Mother’s day, and a new lens

Mother’s day, and a new lens

So, I got a new lens, and this one is not another vintage piece of glass- this one is decidedly new! It’s the Tamron 35-150mm that I’ve got mostly because of a couple of events I will be shooting at the end of May/beginning of June. It’s a tremendously versatile and useful focal length, but the most amazing thing about it is that it is super-fast, and all the way through the zoom range- f/2 at the wide end and f/2.8 fully zoomed! That won’t mean much to most people- but trust me, for the kind of shooting I often do in low light it’s going to be invaluable!

It’s a chunky bugger, weighing in at 2 1/2 pounds, but it’s a lovely lens to use and actually feels very nicely balanced on the A7rIV with the L-bracket and the extra grip. Today was the first time I had a chance to really play around with it, so here are a few shots I took at church this morning:

And here are some from our Mother’s Day barbecue (thanks Robyn & David!):

It’s just a really nice lens that is super sharp, renders colors beautifully, and doesn’t get in my way… and by that I mean that it doesn’t make me work harder- it feels right in my hand, does exactly what I want it to do, and lets me take the pictures I want to take. Very happy πŸ™‚

Super Bokehlicious!

Super Bokehlicious!

I recently saw a very interesting YouTube video about the results that you can get if you do a little modification to the “swirly bokeh king” venerable Russian Helios 44-2 lens. What you do is remove the front glass element and turn it around, which does amazing things to the out-of-focus elements of your pictures.

Now my version of this lens is a very nice one that I didn’t really want to mess with, so I went on eBay and found one from Ukraine that was made in the right factory (apparently this technique works better with some version than with others) and was pretty cheap. It’s a little beaten up, but that’s fine for these purposes.

I actually did the modification a couple of months ago, but things got kind of busy and I had actually forgotten about it until today- so I decided to take it to the woods and see what all the fuss is about πŸ™‚

The pictures don’t look like much when they come out of the camera, hazy and low contrast (partly, I think, coz there are a couple of minor scratches on the old lens I got), but once you get them into Lightroom and can adjust them a little they are great…

All of those weird effects are right out of the camera, all I have done is adjust the contrast and exposure etc. and gently tweak the colors; the swirly, dreamy backgrounds are all because of the reversed front element on this already bokeh-rich lens.

This is great- now I’m starting to understand what sort of pictures work best with this I can really start to have some fun πŸ™‚