I mentioned a few days ago that I was expecting delivery of one of these lenses; I will not dwell on the technical aspects too much, except to say that this lens fits this camera like a hand in a glove. To modern photographers, it might seem strange to favour manual focus and manual aperture lenses over their autofocus counterparts (not to mention aperture stopdown; I will get to this later), but the fact is that photography is a tactile experience as much as anything else. The cheapest P&S (‘point and shoot’) camera would have been able to take similar images in the hands of a decent photographer, but the experience would have been very different. The first image shows the CV 35/2.5 on the NEX 6 body, itself augmented by the excellent Jim Buchanan “Palm Grip”, which addition dramatically chances the handling of these cameras (and provides a direct tripod mount in either orientation, extremely useful for video or studio sill work):
Those who remember the “old days” will be pleased to know that this combo is almost identical in size and weight to a fabulous camera that created a storm in pro. photography when it was released: the Olympus OM1. The Oly OM series was so much smaller and lighter than the Nikon F bodies I had been using, and the lenses are still much sought after for use on the kind of bodies we have now. I have an Oly 50/3.5 macro and am after a 50/1.4, which you can see in the link above.
The NEX 6 can be set up to be a fast, intuitive camera on which to shoot manual lenses. Here is the first image I shot with the combo this morning; focus was on the dead grape vine, left of middle of frame:
And the second was when SWMBO greeted me while I was sitting on the couch (wrapped in a blanket; casa Allnutt–Laughlin (note ‘N’-dash, for pedants) is a chilly place in winter, and we let the fire go out overnight). She asked, “Whattaya’ doing?”
See how these old-style lenses render differently to the modern designs? I love this look, frankly. Click on the image to see a larger version, and look at the out of focus (“OOF”, or bokeh, in modern ex-Japanese parlance) areas: smooth and soft. This has the major effect of making her face jump out of the image.
A side note: apart from a tiny amount of sharpening, these images are all “SOOC” (straight out of camera) with no tweaking of colour, white balance, saturation, “clarity” of any of the other enhancement tools at the modern photog’s disposal. Nope, just what was there.
And one from the morning constitutional: we almost always walk each day (as soon as we feel like it), and almost always on one of the almost infinite number of paths on Mt Arrawang, just behind where we live. This next shot is on the way home, down a very steep clay and gravel path; sliding is a daily experience. Focus is on the water tank in the deep background of the image, and the effect is to soften everything else—but it looks real.
The light helped too, of course. The mist is softening everything and diffusing the normally very harsh, clear light we get here (along with a ton of UV radiation).
And on the way down, just past where this image was taken, we came across furry friends that we literally see every day. The kangaroos and wallabies are noticeably larger and more muscular this year: this is the fourth year of excellent grass and water. The males are huge; I estimate the largest of them to be around 90Kg. When they stand up, they are a LOT taller and heavier than I am, for sure. This is one of the males just relaxing (well, this is what wild animals know, and which we have forgotten):
This image is larger than the others; if you click on it, and there is a magnifying glass icon with a plus sign, then clicking again will show a larger image again. This is a 2/3rds crop from the original.
Let me know if you like the look of these; I have a rapid new method of getting the images out of the camera and ready for placement here.