These Walls Were Made For Walking

Two spaces in Augsburg. The left one is a shopping mall near the train station, the right one is a pedestrian tunnel to Pfersee, painted in fancy colors, with classical music playing in the background (no kidding). It has recently been opened up: the wall to the right on this picture is now gone, the music is gone and pedestrians can enjoy the view and sound of the cars passing by.

 (both with GF-1 and Olympus 45mm/1.8)


From M43 to NEX: A Story of Lenses

I have recently switched from the micro four thirds (M43) system to the Sony NEX system. One reason was the bigger NEX sensor (APS-C), another one the sheer beauty of the NEX-7 which is such a bold step away from traditional cameras. The only drawback: the NEX lens line-up is rather poor. NEX shooters, if they are like me, are constantly browsing the web for images/impressions/recommendations of possible manual focus lenses and for checking on the availability of the regular Sony NEX lenses. Not only are there few native NEX lenses but those few are actually hard to acquire due to permanent Sony delivery problems.

So I thought I would post my experiences with getting my NEX lenses together, with some comparisons with my previous GF-1 setup.

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New Kid on the Block

After many many photos with the magnificent Panasonic GF-1, I have finally made the decision for higher IQ and (slightly) bigger sensor. This could only mean the Sony NEX-7. Or the Fuji X-Pro1 actually but I found the Fuji a little overpriced and too bulky.

Of course, first issue I’ve run into has been reported all over the internet: too few hi-end prime lenses! The default zoom lens is really quite pathetic.

Below you will find some size comparisons of the NEX-7 with kit lens (18-55mm) against the GF-1 with the 45mm/1.8 (wonderful lens!). Another comparison is with the Sony A-900 which has the same resolution as the NEX-7, i.e. 24 megapix – unbelievable! (To be fair, the A900 has a full-frame sensor, whereas the NEX-7 is APS-C). I will really miss the stunningly fine lenses of the micro four thirds system, most of all Panasonic’s 20mm/1.7 pancake but also the Olympus 45mm/1.8.

However, in the meantime I got myself the Voigtlänger 40mm/1.4 (manual focus) with a Leica-M adapter (Novoflex). This combo is both lightweight and gives you acceptable IQ and depth of field (thanks to 1.4 aperture, although I’d rather go for f2.0 on this lens). Manual focus really takes some time getting used to but on the NEX-7, thanks to “focus peaking”, is made quite easy.



Some pictures of the impressive Icelandic opera house “Harpa”, located at Reykjavic. From my recent conference trip to IVA-11.

(all with GF-1)