*Sigma Art 85mm f/1.4 – Power, finesse, fashion and function. A user review…

Hello dear friends.  There has been no secret here on the bloggings, surrounding my desire to find the perfect 85mm lens.  It has become my own photo gear holy grail, and a fun journey it has been.  I’ve owned, sold, used, borrowed or rented at least a dozen different 85mm (or equivalent) lenses for a few different systems over my years.  It’s probably the single most fascinating focal length, for me.  The most popular classification for a lens of this focal length, is going to be portraiture.  It balances minimal distortion, with flattering spacial compression when working at traditional distances for portraits, and is a go to for many portrait photographers.  I do like a good portrait session, but a mid range tele lens like a nice, fast 85mm can offer much more than merely head and shoulder shots.  I want to look at this lens on its own at first.  How sharp is it?  Bokeh?  What kind of value does is present at its price point for a photographer like me, or you?  Later, I’ll be comparing this lens to a couple other fast portrait lenses that I have  here on the blog, but for now let’s see how this beautiful new Sigma Art lens stands on its own…

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*Holy S#!† The new FW updates for the @Sony a7II and #Metabones EF smart adapter have created a monster.

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Sorry for my dirty, foul mouth. I’m just blown away by how much better my a7II and Canon EF lens setup has become overnight.  Long overdue, the Sony a7II got the much ballyhooed Uncompressed 14 bit RAW update (as opposed to that weird 11/7 compressed stuff, which is still nicely, an option) along with the return of the on sensor Phase Detection AF to the a7, pro-sumer camera with third party lenses.  Why they kept this out to begin with is beyond me, and really one of my gripes with the Sony approach as a whole, but now that it’s here, it is friggin’ amazing.  It is like I have an entirely new camera.  C’mon in for firmware update links, and a video comparison between the auto focus speed and performance from the original firmware on the a7II and Metabones mark IV adapter, and now that they’ve both very recently been updated…

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*Using the Kipon EF to m4/3, smart adapter. Things are getting interesting w/ @adorama

kipon ef to m4/3 af adapter

The Kipon EF Lens to Micro 4/3 mount smart adapter is a fairly big deal.  Not just because it enables aperture adjustment for the electronically controlled EF line of lenses when adapted to a micro 4/3 camera body, but it has also bridged the proprietary technology to gain the use of full auto focus and lens based image stabilization capabilities.  Having followed a fairly similar path into the micro 4/3 world as I would imagine many others, I came from a long standing investment in the Canon system.  I still shoot my Canon full framers, and have compiled some very nice glass over the years that tends to sit on the shelf more often now that I shoot the micro 4/3 system.  I’ve been waiting for a solution to merge my two beloved systems, and Kipon has produced it.

Enter the new, Kipon EF>m4/3 Smart Adapter. Come on in for some insight and my experience over the last month…

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*Lens by lens on the Sony a7II…

lens by lens on the sony a7ii This is purely a personal journey here.  A little retrospective look back at the last couple months to see what I’ve been getting out of the new Sony a7II  (Sony Alpha a7II Mirrorless Digital Camera -Body Only- at B&H HERE).  I tend to spend a lot of time looking at specific things in regard to a lens or camera for the blog here, and I figured I’d compile a few shots from the combination of lenses I’ve been using.  I have mostly used my Canon EF mount lenses via the Metabones adapter (review on that HERE), but have recently acquired the Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 because I felt the camera deserved to also be shot with a high quality native mount lens, plus I was curious to see how it handled this new, crazy feature all the kids talk about in auto focus. Click any image below to see a larger version, and let me know your thoughts in the comments. Less talk, more rock as it were.  Without further ado… Continue reading

*Sony a7II, a game changer? My take on Sony’s newest FF cam, a user review.

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I’ve been shooting with the Sony a7II full frame, 24 megapixel mirrorless camera for almost a month now, which has given me a bit of time to really get a feel for it.  I don’t like to review cameras that I’ve not had the ability to fire off a few thousand shots with, so I’ve been using this camera almost exclusively since I got it, and now feel a bit better about praising and lambasting Sony on a few points.  C’mon in for my initial thoughts, and a few performance based tests…

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*Using the Metabones mk 4 EF>Emount smart adapter on the A7II, a user review.

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Who doesn’t fantasy shop?  I certainly do, and while I have done a really good job over the years of tempering my cravings to buy a newer full frame camera, I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been interested in the Sony Alpha 7 series.  Much like the NEX series (or “Axxxx”, or whatever it’s called now) I’ve always felt that Sony has spent their time and effort on camera bodies and sensor development, while largely ignoring the need to round out their optical offerings for either the APS-C or Full Frame mirrorless systems.  To be fair, and as a seeming act of nose thumbing in my direction, Sony released 4 brand new FE mount lenses a couple weeks ago.  This new set of lenses is certainly a step in the right direction as they’ve finally released more lenses than cameras for the FE mount.

Sony seems to be focused on leading the charge in sensor tech while slowly bringing new lenses to market, and other companies and systems have benefited from this sensor based model, namely Nikon and Olympus.  While researching my options in the world of Canon full frame land (I also shoot a Canon 5D2), I kept tabs on the A7 series, and when the A7II was announced with IBIS, and all the other bells and whistles for the same price as the aging 6D, I decided to dig deeper.

I’ve been looking to update my 5D2 for a little while.  It still does most of what I need it to, but I’ve been walking on thin ice after having sold and traded off my other Canon DSLR bodies leaving me with no backup.  

Most of the work I do with the Canon is in interior work, so I never saw it as a huge liability seeing that I could, in a pinch, shoot with my micro 4/3 setup to cover me.

Now, the Metabones adapters are well documented, and with the new mark 4, has seemingly remedied most of the gripes I’ve read about, namely the internal surface reflections by way of a series of matte bezels inside the adapter.  One problem I’d come across is that it was hard to find good info with use on this new A7II.  Well, here are my initial thoughts…

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*Welcome the newest member of the TRP family, the Sony A7mk2.

Sony Alpha 7 mark 2

Well, I’ve pulled the trigger.  This is the first Sony camera that I have personally owned, although I’ve tested others, and shot with cameras that also use a Sony sensor, so it is a bit of a thing for me.  In the coming weeks I’ll be posting on my thoughts, findings, results and comparisons with this new intriguing mirrorless full frame camera.  For now, come on in to see the unboxing and read a few of my initial thoughts on the camera…

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