1650 does Detroit

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by Amamba, Aug 8, 2016.

  1. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    I grew tired of carrying a whole photo setup with me, so I decided to spend a few months using only 1650 and sometimes 12mm (16+UWA) and trying to see if I could live with all of it's limitations.

    This Saturday, we went to the downtown Detroit, walked around, and took a boat tour along the shoreline. There was a tremendous amount of new construction, demolition and redevelopment in the past several years, and we wanted to see it - we only live about 40-45 minutes away, but very rarely go there. We were not disappointed.

    I think the photos show both the weak points of that lens, and the fact that it can be made to work (if you don't pixel peep...)

    The Detroit skyline as Canadians see it

    28732910372_479d06381e_k. DSC08568 by BugsDaddy, on Flickr

    The most recognizable downtown building is in the middle - the Renaissance Center, built in 1979, now the headquarters of General Motors (also hosts a hotel, a number of stores and the like).

    28826745115_9444d6241d_k. DSC08564 by BugsDaddy, on Flickr

    New million+ dollar homes in front of a closed power plant. (It appears the architect was trying hard to keep them plain and industrial looking...)

    28806190396_9ac8aa9985_k. DSC08552 by BugsDaddy, on Flickr

    New condominiums that are popping up like the proverbial mushrooms

    28222368803_9bcb4a00e5_k. DSC08540 by BugsDaddy, on Flickr
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016
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  2. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    The Ambassador Bridge between US and Canada

    28856795935_b73d711ac2_b. DSC08597 by BugsDaddy, on Flickr

    Some guys enjoying water sports right in front of Ren Cen

    28572605380_9bd311fe1b_b. DSC08600 by BugsDaddy, on Flickr

    The People Mover - a small fully automated monorail connecting areas of downtown's business and recreation districts

    28239789154_12ed370934_b. DSC08602 by
    BugsDaddy, on Flickr

    The abandoned Boblo Island ferry building. I hope they find a way to repurpose it rather than tearing it down.

    28241983453_c9bd6454a0_b. DSC08585 by BugsDaddy, on Flickr

    The Detroit Princess riverboat... actually an old Louisiana riverboat.

    28572765290_121cf35501_b. DSC08605 by BugsDaddy, on Flickr
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  3. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Very good shots!
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  4. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Thank you for the kind words !

    Well, the last installment...

    Detroit river is not really a river, but a ~30 miles long strait between Lake Erie and Lake St Clair. It's wide, deep, and accessible by ocean going ships. This is just a small part of the river, but it gives the idea of it's scale.

    28756868352_d5de5ef0d8_k. DSC08592 by BugsDaddy, on Flickr

    This is an ocean going tanker. I did not boost the colors of this photo, the water is that green. Of course it also depends on the sun, which was often blocked by the clouds that day.

    28861299555_e73f20cffe_k. DSC08595 by BugsDaddy, on Flickr

    This is Port of Detroit... well a downtown terminal, anyway. Not sure what type of ships come here, to be quite honest I didn't even know it existed before last Saturday :)  The "Real" port is downriver, a huge industrial affair.

    28860906915_1de63aee0f_b. DSC08609 by BugsDaddy, on Flickr

    Cobo Hall - this is where the North American Auto Show takes place every winter. Among other things.

    28756547412_0663e142f5_b. DSC08604 by BugsDaddy, on Flickr

    The people who are very important in helping to turn the City of Detroit from the crime capital of the US into a livable city.. well certainly a much larger part of it is livable today than some 20 years ago. (there's a world of difference between the City and the suburbs, where the crime has actually been pretty low).

    28861040735_b442c5665f_b. DSC08619 by BugsDaddy, on Flickr

    A street performer - he was pretty good.

    28756631472_1469169ed8_b. DSC08617 by BugsDaddy, on Flickr

    So, in conclusion, I think the kit lens performed well... not stellar, but acceptable. Given it's tiny form factor, I think it was a good trade. It helped of course to have a sunny but cloudy day with good light that let me keep shutter speed high enough, stop down the aperture, and keep ISO low.

    I am also really happy with color consistency. With some lenses, like the Sigma primes, I tend to get weird orange tones sometimes. I think Sony cameras are better at AWB when using Sony lenses. (There's some difference in sky tones in the landscape shots but this is due to ever changing lighting and cloud cover).

    Finally, I think the OSS helps this lens a lot.

    Next time I will take 1855 and compare.

    I am really thinking of getting A6000... if only for Auto ISO in manual mode - this is one feature I really miss from my Canon days. Sony tends to keep the shutter speed low at high apertures to keep as close to base ISO as possible. I'd much rather it bumped ISO to 200 or even 400 and kept higher shutter speed. Setting both the speed and aperture manually requires adjusting ISO to get good exposure, and it's hard to do when the lighting keeps changing every 20 seconds.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016
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  5. unlo

    unlo Sony ******

    Jan 19, 2014
    thx for sharing. lovely images, i take my 16-50 everytime i wanna go in the city. its my best and really Only wide angle. and i'm always surprised how well it does at 16, pretty much all I use it for.

    you got some great shots here. haven't been to DayTwaah in a very long while. spent a few years (6) when i was a kid growing up in royal oak. Just a block or two from Dr. Kevorkians house. He worked @ the same hospital my mom did, Beaumont.

    Been even longer since i've seen the city by daylight so thx again for sharing!
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  6. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Thanks ! Back in the 90s, the downtown Royal Oak used to be a fairly cheap, but trendy area full of artsy people with alternative lifestyles, and college students living in old shabby homes, now it's an expensive and manicured (but still trendy) place. The nearby Ferndale was starting to get an almost inner city vibe at some point in the early-mid 90s, but as RO popularity skyrocketed and it got priced out of reach of some of the people who made it so popular, they moved to Ferndale and reversed the trend there, now it's practically a RO II. A similar trend is going on in downtown Detroit, except it has both a far, far bigger problem to fix, and far bigger investments being poured in on a wide and somewhat organized scale. You should come visit one day :) 
  7. AlwaysOnAuto

    AlwaysOnAuto TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Feb 17, 2015
    I recently read a biography of the Ford men and how they helped develop Detroit.
    Thanks for sharing the pictures.
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  8. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Yes, Henry Ford was a unique man, part visionary, part retrograde, part charitable, part hateful and even (indirectly) murderous. A very interesting and complex personality.
  9. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Great series, thanks for sharing!
    Those poles in the water on the 4th photo, are begging for some long exposure shots :D 
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  10. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Thanks !
  11. Joseph Thekale

    Joseph Thekale TalkEmount Regular

    Aug 24, 2015
    Michigan, USA
    Great work man! I work at the Ren Cen.
    Absolutely love the revival down there
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  12. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Thank you ! It's not all urban decay and blight and city blocks turned farmland.
  13. Nino Xerri

    Nino Xerri TalkEmount Veteran

    Jun 13, 2016
    Nino Xerri
    Wonderful set of images. You have encouraged me to rethink my attitude towards my 16-50. I might just do what you did and take a cruise along our river and see if my 16-50 can replicate yours.
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  14. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Thank you. I traded an old manual lens for that 1650, and the owner was more than happy to do it, so I doubt it's performance is above average.

    I have three "standard zoom" lenses - 1650, 1855 and 18105, and I'd say that overall, the other two are better optically. But 1650 is such a little lens, that for the most part a little difference in optical performance is more than offset by a huge difference in convenience. It can certainly be made to work.
  15. Nino Xerri

    Nino Xerri TalkEmount Veteran

    Jun 13, 2016
    Nino Xerri
    The 16-50 and 55-210 are the only Sony lenses I current have. Being an ex Nikon user the Sigma 17-70 was my "walk about lens" which I still use on the a6000 with the Metabones adaptor. However I lose the AF and IS so it becomes a fully manual lens. The AF does not concern me too much as I use focus peaking and most of my photography is "landscape/static" but on the occasion of a "moving subject" ie river cruise it becomes a little difficult. So this is where I am now going to persevere a little more with the 16-50 and being 70 the OSS helps me a little.;) 
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