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My blog, focussed on improving my photography and documenting my travels.

With a Whisky #1

Written whilst enjoying a single malt, "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.

A7R & Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm F1.4 | 35mm f/1.4 1/1000s ISO100

There's that swirly bokeh (unfocussed area) which divides opinions like no other lens I own. If internet support groups (forums) were taken to represent the general consensus – which they don't, almost by their definition – then one could be convinced that most people would dislike the above image, or at least the out of focus background.

However, I'll go out on a limb and say that most people don't really notice. It's like anything—once you know it's there, you can't stop looking at it.

A7R & Jupiter-3 | 1/200s ISO100 50mm f/2.8

This lens, on the other hand, doesn't exhibit swirly out-of-focus areas, but has a rather painterly quality to its rendering. This is because the Jupiter-3 [review pending] is an original sonnar lens design, with 13 aperture blades. This means that even when the lens is "stopped down" (nerd talk for less open), it will still produce circular highlights in its bokeh, as shown above. Rather a Christmassy image, no? It somehow seems appropriate, being as it's bloody cold in the UK right now.

A7R & Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar 80mm F1.8 | 1/125s ISO100 80mm f/1.8

Now we're getting into some exotic glass. Considering the amount of foliage, this is rather smooth bokeh. There are smoother lenses out there, but few with the pop and colours of the Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar 80mm f/1.8. 

A7R & Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar 80mm F1.8 | 1/60s ISO320 80mm f/5.6

The lens is sharp wide open, but one's at risk of losing an arm with its blisteringly sharp images at anything above f/2.8.

Monkjack | A7R & Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar 80mm F1.8 | 1/60s ISO320 80mm f/5.6

The above image proves a few things:

  1. There are wild deer (Monkjack) in the UK
  2. The A7R is able [to be used] to take pictures of wildlife without scaring it all away
  3. I have improved my manual focussing ability significantly over the last few years

A7R & Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar 80mm F1.8 | 1/60s ISO500 80mm f/5.6

Squirrels (squirls if you're American—my computer actually corrected squirl → squirrel!) are less skittish, though this little blighter did appear to punch his brother, or sister (they all look the same – racist, I know), straight out of the tree. Have you ever seen a squirrel fall 10m out of a tree? It's not pretty. It is, however, funny. The little critter fell like a wet sock, bouncing from branch to branch, before landing in a pile of leaves. I couldn't contain my laughter.

A7R & Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar 80mm F1.8 | 1/60s ISO800 80mm f/4

The squirrel was fine by the way, and ran straight back up the same tree. Probably to have words with the other squirrel.

This wasn't the tree | A7R & Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar 80mm F1.8 | 1/60s ISO360 80mm f/5.6

I hope you enjoyed "With a Whisky" and will call in again for more.