Lake Union sailing.
Does this look like fall? Seattle got very lucky this year, some of the best weather in 20 plus years.
So the Seahawks lost today, but it didn’t seem to bother the folks in Seattle. The weather more than makes up for the loss :)
Lake Union houseboats.
The Zhongyi/Mitakon 50mm f0.95 lens can draw decent bokeh when shot wide open, when stopped down, like a typical 50mm lens, it is just as sharp as any other.
In the middle of the rain.
The Chinese are making progress.
In the world of photography, the Germans are known for their expertise in lenses. Even Japanese companies realize that German sounding names carries more prestige. Names like Voigtlander and Zeiss are so muddled these days, they are far more Japanese than German. But what about the Chinese?
More and more photographic gear are being manufactured in China these days, so there is little surprise that some of the knowhow are being trickled down to the locals. I just received my very first 100% Chinese lens. The Zhongyi 50mm f0.95 lens in Sony E mount. In some quarters they go by the name Mitakon, which is an attempt to sound Japanese at least.
What this lens lacked in elegance, we are talking about size, weight and overall appearance here, it more than made up with decent technical performance. The shot above is taken with it wide open at f0.95. I am surprised by the sharpness. My initial reaction is that this isn’t that far off from the Leica version, and it might be sharper than the Voigtlander 50mm f1.1! The signature of the bokeh isn’t too bad either. At slightly more than half of the Voigtlander price (it is actually faster), and just a tiny fraction of the Leica price, it is certainly worth considering.
Crazy shallow depth of field!
This shot was taken with yet another crazy fast lens, the Mitakon 50mm f0.95 version II. In this case Bambie’s head looks separated from her body and simply “floats”. I am still testing this lens to see how it compares with other fast 50ish lenses I have.
Sony A7S, the king of low light shooting.
This shot of Bambie was taken in dark room with only faint TV light. ISO 12800! This camera can see way more than my own naked eyes! I am just blown away by the low light sensitivity of this camera.
You can’t get this using Photoshop or Instagram.
Lovely weather here in Seattle. This is a shot done using the MS-Optical 50mm f1.1 lens and a low resolution Sony A7S. Otherwise the vignetting would have been even worse using a Leica or A7. Shot wide open the lens is plenty soft, creating a look that reminds me of an old Polaroid camera.
Here in Seattle, the wind has picked up, the weather is changing. We had an exceptionally long summer (by Seattle standards), it is payback time :)
Out of focus.
I took this shot with the aforementioned MS-Optical 50mm f1.1 lens. I intentionally took it out of focus. I don’t know about you, but I rather enjoyed looking at the swirling blur created by the bokeh of this magically little lens. Does a photograph has to be in focus in order to work? I don’t think so.
This is one of my early shots using the amazing MS-Optical 50mm f1.1 lens. Despite being a super fast prime, this lens is tiny when compared to my other super fast lenses. It is a quirky little beauty made by one man, Mr. Miyazaki Sadayasu of Chiba, Japan. How he managed to a super fast lens the size of a Leica 50 Summicron is beyond my comprehension. Just look at the bokeh!
It is certainly not a very sharp lens, but that isn’t the point of this thing. It is all about the magical bokeh it can render.
Doing a startup is hard. In the back yard of Microsoft, there is an office park that saw two rounds of boom and at least one round of bust so far. Thankfully my little startup survived three rounds of ups and downs thus far. Our revenue has grown over 400% compared to last year, which in and of itself was our best year ever. While I was enjoying the beautiful fall weather here in Redmond, just around our block sat this empty building. Just a reminder things can turn the other way fast too.
Fall is here for sure.
Shot taken right outside my office.
During my hunt for the perfect fast lens I ran across the vintage Minolta 58mm f1.2. It has a reputation of being sharp while rendering butter smooth bokeh. Here is a shot to showcase these attributes.