Honestly....One of those days

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by teefin1, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. teefin1

    teefin1 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Sep 7, 2012
    Is there ever a time where you feel like jacking in the NEX with the crappy AF and mostly manual system? and getting a 'normal' camera? Yesterday was one of those days!

    Went off to playgroup again to take some more pictures, and after 100 shots, came home and loaded them up. Honestly, if there was ONE picture that was correctly focused, exposed etc i would be suprised. I was using the Helios 58/2, had it accidentally set to High Contrast, which i always find difficult, and some of the parents made me feel I was being intrusive.

    THis kind of situation reminds of what I really dont know about photography, and how the NEX offers a steep learnng curve to the beginner. Consider the prideful grin removed.

    I include some of the more bearable pics (out of 95!!), but there is something wrong with each:


    DSC09639.jpg Both of these are misfocused, but would have been my favourites otherwise

    DSC09620.jpg This was really over exposed, I've actually made her look almost grey in trying to correct it

    DSC09645.jpg Ok, this is Kira,I take pics of her all the time

    DSC09659.jpg Again, Alice is so fair haired almost all the pics of her are blinding (not in a good way)
  2. teefin1

    teefin1 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Sep 7, 2012
    I think the first tip would be to avoid blonde children at all costs ;)
  3. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Hey Teefin, hang in there.
    I know EXACTLY what you mean. My GX-1 was a sexy, curvy, smart, FAST and versatile camera that seemed to tackle anything I'd throw at it. Next thing I know I have a NEX 5N sized like a pack of cigarette and feeling like it could break in two anytime, with a big sticking 18-55 on it that achieves focus long after my subjects have gotten out of the frame...
    I can't tell you how frustrated I've gotten at times, thinking of the deadly accurate and fast AF of the GX-1, it's great touchscreen, genius autofocus, and just perfect feel in hand.
    BUT, and that's the catch, when I compare the resulting pictures side by side, even with the fantastic and fast PanaLeica mounted, the NEX pictures are just way better than the Panny's. Period.
    I remember fitting my cheapo Canon FD 1.8 nifty on the 5N, achieving focus smoothly and precisely with nearly no effort thanks to the Peaking magic, and being just AWED and the regained DOF control over m4/3, and how beautiful and smooth and detailed and clear the pictures were.
    The more I shot manual lenses, the more I knew there was no possible way back to the size crippled sensor and maddening increased DOF of the Panny (which was heartbreaking, I had truly bonded with that camera, and have yet to be in love with my Nex's).
    Like you, I shoot kids (mostly mine, but will try to capture any child that crosses my path), pets, or even adult targets (colleagues, friends, spouse if he's tied up and can't strike back... just kidding). Magnification is out of the question, so we're stuck with peaking, which, as genius as it is, has its quirks, flaws, and unaccuracies.
    Some shooting sessions will go soour and you won't get anything right. Really, sh&*t happens, we all go thru that.
    You can put that satisfied grin back on your face right now, because even though you're going thru that learning curve, you're THERE, doing the homework, not blaming the equipment, learning, trying, experimenting, going to the playground with a MF camera for God's sake ! How frigging brave is that !?
    One of the reason photo boards at DPReview are so maddening is for the vast majority of users bitching about gear when they're obviously totally clueless and absolutely reluctant to make the slightest effort.
    This site is great because it gathers people who don't worship the gear, don't blame it either, just work with it and get out of their ways to get better.

    You are showing a pretty incredibly keen eye and natural talent for this thing, just keep at it and accept that some sessions are, not lost, far from it, but without actual pictures to show for.
  4. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    By the way I love the little guy with the checkered shirt.
  5. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Real Name:
    No.2 and the shot of Kira are my favourites too :thumbup:

    Claire's words are so inspiring btw - they make me even more "anxious" now to try some shots with my first manual lens (MD 50 1.7) :D
  6. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Real Name:
    My brother recently bought a nice big Nikon, but his pictures are more often less than stellar. He always shots in auto mode and does not know much about framing, posing, etc. and does not want to take the time to learn. At the same time my Sister-in-law has the same Nikon and has a part time photography business. She spent the time learning about photography and does fairly well.

    Not saying anything about your skills, just a point of photography is an art and the same tool can produce great images, or blah.

    I myself prefer to manual focus, because I love picking my own focus points, rather than trusting the camera. However there still are times the stock lens goes on. I myself have the same collection of blah and great shots. Don't feel bad, just keep learning as I am.
  7. applemint

    applemint TalkEmount Veteran

    Sep 20, 2012
    +1 So true. :D
  8. freddytto

    freddytto TalkEmount All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2011
    Puebla, Mexico
    the 3 and 4, are very nice, my wife have fascinated these babies and now want to order from the stork, ;), sometimes grabe my cameras and likes to use the nex7 and the VF and is learning to use MF.
  9. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Real Name:
    I think the shots you posted are quite good. Manual focus takes practice. A fast AF is no guarantee of good images. The more you do the more you'll learn to anticipate things and the more keepers you'll get.
  10. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    Hang in there teefin! We all have our off days... it's part of the learning curve and part of the journey of growing (which never stops btw). So try not to be too hard on yourself... allow yourself to make mistakes and use days such as this as stepping-stones.

    I must say, that children's portraits is not the easiest of photographic endeavours, and many would consider this to be a very specialized field (even with AF). Eventually you will develop your own tricks and techniques and also an intuition that comes from being familiar with the way your subjects move and behave, but mastery takes time and practice.

    During my early days in graphic design and publishing, I noticed something peculiar about professional photographers. When we would give them a brief to take a photo of something, they would always come back with dozens of shots of the same thing. It was my job to pick the best one and biff the rest. It was not uncommon for me to go through several rolls of film only to pick 2 or 3 shots.

    Eventually I ended up shooting our own commercial images, and I have picked-up this habit in my own photography. I would allow myself to take as many shots as I wish - bearing in mind that I would only pick a few and biff the rest. There's no sense of loss for me in doing that. Sometimes I would biff all of them and go back for a re-shoot, but I'll be armed with the knowledge of what went wrong the first time, and would bring with me a fresh new approach. Part of honing the skill is having had the experience of making every mistake imaginable in order to have the knowhow of avoiding it.

    Figure out what you think went wrong... then try again. :)
  11. teefin1

    teefin1 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Sep 7, 2012
    Thanks so much everybody for all the feedback, advice and kind words. I wouldn't change from NEX, it offers so much that I couldn't give up, and that currently, no other system offers in the same way; not Canon M, not Fuji xe1 or m43 (for me). This particular experience has made me see that I have to offer more to get the most from it, and that will take some learning. Today's lesson: high contrast and fast apertures equal lower peaking and invariably, difficulty achieving critical focus. The gear deserves better from me; I intend to rise to the challenge.

    Thanks again, fellow 'users' on this forum makes NEX 100% the system for me (despite my bitching ;) )
  12. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Aug 22, 2012
    One of the things I learned is that when I switched off iAuto, my percentage of keepers first dropped drastically. But the few I "nailed" were better than anything I'd ever taken before (even then nothing is ever perfect). And thanks to digital, we can easily shoot 3-400 in a single shoot, even if finally we only pick a half dozen from that. Our learning curve is much faster because we can shoot constantly and instantly review our results and adjust immediately, rather than wait a week for the results to develop and come back to us.

    But when I look at my childhood photos and all the great memories they evoked, I think all that expensive 35mm film allowed for about only 1-2 shots for most ordinary events and a roll of film for a good day out to someplace like Disneyland. Today we can shoot hundreds of "ordinary" shots and literally thousands on those special occasions. And at the end of the day you only really need 1-2 good photos to capture the memories. So that's when I stopped worrying about my percentage of keepers