Wow! its been a while since I scratched out some thoughts on this blog. I have been busy building up NikkorGlass.com and playing with all the cool old glass I have accumulated! Let’s say that at this point I want no more for older glass! There are few Nikkor lenses I could still will get but plan to acquire through trade-offs over time. Examples would be trading away a 28 F2.8 Ais for a 28 F2 Ais.
There are over 50 in the collection now of Manual Focus Lenses and Zeiss would be the last frontier and Just don’t think I have the appetite for that!
I have been playing with film again, but not with much luck and so I think I will slow that whole endeavor down a bit as the negative scanner I purchased arrived broken and I got enough of a taste to know I now want a flatbed and that will just have to wait.
I tried an old 1950’s Nikon S2 Rangefinder with a classic 50mm F1.4. So cool! Alas my buying luck lately has been flawed and so the camera had a bent film winder shaft and had to be returned. I may back my way into the rangefinder market by buying glass first and using it on my newest camera. And with that we will move on to the latest news.
Nikon S2 Rangefinder 50mm F/1.4 SC
I did something I didn’t think I would do and that led to thoughts about doing even more things I didn’t think I would do! Yes, its a Sony mirrorless camera of all things! Lets talk a bit about how I got there first.
It took me stewing on it for 3 or more months before pulling the trigger. I kept reading how the new A7rii was a game changer. The line I towed on it was one where I complained about the lack of high-end fast native glass options. That and low light focus capabilities and an EVF.
Sony A7Rii with Fotodiox NDThrtl-NIKG-NEX Lens Mount Adapter and Sigma Art 35
Ironically the desire to try a rangefinder was tugging at me as well. But I kept think about the fact that film is a hard road these days, I have to drive 20 minutes each way to drop off and pickup film for developing and with scans we approach $15 a roll of 36.
I saw many people touting Leicas as digital options, however, they were expensive or still CCD based on the older models in my price vs performance range. I’ll be honest that much of my passion these days is collecting and shooting these older lenses and pushing them to their limits to prove out their relevance and performance among modern day offerings. And so the evil Sony seed began growing and taking root.
Here is where I finally arrived mentally and there is some irony with it all. First, I should say I decided I could own such a camera and have zero native glass for it since there are a host of Manual Focus adapters available for it. There are of course Nikon G or F adapters, and yes, even M39 adapters for the Old Nikon S mount lenses. So I could buy some RF lenses and use them on the Sony.
The Sony A7rii has a great amount of Dynamic Range
Since the Sony A7rii has built in 5 Axis stabilization, I can take some of my multi decade old lenses and shoot them stabilized!. I can’t even shoot some of those lenses on my D810 without paying money ad risking conversions on them, leave alone shoot them with stabilization. This became a key selling point for me in the end a fueled a strong desire to try it and see how well it worked.
Sensor Reflection with a Nikon 85 F/1.4 Ais
The last point would turn out to be intriguing, but I really didn’t understand how cool and useful it would be until I actually experienced.
So I looked online one morning and Best Buy had one in stock and I pulled the trigger and tried it. I got it ho,e though only to find it was opened and used already and missing a battery and cable. So I had to take it back and they had another one..
I tired it for a few days and was both more intrigued and slightly disenchanted with some sensor flare on my lenses which I thought did not have the same issues on my D810. That’s why I ended up taking it back! But the story didn’t end there.
Focus Peaking can show focus changes as aperture is adjusted in real time
One of the really cool aspects of Focus Peaking is its ability to show you real time DOF changes from a peaking display vantage point in the EVF. Peaking if your unfamiliar with it will put highlights on the areas that are in focus in the EVF.. It has a blinkies type display function if your familiar with that and the focused areas blink and have highlights. The more you open up the more you see the blinking highlights around the areas in focus. The effect is you can see how the DOF grows or shrinks as you stop down or open up.
All this being said though did not stop me from reluctantly returning the camera.. Despite liking how the images looked for the most part, I became scared of the sensor reflections. On my last outing I brought the D810 along and took some comparison pictures and produced a killer looking picture that just made me believe I could live without the Sony.
D810 still shines, it tempers the level of professional status of the A7rii with its full compliment of features and capabilities.
There were a few pictures I only glanced at and didn’t return to look at well until,after I had returned the Sony. What I saw was sensor reflections on a few of the D810 images. It churned in my mind.
Event the D810 shows some reflections
A few days later I found a used one on B&H Photos Website for a hefty 15 % discount and purchased it. I picked up a Mack warranty for it and a half case so I am now in for the longer more committed haul and I will put it through its paces with a higher quality adapter.
So now the table is set for some new photo fun! Stay tuned as this will be the place for my Sony adventure as I don’t plan on burdening NikkorGlass with it and I cant post pictures on my favorite FredMiranda.com thread on Nikon Manual Focus glass either.
Till next time!