My Gear

        Welcome to my gear page, I have received many questions in my time while taking photographs about what gear I use and why.One question, which comes up often is why Sony? I am a true Minolta fan, throughout my childhood, my father would use his Minolta religiously. I watched him develop all his own  photographs and was always curious. Minolta has a special look, signature photograph look if you will. Sony decided to pick up Minolta and continue the legacy. I like the character and richness of each of the photographs Minolta glass can produce. Don’t get me wrong Sony’s line up of Glass is almost exactly the same and will produce the same image as the old Minolta gear.

Another question I get is the use of my Samyang lens.

        I like Dumb lenses, that is to say there is no electronics in my lens at all, no auto focus, electronic aperture adjustment, not a single chip or circuit to report back what it is your lens is doing or seeing, nor what it’s characteristics are, or even what the hell it is. As far as my camera is concerned I have a “slice of lemon” duct taped to the front of it.

 

        I shoot in “full manual” mode”. There is no other option with me and some of my lenses. You must take full responsibility of every single little adjustment while throwing out the last forty years of technology out the window.

I also receive questions on the type of lenses I use.

        Well that’s a tough one to answer. Minolta is the brand of choice, but really “type”, It depends on what I’m shooting. I personally like wide angle shots. Sometimes I use an old anamorphic approach to achieve my photographs. For an old timey feel and today’s sharpness with old dumb high quality equipment look up, old primitive chemical processing and aspect ratio. This will guide you in your approach to the new digital society in manual mode.

        On to the Sony Gear

Please note this equipment is my primary use equipment and has been through it all with me. You can trust it’s the real deal for photography, Hope you enjoy.

Sony HDRpj790v- This Full HD video camera is great for Live-streaming and all around video recording. It takes 24.1mp photo with excellent sharpness during video recording as well. It’s simple and light to take with you everywhere with quality that surprises most people. The lens acts like its on a pillow to help with stabilization with a 10x optical zoom. The Projector feature allows on the fly video playback. When your in a sticky situation and need to show what really happened at a moments notice, you will understand the importance of this device when it keeps you out of trouble, lol.

1974 European Minolta SR-T 303- Manual 35mm (film) (Same as the American SR-T 102 and Asia-Pacific SR-T Super) I have 3 main lenses for this camera that I will list here- the Rokkor PG 58mm f1.2 (pictured), Rokkor PF 50mm f1.7, and a Vivitar 85-205 f3.8. I love this camera. Its tied as my favorite camera with the Sony A99. This camera is extremely durable and well made. Fast on the fly for great street photography shots. Don’t be surprised by the weight of this small camera. You know you’re holding a full fame, full metal body camera.

Sony A99 SLT- Full Frame 24.3mp Powerhouse of a camera. This gives me a wide field of view and great depth of field. It mimics the old Minolta style perfectly. With it’s high ISO I can achieve stunning night photography. The battery grip allows horizontal and vertical shots to happen seamlessly while adding more battery power for video and photographs. Into DSLR video shooting? Look no further, this dream machine has a clean HDMI out connector for external recording with Full HD capabilities at 60fps.

Sony A550 DSLR- APS-C Frame 14.2mp lightening fast camera. I love this camera for it’s light weight and small configuration. Don’t let this older version fool you, it comes with everything needed for exceptional photos. If you are into sports this camera will not let you down with its speed. The A550 is one of the fastest DSLR cameras in the industry.

Sony A100 DSLR- 10mp, This was my first introduction into the DSLR. After 35mm film cameras was weeded out the digital point and shoot cameras took off, but those cameras was never able to do what the old Minolta 35mm cameras could. When Sony announced they were launching a better version of the Minolta 5d, I was waiting in line for this camera. It’s a great camera and still in use to this day. I would suggest anyone thinking about getting into a DSLR to try this beauty out. Extremely light weight and fun to use.

Lenses that I use:

Samyang 8mm f3.5 Fisheye- This lens is awesome for the money. Setup for use on a APS-C frame camera, the perspective and quality of the photos is wonderful. To note your camera will not have a clue what it is. This lens is made for full manual mode and the camera will also believe your taking a photograph with a lemon on the end of the camera instead of a lens. Dumb technology with modern results.

Minolta 16mm f2.8 Fisheye- I found people either get bored of using a fisheye lens or just don’t understand how to use one. Correct use of these types of lenses isn’t trying to fit as much as possible into the picture or to distort your friends nose to look like an elephant. Proper use of this lens allows you to take a photograph of the scene. It allows the person viewing to see the rest of the story that you are trying to capture. How many times does something catch your eye, which was in your peripheral vision? This is what you are capturing, proper use will have very minimal distortion in the photograph.

Minolta 20mm f2.8- With approximately 94* in field of view, this super wide angle lens captures the moment with minimal distortion. The one feature I love about this lens is the 72mm filter threads. It allows me the luxury of using filters unlike the 16mm fisheye lens for a dramatic photograph. With use of Lee filters you can create a more organic look without HDR or Photoshop. My motto, get it right in the camera when the photograph was taken and the quality will shine through. Don’t be the Photoshop guy, use manual mode in Raw format.

Minolta 28mm f2.8 prime- A nice wide lens with almost flat glass. This lens is extremely light weight and keep the distortion level down. At f2.8 the darkest of nights become light as day. I truly love using this lens as one of my all day carry lenses.

Minolta 50mm f1.7 prime- This lens is a legend, over 25 years old it produces some of the nicest portrait photos you can think of. Very sharp lens with beautiful bokeh.

Minolta 70-210mm f4 Beercan- If your on the fly and need something fast, accurate, sharp, and can produce excellent bokeh, look no farther this is your lens. It’s a heavy beast of a lens, but fun to use. Zoom into a more personal look within a crowed area with ease. This lens build quality is second to none and will not let you down.

Featured Article in Hawaiian Home Daily magazine Feb. 8th 2014