A Walk by the Canal with the Sony SEL35f18

Quite a lot of the money I got by trading in my old Nikon equipment at Wex, I spent on a new lens – the Sony SEL35f18 – a 35mm f/1.8 e-mount lens for the NEX, with OSS (Sony’s optical stabilising, like Nikon VR or Canon’s IS). It’s a nice little lens, and the 35mm focal length seems to suit me well for many things.

We took a walk down to the canal, as its first outing other than a few test shots. It was the first day of the season for the Duck’s Ditty cafe bar, and the Canal Tea Gardens.

Most of these images were shot with Sony’s Rich Tone Mono setting, then warmed up in Aperture, with a small amount of sepia, and a bit of vignette and definition. I saved it as a preset, then applied it to a few of the images, and I quite like the style.

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The tea gardens give us tiny little salt and pepper shakers with our food – too cute to not shoot.

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A shiny metal teapot.

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I pulled some of the pics I’d taken over to my iPhone here using the NEX’s WiFi, and posted a couple to Instagram. Then I photographed my Instagram, and posted that to Instagram too, Instagramming the Instagram. The Internet didn’t implode, which was good.

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Up at the Duck’s Ditty, we had coffees, and I took a quick shot of Sam’s camera – a NEX-5R.

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Cappuccino at the Duck’s Ditty comes with a duck.

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It was getting late, so we had to leaf.

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Red Berries

Two shots, both taken with an old Chinon 135mm f/2.8 lens. These are as close as this lens can focus, but it brings out colours and tones really nicely, and the wide aperture gives a beautifully shallow depth of field.

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Walking Home

I walked home recently. I haven’t done that for a while, and it felt like a bit of a challenge. It isn’t so much the distance as the steep hill at the end. I made it home, though, without collapsing and dying at all, which was a win.

It was also a nice chance to do a bit of photography at the end of a working day. All shots were taken with my old Takumar 50mm f/1.4 lens, on my NEX-6. I didn’t only take shots in black and white, but all the shots I was happy with were mono.

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New Toys from Wex

I sent most of my old Nikon gear to Wex for part exchange recently, and spent the proceeds on new toys for my Sony NEX-6. They arrived yesterday. I haven’t had much chance to play so far, but here are some very brief first impressions…

  • Sony SEL35f18 (Search for "SEL35f18" on: DuckDuckGo, Amazon UK, Amazon US) lens – a compact 35mm f/1.8 lens for the NEX. Makes for a nice light package, though a bit bigger than the kit ‘powerzoom’ lens. Nice wide aperture, and seems to be perfectly usable at f/1.8. In a quick test, it does get better at f/2, and better again at f/2.8. f/1.8 is still quite sharp, though, which is more than I can say for the vintage lenses I’ve picked up cheap on eBay.
  • LowePro Passport Sling (Search for "LowePro Passport Sling" on: DuckDuckGo, Amazon UK, Amazon US) bag. Very good bag, bought for Sam, and she seems to like it. Well thought out, and practical for carrying things other than just a camera.
  • Microfibre cloths (Search for "Microfibre cloths" on: DuckDuckGo, Amazon UK, Amazon US) – I love microfibre cloths. Is that terribly sad? I don’t care if it is. I also got us each a ‘spudz’ – little microfibre cloths that stuff into a neoprene pouch they’re stitched to. Handy.
  • Spare Sony battery for the NEX. I do kind of resent the price for the real Sony one, but paid it anyway. These kinds of battery can go badly wrong if the safety mechanisms aren’t good, so I’d rather pay the extra to get one I know will have been made well.
  • Two more LowePro Dashpoint 20 (Search for "LowePro Dashpoint 20" on: DuckDuckGo, Amazon UK, Amazon US) pouches. Really useful size for lenses, and two or three fit quite neatly in my Maxpedition (Search for "Maxpedition" on: DuckDuckGo, Amazon UK, Amazon US) bag along with my MacBook Air. They also attach easily to a belt, or pop neatly into a coat pocket, too, making for a nice flexible way of carrying a variable number of spare lenses. When going to work, I like to have my 55-210 zoom with me, but rarely use it. If I’m walking by the canal, I may want a Lensbaby, or I might want the old Takumar 50mm f/1.4, or I may want to take the standard Sony zoom, or the Chinon 135mm f/2.8. Dashpoints can take any combination, and go in bag, belt or pockets.