Creative Melbourne is a new Facebook group I was invited to join for a model shoot a couple of weeks ago. It was a speed dating style shoot where they organise multiple models and photographers and where you spend some time with each model over a series of locations and about 5 hours, in some cases sharing a model with one or more photographers.
Last week I picked on Fujifilm in first of the Sony vs Fujifilm series; Today, it’s Sony’s turn to feel the heat. The topic this week is “Kaizen” which is the Japanese word for “continuous improvement” or “good change”, I’m not 100% sure because different website say different things and I’m too lazy to research the exact translation.
“Kaizen” as a concept in the case of Fujifilm, is a series of firmware updates Fujifilm continues to put out for years after a camera is released to improve the functionality of the camera subject to the limitations of the hardware, something none of the other manufacturers I’m aware of do, where most of the firmware updates are solely to fix bugs and in some cases, not at all. As far as I know, the A7rii hasn’t had the star-eater issue fixed, somewhat of a disgrace if you’re an astro shooter.
There is one thing I find amazing about Sony users: they seem to have bought into the Sony marketing pitch hook, line and sinker. In fact, I would go as far as to say they took the whole fishing rod.
Any time I see a question about a new lens on the facebook sites, the first responses back point to G master lenses or $2000 Zeiss lenses. It’s like every other lens in Sony mount has rabies. Beginner looking for a first lens: G Master. Intermediate looking for a new lens: G Master. Part-time macro user: G Master. Street lens? G Master. Portrait lens with a $300 budget. Save for longer and get a G Master or the Zeiss 50mm f/1.4. I even had someone try to argue with me that a complete beginner would progress more quickly with a G Master lens. They won’t even have their composition right but apparently, they can master DOF.
When Sony designed the Sony A7 and A9 series cameras, it seems like they designed it for hobbits or a group of people who have really small hands. I have this idea that they went to market and every photographer they found had hands the size of my 8-year-old daughter. I can’t see any other reason for the way they designed their cameras, or one of them would have identified that you couldn’t actually hold the camera properly.
I’m not sure why every mirrorless manufacturer thinks that all camera users want tiny cameras. Some of us just like mirrorless for being mirrorless, for the use of the EVF, and the WYSIWYG perspective of the world where you know the photo is going to look exactly the same as you saw through the viewfinder. And yet for some obscure reason, not one camera manufacturer has made a decent sized mirrorless.
When I lived in Fujiland, the Fujifilm 90mm (APS-C) quickly became favourite from a focal length perspective. I didn’t have a particular affiliation with the 135mm focal length, I think I originally picked up the 90mm because the AF speed on the Fujifilm 56mm was terrible for kids, but I fell in love with focal length and the compression after that.
With my move to Sony, I started with the Zeiss Batis 85 which is amazing, but after a while buying a 135mm seemed was a foregone conclusion, it was just a question of which one. The Zeiss Batis 135mm F2.8 would have been the logical choice, small and light, but us humans aren’t known for logical choices. This is how the bigger and heavier Sigma 135mm f1.8 ART found it way into my collection. I had a light portrait lens with my Zeiss 85mm Batis so I thought for this one I was going to purchase the beast, and a beast it is…beauty and a beast all in one.