this post were taken during an late night stroll along Toronto's Dundas Street. They're all minimally tweaked, out-of-camera black & white JPEGs. Of course I also have RAW files, but I actually like the look of the B&W JPEGs that the RX1 produces. Not only do they look good, but the time I save not having to muck about with RAW files can go towards catching up on the sleep that my transatlantic flight deprived me of.
I think it goes without saying that this photo was taken while I was in London. That's the beauty about photographing icons, they are self explanatory. They are also so well known that we can recognize them with very little visual information. Of course these iconic structures have also been photographed so often that it's easy to become bored. Not another photo of St. Paul's!
This is the second part of the post about the evening I spent with my friends and fellow bloggers in London. I thought I'd wait until I got back home to post more photos since publishing posts from my iPad is somewhat cumbersome. But back to my friends: Cristian and Kesh are not only fun to spend an evening with, they're also both talented photographers You can click on their names to check out their blogs. I haven't forgotten you either, Sam; it was a great that you could make it as well and not only your for your patience while posing for test photos.
As I already mentioned, I had a chance to try out Cristian's Ricoh GXR Mount A12 with the Voigtländer Nokton 35mm F1.2 on it. I only managed to get about half of my shots acceptably sharp. Needless to say, I was pushing the limits of the GXR, trying to manually focus the Voigtländer wide open at the the maximum sensitivity. My lack of familiarity with Ricoh's innovative peaking mode probably also led to some errors of judgment on my part.
The top row of photos was taken with my RX1, the bottom with Cristian's Ricoh GXR Mount A12 and Voigtländer 35mm F1.2 lens.
Last night I had the pleasure to spend an evening with a small group of passionate photographers. We had a lot to talk about and even had a chance to try out each other's gear. I was able to take the impressive Voigtlander Nokton 35mm F1.2 for a spin on a Ricoh GXR. I'll post more on that and include links to my friend's blogs when I get back to Amsterdam.
There was no hiding the fact that I was photographing these two: they were coming straight at me. Upon reaching the top of the steps, they asked to see the photo. I guess they liked it enough that they asked me to email them a copy. Now it was just a matter of finding a suitable writing surface to jot their address down.
This is the season around here when there's a lot more night than day, so I'm often shooting in relatively dark conditions. Everything's maxed out on the camera to achieve fast enough shutter speeds. The resulting high sensitivity images have a natural grittiness to them; no need to add grain in post processing. On the GF2 with its small sensor, ISO 3200 is a stop too far with noise obliterating much of the detail. If only I had a nice, compact camera with a full frame sensor...
I admit it's a little odd to start a post titled “Liverpool Nights” with a photo that was obviously taken during the day. But it's there to show the kind of sombre, flat light that drove me to take photos at night in the first place. While the misty, seaside photo has a certain atmosphere, it's much less vibrant than a similar image taken at night.
I've been looking to plug a focal length gap in my NEX-5N kit. The 53mm (equivalent) Zeiss Biogon is superb but I also need something a little wider to capture more of the context; something that allows me to get a little closer to my subject in crowded places. But it don't want it to be so wide that it distorts people at the edges of the frame. For that, a good old 35mm (equivalent) lens is ideal.
After witnessing the excellent performance of my Zeiss Biogon 35mm F2.0 (53mm on an APS-C sensor), the first lens I considered was the Zeiss Biogon 25mm F2.8 (38mm equivalent). I was a little hesitant though because of the relatively slow maximum aperture. I also prefer having lenses with different capabilities so that they complement each other. I started searching for lenses around 24mm that would give me an equivalent focal length of 35mm. I didn't want it to be slower than F2.0 nor weigh or cost more than the Biogon 25/2.8. My search didn't turn up much: only the native NEX mount Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E24mm F1.8 ZA met these criteria.
I had a look at the advantages (+) and disadvantages (-) of Carl Zeiss Sonnar 24mm F1.8 compared to Carl Zeiss Biogon 25mm F2.8 before deciding to get the Sonnar a few days ago.
+ close focus (16cm vs 50cm)
+ maximum aperture (1.33 stops brighter: F1.8 vs F2.8)
+ weight (225g vs 260g + 60g adapter = 320g)
+ compatibility with next generation Sony sensors (24MP)
+ supports AF, face detection and EXIF
- not compatible with mirrorless cameras from other manufacturers
- size (wider and longer lens barrel)
- focus by wire MF without distance scale
- build quality very good instead of excellent
+/- image quality: t.b.d.
Originally I hadn't wanted to invest too much in the NEX system which I'm in the process of taking for an extended “test drive” to see how it meets my needs. But after a few weeks of use, I'm enjoying shooting with the NEX-5N so much that I don't mind committing to one high end, dedicated prime like the Zeiss Sonnar. It'll see a lot of use before a final decision is made as to which system I'll continue with. So for now my NEX kit consists of two main lenses with different capabilities: a 24mm autofocus prime that can focus extremely closely and a 35mm prime optimized for manual focus. So far I'm pleased because, the two primes seem complement each other very well. But the real test will be on our holiday in Southern Italy next week.
These photos were all shot hand held at near maximum aperture and very slow shutter speeds. It seems I can hold the NEX-5N at slower shutter speeds than I could my Micro Four Thirds cameras. I suspect that has something to do with Sony's vibration free electronic first shutter curtain.