SONY NEX-7 and SIGMA 19mm f/2.8 lens + some other stuff

Sony NEX-7 Sigma 28mm f/2.8
Sony NEX-7 Sigma 28mm f/2.8

Taking advantage of this summer weather I took out the NEX-7 yesterday. Primarily to have a longer look at the Sigma 19mm lens that I've only used a few times before.

Sony NEX-7 Sigma 28mm f/2.8
Sony NEX-7 Sigma 28mm f/2.8

Sony NEX-7 Sigma 28mm f/2.8
Sony NEX-7 Sigma 28mm f/2.8

Sony NEX-7 Sigma 28mm f/2.8
Sony NEX-7 Sigma 28mm f/2.8

When I tested this lens before - http://soundimageplus.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Sigma%2019mm%20f%2F2.8 I was very impressed with it. This was further confirmed yesterday. It is a very good lens. No particular weaknesses and sharp. There is not a huge amount to say about it again, other than it is incredible value. Its inexpensive, light and small and performs very well optically. I like it so much that I have sold my Zeiss 24mm. Not that the Zeiss is a bad lens, in fact its a very good one, but I very rarely use it. This used to be a focal length I used all the time (35mm in FF/35mm terms) but not so much anymore. I do prefer either a 28mm or thereabouts equivalent or something around the 40 / 42mm mark. They just seem to fit better with what and how I shoot these days. Having a pretty expensive lens just taking up shelf space seemed a waste, so its gone off to a new owner who will use it more.

I've also sold one of my NEX-7's as well, as I seem to moving inexorably towards an X-Pro 1, OM-D, NEX-7 three-camera outfit. With that in mind I'm currently trying camera / lens combinations to see what I like best, as I've go far too many lenses as well.

One lens that will probably survive the cull is my Voigtlander 75mm f/2.5 Heliar. Its always been one of my favourites and I can of course use it on all my cameras. Here are some pictures taken with that.

Sony NEX-7 Voigtlander 75mm f/2.5 Heliar
Sony NEX-7 Voigtlander 75mm f/2.5 Heliar - Muti-image panoramic stitch

Sony NEX-7 Voigtlander 75mm f/2.5 Heliar
Sony NEX-7 Voigtlander 75mm f/2.5 Heliar

Sony NEX-7 Voigtlander 75mm f/2.5 Heliar
Sony NEX-7 Voigtlander 75mm f/2.5 Heliar

As ever this lens performed beautifully and the focus peaking on the NEX-7 is a real treat to use.

Its been a while since I've used the NEX-7 and using it again I realised just what a joy it is to take photographs with. At its base ISO in good light, and shooting raw files, the image quality is superb. Those 24 million pixels really do their stuff. Any other ISO setting and the images start to get a bit "grainy" with luminance noise putting in an appearance at low ISO's. However as a good weather outdoors camera it is difficult to beat.

I also think it is very well laid out. Not as versatile as the Olympus OM-D, but very responsive. Michael Reichmann at Luminous Landscape goes on (and on!) about how he's always pressing the video on switch, however I guess thats something he's doing that causes that. I certainly have no problem with it. Just as a general comment it does strike me as a bit much to write great long pieces about how a camera is "flawed" just because its layout doesn't totally match what you would like it to be. And yes, I'm guilty of that too, so you have every right to reassemble the words black, pot, kettle, calling, and the!!!

I've also sold my Olympus E-P2. I'm afraid the OM-D has stolen my affections. No longer is the Pen my favourite example of camera design aesthetic. The OM-D is now the camera that tops my "most beautiful camera ever made" list. I'm fickle I know, but now perhaps I'll stop endlessly buying m4/3 cameras I don't use just because of how they look.

Today I thought I might use the NEX-5n, which has been somewhat neglected since the NEX-7 arrived. Its an almost forgotten camera these days, but still a very good one. Incidentally, the new NEX-F3 looks interesting. Sony seemed to have restyled this new NEX camera like the 7 rather than the C3 and thats an good thing as far as I'm concerned. The battle to produce the smallest mirrorless cameras seems to have been won by Panasonic, or maybe Sony just gave up!

In other news, we are supposedly getting a Canon E.V.I.L camera, based around the G1X sensor. So one of the "big guns" enters the race. Probably too little too late, but some people will buy it just because its Canon. I guess if you're prepared to wait years for a decent lens range then it might be interesting, but if its going to produce results like the G1X, then there's nothing to get excited about, as far as I can see. Incidentally I thought the G1X was a really good idea and was an excellent high-quality compact / point and shoot camera.

However, I'm not sure how Canon are going to sell this, after rubbishing all the other mirrorless systems and basically appealing to the worst excesses of "macho-man" photographers by suggesting mirrorless cameras were for women and teenagers, and therefore by implication, non "serious" photographers!!

Since giving up the weddings and event photography, there really isn't anything that Canon have produced that interests me. If I were to go back to doing that I'd buy NIkon these days anyway and it would certainly give me an excuse to get a D800. The more time goes on the more I'm convinced that Canon are really stuck in a rut. They keep churning out cameras that do the job but all look the same and basically produce similar looking images. It seems to me that Nikon do a better job of catering to their core markets and keep upgrading their cameras, sensors and lens range.

Finally, I was intrigued by a Panasonic ad. which proclaimed them as the camera sponsors of the 2012 Olympics in London. Knowing how these events like to see only their sponsors products being used, does this mean all the photographers are going to have to use GH2's and G3's etc. to take the pictures? It would be REALLY interesting if they did. Maybe they will just ask all the NIkon and Canon users to put black tape over the logos. Hey now thats an idea, a camera with no logo on the front. Sorry, I forgot, Leica already did that. (And jacked the price up, as somewhat surprisingly, they seem to be suggesting that removing the logo makes the camera more expensive.) Probably the ultimate Leica should have no buttons, no dials, no screen and just produce 18% grey rectangles. Now that would probably be "real" photography to some Leica "enthusiasts", and they would, of course, probably be prepared to pay in excess of £25,000 for the privilege!!

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