Author Topic: Some lessons I've (re)learnt  (Read 2008 times)

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Offline winjeel

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Some lessons I've (re)learnt
« on: May 30, 2009, 07:00:12 AM »
Since getting the Minolta 50mm 1.4 and the Sony 70-300mm G I've taken more notice of the finer details of my photos... well... I always have but with the previous lenses I've had. Since getting LightRoom, I've had little to no time to play with it, but this afternoon, while Naomi's been asleep I have. Some things I've noticed from looking back at the last two months of photos that I've been catching up on are these:

- Tripod mount on lens: It's a killer not having this on the Sony 70-300mm G. I've done some long exposure shots of water over rocks in a small stream, and each shot is blurred. The old KM 75-300mm was smaller and lighter, so much less camera shake when mounted on the tripod. I must get an adapter or fitting or something for future use.

- F5.6 on the 70-300mm G: Not having low-light capability is annoying (I sometimes wonder if I should have got the Minolta 80-200mm 2.8 anyway). In contrast, the 50mm 1.4 is stunningly flexible in low-light a so much fun to use.

- Handheld and low shutter speed: I've never looked at this seriously, and had a ball-park figure of 1/125 as being as low as I'd go when not using a tripod (or at least a monopod). 1/80 is ruinously too slow, even when using the 28mm, photographing petals on a rock, at a distance of about 50cm.

- LightRoom: Sooooo nice being able to quickly do things in batches. And having the Chromatic Aberrations adjustments, too. It has saved a few pictures from the weaknesses of the 28mm 2.8.

- In LightRoom: I tend to adjust Darks and Shadows to about -10 to -18. I wonder if I should adjust some internal setting in my camera, or make a preset for LightRoom. Any thoughts?

- My current lens kit: Having the Minolta 50mm 1.4 is soooooo much fun; no regrets in getting that. The Sony 70-300mm G is a great lens (much better than the "kit lens"), but it has it's quirks and idiosyncrasies to work with.

- Final thoughts: Hmm... I'm glad I did it cheap first, learning what I needed, so I knew what I should do. I'm glad I've worked out that a G lens was the way to go, the 50mm 1.4 was it for me, and LightRoom, all three would be the best combination for me, at this stage in my experience.

Feel free to add anything you've come to realise or learnt recently.
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Offline Rob aka [minolta mad]

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Re: Some lessons I've (re)learnt
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2009, 02:45:01 PM »
Id make a preset in lightroom rather than do it in camera, as its undoable if needed.

The shutter speeds are a personal thing, ive managed to get away with 1/60 sec with the 300/4 and still be sharp at 100%, though its about 50/50 as to the ones that are sharp or not.


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Offline Bill

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Re: Some lessons I've (re)learnt
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2009, 05:09:21 PM »
Winjeel,

I will just plain agree with you. 

I have had too many lenses to count (well, not really, but close!) and I have stated before that my feelings are that speed is primary.  Not that I would want a fast lens with poor IQ, just that my minimum speed for a lens is a constant f/2.8 from 24-200mm.  I understand the size and complexity constraints at wider or longer focal lengths, and would be willing to go to f/4 at 300mm and f/5.6 at very long focal lengths.  I am not one to shoor ultrawide, but I understand that an ultrawide lenses with fast apertures would also have very large front elements.

Speed gives Sony users an additional focus sensor (f/2.8 and larger).  Speed blurs backgrounds.  Speed decreases hand-held motion blur. (again, by speed I mean large apertures)

Larger apertures are more expensive and generally larger and heavier.  Although I actually sold my 28/2 and my 50/1.4 to finance the 24-70/2.8 SSM ZA, I miss the larger apertures, especially the 50/1.4.  The tradeoff was acceptable in my eyes simply because it was still fast enough to use the added focus sensor and because the image quality at f/2.8 is incredible on the Zeiss.

If I had the money for a new lens (economy has my family saving most everything we earn) I would really be looking at the Sigma 50/1.4 SSM.  I would love to see someone come out with a 200-400/2.8-5.6 SSM with ED glass.  Something like this should be doable with a 77mm front filter and perhaps could be a fast f/4 at 300mm.

Again, I dream!

Bill
a77 + vertical control grip, a700 + vertical control grip,  24-70/2.8 SSM ZA,  70-200/2.8 SSM G,  HVL-F42AM flash

Offline Stef.

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Re: Some lessons I've (re)learnt
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2009, 08:33:25 PM »
Winjeel- if you shoot raw than all the adjustments in camera are useless anyway.
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Offline winjeel

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Re: Some lessons I've (re)learnt
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2009, 06:33:29 AM »
I'll look up and find out how to make a preset and try it for a bit.

Bill, after playing with the 50mm 1.4, I think I'd find it very hard to sell to finance any other purchase. It was meant to be a stepping stone, but now, it's feeling more like a keeper each time I see a picture taken with it. My first lens was a Minolta MD 50mm 1.8, and I'm so glad to have rediscovered 50mm's. I wouldn't mind trying out that Sigma, but one day.

A 200-400/2.8-5.6 SSM sounds interesting. Having something with long reach and 2.8 would be really sweet, and would complement what I've got, nicely, too. Nice idea.  (Praying to the Minolta and Sony gods)
JapanesePhotos.Asia; Some basic photographic how to's.
Sony the200, Minolta 28mm 2.8, 50mm 1.4, 70-300mm Gregarious, 100mm 2.8 macro.