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Photography: Old meets new

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by , 31st July 2012 at 11:33 AM (4024 Views)
I've been interested in photography for years; I had a Praktica MTL5 35mm camera for a Christmas present in the early '80s. This was, and still is, an excellent camera. I still have it and it still works. Using a manual camera teaches you far more about photography than an automatic camera.

A few film SLRs later, namely a Canon EOS 1000F then upgraded to the truly excellent Canon EOS 600 35mm SLR. My first digital SLR was an Olympus E10. A superb camera, brilliant quality and excellent pictures, even though it was a meager 4M pixels and the menus were terribly slow. Then we come to my current digital SLR, the rather old, but still perfectly serviceable EOS 20D with a bunch of good lenses.

However, the bulk of this kit, with battery pack and f2.8 lenses, means that it doesn't get much action outside planned events like the odd wedding or day out.

If you're still awake at this point, I tried my cousin's Sony NEX 5 camera. This is an odd beast, with a flip out screen and a manual zoom ring on the lens (none of that W-T zoom motor nonsense). I fell in love with the camera, it simply begs to be used. The flip screen encourages you to shoot from the hip (literally) and crazy angles, just like an old rangefinder camera.

So anyway, I bought a Sony NEX-C3. It was the last chicken in the shop (discontinued), hence discounted so it was a reasonable buy. The camera is excellent, it has a large APS-C sensor, as used in pro SLRs. The lens is adequate for a kit lens, but not excellent.

However, the NEX range has an ace up its sleeve.

It has something called 'peaking focus'. Your best bet is to Youtube 'NEX peaking focus', but in a nutshell when you focus manually the current area in focus area is highlighted with a (choosable) colour. This means that, with practice, you can quickly focus a manual lens in a second or so. Do check it out on Youtube - this feature is utter genius.

I've ordered an M42-NEX adapter for the camera, with luck it should be here this week.

I'll try the NEX with my old Pentacon 50mm f1.8 to see how it goes. These were made by Zeiss in the '70s and '80s and have a huge following. It also means that you can get fabulous lenses on a good digital for just a couple of quid. I picked up a 135mm f2.8 Carl Zeiss Jena lens for £20. I think a trip to the local camera centre's second-hand cupboards is on the cards.

I'll post some photos when I have something to show.....

Updated 1st August 2012 at 01:21 PM by jinnantonnixx



  1. jinnantonnixx's Avatar
    (loads of typos above, but hopefully it's clear. I can't seem to edit the text).

    A bit more about focus peaking...
    How 'Focus Peaking' works


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