I was able to have a couple of sunny days to work with this weekend. I took my kids outside yesterday, the Minolta 200mm f/2.8 HS APO G lens still mounted on my A99. I actually experimented with two settings. Direct Manual Focus and Auto ISO. I shot with Auto ISO at 100-400 for most of the afternoon and then ratcheted it up to 100-800 when the shadows got a bit longer and I used Shutter Priority at 1/500s during the fully sunlit parts of the day and toggled between 1/250s or 1/200s when shadows were present. I hope to nail down precisely how the Auto ISO works in terms of selecting an aperture versus selecting a shutter speed. For the most part, the lens stayed at f/4, and a vast majority of the shots were between f/2.8 and f/4.
This shot may end up being one of my all-time favorites.
SLT-A99V, Minolta 200mm f/2.8 HS APO G @ f/2.8, ISO 400, 1/250s
Direct Manual Focus is a different beast altogether and one I may resort to more often. In Direct Manual Focus, when you press the shutter button halfway, the lens is engaged and autofocus gets the first focus point to light up and then disengages the lens. At that point, focus peaking kicks in and you can make minor adjustments. If you are confident in the autofocus, you can press the shutter down immediately. If I need to adjust, you can adjust.
The kids are at the top of the driveway and there is about a 6 foot drop to the bottom. I had to stop the race before it started but I didn’t want to miss my opportunity to frame all three of them.
SLT-A99V, Minolta 200mm f/2.8 HS APO G @ f/2.8, ISO 400, 1/500s
Overall, I can now say I don’t regret my purchase of the Minolta 200mm f/2.8 HS APO G lens at all. I feel like there is much to learn about the lens. I mean, there is a screw on the left side next to the distance meter and I don’t know why, but with what I do know I am thrilled with the IQ and color reproduction. Here is a throw away, but it is a beautiful throw away. I am probably 40 feet away from my son, about to run after him to get him to not go in the street.
SLT-A99V, Minolta 200mm f/2.8 HS APO G @ f/4, ISO 125, 1/200s
Same shot, cropped to show full resolution.
You can see the Tonka Dump Truck has seen better days. It has been decorated by my oldest son, and has been passed down to my youngest son. At 1/200s, I could have been a tad faster as I had some ISO to give, and the subject was moving. For a throw-away, I can still learn from the shot.
This shot intrigued me as it was 200’s across the board except for aperture. My son could have had a better expression on his face after I asked him why he had one of my bungee cords in his hand and wasn’t wearing a bicycle helmet, but as a math guy, I like situations where things are simple.
SLT-A99V, Minolta 200mm f/2.8 HS APO G @ f/4, ISO 200, 1/200s
I’ll leave you with this final shot, as the oldest of two growing up I have a bit of appreciation for it. Though I will say I may not have been the best big brother on the planet I certainly can, and will take credit for some of my little brother’s toughness.