I am not a nikon shooter, but there are rumours of a Nikon Z6 / Nikon Z7 replacement using the Sony a7r IV sensor. I really hope this will lower the price of the Sony a7r IV somewhat! I have learned with Sony that it’s silly to buy their products as soon as they are released. There isn’t really incentive to do so i.e. they don’t reward their customer. Usually within a few months the prices drop and I end up feeling bad, haha. Does anyone else feel this way?
There are a lot of beginners in photography who don’t fully understand lens basics. It’s a lot to take in, especially if you aren’t mathematically inclined, so there’s no shame in that. I also think experts in photography get a little confused by the digits and pass that along to beginners. As a demonstration, I typed “explain lenses to me” in Google and one of the top articles I was linked to is published at masterclass.com. It’s a great article, and the majority of it is accurate but I spotted a mistake.
You’ve probably read or seen a million and one articles/videos about lens basics, but I think the way I view it is different to those. Please let me know what you think in the comments below as I don’t want to churn out content exactly the same as everyone else :).
F-stops are counterintuitive, because the larger the number, the smaller the opening
This is a quote from the article, and you might think it’s accurate, right? That’s actually wrong; the bigger the aperture, the bigger the number. Aperture values aren’t expressed like ISO with a simple number e.g. 100, 200, 400, etc. They’re a calculation/ratio/equation: f/x. F (the focal length of the lens you have mounted e.g. 100mm) divided by (the slash) a value (e.g. 1.4). If you don’t complete the calculation and you only take digits from an equation, it will seem counter-intuitive.
Aperture values are expressed as a calculation/ratio/equation
A bigger aperture gives you more background blur when all else is equal; consequently, a bigger aperture number gives you more background blur as well. They are one and the same but not if you misunderstand the calculation. It’s intuitive when you realise you’re given a calculation and not a number.
Using two example apertures, both with a 100mm lens, we can calculate dimensions… For my first two examples, I will use f/1.4 and f/2.8, where f = 100mm:
- 100mm / 1.4 = 71.4285714286mm (this is your aperture when expressed as a number i.e. a dimension, NOT 1.4; 1.4 is simply a VALUE from the equation).
- 100mm / 2.8 = 35.7142857143mm.
As you can see, the bigger diameter/number (71.4285714286mm) is the wider aperture and gives more background blur (all else being equal).
Why have aperture expressed as an equation rather than a dimension/number?
A number on its own would soon become confusing. Let’s pretend we have a 35mm lens mounted; f = 35mm:
- 35mm / 1.4 = 25mm.
- 35mm / 2.8 = 12.5mm.
A 12.5mm aperture on a 35mm lens is the same as 35.7142857143mm on a 100mm lens. As you can see, it’s awfully confusing. So it’s a lot easier to have f/2.8 shown in camera. The bigger number is f/1.4 — not f/2.8.
Recently a photographer in the YouTube community has been accused of various nefarious deeds. It’s made me wonder about certain things and where I should go with photography :).
I want my website to offer the odd bit of information for people, in the future. And eventually I think I’d like to travel blog more with it — that was its original intention.
The theme itself kind of sucks. I’ve been patching it here and there but it’s kind of like putting duck tape on an axe wound — if anyone knows of any good themes, let me know! In some ways, I can see why people go towards sites like squarespace because they make things simple. They’re quite expensive though.
Last year I regretted not buying a keyboard and writing a kind of travel diary. I should have taken more photographs too. That said, it was a bit of a learning experience for me and now I am really excited for next year! I’d go this year, but to be blunt, I cannot afford it.
And on the topic of money… I’m thinking of selling my Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 lens. It is an incredible lens, so it’s not that I have anything against it. The Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lens I own covers the focal length and aperture. It’s not as nice feeling, the sunstars aren’t as good and its flaring control isn’t as good but I have to be realistic, I think that money could be better spent on a 70-200mm f/2.8 GM lens or even a 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM lens. That way, I’d be able to photograph lots of wildlife when I travel next year.
Lastly, also somewhat related to the Jason Lanier controversy is shooting models. I guess it’s made me think that there are a lot of questionable characters taking photographs of people even if he, himself might be innocent. I think I’d like to try it more, and I have some friends in Canada who said they’d let me photograph them :). So I’m kind of undecided if I’ll get an 85mm, 135mm, 70-200mm or the 100-400mm. I’ll see how funding goes, I guess. I still have a year to decide, so there’s no rush.
Basically this is a post about nothing really, haha. It’s just some thoughts running through my head.
I’ve been working on my portfolio site, please let me know what you think :).
The photographs are just placeholders obviously.
Last year I went to Canada and it was my first time travelling alone, I loved it! I now have the travel bug, but I can’t really afford to go anywhere expensive. I’m from the UK and I’ve been to all of England but not Scotland.
When I went to Canada, my photographs were compromised because I hiked many, many miles each day. I don’t regret my trip at all and I can’t express how much I enjoyed parts of Canada. However, I’d like to take more professional photographs and I have a different goal in mind for my next adventure. This time I’d actually like to hike a bit one day, camp, take photographs the next, and hike the day after or something like that. Whatever I do, I want to make the trip more about photography and less about the hiking. Taking photographs at 2pm? Yeah, not cool (especially with a bear nearby).
Do you have any experiences hiking in Scotland? Are there any places you recommend where I can float around the area and no one mind if I camp there?
Portfolio site update
I have another update regarding my new site I’m creating. I’ve made a cool menu system I’m pleased with. I should probably get some screen recording software and show it on YouTube, but hopefully it’ll be done soon. It’s kind of a 3D effect :). You can see it if you follow my instagram and view the story (if you follow me, let me know and I’ll follow you back. I don’t pay an awful lot of attention to instagram).
When my new website is done, I can go back to taking photographs. At the moment I’m coding day and night, haha. I feel a bit ashamed with this site, because it’s a bit sloppy. After a while, I would really like to make a new theme for it but obviously income comes first. When I make the new theme, I’ll completely remove the portfolio page from it and use my other site to display my photographs. This has a lot of bugs in general, although it displays okay on a 1920 x 1200px screen.
My absolute dream would be to get good enough at landscape photographs such that I can sell them in an online store, and then travel for half of the year, haha. I think I’ve been watching too much YouTube.
This is something you should consider even if you think your camera equipment is not in a high risk environment.