Browsing Sony Alpha Rumors, a site dedicated to all things Sony Photo, I found an interesting gadget. This gadget would turn any manual focus Leica lens into an auto focus lens that’s used on a Sony E body. And, thought this would be interesting with my assortment of manual focus lens collection I’ve built up during the last couple of years.
So, I linked the page to a friend to share my interest. And, a few months later, a package arrived in the mail. Turns out, it’s the same product that I linked to my friend. It’s supposed to be my birthday gift, but it arrived 3 months late. Not her fault. The product was just introduced and just started shipping a few weeks ago. I got # 869.
Out of all my manual lenses, my Nikkor f1.4 non-AI is hardest to manually focus when the aperture is wide open. So, I tested the gadget using this lens. However, a Nikon F to Leica M is required to get the Nikon lens to “talk” to this gadget, so amazon prime to the rescue. The adapter arrived yesterday, the lens adapter is finally put through the paces.
This combo of one lens, two adapters and camera body actually feels great in hand and not as clunky as its description might suggest. The feel is very balanced. And, the skin tone taken with the Nikon f1.4 wide open is simply porcelain. Without the Techpro adapter, maybe only 1 out of 10 pics is not out of focus. With the adapter, that ratio increases to about 2 out of 3. And, speed to focus is much faster as well. However, focusing when shooting video is horrible.
Onto the test shots:
Every one of these shots are actuated with lens aperture wide open. So, depth of field is razor thin. If I had to focus manually, very few of my shots will have the subject in focus.
I really like using the 50mm 1.4 wide open because it brings out an ethereal quality similar to a “holy Leica glow”. Almost like the photos are taken at somewhere up in some esoteric mountain like Mach Pichu or Himalayas (not that I’ve been to either places).
Maybe I am exaggerating a bit. But, the Nikon 50mm really makes a simple test shoot look more like a photo event.
1st dunk and 1st shot:
This hoop was purchased about a year and a half ago, and I’ve elevated it to it’s current height about a month ago. Ellis didn’t even try to shoot her foam basketball through the hoop during this time because she didn’t think she’s capable of doing it. Finally, last night, I convinced her to give it a try. She was ecstatic after she shot it in. I didn’t film it the first time. But, she’s almost just as ecstatic the second time she did it (and I filmed it this time).
Test: Day 2 @ Northwood Park (Ellis’ de facto new favorite place on earth)
Update: August 2nd 2016
Dropped my camera while at Baltimore. The adapter ceased to function correctly. Shipped it back to Techart, and they shipped me one back in a week. Not sure what they did either repaired or replaced. But, it looks like new.