Takeaways from Week Two

When I started taking pictures, a very long time ago, the conventional wisdom was to shoot with a 50mm lens (on a full frame camera or film). It helped that good 50mm lenses were cheaper and have less distortion than other lenses on every camera system I’ve used. That was the reason for week one to start of with my 35mm lens, (52mm FF) the closed to getting the 50mm full frame equivalent .

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Minolta AF 500mm Reflex Lens

Finally got a hold of a Minolta 500mm Reflex Lens, which is a catadioptric photographic lens. This lens, and the repackaged but optically identical Sony Version (SAL–500F8), are the only production mirror lenses designed to have its focus controlled by the camera’s autofocus motor in conjunction with TTL autofocus sensing. In terms of the Minolta AF and subsequent Sony α DSLR systems, these lenses are an anomaly, being the only lenses guaranteed to auto focus at f/8.

This lens will, by default, set the focusing to spot and cannot be changed. This restriction is because of the lens design using mirrors. Since using spot focusing, one must make sure to place the spot focusing square on the subject so it focuses properly. Doing this, focusing is very good, however the depth of field is super slim up close.

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CA HWY #4 Construction Update – Project 365

Time to do my monthly check up on the construction on CA State Highway 4. The work on both overpasses, A Street to the East and L Street to the West, is slowing progressing. That work was started rather late and is the reason for the bottlenecks, causing delays in the rush hour. I used my old trusted Minolta Maxxum AF 75–300mm lens. BTW, the third photo was taken from the western side of the bridge towards the East with the safety wire mesh in the foreground. Continue reading “CA HWY #4 Construction Update – Project 365”

Cistanthe grandiflora (Jazz Time) – Project 365

Cistanthe grandiflora (formerly Calandrinia grandiflora, also called Jazz Time) is just coming into bloom in our garden. Cistanthe is a succulent native to Chile. It forms grayish green mounds of fleshy leaves, which measure one to three feet wide, as well as two inch wide pinkish purple flowers. The Cistanthe has delicate two to three foot tall stems that rise about the foliage where the bright flowers are produced. In spring and fall, Cistanthes produce a large number of flowers. They are tough plants and are able to tolerate difficult environments with lots of sun and little water, just perfect for having colors in the garden during our drought.

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Rainy Day Photos – Project 365

This may be the last day of rain for us so I decided to try some rainy day photography using different objects and camera settings to see what turns out best.

The first photo is of a glass having outside that collected some rain drops. I used my Sony SLT 77 with the Sony DT 16–105mm F/3.5–5.6 (SAL–16105) lens. Settings were ISO 400, Full Frame equivalent Focal Length @ 52mm, F/5 & 1/60 sec.

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My other Lenses

Last week I discussed the Minolta Maxxum lenses I have in my collection. Since my last Minolta lens purchase I have augmented the collection to cover more situations.

After a visit to the California Academy of Science, I realized that my Minolta AF Maxxum 50mm f/1.7 was too long for indoors. I therefore purchased the Sony DT 35mm F/1.8 SAM (SAL–35F18), which was on sale, lucky for me. The lens’ center sharpness is very high, even at F/1.8, Color fringing is well controlled overall, and distortion is about average. A review pointed out:

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My Minolta Maxxum Lenses

There is no question that lenses are to many photographers more important then their camera body. A good lens, well looked after, should last decades, much longer than any digital camera body. That’s why professional photographers spend thousands on their lenses. I am not a professional photographer nor do I have thousands of dollars to spend on my photography equipment. That was one of the reasons that I selected the Sony A65 since it can be used with the older line of high quality Minolta lenses which cost much less then the current lineup of Sony digital specific lenses.

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