Monday, June 27, 2011

Nex - 3, Carl Zeiss Jenna 50mm f1.8 m42, Nex firmware v.4

20th June was a nice day for me and my photography journey. Not only I have gotten myself a 'new' lens, but Sony released the new firmware for Nex and SLT series cameras. The new firmware brought along some photo filters and the much awaited 'peaking' function. Peaking helps manual focusing easier with manual lenses. What it does it highlighting the in-focus' area with selectable coloured 'areas', in this case it can be yellow, red or blue. Those with a collection of old, legacy lenses can just get right adapters and enjoy the image quality that comes with it.

I myself have been experimenting with old, manual lenses for quite some time but I'm still unable to determine which lenses to get. I tried m42's Hanimex 58mm f2.8 and the Vivitar 135mm f2.8. Both are good lenses, but somehow I'm still on the edge until...the Carl Zeiss 50mm f1.8 came along. A good friend put this lens for sale, and without any hesitation I quickly closed the deal with him. Lucky me it's a M42 mount and reasonably cheap! Sorry for the photos of my cam, taken with my mobile HTC snapper.

Nice black colour with some brushed metal on the aperture and focus ring.

The new firmware also comes with photo filters; namely Toy, Partial (Blue, Red, Green and Yellow), High Contrast Monochrome, Posterization (BnW and Color), Pop and Retro and High-Key.

Notice the yellow mark in the middle of the screen. This marks the area in focus when peaking is activated.

Time to test out the photo filters with the Carl Zeiss Jenna 50mm f1.8, most of them using f4.

Partial Yellow.

Partial Red.

Partial Green.

Partial Blue.

My car tweets using Toy filter.

A series of photos using four different filters.




High Contrast Monochrome.

Pop. Love the IQ from this lens.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Jennifer at Kuching Amphiteather (Nex-3 + Vivitar 135 f2.8 M42)

This portrait session was done during Gawai holidays. She's a friend of a good friend, and a nice gal to work with. The initial plan was to have her to wear a Bidayuh's traditional costume, but we changed to a casual photoshoot because the costume wasn't available at that time.

I used the Vivitar 135mm f2.8 a lot for this session to get that nice bokeh background. Eventhough the Nex's screen is clear enough to determine sharp focus, but the amount of time taken to achieve that sometimes a bit cumbersome for me. Pity Jen that she sometimes has to stay in one position a bit longer just to wait for me to get the focus right. But, that's about to change soon as Sony will released a new firmware that comes with 'peaking' function. That particular function will help focusing with manual lenses easier. I will write about that once I installed the new firmware this June 20th.

135mm on Nex's APS-C sensor is tight, and I don't think I would use this lens often for portraits if I do own one. Most of the shots I got are from the waist up. A 50mm would be suitable, and that's why I just gotten myself another m42 lens, the Carl Zeiss Jenna 50mm f1.8. Can't wait to see how it performs.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

One-half of Ethnic Transmissions

I'm proud of my ex-guitarists from my old band. From a humble beginning, they have progressed and are now well-known in Sarawak's local Iban music scene. Just before Gawai, both of them performed some instrumental numbers in a local gig at Miri, where, after that, the organisers again invited them as a guest performers for a battle of the band competition happening today.

And they were asked for some high-res photos where I came in handy. :D Besides, I seldom shoot band photos so this is my opportunity to learn.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Bau, my hometown

Inspired by my recently-sold Serikin market photos, I went out this evening to get some photos of my beloved hometown. At first I thought of using the car, but going in and out would be tedious, so I opt for the bike. Easy, fast and 'free'. Just me, the bike and the wind.

I just can't wait to get back here during school holidays. The food and surroundings makes each trip different, memorable and worthwhile.

A panorama of Tasik Biru(Blue Lake), once a goldmine for Sarawak.

Lucky me the weather was nice and calm.

The playground next to the Tasik.


The old, dependable public transport. Some of the buses that I once board still runs today.

Bukit Emas food court.

Bau Civic Center with the baruk design.

Hawker center.

Fresh market.

Mini Stadium.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Gawai Holidays

It's the middle of the year, where I'm back to my hometown to celebrate Gawai. This time my sister won't be joining us as she's taking care of her baby in KL, so that means, extra chores to do! Not forgetting that my holidays is cut short, no thanks to the extra classes next week.

Anyway, my camera is currently fitted with a M42 lens, the Vivitar 135mm f2.8 to be exact. I have been experimenting with manual focusing prime lenses recently and the easiest, or rather cheap way to get some nice primes are from M42 mounts. This pristine Vivitar belongs to a friend of mine, and I'm testing it before deciding to get a copy for myself.

So far, so good. I used f4 most of the time and with the clear, sharp screen of Nex, manual focusing is a breeze.

How it looks like with the M42-Nex adapter.

Here's some sample shots.

I guess I should browse for M42's lenses now.