When it comes to camera settings and photography it’s all about aperture priority or manual mode for me.
Safe to say the huge majority of photos I take employ those methods.
Auto modes may be convenient at times or favored by a person but I’m kind of thinking when it comes to settings the term “control freak” takes on a different connotation, a matter of choice though and what works for a person.
To that end most of the lenses I have are what is referred to as vintage, older manual lenses, and something of price range necessity.
But being familiar with operating a camera and the very high quality vintage lenses available for a fraction of the cost I may very well be ahead of the game in some areas.
Among my lens collection there are exceptions, most notably Sigma’s Dn Art series of which I have the 30mm F2.8 and the 60mm F2.8 – both if purchased new can be had for $200 or less and are no slouch when it comes to sharpness and IQ.
The build quality is substantial enough but very noticeable when switching from say a Fujinon ebc 55mm f1.8, but there’s no trade off in image quality.
In fact I’d say as good as the Fujinon is in some areas the Sigma(s) are better, which is nothing short of amazing when you consider their new cost, something almost unheard of for a lens of their performance ability.
Digital sensors have come a long way and sometimes people get caught up in the number of pixels, which can be a mistake as not all sensors regardless of pixel count are created equal.
Micro 4/3s, APC, and full frame are all capable of producing high quality photos, full frame is something of the holy grail but out of reach for some due to price.
An interesting aside is that Kodak developed the first digital camera in the 70’s and yet has never been a player of consequence.
Photography is a series of links in a chain, from the shooter to the lens, and if digital, then the sensors as well – a weak link offsets the strong ones.
If a person isn’t entirely satisfied with the images they’re capturing and yet have a good camera it may be time to explore Aperture priority or manual.
There will be something of an associated learning curve but nothing worth being intimidated over.
The icons on the program wheel may have an allure, a convenience factor, but there was a time when you had to know the mechanics of photography and the auto modes don’t lend themselves to that.
The above photo was taken with a vintage lens, a Petri 55mm F1.8 – if it’s sharpness a person is looking for this lens qualifies and probably can be found on eBay without having to stress the budget.
In fact I just looked and found a few ranging from$25 to $50 – of course you’ll have to have an eBay account or friend who does to avail yourself of one.
The lenses I have acquired are the result of bartering work, trading, something a person found in their closet, or picking up seriously cheap at a yardsale or junk store.
Not everyone will be interested in bartering work, but yard sales and the like abound – you may even have a friend with an old camera and lens laying around they have no interest in.
Kind of a story associated with the above photo, was out with a friend hiking around, we had just come down the side of mountain entering into a flat area and we ran across it.
She offered the opinion that it looked forlorn and wondered how it came to be in that particular spot?
Speculations got a little a silly and we settled on it was part of a ufo that had fallen off while making a crop circle – didn’t matter that there wasn’t a crop circle, could have happened before they began the process – anyway that’s our story and we’re sticking to it, though I wouldn’t suggest anyone upload it as proof of aliens.
I had a camera with me and so took a photo, it can be enlarged several times and the fact that it holds together so well is a testament to the Petri.