Sri Lanka

My mum is quite religious and every year, she would go on a buddhist pilgrimage trip with her friends and for the past seven years she's been to India six times and last year she went to Bhutan. This year I decided to go and it was well worth it. Sri Lanka is an amazing country to visit. 

Once we arrived at the hotel, we had a little time to kill so I decided to go for a little wander around. I came across a construction and I was drawn to it, I met the site manager who invited me in to have a look around. One thing I noticed straight away was how friendly Sri Lankans are, I turned on the camera and started to take a few photos of the workers. Right there and then I decided to give myself a portrait photography assignment for the whole duration of the trip. 

I was using the Sony a7s ii and a single lens which was the super takumar 50mm f1.4 for the whole trip as I was lazy and wanted to get to know this lens a little more. A few things I notice was that after starting to shoot at f4-5.6, life has become much easier, especially with the ridiculous amount of ISO I can push with this low light beast and the stabilizer that helped me a lot with my shaky hands. This lens does flare a lot and I didn't mind it at all, sometime it does become somewhat annoying but overall it's pretty good. I love it most when the light sources add the horizontal streaks into my picture, if the light source is a bit toppy in the corner then you'd get this 45 degree streak right in the corner, a little too much and you won't be able to see anything. With old lenses that have swirly bokeh, they tend to be highly unusable wide open unless the subject is right in the middle but this lens is more forgiving and only exhibit the typical soft wide open characteristic which isn't that bad, just buttery smooth goodness if you're in a mood for it. 

There were a few times that I wish I have brought a wider lens with me, I did miss my 35mm and I did miss some shots because I had to back up a little bit more. 

If you have time and don't know where to go for your next trip, go to Sri Lanka.

Here are few sample photos from the trip.

Sony a7 and a7r event

Today I had an opportunity to try out the new (ish) Sony a7 and a7r hosted by Sony Thailand and AV camera store at Sala Arun Hotel, across from Wat Arun in Bangkok. 

I took my trusty Leica with me to do a few test but ended up using the a7 the whole time, trying to decipher the buttons and the menu.  

There are plenty of reviews on the interweb so I won't do one on here but what I'd do is that to tell you that I could see the future of cameras by using this camera. 

The small form factor and the quality of the image it can produce is astounding and between carrying a heavier set of DSLR equipment and this camera with its smaller lenses, I'd jump on the a7 in no time. 

The wifi tethering worked well and I would love to have it during my shoot rather than spending 30,000 baht for a M multifunction handgrip so I can tether from my Leica to my computer (Leica's world = an expensive one) 

So the a7 pricing is at 49,900 baht and 59,000 with a 24-70 f3.5-5.6 kit lens. The a7r is selling at 69,000 baht. 

for the a7 price, you can possibly be looking at Canon 6D or Nikon D610 as the main full frame competitors. 

And for the mirrorless competitors, you'll be looking at the brand new Fuji XT-1 and the Olympus om-d em1 . 

So I'd buy it for: the form factor, full frame censor, wifi tethering and the vast amount of adapters for the non-sony lenses (any CA or anomalies can be dealt with an app on camera)  

And I would not buy it because

  1. if you're a serious sport shooter, go get a DSLR
  2. pay less and go for a super fuji XT-1 :p 

here are some of the photos I took with a7 in RAW and post process on LR5

the missus came along, she said the camera is sorta user friendly 

the missus came along, she said the camera is sorta user friendly 

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I won a keyring from this photo :D 

I won a keyring from this photo :D 

Sony menu can be quite hard to decipher 

Sony menu can be quite hard to decipher 

in Black and White

in Black and White

monochrome fun

monochrome fun