What Pro Photographers Images Look Like Raw, Unedited or with Lightroom Edits Only

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What Pro Photographers Images Look Like Raw, Unedited or with Lightroom Edits Only

So I get asked a lot about my images and work.  People wanna know how much of it is editing vs. what I capture in camera.  While I'm not opposed to photographers editing their images, I do take great pride in what I'm able to capture and create in camera vs. relying on post processing wizardry.  There's something so old school about creating it in camera.  I personally feel it's more gratifying and is also a greater challenge.

Maybe I get this attitude due to the fact that my roots are based in being a landscape photographer.  That's why I've always incorporated so much of nature into my work.  So from time to time I'll create posts and videos where I not only show my finished work, but also my completely unedited raw and straight out of the camera work as well.  Now for those wondering I won't be posting my raw files onto these posts.  Why?  Because I don't want other people taking my work and editing it for their use or pleasure.

Sometimes folks post raw shots for others to see.  But those are for the viewer to get a look at how a lens or camera performs for example.  Or the shot is posted so people can download it and try a certain photoshop technique.  This isn't that kind of a post.  This post is about showing how much I capture in camera vs. what I create afterwards and I hope it helps to shed some light on what I do.

To start off I pretty much use Lightroom for ALL of my work.  This is largely in part to time.  I'm not opposed to Photoshop in any way and kudos to those who choose to use it for their work.   But with a full time photography company and full time Youtube Channel, I just need the streamlined workflow of Lightroom to get my work done quickly.  The only times I would use Photoshop would perhaps be for images being submitted to a competition etc.  The work you see on Youtube and on my website is all Lightroom only.

So I did this shoot with a beautiful model named Jazmen Parker in Oceanside, California.  I used the Sony A7Rii with the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 lens.  I used the Flashpoint Xplor600 in High Speed Sync for off camera flash.

To be able to illustrate how my shots look in Raw I did screen captures of select images from the shoot while open in Lightroom.  These shots are seen in the gallery below:

I then exported these same shots as shown in the screen captures as completely unedited (SOOC) jpegs.  This gallery is below:

And here are my shots that were edited using Lightroom only

I truly hope this post helps to shed a little light on what images look like out of the camera for a professional photographer.  Links to gear are included below:

**Links to Gear:

*Sony A7Rii-  

*Rokinon 14mm f/2.8-  

*Flashpoint Xplor 600-  

*Westcott Rapid Box XL-  

Jason

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Sony A6500 4K Overheating Test in a REAL World Shooting Environment

So, I released a video about the A6500 not overheating when shooting in 1080p.  It lasted for well over 2 hours with no problems.  So the next question was, "Well, how does it perform in 4K?" This question was raised by many folks online interested to see how well it could do when being put under a bigger strain of recording 4K vs. 1080p.

Luckily we anticipated people would be interested to know if it would work so immediately following the 1080p test, we rolled the 4K test.  Keep in mind at the point we started doing the 4K test the camera had already been rolling for over 2 hours non-stop in 1080p.  The only breaks it got were literally for changing out batteries and of course turning the recording back on when it would stop at 29:50.  Those breaks for battery swaps or hitting the record button again were all of 5-10 seconds each at the most.

 

The camera had also been sitting out in the sun, on a tripod for hours.  It wasn't a hot day outside, not a cold day, just a normal day in Southern California.  I like to test a camera's performance in the real world shooting conditions that I encounter on a daily basis.

So we hit the record button on the A6500 recording at 24fps, 100 mbps in 4K in Super 35mm mode.  If you've watched the 1080p version of this test you'll already know that this camera was a 2 day loaner from Sony.  We had a very limited time to conduct tests and do shoots so we tried to maximize every minute we had.  This test was at the end of my time using the camera and it needed to be returned to Sony HQ in San Diego.

So we packed up from our shooting location in La Jolla and took off to Sony HQ to return the camera.  I set the camera on a tripod for virtually the entire time.  It stayed on a tripod in my truck on the drive over.  Once I arrived at Sony I did a battery swap and then went inside the return the camera.

It never overheated.

The camera did get warm at one point and it was due to the battery getting warm but the camera didn't stop recording.  This was when the battery was close to dying.  Once it was swapped out the camera went from warm to barely warm continued to record with no problem.

I kept the camera rolling as long as I could get away with it.  In fact I ended up completely filling up my memory card...and I also needed to return it to Sony...lol.  I was waiting in the lobby to return it and kept recording until they needed it back to ship off to Fedex.

Total recording time was 1 hour, 7 minutes and 53 seconds.  It just never overheated.  A couple of notes in regards to testing gear:

  • Anything Can Fail- If you try hard enough you can make any product out there fail.  I recommend trying it the actual conditions that you plan on using the gear.  Because placing a square metal object (camera) down in very hot sand or on a hot rock is of course going to overheat a unit.  If you leave virtually any electronic item in the sun on a hot surface for long enough it will indeed overheat (phones are a great example of this).  
  • How Long Do you REALLY need to record?  While these tests are fun to do you have to ask yourself, "How long do I actually need to record something?"  Do you truly intend on recording for hours on end with the A6500?  Whenever I'm recording one of my presentations and I'm going for a LONG time, I simply plug in a video camera.  These cameras aren't intended to replace the role of a video camera.  They are intended to be stills cameras that enable many of us to also use them for video functionality.  I do intend on using the A6500 for a lot of my video work since it has IBIS, 4K video etc.  But I can honestly say I don't see myself recording consecutive 29:50 clips for endless amounts of time....and I'd dare say the vast majority of people out there won't either. 
  • Having Fun- part of the joy of me doing Youtube is my ability to share so many cool ideas and products with the photography community out there.  With all of the product reviews and videos that I do I always try and keep them lighthearted and fun.  Because if you aren't having fun doing them...why do them?  Life's too short to be miserable...:)

More than anything I just hope the content helps people out there.  Whether or not you think it will work for you is honestly only a decision you can make.  But I'm very happy that the A6500 is performing better than it's predecessors especially as it related to 4K.  If anything it should run hotter since it has the IBIS inside of it, whereas the A6000 and A6300 do not.  Maybe Sony just turned off the limiter and decided to let you go crazy with this camera.  Who knows?

I'm just thrilled that it's performing the way that it is and I hope it helped!  And as I always say, just find the right gear that works for you....regardless of the brand name on the front all that matters is what works best in your hands.

Thanks,

Jason

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My Sony A6500 will NOT Overheat...no matter how hard I tried to get it to!

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My Sony A6500 will NOT Overheat...no matter how hard I tried to get it to!

Well, I tried.  I really gave it an honest try.  With all the hubbub over the A6000 series cameras overheating, one of the first things I wanted to try out when I got my hands on the A6500 was how well the new camera responded to overheating.

With earlier cameras like the A6000 and A6300 there were issues for some when shooting video and the camera overheating.  Now let's set the record straight on something that should be common knowledge but isn't.  Unless a camera is classified as a "video camera" like the Panasonic GH4 is....it will NOT exceed the 30 minute time frame.  Companies do this quite simply to save money.  Video cameras are taxed at a higher rate than still cameras...it's a fact.

So when any still camera stops recording at the 29:50 mark, it isn't overheating, it's simply obeying the law based upon if it's a video camera or a still camera.  The REAL question that needs to be answered is, "Once it stops, can you immediately hit the RECORD button and start recording again?"

When I first got the A6000 nearly 3 years ago and took it with me to Ethiopia, the video would overheat after about 20 minutes or so and the camera wouldn't turn back on until it cooled off.  The A6300 was better, but it did indeed overheat at about the 25 minute mark when recording 4k video.

So when Sony added IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization) to the A6500, conventional wisdom would indicate that there would actually be MORE heat going on inside the camera body, not less. So I was ready to be disappointed with how well the camera handled heat.

BOY, was I surprised.  I got a loaner camera for Sony and was able to shoot with it for two days.  I was so busy trying to crank out shots and test it as much as I could that I really didn't get a chance to just leave it recording for an endless amount of time.  On top of that, I couldn't just leave it recording through the middle of the night because it will stop at 29:50 no matter what. Meaning I'd have to be awake and hit the record button every 30 minutes.  Plus, I wanted the footage to be REAL.  I wanted to test it in conditions that I would actually use the camera in.

I see so many tests online that simply are ridiculous.  Tests where people set a camera in hot sand or on a hot rock that's roasting in the sun and then are shocked that a completely metal object like a camera would get hot.  That's honestly laughable.

Like all of my reviews and tests, I care about how it will perform in the real world, not sitting on a rock in the desert.  Because after all, who in the world is gonna use it like that?  Nobody...unlesss you're a desert hermit without a tripod who vlogs I guess.

So I started recording on this camera.  Predictably it stopped recording at the 29:50 mark.  But to my happy surprise when I immediately hit the record button again, it started recording immediately.  But then....it kept recording.  And wouldn't overheat.

I could NOT get the A6500 to OVERHEAT!!!  I shot it in 1080p (yes I tested in 4k as well but that's for another post), and it would NOT overheat.  You guys seriously have to watch the video to see what I'm talking about.

It got to the point where I had models and my photography crew standing around waiting for the darn thing to overheat so we could start shooting with it.  It got so bad that I was WANTING it to overheat lol.

IT NEVER OVERHEATED.  Barely got warm.

At the 2 hour and 2 minute mark I said enough was enough.  My memory card was full and I'd gone through 2 batteries.  It simply would not overheat.  I had one of the models come over to the camera (that was in direct sunlight for hours by the way) and her words were that the camera was "barely warm".

So how did Sony do it?  Well, they removed the constraints that were placed on the camera.  You can go into the menu and turn off the limiter that prevents the camera from shutting down when it overheats.  But that being said, it was never even physically hot.  It felt like a camera normally feels when you've held it in your hands for a good 10 minutes....just a mild warmth.

I can't completely explain how Sony did as I'm not one of their engineers and I simply don't know. And to that end I really don't care how they did it.  I just care that they did.  I hope to see the same advancements in future iterations of their other cameras.

Stay tuned for the 4k test as well!!!

**Links to Gear:

*Sony A6500-  

*Sony 35mm Zeiss-  

*Feisol Tripod- 

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Using the Sony A6500 with Canon Lenses- is this the best Sony Mirrorless for Adapted Lenses?

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Using the Sony A6500 with Canon Lenses- is this the best Sony Mirrorless for Adapted Lenses?

So after I had a little bit of time to test the A6500 with native Sony lenses and quickly determined that it was the fastest Sony Mirrorless I've used for auto focus (yes, both full frame and crop sensor) I decided to try it with a Canon lens and the Sigma MC-11 Adapter.

Now recently I've released review videos using the A7Rii with the Metabones Mark 4 and Sigma MC-11 adapters with Canon mount lenses.  To date the A7Rii and the A6300 have been the best camera bodies for using these lenses....well, not any more.

The A6500 is a special camera for auto focus guys and gals.  I'm telling you.  IT IS.  I noticed it the second I picked it up and started shooting with it.  But my review and video for the native lenses will come a little later.  This is about Canon adapted lenses.

Previously as shown in the review videos the coverage on adapted lenses extends to just about the middle 60% of the sensor.  I was sincerely shocked to find that the Sigma MC-11 Adapter with the Canon 50mm f/1.2 lens covered the ENTIRE sensor.  Top to bottom, left to right.  THE WHOLE DAMN THING.

SHOCKED.  It honestly shoots like native glass and I'm not kidding.  Don't believe me?  Watch the video where I reel off 115 consecutive images in Hi+ continuous mode shooting WIDE OPEN at f/1.2 and every shot is in focus.  It is RIDICULOUS!!!!

More tests to come, so make sure to check back for more videos and reviews!!

The images below were taken with the A6500 using the Canon 50mm with the Sigma MC-11 Adapter.  All were taken in cameras as jpegs as currently (as of the time of writing this review) there is no profile available to import Raw files on the A6500.

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Sony A6500 REAL World Hands on Touch Screen Test for Stills and Video using the Sony 85mm G Master

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Sony A6500 REAL World Hands on Touch Screen Test for Stills and Video using the Sony 85mm G Master

So I got to test the Sony A6500 for the first time today.  One of the newest and most talked about feature on the A6500 is the touch screen.  It's the first time a touch screen has been put on one of the semi-pro (A6000, A6300) or pro level (A7 series) camera lines.

 

Many people have been asking for this feature to be added to the Sony mirrorless line for a very long time.  While some cameras in the Sony NEX series had some touch screen capabilities on them, none of the recent Sony mirrorless cameras over the last 2.5 years have included the feature.  I for one did not see a huge NEED for touch screen and was perfectly happy with my cameras not having the feature.  But clearly many people wanted it, and Sony listened.

So when I got my hands on the camera this was one of the very first things I tested.  I went down to La Jolla Cove near San Diego with my crew and a beautiful model named Kelsey Barker.  I set the camera up on my Feisol tripod and tested it both in stills and movie mode.

It was pretty impressive.  The stills mode was very nice and I could see using it for portraits work where instantaneous focus isn't required.  In my opinion this will be for making sure you get the focus EXACTLY where you want it, and I'll also note this is a faster option than going through the menu to select a Flexible spot point.

Where the touch screen truly shined was in video (movie) mode.  As someone who uses my A7 and A6000 series camera for filming my Youtube Channel this is going to be a big deal for us.  The focus was very smooth as it transitioned between areas of focus that were pointed out on the screen.  All of this is illustrated in the video included in this blog post, so please make sure to watch it.

When the A6500 was announced many people asked if it was worth the upgrade over the A6300 which is only 9 months old.  I'm on record as saying this camera excited me more than anything for what it would do on the video end of things....and so far with the touch screen, my excitement is real for this camera and it's possibilities.  I now truly hope the future iterations of Sony mirrorless cameras will have the touch screen option on them.

While professional videographers may argue over whether or not they would use auto focus in their work, for a lot of folks like me who are more hybrid photographers/videographers, having that touch screen and being able to get a beautifully transitioned rack focus is pretty special.

I can't wait to play with it more...:)

**Links to Gear:

*Sony A6500-  

*Sony 85mm G Master- 

*Feisol Tripod- 

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Commercial Photography Photo Shoot and Workshop for Mia Bella Couture by Jason Lanier

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Commercial Photography Photo Shoot and Workshop for Mia Bella Couture by Jason Lanier

Recently I had the opportunity to do a commercial photo shoot for a beautiful gown company called Mia Bella Couture.  When they first contacted me to do the shoot they knew that I sometimes allowed some of my followers to attend my shoots as part of a workshop and asked if I'd be interested in doing so with them.  I thought it would work out well so we booked the shoot.

When we got to the shoot down in San Diego it was truly awesome.  This is a shoot that you truly have to watch the video to see how we handled it.  We started off the day at 11am and my clients wanted to shoot in a specific location that was beautiful, but given the time of the day it was not ideal for lighting.  So we had to bring out a ton of diffusers and reflectors to make the lighting work.

This shoot was done using the Flasphpoint Xplor600 with a bunch of different gear that is showcased in the video.  This is just Part 1 of the shoot as we crammed so much into one day that I needed to break up the videos to show it all.

A big thank you to the beautiful models Lauren Lebouef and Tiffany Brock as well as Daryl Rene for the amazing work with Hair and Make Up.

I hope you all enjoy the video and I can't wait to share the other parts of the shoot with you as well.  Beautiful gowns, gorgeous models, and my team all came together to make it a tremendous shoot.  

**Links to Gear:

*Sony A7Rii- 

*Canon 200mm f/2.8- 

*Metabones Mark 4 Adapter- 

*Flashpoint Xplor600- 

*Westcott Rapid Box XL- 

*Westcott 8x8 Scrim Jim- 

Below are some images from the shoot taken with my Sony A7Rii and the Canon 200mm f/2.8 lens using the Metabones Mark 4 Adapter.  Stay tuned for Part 2!!!

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Using the Sigma MC-11 Adapter on Sony Mirrorless Cameras with Canon and Sigma Lenses

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Using the Sigma MC-11 Adapter on Sony Mirrorless Cameras with Canon and Sigma Lenses

So as many of you know I really like shooting with both native and adapted lenses on my Sony mirrorless bodies.  When it comes to shooting with Canon lenses I've been using the Metabones Mark 4 Adapter with some pretty awesome results in regards to Auto Focus.  There are a ton of adapters that work just fine for manual use, but when it comes to auto focus and transferring exif data you have to be more careful. 

There are other adapters out there like Fotodiox, Vello, etc. but all of them really lag behind the performance of the Metabones as it relates to acquiring focus, reliability, build quality and more. And the Metabones is definitely more expensive, so it makes sense that we should expect more.

Well earlier this year Sigma announced their brand new adapter, the Sigma MC-11.  I first tried it in March when it was very new while at the WPPI convention.  Since I already had the Metabones I saw no real need to pick up the Sigma.  It worked well, but there was no marked improvement over the Metabones especially when using Canon lenses.  I didn't own any Sigma lenses so I didn't purchase it.

Fast forward to last month where I attended PhotoPlus in New York City.  My followers had asked me quite a bit about using this adapter and also wanted to know about the Sigma Art lenses.  I became quite interested in the Sigma 20mm f/1.4 lens and once that happened, I wanted to try it on the Sigma MC-11.

So I purchased the adapter and the Sigma 20mm and gave it a go.  The first thing I noticed was that the Sigma performed just about as well as the Metabones did with the Canon lenses that I owned.  In fact, the very first shoot I ever did with the Sigma MC-11 was on the Canon 85mm f/1.2 lens.

I then had the opportunity to use the MC-11 with the 20mm on my commercial shoot for Mia Bella Couture.  It was pretty awesome.  I have to say that the Sigma MC-11 Adapter with the Sigma lenses is about the closest thing to using Sony native lenses.  In fact there are virtually all the options using Sigma lenses with the MC-11 Adapter that we enjoy on Sony native lenses including; Eye Auto Focus, All the Focus Modes and Focus Areas etc.  Many of these options are missing when you use the Metabones adapter, or when you use the Sigma Adapter with Canon (non-Sigma) lenses.

**Links to Gear:

*Sigma MC-11 Adapter- 

*Metabones Mark 4 Adapter- 

*Sony A7Rii- 

*Feisol Monopod- 

So in short if you want the closest experience to native lenses you choose the Sigma MC-11 Adapter with Sigma lenses...and I especially love the Art lenses.  Make sure to check out Sigma lens compatibility chart as well before purchasing a lens.  The Sigma MC-11 will work with both Sigma lenses and Canon mount Sigma lenses on your Sony body.

If you are coming over to Sony as a Canon shooter and want to use your lenses on a Sony body I'd give the slight edge to Metabones as it relates to Autofocus...but not by much.  There's also a good edge to the Sigma adapter as it is $150 less than the Metabones which is significant.

I plan on doing a full on shoot and comparison between the Metabones Mark 4 Adapter and the Sigma MC-11 Adapter in the near future.  To see my current review of the Metabones Mark 4 Adapter please click HERE.

Below are shots taken with both Canon EF lenses and Canon mount Sigma lenses on the MC-11 Adapter.  I hope it helps!

Thanks,

Jason

Images taken with the Sigma MC-11 using the Canon mount Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art Lens

Images taken using the Sigma MC-11 Adapter with both Canon and Sigma lenses.  Please refer to the video to view the images.

Images taken using the Sigma MC-11 Adapter with the Canon 85mm f/1.2 lens.

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My First Shoot with the Canon 85mm f/1.2 using the Sigma MC-11 Adapter on the Sony A7Rii

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My First Shoot with the Canon 85mm f/1.2 using the Sigma MC-11 Adapter on the Sony A7Rii

So I've shot Sony for 2.5 years and in that time I've had the opportunity to shoot a lot of great lenses.  I have a separate review dedicated to the Canon 85mm f/1.2 showing a lot of different shoots and more.

But this post and video is related to my very first shoot with this amazing lens.  I bought the lens very shortly before leaving for PhotoPlus in New York City.  At $2,000 the expectations I had for this lens were very high.  I'd obviously heard about the lens for years, but as a former Nikon, and now currently Sony shooter, I'd never shot one on my own cameras.  Below is the video from the shoot:

 

I normally use the Metabones Mark 4 Adapter when shooting Canon lenses on my Sony bodies but while I was at PhotoPlus I went by one of the camera store booths and picked up the Sigma MC11 Adapter.  My followers had asked me if it worked well and I just hadn't taken the plunge to purchase it because I already had the Metabones.

**Links to Gear:

*Sony A7Rii

*Canon 85mm f/1.2

*Sigma MC11 Adapter

*Rotolight Anova Pro and Neo

BUT, since there were a lot of questions coming in about the adapter I relented and purchased it. Later that evening I hosted a Photo Walk and decided the occasion would be a great time to try out the two together.

I took the group out to the street in front of the Javits Center where PhotoPlus is held and we shot against the beautiful backdrop of the city.  I used a Rotolight Anova Pro to illuminate the shots at first but then as the night got darker and I wanted to go more mobile we used the Rotolight Neo.

From the first moment I shot the lens and saw the resulting image in the camera I was in love with it.  It doesn't have the nearly perfect circular bokeh balls that the Sony 85mm f/1.4 G Master does...but there is just something so magical about f/1.2.  Even looking at it in the back of the camera it just looks edited and photoshopped already.

Below I have included shots taken with the lens.  All of the shots were taken wide open at f/1.2 and all of them were edited using Lightroom only.  I try not to over edit my images since so many people are looking at my videos and images for instructional and educational purposes.  In other words, I want the images to somewhat resemble what was actually captured in camera.  So no extra blurring, composites, etc. are done.

I hope you enjoy the video and the images and I invite you to stick around and check out some additional content while you're here.  If you haven't already, please subscribe to my Youtube Channel so you are alerted anytime a video is released!

Images Taken using the Canon 85mm f/1.2 with the Rotolight Anova Pro

Image Taken using Natural Lighting Only

Images Taken using the Canon 85mm f/1.2 with the Sony A7Rii and Rotolight Neo

 

Thanks,

Jason

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Metabones Mark 4 Adapter- Canon EF or EF-S glass to Sony E Mount Cameras

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Metabones Mark 4 Adapter- Canon EF or EF-S glass to Sony E Mount Cameras

So as many of you know I REALLY love shooting with Sony because it gives me the opportunity to shoot with so many options that I never had before when shooting Nikon.  I can shoot all my awesome Sony glass (and it's good stuff) as well as a bunch of everything else.

But when it comes to autofocus performance nothing compares to how Canon glass shoots on a Sony camera using the Metabones Mark 4 Adapter.  Now back when I first started shooting Sony 2.5 years ago I said I wouldn't shoot a trash truck with the Metabones adapter that existed back then.  The adapter back then (believe it was the Mark 3) simply sucked.  It wasn't practical for any real world shooting application.

Metabones then released the Mark 4 adapter and WOW!  It made a world of difference.  One thing I really love about the adapter is that it has a USB port on the side which enables firmware updates to occur.  Since I've owned the adapter (nearly a year now) I have applied the firmware updates to the adapter and they truly do make a difference in improving performance of the adapter with the camera.  Updates have lead to enhanced auto focus performance as well as added features.

**Links to Gear:

*Metabones Mark 4 Adapter- 

*Sony A7Rii-  

*Canon 85mm f/1.2- 

Now in regards to the performance of the Metabones Adapter keep a few VERY IMPORTANT things in mind.  I really don't care what anyone else out there says.  I shoot so much with the Metabones and the Canon glass I honestly feel very comfortable making these statements and stand by them.

  1. Videography- DO NOT try and use the Metabones Mark 4 with Canon lenses and expect anything to work.  It stinks in video mode.  It tries to autofocus but it's miserable.  Now most videographers prefer manually focusing anyways.  But for those hoping to use Canon lenses on a Sony mirrorless body to record video in autofocus...it's a no go.  If you want to roll video on a Sony mirrorless body, you need a native Sony FE or E mount lens.
  2. Compatible bodies- you'll read out there that you can use all the Sony bodies with autofocus and the Metabones adapter.  While that's true, it's also misleading.  Why?  Well because it really only works at an acceptable level with the Sony A7Rii, A6500, and the A6300.  Everything else will try your patience.  If you have all the time in the world to mess around with it then have fun.  For me, I actually want to use something I can use at a professional level shoot and for me that strictly happens with the three bodies mentioned. Bodies that don't work well with the Metabones adapter include: A7R, A7S, A7Sii, A7ii, A6000.  This will disappoint some people but I don't people out there buying this adapter thinking it works with these bodies when it doesn't.
  3. Rounding f stops- on some very wide aperture lenses like my 85mm f/1.2 Canon L lens, the aperture doesn't read at f/1.2.  According to the Metabones website this is due to a rounding error and it doesn't impact performance.  From what I've been able to tell it doesn't impact performance at all but on my 85mm f/1.2 lens it will only read at f/1.3.  It will not go down to f/1.2.

Below are images taken during the video where I reviewed the adapter.  We have many more videos, pictures and reviews coming where I will show all the different lenses I use with this adapter.  It's a game changer for me and I wholeheartedly recommend the Metabones Mark 4 Adapter as long as it's just for stills work with the camera bodies I mentioned (A7Rii, A6500, and A6300).  

 

I hope it helps!!

Thanks,

Jason

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The Fotodiox Fusion Smart AF Sony to Nikon Adapter Ruined my Sony A6300 Camera

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The Fotodiox Fusion Smart AF Sony to Nikon Adapter Ruined my Sony A6300 Camera

So as many of you know I switched from Nikon to Sony 2.5 years ago announcing the switch online to quite a deal of publicity.  Since then many people have asked me what I did with my Nikon gear.  Almost everyone is surprised to hear that I never sold a single piece of my Nikon kit.

Why?  Well, it's very simple, I was waiting for the day when I could use some of my Nikon glass on my Sony bodies.  In the 2.5 years since switching I've acquired nearly all of Sony's E mount and A mount glass.  I've shot the A mount glass on my Sony E mount bodies using either Sony LAEA4 or LAEA3 adapter.

In that time I've also acquired a very expensive Canon lens kit of glass as well to use in conjunction with my Metabones Mark 4 and Sigma MC 11 Adapter.  I own the Canon 50mm f/1.2, 85mm f/1.2, 135mm f/2, 200mm f/1.8, 200mm /2.8, and the 400mm f/2.8.  So needless to say, I LOVE having the option to adapt glass to my Sony bodies.

I also have a lot of legacy vintage glass for manual focus, but that's for another discussion.  This is related to using non-native Sony glass on my Sony body with auto focus and exif data being transmitted.

So last week the news came out that Fotodiox had a brand new adapter called the Fotodiox Fusion Smart AF Nikon to Sony Adapter with Full Automated Functions.  I was less than convinced after watching the video that Fotodiox produced using the adapter because it didn't show any results.  I was also a tad bit skeptical because the Fotodiox Canon to Sony adapter isn't as good as the Metabones....but after my followers asked me to give it a spin, I relented and took the plunge.  

I went onto the Fotodiox website, paid full price, and paid extra for 2 day shipping so I could get a review done quickly.  The adapter arrived yesterday and I was genuinely excited.  I honestly thought it would be so cool to be the first one out there to test it and confirm to the Sony and Nikon world that this thing truly was amazing and worked.

Now to set expectations.....I NEVER expected it to work like native Sony glass.  The Canon glass on the Metabones adapter hits about 85% of native glass performance which for me works out great.  That was the bar I set for the Fotodiox.  Can it perform like the Metabones performs? Being that they are so similarly priced, I think it's fair to ask for it to perform at the same level.

So I went down with my Assistant Brenda and another assistant named Quisha down to Oceanside to put this thing through a real world test.

IT FAILED.

First thing to note is that it does NOT have a USB port to update firmware.  In the world of electronic adapters this is a big deal.  Both my Metabones Mark 4 and Sigma MC11 Adapters have USB ports and the firmware updates actually do improve performance.  Fotodiox said in their video something to the effect of, "Don't worry, it comes loaded with all the latest firmware in there..."  LOL, that's great today.  How about next week, next month, or next year?  Do I have to buy new adapters just to get new firmware?  That my friends, is RIDICULOUS.

Unlike my Sony and Metabones adapters it was at first VERY finicky.  I'm used to putting on the Sony or Metabones adapters and they immediately work.  Not the case with the Fotodiox.  It required several mountings and un-mountings, and then mounting again to get it to work.  I tried several lenses including the Nikon 105mm macro lens, the 18-55 DX kit lens, the 85mm f/1.8 lens, and the 28-300mm FX lens.  I had a slew of lenses ready to test....but we couldn't get that far.

Why?  Because it simply failed to work.  When it did try to autofocus it hunted very badly to acquire a point of focus.  All of this is illustrated in the video by the way...:)

Then it got stuck on manual focus.  STUCK.  Something my Metabones or Sony adapters have never done.  I mean they've never done that once in the 2.5 years of me using adapters. That's how bad this Fotodiox Fusion adapter is.

Then the adapter started making weird noises.  

Then it started draining all of the batteries on my Sony A7Rii.  I imagine this is happening because in the video Fotodiox has out it mentions that it uses the battery from the Sony camera to power to aperture motor in the adapter.  But it didn't just use it.  It sucked it dry like Dracula would feed on a 600 pound man.  It drained the battery instantaneously.

So I then put the Fotodiox Adapter on my A6300 and the unthinkable happened.  It fried the camera.  This is a camera that I've taken all over the world.  It's survived all of my adventures and exploits....but it's poor sad end was at the hands of a freaking Fotodiox Adapter.

IT KILLED THE CAMERA.  KILLED THE A6300.  IT WILL NO LONGER POWER ON AT ALL.

Wanna see it all for yourself?  Simply watch the video my friends.  So in conclusion, I will definitely be returning the adapter and will be seeking compensation from Fotodiox for my A6300.  I'm sure they'll give me the run around and will cite some tiny print in their warranty material telling me they aren't responsible.  So that will leave me with having to try and get it repaired.  And if that doesn't work replaced.

We used a bit of humor to lighten the mood and ended up calling this adapter "Chucky" because it is truly possessed.  After it fried my A6300 we stopped putting it on any camera.  Below are the sample images taken on the shoot that are shown in the video.

I hope this sheds some light on this adapter that apparently is sold out and back ordered for a month.  Don't buy it guys.  It simply isn't a well made piece of equipment.

Please note: the images below will not make much sense if you don't watch the video.  We never even got to the point of doing a normal shoot because the adapter failed to work.  Most of these were sample images taken trying to get the adapter to work while it was on a tripod where I was showing the back of the camera.  To understand the pics, please watch the video...:)

Images taken with the Fotodiox Adapter using Nikon glass- Sony A7Rii

Images taken with the Metabones Mark 4 Adapter using the Canon 85mm f/1.2- Sony A7Rii

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Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS Lens Review for both portraits and close up work

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Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS Lens Review for both portraits and close up work

I first fell in love with macro lenses back in my Nikon days with the 105mm macro lens.  I saw it not only as a great option for close up work but also for portraits.  So when I switched to Sony I eagerly awaited the release of a macro lens.

Sony came out with the 90mm macro to rave reviews and I picked one of for myself.  Boy was I glad I did.  It lived up to all of it's reputation as one of the sharpest lenses out there.  So in November 2016 while shooting up in San Francisco, California I went out with my team and recorded a video showcasing the portraiture and close up work of this lens.

So check it out below, this lens is a true winner.  I've also included sample images from the test shoot in San Francisco as well as a few macro shot of wedding rings taken earlier this year.  For Sony users, this is one lens you won't regret getting as it serves two purposes for both portraits and macro work.  I hope it helps!

Links to Gear

*Sony 90mm Macro

*Sony A7Rii

*Lastolite Tri Flip 8 in 1 reflector

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The Difference that one Small Reflector Can Make- a portrait shoot in Muir Woods using the Lastolite Tri Flip

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The Difference that one Small Reflector Can Make- a portrait shoot in Muir Woods using the Lastolite Tri Flip

Throughout my career I've largely been identified by my big shoots using flash and LED lighting. While I've always known the value and performance of a great reflector I don't taken advantage of them as often as I should....and I think many photographers fall into the same boat.

So lately I've been utilizing them more and more in my shoots and Youtube videos to showcase just how effective they can be.  Fast forward to yesterday when I went to the Muir Woods just north of San Francisco.  As is the case many times in the bay area it was cold, rainy and wet when we got there, and remained that way for the entire day of shooting.

My inclination in most of these situations would be to grab a flash or LED light to illuminate my subject to brighten them up and make them pop in the images.  But this time I decided bring out a small tri flip reflector by Lastolite.

Why?  Well a couple of reasons.  First and foremost, reflectors are much more waterproof than flashes or LED's.  Secondly, when used properly a reflector can cast a more natural looking tone on your subject than you sometimes get using artificial light.

So I pulled out my monster lens (affectionately named Jaws), the 200mm f/1.8 Canon lens, put it onto my Sony A7Rii using the Metabones Adapter, and started shooting.  Below is a video showing the shoot with sample images.

**Links to Gear:

*Sony A7Rii-  

*Metabones Mark 4 Adapter

*Lastolite Trip Flip 8 in 1 Reflector 

 

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Sigma Art Lens 20mm f/1.4 Lens Review Canon Mount using the Sigma MC11 Adapter and the Sony A7Rii

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Sigma Art Lens 20mm f/1.4 Lens Review Canon Mount using the Sigma MC11 Adapter and the Sony A7Rii

One of the best things about shooting Sony is I get to use so many awesome adapted lenses.  I've used Minolta, Canon, Nikon alongside my native Sony glass for years now.  But recently Sigma announced a new adapter, the MC11, and this adapter opened up the Sigma Canon mount glass to the Sony World.

I already owned a lot of the lenses (either Canon or Sony) in the same focal range as the Sigma Art glass available.  The one lens that nobody offers except for Sigma is the 20mm f/1.4.  I had to give it a go.  So I bought it and started using it.

Simply put, it's a magnificent piece of glass for the price.  On the MC11 adapter it focuses very well and gives some fantastic results.  Shooting wide open it delivers very sharp results on the area of focus and creates some great separation between your subject and background, very reminiscent of that Zeiss pop that I'm used to with my Zeiss Batis and Sony Zeiss lenses.

Below are links to the gear used in the video I created to show you all what I think of this lens. There are also sample images taken.  I hope you enjoy and also hope it really helps you all out there!!

Links to Gear:

**Sony A7Rii

**Sigma 20mm f/1.4 lens

**Sigma MC11 Adapter

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200mm Lens Aperture Challenge- f/1.8 vs. f/2.8 using Canon L glass.  Does it make a difference?

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200mm Lens Aperture Challenge- f/1.8 vs. f/2.8 using Canon L glass. Does it make a difference?

So I've been lens hunting lately...quite a bit actually.  I own a ton of Sony native glass and since I'm a big believer in adapting glass to my Sony mirrorless system, I've been adding Canon L glass to my cupboard so to speak.

I picked up the Canon 200mm f/2.8 about a month ago and really loved it from the start.  For a 200mm it's light, easy to use, performs very well, and cranks out some KILLER shots.  I was in love.

I then found out about the Holy Grail lens.  The big boy.  The one we've nicknamed as "Jaws" because it's a great big white shark of a lens.  I already had the Canon 200mm f/2.8, so spending the money on "Jaws" was difficult to justify.  Do I spend thousands of dollars just to get that tiny difference between f/1.8 and f/2.8?

I searched online and couldn't find any videos that showed the difference between the two lenses. I looked at countless pictures that the two lenses rendered looking for the subtle differences between the two.  I still was a little hesitant.

But then I put it out to my followers on my Facebook Group and I asked my Canon shooters what their thoughts were....well, they told me the Holy Grails lens (F/1.8) was indeed a legendary lens.

So I got it.  I went up to San Francisco and did a shoot at the ruins of the Sutro Baths.  I wanted to put out the information to the photography world that I couldn't find.  I wanted to show them what I was searching for...and had to spend a LOT of money to find out.  Was the difference in the background rendering between f/1.8 and f/2.8 really that much?  Did it really make a difference int the shots?

Hell Yeah it did!  If I'd never used the f/1.8 I'd still be madly in love with the performance of the f/2.8.  But once you see the comparison between the two, it's pretty obvious that f/1.8 really does make a difference compared to f/2.8.  Especially when you combine the compression factor of a 200mm lens.

I've included a video of my experience and images below.  I hope it helps you all out there!

--Links to Gear:

*Sony A7Rii- 

*Canon 200mm f/2.8- 

*Metabones Mark 4 Adapter

*Canon 200mm f/1.8- sorry this lens is no longer sold.  The closest equivalent lens is the Canon 200mm f/2.  A link for that lens is shown below:

*Canon 200mm f/2- 

Images from "Jaws" the Canon 200mm f/1.8- all shot wide open.

Images from "La Chiquitita" the Canon 200mm f/2.8- all shot wide open.

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Petzval Lens- 85mm f/2.2 Petzval Lens by Lomography- Swirly Bokeh Heaven

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Petzval Lens- 85mm f/2.2 Petzval Lens by Lomography- Swirly Bokeh Heaven

So I read about this lens.  I watched videos about this lens and thought, "Hey, that looks pretty cool."  With a price tag of $600 it was hard to pull the trigger on a manual focus lens that is kind of a one trick pony.

For me, anytime I spend more than $500 on a lens that's starting to get closer to the pro level line of lenses.  I have many lenses in my lineup that are in the thousands of dollars.  But they all autofocus and are very sharp.  Two things the Petzval lens doesn't do particularly well.

So I happened into a local camera store a few weeks back and while just looking around, I saw a Petzval lens for Canon mount sitting in the display.  Being a Sony shooter makes it easy for me to shoot any lens mount with the wide array of adapters.  I regularly use the Metabones Mark 4 Adapter on my Sony A7Rii and had it handy when I was at the store.  So I put the Petzval on the adapter with the camera and started firing away.

I was impressed enough to give it a try knowing in the right circumstance it would give my pictures a very distinctive and unique look.  So I bought it, put it in my camera bag and a few weeks later I found myself in San Francisco and took it out for a quick shoot as part of my Gear I Use video series where I demonstrate the gear that I use for my own work.

The pics and corresponding video from that shoot are shown below.  Initial thoughts on the lens:

PROS:

*Easy to use- with the focus peaking turned on in my camera finding focus is pretty easy.  The focus knob is on the side of the lens which is a new thing for me and many photographers, but its very easy to use and has a good resistance.  Not too much, not too little.

*Very unique look- it definitely delivers on the promise of swirly bokeh.  If you're looking for a lens that turns your images into something that not many people see nowadays, this could be your answer.

CONS:

*Sharpness- It isn't the sharpest lens out there, especially wide open.  I very regularly shoot wide aperture lenses wide open.  Some of my favorite lenses are the Canon 85mm f/1.2, Sony G Master f/1.8, Canon L lens 200mm f/1.8 and more.  These lenses are all sharper than the Petzval at their widest aperture which is saying something considering the Petzval is a f/2.2 compared the the other lenses mentioned.

*Aperture Blades Fall out- this is a BIG bummer for me.  The aperture blades do not securely lock into the lens.  If you haven't watched the video and you're wondering what I'm talking about, WATCH THE VIDEO.  The blades are placed on top of the lens with an opening.  It's very easy to do, but if you turn your camera from a horizontal position they fall out.  If you are used to moving around with your camera and lens like I am, that's a problem as you'll see in the video.  We are very lucky to have found the aperture blade that fell out!

*Lens Cap- the lens cap also comes off very easily and there's no off market replacement available.  So if you lose it, good luck.

So if you have extra funds and you're looking for a lens that will give you a really distinctive look, this definitely delivers.  Don't rely on it for super sharp images, especially wide open.  But in the right circumstance it can be a real winner of a lens.  But as I always say, take a look for yourself and just decide what works best for you!!

 

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The Holy Grail of Lenses- my first shoot ever with the Canon 200mm f/1.8 lens and the Sony A7Rii

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The Holy Grail of Lenses- my first shoot ever with the Canon 200mm f/1.8 lens and the Sony A7Rii

WOW!  I've heard about this lens.  But as a longtime Nikon shooter that transitioned over to Sony two years ago, shooting Canon glass was just well...blasphemy.

But when Sony came out with the A7Rii, that changed everything (which will be covered in a separate blog post).  That opened the door to shooting Canon lenses with near native autofocus capability on my Sony cameras!

So recently I had the opportunity to acquire this lens and when I did, I jumped on it.  I chose the 200mm f/1.8 version over the 200mm f/2 version simply because the f/1.8 is a little wider and faster.  Why didn't I choose the lens stabilized versions of the lens with the f/2 versions?  Well, since 5 axis image stabilization is built into my camera, I simply didn't need it on the lens.

So I got my crew and a model together and went to Venice Beach to test this lens for the first time, and boy it didn't disappoint.  While the lens is used, it performed like a champ!  The autofocus was fast and it was unbelievably sharp.  Anyone who knows me knows that I love shooting wide open and I did this entire shoot at f/1.8.  All shots were edited using Lightroom only.  Below is a video of the shoot and some images as well.  I absolutely love this lens and can't wait to knock out some more shoots with it.  I hope you enjoy it!

I adapted the Canon lens to the Sony A7Rii using the Metabones Mark 4 Adapter.  It's simply the best adapter I've found for Canon lenses on Sony bodies.

**Links to Gear:

*Sony A7Rii-  

*Metabones Mark 4 Adapter-  

*Lastolite Large Rapid Kit-  

*Flashpoint Xplor 600-  

*Westcott Rapid Box XL- 

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Using a Large and Sturdy Reflector or Diffuser with the Lastolite Rapid Large Kit

Join Jason Lanier as he demonstrates the set up and application of the Lastolite Skylite Large Kit in Venice Beach, California.  PLEASE THUMBS UP, SHARE, LEAVE A COMMENT, AND SUBSCRIBE!

Links to Gear:

**Lastolite Large Kit-http://www.adorama.com/lslr82243r.html?KBID=912653

**Sony A7Rii-http://www.adorama.com/isoa7r2.html?KBID=912653

**Feisol Tripod-http://www.adorama.com/fect3372lv.html?utm_source=rflaid912653

**Metabones Mark 4 Adapter- http://www.adorama.com/mbefebt4.html?utm_source=rflaid912653

For more information about the gear that Jason uses please visit www.jasonlanier.com/gear

We thank you in advance for watching and invite you to check out his entire Gear I Use series by clicking below:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoF2D82DHfirBpfbxqrZ6syu6HPq6tLXF

Don't forget to subscribe!!

Thanks,

Jason Lanier Photography

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Overpowering the Sun using the Flashpoint Xplor 600 Monolight by Jason Lanier

Join Jason Lanier for episode #3 of his Gear I Use series where he reviews and demonstrates the Flashpoint Xplor600 Monolight which is the same light as the Godox AD600.  PLEASE THUMBS UP, SHARE, LEAVE A COMMENT, AND SUBSCRIBE!

Links to gear used:

**Flashpoint Xplor600-http://www.adorama.com/fplfx600bs.html?utm_source=rflaid912653

**Westcott Rapid Box XL- http://www.adorama.com/werb48xls.html?utm_source=rflaid912653

**Sony A7Rii- http://www.adorama.com/isoa7r2.html?utm_source=rflaid912653

**Sony Zeiss 35mm- http://www.adorama.com/iso3514z.html?utm_source=rflaid912653

For more information about all of the gear that Jason uses please visit www.jasonlanier.com/gear

We thank you for watching and invite you to stick around and watch a few more of the Gear I Use Series videos while you're here.  Don't forget to subscribe!!

Thanks,

Jason Lanier Photography

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Westcott Scrim Jim 8x8 Double Net Fabric

Join award winning photographer Jason Lanier for episode #2 of his Gear I Use Series where he demonstrates the use of the background double net 1 Stop fabric with off camera flash at the Salton Sea.  PLEASE THUMBS UP, SHARE, LEAVE A COMMENT, AND SUBSCRIBE!!

Links to Gear:

**Westcott 8x8 Cine Kit-http://www.adorama.com/wes1819n.html?utm_source=rflaid912653

**Westcott Double Net Fabric-http://www.adorama.com/we1783.html?utm_source=rflaid912653

**Flashpoint Xplor600- http://www.adorama.com/fplfx600bs.html?utm_source=rflaid912653

More links to gear and additional information can be found at:

www.jasonlanier.com/gear

We thank you in advance for watching and invite you to stick around and watch a few more while you're here!

Thanks,

Jason Lanier Photography

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Matthews Snap Apart 12x12 Frame- Gear I Use Video #1

Join Jason Lanier for episode #1 of his Gear I Use Series where he demonstrates the Matthews 12 x 12 Snap A Part Frame using the 1.5 Stop Diffuser Artificial Silk that commercial photographers use.  PLEASE THUMBS UP, SHARE, LEAVE A COMMENT, AND SUBSCRIBE!!

For more information gear:

Frame and Diffuser- www.jasonlanier.com/modifiers

Medium Rollers- www.jasonlanier.com/tripods

We thank you for watching and invite you to stick around and watch a few more while you're here. For more information about all gear please visit www.jasonlanier.com/gear.

Thanks!

Jason Lanier Photography

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