Trip to Italy with my a6000 and NEX-6

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by mingus2112, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. mingus2112

    mingus2112 TalkEmount Regular

    182
    Jun 16, 2014
    As many of you already read in the adapted lenses forum, I geared up for an 8 day trip to Italy this month. Not wanting to take my Canon, I was faced with "what to bring?" for my Sony gear. I had a NEX-6 already, but used it 100% for adapted lenses. The size of the camera appealed to me and, even if I were to use my Canon lenses (adapted) i'd be saving a ton of weight and size. My 60D is a HUGE camera. I'd make the sacrifice if it were full frame (met a guy at the Colosseum at 5:30AM with a 5Dmk4 - AWESOME camera!), but it's not.

    So based on my conversations over on the adapted lense forum, I quickly abandoned bringing my Minolta Maxxum lenses and started looking for some native glass as well as an a6000. Ended up with a nice used a6000, SELP1650, SEL1855, Samyang 12mm f2 and a Zeiss 24mm. They all made the trip with me.

    In addition to the glass, I also needed some accessories. I got a Peak wrist strap, Joby Gorillapod SLR, cheap wireless remote and a VictoriaTourist backpack. The backpack is really great as it held my a6000, NEX-6, all of the lenses above, a Minolta MD 100mmf2, Gorillapod, extra batteries, chargers, power converter, 13" Macbook and everything I needed for my flight. I carried it with me every day with JUST the cameras, lenses and accessories. I actually bought a small sling bag because I thought the backpack (it's kind of large) would be too much, but it was really fine. The Peak wrist strap was a life saver as I was able to carry both cameras at once....with one hand. I'll probably pick up another one for the future!

    Lessons for next time?
    • Bring a real tripod. I was out every morning running through the streets looking for Sunrises and every night for sunsets. A lot of times I was able to get away with the Gorillapod, but sometimes I would have benefitted from the tripod. We always returned to the hotel for breakfast, so it wouldn't have to travel with me every day.
    • The sensor in the a6000 is AMAZING compared to the NEX-6. I know everyone told me this already, but the proof is really there when I look at the photos. I kept either the 18-55 or the 12mm on the NEX-6 most of the time and the 24mm on the a6000. There are some NEX-6 photos that are sadly too noisy. I also miss-focused a lot!
    • I can leave the adapted (Minolta 100mmf2) and SELP1650 lenses home! Again, I know I was told this...guess it was a lesson I had to learn myself. I used the 16-50 once and I just really hated it. The 18-55 was much more comfortable for me to use.
    • I HATE focus by wire! It feels fine, but without a distance scale...blech. I found myself trusting the autofocus for shots I should have been manual focusing. Every time I was in that situation, I'd try manual, but with a native lens on there, it always zoomed in as soon as I focused. In those scenes, zooming didn't help. I needed the focus peaking, which didn't kick in until after it was done "zooming." I'm SURE there's a setting to turn that off, but I was always in the moment. I should have tried all that out ahead of time.
    I think I could have done this trip with a single camera if I had the Zeiss 16-70, Zeiss 24mm and the Sony 10-18mm. Perhaps next time. They are all now on my list, though!

    So, not to leave you too hanging, i'll include two of my favorite pictures so far. I have a lot of photos to go through and process (4,000+ photos, all RAW). These two were both on the first day, traveling to Venice. We flew into Milan, took a train for an hour to Milan Central Station and then another train for about 2 hours, jumped on a water taxi and grabbed these photos:

    DSC05877-1.
    DSC05879-1.
    I have a lot more that I'm working on, obviously, and I'll post them here as i'm happy with them. These two, along with a few others, were snapped will riding on the water taxi, with all of our luggage, with the a6000/Zeiss24mm. I really love that lens (and that combo), so thanks to all who recommended it to me!

    Here's a final image. It's not perfect, but it's very exciting to me. The night we arrived was the only thing close to decent weather while we were there. Most of the shots I got in Venice were terrible as the fog was so thick you could barely see some times. I caught this view out of the corner of my eye and rushed to the other side of the boat, ready to capture 100 shots. I got ONE shot off before a rather pushy woman shoved her way in front of me with her iPad to take pictures. Shortly after, the moment was gone and I was OK. We had 2 more days (or so I thought) of good picture taking. Later at the hotel, I was excited to see that I DID get the shot and this is exactly what I saw:

    DSC05911-1.

    The most natural looking and my favorite photos were all taken as snapshots on this first day. Please "watch" this thread, though, as I'll post more pics as I have them and some more info about my blunders through Italy. Had I been more prepared and careful, I would have fewer photos overall (I took 4,000+) and a lot more "keepers."

    Stay tuned!
    -James
     
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  2. Mus Aziz

    Mus Aziz TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 3, 2015
    Mus
    Beatifully captured James. Well done :2thumbs:
     
  3. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Nice pictures and write-up, James! :popcorm2:
     
  4. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    A few nice shots :)
     
  5. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    Those three are simply gorgeous! A nice beginning to a photo vacation. The 24mm Zeiss never fails.
    Looking forward to more.

    I could've said told ya so about having a tripod. :) But glad you at least brought the Gorillapod. I learned from my mistake to always pack a travel tripod or self-standing monopod.
     
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  6. runnerpsu

    runnerpsu TalkEmount Regular

    173
    Feb 12, 2016
    South Florida
    Well done, sir! I look to seeing more of your photos/work. We spent six weeks in Italy (Venice, Rome) Sicily (Oritga) in 2015. It was a beautiful experience so thanks for memories.
     
  7. mingus2112

    mingus2112 TalkEmount Regular

    182
    Jun 16, 2014
    Thanks, guys! You could have said "I told you so" on a lot of things. I'm glad I at least listened about the a6000 and the 24mm. Winning combo, right there! The morning we were leaving Venice, we ran out of the hotel with my backpack and an empty suitcase to balance the gorillapod on. It was dark and foggy and the concierge actually chased us out the door and yelled "checking out??" I had to hold up the suitcase over my head with one arm and yell back "no - just taking photos. using the suitcase as a tripod!" Winding through the dark streets of Venice, I knew he had no idea what I said. I kept my fingers crossed that they hadn't ransacked our room by the time we got back for breakfast as they thought we were escaping in the night!

    -James
     
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  8. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    I absolutely love that 3rd shot!!! Bravo :2thumbs:

    Glad everything worked out good for you
    I hated the 16-50 lens too, the 18-55 is much nicer IMO but you can't beat the "pocketability" of the 16-50. A pancake lens is always a pancake lens :D
    I had bad experiences, not only IQ wise, with the 16-50. I had 2 that failed :(

    Which PD wrist strap did you get? The "Cuff"? They made a new version of it recently. I have the old version but thinking of getting the new version :)
     
  9. christilou

    christilou TalkEmount Top Veteran

    741
    Nov 26, 2012
    Surrey, UK
    Christina
    Looking forward to your pics and your experiences. Just about to book for Venice end of April/early May next year..... excited :)
     
  10. mingus2112

    mingus2112 TalkEmount Regular

    182
    Jun 16, 2014
    I really just couldn't get used to the 16-50 and its power zoom. I can't imagine pocketing the a6000, even without any lenses, being more comfortable than the strap was. It literally dangled from my wrist 90% of my trip!

    I got the new design of the cuff in "ash." Peak Design Cuff Camera Wrist Strap (Ash) CF-AS-3 B&H Photo - I might get another one - probably the cheaper design just as a backup. It was REALLY useful and comfortable.

    -James
     
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  11. mingus2112

    mingus2112 TalkEmount Regular

    182
    Jun 16, 2014
    You're going to LOVE it. We had cruddy weather, but much better weather 10 years ago when we went. Too bad I wasn't shooting slides or RAW back then!
     
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