Preowned practicality – Cameras I recommend most to photographers

Make the absolute most of old glass and significantly upgrade your image quality without selling the farm. The fact is that 95% of all cameras outperform 99% of most photographers. While gear does matter, I’ve personally made my share of mistakes in terms of gear purchase.

When it came time to upgrade, I decided about seven years ago to go the preowned Alpha route for my needs and interests – and I’ve never looked back. There are pros and cons to every system, but this one checks all the boxes for my purposes and beyond.

Let’s jump in and have a look as to why, at least in my own experience. If you have older glass laying around, it could be a fast-track off the shelf and into new life.

References

A7R article (2014) – https://photofocus.com/reviews/exploring-the-sony-alpha-a7r-full-frame-mirrorless/
Leica M Super Elmar 18mm review (2014) – https://photofocus.com/reviews/going-wide-exploring-the-leica-18mm-f3-8-super-elmar-m-wide-angle-prime/
Zone system tonal chart – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zone_System#Zones_as_tone_and_texture
Used Alpha bodies (KEH) – https://www.keh.com/shop/cameras/digital-cameras/mirrorless/sony–sony-e-system–full-frame-35mm-24x36mm.html
Used Alpha bodies (B&H) – https://bhpho.to/3nCZpGU
Used Alpha bodies (Adorama) – https://www.adorama.com/l/Used/Photography/Cameras/Sony~Mirrorless-Cameras

Gear

Preowned A7R (1) – https://bhpho.to/3kdXYg3
Preowned A7R (2) – https://bhpho.to/3CjoeM3
Preowned A7R2 (1) – https://bhpho.to/3lqhiGp
Preowned A7R2 (2) – https://bhpho.to/3CdQcsM
Preowned battery grip (1st gen) – https://bhpho.to/3Ewvw1h
Preowned battery grip (2nd gen) – https://bhpho.to/2Z0HvDU
Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T – https://bhpho.to/3lxGquZ
Sony 16-35mm f/4 OSS – https://bhpho.to/3tIr766
Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG GN Art – https://bhpho.to/2YVaokF
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG GN Art – https://bhpho.to/2TS1YbL
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR – https://bhpho.to/36o8l9t
Leica 24mm f/2.8 (converted for digital) – https://bhpho.to/2Xkpyzp
FotodioX Canon EF Lens to Sony E ProFusion Smart AF Adapter – https://bhpho.to/3lsHjVr
Fotasy Nikon Lens to Sony NEX E-Mount Camera Mount Adapter – https://bhpho.to/3nCi71t
AKG Perception 220 condenser mic – https://bhpho.to/3hTCJhd
Movo Photo WMIC50 Camera-Mount Wireless Lavalier – https://bhpho.to/3kdsnes
Zoom H4N recorder – https://bhpho.to/3tRZvvC

Disclosure: we earn a small commission with each purchase via the links above.

Thanks for stopping by, as always. Hope you find it helpful along the way.

Mini-Review: Fotodiox Pro Canon EF to Sony E-Mount Smart AF Lens Adapter

After making the jump earlier this year from Canon EF to the Sony Alpha full-frame mirrorless system, I found myself (along with many others in the same position) immediately in the market for a suitable adapter to accommodate existing Canon glass.

Having a good deal of experience using the $400 Metabones III and IV adapter systems, I decided to do a little research and set out to price a few alternatives. Within a few keystrokes I had located the Fotodiox EF-Sny(E) Fusion Smart AF Lens Mount Adapter which, in light of its considerably less expensive $99 price tag, quickly piqued my interest as to whether it could be the right tool for the job. Read more

Next Level Video – DJI OSMO Accessory Review

If you’re interested in adding smooth motion, cinematic video production to your skill set, the newly-released DJI Osmo is a must-have piece for the gear bag. As excellent as this tool is for FPV and interview work, adding a few key accessories can help take your creative vision to the next level.

In this tutorial, we’ll jump in and take a hands-on look at a couple of game-changing add-ons.

Read more

Camera Bag Metering

mark-morrow-gray-bag-metering-1920

More often than not, when shooting in the mixed light of partially-shaded areas – such as under canopy or near water where available light can be a spotty mixture of shadow and highlight – it can be difficult at times to locate a neutral tone on which to meter an accurate exposure.  For this reason, seasoned shooters will typically carry a gray card in their bag to combat this common issue.

Read more

Bringing Still Images to Life with Stop-Motion

Over the winter break a few years back, the kids and I were looking for a fun project to tackle indoors together on the colder days.

After tossing around various possible sets, scenes and scenarios collected over the years, we decided to enlist a few Lego Airport characters and begin work on a small stop-motion video project to see what could be learned. Several days and several hundred + frames later, we found ourselves with a few humble minutes of final footage.

Especially in these times of mandatory lock-down and quarantine, taking on challenging personal projects – such as stop-motion and time lapse composition – are both rewarding practices to stretch and develop new and useful skills that we might never acquire in the normal routine. Read more

Going Wide – Exploring the Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar M Wide-Angle Prime

This article was originally posted on Photofocus.com.

One of the biggest challenges for those who enjoy making landscape and architectural photographs is to locate and acquire the ideal wide-angle lens for the job. While no amount of gear is a replacement for experience and skill, we invariably learn as we go that certain projects will call for a solution beyond our existing means. Fortunately for photo-kind, powerful in-roads for testing and using specialized gear have surfaced to level the playing field, allowing photographers of all stripes full-access to the best tools and equipment available.

Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar M

Courtesy of LensRentals.com
Courtesy of LensRentals.com

If the idea of shedding pounds from your bag in exchange for a ton of quality resolution is appealing, the Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar M aspherical wide-angle prime is in a league of it’s own, especially when attached to the Sony Alpha A7R full-frame mirrorless body.

Here’s a quick look at the overview from the experts at LensRentals.com:

“The Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M is a relatively compact lens that features one aspherical element, offering high resolving power with wonderful image quality. While the f/3.8 aperture doesn’t allow for extreme low-light shooting, it does provide simple focusing due to its large depth of field. Despite being an 18mm, it has very little optical distortion, making it a great option for architectural and landscape photography. The retrofocus design allows for great corner sharpness at all apertures, as well as a limited amount of color shift. It does have Leica’s 6-bit coding that allows the M9 to correct for vignetting.

Please Note: To best make use of this lens, we suggest the use of an external viewfinder to aid in composing.”

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