Dil Roberts Photography

Olympus mZD 75-300 II
Voigtlaender Nokton 40 f1.4
Voigtlaender Skopar 50 f2.5 on the Nex-5N V
Voigtlaender Skopar 50 f2.5 on the Nex-5N VII
Light is what's it all about.
Summer II
Super Bike
Voigtlaender Skopar 50 f2.5 on the Nex-5N III
Voigtlaender Skopar 50 f2.5 IV
Sigma 19 f2.8 for Nex IV

Photoblog of Random Images


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03/21/14
Sony Nex-5N - Minolta Rokkor 90 f4

Sony Nex-5N - Minolta Rokkor 90 f4

I have 2 of these 90mm maual focus lenses, this one the Minolta Rokkor 90 f4 and the Leica Elmarit 90 f2.8. The Minolta is smaller and lighter (should be because maximum aperture is f4). On these APS-C (and m4/3) sensors it's very difficult to determine which has the better image quality. I like both but the real test would be to use both on a full frame camera.

That wasn't possible until recently when Sony brought out the A7 & A7r. I will not be looking at the A7r because the price is out of my comfort zone but the A7 has me attracted. It's small, light and offers full frame possibilities to all of my Leica, Minolta and Voigtländer lenses. The fact that autofocus is not really fast doesn't interest me in the least because I woulld use it mainly for my legacy manual focus lenses. Because it has an E mount it is compatible with all the E mount and A mount (via the LEA4 adapter) lenses. Actually it's compatible to most lenses ever produced, just like the Nex series of cameras. It's really an exciting camera (the A7r more so) that I am really contemplating on aquiring.

Sony have now dropped the Nex name and all future cameras will have the Alpha designation. This doesn't mean that the Nex line has been discontinued, it's just that in the future they'll have a different name.

I'll have to think more carefully about this in the coming days. Any other thoughts out there?

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Dil 03/21/14 19:00     comments (0)
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 Viewed 947
• Sony • Nex-5N • Minolta • Rokkor • 90 f4 

03/20/14
Sony Nex-5N - Voigtländer Nokton 40 f1.4

Sony Nex-5N - Voigtländer Nokton 40 f1.4

When I first got into manual focusing lenses on digital cameras a few years ago, this is one of the first lenses I bought new and why I afterwards bought so many of the Voigtländer lenses. As I was a Canon system enthusiast I use to turn my nose up at these lenses and only used autofocus lenses, not understanding what all the fuss was all about. Now, being a little more experienced and having learnt my lesson I can understand what it's all about and autofocus is no longer such a big deal.

I suppose everyone changes with time and the more you photograph the more inquisitive you become about what is possible and how other lenses would see the world using different lenses on different cameras. It's just a part of growing as a photographer and as you come to realise that different lenses have different signatures, it matters a great deal on what cameras you use the lenses on. I think that's why I have so many different camera models from many manufacturers. These Voigtländer lenses are a real alternative to Leica lenses, especially when you start to compare prices. I'm not saying they're better than the Leica lenses, it's just that I'm not a professional at this game, and I'm not going to pay thousands for lens that will give me maybe 5-10% better image quality.

Another manufacturer I haven't tried yet is Zeiss and I've only heard good things about their lenses. Maybe in the coming months I can find the funds to purchase o lens or two. One I'm really trying to hold off on is the ZM 50 f2 Planar. I've heard it pairs nicely with the new Sony A7 or A7r cameras.

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Dil 03/20/14 19:00     comments (0)
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 Viewed 866
• Sony • Nex-5N • Voigtländer • 40 f1.4 • Nokton 

03/16/14
Sony Nex-5N - Nikon E-Series 100 f2.8

Sony Nex-5N - Nikon E-Series 100 f2.8

Since Iwas talking about the Nikon E-Series 100 f2.8 lens yesterday, it seemed apropriate to post a few images from this lens to show what it's capable of. Olny a couple of shots but I think it shows what you can expect from this lens. Sharp, contrasty and fits well on the Nex system cameras. Very easy to focus using the peaking function on the Nex. Of course you can also use this on your m4/3 cameras which would give you a 200mm equivalent focal length. IBIS is recommended though as it would be quite difficult to handhold in anything but good light.
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Dil 03/16/14 19:00     comments (0)
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 Viewed 905
• Sony • Nex-5N • Nikon • 100 f2.8 

03/15/14
Sony Nex-5N - Nikon E-Series 50 f1.8

Sony Nex-5N - Nikon E-Series 50 f1.8

I suppose the images chosen for the composite above doesn't really show what this lens can do, but they're images that I like so that's why I selected them. It's a very sharp lens and is very useful on the Nex series of cameras offering a focal length equivalent to a 75mm lens. This is the focal length that I start to feel comfortable with and there's no end above that. Like I've mentioned before, the wider the focal length the more uncomfortable I get. I wish I did feel comfortable with these wider focal length lenses because you tend to get a lot more into the image; more documentary type images are possible, but I just don't see it when out on the streets. I have a lot of photography books and I love to look at these wide street photography images, but alas, when I get out and look through the viewfinder I still tend to see telescopically. I just can't seem to frame these wide angle images, they tend to be flat and boring.

The Nikon e-seies of lenses tend to be some of the sharpest out there and I would recommend these lenses to everyone who asks me which lens they should buy next. I also have the 100 f2.8 and that is very sharp too and is a focal length that I like using. I've tried the wider 28 f2.8 Nikon e-series lens but I lucked out on the quality plus my eye didn't really take to it. See my 28mm lens tests for further information on those lenses.

Any suggestions out there?

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Dil 03/15/14 19:00     comments (0)
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 Viewed 868
• Sony • Nikon • Nex-5N • 50 f1.8 

03/09/14
Voigtländer 21 f4 M-Mount

Voigtländer 21 f4 M-Mount

Another winner by Voigtländer. I really am impressed by the quality of these lenses, now built by Cosina. You know you have a quality product when handling these lenses. They should last you a lifetime if you take care of them. All metal and quite heavy compared to other lenses you can purchase today, it really is fun photographing with these gems. I now have quite a few Voigtländer lenses and I haven't been disappointed by any of them so far. Of course, don't use these on the Nex-7, you're just making more work for yourselves due to the purple edges you get from that sensor. If you shoot in B&W then you won't have that problem but I prefer to shoot colour and convert in PP.

P.S. The vignetting you see does not come from the lens on the Nex-5N, I did that in PP.
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Dil 03/09/14 19:00     comments (0)
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 Viewed 882
• Voigtländer • Skopar • 21 f4 • Sony • Nex-5N 

03/06/14
Nikon E-Series 28 f2.8

Nikon E-Series 28 f2.8

Looking at the image in my browser, I see that the quality of the individual images has suffered along the way to making this composite. I'll have to work a little more on this to get the optimal quality I'm looking for. Hopefully this shoudn't be too long in coming.

The Nikon E-Series 28 f2.8 was my worst lens in my 28mm lens test but as I have stated before, my copy must have been a dud, I can't see this type of quality from Nikon. All my other E-Series lenses are really great performers.

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Dil 03/06/14 19:00     comments (0)
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 Viewed 991
• Sony • Nex-5N • Nikon • 28 f2.8 

03/04/14
Voigtländer Skopar 35 f2.5

Voigtländer Skopar 35 f2.5

I've bben layed up for awhile now and can't get out to do any photography. I'm sure I'm suffering from withdrawal symptoms. Because I don't get out to do any tests etc I've been trawling through my archive to reprocess images or to try something diferent.

What I decided to do was to make some composites from different lenses that don't come up too often here. This is an experiment and I'm not sure about the image quality in general of these, as they have been re-processed so to speak. I hope to improve on the method by which these have been put together, and I'm looking forward to an increase in image resolution as I get these posted.

There are a number of these composites as I won't be able to get out for another few weeks, but I hope you enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed making them. If you have any requests, or general comments, please add them to the comments section under each image.

There won't be much text within the post itself, unless I have some new information regarding the lens itself or about the system used to take the images. Most of these images where a manual lens has been used were taken on the Sony Nex system (either a 5N or the 7).

As you can see the first composite is from the Voigtländer Skopar 35 f2.5, which is becoming my favourite lens at this focal length.

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Dil 03/04/14 19:00     comments (0)
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 Viewed 1028
• Sony • Nex-5N • Voigtländer • 35 f2.5 

02/28/14
Sony Nex-5N - Olympus OM 28 f2.8

Sony Nex-5N - Olympus OM 28 f2.8

This will be the last single image from my 28mm f2.8 lens testing. If you're wondering which lens I rate the best in this focal range then it's the Pentax M Takumar 28 f2.8. Remember, I still have two more lenses to test, a Canon 28 f2.8 and a Konica 28 f3.5. If they are to surpass the Pentax then they will have to be very good indeed.

The Pentax is superb in every sense, use, build, rendition. These old Takumar lenses (all of them) are among the best lenses ever built and if you haven't tried one, you should. An all metal build, the focusing ring is very smooth and when you change the aperture it actually feels like you've changed aperture. It clicks nicely into place and won't budge until I decide to change it again (unlike the Nikon 28mm I tested). Everything felt right with this lens and is real fun to use. After I have tested my two remaining lenses I will repost about which lens will have a permanent place in my 28mm arsenal.

I know I've said that these lenses perform well on the Nex bodies (APS-C sensor) I much prefer the image quality I get from my m4/3 bodies. The sensor is smaller so you're effectively using the best part of the image and the corners tend to be cropped out at the time you take the shot. So you may be asking why I keep on using the Nex bodies, well it's simply because of the focus peaking function. With focus peaking creeping into the m4/3 bodies nowadays, it might be that I'll be switching shortly permanently to those cameras. But that remains to be seen.

If you have any questions about these lenses or if you want anything tested, just mail me or leave a comment and I'll see what I can do.


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NEX-5N
Focal Length: unknown
Aperture: f/1.0
Exposure Time: 1/1250 sec
ISO: 100
Dil 02/28/14 19:00     comments (0)
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 Viewed 1171
• Sony • Olympus • Nex-5N • 28 f2.8 

02/27/14
Sony Nex-5N - Olympus OM 28 f2.8

Sony Nex-5N - Olympus OM 28 f2.8

How do you determine when to keep a lens or not? Well, for me personally, a lens has to feel good in the hand and is nice to use. If it doesn't have that then I'll probably not use it much simply for the fact it's not fun to do so. Not being a professional at this I can pick and chose as I like.

If a lens has that effect on my then I'll look at the image quality, how the lens renders on the sensor. If, of course, image qualiy is then abysmal I'll either try with a second copy or not use the lens at all. The final image is the whole point of this photography thing after all, and that is very important but I also like to use the tools I have to get to the final product.

I look at the image above and remember thinking at the time i took the shot that it would be for me, a pleasing image to look at. I could tell at the time that the lens had produced what I was after and if you enjoy using your tools you will, I guarantee, be more careful with your image composition, focusing and everything else that comes with it.

1106
NEX-5N
Focal Length: unknown
Aperture: f/1.0
Exposure Time: 1/400 sec
ISO: 100
Dil 02/27/14 19:00     comments (0)
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 Viewed 1106
• Sony • Olympus • Nex-5N • 28 f2.8 

02/26/14
Sony Nex-5N - Olympus OM 28 f2.8

Sony Nex-5N - Olympus OM 28 f2.8

As expected from Olympus,the quality and feel of these OM lenses is just superb. I also own the 50 f1.8, 100 f2.8, 135 f3.5 and the 135 f2.8 OM lenses and they all perform really well on the Nex cameras.

I expected this lens to be top of the 28mm list but it actually came in second. After posting some images from this lens I will post a composit from 4 28mm lenses where it's possible to see the differences between the lenses, even at the size that my images are posted.

As you can see from my images from the 28mm lenses I attempted to take the same scene or as near as I could with each lens, I had to have some reference points to look at the image quality from each lens (i.e. How the lens renders on the Sony body). It's only when you do this with a few lenses you come to realise the subtle differences between each lens and manufacturer.

917
NEX-5N
Focal Length: unknown
Aperture: f/1.0
Exposure Time: 1/400 sec
ISO: 100
Dil 02/26/14 19:00     comments (0)
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 Viewed 917
• Sony • Nex-5N • Olympus • 28 f2.8 


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