There has been something I think all Sony shooters have been waiting a long time for and it’s not more megapixels.
I pulled out my ol Sony A7rII again. I had to take a break from it for awhile and focus on some of my Fujifilm lens reviews. You know, I never did a full review on the Sony A7r II. Weird right? But there is a good reason . . . I don’t really love it. And because I don’t love it, it’s hard for me to get excited enough about it to spend the time reviewing it. It’s almost a super cool camera, almost, but there are a few things that really bother me.
When shooting Bodie, a ghost town high in the Sierras of California, I had my ten-month-old baby with me and I needed to be able to get some shots quick without thinking about it. It was also 94 degrees outside and somehow raining on and off. I felt that bracketing shots was a good approach to getting an interesting takes on this crazy California ghost town. I was so confident in the X-Pro 2 to be able to do this that I even left my A7rII in my car, hidden of course.
With the new +-2EV bracketing, HDR on the X-Pro 2 is a lot of fun and much much easier.
So how do you shoot HDR on the X-Pro 2?
It might seem like I’ve been shooting a lot with Fujifilm, but that doesn’t mean I’ve given up on my Sony A7rII.
I actually still love my Sony, but because of the larger sensor with a ton of megapixels and larger files sizes, it’s become my special occasions camera. Mainly my landscape photography camera and it especially shines after the sun has set when you’re on the edge of complete darkness. Like with this shot.
There was only a sliver of light and it seemed the colors were all but gone. But after a thirty second exposure, the colors just exploded. And that’s where the Sony A7rII out shines any other camera out there.
On my second night up in Mammoth there wasn’t much going on with the weather. It was clear blue skies everywhere except in this one direction looking out towards the Twin Lakes. Literally everywhere else was boring blue skies so this was my shot for the night.
In front of me here were the twin lakes with mosquitos buzzing thick in the air (I somehow did not get one bite), behind me was another lake, Lake Mammie. I got a few shots there later, but didn’t stay long because there was a black bear hanging out about thirty feet away from me and it was making me uncomfortable.
I drove up to Mono Lake and Mammoth to test out some Fujifilm lenses and was fortunate enough to have an amazing sunset at Mono Lake despite the rains earlier that day.
I was actually planning to shoot at Mono Lake for two nights, but the sunset and weather was so good the first night, that I didn’t really need any more shots. It was probably the best situation in terms of weather and location I’ve ever been in.
I come to the Santa Monica Pier a few times a year to test cameras and lenses or to just update my portfolio. Even though I only live a few miles away, it’s a huge pain in the ass dealing with the crowds and parking. At least this time it ended up being a rewarding experience.
This time I was using the Fujifilm X-Pro 2 and the Fujinon 16mm lens.
I’ve been to the Golden Gate Bridge many many times, but this was the first and only time where the weather actually did something interesting. And I wasn’t even planning on shooting here, there were even whales breaching under the bridge while shooting this.
I had along with me my Sony A6300, but only a Voigtländer 35mm Ultron lens at the time (which wasn’t quite wide enough), but also my Fujifilm X-Pro 2 with the 23mm f1.4. It turns out the 23mm lens gave me the perfect perspective that allowed me to frame the bridge and the flowers in one shot. See my Voigtländer 35mm f1.7 review.
I also left my tripod in the car so ended up shooting this handheld with only a single exposure. There was still enough light so it seemed to be fine.
Although the Sony A6300 is a lot of fun and now one of my favorite cameras, the X-Pro 2 has just such a unique look that makes me keep coming back for more. The camera also seems to handle dynamic range a little better. I’m not sure if it has better range, probably not, but it seems to produce images like this that are easier to work with straight out of camera.
And by the way, between the two, battery life seems about the same, as long as you turn off the camera after each use since the X-Pro 2 has a two minute auto off, where as the Sony can be set to something like 10 seconds. Makes a huge difference in battery performance. Come on get with it Fujifilm, this is a no brainer. 🙂
Pretty much since I got the X-Pro 2 I’ve either been working or stuck inside with the flue. Finally I’m about 90% healed and was able to go out again. This time to the Schindler House in West Hollywood.
It’s a small old house / architectural marvel from 1922, kind of reminds me of old houses in Japan, except it’s been somehow converted into an art installation. In other words, there is a teddy bear sitting on the floor that you’re suppose to interact with and of course a tennis shoe sitting on a podium.
A few weeks ago I found myself in Joshua Tree. I’ve been there a few times now but this time around things were going to be different. I had some new lenses, new cameras, and a different eye.
The last few years I’ve been shooting a lot of Landscape and HDR photography and found myself getting stuck with the routine that often comes with those styles. I was just going with the trends and I needed to hit the breaks.
This year I’m trying to shoot everything I can, looking for those incidental stories and moods. It can be challenging to get great shots, but at least this way the results are your own.