Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sigma 150-500 on a Sony A7r

500mm (100% crop) f/9 1/160 ISO 100

There really hasn't been much written about this lens.  We picked the lens up last year after visiting the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and decided we need slightly long reach than what the 70-200 gave us.  Looking around we found that Sigma had just released an updated version of their 150-500 in a Sony A mount and decided to give it a try getting a Sony LA-EA4 A to E adaptor as well.  We ordered both and frankly crossed our fingers hoping that the weight wouldn't be too much of a factor and that we'd be able to have a fast auto-focus.  In short we were pleased on all counts.

500mm (100% crop) f/6.3 1/160 ISO 100
While we picked up the lens and adaptor last year we hadn't had a real chance to test it until recently.  That's changed this week as we are sneaking out into our backyard and photographing the "wildlife" that visit us.

500mm (100% crop) f/11 1/1000 ISO 800
There are 5-samples included in this post.  All were captured using Sandy's Sony A7r; all were captured handheld at 500mm, ISO set to auto.  All the files were first open in Capture One Pro where a lens correction was performed and focus check done.  The files were then brought into Photoshop CC where a shake reduction filter was applied (we routinely do this with any handheld shot).  The image was then cropped at 100%, processed in NIK software because we wanted to and saved as a Jpeg.

500mm (100% crop) f/11 1/1000 ISO 5000

If you're thinking of picking this lens up - do so.  It's well worth the money.  We're not only pleased with the quality of the Sigma lens we're equally pleased with the Sony LA-EA4.  We plan on writing more about this combination in the future so you should watch for future updates.

500mm (100% crop) f/6.3 1/160 ISO 100



Sandy & Don

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Mitakon Speedmaster II 50mm f/0.95 (M67) Part II

f/0.95 1/100 ISO 100 (5:18 PM)

I did a quick write-up in November about the 50mm f/0.95 lens that included samples of shots taken indoors and in color.  This is the follow-up to that post.

f/0.95 1/100 ISO 200 (5:37 PM) 

f/0.95 1/100 ISO 1600 (5:50 PM)

I bought the Speedmaster for the primary purpose of shooting in low light as fast as I can.  While this lens can certainly be capable of capturing great images at f/8 and f/11 I have other lenses that can do that however this is the only one that can be opened as wide as f/0.95.

f/0.95 1/125 ISO 1250 (5:57 PM)

 f/0.95 1/125 ISO 6450 (6:17 PM)

Sandy & I recently spend an overnight trip to Sedona last month and ended up eating outdoors in the downtown area.  The first sample image was taken at 5:18 (very close to sunset) with the last at 6:27 well after sunset. 

f/0.95 1/100 ISO 1600 (5:52 PM)

The camera used was the Sony A7r converted to capture full spectrum and since I had already decided I wanted to shoot black & white I used a 830nm filter attached to the lens.  All shots were wide open at f/0.95 with the ISO set to auto.  I normally set the ISO at auto when using the 830nm filter and in normal lighting conditions rarely shoot beyond 125; not so this evening.  The lowest ISO was at 100 for the first shot and the highest for the evening was at 6400.  All of these were captured handheld.

f/0.95 1/125 ISO 4000 (5:59 PM)

f/0.95 1/125 ISO 4000 (5:59 PM)

The files were all processed using a combination of Capture One Pro and Photoshop CC and in some cases a combination of NIK software.

f/0.95 1/80 ISO 4000 (6:27 PM)
The lens is heavy yet I never felt it too heavy.  That said, I feel it is subjective; like is the salsa too hot?  So subjectively while it is one of the heaviest (we also have a 150-500 that is longer and heavier) it feels good in my hands while shooting.  Focus is easy using the focus mask in camera.  While taking a little getting used to, the controls are smooth to use.  Overall I might not be using this lens everyday however if I'm in a low situation it's the first one I'm using.