Available light

Available light by ernestkoe
Available light, a photo by ernestkoe on Flickr.

That’s me in the reflection with the Nikon D700 and Zeiss ZF*2 35/2. This is just about the perfect lens on the D700 if you don’t mind slowing down and being one with a manual focus lens.

More on that in a bit.

After fooling around with the Olympus E-PL5 in the last couple of days, I picked up the Nikon D700 again, all 5 gazilliion lbs of it even with the relatively weightless Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G and was reminded how much I hated the injury inducing weight of this beast.

But, shooting with it is still an incomparably sublime experience. The bright optical viewfinder without the lag or headache inducing dynamic range limitations of a little LCD/OLED screen, the satisfying feel of a professional Nikon body and the magic that comes out of the 50mm f/1.8G all seem like forsaken luxuries.

Going small is going to be very, very hard. My wrist may be thankful but my soul is all-a-bitchin’ about it.

It’s hard to explain the difference between a competent small-ish sensor camera like the Olympus E-PL5 plus its kit 14-42mm compared to  a full-frame workhorse with a lens like the Zeiss 35mm f/2–even if said workhorse is “merely” sporting a 12 megapixel sensor. The Zeiss ZF*2 is a pricey, extravagant thing, but if you want to get a taste of that Zeiss microcontrast magic, here’s a tip, pick up the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G.

From DSLR to Mirrorless: NEX-6 Review

esc by ernestkoe
esc, a photo by ernestkoe on Flickr.

I’ve had a Nikon DSLR by my side for the most part of four years now, starting with the D40 and, over time, settling comfortably on a D700. I am a geek; and geeks, by nature, develop relationships with the things we own–the sort that artists are prone to dismiss as too bourgeoise.

But, we geeks care about that harmonious confluence of design and use; there is as much joy in being creative as there is in handing the instruments of that endeavor, like a craftsman and his favorite chisel or a chef and his trusted knife. The best of these tools become extension of ourselves.

The D700 is one of those rare things that fall into that last category. 12 megapixels? I’ve never needed more; and they are twelve glorious megapixels, every one of them.

Five years after its introduction, the D700 still rivals some of its contemporaries in image quality, noise handling, dynamic range and overall usability. Paired with the sublime Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G or a Zeiss ZF.2 35mm f/2, there is little standing in one’s creative way.

So, it was not without great deliberation that I settled on a decision to replace the D700 with a mirrorless system as my new walkabout, primary camera. The D700 was just too heavy to lug around; and for all that weight, it lacked video which has increasingly become a medium of concern.

I am taking my time to explore the options. This week, I’ve been playing with the SONY NEX-6 and the Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 that I rented from lensrentals.com. I love those guys! Here are some first initial thoughts:

  • this thing is bloody light compared to the D700, even when paired what seems to be among the beefiest all metal, high-end Zeiss glass for the NEX system
  • The EVF is good; much improved over the earlier ones found in the Alphas. But, it’s still goofy to me, I can’t get over the lag.
  • Image quality seems very good; I don’t think you can go wrong here; dynamic range is impressive; noise characteristics are no where as nice as the D700, but at ISO 3200 the images seems as usuable as stuff coming out of a D7000.
  • The Zeiss is awesome; if the new 16-50mm kit lens is halfway decent, it might seal the deal but that’s a lot to ask.
  • Video? Stunning. It’s really the one thing that has me spellbound; I fiddled with a little at 24p, 1/50sec with the Zeiss and I am already itching to try a stablized lens and some external (stereo, yes!) mics on it.
  • oh wait, WTF, proprietary mic jacks!
  • Handling. Well, here’s the thing, it is smaller, easier to carry around but the haptics are terrible. The dial and button presses feel too sensitive and unpredictable, and the clicks are annoyingly unhelpful as feedback.
  • The menu system is relatively clean, thank goodness, and it didn’t take long for me to familirize myself with the button layout. But it’s hard to get to functions easily without reprogramming a couple of buttons. This isn’t a deal breaker but it doesn’t feel as ‘sure’ in one’s hands as the D700. This bummed me out a bit, I admit.

The NEX-6 goes back tomorrow. I’ll have to say that I wanted to love it, but so far, though it hasn’t been very long, I think the best I can say is I respect it. I am going to try out the Olympus EPL-5 next.

The TRUTH about solar irradiated food

Hey everyone,

I don’t know how this information has been suppressed for so long; I am positive the big agriculture companies like Monsanto and lobbyists have been conspiring with the mainstream media to bury the truth!

I have uncovered a lot of research that proves that exposure to sunlight radiation causes cell mutation in plants and people. As you all know, cell mutation is linked to cancer and other extremely serious immunodeficiencies. These multinational companies and the US Government have been hiding this information because they don’t want the public to know we have been eating irradiated food.

Here’s some of the scientific studies they don’t want you to see:

Folks, this is the missing link that helps explain why cancer rates have soared and why we are seeing an alarming rise in food allergies in children, gluten intolerance and the out-of-control rates of ADHD diagnoses. Did you know that in developing certain vaccines, infectious viruses are exposed to high doses of radiation?

This is just shocking and beyond words!!

How do I know what foods have been exposed to bad sunlight? I don’t want cancer. I sure as hell don’t think I want to eat mutant veggies.

So, I have a great idea. Let’s label all food and food products that have been exposed to solar radiation. This way consumers can educate themselves and be informed about what they eat. If they don’t want to expose their children to solar-radiated and potentially mutated green beans, they can now do so with peace of mind. It is extremely important that we fight for more information about what is in our food!

If you care about your health or want to prevent cancer, you would buy sun-free foods and vote yes on Prop999 to label all food products with the “SUNLIGHT” label on election day.

Please support us with a donation to the Sun-Free cause! We have a right to know!