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Donald Mackie

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  1. I've used both lensrentals and borrowed lens to good success. I did have a scare last time I rented in that I got a call a few days after the return saying the lens was pretty badly damaged and to fix would be $300.00 I knew beyond any shadow of any doubt the lens wasn't damaged by me, not to mention I didn't take the UV protective filter off the entire time I had the lens. They were pretty cool about the whole thing and I wasn't forced to pony up any damage dollars but man........I haven't rented since for fear of that kinda thing happening again.
  2. The 16-35 2.8 GM is truly a fantastic lens. I don't think it has a weakness except perhaps some vignetting wide open especially with filters. Still a wonderful lens that always produces great shots. Tack sharp, great color, fast and focusing is seamless. However as soon as you introduce "street photography" to the equation I know (at least for me) it's a lens you'd have work hard(er) for shots. 35mm is a fascinating albeit a persoanlly difficult focal length which I’ll admit when I get it right 35mm makes for great, great shots but i gotta slow down and I gotta think, which is not always great for street. Still...what a lens.I don't own the 24-70 but I have rented it several times. As with the 16-35 GM it's truly a fantastic lens and all the accolades I mentioned above apply. 24 is not wide enough for me with landscapes or architecture it would however be stellar for a street lens, as long as you don't need to snipe. It's also a great everyday lens. There’s some argument that the Tamron 28-70 is a worthy competitor at substantially less cost but I’ve not had a chance to try.As someone here has already mentioned as long as a constant f/4 is doable the 24-105 G is by far my favorite, favorite all around, cover all, lens. I'm constantly impressed with this lens. I’d argue that it’s comparable to the 24-70 in sharpness but just not able to open up as well. That and comparing the cost of the 24-70 GM you're considering you're awfully close to the price of entry on the 24-105 and maybe a dedicated UWA for landscape and architecture. Say the 20 mm Sigma ART f/1.4. Yes you'd have to occasionally switch lens's but you have a killer UWA and the practicality of the tack sharp 24-105.
  3. This^ I absolutely love my Laowa 15mm. I have the Sigma Art 20mm as well. They’re both unbelievable lens’s but if I had to choose between the two it’d definitely be the Laowa. There’s just an intangible in the 15 vs the 20 (apart from the focal difference) that makes for a really stellar landscape lens. I will say it tends to tighten up significantly at f8 and above where the Sigma performs better at wider apertures. The Laowa also excepts a wider range of filter systems where the Sigma 20 requires some external filter framing which initially can be a fairly costly point of entry. Also as someone mentioned the 15mm is compact and light especially compared to the 20mm. I dunno what the minimum focus difference is between the two but the Laowa is uncanny in its ability to get uber close. I certainly have managed some “almost” macro shots with the 15. Can’t do that with the Sigma. Overall I think the Sigma is a tad sharper (as I find all the Art series seem to be, my 35mm Sigma is crazy sharp) and obviously you have more focus options. Still.......for landscape.....Laowa
  4. Obviously both photos are a “bit” out of focus I’d be curious to know how the camera was set especially for the top (presumably) Sony shot. I’d also re-seat the lens just for grins. BTW: Is the photo an un-edited raw? It’s getting close to a high contrast shot and it appears there’s some haze or moisture hanging around the rocks. Anyway I think then by way of process of elimination I can tell you I had originally purchased the camera with the kit lens and it was surprisingly sharp in good light. I mean to say REALLY sharp for a kit. I unfortunately re-structured my original deal and wound up with the 50 prime instead but quite honestly really wish I hadn’t. I think the kit is a superior lens over the Sony 50 prime in virtually every way except wide open. All of that to say I think in general the kit from Sony is a real bargain and a very, very capable lens. I’m guessin’ your problem is not the lens unless it’s faulty glass. It’s certainly a possibility. That said I’ve heard almost zero chatter about that lens and any consistent problems. I think we can also surmise that it’s not the body, again, unless it’s a faulty body. Possible but unlikely. Have you taken any shots that were tack? Maybe try a couple shots in the back yard with the camera set to full auto and wide focus mode. Nothing content heavy but also nothing busy. I’m sure you know where I’m heading here but I’d wanna know for sure the equipment is working or not before I leaped to any conclusions. If you can get a number of simple backyard photos to be tack sharp I’d start looking elsewhere. If however you can’t get tack sharp I’d rent another lens and live with that for a week. The 85 prime rents for pretty darn cheap. That lens is sharp enough to use as a barometer and should serve as to either indict or exonerate the kit lens. If that lens remain out of focus i’d then concentrate on having the A7 iii looked at. Full circle however, what were your settings on the Sony shot?
  5. There’s a lot to this question but I’ll try to distill a bit at least from my perspective and needs. I’m one who strives for best “in camera” shot and although I do love to sit and tinker with post production stuff my best shots are always minimum post fiddling. I’m always uncomfortable with even moderately over processed pics. PhotoLab 2 Elite lens correction is worth its weight in gold (although they haven’t yet addressed my Sigma 20mm prime). It’s all at once subtle and stunning. That alone is worth the price (and it is pricey) of entry. Their noise reduction algorithm is also the best I’ve encountered. Their color correction, both in PhotoLab and in Nix, is a good deal more pleasing than others I am currently or have used in the past. It’s “clear view” module (haze reduction) when used sparingly is also the best, by far, I’ve used. PhotoLab does lack the all encompassing tools that the current Lightroom provides so if a broad umbrella editor is what you’re after PhotoLab may be behind in that area. If however you’re not into making major broad edits I’m really really comfortable recommending PhotoLab. My best photos always look that much better in DxO. I think there is a 30 day trial available. If however you’re looking for a feature to feature (or almost feature to feature) alternative to Lightroom I do like Luminar 3 a lot. They’ve steadfastly been bringing this software along to the point where I do believe it’s a worthy competitor to Lightroom. It’s more feature rich than PhotoLab and of course is not a subscription based solution. I do like both Luminar and PhotoLab’s file management/library protocol infinitely better than Lightroom’s. Overall for me PhotoLab is my absolute favorite and by miles and miles although and as I mentioned it’s not particularly a cheap solution. Also important to note that for whatever weird reason the DxO Nix collection doesn’t yet run as a plug inside PhotoLab. Now.....if they could just get my Sigma 20mm lens profile it’d be happy as a piggy in slop
  6. Difficult to tell what went wrong here but I’m confident it’s not the camera. At least to say I’m confident it’s not the camera in general. That pic is pretty noisy and even in challenging situations I don’t get any where near that degree of noise. I’ve also rented the Batis 25 and it was blisteringly sharp. I wish I could help more only to say something does appear to have gone (out of the ordinary) wrong. This is not what to expect from an A7iii
  7. Cool picture! I love my 24-105. It’s on my camera 70% of the time. It’s as sharp as you could ask for in a zoom with that much range. It’s not quite as uncannily sharp as my 20 and 35 primes but it’s awfully, awfully close. My only complaint is at 35mm compared to my 35 prime there is an ever so slight pin cushioning goin’ on, at least by comparison. I probably wouldn’t notice if I hadn’t back to backed. Still....for a zoom it’s really, really good.
  8. Yes I have a stellar prime 35 in the Sigma but it ain’t light I rented the 24mm 1.4 and it was a luxurious lens. I want 😎, But I’m covered 20 to 24. Just wanna have a light walk around that has a bit more reach. Maybe the Batis 40mm or even further the Sony 85mm. Either way and as I’ve mentioned the 50 prime is a clunker.
  9. Yea I kinda have had and heard the same reactions. I guess just a word of caution for folks who haven’t yet invested, this lens (at least mine) is better off skipped It’s dang near unusable.
  10. Not a big deal at this point but I thought I'd just throw this out there to see if anyone is in the same boat. When I bought my A7 iii I bought the body and the Sony 50mm prime instead of the kit lens. I've since built up my lens collection "a bit" and can cover 50mm otherwise but every now and again I feel the urge to take a walk with a light lens. In my Cannon world that would have been my 50 prime (which I loved). But that said my Sony 50 just really, really blows. It focus hunts to the end of the earth. Often when it does decide to settle the focus point is miles from what the photo shows. I've made grand attempts to get my head wrapped around it's idiosyncrasies and adapt and adjust but every time I think I've got some frame work understood it's inconsistencies throws me for another total loop. I could just toss it into the closet but as inexpensive as it is I paid for a 50 prime and this 50 prime just doesn't work. Anyone else think this is Sony's biggest dud?
  11. I have a separate drive for safe-keeping of raw un-edited files although this process of course will work if you choose to use the computers internal drive. I use the Mac's propritary capture software (Image Capture) to pull the files off the SD card and into that drive. From there I'll import them into my photo editing software. With the extremely low cost of drives these days I actually use three. One for the storage of the original raw files. One for the edited photo's (I use Luminar and yes I'm aware Luminar is non-destructive ) and a third for backing up the original raw drive. I probably wouldn't have gone to this extreme a few years back but as I mentioned drives are so cheap these days it just gives me piece of mind.
  12. I’m sure the OP has long made his/her choice but I’ll add my 2 cents for those who may still be on the fence. And truth be told there’s a lot between these two lens to be on the fence about. I rented both lens’s before I bought. Here is my rationale for choosing the 24-105: I love to be wide and the difference between 24 and 28 is (at least for me, substantial). The longer reach of the 105 over the 75 of the Tamron not as much but since the 24-105 seems wonderfully sharp all the way out to 105, why not. I won’t use it as often but like I said....why not? The Sony auto focus is faster although not substantially so but (and this’ll be an intangible) somehow feels better/works better. I can’t give a pragmatic explanation but it was there when I had both lens’s for comparison. By no means a deal breaker but “a thing” none the less. The OSS on the Sony lens is uncannily good. For run and gun and hand-held low light situations I’m surprise (at times shocked) at what I can get away with. This most likely was the moment and reason I couldn’t go back to the Tamron. Not to dismiss the Tamron in any way. It’s really spectacular. It’s tack, tack sharp. It has a great color profile. I believe it was a tad lighter. It’s cheaper and it’ll open up to 2.8 (although i’m not sure for my own personal purposes the OSS doesn’t outweigh the extra stop of light). I guess an argument could be made the the a Tamron might be better at shallower DOF but that would be dependent on shooting style and needs. In the end I think either of these lens’s are as good or better than I am and it’d think it impossible to go wrong with either. For me however the Sony was a better choice.
  13. I thought the Artic Butterfly would be what most folks suggested. I’ve used one in the past but don’t currently have one. Tinplater: For me it’s not really so much a fear. No matter how you look at it the sensor (and frankly everything in and around the sensor) is pretty darn delicate. I’ll use my VSGO swabs but only when I’m out of choices. I’m not new to cleaning camera inners, just new to Sony Mirrorless. Just wanted to make sure Thanks everyone!
  14. New here and glad I found this site. I switched from my Cannon world to a Sony A7 iii a few months back. Migration has been relatively painless and I’m getting more comfortable/familiar with the camera with each passing day. My first question is an age-old but with a slight twist. I was on a pre-dawn shoot up in the mountains Saturday morning and in the cold and dark I managed to get a spattering of dust on my sensor. 97% of it came lose with the in camera cleaning mode and a slight squeeze of the Giotto. There is the usual one speck that’s not coming off unless I take another step. I have both the PhotoSol and VSGO cleaning swabs that I’ve used in the past and I’m certainly not afraid to use them, on the other hand I don’t like to use liquid unless my hand is completely forced. Just wanted to pick your collective brains about what you’re using between easy off Giotto cleaning scenarios and the more invasive VSGO swabs cleaning. Success stories of something effective in between?
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