It was a black and white afternoon. Toasty hot and monochrome.

I finished with my allotted chores, my studio loose ends, and the changing of the air conditioning filters. It's not as though I needed the additional exercise having swum several rapid miles this morning, along with a bout of resistance exercises; but I felt the need to go out and embrace the heat. I also wanted to give the Zeiss Tessar 45mm f2.8 lens a second chance before I wrapped it up and sent it back to the dealer. Was the lack of snap I noticed last week something endemic to the lens or had shortcomings in my technique dealt it a losing hand?

When last I wrote about the tiny C/Y optic I was leaning heavily on hyperfocal distance settings for sharp focus. Might have worked in the old days but in the days of adapters, etc. even being a fraction of a millimeter longer or shorter than the original computed flange distance might make all the difference in the world. I traded out adapters and reminded myself to use focus magnification to confirm the efficacy of my focusing. 

Ahhh. The foibles of the tester and the testing chain... The lens is really very nice when you take the time to ensure that the focus point is where the focus point is intended to be. Short version? The lens is better than I wrote it was. It is indeed sharp and yields detailed and high resolution images. It's still not "snappy" but it performs extremely well and the slight lack of zing, vis-a-vis the most modern of lens designs, is very easily remedied in post processing. Or by increasing the contrast setting, in camera, for your Jpegs. I'm keeping the lens. I have commuted its return sentence. 

My first mistake or misstep of the year as a blogger. Tragic. 

It was well over one hundred degrees at 2:30pm and the radio weatherman claimed that the "heat index" was hovering around one hundred seven. I had the wide brim hat but I left the house with a  short sleeved technical shirt. By the time I'd walked a couple of blocks I found myself wanting a long sleeve version. The less burned you get the cooler you are later in the day. No heat radiating from burned skin...

I ducked into REI (Outdoor and camping equipment store) and found a medium, long sleeve, REI Sahara technical shirt, with an SPF of 50, on the clearance rack. I also bought a bandana which I soaked in the store's water fountain and wrapped around my neck. Newly configured, I headed back out to resume the walk. The new combination was effective and I did not succumb to the heat, even though I spent a good amount of time in the blacktop heat sink of downtown. 

The images are secondary today to the walk. I wanted the camera in my hand and I wanted to re-test the lens but mostly I did not want to capitulate to the Texas weather. And I was not the only one. There were hardy souls all around, running, biking, shopping and even drinking outside on sun-drenched bar patios. 

We've had 15 or 20 days of temperatures over 100 but I stopped complaining about the weather after my recent trip to Baton Rouge. They had similar temperatures but the humidity seemed permanently stuck at a zillion. It was a nice afternoon for a walk. 


Craig Yuill said...

I have found that I have to reign in shadow and highlight levels in FCP X when editing video clips taken with my Nikon mirrorless cameras. (I don't know if you have to deal with this with your various Sony cameras.) I wonder if this 45mm f/2.8 lens, with its flatter rendition, might be a good one for video uses. You have written in the past that videographers appreciate lens characteristics differently from still photographers. Still photographers might not be impressed by the old Nikkor 55mm f/1.2 - but I read a post in one forum by a videographer who was ecstatic about acquiring that 55mm lens. He liked the way that lens rendered video footage. Video might not be the reason why you purchased the lens, but it might be a good way to use the lens if it doesn't meet your still-photography needs.

john gee said...

as long as it reaches infinity, or a little bit beyond . it should be o.k.
anyway try the 28mm c/y T* on your a6300