September 7 2011 - Photo Jottings

September 7 2011


New price updates, and bogus testing of A900 to A77/65.

I’ve fully updated all the new and used prices on the lens review pages and price guide.  The prices seem to have stabilized on the used market this year, so most items are marked ‘steady’ in the ‘trending’ column.  There are a few of exceptions, like the Sony 20mm F/2.8, which seems to be getting more popular as time goes by (because it’s a very good lens), and two Sony discontinued flashes, HVL-F56AM and HVL-F42AM.  Both Sony flashes were a good buy before they were replaced.

I see a couple of test chart comparisons of the A900 against the new A77/65, unfortunately, these tests mean nothing because the testers or reviewers are using two different lenses at two different focal lengths, at different apertures, using jpegs, all the while taking close-focus images of a test chart or color checker.  This type of testing makes no sense, you’re not comparing apples to apples.  Test charts at close focus are great for macro lenses, poor for prime lenses, and really bad for zoom lenses.  The reviewers are using the zoom lenses to try and make up the difference for the crop factor of the A77/65.  My advise to those reviewers would be to compare the two cameras using the same wide angle lens focused at infinity—a wide lens is used so you aren’t too far from the subject, and eliminates atmospheric problems.  Use the exact same focal length, do not adjust for the crop factor.  Take your shots by moving the cameras forwards or backwards, whichever you like, until the capture area is identical on each camera); set the aperture to F/5.6 or F/8 and take the crops from the centers only, as the sides can look far different from different lenses, and at different zoom lengths.  Use a tripod and timer, and turn off SteadyShot.  Use manual focus and bracket your focusing so there is no question about the shot being in focus.  Also, shoot RAW to minimize any differences in jpeg processing.  Testing in this way will result in a more accurate comparison (although not perfect), but most testers aren’t photographers, their only concern is new technology, and they never bother to learn how to make good pictures or properly compare cameras, it’s all about the chatter.

So there’s my mini rant of the day folks!  More A35 stuff to come, including some samples from a
real photo shoot!

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