So I took a bit of a hiatus from this blog due to other priorities and distractions, but to be honest, I just haven’t had any inclination to take many pictures since our vacation. So, below are notable pictures from the past two months.
I’ve reacquired the Samyang/Rokinon/Bower fisheye lens for my NEX kit – this time, it’s an 8mm/2.8 fisheye. It’s a bit trickier to use given the APS-C format, but the tilting LCD helps with composition. I haven’t found a good lens profile for LR5 yet though, so for the meantime, I have to take advantage of lines and composition to exploit the fishiness of the scene…
I’m back to a Windows Phone, which is basically a homecoming for me, since my first smartphone was a Windows Phone. My new phone (Nokia Lumia 635) is anything but top-of-the-line, but it does come with Windows Phone 8.1 with Cortana and most importantly for me, has SensorCore enabled – so it tracks all of my movement and steps with a low-power sensor – basically, it has a built-in FitBit. We also left Virgin Mobile and we’re back to AT&T to take advantage of exponentially better service in our area. Definitely no complaints about the new service and not many complaints with the phone other than intermittent issues with LTE handover. I’m hoping this gets addressed in the near future, but otherwise, there’s a workaround for it.
I picked up a cheap M42 SMC Takumar 55/2.0 lens on eBay and I’m learning how to use the NEX focus peaking feature. It definitely makes manual focusing much easier. The lens (being probably close to 45 years old) doesn’t provide immediately usable output (lack of microcontrast being my number one complaint), but a little bit of work in LR5 makes the pictures pop out nicely. I have heard that the coating used on the lens is potentially radioactive…so it’s probably best that I keep it away from my crotch…but anyway, this mirror selfie from the driver’s seat of our Honda Odyssey is easy to use as a reference, since I’ve done it many, many, many times before.
The NEX 3N has gobs of dynamic range and I can easily pull details out of shadows through post-processing. The picture above was tweaked significantly – in the original, the brick detail was lost and the blue sky behind the clouds was nonexistent. Workflow with this kind of output is significantly different compared to working with 4/3 and m4/3 output.
The tilt screen on the NEX 3N provides more opportunity to exploit perspective that would normally be difficult to capture with a fixed screen or with an optical viewfinder. With that said though – I do get lazy without having an optical viewfinder to assist with framing shots.
Anyway, it’s getting late, so maybe in a few months, I’ll have five more random pictures again…