Friday, March 17, 2017

Sony 55-210mm Zoom Lens

We ordered the Sony E 55-210mm zoom lens as a Christmas present.  It turns out there was a full moon on Dec 24th, 2015.  Using the tips from Stunning Digital Photography, I was able to get the following shot on my second attempt.

210mm, f/6.3, 1/2000s, ISO 800, cropped to 20% of original size

One really nice feature of this lens, as with most of Sony's lenses for the E-mount systems, is that it has built-in optical image stabilization.  This is readily apparent at high magnification when looking through the viewfinder. As soon as the shutter button is depressed half-way, there is a noticeable drop in image shake.  With the stabilization, I could have used a much slower shutter speed in this case.

Contrast in the image, above, has been enhanced in post-processing by blending in a bit of Darktable's highpass module output, and giving it a bump in detail with the local contrast module.

Needless to say, this lens enables wildlife photography.  Below, the red-crested cardinal bathes in our fountain, and a male golden plover in breeding season colors struts his stuff in a neighbor's yard.
210mm, f6.3, 1/400s, ISO1250
210mm, f18, 1/250s, ISO 400,
This is a relatively inexpensive lens, so it is not "fast" -- its minimum aperture varies with magnification from f4.5 to f6.3.  Even so, its possible to get some shallow depth of field effects by focusing on nearby subjects at higher magnifications.

Nanook, 136mm, f/6.3, 1/160s, ISO 100

Nalu, 155mm, f/5.6, 1/100s, ISO 100

Hono Hono Orchid
194mm, f/6.3, 1/320s, ISO 800

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