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  • Writer's pictureKaisern Chen

The Running Trains - SONY E Mount FF cameras - Part 2

Updated: May 29


If I were asked what the camera of 2020 is, my answer will be the SONY A7R IV!



2024


May 2024


Maria Ivaschenko "Audio Therapy" SOTA SKY Studio, Bangkok, Thailand May 28 2024 SONY A7R V + FE 85/1.4 GM

April 2024


Songkran Festival vibe, Soi Nana, Bangkok, Thailand April 2024 SONY A7R V + FE 24-70/2.8 GM II f/3.5 1/160s ISO 100 Aperture Priority

I have been using my older Canon 1Ds III from 2008 for Songkran Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand which considered the capital of the "Water Festival" with the craziness a magnitude above Bangkok, with no problem shooting in the heart of the action. Today's premium cameras, the like of my SONY A7R V, is absolutely no problem to go through the Songkran water bath.


Songkran Festival vibe, Soi Nana, Bangkok, Thailand April 2024 SONY A7R V + FE 24-70/2.8 GM II f/3.5 1/160s ISO 100 Aperture Priority


March 2024


Cham Đỗ "SURFACED" Hanoi, Vietnam March 26, 2024 SONY A7R V + FE 24-70/2.8 GM II f/6.3 1/60s ISO 800 Aperture Priority

Cham Đỗ "SURFACED" Hanoi, Vietnam March 26, 2024 SONY A7R V + FE 24-70/2.8 GM II f/8 1/50s ISO 1,250 Aperture Priority

It is fair to say that most of the cameras that are the top of the line of the leading brands are very much similar in performance, with no clear cup winner.


It is up to individual preference and how each one set up the camera to fit the particular style of photography each individual is after. I have been using the SONY A7R series cameras from the first to this 5th generation model - A7R V, a most balanced camera that I have ever used! Fast, accurate, never disappoints.


January 2024


January 24 The SONY FE 135 F1.8 GM - a brilliant lens and also my least-used SONY E- mount lens

My SONY A7R V mounted with my least-used FE 135mm F1.8 GM

The famous Japanese electronics, PCs, and camera retailer Yodobashi Camera ヨドバシ recently published the list of the 20 best-selling lenses of 2023:



SONY E-mount lenses claimed the top two spots, or three of the top ten spots, or five of the top ten spots including the 3rd party (Tamron) E-mount lenses; signifying SONY's leading position in the mirrorless cameras sector. It is also interesting to note that there is no single prime lens of any brands/make in the top 20 list.


My list of lenses to base on my actual shooting with my SONY will be:



The SONY lenses I owned and never used once in the last 2-3 years:



Of the lenses I least used but like the most is the FE 135mm F1.8 GM because the 135mm is a classic portrait lens I always have for every camera system I ever owned, as does the 100mm Macro (90mm in FE case). I used the FE 135mm F1.8 GM only twice since I bought it immediately after it hit the market, the image quality leaves no question nor doubt, but my preference for portraiture shooting in the digital era changed.


Today, not only that the FE 24-70/2.8 GM II is my most often used lens, but in fact, it accounted for probably 90% of all my images taken with a SONY. Today's premium zoom lens like my Sony FE 24-70/2.8 GM II may not make the classic prime lenses obsolete, but it always makes you think twice when you want to remove it from your camera.



January 13-20 Mandalay Myanmar


With Steve McCurry on board Myanmar Air from Bangkok to Mandalay January 13, 2024 SONY A7R V + FE 24-70/2.8 GM II at 28mm f/4, 1/60s, ISO 320 Aperture Priority

Worker at the bronze workshop, Mandalay, Myanmar January 14, 2023 SONY A7R V + FE 24-70/2.8 GM II f/4 1/125s ISO 100 Aperture Priority

2023


November 2023


November 11 SONY A9 III - Not If But When

SONY A9 III

To understand SONY A9 III one must know what SONY is as a corporation and its purpose, that is:


" Fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology."


As a photographer, I looked at the camera as a tool, the SONY camera is one of the options that is available in the market, a more competitive option, IMHO. Since my first SONY mirrorless - the NEX-7 from 2011 which I called a self-contained mini digital back and one that will change the camera industries; fast-forward to 2023, I was not wrong.


The camera division is a small one in the SONY group, whose revenue-generating segments are led by Game & Network Services, by a wide margin, and Financial Services, Music, and Pictures (movies) have always been strong. The cameras are "Consumer Electronics" which is under the Electronics: Entertainment Technology & Service, which tells how SONY executive boards see the cameras business - a consumer electronic product, driven by technology. And SONY has been more right than wrong.


The latest camera from SONY, the A9 III is a product much based on the sensor, semiconductors, and miniaturization of quality electronic components. The Traditional camera makers have not been particularly successful in the digital age, market share per se, with the exception being Canon. But is their product competitive and capable of delivering good performance? Of course, most of the components are developed by professional makers - image sensors, processing engines, memory modules, electronic viewfinders, and most other components, and camera brands are doing system integration rather than creating something truly distinctive.


System integration requires immense know-how, particularly in electronics, therefore we witness the traditional camera companies getting outpaced by companies with better electronic depth.


Traditional camera makers today have little to no influence on the development of the most important components except the lens-building, their marketing paper may say something else, but those are marketing papers. What drives the image industry development today is the smart devices and research and industrial sectors and most of the achievements trickle down to the relatively smaller users, for example, the camera market.


The camera market is by no means small, it is still sizeable for some proprietary technology development on the application level, but not on the boundary-pushing territory. The global shutter CMOS sensors have been around for years before they went onto full-frame cameras such as the SONY A9 III. The BIONZ XR image processing engine inside the new A9III and A7R V is the most powerful among all existing digital cameras but is nowhere close to Apple's A17 Pro (SoC built on a 3-nanometer process node) inside the iPhone 15 Pro.


Perhaps when SONY can finally bring the contract production of its BIONZ processor from Global Foundry to its joint-ventured (with TSMC and Denso) Kumamoto Fab. which is expected to start production in 2024, SONY will be in a new position to dictate camera processor development manufacturing. We could expect RAM-integrated, multi-core SoC processors for cameras soon.


However, what the A9 III introduced is still considered ground-breaking in a traditional camera sense. Through the various generations of cameras before SONY A9 III, the sensor is now not only replacing the film plate or celluloid film of the past, but also the quick-return mirror, exposure metering, Phase-Detection/Contrast-Detection AF, and now also eliminating the need for a mechanical shutter.


The global shutter has a non-transient exposure mechanism that is entirely analogous to that of interline CCDs, enabling captures of a kinetic acquisition series with zero spatial distortion, as well as providing simpler and faster synchronization performance over the entire shutter speed range, in A9 III, to 1/80,000 second, giving the full control of balancing light with all kinds of lighting equipment.


The original A9 which I bought back in 2017 and used alongside my SONY A7R III and later the A7R IV was a better camera in all ways except lower resolution, which I sold eventually to upgrade to the A1 that better suits my preference for a production camera - ie. higher resolution. The A9 III improved on all fronts over the previous generations of cameras as well as all other current SONY mirrorless offerings except the 24.6 MP resolution which is adequate for sports or wildlife for what it is appealing to, but not a camera for me. The SONY A1 and 7R V are already fast enough for my use I never hit the memory buffer limit in the years using them. The global shutter, flash synchronization at all speeds down to 1/80,000s, and 8-stop image stabilization are all desirable features that are useful for me that I am hopeful to see on the SONY A1 II which is probably only a few months away from the official release.


The so-called "Game Changer" has been used on many brands' flagship cameras over the years but few justify the claim. The A9 III, as its predecessor, the original A9, are two worthy ones. What SONY demonstrated with the A9 III is an indication of a new development approach through the power of creativity and technology.


SONY is in a comfortable position with proprietary know-how on sensor development and manufacturing, and eventually, processor manufacturing to further secure its leadership in modern camera manufacturing.


The running train is still hard to stop!



MARCH 2023


March 1 My new SONY A7R V

My new work horses - 2X SONY A7R V

My two trusty SONY A7R IV got the replacement!


As user from the original A7R, the A7R II, the A7R III, and the A7R IV, now I am on the 5th generation of SONY A7 "R" series cameras. Much have remained familiar while improvements and refinement found everywhere.


The same 61MP 24x36mm BSI-CMOS sensor as on my A7R IV, and also my Leica M11, is an excellent sensor that I trust and comfortable that it is on the new A7R V, it's an old friend.


The autofocus is faster and more intelligent, added the brilliant 9.44 million dot 120 FPS EVF elevate the experience with A7R V to another level. Image stabilization is improved to 8-stops from 5.5-stops that is a great flexibility added to the already very capable A7R IV.


The only frustration I have with the older A7R IV is now addressed that I no longer hit the buffer and no need to give the camera a break to load even using my older SONY Tough 256GB 300R/299W MB/s V90 cards!


On the specification sheet the A7R V can record 135 uncompressed RAW or 583 compressed RAW is more than I need for still shooting and avoid to have to upgrade to CF Express Type A cards the A7R V now supports as I would prefer to get CF Express Type B cards that will be more likely to be adapted by my other cameras, for example, the next generation Fujifilm GFX cameras, or the next Leica SL cameras.


I did not use my A7R IV for any serious video works and likely not with my new A7R V but it is good to know it is now a worthy video camera that I may try to do some personal projects with.


One feature I never care much, the now fully-articulated LCD screen allows me to fold the screen while shooting in the field and also while storing camera in the bag, is now useful for me.


It is the best time anyone loves the photography with so many amazing tools available today and knowing they will only get better. Now, just go out and shoot!




February 2023


February 12 with Steve McCurry

Close and personal with one of my best friends, Steve McCurry, and our memory with the solo exhibition book of the late Ko Si Chi, a great Taiwanese photographer and my mentor, at SO/ Bangkok , Thailand February 12, 2023 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM II


February 17 Alexander Sieger "Surfaced"

Alexander Sieger "Surfaced" Bangkok, Thailand SONY A7R IV + FE 85/1.4 GM f/6 1/90s ISO 160 Aperture Priority

February 20

Dominique Peninon "Surfaced" Bangkok, Thailand SONY A7R IV + FE 85/1.4 GM f/6.3 1/125s ISO 100

Muriel Fond "Fond 太太 - Madame Fond" Bangkok, Thailand February 2023 SONY A7R IV + FE 85/1.4 GM f/7.1 1/125s ISO 100


2022


October 2022


October 3 Katarina Gartell

Katarina Gartell behind Hasselblad X2D 100c + XCD 55/2.5V October 3, 2022 Bangkok, Thailand SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8GM II f/5.6 1/125s ISO 125 Aperture Priority


October 9 Street portrait - The tattoo couple from Russia, tourists in Bangkok, Thailand

Street portrait - the lovely couple, stranger I met on the Charon Krung street, Bangkok, Thailand. Evgenia Busalaeva, from Sochi, lovely Russian city by the Black Sea and and Pavel Mizev, from Khanty-Mansiysk, Siberia, pose for me with display of their tattoos. October 9, 2022 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM II f/4.5 1/125s ISO 800 Aperture Priority

Young girls on the street (let to right: Omm, Beam and Chompoo) - one of the fun thing wandering on the street to find subject to photograph and practice human connection. October 9, 2022 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM II f/4.5 1/15s ISO 4,000 Aperture Priority

Thanaporn Duangpud with Olympus Mju I at the Post Office HQ Bangkok, Thailand October 9, 2022 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM II f/4.5 1/30s ISO 12,800 Aperture Priority


October 12 Yaowalak Rhitsomchit

Yaowalak Rhitsomchit, Bangkok, Thailand October 12, 2022 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM II f/4 1/30s ISO 640 Aperture Priority


October 12 Natasha Friesen

Natasha Friesen behind Leica M11 + Summilux-M 50/1.4 ASPH, Bangkok, Thailand October 12, 2022 SONY A7RIV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM II f/5 1/60s ISO 320 Aperture Priority


October 19 Jessie Fan - "Memory" Tamsui, New Taipei City, Taiwan

Jessie Fan "Memory" Tamsui, New Taipei City, Taiwan October 19, 2022 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM II f/6.3 1/100s ISO 100 Aperture Priority

Jessie Fan "Memory" Tamsui, New Taipei City, Taiwan October 19, 2022 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM II f/3.5 1/30s ISO 2,500 Aperture Priority

October 30 Kanjana Chaiwatanachai - the birthday girl

My wife, the birthday girl, Kanjana Chaiwatanachai at the Marriott Bangkok, Thailand October 30, 2022 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM II


SEPTEMBER 2022


September 12 Yaowalak Rhitsomchit at Line Jatujak-Mochit Bangkok, Thailand

Yaowalak Rhitsomchit at Line Jatujak-Mochit Bangkok, Thailand September 12, 2022 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM II f/3.2 1/30s. ISO 6,400 Aperture Priority

Yaowalak Rhitsomchit at Line Jatujak-Mochit Bangkok, Thailand September 12, 2022 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM II f/3.2 1/80s. ISO 100 Aperture Priority

Yaowalak Rhitsomchit at Line Jatujak-Mochit Bangkok, Thailand September 12, 2022 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM II f/3.2 1/60s ISO 2,500 Aperture Priority


May 2022


March 15 "Maskless"

Kanjana Chaiwatanachai "Maskless" - by the definition of the 2 years prior , Bangkok, Thailand May 15, 2022 SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 GM


March 26 Natthida Duangjampa, Bangkok, Thailand

Natthida Duangjampa, Bangkok, Thailand May 26, 2022 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM f/4.5 1/30s. ISO 250 Aperture Priority


Natthida Duangjampa, Bangkok, Thailand May 26, 2022 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM f/5.6 1/30s. ISO 250 Aperture Priority



March 2022 Russia revisited


March 12 Cherepovets, Vologda Oblast, Russia

Early spring days, Cherepovets region, Vologda Oblast, Russia March 12, 2022 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM

March 17 at Krista HQ Rybinsk, Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia

Venera Arkhipova, Krista HQ Rybinsk, Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia March 17, 2022 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM

Anastasia Vinogradova, Krista HQ Rybinsk, Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia March 17, 2022 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM

March 17 Pilaf lunch, Rybinsk, Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia

Eugene preparing carrots while Alexander in dialogues with Vera and Yury - at Alexander's dacha, Rybinsk. Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia March 17, 2022 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM



March 30 The small town teens, Myshkin, Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia

Alyona Yarotskaya & Dasha, Myshkin, Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia March 30, 2022 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM

Ruslan & Kirillov, Myshkin, Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia March 30, 2022 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM


February 2022

Kanjana Chaiwatanachai, my wife, at the Craftsman Roastery Bamrung Means Bangkok, Thailand February 5, 2022 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM


February 14 On the Valentine's Day - my date, Kanjana Chaiwatanachai

My Valentine's Date - Kanjana Chaiwatanachai, at the Central Embassy Bangkok, Thailand February 14, 2022 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM


February 27 Sunday morning walk at the Benchakitti Forest Park, Bangkok

Sunday morning walk at the Benchakitti Forest Park, Bangkok, Thailand February 27, 2022 SONY A7R IV + Canon TS-E 17/4L


2021


November 2021


November 27 at 51 Live Gastro Bangkok with some friends

Katarina Gartell, Anna Dyatchina, Liza Kaylee & Anastasia Maslova, 51 Live Gastro - Counter Punch Round IV - November 27, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 GM f/3.2 1/60s ISO 3200 Aperture Priority

Katarina Gartell, Anna Dyatchina, Liza Kaylee & Anastasia Maslova, 51 Live Gastro - Counter Punch Round IV - November 27, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 GM f/3.5 1/60s ISO 3200 Aperture Priority


OCTOber 2021


October 6 Boundary Expanded!


Canon has announced its first product, and probably more to follow, the RF 5.2mm f/2.8 L Dual Fisheye Lens and a compatible VR headset - Oculus Quest 2 - to bring the EOS R system into new territory.


Canon EOS R5 with RF 5.2mm f/2.8 L Dual Fisheye Lens

The new RF Dual Fisheye engineered with an interpupillary distance (the space between two eyes) of 60mm to deliver 3D imagery in VR is capable of enabling stereoscopic 3D 180-degree virtual reality (VR) shooting to a single image sensor bypassing the troublesome of stitching and synching.


Canon RF 5.2mm f/2.8 L Dual Fisheye Lens patent drawing/application P2021-51282A (Japan)

Canon RF 5.2mm f/2.8 L Dual Fisheye Lens

The new lens allows the close focus to 0.2m/7.87" with a maximum magnification of 0.03X with a built-in Gelatin Filter Holder for creative content use. With an EOS VR Utility and EOS VR Plug-In for Adobe Premiere Pro, creators can automatically convert the footage to equirectangular and edit as they would with regular footage from there.


There would be followers, probably including smartphones and underwater cameras, to further push the boundary, not bad news! SONY?




September 2021


September 16 Crest Sukhumvit 34 Bangkok

Maria Klepikova, Crest Sukhumvit 34 Bangkok, Thailand September 16, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 85/1.8 f/5 1/80s ISO 100 Aperture Priority


Liza Kaylee, Crest Sukhumvit 34 Bangkok, Thailand September 16, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 85/1.8 f/4 1/320s ISO 100 Aperture Priority


Liza Kaylee, Crest Sukhumvit 34 Bangkok, Thailand September 16, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 85/1.8 f/5 1/125s ISO 100 Aperture Priority


September 18 Tamron 35-150 F/2-2.8 Di III YXD E Mount lens announcement

Tamron 35-150 F/2-2.8 Di III YXD E Mount Lens

I had never use a Tamron lens before, and this newly announced could be the first one!


The 35-150 f/2-2.8 Di III VXD for SONY E Mount has a long name that can get those unfamiliar with the Tarom lens lost. But it does not matter. I have little doubt about any brand-named lens maker from Japan, not to mention Tamron, who has some legendary lenses over the company's history, such as the 90mm Macro.


A native lens is always my preference, I would like instead to get a SONY; before then, this Tamron is on top of the list of my next lens.





June 2021

My collection of stamps mailed to me from around the world in 2021, June 17, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 GM


May 2021


May 1 Olga Novoselova

Olga Novoselova "Surfaced" Hyatt Regency Sukhumvit 13, Bangkok, Thailand May 1, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM f/5 1/60s ISO 400 Aperture Priority

Olga Novoselova "Surfaced" Hyatt Regency Sukhumvit 13, Bangkok, Thailand May 1, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM f/5 1/60s ISO 200 Aperture Priority

May 17

Daria Sorokina, SOTA 96 Bangkok, Thailand May 17, 2021 SONY A7R IV + 85/1.4 GM f/10 1/100s ISO 100 Profoto Lightings


April 2021


April 12-15 Songkran Festival holidays


Songkran at Makkasan Community, Bangkok, Thailand April 13, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 GM f/2.5 1/320s ISO 100 Aperture Priority

Two, "Faces of Makkasan" Makkasan Community Bangkok, Thailand April 13, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 GM f/3.5 1/125s ISO 100 Aperture Priority

Cartoon - too early for lipstick, Makkasan Community Bangkok, Thailand April 13, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 GM f/3.5 1/80s ISO 100 Aperture Priority

April 17 Dubua, Nakhon Chai Si

Be like the lotus: trust in the light, grow through the dirt, believe in new beginnings. DuBua, Nakhon Chai Si, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand April 17, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 GM f/6.3 1/1.250 ISO 100 Aperture Priority


April 22 Always Summer at Crest 34 Bangkok

Liza Kaylee "Always Summer" Crest 34 Bangkok, Thailand April 22, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 GM f/4 1/250s ISO 100 Aperture Priority

Evgenia Parker "Always Summer" Crest 34 Bangkok, Thailand April 22, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 85/1.8 f/1.8 1/640s ISO 100 Aperture Priority

Liza Kaylee "Always Summer" Crest 34 Bangkok, Thailand April 22, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 GM f/1.8 1/640s ISO 100 Aperture Priority

Evegenia Parker & Liza Kaylee "Always Summer" Crest 34 Bangkok, Thailand April 22, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 85/1.8 f/1.8 1/640s ISO 100 Aperture Priority

Liza Kaylee "Always Summer" Crest 34 Bangkok, Thailand April 22, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 GM f/4 1/400s ISO 100 Aperture Priority

Evgenia Parker "Always Summer" Crest 34 Bangkok, Thailand April 22, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 GM f/3.5 1/640s ISO 100 Aperture Priority

Evgenia Parker "Always Summer" Crest 34 Bangkok, Thailand April 22, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 GM f/8 1/125s ISO 100 Aperture Priority

Evgenia Parker "Always Summer" Crest 34 Bangkok, Thailand April 22, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 GM f/4 1/640s ISO 100 Aperture Priority

Evgenia Parker "Always Summer" Crest 34 Bangkok, Thailand April 22, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 GM f/3.5 1/500s ISO 100 Aperture Priority


April 23 Return to the Bangkok Railway Station

Shalika Chitkosolsuk, the Bangkok Railway Station, Thailand April 23, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 GM f/2 1/60s ISO 500 Aperture Priority


April 30 Warehouse 30 Bangkok

Olga Novoselova, Warehouse 30 Bangkok, Thailand April 30, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 GM f/2 1/60s ISO 320 Aperture Priority

Olga Novoselova, Cafe Eiffel at House No. 1 Bang Rak, Bangkok, Thailand April 30, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 GM f/4.5 1/60s ISO 640 Aperture Priority



March 2021


March 8, my SONY FE 35mm F/1.4 GM arrived!

SONY A&R IV + FE 35mm f/1.4 GM

The new G Master is very well built, compact - 67mm filter size and weighs 524g (1.2 lb) compares to my older SONY Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA 72mm filter size and weighs 630g (1.39 lb) which I sold to make room for the new GM.


I was happy with the Zeiss Distagon 35/1.4 ZA and made quite a few images from the years I have the lens. The new GM on specification is a very high-performing lens and will help to save some traveling size (96mm vs. 112mm extended from the lens mount). I will miss my Zeiss Distagon; however, I could still use the Distagon 35/1.4 ZM with an adapter if I want.


SONY A7 IV with Zeiss Distagon 35/1.4 ZM and the new FE 35/1.4 GM

Ready to hit the street!




March 13 Makkasan Bangkok


Jantu and Ta, two Khmer ladies enjoy their home-baked tomato, Makkasan Community, Bangkok, Thailand March 13, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 GM f/4.5 1/80s ISO 100 Aperture Priority

Lottery ticket vendor with his lottery ticket mask, Makkasan, Bangkok March 13, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 GM f/4.5 1/60s ISO 100 Aperture Priority

Malee. 80 years old, Makkasan, Bangkok, Thailand March 13, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 GM f/2 1/60s ISO 320 Aperture Priority

I went out shooting to try the new FE 35/1.4 GM, and by curiosity, I also bring along a Leica M10 Monochrom with my new Voigtländer APO-LANTHAR 50/2 ASPH. I don't typically like to test the lens or camera, certainly not more than I like to use them to shoot. The monochrome conversion from Capture One Pro resulted in very competitive details and tones that I would not fare any less than the file from my M10 Monochrom or my MM246 or original Monochrom.


I don't suggest how one should buy their photography equipment. For monochrome images, as long as anyone has good taste and understands how the file conversion works in common software, they should consider the Bayer-sensor camera first.


Monochrom cameras are wonderful cameras, but for me, they are not the first camera to own. There are amazing black and white images from many talented photographers that are mostly converted from color captures, and they proved what they could do without monochrom cameras!


The new FE 35/1.4 GM maintains a very natural perspective even in close-up portraitures. The eye-focusing works swiftly to allow the pictures taken before the subject in front of the camera gets bored and turns away.



Mee, Makkasan, Bangkok, Thailand March 13, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 GM f/3.2 1/60s ISO 160 Aperture Priority

SONY A7R IV Vs. Fujifilm GFX100S ?


My new Fujifilm GFX100S + GF 45/2.8 R WR next to my trusted SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 GM

There are often discussions and debates of camera systems of different sensor formats while I don't view the camera system competing against but complementing each other.


The average users are not more intelligent than the engineers, designers, and management team behind each camera, but that does not keep them from criticizing the camera, the camera system, and the camera company. There is nothing wrong with the users criticizing even though most of those are the noises! The camera company needs to separate the signals from the noises.


The sensor development is the heart of the digital camera system as the engine or electric motors to a car. However, the sensor alone does not run the camera akin to the engine or motor alone don't move the vehicle. The scientists behind sensor developments are constantly working on what is possible than what they already learned. It is of different aspects as many users "Don't Fix it if it Ain't Broken' mindset. That applies to all the components that work with the sensor to becomes a camera. The development of many electrical components is high-tech, while putting them together (assemble the camera) probably not.


The camera industries mostly rely on the off-the-shelf sensor, not those most advanced sensors custom-made for the scientific or military sector, who also get the best optical lens which cost is no object. However, the general consumer should feel blessed for whatever is available today that is above and beyond the wildest dream of those iconic figures who paved the foundation of photography we know today. And it will only get better!


A good example today is my new Fujifilm GFX100S. The SONY sensor selected by Fujifilm GFX100 and later GFX100S is a 102MP 3.8 µm pixel pitch 43.8 X 32.9mm die-sized module cleaved from the whole wafer. The 3.8 µm pixel pitch sensor also inside the Phase One IQ4 150 & IQ4 150 Achromatic (53.4 X 40.0mm 151.0MP) that release before the Fujifilm GFX100. The tuning of sensor and electronics applied around the sensor makes the difference, not the die-sized module itself. Nothing from the Fujifilm GFX100/GFX100S is considered new and groundbreaking, mostly marketing words! However, as a owner of GFX100 since July 2019 - my GFX100 blog - I can confirm the image quality is among the very best, and I expect my new GFX100S would equal that.


Most of the technologies for consumer electronic cameras are not explicitly developed for larger than FF 24X36mm sensor cameras. The smart autofocus system, image-stabilized technology on lens or in-body, application of EVF, and articulated rear screen are all developed for the smaller format cameras. Medium format camera just adapted, with some tweak of its own.


Every camera is designed for specific reasons and targets different users; therefore, it becomes somewhat subjective when comparing them. The SONY A7R IV, although with a sensor size 40% smaller than the Fujifilm GFX100S, makes up with superior autofocus performance and speed of operation, and responsiveness. The faster and brighter FE 35/1.4 GM is more compact than the lens of a similar angle of view GF 45/2.8 R WR that will allow the photographers who rely on working in very early to late hours with more flexibility, such as wildlife, sports, or journalism. Conversely, the camera with a larger sensor size also has the advantage of the system is designed. It is just a different tool for different use.


The camera system is developed as a tool for the photographer, not as a subject of debate. Many photographers, fortunately, can afford multiple systems will have to devote their time to master various tools. Some photographers are limited or preferred to work with a single system; they can concentrate. It is not about which is better; it is about budget and management.


The photographers should not feel upset about their tool is not the latest; they should feel proud if they can take better pictures using yesterday's tool! One never achieved such pride with a superior tool.




March 16 SONY announced the FE 50 F1.2 G Master

Sony FE 50 F1.2 G Master

I have many SONY G Master lenses and have never been disappointed with anyone. If my recently bought 35/1.4 GM an indicator of what the coming 50/1.2 GM would be, it is a must-have. Yes, pre-order placed.


Sony FE 50 F1.2 G Master Lens configuration chart
SONY Proprietary XA lens surface precision controlled down to the 0.01-micron level

Sony's proprietary extreme aspherical (XA) lenses were adopted with computation simulation technologies for resolution, bokeh, and chromatic aberration to result in a lens that is compact and high performance. I am sure I will shoot with this lens more often than I did with my Zeiss Planar T* FE 50mm F1.4 ZA!



March 17 with Katarina Gartell


Katarina Gartell, Emporio Place Bangkok, Thailand March 17, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 G Master f/2.8 1/30s ISO 1,600 Aperture Priority

Katarina Gartell, Emporio Place Bangkok, Thailand March 17, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 G Master f/2.8 1/30s ISO 1,600 Aperture Priority

Katarina Gartell "Private Moment" with Leica M10 Monochrom, Emporio Place Bangkok, Thailand March 17, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 G Master f/4 1/60s ISO 100 Aperture Priority

Katarina Gartell "Private Moment" Emporio Place Bangkok, Thailand March 17, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 G Master f/4 1/40s ISO 100 Aperture Priority

At the end of the shoot, as a tradition, have the model to pose with my camera!

Katarina Gartell behind my Fujifilm GFX100S + GF 110/2 R LM WR, Emporio Place Bangkok, Thailand March 17, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 35/1.4 G Master f/6 1/30s ISO 160 Aperture Priority



February 2021


Continue to work on my project "Surfaced"


Izem Yilmaz "Surfaced" Bangkok, Thailand February 12, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 85/1.4GM f/6.3 1/125s ISO 200 Profoto A1 X 2

Izem Yilmaz "Shower Box" Bangkok, Thailand February 12, 2021 SONY A7R IV + Zeiss Planar T* FE 50/1.4 ZA f/7.1 1/50s ISO 200 Lighting: Profoto A1

Izem Yilmaz, Bangkok, Thailand February 12, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 85/1.4 GM f/3.2 1/60s ISO 3,200


February 15, 2021 - return to the Bangkok Railway Station


Shalika and her cats, the Bangkok Railway Station, Thailand February 15, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM f/4.5 1/60s ISO 640 Aperture Priority

Shalika and her cats, the Bangkok Railway Station, Thailand February 15, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 24-70/2.8 GM f/4 1/60s ISO 125 Aperture Priority

January 2021


Continue on project : Cycles of life


"Death is the start of a beginning, life is the start of the end, and the cycle continues forever."

~ Tim I. Gurung, Afterlife



Cycle of Life #21-177 January 7, 2021 Bangkok, Thailand SONY A7R IV + Canon TS-E 90/2.8L f/9 1/60s ISO 125 Aperture Priority

January 9 - The Birthday girl - Evgenia Parker "Surfaced"

Evgenia Parker "Surfaced" Bangkok, Thailand January 9, 2021 SONY A7R IV + FE 85/1.4 GM Profoto A1 Lighting

Continue on the project "Cycle of Life"


Cycle of Life #21-1868 January 18, 2021 Bangkok, Thailand SONY A7R IV + Canon TS-E 90/2.8 f/11 1/60s ISO 500 Manual Exposure

Cycle of Life #21-2125 January 18, 2021 Bangkok, Thailand SONY A7R IV + Canon TS-E 90/2.8 f/10 1/50s ISO 2,000 Manual Exposure

Cycle of Life #21-2154 January 18, 2021 Bangkok, Thailand SONY A7R IV + Canon TS-E 90/2.8 f/10 1/50s ISO 2,500 Manual Exposure

Cycle of Life #21-2853 January 20, 2021 Bangkok, Thailand SONY A7R IV + Canon TS-E 90/2.8 f/14 1/60s ISO 400 Manual Exposure

Cycle of Life #21-2961 January 20, 2021 Bangkok, Thailand SONY A7R IV + Canon TS-E 90/2.8 f/14 1/60s ISO 640 Manual Exposure

Cycle of Life #21-3067 January 20, 2021 Bangkok, Thailand SONY A7R IV + Canon TS-E 90/2.8 f/14 1/30s ISO 500 Manual Exposure

Cycle of Life #21-3244 January 20, 2021 Bangkok, Thailand SONY A7R IV + Canon TS-E 90/2.8 f/11 1/60s ISO 1,600 Manual Exposure

Cycle of Life #21-3925 January 21, 2021 Bangkok, Thailand SONY A7R IV + Canon TS-E 90/2.8 f/13 1/60s ISO 1,250 Manual Exposure

Cycle of Life #21-4289 January 24, 2021 Bangkok, Thailand SONY A7R IV + Canon TS-E 90/2.8 f/14 1/125s ISO 1,600 Manual Exposure



January 26 - The Sony Alpha 1 launched!



Is it a surprise? Not really! Something unexpected? Sort of!


Sony Alpha 1



We know what SONY is capable of and how consumer electronic works. SONY has the A7R IV, which I own and love to use, and, IMHO, the most versatile and dependable current time camera. SONY also has the A9 series camera that I also use but much less often because of its sensor resolution. It is still an excellent camera for anything that requires precision and speed, thanks to its stacked CMOS sensor for the zero-black-out viewfinder.


Then SONY has the A7S series camera geared towards videography, which I rarely do, I have the A7SII for a while to use for low-light still photography, but its AF system made me abandoned it. A7SIII, by specification a great camera, but it is not suitable for my objective of shooting still pictures. You know, one-day, SONY will put all these technologies in one camera, and that day is January 26, 2021. A little unexpected is the camera named Alpha 1. But it makes sense.


I am tempted, of course! I am quite happy with my A7R IV on speed and accuracy and hardly ever touch the high-speed mode. Not on the sensor resolution because I have A7RIV that out-resolve the Alpha 1, and I have Fujifilm GFX100 for higher resolution or Phase One XF100 for studio use. But there are the curiosities that the Alpha 1 packed so much advanced technology that constitute a good reason to have it. No urgency.


The new Alpha 1 enables the flash triggering when using an electronic shutter, something Phase One has for years, albeit slow, good to see it on Alpha 1. Its mechanical shutter allows 1/400s sync that is fantastic news. SONY's smartphone division also becomes an integral part of the system, finally, but late better than never.


The best thing is that SONY has decided to release Alpha 1, which signals some strategic camera line-up changes. The course correction will put pressure on the companies with less integrated capabilities, too many to name! But the pressure will also drive innovation that larger corporations slower to react to.


It's not bad news for consumers.




Continue to work on my "Cycle of Life" project


Cycle of Life #21-4669 January 27, 2021 Bangkok, Thailand SONY A7R IV + Canon TS-E 90/2.8 f/11 1/60s ISO 320 Manual Exposure




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