I know I am a slacker: Random News

Happy Holidays everyone! And for those who culturally or religiously do not celebrate holidays this time of year, I hope your Winter in the Northern Hemisphere or Summer in the Southern Hemisphere is treating you kindly. I am relatively ignorant when it comes to the knowledge of all possible cultures or religions, but I am trying, which counts for something, right? The internet is a wondrous thing, in the few months I’ve been doing this, this site has seen visitors from all over the world, from all seven continents, and from many different places. I hope to some day visit and experience many of those places and educate myself about the people and culture and hopefully photograph the vast experience. I have not seen as much of this Earth as I wish I could, but I have been surprised and enlightened every time I have visited a place foreign to me.

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SLT-A99V, 85mm f/1.4 ZA @ f/1.4 ISO 1600, 1/30s

Farewell 70-300G!

I sold my 70-300 G lens yesterday after only 2 months or so of ownership. The reason? I’m trying to reign in my net camera spending a bit as I am feeling the pain with three kids during the holidays. I’ll likely be selling the A900 or the A77 soon as well.

That’s not to say I don’t have plans for a viable replacement! I looking at the Sony or Minolta 135mm f/2.8 [T4.5] STF lens or the Minolta 200mm f/2.8 HS APO lens as candidates. Both sit in the $1000-1300 range for an Excellent+ or New copy. Yes, more money than the 70-300G, but after I sell one of the two of my backup bodies, I’ll likely still be ahead compared to the day before yesterday.

Now I am back down to two main lenses, my bread and butter 85mm f/1.4 ZA and the 24mm f/2 SSM ZA. I have penciled in the upcoming 50mm f/1.4 SSM ZA as a lens I will purchase when I have the money, but I am in a tight spot when it comes to length. Hopefully I won’t need it anytime soon!

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SLT-A99V, 70-300mm SSM G @ 300mm + f/5.6, ISO 320, 1/320s

Officially Licensed

I posted a while back about what it takes to go pro. I guess I took one of the steps in obtaining a North Carolina Privilege License, which I received earlier this week. In order to sell photos in North Carolina, you need a license. I imagine this is a way for the Department of Revenue to track people for tax purposes. I am fine with that. I mainly got the license because I have people who are willing to give me money for some of the photos I have taken. I have to also obtain a sales tax license, and eventually I may have to organize an LLC if I want to go any further. More than anything else, I don’t want to be a lawbreaker. I have a post I have been writing, which is effectively the second part of the post listed above regarding potential business models I would use and my potential target customer. I just need to put a little polish on it.

Light Box Profiles

In order to get true-to-me Adobe Lightroom profiles, I created a light box out of an old cardboard box and some white Bristol board. I plan on rigging my tripod and a t-square with a level to get consistent results in capturing the MacBeth colorchecker in building the calibration profiles. Once I do this, I also plan on doing another A99-A900-A77 comparison, with the Lightroom calibration, which will be a more true-to-life test for the bodies. The T-square is adjustable so I can use the same prime lens and adjust the distance for the subject to account for the APS-C crop value in the A77. All I need is a kid-free, chore-free night to do all of this. I plan on sharing the Lightroom profiles somehow.

I leave you with a shot of Grace in a bush in my back yard.

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SLT-A99V, 85mm f/1.4 ZA @ f/2.2, ISO 200, 1/160s
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2 comments on “I know I am a slacker: Random News

  1. cbsva says:

    Hi,
    I wouldn’t say you are a slacker, rather you are going to go pro, which sometimes needs some time…;-)
    I’m still interested in further (calibrated) A99-A900-A77 comparisons, before you sell 2/3 of them…

    The Minolta 200mm f/2.8 HS APO is an excellent lens, I got one few years ago to my A700. This lens gave me some astonishing results with distance rings, too. Yes, I use it as a macro sometimes…!
    You also should consider the 300/2.8 APO as it may be a better (yet much more expensive and heavy) choice on FF. 200mm seems better on APS-C sensors, at least for my purposes. On the other hand you can put the tiny 200 into a small shoulder bag, the 300 definitely not. Here the 1,4x APO converter maybe interesting, as it gives you comparable results in image quality and is much cheaper, smaller, less weighty and you loose only 1 to 2 f-stops. 2 f-stops, because stopping down a bit will give you a bit better results with any converter.

    I would like to tell you one more possibility – instead of the rather expensive STF lens: I own a russian about 25 years old (!!) Jupiter-9 85mm/f2 lens, which is one of the most astonishing lenses I ever saw. Fully manual use only, but that doesn’t bother me at all. I use it with the by far best M42 adapter I ever got, with AF-confirm chip (–>http://www.eadpt.com/eadpen.htm).
    This lens is “sharp”, but soft between f2 and f2,8 (f4) in a way that’s hard to describe, but it will give you results similar to the STF lens – I made incredible portraits with it! Beyond f 3,5-4 it starts to get tack sharp, stopped down a bit further I would rate the IQ simply as “merciless”! And at every f-stop it delivers a bokeh, that almost no modern digital lens is able of! It has a 15 blade diaphragm, which is completely round at every f-stop. It is lightweight though full metaI bulid. And the best thing: I payed only 160€ for it!
    The only flaw I could find: It has a slightly cold color temperature, so I made an extra camera+lens profile only for this lens. That seems to be no more problem to you…;-)
    If you like, send me your email-address and I will send you some images of it and some I have done with this lens.

    Merry Christmas!

    Cheers,
    Christian

    • Wow! Awesome info here! I am so mad about not having length right now, I had an eagle in my back yard and I only had 85mm to work with.

      The “going pro” part is more to me about setting up a business model and less about shooting. I know I have a lot to learn but I also know I have it in me as people are already offering to pay me. My biggest goal will be making sure I don’t negatively affect real professionals.

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