Tag Archives: prime

Is It Worth Using a 2X Teleconverter? Bower A-mount With Sony A7II (With LA-EA4 Adapter)

I’ve been wondering for a very long time if using a teleconverter, moreover a 2x one, was worth it or not. I’ve heard a lot on forums that I would lose light, the aperture is reduced 2x (f/2.8 becomes f/5.6) that it is not sharp at all and that I would even lose autofocus. That made me doubt a lot even if it is not that expensive, but still, from $120 to $180 on average, that is always money coming out of you wallet that would be lost in the end if this is really bad!

The Situation

I use this Sigma 150mm f2.8 APO macro lens for all my macro work that is very good but also big and heavy. I wanted to have this extra reach to do some wildlife photography without adding the bulk and weight to my backpack and without paying $1500-$2000 for a 300mm lens. A teleconverter then seemed like a good idea so I gave it shot. I bought this Bower Teleconverter on Amazon for $126.

Bower SX4DGS 2x Teleconverter for Sony
Bower SX4DGS 2x Teleconverter for Sony
I am extremely pleased with my purchase. This adapter is pretty small, 1 inch (2.5cm) wide, about 7oz (200g) so this is not much of a big deal to always have it with me in my backpack. As a reminder, I shoot with an Sony A7 mark II and use the Sony LA-EA4 adapter specifically for this Sigma lens. I thus add the teleconverter (A-mount) in between the lens and the LA-EA4 adapter. Continue reading Is It Worth Using a 2X Teleconverter? Bower A-mount With Sony A7II (With LA-EA4 Adapter)

Got GAS? Honest Questions We Need to Ask Ourselves

So here I am, thinking about dropping some hard earned cash on another camera system. I’ve definitely been a sucker for hype and the latest generation of cameras have lured hours of my attention from actual work. Maybe I was going to procrastinate either way, but at the end of this tunnel, I will probably be losing a hefty amount of cash to replace it with several hundred grams of magnesium alloy housing some serious CMOS circuitry.

Photographer or Photo Enthusiast?

As large camera manufacturers start churning out the hype machines, many photo-enthusiasts will start salivating for these new imaging monsters; bigger resolution, better dynamic range, higher sensitivity, faster processing, more connectivity, etc. It’s enough to make you go out and justify maxing out your credit card in order to ignite a spark that hasn’t been lit since the last time you purchased a camera.

But before you do that, you need to ask yourself this question: What do I need this for? It’s pretty simple but for many, this could be like walking through a land mine.

It doesn't matter how good your gear is, if you're not going out there photographing then you've purchased yourself an expensive paper weight. This sunrise shot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge was captured at 5am.
It doesn’t matter how good your gear is, if you’re not going out there photographing then you’ve purchased yourself an expensive paper weight. This sunrise shot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge was captured at 5am. I’m not an early bird but when you get shots like this, it’s enough to get me out of bed!

As mirrorless  cameras start eating away at DSLR sales worldwide, the old guard of photography; primarily Nikon, Canon and Pentax have been trying to stop the hemorrhaging of their entry level and enthusiast range of cameras.

To this day, nothing excites me more than placing my eye against my Canon 5D Mk III eye piece and seeing a tried and tested system in that reflex but for many, it’s totally unnecessary to carry a bigger, heavier camera all for the sake of that mirror box . You see, many families now want great image quality without carrying the big DSLR, these mirrorless cameras can provide just that but on the other end of the spectrum, enthusiasts might require a sturdier built machine that can withstand nature’s elements.

Continue reading Got GAS? Honest Questions We Need to Ask Ourselves

Sony A7II: Field Test! (Part2)

(We gave our first impressions here in Part 1 on the A7II. We’re now about to detail its image quality in real life.)

Sony just announced the all new A7rII (please read here our Top 7 Game Changing Features of the A7rII) with some amazing new features. We love how aggressive Sony is on the market forcing the “big ones” to react or die. This is an excellent competition, forcing every manufacturers to move forward and offer some real innovative technologies that Canon and Nikon (10 reasons to switch to mirrorless) have not been too prompt to do these past 5 years, thinking that their reputation and their cameras were good enough no matter what (Will they go full frame mirrorless?).

Official Sony Mirrorless website

“You will never regret, even a second, the images produced by this sensor”.

That being said, with the A7 series announced back in October 2013, Sony had already declared war to Canon and Nikon with this new category of weapons stating new references on the market especially with the A7s in terms of ISO performances. This series was very well engineered right from scratch and no one can deny its success now. The A7II is thus a refinement of the A7 featuring new assests/ skills that we have been discussing in the first part here.

As you already know, I loved how handy and well built this camera is. It is very practical and easy to use even though I think I could use one more customizable button. I also had to point a few flaws but they are not significant considering the qualities and the delight that this camera will offer you! So I am now going to test and review the image quality, for those who cannot put $3200 on the table to splurge on the all new A7rII (body only), the A7II offers already a great quality enjoyable for most of us, enthusiats and even pro-photographers — as I discussed here in a previous article —  for half the price, $1600 body only.

Image Quality

It is clear that the image quality depends on the lens you are using. It is then difficult to establish a clear ranking unless you do scientific tests and multiple comparisons with different cameras with the same lenses like DxOlab would do. Continue reading Sony A7II: Field Test! (Part2)

5 Reasons Why Zooms are Better Than Primes

Last week I presented the 5 reasons why primes are better than zooms. Indeed, technically the prime lenses are faster, with better low light performance, more shallow depth of field, better bokeh and sharper. No one can deny that. As a matter of fact, this is only from a technical point of view. Photography is way more than just gear stuff! That is when Zoom lenses come into play. They are better in their own way. So here are the 5 reasons why zooms are better than primes:

5. Dust

You are less likely to get dust on your sensor. Outdoor photo sessions can be tricky when you have to constantly switch your prime lenses. At least, if you have a sufficient focal range, only one zoom can be enough.

Sans titre4
© 2014 Aaron Johnson

Continue reading 5 Reasons Why Zooms are Better Than Primes

5 Reasons Why Primes Are Better Than Zooms

Beginners can sometimes be surprised when they discover you have such an expensive camera and yet you are not able to zoom with it. “In 2014, we have good enough technology to make zooms in every camera,” one of my friends told me once.

However, the performance of the primes lenses is important for a lot of photography areas. I do think primes are better than zooms for different reasons and aspects. Here I am about to tell you why:

5) Value

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You can get very good prime lenses for a reasonable amount of money. Usually, 35 and 50mm f/1.8 are so common they are now quite cheap. Even the Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 is available at around $300. For such a nice and sharp piece of glass, it’s pretty affordable, believe me. For this price, you will have one constraint though. It’s full manual, so no image stabilization and no autofocus. As pointed out in one of our previous article, it’s not always  a problem especially for short focals. Unless you need a very long focal lenght like 300 or 500mm, most are good and affordable. For the price of one zoom you can often have 2 primes. Continue reading 5 Reasons Why Primes Are Better Than Zooms