Category Archives: Equipment

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Back in October I picked up a new Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD lens. I always meant to right and in depth piece on it, and well, here we are… almost seven months lately and I haven’t even gotten to look at the first set of pictures I took with the lens. Until today!

Here are some of the specs of the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD lens:

Focal Length: 28-75
Max Aperture: f/2.8
Aperture Blades: 9 (circular)
Minimum Focal Distance 7.1″ (Wide)/15″ (Tele)
Filter Size: 67mm
Minimum Aperture: f/22

Here are the first pictures I took with this lens. Mostly pictures of Naima:


Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2021

Digging for God - 2021

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III VXD Lens

So far I have loved this lens. It is a good standby lens since it covers the focal distances that are used the most. My lens philosophy is still that it is best to use a prime lens over a zoom lens, but zoom lenses have come a long way. I do still enjoy giving somebody a camera with a prime lens and asking them to take a picture, just to here them ask, “How do I zoom?”

To which I always get to respond, “With your feet.”

New New

It has been a long time since I bought a new camera. Something like 3 years. I had circled early 2022 as the time to make the move as I am committed to Sony (as it is a family tradition by default)* and their mirrorless system (because it is the best camera system on the market) and the new Sony A7IV was due to come out then.

I ordered it and then waited. I got a tracking number from B&H Photo and saw that it was being shipped by FedEx, the worst of the worst when it comes to shipping companies. I now knew it was like a 50-50 chance I would ever see my camera. Yes, I’m still fuming over the fact that they delivered my bed to the people who live across the street and then east last year. It is not an easy task hauling a bed from all the way down there to my house.

I had the A7IV shipped to the computer mine because based on when it was due to arrive, that is where I would be and if FedEx was delivering to a business instead of a house, maybe there would be a greater chance they wouldn’t mess things up.

On Wednesday, I was mining away. Pick axe in one hand. A warning canary in the other. Then I felt a presence behind me. Kind of an overall aura of greatness. I turned around. Standing behind me was a beautiful woman presenting me with my beautiful new camera. It was the things dreams are made of. The new new had arrived! It was a great day!

Here are some pictures of the Sony A7IV:


The Sony A7IV

The Sony A7IV

The Sony A7IV

Here are some of the specs for the Sony A7IV:

Imaging
Lens Mount Sony E
Sensor Resolution Actual: 34.1 Megapixel
Effective: 33 Megapixel
Sensor Type 35.9 x 23.9 mm (Full-Frame) CMOS
Image Stabilization Sensor-Shift, 5-Axis

Exposure Control
Shutter Type Mechanical Focal Plane Shutter, Electronic Shutter
Shutter Speed 1/8000 to 30 Seconds
Bulb/Time Mode Bulb Mode
ISO Sensitivity Photo
100 to 51,200 (Extended: 50 to 204,800)
Video
100 to 51,200 (Extended: 100 to 102,400)
Metering Method Center-Weighted Average, Highlight Weighted, Multiple, Spot
Exposure Modes Aperture Priority, Manual, Program, Shutter Priority
Exposure Compensation -5 to +5 EV (1/3 EV Steps)
Metering Range -3 to 20 EV
White Balance Presets: Auto, Cloudy, Color Temperature, Color Temperature Filter, Custom, Daylight, Flash, Fluorescent (Cool White), Fluorescent (Day White), Fluorescent (Daylight), Fluorescent (Warm White), Incandescent, Shade, Underwater
Continuous Shooting Up to 10 fps at 33 MP for up to 828 Frames (Raw) / Unlimited Frames (JPEG)
Interval Recording Yes
Self-Timer 2/5/10-Second Delay

Still Image Capture
Image Sizes 3:2 Raw
7008 x 4672
3:2 JPEG
7008 x 4672
4608 x 3072
3504 x 2336
1:1 JPEG
4672 x 4672
3072 x 3072
2336 x 2336
4:3 JPEG
6224 x 4672
4096 x 3072
3120 x 2336
16:9 JPEG
7008 x 3944
4608 x 2592
3504 x 1968
Aspect Ratio 1:1, 3:2, 4:3, 16:9
Image File Format JPEG, Raw, HEIF
Bit Depth 14-Bit

Interface
Media/Memory Card Slot Slot 1: CFexpress Type A / SD (UHS-II)
Slot 2: SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II)
Video I/O 1 x HDMI Output
Audio I/O 1 x 3.5 mm TRS Stereo Headphone Output
1 x 3.5 mm TRS Stereo Microphone Input
Other I/O 1 x Sony Multi/USB Micro-B Input/Output (Shared with Remote Input)
1 x USB Type-C (USB 3.2 / 3.1 Gen 2) Input/Output (Shared with Power Input)
Power I/O 1 x USB Type-C Input/Output
Wireless Bluetooth, Wi-Fi

Monitor
Size 3.0″
Resolution 1,036,800 Dot
Display Type Free-Angle Tilting Touchscreen LCD

Viewfinder
Type Built-In Electronic (OLED)
Size 0.5″
Resolution 3,680,000 Dot
Eye Point 23 mm
Coverage 100%
Magnification Approx. 0.78x
Diopter Adjustment -4 to +3

Focus
Focus Type Auto and Manual Focus
Focus Mode Continuous-Servo AF, Direct Manual Focus, Manual Focus, Single-Servo AF
Autofocus Points Phase Detection: 759
Contrast Detection: 425
Autofocus Sensitivity -4 to +20 EV

Here are some of the first pictures I took with the new new:


New New
THE first picture.

New New

New New

New New

New New

Sony A7IV

Sony A7IV

New New

New New

I look forward to the many adventures I will have with the Sony A7IV. But first I need to master all of its settings!

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is GOVERNMENT.


WEEK 339 - GOVERNMENT
GOVERNMENT

I’ve already had some great images sent to me from people on vacation in Arizona and Louisiana. And an image sent to me from an employee of Iowa State University.

If you haven’t taken your GOVERNMENT image, here is a refresher on what a GOVERNMENT image might look like…

But what exactly is a GOVERNMENT image? A GOVERNMENT image is anything that involves a GOVERNMENT. There are all types of GOVERNMENT. There is the federal GOVERNMENT. A state GOVERNMENT. A county GOVERNMENT. A local GOVERNMENT. Churches have GOVERNMENT bodies. Every business has some kind of GOVERNMENT. A GOVERNMENT image could be anything that deals with a GOVERNMENT. A public park. GOVERNMENT. The road you drove on to get to that public park. GOVERNMENT. Public school. GOVERNMENT. If you work for the GOVERNMENT, you are the GOVERNMENT. The military, the police, fire department. All GOVERNMENT. Public library. GOVERNMENT. There are so many possibilities!

Happy photo harvesting!

* Technically a Minolta family tradition, but when Sony bought out Minolta they got the Bennetts too!

Wide Angling

This is a collection of some more of the first pictures I took with the Tamron wide angle lens. some are at the courthouse. Some around the high bridges. Some around the Kate Shelley Museum:


Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

Wide Angling

I do love that wide angle zoom lens!

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is LIGHT:


WEEK 296 - LIGHT
LIGHT

A LIGHT image is pretty simple. It is merely a picture where LIGHT plays a major compositional element. A wise person might argue that any picture they take is a LIGHT picture because all photography really is, is the capturing of LIGHT. But warning, when you take a picture of LIGHT, don’t face your camera straight towards a bright LIGHT.. You will surely damage it. The camera. The LIGHT will be just fine.

Think about the following song lyric when you are contemplating your LIGHT image:

I saw the light, I saw the light
No more darkness, no more night
Now I’m so happy no sorrow in sight
Praise the Lord, I saw the light
-Hank Williams

Happy photo harvesting!

Tamron 17-28 f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens

At the moment of the publishing of this journal entry, my Covid vaccine will be fully marinated. It will have been two weeks since my second shot. While life won’t return to normal exactly, I look forward to at least, maybe eating in a restaurant, or maybe having a movie night without masks, when the rest of my Movie Night friends have their vaccines fully marinated. It feels pretty great!

After I purchased the Velvet 85 for my Christmas present to myself, I also decided to purchase a wide angle zoom lens in January. I ended up purchasing two more lenses actually, but the wide angle zoom lens was the first.

I purchased the Tamron 17-28 f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens. I’m not going to get into any technical details of the lens, I’m just going to share the first set of pictures I took with it.


Tamron 17-28 f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens

Tamron 17-28 f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens

Tamron 17-28 f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens

Tamron 17-28 f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens

Tamron 17-28 f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens

Tamron 17-28 f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens

Tamron 17-28 f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens

Tamron 17-28 f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens

Tamron 17-28 f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens

Tamron 17-28 f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens

Tamron 17-28 f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens

Tamron 17-28 f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens

Tamron 17-28 f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens

Tamron 17-28 f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens

Tamron 17-28 f/2.8 Di III RXD Lens

I might into the technical aspects of this lens at some point. Just not quite yet.

Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f/1.8

I should point out that I messed up the coding in yesterday’s post. You should go to that post again to see the corrections in the code that allow you to see Kim’s and Shannon’s submissions.

My Christmas present to my self was a Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f/1.8 lens. I was going to do a whole thing on it, but I have owned if for going on 5 months now and I think it is just time to share the first few pictures I took with it.

Rather than going into any of those technical details, here is a description from the Lensbaby website:

A manual focus portrait lens from Lensbaby that’s dreamy and delicate — or tack sharp and subtly vintage at 85mm.

Create soulful portraits with our Velvet 85 art lens. Compose impressionistic masterpieces with a velvety glow at bright apertures, straight out of camera. Use darker apertures to bypass glow and make images with a crisp, film-like aesthetic.

Building on the strengths of our bestselling Velvet 56 lens, Velvet 85 combines lustrous skin tones with the added compression and buttery smooth bokeh found in the best 85mm portrait lenses. Use its macro capabilities to capture significant details with new life.

The Velvet 85 design features a solid heft and smooth, dampened manual focus.

Here are the first few pictures I took with it:


Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f/1.8

Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f/1.8

Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f/1.8

Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f/1.8

Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f/1.8

Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f/1.8

Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f/1.8

Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f/1.8

Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f/1.8

Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f/1.8

I actually have two other lenses I purchased around the same time. Those lenses are more practical, but I’ll discuss them at some point in the future.

Tamron 70-180 f/2.8

When I got a refund for my Iowa State football season tickets back in August, I used the money and put it towards the purchase of a new lens. The biggest gap in my Sony mirrorless line up was what I would call a mid-telephoto lens. I don’t need a 400mm lens, yet. But something near a 200mm lens was definitely needed.

I considered about 4 or 5 different lenses before ultimately deciding on the Tamron 70-180 f/2.8. I was willing to sacrifice a bit on the length in exchange for have a consistent widest aperture of f/2.8. That was a pretty easy trade to make.

Here are some of the specs of the lens:

Specifications

Focal Length: 70-180mm
Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
Minimum Aperture: f/22
Angle of View: Diagonal: 34 Degree 21′ – 13 Degree 42′ (for full-frame mirrorless format
Minimum Object Distance: 33.5 inch.
Filter Size: 67mm

Here are some pictures of the lens:


Tamron 70-180 f/2.8

Tamron 70-180 f/2.8

Tamron 70-180 f/2.8

Tamron 70-180 f/2.8

Tamron 70-180 f/2.8

Tamron 70-180 f/2.8

I took a series of pictures to present an idea of the lenses reach. A 50mm lens is pretty close to way the naked eye sees the world. I took a picture with a 50mm lens and then a picture with the widest setting on the lens (70mm) and then the closest setting on the lens (180mm).


Tamron 70-180 f/2.8
50mm at 5 yards

Tamron 70-180 f/2.8
70mm at 5 yards

Tamron 70-180 f/2.8
180mm at 5 yards

Tamron 70-180 f/2.8
50mm at 10 yards

Tamron 70-180 f/2.8
70mm at 10 yards

Tamron 70-180 f/2.8
180mm at 10 yards

Tamron 70-180 f/2.8
50mm at 25 yards

Tamron 70-180 f/2.8
70mm at 25 yards

Tamron 70-180 f/2.8
180mm at 25 yards

Tamron 70-180 f/2.8
50mm at 50 yards

Tamron 70-180 f/2.8
70mm at 50 yards

Tamron 70-180 f/2.8
180mm at 50 yards

Here are a collection of the first images I took with the new lens:


Nature's Amen - 2020

Nature's Amen - 2020

Nature's Amen - 2020

Radiation of Happiness - 2020

Radiation of Happiness - 2020

Radiation of Happiness - 2020

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Tamron 70-180 f/2.8

Tamron 70-180 f/2.8

It has been a few months since I bought a new lens. I’m starting to jones for one. Look, Lensbaby is having a sale!

A Little Here, A Little There

This post is mostly a catch-all of cleaning up some image collections taken back in August, that were either going to part of bigger journal entries that I have abandoned or just a few rando pictures taken here and there that I just want to clean up and get out of the way.

The first little collection is pictures taken from church when they presented scholarships to Autumn, Summer, and Jentry:


2020 Scholarship Presentation

2020 Scholarship Presentation

2020 Scholarship Presentation

2020 Scholarship Presentation

2020 Scholarship Presentation

2020 Scholarship Presentation

2020 Scholarship Presentation

2020 Scholarship Presentation

2020 Scholarship Presentation

Church went back to the building in October. They opened all the windows in the sanctuary to increase air circulation. It gets pretty cold in there. Makes me miss warm weather all the more.

The second collection of pictures is of the creamed honey I purchased from Honey Hollow, AKA Shannon and her husband’s business. I got the straight honey, raspberry, and mango. I was going to do a little review and endorsement deal on them, and I still might some day. But I think it is sufficient to say, that it is honey. It is delicious. It doesn’t crystallize because it is creamed.


Honey Hollow Honey

Honey Hollow Honey

Honey Hollow Honey

Honey Hollow Honey

At one point I was going to do an entry on a remote control I bought for the A7 II. I think it is sufficient to say that I bought a remote control and I use it now and again. Usually with long exposures.


A7 II Remote Control

A7 II Remote Control

A7 II Remote Control

A7 II Remote Control

A7 II Remote Control

A7 II Remote Control

Speaking of photo equipment entries I planned and never made. I bought an infrared filter to play with. I have since misplaced this filter. It is one of 3 things in my house that I’m currently keeping an eye out for.


Infrared Filter

Infrared Filter
Test shot.

There there were some night sky photo I took when playing with a new fisheye lens.


Night Sky

Night Sky

Night Sky

Night Sky

I need to do some night photography again before it gets too cold.

Then finally, just a couple rando photos:


Radiation of Happiness - 2020

Beetle

Feels good to get these pictures out there. Real good.

Red Fish, Blue Fish

I meant to publish a post on this subject a week or so ago, but the derecho put those plans on hold. I’ve meant to be more proactive about writing about when I get new equipment, even equipment that is fairly small or seemingly inconsequential to most people. Hopefully this post starts just such a new era for “An Artist’s Notebook”.

The most recent thing I purchased was a fisheye lens for the mirrorless camera setup. Have a look:


Red Fish, Blue Fish

Red Fish, Blue Fish

Red Fish, Blue Fish

Red Fish, Blue Fish

Red Fish, Blue Fish

Red Fish, Blue Fish

Red Fish, Blue Fish

Red Fish, Blue Fish

Red Fish, Blue Fish

Red Fish, Blue Fish

Red Fish, Blue Fish


Here are some specs for the lens:
FOCUS TYPE: Manual
CLOSEST FOCUSING DISTANCE: 7.9″
FOCAL LENGTH: 12mm
ANGLE OF VIEW: 180
MAXIMUM APERTURE: f/2.8
MINIMUM APERTURE: f/22

On a 35mm camera or a full frame sensor camera, a 50mm lens is the same as human sight. When you look through a viewfinder with a 50mm lens on the camera, what you see should be about the same as when you aren’t looking through the lens. Your angle of view won’t be the same, but objects should be about the same distance.

To illustrate how a fisheye lens, I took pictures of Jesse with a 50mm lens and with my new fisheye lens so you can see the difference between human sight and a fisheye lens.


Red Fish, Blue Fish
50mm

Red Fish, Blue Fish
Fisheye

Red Fish, Blue Fish
50mm

Red Fish, Blue Fish
Fisheye

Red Fish, Blue Fish
50mm

Red Fish, Blue Fish
Fisheye

Red Fish, Blue Fish
50mm

Red Fish, Blue Fish
Fisheye

I wanted to make this example to be more scientific, but I couldn’t find a football field in Boone with yardlines already painted that wasn’t being used. So these distances are mostly eyeballed, but they are pretty darn close.

Now that you know what it is and what it does, here are a few sample pictures I have taken:


Red Fish, Blue Fish

Red Fish, Blue Fish

Red Fish, Blue Fish

Red Fish, Blue Fish

Red Fish, Blue Fish

Red Fish, Blue Fish

Red Fish, Blue Fish

Red Fish, Blue Fish

Red Fish, Blue Fish

Red Fish, Blue Fish

Red Fish, Blue Fish

Red Fish, Blue Fish

Red Fish, Blue Fish

Red Fish, Blue Fish

Red Fish, Blue Fish

The next piece of equipment I will talk about is a macro bellow I recently picked up. Then maybe a remote camera trigger. Then I need to purchase some stuff.