Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Out and About with 3 new lenses

I finally got myself up and out of bed early last weekend to go and take some photos. We've been having some great weather leading up to winter, so I decided to head out to Lake Brunner with a bag full of lenses - to try them out.

Nikon D200 with Tokina 12-24mm @ f8
First shot of the day - taken at about 7.00am. I started with the Tokina 12-24mm, mainly because I knew I was going to shoot predominantly landscapes, but also because it was the first lens I purchased after getting the D200 and I hadn't taken any shots with it yet! Pretty pleased with the above result first up. I'm such a sucker for a good jetty shot :-)

Trees in the Mist. D200 with Nikkor 70-300mm @ f5.6
The mist was rolling in from the lake - which I knew it would - and I had hoped to take some moody 'boats in the mist' type shots. Trouble is, there were no boats out on the lake, so I had to settle for trees instead. The wide angle wasn't getting me close enough, so I changed to the 70-300mm, shooting right at the 300mm end on a tripod. The 'slight' softness at 300mm only adds to the mood of the shot - although it's still plenty sharp enough.

Te Kinga Morning. D200 with Tokina 12-24mm @ f8
There wasn't much else happening at Lake Brunner, so I drove the five minutes to Te Kinga - one of my favourite places to shoot in any weather. The reeds in the foreground stand out in sharp and stark contrast to the misty background - and converts perfectly to monochrome. At the 12mm end the Tokina has quite a bit of edge distortion - but this becomes less evident towards the middle of its range.

Pontoon. D200 with Tokina 12-24mm @ f5.6

Even with a bag full of new lenses, I feel that my photography is suffering from a bit of familiaritus at the moment. I'm not really getting very inspired whenever I go out with my camera - familiarity is breeding contempt. The above image, however, is a bit of a departure for me - a bit abstracty (artsy) - and I like it. I was originally drawn to it because of the light that was landing on the floating metal platform thingy - but when I took the shot it became more about the shapes, as well as the light. Anyway, it's not my traditional landscape image and maybe that's reason enough to like it.

I also took some images with the Rokinon 85mm f1.4 - but they were mostly boring rubbish - so I haven't even bothered processing them. I'll take some portraits with that lens and post them. It's really what I bought it for - not landscapes.

So despite my general photography 'funk', I enjoyed my early morning excursion with the D200 and lenses. I hope it's just the start of many more.


  1. Wayne, I'm glad you got out there with your "bag Oh lenses" You sound as fussy as myself when it comes to certain photoshoots. Sometimes I'll take many shots & by the time I'm done proofing I only have two or three I keep.
    I guess thats probably pretty normal.

    Great photos in my opinion!

    Hmmmm now you have me interested in a short range 12-24mm. Interesting focal range..

    Take care..

  2. Yeah, that does sound normal. And if it isn't normal for most photographers, then it should be! :-)

    The 12 to 24 serves a dual purpose for me - as a large group lens at a wedding, and as my main landscape lens. If you shoot a lot of landcsapes (and I think you do), then i would certainly consider getting yourself a reasonably wide lens.

    Looking forward to seeing some of your images with an ultra-wide. ;-)

  3. Wayne, I am currently seeking out a wider lens, bit of a tough decision though, (16-80mm Zeiss $$$), (18-55mm???) (11-18mm $$$) I'd even consider a minolta 18-70 kit lens. My widest currently is the (35mm prime) & or (35-70 f4).

    Hoping to see some more of your testing & playing around with lenses..

  4. Even though the 18-70 (or 18 to whatever) will be wider than your 35-70, if it were me (and it was) I'd go for a more dedicated wide angle lens like the 12-24mm (and I did). I suppose it also depends on how wide you want to go and your style of shooting. For some, it's never wide enough. But for me, I find 10mm just too wide, and I'm more comfortable starting at 12mm. Doesn't sound like much, but at the ultra wide end 2mm does make a difference.
    I'm certainly itching to get out and take some more landscapes with the Tokina.

  5. I can see 10mm being to wide! More like a fish eye, I do believe..
    Well too late now, I've been waiting for awhile to find a short range lens & I actually just ordered this morning a Minolta 18-70mm from the UK! If I remember correctly the sony version was actually not to bad for sharpness & wide angle, at least for me.
    I guess for future purchases I can put a 12-24 or the likeness on my wish list! (the minolta 18-70mm) version is said to be a Tamron shared venture & sharpness is better than the rebadged (sony 18-70mm)

    PS: The a57 ghosting problem is related to using older lenses & the a57 front shutter curtain responding faster than the lens aperture. Does not always occur.

    Thanks for the chat, I'm glad we can share photography even though we both use different brands!


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