Friday, 20 December 2019

December Update

Ice on the Beaver
Sony A7II, FE 28-70 f3.5-5.6 OSS

The Beaver River in Cannington, ON, frozen over.

I'm up around 900 shots on the A7II at this point, and overall it's working out for me fairly well. Very definitely in the comfort zone now, but that was pretty much immediate since it's only been a year since I sold my previous one.

I've had it for 6 weeks or so, so at 900 images I'm a little light on shooting activity compared to what I've done over the summer and early/mid-fall, but that's mostly due to work and the usual late fall blahs. I'm busy, it's cold & dark after work and it's mostly been a dead zone in terms of subject matter until the snow fell. I just have no interest in shooting bare trees and brown soil.

Overall most shooting has been with the kit lens, with some using my Nikkor 50/1.8D and Nikkor 55/3.5 Micro. I have got out my other manual lenses a little, and finally got some time with my Nikkor-H 28/3.5, Super-Takumar 35/3.5, Nikkor-S.C 5cm f1.4 LTM and ZOOM-Nikkor 50-135/3.5 AI-S.

I do like working with the A7II and manual primes. I find the FE 28-70 kit zoom to be acceptable, but there's no love there (nor hate). The 50-135 really sucks to work with. It's actually pretty good in terms of IQ, but the long minimum focus distance everywhere except 50mm, the horrid zoom slop, even for a push-pull zoom and how finicky it can be for focus just makes the experience of using it to be a right PITA. Add in that there's no IBIS unless I'm willing to accept the crapshoot of the IBIS setting and zoom focal length not matching and the end result is I need to replace it with something, or ideally a few somethings.

The ideal replacements would be a 70-200/4 AF for zoom work (likely the Canon L non-IS) and 85, 100/105 and 135mm primes for manual focus use. I'll likely start with either a 100/2.8 Series E or a SMC Takumar 135/3.5, then get the zoom, then fill out the range.

I also need a UWA option. My original plan was the upcoming Tamron 20/2.8, however it looks like the manual focus experience for that lens is going to suck (based on the new 35/2.8 and 24/2.8 reviews) so I may just get a Nikkor 20 AI-S instead. Don't really need AF for that lens anyways.

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