Uncle Sam Lives Here--Test Shot (hand-held) of Sony NEX-3

by Kelly Landrum

uncle sam lives here test shot hand held of sony seeking critique kelly landrum

Gallery: CAMERA TEST SHOTS--SONY NEX-3 Hand-held shots

Tags: seeking critique

Category: Architecture

Published: Tuesday 22nd of February 2011 06:52:21 AM


Jamie Kraft
treasures all!

Contax G is so good, and they seem to be just right for the way you shoot.  Aren't you curious??  j

Jamie Kraft
I'm myopic.

No.  It is true.  I have come to terms with it.  

I love focusing on the back.  It's more precise than autofocus, and as I mentioned above, modern viewfinder screens are terrible for precision focus.  I realised yesterday that depth-of-field preview buttons on modern cameras are absolutely crazy because what you see is always much sharper than what you get.  How could preview do anything but confuse?

I feel for your gear creep.  I sold five Leica screw lenses recently - 2x Canon 35/2.0, Canon 28/3.5, Voigtlander 25/4.0, Jupiter 9 85/2.0.  All fantastic glass except for the Jupiter, which had a minor focus problem.  Martin Parr never sells gear.  He and I are different.  You should still get a Contax G adaptor.  You already have some lenses.  They are worth using, and it's like getting rid of something you don't use if you use them.  Sorry.  I love Contax.  j

Pierre Dumas
Wonderful spectacle!

Hey Landrum, long time no see my friend! Howdy?


Diane Hooper

I am just amazed at the detail captured by this little camera! I can even see the pebbledash detail on the lower level.


Landrum Kelly

Thanks, Jack.  It's just across this little town I live in.


Jack McRitchie
Now THAT'S a brass band of a house. I wonder in what country it's located?

Landrum Kelly

Thanks, Diane.  Thank you also for the inspiration to try Sony.  Although I don't have the money to start over with another brand, this little camera is blowing my socks off--and it IS tiny to have such a BIG sensor.

The fact that it did not cost an arm and a leg is a factor in my evaluation of it, too. . . .


Jamie Kraft
Good Things...

Small Packages.  Those cameras are also great for weird rangefinder lenses, I think.  Russian lenses are very inexpensive on eBay, and quite interesting.  The Mir lens is a 37 mm, and it's one of the sharpest lenses I've ever used.  It would be about a 55-mm equivalent on your camera, I think.  best, j

Landrum Kelly

"Russian lenses are very inexpensive on eBay, and quite interesting."

Jamie, I, too, have some old exotic pieces of glass, and I can't wait for a bit of a break to see how they will work--I surely cannot afford to buy new Sony Alpha glass.  I have bought three converters/adapters for the Sony NEX series already: one is "Sony NEX to M42 mounts" (Pentax and a lot more), "Sony NEX to Canon EOS mounts," and "Sony NEX to Nikon mounts."  (Actually, technically the Sony NEX mount is not a true Sony Alpha mount but a Sony E mount--a new species entirely.)

In other words, I am assuming that I can get even better results with better glass--and so the small investment in adapters for the other glass.  The two Sony kit lenses I have for this relatively inexpensive Sony do not cost much--but they are, after all, kit lenses.

There is one other variable that is out of my hands: new firmware upgrades from Sony for the NEX cameras.  I am told that such free upgrades exist and can be downloaded already.  DPReview (whether Phil Askey or another reviewer I do not remember) has said that there is a lot of data in the Sony NEX files that is not being taken advantage of.  Given that the sensors are almost up to 24mm x 16mm, I also would question whether a bit more detail ought to be possible.

So, between the lens issues and the firmware issues, I cannot make a final ruling--and then there is the fact that these are hand-held shots.  There is a reason for that, of course: what is the real advantage of a much smaller camera if one has to carry a tripod? Still, I have no doubt but that I can get better results using a tripod, but I just haven't had time to do all my own possible tests.

I do think that Sony (and Samsung) are onto something with these "small cameras-big sensors" models, however, and so I think that we are going to be hearing a lot more about comparisons as time progresses and more and more minituarization occurs--and as the problems of in-camera processing are increasingly worked through.  I suspect that we are still just touching the surface in terms of what can be gotten out of a 24x16 sensor.

I have to say one more time, however: these new NEX cameras are blowing me away.  I suspect that they will give us even more surprises in a year or two as Canon and Nikon, et al. join th hunt and the competition gets really fierce for this corner of the market.

Leica?  Well, there is the ultimate, is it not?  Surely Lecia will continue to see what it can get out of 24x16 sensors--nothing new there yet.  That is what Leica digital has been about from the beginning: quality results with small, non-obtrusive cameras.

"These are great times to be alive, bros."  --Crazy, Full Metal Jacket.


Jamie Kraft

Very interesting.  The Helios 28/2.8 is fascinating.  You commented on one I took with it about four months ago:  


The Helios 58/2.0 is also pretty weird:  



Finally, there are two more adaptors that could be interesting.  Contax G lenses are some of the sharpest ever made, and they are relatively cheap.  JeffS L was just considering new Zeiss with native Canon mount.  Contax G is probably just as good and perhaps one fifth the price.  Lastly, Leica screw mount is where the real action is with the Russian lenses.  The Mir I suggested is available in M42, however...

Landrum Kelly

Don't you love that old glass, Jamie!  Most of my adapters are to Canon EOS, since that is typically what I shoot.  I do have some (only two or three) of the Contax G lenses, and a very small number of Zeiss (non-Hasselblad) lenses.  I should have thought of an adapter to Sony NEX (E-mount).


Landrum Kelly

I am, Jamie, but all of these different adapters make life complicated at times.  I was just on eBay looking at the Mir 37 as well as some of the Contax G lenses.  There are just so many options, and I have to think about which ones I will actually shoot.

My tendency toward being a bit of a gearhead has long since started to get in the way of actual shooting.

In addition, the ContaX G to Sony NEX mount adapters only take advantage of the small size and legendary sharpness.  I don't see any adapters that take advantage of the electrical connections.  (I have been able to buy a Zeiss to Canon EOS adapter that does at least give focus confirmation for some Zeiss lenses.)  This is a major consideration in a camera that DOES NOT COME WITH A VIEWFINDER!  Imagine trying to use manual focus on the back screen!

Right now I just want to--need to--simplify. 


Ruud Albers

Beautiful colours and lighting, Lannie!

Landrum Kelly

Thanks, Same and Ruud.


Landrum Kelly

Here is the version with the exaggerated vertical scale corrected--at least most of it.



Landrum Kelly

THIS VERSION SUFFERS FROM AN EXAGGERATED VERTICAL SCALE.  See the other version in this folder for a more accurate representation.


(The error here occurred while trying to use Perspective Correction in Photoshop.)



Landrum Kelly
Uncle Sam Lives Here--Test Shot (hand-held) of Sony NEX-3 The Sony NEX cameras tend to over-expose ever so slightly but quite regularly. Here the exposure was corrected in the RAW file using ACD See Pro in about three seconds. (Nice program!)


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