Guest Contributor – TomD – Photo – Converting From A-Mount to E-Mount on the 70-300MM Zoom

Tom | Flickr

TomD

Speaking of lenses, we were talking about lenses, weren’t we? Ahh, I thought so—-

Anyway, back in the days of my Sony A mount cameras, one of my most productive lenses in terms of the real “keeper” shots that it produced was a Sony G series 70-300. It was pretty slow with a maximum variable aperture of f3.5-5.6, but that didn’t matter much because I used it almost exclusively outdoors with lots of light.

What did matter is that it was extremely sharp and had a great bokeh (that soft blur in the out of focus areas of the picture). Any time I would be looking through my pictures of that time frame and saw one that I thought was particularly good, the EXIF date would show that was the 70-300 lens on a percentage of the GOOD shots that far exceeded the percentage of the time I used it.

I got into the E mount Sony era in 2017 with a A7RII and added a A7III to it about year and a half later. While I was building a E mount lens collection, I bought a Sony LA-EA 4 lens adaptor to mount A type lenses to E type bodies so that I could use my old lenses.

The adaptor worked to a certain extent to tie the 70-300 to those bodied but the auto focus was sluggish and not as accurate. The lens fell out of use and was used a time or two a year and yielding acceptable but not stellar results.

I recently sold both the older Sony cameras and bought the latest Sony A7IV. When I tried my LE-AH 4 adaptor on the A7IV with the 70-300, I got nothing. Sony is apparently abandoning the older A series and a little research told me that the 70-300 lens does not and will never work with the A7IV or later bodies. Well.

That left my existing E mount lens collection biased to the short side, the longest lens being 105 mm and I really needed a replacement to that lens. A direct replacement, a new version with the exact same optics as my old lens but in e mount costs around $1300 these days. I’m retired now and don’t spend $1300 without at least some research so I spent a couple of hours on google (whom I hate but use anyway).

That search yielded a large number of reviews stating that the new Tamron 70-300 E mount is at least equal of the Sony version with one caveat. That being there in no in lens image stabilization. But that’s okay because my A7IV has 5 axis in body stabilization, so in lens would be redundant. But here’s the kicker: the Tamron cost $499 vs $1300 for the Sony.

The Tamron arrived a couple of days ago. I really haven’t have a chance to wring it out other than 40 or 50 snaps at stuff around the house, but it shows promise.

Couple of examples below including a shot of the camera and lens. These shots are just out of the camera, not modified and not examples of picture that I would keep. But they do show the image quality of which the lens is capable in terms of sharpness, color and bokeh.

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#3 a Bottlebrush Bush, seen these only in Florida. Just a microsecond after this shot, a Hummingbird flew into my field of vision, but only for only a half second. You snooze, ya loose.

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The purpose of these shots is to demonstrate the lens’s potential, not artistic quality. I think it’s hard to imagine the IQ (image qualiity) being much better. It certainly exceeds expectations of a “cheap” lens.

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Guest Contributor – War Pig – 03MAR2022 – On War

(In reply to comments on the review of the 1965 movie “The Battle of the Bulge”) – photog

I’ve never heard what Eisenhower had to say about it. I get my lean on it from my uncle, an enlisted man. Battles are seen quite differently if you’re one of the dogfaces in the ranks than by staff generals and politicians and people who write about it later.

Having been in a couple or so battles myself I can say the troops fight a battle intimately, not cooly and detached like they do at headquarters. You fight what is in front of you and you do not fight for king or country. You fight for the dogfaces to your right and left, your brothers. Your own world in battle is quite small, really. Your brothers on your right and left, and what you can see to your front. Usually about 400 yards or so. Modern thermal sights changes that for tank xrews and the like, and better optics on rifles extends that range a little bit but the soldier with the rifle in the ranks can only worry about what he sees and what can see him.

I generally don’t watch war movies that involve ground action. They are so fake overall. I’ll watch Battle of Brirain or In Harms Way about planes and ships, but I usually don’t watch ground war movies. I saw Bulge before I went to Vietnam. After that I gave up on ground war movies. I especially never watch movies about conflicts or operations in which I took part. They remind me of things I’d rather not remember and they are so wrong I get angry.

 

Guest Contributor – TomD – 23FEB2022 – Thoughts on the Battle of Midway

Tom | Flickr

TomD

I’ve spent a great deal of time throughout my life reading about WWII in general. I was born a few years after the end of the war and grew up in a society in which virtually everyone’s father took part in one way or another. My father was a 1943 West Point grad who was a company commander with the 101st Airborne when the Germans shot him up very badly at the Battle of the Bulge, crippling him physically for life, but not mentally as he later got a MS Degree in Chemical Engineering.

But for some reason, I’ve always been most fascinated with the Pacific war, and especially with Midway. I’ve lost count of the number of books I’ve read on the battle and can specifically recommend Shattered Sword, a history taken from the Japanese viewpoint.

Midway, the battle turned on the purest of luck and very easily could have gone the other way had 3 or 4 isolated throws of the dice gone otherwise. The US would have eventually won the war anyway but it would have been a longer and harder version of the already desperate and bloody struggle that it was.

Below, a photo of interest, it is the last actual aircraft still in existence to have taken part in the battle. This SBD Dauntless was based on Midway Island and wasn’t one of the 3 squadrons of SBDs from Enterprise (I think) that luckily found the Japanese fleet as all their fighter defenses were down at wave top height finishing off a squadron of torpedo bombers. The next 5 minutes proved decisive as those SBDs sank 3 of the 4 Japanese carriers.

The plane in the photo made it’s attack earlier but none of the Midway Island aircraft made any hits. After the battle, this plane was flown to the point of decrepitude and sent back to the US for use in training new pilots. Some US Navy Ensign pilot candidate managed to put this aircraft in the drink while trying to land on a training carrier in one of the great lakes where it remained until salvaged 50 years later. The wreck was taken to NAS Pensacola where it was restored and is currently on display at the US Naval Air Museum.

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28JAN2022 – More Friday Foolishness

What today was really about was installing the latest upgrade of Capture One’s photo post processing software.  And I have to say, they have the world’s worst website.  Or at least my antiquated desktop system (Windows 10 and some ancient version of Microsoft Internet Explorer) refused to interact with Capture One’s persnickety interface.  It literally took me six hours to upgrade my browser, get instructions from Capture One’s crack support staff and get the upgrade installed and running.  And now the computer has slowed down so badly that at times I’m not sure if it’s actually running or not.  Suffice it to say a day of reckoning with my version of HAL 9000 can’t be too far in the future.  I’m waiting for those fateful words, “I’m sorry photog, but I can’t allow you to access that metadata.  You’ll need to get permission from Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates personally.  Why don’t you take a stress pill and step away from that power strip?”

In the larger world, Dementia Joe is letting it be known that, by golly, he’ll appoint a black woman to the Supreme Court.  But is that good enough?  Shouldn’t it be a black, trans, differently abled, vision impaired, neuroatypical, lesbian meth-head?  Why skimp?  Honestly, is there anyone in the country who cares what kind of leftist we get stuck with on the Supreme Court as long as its someone who will agree with those other two boobs Sotomayor and Kagan.  I’ll make a point of not wailing and gnashing my teeth when a younger Marxist replaces an older one on the Supreme Court.

I finally got the pictures from the armory museum processed and I’ll start to add them into the daily photo list.  I’ll start off by posting one here.

And all the rest of the collapse of western civilization continues apace.  Every day there are more police murdered, Asian woman thrown under NYC subway trains, murderers released without bail and major retailers fleeing from urban centers.  George Soros continues to feed hundreds of millions of dollars into election funds for anarchists, the ADL continues to label as antisemites anyone who notices what Soros is doing and more components of the Democrat coalition shift toward the Republicans.

And on the COVID front the narrative continues to collapse while Karen adds another booster and another mask to her rosary of devotion to the cult.  I think it will be a photo finish to see what gives out first the supply of people willing to be jabbed or the appetite of the Biden administration to keep alienating the American populace with the sham.

And speaking of alienation I’m starting to think that Biden’s approval numbers might have a chance of cracking 35%.  And I had thought that was virtually impossible because 30% of the country are progressives.  But you know what?  I think he might do it.  He might reach 34%.  And I’m talking about the average, the RCP average.  I think that would be a special achievement for Dopey Joe.

So, stay tuned, something big is sure to break soon.  The way things are deteriorating maybe I’ll get that cannibalism story I’ve been waiting for.