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Photography Opinion

Lockdown Photography

Over the course of the last few months we have had a number of restrictions here in Western Australia. We had to avoid crowds and maintain social distancing. Not always easy as not everyone seemed to get it [or want to do it] and driving up the coast i was amazed on some occasions at how relaxed some were. Having said that we did a lovely trip to South Perth and everyone was so well behaved and obviously observing the guidelines. A lot of locations around the city have been pretty much left empty. If you were to have seen them previously you would hardly believe that you could visit them and see them so deserted. We all have grave concerns as to whether or not some of these businesses will open again.on the weekend This boat harbour shown below [Mindarie] is usually a thriving area and to the right of the photograph shown below are a series of boutique breweries and coffee shops that are rarely empty. Not too far from here is the car park and when I dropped down this particular evening it was virtually empty. Something I’ve never seen before.

Lenscraft Mindarie WA
Evening Shot Mindarie Marina Perth Western Australia NIKON D850

We took the opportunity to dig out the Nikon D850 and shoot with the Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art lens. You can forget how good this camera is when you’ve been shooting mirrorless for a while. Great camera size. Excellent layout and features. The best DSLR currently available is how most people describe it and you can add my name to that list. Sure mirrorless can have a wider latitude for accurate focus at different aperture settings and as a result, when you get one that really has paid attention to getting the focus accuracy right you tend to rely on that extra focus ability. But the gulf between DSLR and mirror less cameras is not as great as some media might suggest and frankly, who noticed the difference until it became a subject of media comment recently? I never travel anywhere without taking both styles of camera with me. In DSLR terms the Nikon cameras have an exceptional reputation for accurate focus. I find them very accurate. The D850 is a few years old now. It feels large in my hand compared to using a mirrorless camera. But when I got those files on the computer I was reminded again of just why this is one of the most highly regarded cameras around. If you can get one and you’re trying to make a decision between it and just about the majority of its competition you should definitely have it somewhere near the top of the list and weigh up the pros and cons very carefully. it is an exceptional camera. When deciding on cameras it’s good to think about the variety of situations that you might be using the camera in. I personally tend to think that reviews which focus on technical aspects sometimes miss the whole point of photography. If you are a landscape photographer or a commercial photographer or a wedding photographer or a street photographer or a lifestyle photographer you require a different set of features as far as the cameras that you use is concerned. Of course there are overlaps. But a landscape photographer needs the widest latitude in terms of dynamic range and also needs a higher megapixel sensor than does a wedding photographer, street photographer, life style photographer and in many cases than a commercial photographer. Billboards can be comfortably printed from 24 megapixel sensors.

For me personally there are three sweet spots as far as sensors are concerned. I really like the 20 to 24 megapixel range for a lot of general photography. When I’m shooting landscape I like to go between 46 to 100 megapixels. But, I find that the sensors that produce the nicest colours all seem to hover above between 30-50 megapixel. In fact, my observation is that the sensor on the Panasonic S1R is probably the nicest sensor on any camera that I’ve ever used. Panasonic seem to be getting sensor colour technology just right. [though the Panasonic focus is still a little hesitant for me] The Nikon Z7 & D850 definitely fall into the category of a beautiful sensor and the D850 is a surefooted camera.

So I was reminded that the D850 is one sure footed and accurate camera. Built to last and beautiful sensor quality.

Evening Shot Mindarie Western Australia Nikon D850 Processed in DxO PhotoLab
Mindarie Marina Panasonic S1r with kit lens 24-105 Processed in DxO PhotoLab
Taken With Panasonic 100-400 Micro four thirds lens.

Mindarie is also sometimes a home to White Bellied Sea Eagles. You can tell that they are around when all the other birds are making lots of noise. These were difficult shots in very low light but overall it was good to get them and with any other system but micro four thirds I would never have had the gear to get these images.

White Bellied Sea Eagle. Panasonic 100-400 micro four thirds lens.
White Bellied Sea Eagle. Panasonic 100-400 micro four thirds lens.

We also tried out a few different lens combinations on the Sony Cameras. Notably the A7r4 with the 55mm Zeiss, the 24-70 F2.8 GM and the 70-200 F4 . One in particular did really well in a recent photo competition. This was a sunset pic at Burns Beach. Flare is always a concern that I have with Sony Lenses. But then again its a problem with a lot of lens manufacturers. For every shot I take of a sunset with the GM 24-70 Sony lens there are always discards because of excessive flare. This one had just the right amount of cloud and warmth though and I was happy to enter it competitively. Underexposed by one stop.

lenscraft photography  Sony A7r4
One of those classic Skies. Sony A7r4 with GM 24-70 F2.8