web analytics

Bald Heretic Photo Show

I was invited by Thomas @ Sig’s Lagoon to have my own photo show at his shop. We decided to feature only pictures I have taken over the years at The Houston Continental Club which gave me a lot to choose from…

Photo Show - 1

Photo Show - 2

He even commissioned local Houston poster artist Carlos Hernandez to do the promo posters

jayposter

The show is still hanging at Sig’s and should be there through the end of September.

Lens Lust

Size Matters

I popped in to my local crack camera dealer just to have a look around. I wasn’t really shopping all that hard. I mean, there are things I am keeping an eye out for, but mostly I like to browse and just be in and amongst the camera equipment and around other photographers. Almost always I leave empty handed. Which is good. I don’t have the budget to spend for every single piece of gear I might want.

While I was there I looked in the case where they keep the used Sony/Minolta gear. Typically, there is usually not much there. Of course there’s always plenty of second hand Nikon and Canon gear, but when it comes to high end of the Sony/Minolta equipment it is usually slim pickin’s.

But there in case was the legendary Sony 70-400mm G Lens. And not only that, it was being sold for a price that was dramatically lower than you can buy it new and significantly lower than what I’ve seen it go for used, when/if they even show up.

Initially, I dismissed it. I don’t tend to shoot in this focal range. I knew it was a good deal, I just couldn’t justify it for my type of shooting. I already had the Sony 70-300 G and the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 so really, what’s the point? So I left, empty handed.

As I was driving around, running some errands, I kept thinking about that lens. I had read the reviews and seen all the praise. The sony 70-400 G is not just a good lens, it is (by all accounts) one of the best lenses ever made in its class. As I mulled it over more and more I decided that I should buy the lens and, if nothing else, resell if for a profit or use it as trading fodder for another lens via the photography forums I belong to. With this brilliant justification in mind I made my way back to the camera store and bought the lens. They even reduced the price a little more so it was an even better deal.

Once I had it in hand and started playing with it I started falling in love. For a lens of that range it is surprisingly light. It’s beast, but it’s a manageable beast. And the image quality has a “WOW” factor that can only be described by using sample shots. Unlike so many long zoom lenses, the 70-400 G is sharp from 70mm all the way out to 400mm. It is simply wonderful.

These are from my first workout with the lens at The Houston Zoo. All shot using this lens attached to my A850. The entire gallery can be seen by clicking here. If you chase the links back to their respective Flickr pages you can view EXIF info and look at the full sized image files which REALLY give you a sense of the sharpness and quality.

Needless to say, I’m keeping the lens. I’ve been selling some of my unused glass on Ebay to recoup the expense.

Southern ground hornbill

Chimp

Poodle Duck

Ostrich

Yawning Tiger

Arc Attack

The main thing I wanted to see at the Gloworama event was one of the performances by Arc Attack. Imagine two custom engineered hand built Tesla Coils that throw out electrical arcs up to twelve feet long, each one acting as an instrument with a sound reminiscent of the early days of the synthesizer. Each “arc” of electricity carries the sound of the music. During the show, the MC engages both the crowd and the Tesla Coils by walking through ½ Million Volt sparks wearing a chainmail Faraday suit. Spectacular!

Arc Attack

Close
Arc Attack

Arc Attack

Close
Arc Attack

Arc Attack

Close
Arc Attack

And if that’s not enough, after the MC does his thing a guy in another Farady suit comes out with a modified electric guitar that plays through the singing Tesla Coils

Arc Attack

Close
Arc Attack

Arc Attack

Close
Arc Attack

This was a challenge to photograph. I used my vintage Minolta 35/2 lens to capture the action and I am pretty pleased with the results.