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The Coffee Shop With The Sony 16-35 f/2.8 GM

Recently I had the pleasure of renting a Sony 16-35 f/2.8 GM lens for use on my Sony A7ii. At that I rented it, I was planning on shooting some indoor wedding photography where the wide angle and bright aperture would come in handy. With the current global “situation” (don’t want to use the word since it flags you in search), the event was limited to ten people and I could no longer attend.

Unperturbed, I knew I still had a $2,200 lens in my hands for a few days, so I made the most of it. My mom’s coffee shop (which is still taking orders by the way) recently renovated the entire interior and needed some shots to promote it on Facebook and to update the images on Google Maps. I decided to head over and see what kind of photos I could get. I’ve never used a lens wider than 28mm on a full-frame camera before, so I was absolutely blown away by the kind of images I was getting.

Interior of Battle Alley Coffee
Interior of Battle Alley Coffee

Now I’ll be the first to admit my interior photography needs some work. The edges of the frame are crowded and there’s way too much going on in this photo. But, on the bright side, by intention was to portray the relaxing nature of the interior and I think that comes across.

Espresso machine making double shots
Close up of the espresso machine making two shots

While this isn’t a review of the lens, I was kind of surprised at the low corner sharpness at f/2.8 zoomed out to 16mm. But looking at sample images of the competition, this seems to be the norm. Limitations of the laws of physics I suppose.

After handling the lens for a few days, I’m now seriously considering buying the Samyang AF 18mm f/2.8 FE to add an extreme wide angle lens to my toolbox. It’s only $350 brand new, and there’s just no other way to capture the feeling and look that a 16-18mm wide angle lens gives you. Regular sized objects like the espresso machine can now fill the frame and grab your attention. Average sized interiors become cavernous. And usually plain exteriors become vast, wide-open landscapes you can fall into.

Train Tracks in Holly
You know I had to do the stereotypical train track shot

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Detroit Railroad Club Open House

A miniature train station at the Holly Railroad Club

Twice a year, the Detroit Model Railroad Club in Holly opens its doors to the public to help raise money and show off their artistic skills in miniature form. I took my Sony A7ii and the 50mm f/1.8 to get some classic miniature shots.

A preist in a graveyard at the Holly Railroad Club
Two children gleefully look at trains at the Holly Railroad Club
A model train at the Holly Railroad Club
A miniature street at the Holly Railroad Club

Despite being over 30 miles away from Detroit, that’s where this club got its start and moved up north casing cheaper rent. Eventually they bought their current building and will stay there for the foreseeable future. I think these shots will make a great addition to my long term project of documenting my hometown, so stay tuned for a zine or book resulting from that work.