About Thomas Fitzgerald

Thomas is a professional fine art photographer and writer specialising in photography related instructional books as well as travel writing and street photography. 

Some Fun with Black and White Using The Sony Nex 7 and a Nikon 35mm

One of the things that drew me to the Nex 7 is the very useful focus peaking feature. This makes it very easy to work with manual focus lenses from other manufacturers, which is just as well as Sony's own range of E-Mount lenses is a little lacking right now. The most obvious gap in the line up is a fast 35mm. Luckily Sony announced such a lens at this years Photokina, but  that won't be out for a while. In fact if it's anything like the Zeiss 24mm we'll still be waiting for it this time next year. Anyway, I have a nikon to e-mount adaptor so I wanted to see what my trusty Nikon 35mm would look like on the Nex. The results were interesting to say the least.  In colour this combination leads to terrible fringing, but in black and white, the results are really impressive. I used only the camera's own black and white function, and most of these were out of the camera Jpeg. I had turned the contrast up in-camera and the result is a really rich and deep black and white image. The only thing I did to these in post was add the odd vignette.

I'm not sure how well this translates onto the web, but this image is pin sharp on my laptop. The texture and detail is superb. Mind you, I've always loved that Nikon lens. It's not even the more expensive 35mm either, it's the cheap 35mm DX model. But it works perfectly on the Nex 7 using my novaflex adaptor.

Here you can see the really nice depth of field that's difficult to achieve with most E-Mount lenses because, apart from the impossible to get Zeiss 24mm, they're all pretty slow. The only other one with a fast aperture is the 50mm 1.8, but with the crop that's effectively a 75mm. Hopefully the recently announced line of lenses will solve this problem. Or you can of course do this - use a third party lens with an adaptor.

The focus peaking on the Sony cameras really is a great feature. Even wide open this was a doddle to get in focus, and this is a tricky shot even for autofocus because I was shooting right into the sun.

Another shot wide open with nice depth of field. All hand held and manually focussed. Lots of people using these type of cameras and manual focus lenses often use the zone focussing system which means stopping down, but it was really easy to manually focus and get this shot, even with the lens wide open, and even with a moving subject.

I'd like to say that I carefully thought this shot through and positioned myself in just the right place to avoid being seen in the glass, but the truth is it was just a fluke. Actually, you can just make out the edge of my arm !

I really do love how the little Sony produces such rich monochrome images. There's just something really crisp about it. That shot is straight out of the camera. In fact the only shot of all these so far that's been touched is the woman crossing the road. The exposure was a little off on the original shot, so I reverted to the raw to fix it, but everything else has been in-camera jpeg

I love how the torn reflector on this traffic cone looks like a little face!

Notice the extensive spider webs. there was an article on something the other day about how the weather has led to an explosion in the spider population in Ireland, and you can certainly see an awful lot of spiders webs about. Much more than usual. But they do make for nice pictures!

I do love this statue. It's in Merrion square for those wondering. The expression on the woman is amazingly well sculpted and her whole body language is so natural and realistic. It's actually quite a haunting piece.

And, I've saved my favourite shot for last....

The focus is a teeny bit off, but I took this while crossing the road, while he was crossing the road, with the camera at my hip with the screen held up, with the aperture fairly wide.

As I said at the start I really love the focus peaking feature of the Nex 7. It allows you to do some great things with old and not so old lenses. I also think the Nex 7 really shines when it comes to shooting black and white images. I still have some issues with the way it handles colour but that's another story .....


Galway in Fuji Colour

A Little Autumn Sunshine