Surfing & body surfing big waves at the Wedge, Newport Beach, Hurricane Marie

Tropical storm Marie developed into a category 5 hurricane in August of 2014, with winds up to 160mph. As Hurricane Marie, it brought Southern California some pretty big surf, which is unusual for the summer months. The eastern Pacific area off of Baja has already seen four category 4 hurricanes this summer, which is the sort of thing that typically happens only during El Nino years.

These hurricane swells arrive in So Cal at steep SSW angles, bringing with them a very strong longshore current, out of the SSW. This energy is focused on beaches facing southwards, like the Wedge in Orange County. The Wedge is also next to a long jetty, that compresses the swell into a corner of the beach, which sort of magnifies and mutates the energy, into something that is both spectacular and dangerous.

This particular swell peaked early in the morning, and most of the body surfing photos were taken as the swell was dropping. The only long lens on hand was an old manual focus Tamron SP 60-300 Adaptall-2 zoom lens. It had noticeable vignetting even at f/8, and the resolution wasn’t a match for the 36mp sensor in the Sony a7R. These pics where mostly shot at f/8, iso800, 1/2000th of a second shutter speed.

Dan Euritt

2014 Police Motorcycle Training & Competition Carlsbad CA

The San Diego County Motor Officers’ Association  hosts an annual motorcycle skills contest for West Coast law enforcement agencies. Participants come from as far away as Tijuana, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. They engage in slow speed contests around orange cones, one of which involved two bikes tied together with a short strap. Pop the strap, start over; it’s tougher than it sounds.

There were two road courses, run against the clock, with penalties assessed for knocking over cones. The turns were tight, and the cones were stacked closely together. Not so easy on a full-size motorcycle.

Most of the bikes in attendance were manufactured by BMW, but there a couple of police departments still riding classic Harley Davidsons, as well as Honda and even Kawasaki motorcycles.

The following police motorcycle photos were shot with the Sony a7R and a Minolta Celtic 200mm f/4 lens, at f/8 and 400iso.

Dan Euritt

 

Sony NEX emount adapter comparison on a7R

If you follow this blog, you’ve seen photos taken with decentered SLR camera lenses, on the Sony a7R. Those photos typically show a lot more blur on one side of the image.

So if lenses can be that bad, what about the adapters that they are mounted to? Can the cheap NEX emount adapters be crooked somehow, and cause decentering? There is a ton of hype surrounding this issue. Lets just cut to the chase, and sum up the two photos below. All shots were taken with the Sony a7R.

The first picture combines horizontal sections of two photos, both taken with the same Canon FDn 24mm f/2.8 lens, shot at ~f/10. That lens was mounted on a generic FD to NEX emount adapter and a Fotasy FD to NEX emount adapter. Both pictures are nearly identical, so at this ~f/10 aperture, neither of the emount adapters appears to be having any effect on the picture.

The second picture combines horizontal sections from four photos, same aperture, taken with a Tamron 28-70mm Adaptall-2 zoom, model 159A, shot at 28mm. That lens is not one of the Tamron SP lenses, but it uses the same Adaptall-2 adapters. So three out of the four sections of this second pic were shot using a combination of Adaptall-2 adapter and NEX emount adapter. Stacked adapters like that have to be the worst-case scenario, right? Won’t all that “misalignment” cause major decentering?

To recap this second photo: one lens, four pics sliced together, shot using seven combined adapters.

Well, as it turns out, the lens was already heavily decentered on the left-hand side, it’s a blurry mess; all of those stacked adapters didn’t magically move the decentering effect over to the right side, because cheap adapters don’t have any glass to alter the path of the light coming in.

The first horizonal slice is probably the worst, largely because the center focus point on the “5610″ address number was slightly off. As we saw with the Konica Hexanon 24mm f/2.8 lens, a very slight center misfocus with certain lens designs, can have a significant effect on how field curvature affects the sides of the image. The remaining three horizontal slices are more consistent, but still not perfectly identical. This Tamron lens was difficult to focus, because it has a long focus throw, in the critical focus area, so this Adaptall-2 exercise needs to be repeated with a different lens design.

As always, view these photos at 100% full size:

SonyNEXemountAdapterComparisonFDn24mm.jpg

SonyNEXemountAdapterComparisonTamronAdaptall2zoom28to70.jpg

Dan Euritt

Death Valley photos, shot with a Sony a7R and legacy SLR camera lenses

Death Valley is the largest national park in the continental United States. It’s a harsh and unforgiving environment, where summer heat waves of over 120 degrees are common. Google the phrase “Death by GPS”, and you’ll see what happens when people get lost in the summertime heat of Death Valley.

While it can be dangerous, it’s also very picturesque, as the following landscape pictures illustrate. These photos were taken with a Sony a7R camera, using a Pentax FA35 f/2.0 lens, or a Pentax Takumar 50mm f/1.4 lens. The first photo is 3826×1080, the rest are 1920×1080, if you want to see the full size version, right-click on the photo and choose “open link in new window”.

Some of the Death Valley locations pictured here include Aguereberry Point, Zabriski Point, Borax Works, Dantes Point, Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, which is near Stovepipe Wells, and Father Crowley Vista Point, which is located by Panamint Springs.

Dan Euritt