With a Whisky #3

Written whilst enjoying a single malt Lemsip, "With a Whisky" brings you the latest ramblings from my side of the world. I can't promise prominent prose, or impressive imagery, but I'll do my best to keep you entertained.

Another shot taken in Manchester | A7R & Vivitar 24/2.8 | 1/250s f/2.8 ISO100 24mm

Though not yet officially winter, it is officially December, and December in the UK is cold enough to be uncomfortable, yet not cold enough to grace us with snow. Just rain. Lots of rain. Cold rain. Urgh.

It wasn't raining in Manchester, for a change | A7R & Vivitar 24/2.8 | 1/60s f/2.8 ISO2000 24mm

The rain has given me the change to waste time scouring eBay for lens deals, look at what lenses/cameras other people have, and generally start wanting more gear, whilst my gear is sat in the cold, yet reasonably dry, apartment doing sweet FA.

It's a funny old world. When I am out using my camera, one lens at a time, I never think about other lenses, unless I have made a big mistake. If I choose the "wrong" lens, it means that I should have brought my RX1 and then I would have to make 35mm work or keep quiet about it. When I am not using my camera, I want to use it, and I also wonder what other lenses can do, how they render, what they feel like, to the point where I write an extensive review on one of them.

Sunset | A7R & Tamron 90mm F2.8 Macro| 1/125s f/2.8 ISO100 90mm

I've been looking at the Sony FE 16-35mm F4 wide angle zoom lens. Do I take a lot of wide angle photographs? No. 35mm is my favourite focal length, and has been since I started buying primes. I find 50mm a little too constraining. Arguably, telephoto lenses are "easier" to work with, as less is in the frame—i.e. it's harder to completely ruin a shot. One has to think a little more with a wider field of view. Do you want those tree branches in the top of the shot? I thought not. How about that crisp packet?

Manchester in colour | A7R & Tamron 24/2.8 FDn mount| 1/400s f/2.8 ISO100 24mm

So, the FE 16-35mm F4 lens. Constant f/4, so it's not going to generate a lot of bokeh, not that one requires that from a wide angle lens. It has image stabilisation, which is nice I suppose, though I do fine without. 16-35mm is a large range, but it's an expensive optic. I have primes of 15, 20, 24, and 35mm... so what would this lens offer? Well, it's larger than all of the primes, but zooms almost always are. It would allow full use within that range, without needing to change lenses, which is quite a big deal when one's out and about. It's also made for the FE mount, unlike my 15, 20, and 24mm lenses. The 15mm vignettes heavily, the 20mm has some weird field curvature (it doesn't really matter in real-life), and the 24 is OK if it weren't for the dodgy Canon FDn mount. I used the latter in Manchester, and quite enjoyed the results

Then, I got thinking. I love 35mm—maybe I should add another to the stable? Zeiss (my favourite lens manufacturer) have released a new manual focus lens for the FE mount system, called Loxia. They look lovely, and appear to give good results. The 50/2 is getting more press (most people prefer 50mm, in my experience), but the 35/2 is the really interesting lens to me. I love the FE 35/2,8 lens, which I feel is hugely underrated. Many people called it "slow", owning to its f/2,8 aperture—but it's so damn small! Besides, I rarely shoot inside cupboards at night, and tend don't aim to create huge patches of blur within all of my photographs—if you want to, that's fine!

Bicycle in York—it wasn't raining | A7R and one of my favourite lenses | 1/60s f/4.0 ISO125 35mm

So, will I get these lenses? I don't know!! Exciting, isn't it!?!

Ho ho ho | A7R + Vivitar 24/2.8 | 1/60s f/2.8 ISO2500 24mm 

Maybe he can bring me one...