Snapshot Voyager is about my own personal photography journey. I am always looking to try something new, inquisitive as to how it works, and to the end results I might achieve.

Monday, 31 December 2012

New Year's Photographic Resolutions

This coming year my main aim is to move away from some of the nice manual focus Nikon glass I have and replace it with the AF equivalent.  Actually trading up to new or newish second hand won't be too big of a jump.

Here's the current idea:
1) Nikon 35mm f1.4 Ai-S -> Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art Series
2) Nikon 85mm f1.4 Ai-S -> Nikon 85mm f1.4 AF-D or Sigma 85mm f1.4
3) Nikon 135mm f2 Ai-S -> Sell and not replace - too close to Nikon 80-200mm f2.8

I also have a Nikon 105mm f1.8 Ai-S which I am unsure of what to do with

Chasing a toddler around with fast manual focus glass is close to impossible, and invariably I miss far too many shots.  Even in general outdoor photography the same applies, so I've ended up not using theses lenses much.

Other things I am looking at doing are buy the Sigma 19mm f2.8 for NEX and possibly find a better quality Sony NEX to Leica M helicoid adapter.  Weird things happen, so I am sure there will be something else that will pop, and my photographic adventure will continue.

The Dory Shop - Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.  Nikon D90 with Sigma 10-20mm

Friday, 28 December 2012

Full Frame mid-range zoom collection

Now that I have bought this Nikon 28-200mm, I now have four mid range zooms.  Each have their pluses and minuses, as follows:

1) Nikon 24-85mm f2.8-4D - This lens is sharp and relatively fast, but it is also quite heavy.  Sometimes I wish for a bit more telephoto.  The 1:2 macro function works very well.

2) Tamron 24-135mm f3.5-5.6D - This is a good overall lens.  The balance of wide and telephoto is really nice, and optical performance is very good for the zoom range.  The biggest problem is weight, and it feels heavy on the D600.

3) Nikon 28-105mm f3.5-4.5D - A nicely weighted zoom that performs reasonably well optically.  It feels well made and performs well, but doesn't do any thing spectacular.  The 1:2 macro feature is a real bonus.  I've had this lens about 10 years now, and I got it with my F100 as a kit zoom.  I used it extensively for about 5 years with the D100 before I got an 18-135mm DX zoom, but I have hardly used it since then.

4) Nikon 28-200mm f3.5-5.6G - I've only just got it, but I think it will be a handy lens.  Versatile and sharp, but with lots of light fall off at 28mm wide open.

Really, I have too many lenses in this range, so I really have to cut down to a couple lenses.  It remains to be seen which ones I choose to keep.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Christmas Greetings

To all out there, a special Christmas Greeting from me any my family.  Christmas is a great time of year - friends family, gifts, lots of food and the celebration of a saviour.

Best Wishes,

Saturday, 22 December 2012

My viewfinder collection

As I have accumulated older interesting cameras. I have also collected a number of viewfinders, mostly older, though one or two are newer.

Nippon Kogaku (Nikon) zoom viewfinder 35-135mm - This one is perhaps my favorite, its a zoom veiwfinder with focus.  It's super cool and I still have the original leather case.  Voigtlander sells a new wide angle one (15-35mm) for over $500!!

Canon 35mm - This one is likely off a Canon P series as the later 7 had the wide angle range finder.  Its useful for using the Leica M3 with a 35mm lens with no 'goggles'.

Voigtlander 21mm - This came with the 21mm f4 lens I have.  As I have mostly used this lens on the NEX I have hardly used the viewfinder.

Yashica Tele-Wide finder - Actually I am not 100% sure who made it, but it is likely Yashica, though a similar one also can be attributed to Petri and Tamron.  It has two frames, one for 35mm and the other for 70mm, which I gathered by comparing the focal lengths with the D600 fitted with a zoom lens.

Leica 50mm (SBOOI) - A bright viewfinder most likely to designed to be used with a Barnack LTM Leica which generally have dim viewfinders.  One reviewer described the launch of this finder as a "masterstroke for Leica".  I also have the original case for this too.


Leica 5cm, 9cm, 13.5cm  Sports Viewfinder (RASUK / ROSOL) - This is a very cool and unusual non-optical viewfinder.  Basically 3 collapsible parts spring up, at the front for the eyepiece and pehind, for the 5cm and 9cm flap, and another for the 13.5cm flap.  The eyepiece slides up and down according to subject distance to correct for parallax error.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Nikon 28-200mm f3.5-5.6G

At the recent camera fair at the Don Valley Hotel in Toronto, I picked up a Nikon F55 and lens kit in its original box.  Sure, not a very interesting camera, but the kit lens sure was - a Nikon 28-200mm f3.5-5.6G.  I'd actually been keeping an eye out for one for the D600, so I was very pleased when I found it.  Though its a cheaply made plastic lens, its sharp and has a minimum focus distance of 44cm.  This was a huge improvement on the earlier Nikon 28-200mm f3.5-5.6D model, which was also much heavier.

I asked the guy how much it was and he only wanted $50, so I bought it straight away as these lenses go for $200 - $250 normally.  

After I bought it home I tried it out, I found it to be sharper on the long end than I expected.  However, like its competitor, the Tamron 28-200 f3.8-5.6 XR (which I had with the D700), it does have a fair bit of light fall off wide open at 28mm.  Its better at f4.5 and gone by f5.6.  Honestly, I was a little disappointed with this, but the sharpness does make up for it.

The only other issue is purely cosmetic.  The camera and lens kit was silver, which looks a bit odd on the black D600.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Nikon V1 - Massive Price Drop

The Nikon V1 certainly isn't the best mirrorless on the market, but at the recent price drop to $299 with the 10-30mm zoom, it makes a compelling case.  What this camera would work really well for is macro, the small sensor creating large depth of field even at 1:1 full frame equivalent.

With a Nikon 60mm micro, this would make a focal length of approx 165mm, and with loads of resolution, it would be great on the V1 high resolution sensor.

Other deals are out there too.  I see Henrys had an open box Pentax Q for under $300, and a Pentax K-01 with the ultra slim 40mm Pancake lens can be had for just over $400.  I love the Q for its tiny size and the K-01 because it can take regular Pentax lenses, with the excellent Pentax21mm f3.2 being a real treat for this camera.

 All sound like a bargain to me.

Lunenburg NS - Nikon D90 with Sigma 10-20mm @ 10mm

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Pole Posters and the Sony NEX-6

A few weeks ago I found myself in Ottawa with a couple hours to kill in between some meetings.  I decided to go for a walk downtown around Bank Street and visit a little camera store that specialised in older photo equipment.  In the couple years since I had last come down this street, it looked like the store had closed down, but I did get to take a few shots of some posters stuck to lamp poles, which were quite fascinating.  All the shots below were taken at ether f2 or f2.8.

I did though get to visit Henry's and got to take a good look at both the Sony NEX-6 and the Sony RX-100.  The NEX-6 is an impressive camera, but I wasn't as impressed with the view finder as I thought I would be.  However the tiny 16-50mm kit lens is a tiny piece of zoom pancake beauty.  

The RX-100 is also impressive, with the sales person saying he actually purchased one for himself.  Interestingly the depth of field does not vary greatly wide open across the zoom range, between 24mm f1.8 and 100mm f4.9.  The RX-100 is pretty cool, but I have to admit I am lovin' the red leather on the closely matched rival, the Fuji XF-1.