Three Battles

This is what happens when you walk into Studio Zaloon, master poisoner place. Here’s the Sony 28-75mm F2.8 SAM lens (left) next to the Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 (right).

Mechanically, the Tamron is more convenient, allowing DMF to work on the KM7D/5D and A100/A700/A850/A900. It also lets you use the AF/MF switch on the body of any A-mount camera.

However, the Sony is far superior optically, wide open! Too bad the SAM motor does not allow manual focus override, nor does it understand that the body is in MF mode.

Then, there is the tiny Minolta 50mm F1.4 Original (left) taking a 49mm filter thread, next to the huge Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM (right) taking a 77mm filter thread.

Minolta 50mm at F1.4. It loses contrast wide open and isn’t always accurate.

Sigma 50mm at F1.4. Amazing contrast and bokeh wide open! It also is clear of the annoying brightline bokeh that plagues the Minolta/Sony 50mm F1.4 and Minolta 50mm F1.7.

Minolta 50mm at F1.4.

Sigma 50mm at F1.4. Note the less obstrusive bokeh and vibrant color. Contrast is also pretty high!

The Carl Zeiss 135mm F1.8 is of course the reference for contrast – Zeiss lenses are always superbly contrasty, with oodles of fine detail!

Walking out later I bumped into Foong Wai who had the coolest ever M42 camera – Pentax Spotmatic! She had the Super Takumar 50mm F2 (with which I took this picture; she’s using my Peleng 8mm F3.5 circular fisheye.)

Then over at Sony Style Berjaya Times Square, was the new Alpha Flash Light Kit – buy two Sony HVL-F58AM flash units and get this free!

It consists of one bag, one light stand, one shoot-through white umbrella, one black-outside-silver-inside umbrella, and one adapter.

I’ve never seen anything like this, where the umbrella holder is independent from the flash screw mount holder. Also note the ballhead.



Bounced off the inside of the black-outside-silver-inside umbrella.

The stand goes up to 2 meters high.

That’s about as high as it goes (note the reflection behind Malek.)

The bag also comes with two openings. Cool!

And finally, I ended up in the new Nikon Showroom in Berjaya Times Square, just opposite, where I finally tried the Nikkor AF-D 135mm F2.0 Defocus Control lens.

It was not any much heavier or lighter than my Zeiss 135mm F1.8, and just slightly slimmer using a 72mm filter thread whilst my Zeiss had a 77mm filter thread.

Unfortunately, I did not have a SD card to save any pictures from the DC – however, I’d say that it was inconvenient if you were manually focusing because each time you change the Defocus Control, it shifts the plane of focus rapidly. So you’d have to refocus be it AF or MF. This is a pain, just like the Canon MPE-65 where changing magnification shifts the focus plane so much you lose sight of where you are!

And of course, the color – it was rather muted in the out-of-focus areas. There is something about Zeiss lenses that pick up ambient light, and light that bounces off colored surfaces, that shows in pictures. The Nikkor did not have that.

Oh and Merry Christmas to everybody!

Happy Birthday babe! You know who you are.

6 thoughts on “Three Battles

  1. Albert Ng Post author

    SSM, a single HVL-F58AM sells for RM1499; buy two for RM2998. However this was 1.5 years ago so I doubt the promotion still exists!


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