Monday, 30 September 2013

Two quick shots with Minolta lenses

Just a quick post because I haven't really been out shooting yet, but managed a couple of quick shots over the weekend.

Spring has been very wet and wild here on the West Coast, with lots of storms and unpredictable weather. That also means a chance for fantastic sunsets in the evening if the storm clears in time. And fortunately, it has been. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to get out and capture it.

Spring Sunset. Sony a100 with Minolta 100-200mm f4.5
Best I could do was put the Minolta 100-200mm telephoto on the camera, hold it over the fence in my back yard, and shoot the sunset from there. Yes, this is the view from my back yard. Not bad eh!?

The light was getting quite low, so I bumped the ISO up to 400, set the aperture to f5.6, and concentrated on taking the shot at the optimum 'Steady Shot' setting in the viewfinder. The final result is plenty sharp enough.

On Saturday the weather was better than expected, with lots of sun. Our dog just loves to 'sunbathe' in any patch of warmth, and I couldn't resist snapping her up on our bed.

Sun Dog. Sony a100 with Minolta 35-70mm f4
Jessie is our 'baby', and the whole family adores her. She's been a fairly expensive addition to the family - requiring knee surgery when she was one year old (she turned two this weekend) - but we wouldn't be without her.

To be honest, I don't take many shots of her at all. I suppose I shy away from the 'cuteness' factor with my photos, but I will probably regret that later on? Anyway, I took her photo this weekend because I was keen to try out the Minolta 35-70mm f4 zoom. It's a lens I had with my a200 a couple of years back, and it's such a stellar performer. Maybe the 35-70mm isn't a hugely versatile focal range (about a 50 to 105mm in 35mm terms), but the addition of a fairly handy 'macro' function at the 70mm end, together with great sharpness, makes this lens an absolute keeper as far as I'm concerned. No, it's not f1.8 - but f4 across the whole zoom range is still fairly respectable. And it did this portrait of Jessie justice.

I've gone back to processing my RAW images in Aperture - I just like it more than Lightroom, even if Adobe have the 'better' processing engine (apparently). I also processed the photo of Jessie in DXO's filmpack software straight in Aperture. I chose Fuji Astia 100 and bumped up the film grain ever so slightly.

So just a couple of quick shots, with a couple of quick lenses. Hopefully I'll get out more now that daylight savings is here and the days will get longer and warmer. Bring on a long and productive summer!

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