Got through the winter….

So I’ve been busy with my full time job working 60+ hour weeks with barely any time to spend with my family let alone to get out and take photos and update this site, but I got my hosting bill today and I figured I’d give it a crack!  Since my last update… almost a year ago (WOW!!!) a few things have changed, my job, some of my equipment, and my idea of what I’m looking for in Photography.

Trying to capture some of the recent updates to my Jeep - Fuji x100
Trying to capture some of the recent updates to my Jeep – Fuji x100

First off my job. The day I won the Red, White, and Boom photo contest was the same day I changed jobs. Since then my time has been 100% dedicated to making that switch be a successful one.

Shooting Soccer with a X100 can be tricky... It's all about timing.
Shooting Soccer with a X100 can be tricky… It’s all about timing.
Out shooting my Sony A77ii  in Pekin, IL 50mm 1.7
Out shooting my Sony A77ii in Pekin, IL 50mm 1.7

Next, my equipment, I got a new camera the Sony A77II, love it, a new to me minolta 135mm, and some random bits to add to my kit. The Sony A77II was a huge improvement over my old A700 in terms of focus reliability and speed. Image quality remains top notch and easily bests the 7+ year old A700 by at least a stop, if not 2-3 stops.

Paid shoot in Mid March.

I did add a Rokinon 85mm 1.4 for a bit, but I rather quickly decided the manual focus didn’t suit what I was looking for in a lens.  Image quality wise it was lovely, creamy bokeh at 1.4, tack sharp at 2.8, I’m sure there were other F stops, but I’m not sure why anyone with that lens would go over them.  On the A77II the Rokinon seemed well balanced if not just a tad to large. The issue for me was the focusing using peaking didn’t seem to make sense… the A77II is one of the fastest autofocusing cameras on the market. To have a MF lens on it seemed to be a waist. Also since the Rokinon lacked any connection to the camera, one of the major advantages Sony holds over other DSLR makers is the In Camera Image Stabilization (SteadyShot) was not available.  This was ultimately the deal breaker for me with the lens.  So I sold it. 🙁

Bokeh master...
Bokeh master…

But I did buy an old Minolta 135mm 2.8 prime to replace it and wow, what a lens. Sharp at 2.8 with just slight CA in high contrast transitions.  The Bokeh at 2.8, while not as melty as 1.4 on the 85mm, is still very nice and has that classic minolta smothness. Colors are great, and tend to be on the warm side.  The biggest shocker for me was the AF speed, it’s fast for a screw drive lens. Easily faster than any other prime lenses I have (Sony 35mm 1.8, Sony 85mm 2.8, and Minolta 50mm 1.7) I’m not a test chart person, I prefer to use the lens real life performance to determine if I like it or not. Plus at this point… who wants to read a lens review.

Minolta 135mm photo of my daughter w/ her bike

On to my idea of what I’m looking for with photography – For me Photography has been a hobby, something I enjoy, and an outlet for my creativity. With my recent job change I’ve had to give time I had normally spend taking, talking, and editing photos. I’ve missed it.  I am shooting a wedding in June and have discussed several other weddings for this year and next. My focus for photography will be to continue to work on my own creative style, focus on putting out more content to my site, and to shoot more with the equipment I have… well I hear the sigma 18-35 is nice… or the Tameron 70-300 is good for soccer/sports…

Selfie w/ Sony A77ii

Shot a Friends Mustang GT over the winter.
Shot a Friends Mustang GT over the winter.
A great pano of my jeep shot with A77II with Minolta Beercan 70-210 f4 lens.
A great pano of my jeep shot with A77II with Minolta Beercan 70-210 f4 lens.