Got my first taste of full frame e-mount glass- the Sony Zeiss 24-70mm F4 OSS. I had been wanting a native e-mount full frame lens for some time after procuring the A7 mark I last year. It was always my intention to have A-mount as my primary mount for serious shooting, while e-mount was for funsies. When I first switched to e-mount, it was with the a6000 after much deliberation on my side about the huge size advantage mirrorless had over my Nikon D90 kit. I became restless with the kit lens over time and while size was impressive, the 16-50mm was neither impressive image quality wise or inspiring to shoot with. And I think some snobietry was also there, shooting with a kit lens (this existed with my D90 and the 18-105 VR kit lens and me). I eventually picked up the 18-105 F4 OSS G lens and this really brought an exciting level of shooting for me. The size was much larger, but not so large that the entire kit was not carryable. However, once I made the jump to full frame and wanting to get access to hyper cheap A-mount glass, size sort of became irrelevant. You can really see that in the next photo. Anyways, I didn’t want to spend serious money on E-mount glass, as I had already invested in A-mount and most of the lenses I wanted in A-mount were very solid (aside from the somewhat unfortunate 35mm F1.4 G SAL). What does all this blurb mean? I really didn’t want to get any serious glass like G-Master stuff (i.e. 24-70 f2.8) or primes (I have plenty of primes in A-mount). E-mount was for casual shooting. While I think the 18-105 F4 OSS G lens would have been great, it was far too expensive for me to want to get for casual shooting and that is a casual shooting walk around lens. It has amazing reviews, and compares quite competitively to its Canon/Nikon counterparts (at least in the DSLR range- I haven’t followed the mirrorless comparisons). But again, price. I didn’t feel it was worth the price to get a kit lens on its own, even used at 150 CDN, and esp at new MSRP. That lens is both technically unimpressive with a boring focal length and aperture range, and aesthetically bleh. So the 24-70mm F4 Zeiss. As a sucker for Zeiss, and the marketing behind it, this seemed perfect. Relatively lower used prices, great build quality and decently small size that matches the a7 series well (which the f2.8 zooms really do not match at all, unlike on A-mount). I’m not blind though- the reviews have shown a generally disappointing image quality towards the tele end of the lens (surprising for a relatively lower speced lens with f4 and 24-70 mm range), and the consensus was that the MRSP was high for the image quality recieved. And there was some dubious thoughts on a cooling off of the Sony Zeiss partnership- which leads to the emergence of G-Master and subsequent releases being in the G-family only. Even something small like the lens hood and cap are no longer the Zeiss branded caps or full metal lens hoods like in A-mount- they are either generic Sony lens caps or half metal/half plastic lens hoods (I recall the Sony Zeiss 24 f1.8 lens hood falling apart for some people). Anyways, this lens is not without flaws. But I was excited to have a more modern sensor and AF system in the a7. Anyways, here it is! I love the box, BTW. In this case, the Zeiss is mounted on the a7 with the vertical grip attached.
Size comparison- you can see the difference here- the monster on the left is the 2nd full frame DSLR from Sony, the a850 with the Zeiss 135mm F1.8 and its massive metal hood attached. I love this combo a lot- it feels very analog to shoot with- no EVFs, screw drive motor, and not a lot of extra features. A beast in weight- its not something I casually take around- its more for dedicated shoots. The a99 Mark I with the Sony Zeiss 24-70mm F2.8 Mark I next, is also a large beast, but again one I love shooting- the a99 and a850 balance large lenses like these very well, meaning less hand cramping from the combo tilting forward – obviously the weight is another story to deal with, but balanced weight is good. But you can see how much larger that combo is compared to the a7 Mark I and 24-70mm F4 Zeiss. What really surprises me is that the Zeiss 24-70mm f4 and a7 are nearly the same size as the APS-C a55 SLT and Sony Zeiss 16-80mm combo on the right., my personal favorite walk around combo. Mirrorless is obviously the advantgae for size, at least with body in this case. Anyways, I feel like the zeiss 24-70mm f4 is a good match for the body of the a7. I have doubts about how much more I will invest in e-mount glass. I have considered the 16-35 mm f4 Zeiss, but that price used is well within the price range of the 16-35mm Zeiss f2.8 a-mount, which I think I would rather spend money on. Anyways, I am happy.
I’ve been upgrading my streaming set up at home, since I have been so focused at working from home now- first major upgrade is the microphone- using either the stock microphone in my VAIO L 24 inch all in one or the microphone in the Microsoft Lifecam nx3000 has either left people unimpressed, or me shouting at the screen and being right up to it because I’m too quiet. I was going to get the Razer Seiren X to simplify my set up, as I have the Razer Kiyo incoming, and this would match the Blackwidow Ultimate I use on my desktop, but I saw the Blue Yeti on sale, and it was much more impressive aesthetically (lame I know); reviews were also much better here as well (I was thinking of the Blue Snowball, but I was surprised by how big it actually was in person). The Yeti is huge. But I love it. I also bought a ring light, which seems to be the biggest issue with my stock web camera. My Kiyo is incoming- it has arrived in Alaska on Fedex from hong Kong. I’ll be excited to try out the new webcam for work.
I’m also anxiously awaiting edits from my professors on my thesis. I have been waking up with nightmares about thesis criticisms and utterly failing my thesis defense. I am not one to believe in talking outloud about calamities means they will happen, but my graduate school fears have been dragged on for so much that I actually even have fears typing this out. I cannot freaking wait to have this removed from my mind.
I got these new energy drinks to try- I feel SUPER lame hyping up about energy drinks, as it sounds like I eat doritos and energy drinks for LYFE but I do like them for heavy workouts- its mentally a bit of something to feel like I am taking an additive to make a more intense workout. I typically save them for when I am exhausted with poor sleep and have a heavy compound lift to do (typically deadlifts). Anyways, these are disgusting. I was excited about the new flavors, but it turns out, drinking a can of Cotton Candy pop is kind of gross. I finished my workout with just half the can done, because it was gross. My workout was good though at least! 24 sets of 200lb machine shoulder press at 10 reps.