Category Archives: Cameras and Lenses

Christmas Time! Deals and Bundles You Should Not Be Missing Out!

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, that great, but there’s also Christmas to make great deals out of the holiday season! Let’s share some of the best deals out there for you guys.

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First off, there is a great deal on most of Sony products, not only cameras but Playstation, video games, digital contents etc. Check this out right here.

  • Second, great news for Sony shooters of for those who want to switch to mirrorless. The price drop of the Sony A7II and the A6000 is permanent. Please check this out here for the A7II and here for the A6000
  • Also, remember Amazon’s miscellaneous gold box deals here and here too!

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  • Looking for a cheap camera backpack, this is UNBEATABLE!

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  • Wildlife photographers, don’t miss out this AWESOME deal on the Tamron 150-600mm. Up to 25% off on Canon, Nikon and Sony mounts! I think I can’t have this one get away!

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  • Sony E-mount users, look at that bundle! The new Sigma 30mm f1.4 with all these awesome stuff that come along for only $339.

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  • Canon users, this bundle is for you! 50mm f1.4 and all these great things with it for $329!

The Sony Nomenclature and Symbols

You might have heard that the Sony E-mount system hit the 50 lenses a few days ago with the much anticipated 14mm f2.8 and 50mm f1.4 from Samyang/Rokinon. It might be time now for a Sony guide as it is not simple at first to understand its nomenclature: there are different frames covered, several mounts and several product range. In addition, Sony optical technologies are bristling with sometimes complex acronyms. Do not worry, we will explain everything!

The Mounts A-Mount
E/FE-Mount
Adapters
Product range : Sony
Sony G
Sony G Master
Sony Zeiss
Nomenclature : Optical coatings and treatments A, AA, ED, Super ED, Nano AR Coating, T*
Auto-focus motors SAM, SSM, DDSSM
Optical stabilization OSS, Active OSS
Characteristics ADI, IF, FHB, FRL, RF, SMO

 

La grande famille des optiques Sony

The Sony Mounts

Sony has 2 main distinctive mounts: Continue reading The Sony Nomenclature and Symbols

Breaking the Rules – Street Photography with the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8

We’d normally use ultra-wide lenses for two reasons: (1)  to capture something very big (i.e. landscapes, buildings, stars in the sky); or (2) to create a sense of space in a place where there is none (i.e. real estate photography). Portraits are generally a big no-no because its inherent visual perspective creates a sense of unease. But then again, a cinematographer like Masanobu Takayanagi can use it masterfully in Silver Linings Playbook to subtly bring out Bradley Cooper’s troubled mental state in front of Jennifer Lawrence.

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Ian Norman over at The Lonely Speck uses this Rokinon to great results for his astrophotography

I bought my Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 on a whim and while it was on sale. At $339 MSRP, it is one of the most affordable lenses in the Sony E Mount line up. But as neither a landscape or an astrophotographer, I had no real need for an ultra-wide. And I suspect for real-estate photographers, who incidentally have the highest average salaries out of all photographer types, they won’t be relying on this bargain basement lens with wild barrel distortions either.

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The Rokinon is also labeled as the Samyang. When mounted to the A7 series, it is absolutely humongous. Not the ideal street photography lens then, but fun to use nonetheless.

One day, over better qualified candidates like the Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 and as if to defy the camera gods, I decided to bring this lens during my recent trip to China for Lunar New Years since Asia, in general, is great for street photography. So, I challenged myself to use a 14mm ultra-wide on the streets and this is what I’ve learned.

Continue reading Breaking the Rules – Street Photography with the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8

What Can We Expect From A Sony A7III/Mark 3?

We are used to see Sony release new cameras at a tremendous pace. Each and every year we have a new camera, The A7II has been released just a year after the A7, same thing with the A7r/ A7rII and A7s/A7sII. The all new A7rII is literally a flagship for Sony as it encompasses all the new technologies Sony has been working on the past few years, especially with the 5 axis stabilization combined with the world premier full frame back-lit sensor. That being said, we’re not going to detail all the great features housed by the A7rII, the A7sII or the entry level A7II. Instead, I’d like to imagine what the A7III would be like. Sony always introduces the A7 then A7r and quickly after the A7s series, hense the next body in that series would be the A7III.

Sony A7III rumors - iLHP

However, it is important to note that the A7II was released in January 2015, a little bit more than a year ago which means that Sony decided to change and slow down its pace in the race to the best mirrorless camera. Is it a good or bad thing, I will let you be the judge of their strategy. But in my opinion, this is a very good thing. First, it will settle down the image of the cameras and they will lose less value with time, making them appear more credible and valuable against CaNikon competitors, and second, it shows that Sony is focusing more on developing the E-mount lenses. Knowing this, we can assume that this system will arrive to a certain maturity by the end of 2016 ( especially as Zeiss declared to iLHP being ready to release 2-3 E-mount lenses in 2016 and 2-3 others in 2017, 5 in total). Considering the success of this system, third party manufacturers will also get more involved and start to produce lenses as well. Sigma, for instance, has been stressed a lot in the past few months by A7 consumers and prosumers to produce their ART series for the E-mount.

Sony A7rII iLHP

But this new strategy will not prevent Sony from innovating again. They literately attacked Canon and Nikon by creating a new market and taking a significant share of the whole DSLR/mirrorless market. Without a doubt, Canon and Nikon will react within a year or two. Sony knows this and is obviously working on the A7II successor that we might be expecting for January 2017 if they want to stay ahead of the game.

What can we expect from an A7III?

Sony A7III rumors - iLHP Continue reading What Can We Expect From A Sony A7III/Mark 3?

The Curious Case of the Wide-Normal Primes – Sony 28mm f/2 vs. Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 Distagon

The wide-normal prime is somewhat of an oddity. Nestled between the 17mm & 20mm ultra-wides and the 35mm & 40mm normals, the wide-normal primes sit comfortably, or awkwardly (depending on who you ask), in the 24mm to 28mm range.

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Shot handheld with a Sony 28mm f/2. The wide-normal prime is arguably the most versatile consumer prime lens.

In this lens shootout, we took two of the newest and most anticipated primes for the Sony FE mount to the Orange County County Fair. The County Fair is a public event that brings family and friends together for carnival games, petting zoos, and bacon. Lots and lots of bacon.

In typical iLHP lens review fashion, our tests will be broken down in several rounds as listed below:

  1. Sharpness and Distortion
  2. Vignetting and Flare
  3. Bokeh and 3D Pop
  4. Field of View
  5. Real World Handling

The Contenders & Their Specs

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(c) John vR @ photographicwanderings.com. Despite the Batis’ larger size, it doesn’t weigh that much more than the Sony, and it’s materials are beautiful.

On the left, weighing in at a welterweight of 335g with a $1,299 price tag, is the brand new OLED displayed Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 Distagon. On the right, weighing in at a featherweight 200g with an equally wallet-easy $448 price tag, is the Sony 28mm f/2.

Both have completely silent AF systems. Both come with pedal-shaped lens hoods. The Zeiss blows the Sony out of the water in terms of build quality, what with its high quality plastics that resemble metal and the world’s first OLED focus scale. But at almost 3x the price, the build quality is expected and, honestly, necessary. The Sony is minimal yet still built very well. No complaints for either lenses then.

Continue reading The Curious Case of the Wide-Normal Primes – Sony 28mm f/2 vs. Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 Distagon