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September 4, 2016
Posted in reviews

Zeiss Batis 18 Mm F/2.8 & Zen DP-200 Dome review by Phil Rudin

Bildschirmfoto 2016-09-04 um 09.39.33

The following is a guest post from Phil Rudin ( To write a guest post on SAR follow the instruction on that page.

Zeiss Batis 18 Mm F/2.8 & Zen DP-200 Dome review by Phil Rudin

Zeiss the company founded by Carl Zeiss in the mid 1800s’ is among the most renowned of lens manufacturers. The company offers a wide range of optical products ranging from vision care and medical use to camera and cine lenses. Among the Zeiss products is a line of lenses for the Sony FE mount mirrorless cameras. The Zeiss “Batis” line of auto focus lenses recently expanded
to include an 18 mm F/2.8 rectilinear lens of exceptional quality.
Read the rest of this entry →

August 29, 2016
Posted in reviews

Joe Brady: How to Hi-Sync your Sony with a Skyport Plus HS

From the presentation text:

Photographer Joe Brady explores the next biggest thing for Sony shooters, Elinchrom’s new EL Skyport Plus HS system with Hi-Sync capability. This system allows you to shoot studio and portable strobes with shutter speeds up to 1/8000th of a second. Check out the results as Joe Brady goes in-depth using this exciting new unit.

The Elinchrom EL-Skyport Transmitter Plus HS for Sony can now be purchased at BHphoto (Click here).



August 27, 2016
Posted in reviews

A cheap solution for Long Time Exposures with Sony NEX and Alpha cameras beyond 30 seconds (Dierk Topp)

This is a guest post from Dierk Topp:

Cheap solution for Long Time Exposures with Sony NEX and Alpha cameras beyond 30 seconds

A few weeks ago I noticed a very special phenomena. When I left our house for a few minutes of fresh air at about 11 PM I noticed incredible flashes in the clouds, no noise or thunder but flashes every few seconds or even faster.

I hurried to get a camera. I decided to use the A7RII and the FE 24-70 f/4 zoom to be flexible with the angle of view. And I took a tripod and the IR remote shutter release. For the long exposure time I set the camera to B (bulb) and used the IR remote release. I was pressing the release for about 20 seconds and noticed, that the shutter stayed open after I finished pressing and then the shutter closed after I pressed it again! ?

I don’t know if this was described earlier but for me it was new. I know an undocumented trick like this for the Leica M9 (by using B in combination with the self timer).

If you know old cameras or large format cameras you will know, that you have a shutter speed of ‘B’ that keeps the shutter open as long as you press the shutter release, just like on the Sony and other cameras. And you have a shutter speed ‘T’ that opens the shutter when you press the release and stays open until you press it again. But on these older cameras you can use a cable release that is  not possible on the Sony cameras, that I know (without any additional hardware) .

What can you do for longer exposures without shaking and blurring the image by holding the shutter release all the time? With the little trick described here you even get a ‘T’ exposure like with the old cameras and get any desired exposure time.
When do you may need very long exposures?

  • as in this example for pictures of flashes
  • or if you want to use high density ND filters for interesting long time shots of water and/or clouds
  • and several other situations where 30 sec. exposure on ‘A’ or ‘B’ is not long enough

How to find the right exposure time?

To find the right exposure time you take a test shot with high ISO and/or open aperture in order to stay below the 30 sec. limit and calculate the exposure time for the desired low ISO and aperture.

Here again how it works:

  • set the shutter speed to B
  • use a remote IR controller (mine is a cheap one from ebay)
  • press the controller once for starting the exposure
  • press the controller again to finish the exposure

It works with my A6000, A7R and A7RII and it may work with many other Sony NEX and Alpha cameras as well.
There are other solutions like APPs and or for example intervalometer, but if you have a cheap remote IR release this is by far the easiest solution and does not eat the battery of your smart phone.

If you don’t want or need the Long Exposure Noise Reduction (LENR) and wait the same time till the camera is ready for the next shot you can deactivate it in the menu.

Have fun to test it.

Here is an example with 67 seconds exposure time.


August 27, 2016
Posted in reviews

Sony 85mm G master vs the new 105mm Nikon vs Canon 135mm L Bokeh comparison by Johnny Perkka

Sony 85mm GM vs Nikon 105mm vs Canon 135mm (via CameraSize and PCH)

The following article is a Guest Post from Johnny Perkka. To write a guest post on SAR follow the instruction on that page.

Additional Editor’s note: This isn’t a fair comparison because you should compare lenses with the exact same focal length and aperture. But theses are the three lenses Johnny had in his hands so take it easy :)

Sony 85mm G master vs the new 105mm Nikon vs Canon 135mm L Bokeh comparison by Johnny Perkka

Yesterday we here at received two copies of the eagerly waited Nikon 105mm f/1.4 AF. Naturally we wanted to put it throught it’s paces and did some quick tests. The bokeh was highly hyped as the ”Canon 135mm f/2 L killer”. Since I happen to have the fabled Canon lens with the Sigma adapter on my A7rII and am a happy owner of the Sony 85mm G master, renowned for it’s bokeh performance,  I thought it was high time for a bokeh shootout. We threw in the latest Tamron 85mm f/1.8 Di USD in for a good measure and a reference point of what you get on a budget.
Now mind you this is far from a scientific test, and we obviously know that bokeh is also determined by the relative distance of the background to the subject. But the point is, that when you are going for a particular framing of the subject, which weapon you choose for the shot to get the best OOF effect is not determined with a ruler in hand but with a artistic vision. So precise measurements are out, we are going for the look and feel in real world. Of course we assessed the sharpness while we were at it, but someone with a more golden eye can probably prove us wrong, and it’s all good, I ain’t mad. This is just what we did and our conclusions.

So first crops are SOOC with lightroom edits to get the lighting and white balance relatively close on all images. Sharpness was turned to zero, because the G master WAS TOO SHARP if lightroom sharpness was applied. The point was to compare the bokeh in a normal situation. The lenses are top left: Nikon D750 with the Tamron top right the new Nikon 105, bottom left the Canon 135mm L f/2 and lastly on bottom right, the Sony G Master.


To me the Canon is still the bokeh king, but it would be surprising if it wasn’t given the focal length difference. But the real surprise is that bokeh-wise it is very difficult to say which one is better of the 105mm vs the G master. To me the G master is a bit smoother but not much. The Tamron is obviously the loser here, but with a price only one third of the Nikon and Sony, it is understandable.

The next set is a bit closer look, same order of the lenses. The older design of the Canon was evident with visible chromatic aberration on the hands.


Last set is a sharpness crop. Amazingly the Nikon was very sharp wide open, but the G master was sharper still. Like I said, almost too sharp. The feel of the canon is nice, and also very sharp, but not as razory as the G master. The Tamron was on a different league obviosuly, and it was somewhat hard to get to focus properly in the first place.


So the conclusion is, Sony owners are lucky to have such fantastic lens at their disposal and congratz to Nikon guys for getting an awesome lens. Not too bad at all.

Johnny Perkka /

Sony 85mm GM store links: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay

August 25, 2016
Posted in reviews

Rokinon AF 50mm f/1.4 VS Sony Planar 50mm F1.4 – Comparison Review by Max Yuryev

Should you go for the new excellent Zeiss Planas 50mm f/1.4 FE lens or for the much cheaper but still very good new Rokinon 50mm f/1.4 FE lens? Max Yuryev compared both and he is really impressed by the Rokinon which he says 90% as good as the Zeiss.

Sony Planar T* FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA Lens at BHphoto, Amazon, Focuscamera. Amazon Germany. PhotoPorst. Jessops. WexUK.
Rokinon 50mm FE f/1.4 autofocus lens at Amazon US, BHphoto, Calumet Germany

Bildschirmfoto 2016-08-24 um 19.36.44

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