Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Further adventures with the NEX

I have recently acquired an adapter with the help of which I have attached my trusted old Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D. The aperture ring allows me to change the aperture to whatever suits the situation and I am slowly getting used to the manual mode on the Sony. The picture quality is not as great as what might be possible with my Nikon DSLRs or maybe even with a native Sony E-mount lens. However it is easy to carry the gear around and as long as there is time to compose the shot and manually focus, this is a decent performer. Some shots taken recently.

Empty park bench.
Balance bike balanced.
Unknown white flower
Wild flower

I am waiting to go into the jungle. And I have not forgotten that I require to write about my adventures at Bandhavgarh.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Sony NEX in Kerala

I had to make a rushed journey to Kerala this time around and as I was planning to use multiple modes of transport including road, I was not comfortable lugging my DSLRs around. Not because of the weight, but because of the attention they would attract, most of it unwanted.

This is where I was happy I was with my NEX. I got to know this camera better on this trip and came away with mixed feelings. I noticed a few things about this piece of equipment that I will share with you in this post. Some of this may be a repetition, but I think even the repetition has its merits as it reinforces a point. Or three.

  1. The camera is small and difficult to configure; diving into the menus is inevitable
  2. The kit lens is not the best out there, but does its job within limits
  3. Lack of good manual control and a viewfinder means framing / composing shots is a pain, especially from the running board of a train
  4. Manual focus takes some getting used to
  5. Set-up well and in the right conditions, the camera is capable of good pictures

Let me put up some pictures. The first one is a typical landscape that you get to see from the door of an Indian Railway passenger compartment. As this photo did not meet my expectations fully, it has not been uploaded to SmugMug.

From the footboard of my compartment, Tamil Nadu seen from within an Indian Railways bogie.
Sony NEX5, E PZ 16-50mm lens, 16mm, f/13, 1/250s, 100ISO, Pre-programmed landscape mode, Matrix Metering, Hand held, No flash

You can see that the colours have been captured well and the wide angle gets in a lot of detail. However if you look to lower part of the frame the image is blurred. The shutter speed not keeping up with the speed of the train. That is my fault I think, but I am still disappointed that the picture is not as sharp even though it has been shot at f/13. Even though the E PZ 16-50mm is a kit lens I tried my hand at capturing some insect life. The picture of the skipper shown below turned out pleasing, though it is no where close to what I am used to with my DSLR and dedicated Macro lens. The small size of the camera as well as its lack of a viewfinder is another obstacle to a good shot in my opinion. This photograph too did not make it to my SmugMug account.

Resting Skipper. Sony NEX-5T, E-PZ 16-50mm kit lens, 50mm, 1/100sec, f/5.6, Aperture Priority, Manual Focus, Matrix Metering, Handheld, No Flash

If there had to be one picture that I was happy with it is this picture of the sky at sunset over the Neyyar Dam reservoir. I was able to rest the camera on the wall of the dam, set it up for the shot, wait for the light to transform and take the shot. The lack of a filter meant I could not take those smoothened water shots. The lack of a tripod meant that I did not get the best angle(s). I really happy with this picture though. And I know it could have been much better, but I will take what this little camera has to offer. For now. Unlike the previous two shots, the following made it to SmugMug.

Sunset sky over the Neyyar Dam reservoir. Sony NEX-5T, E PZ 16-50mm lens, 16mm, f/22, 0.4 sec, ISO 100, Manual Mode, Manual Focus, Matrix Metering, Rested on Wall, No flash
I think I would have got a much better shot with the D610. However I did consider the following,
  1. I was able to carry the Sony NEX around and it was with me
  2. It was easier to position the NEX on the dam wall and I would have been petrified doing that with the D610 or the D7000

Would I switch to mirrorless? I don't think so. Nothing beats the feel of my Nikons. And who said that there is a dust problem with the Nikon D600/610? I cleaned out about 10 spots in the last picture alone. Seems like the Sony is prone to dusting over too. 

Till my next post.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Green flower / leaves / whatever

I am planning how to show pictures from my visits to Bandhavgarh, Milwaukee and Kerala. Do I show a picture a day or should it be one comprehensive post? I don't know and I lose time planning. On Facebook I am on two groups, both focused on Nikon:

  1. Nikon Digital Camera & Photo Enthusiasts
  2. Nikon India Photographers

I aim to post one of my photos on these groups everyday. What better way to drive discipline in my posting, by replicating that here? Or so I think. The photograph posted here is of a flower / petals / leaves of a weed / shrub I used to notice while in Mumbai. I do not know the name of this flower / thing.

Flower / Leaves in the green. Nikon D90, Tokina 100mm, 100mm, f/4.2, 1/160s, 200ISO, Matrix Metering, Hand held, No Flash