My Week With The Sigma 24-105mm f/4 Art Lens

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A few weeks ago I rented a Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens.

I have decided this is going to be my next lens purchase. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to get one now, but I can afford to rent it for one week to see if it’s going to be the right choice.

If you read my blog, or have been following my photography for any time, you know I am a prime lens evangelist. For many years I have only owned prime lenses, and I love most everything about them. However, the one large downside is the inconvenience of changing lenses all the time. Which is why I want my next lens to be a zoom. I guess I’m getting lazy.

Why this specific lens?  It came down to two different considerations; the type of zoom lens I need, and the price.

There is a lot of variety in the zoom lens market; by the type of zoom, and by manufacturer. There are wide zooms, standard zooms, super telephoto zooms…it gets complicated. You have to know what you want to shoot, and get the appropriate zoom.  All I want is a walk-around zoom.  I’m not selling my prime lenses, at least not all of them.  For my portrait work I’m definitely keeping the 50mm f/1.4 and the 85mm f/1.8.  But, for the rest of the photography that I do, specifically the urban and suburban landscape stuff (that I need to shoot more of), I honestly don’t need everything bleeding-edge sharp.  Flexibility is much more important.

The most common standard zoom, especially if you are going to shoot portraits, weddings, and other commercial photography, is the 24-70mm.  Many also use a 70-200mm lens, but I don’t need a 70-200mm, because I don’t normally need that length of telephoto.

Now comes the price.  Nikon’s top of the line Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR Lens runs about $2,400.00.  That’s no bueno for a budget minded photographer such as myself. Even the next tier Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G lens, which is still a great lens, runs around $1,700.00.    Yes, there is always the used market to consider, but I would much rather get my main lens new and under a warranty.  Yes, there are 3rd party offering to consider, but even the Tamron runs $1,300, and the others are hit and miss in terms of quality.

Nikon’s normal “kit” lens for their full frame camera is a 24-120mm, which is a very good lens, don’t get me wrong.  And, as I see there is a refurbished lens currently being offered at a very reasonable price, all this might be for naught, and I might just get that lens instead.

The reality is that, for $900.00, the Sigma might be the best bang for your buck in lenses right now.  Sigma has been exceeding expectations and hitting home runs with their Art lens line.  And, at 24-105mm, I like the extra length it gives me over a standard 24-70mm.

When the lens arrived from LensRentals, the first thing that struck me was the size.  Not overly huge, but being used to smaller prime lenses I noticed the weight immediately.  I used to make fun of people switching to Sony A7s because they didn’t want the weight and bulk of carrying around a heavy DSLR.  Bro, do you even lift? Now I know what those people were talking about, they were all using zoom lenses instead of prime.

The first test I wanted to do was see how sharp the lens is.

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Straight out of the camera, with only some exposure and color balance tweeking in Lightroom. These look fine.  Very good, actually.  Better than I was expecting.

Over the week I was able to do my normal car spotting,

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got in some urban landscape work,

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headed out to the desert and got some killer off-road pics,

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and even did a paying gig as a family photographer!

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All in all, the Sigma 24-105 Art lens performed brilliantly.  It did everything I asked of it, and did it extremely well.

Do I have some complaints?  Sure, the vignetting can get a bit strong at times, and while the center is plenty sharp, it can get a bit squishy on the edges.  But, those are mostly things pixel-peeping photogs like myself would notice.  The weight slowly became a factor after carrying it around for a few hours, but that’s just me being a wuss. In the real world, this is truly a magnificent all around lens.

I cannot wait to get it for real.

At the top I said that I want a zoom because I’m getting lazy.  That’s actually not true.  I want a zoom because my priorities are changing.  For a long time now my concerns have been mainly technical; getting images sharp, learning everything I can about Photoshop techniques and off camera lighting. I can honestly say that, while I’m not on a professional level with any of these, I’m comfortable enough in my abilities that I’ve become more interested in pursuing my vision and expression as an artist, and also expanding my brand as a paid photographer.  This one lens will be a huge part in making any and all of that happen.

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My Nikon Saga

I miss my D610.   I’ve been without it for over a week now and I’m getting separation anxiety.  Or the blues.  Or both.  Here’s the full story from the very beginning.

I bought this camera from Samy’s Camera in L.A. on Black Friday. It was a total impulse buy.  I was supposed to wait and order it online, but we were cruising in L.A., hanging out with some friends, and it just happened.  L.A. works your impulses like that, you learn to roll with it.

I also bought a 50mm f/1.4G and a few days later bought a 35mm f2.0D from B&H.

D610 blog

I was over the moon. I shot with it constantly and it had been fantastic. No problems at all until the 8th of January.

A friend came into town who is also a Nikon shooter, and we went down to Fremont Street. I only brought my 35mm because he had a 20mm and a lensbaby tilt shift that he wanted me to try. We spent a few hours walking around, and throughout the night I swapped out all three lenses at different points with no trouble. The camera performed flawlessly. Eventually, we ended up at Atomic Liquors at the edge of the East Fremont District.

Atomic Liquors

I mean, look at that. I fell in love with that 20mm lens. I swapped back and forth inside the bar, and eventually asked for my 35mm back because I wanted to take a picture of the very suave bartender inside. I noticed the shots I got were blurry, but at the time I just assumed it was because it was too dark.

But what had happened was the autofocus stopped.  I mean, it just flat stopped.

I thought it might be the lens, so when I came home I immediately tried my AF-S 50mm, but no autofocus with that either.  Neither the camera nor the lenses were dropped, or bumped, and all the swapping happened in relatively mild temperatures and no wind.

When I pressed the AF/M button to switch the autofocus from Auto to the other autofocus modes, nothing came up on the control panel. Even the autofocus assist light didn’t come on. It was like the autofocus simply vanished from the camera.

I toggled the AF/M switch from Auto to Manual, I checked the contacts on my lenses, I even did the two-button full-camera reset about three times, and still nothing.

Everything else was fine, it still took pictures, and all the shooting modes seem to be ok. But because I’m old and my eyes aren’t that great, I really need my autofocus. That, and I only had it for just over 40 days!

I began posting my autofocus issue on some Nikon boards but I still got nothing. Did I just got a bad unit? Who knows. It’s a drag, but stuff happens. Especially with electronics.

So, I made sure my camera was all cozy snug in a sea of bubble wrap and sent it back to Nikon. Sweet dreams, my D610, we’ll see you on the other side.

In the meantime, I couldn’t be without a camera. You understand, right? Photography, man. I don’t want to belittle other people’s experiences by referring to photography as an addiction, but the creative process does grab you and hold you, tight, like a hungry python ever increasing its slithery grip on your soul.

I still had my Pentax K-01, but my plan had always been to to sell my Pentax gear to fund a DX Nikon as a 2nd body, thus fully making the switch over. I frantically put that plan into motion, and with some juggling of budgets, I quickly scraped up enough scratch to finance a new Nikon D5300.

1948 Chevy

Which has been good. I guess. If I’m deathly honest, I feel it’s just a push with the image quality. Which just confirms how awesome that K-01 was. I’m telling you, Pentax is such a criminally underrated camera manufacturer. I know the K-3 is the best APS-C camera on the market right now and if I wasn’t so hell-bent on going full frame, I would have just bought myself a K-3 and been happy.

Who knows, with the D600 issues, the D750 light leak issue, some problems with the D8xx (I forgot which one), if Nikon doesn’t start getting their shit together, I just might go back.

Or, I’ll get my camera back and all will be forgiven, and it will be like this whole episode never happened.

We’ll see.

Color

Orange

Nikon D610 | Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G | f/2.2 | 1/400 | ISO 100 | October, 2014

I’ve been thinking a lot about color recently. If you know me at all, you know I am smack dab in the middle of making an excruciating decision: Canon 6D or Nikon D610.

Here’s a blog post that gives more history about the how I came to this point.

I love soliciting advice from people who have either. And, I got some interesting advice from someone who switched from Nikon to Canon, they told me “Pay attention to the colors.
I always felt like I had to tweak colors too much, especially skin tones.”

I have noticed that the colors with the Nikon are strange. Not wrong, mind you. It’s difficult to explain. When I processed the pics taken with the 6D, I didn’t even think about the colors. I just adjusted the white balance and that was about it. The colors were just there. They looked fine.

Looking back at them now, they seem a tad over saturated, but that could have been me.

The colors on the D610 seem a tad under saturated. Muted, even. Again, not wrong, just not quite there. See, I never doubted the colors on the Canon, not like this.

But, again, looking back on my Canon, shots, maybe I didn’t doubt them because they are the colors I expected to see. Not actually the colors that were there. What if the Nikon is actually giving me more accurate colors but they are giving me pause because I’m used to sugary-bright Canon colors?

How do we even determine what colors we see anyway? We have all these sliders and filters and processes we put our files through before we say they are finished? And what about monitor calibration? What about how ambient light effects our workflow?

It’s a pickle. No question, it’s a pickle.

1964 Cadillac

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Pentax K-01 | Pentax DA 21mm f/3.2 | f/3.5 | 1/400 | ISO 400 | October, 2014

I don’t usually use my 21mm lens. I love wide angle lenses, but not for cars. I’ve always disliked the extreme, distorted perspective lines that wide angle lenses give cars. I used to do a lot of urban and suburban photography. I had a Tamron 17-50mm zoom for the longest time and that thing was on 17mm constantly. It was great for sides of buildings. Not so much for cars.

I’m a 50mm man. I have a 50mm on my K-01 and it’s glorious. When I rented the 6D, it really came alive for me with the 50mm lens I rented. I like the bokeh that 50mm lenses give me, I like the normal perspective, I like the sharpness of prime lenses. I bought this 21mm lens a while ago thinking I was going to get back into urban landscape photography, and it just never happened. So, it’s just been sitting at the bottom of my camera bag.

Until this shoot. I chose a location with really huge, cool looking power lines, and my 50mm just wasn’t cutting it. It wasn’t giving me the large scope that I had in my head. So, I broke out my 21mm, thinking I was just going to get one or two shots. I ended up using it for about half of the shoot. Including the above shot, which I just think is boss. Those are some great lines, and the angles are just exaggerated enough to make it interesting without going overboard. I would have never gotten this shot with my 50mm.

And, I went to two shows today and found ways to use that lens there too.

The lesson: There’s no point in having a tool in your toolbox if you never use it. If you have a lens you haven’t used in a while, then either sell it, or bust that baby out and start shooting!

Some Thoughts On The Nikon D610

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I’ll give up the spoiler now: As it stands, I’m choosing Nikon.

If you missed it, here is my previous blog post to bring you up to speed.

For the tl;dr, I’m upgrading to a full frame camera soon.  I previously rented the Canon 6D.  Now, I’m trying out the competition.

For the weekend I rented the D610, the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G AF-S, and the Nikon 35mm f/2D.  My first impressions of the camera was, “Wow, look at all those buttons!”.  No, seriously, check out the difference between the two:

6D D610 back

6D D610 front

Buttons everywhere.  It looks like a Transformer.  I thought I was going to spend the entire weekend just learning which button did what.  Turns out, however, it’s actually quite intuitive.  And, as somebody else mentioned to me, more buttons means less time digging through menus to get the settings you’re after.

And then I took it out for a quick shoot.

Apache Truck

I looked at the images and said, “Wow.”  And, I mean it.  Wow.  Looking at the Canon images, my reactions ranged from “That’s nice” to “Oh, Cool” to “Wow!”  With the Nikon, I said “Wow!” 95% of the time.  The image quality was straight up insane.  I think I knew after the first day that this was the one.

The shooting experience with the Nikon was different as well.  Complicated.  But, in a good way.

After a day of shooting with the Canon, it gave be a big bro hug, smiled and said, “That was great!”  After a day of shooting with the Nikon, it sort of shrugged, gave me a slightly disappointed look and said, “You can do better.”

I’m a car guy, so here’s a car analogy.  The Canon is like a new Dodge Charger.  Newish tech wrapped in old school cool that will keep you grinning, do everything you ask of it and should keep you (mostly) satisfied.  The Nikon is like the Nissan GT-R, all buttons and up-to-the-minute technology and makes you feel like your puny human reflexes are only slowing it down.

What I’m trying to say is this, the Canon had soul.  I would be perfectly fine with the Canon and, until I actually put down real money, nothing is set in stone.  And having soul is all you need when discussing basslines or cooking.  However, I’m not convinced it’s the end all when taking about cameras.

Here’s some random reasons why I am choosing the Nikon.

– Dual SD Card slots. I may never shoot a wedding, but it’s damn nice knowing that I have the choice to back up my card in camera.  There’s no reason the 6D shouldn’t have this.

– Internal intervalometer.  Yes, I know that you can get Magic Lantern for Canon, but it’s just nice to have it in there ready to use.

– The pool of great Nikon lenses is deep. It’s what happens when you stick with one great lens mount.  That may sound like I’m already a Nikon fanboy, but remember I shoot Pentax, home of the everlasting bayonet K-mount.  I say the same about Pentax lenses.

– The On/Off switch.  Sorry, but the On/Off switch for the 6D is on the wrong side of the camera.  It just is.

Some random reasons why I might still choose the Canon:

– The 24-105mm f4 “L” lens.  Is it the best “kit” lens ever?  Discuss.

– Magic Lantern. I’ve already mentioned ML gives the Canon an intervalometer, but it also has focus peaking, which I have come to love on my Pentax.  Plus a whole bunch of other cool stuff.

– Canon Customer Service.  This is actually a big deal.  In doing copious research for this decision I revisited the whole D600 oil/dust debacle. How Nikon reacted to that is worrisome. I appreciated this is blatant overgeneralization, but I always seem to hear people saying good things about Canon CS.  I hardly ever hear anyone say something positive about Nikon CS.  Canon knows how to take care of their customers.  I’m not convinced Nikon does.

– Colors.  This is a very subjective topic and one that I’ve gone back and forth with.  When I processed the pics taken with the 6D, I didn’t even think about the colors. I just adjusted the white balance and that was about it. The colors were just there. They looked fine.

The colors on the D610 seem a tad under saturated. Muted, even. Again, not wrong, just off. Not quite there. See, I never doubted the colors on the Canon, not like this.

But, again, looking back on my Canon, shots, maybe I didn’t doubt them because they are the colors I expected to see. Not actually the colors that were there. What if the Nikon is actually giving me more accurate colors but they are giving me pause because I’m used to sugary-bright artificial Canon colors?

How do we even determine what colors we see anyway? We have all these sliders and filters and processes we put our files through before we say they are finished.  Is there even a thing as “real” color? It’s a pickle, no question.

– All my friends shoot Canon.  Seriously, I hardly know anyone IRL who shoots Nikon.  It’s worth getting the Canon just so I can borrow all their lenses. Or, get them to sell me their used lenses at the “friend” price.

Factors that didn’t go into my decision at all:

– Autofocus.  I normally shoot parked cars and buildings so Nikon’s 39 point cross-type sensors was never going to be a deciding factor.  For my purposes, Canon’s Autofocus was great, too.

– Video.  I’m a still photography guy.  I’m sure the video is wonderful for both cameras.

– GPS/WiFi.  I know that the Canon has GPS and WiFi, it was the first thing I disabled in the settings menu.

I think it’s telling that, at the end of my blog post about the Canon, I was looking at the pictures I had taken and I said, “All I know is that I want a camera that can do this.”  Note the wording. Not that camera specifically, but I wanted a camera that could do what the Canon did.

I’m pretty sure I found that camera.

Some Thoughts On The Canon 6D

As I have written here before, I’ve spent a good amount of my summer handling the estate of my deceased parents.  Hopefully, it will all be wrapped up by Thanksgiving.

After everything is settled, I’m going to treat myself to one present: a full frame camera.

I’ve already written about why I want a full frame camera, so I won’t rehash that discussion here.  Suffice it to say that if I had a top of the line APS-C camera, I probably wouldn’t be making this choice.  But, even though I do love the image quality on my Pentax K-01, I think it’s time to move on up.

One thing you probably don’t know about me is my total inability to make decisions.  My wife is great at making decisions.  That’s not the set up to a Henny Youngman joke, it’s the truth.  My wife needs a new pair of shoes, she can go to one store, try on one pair of shoes and if they are even remotely close to being good enough, they’ll do nicely, thank you very much.  Me?  If I need a new pair of shoes, I say hello to about half a dozen stores and about two dozen pairs before I’ll even consider laying down real money.  It’s just how I’m wired. There is always this nagging voice in my head asking if they are really the best fit, is that really the lowest price, and what about that one store down the street, don’t you want to just pop in and see what they have?  What if I got this pair and they have something even nicer?  My God, it’s amazing that I get out of bed some days.

So, if that’s my thought process for shoes, you can imagine what it’s like inside my head deciding on a $2,000+ camera kit.  Holy Toledo.

The decision to go to a full frame camera means, sadly, moving away from Pentax.  I have been one of their biggest cheerleaders ever since I bought my K-x back in 2009.  Pentax has been, and will continue to be the biggest and best bang for your buck in photography, bar none.  But, even with the latest Pentax FF rumors swirling around, I just can’t wait anymore.  I’m sorry Pentax, you’ve been great.  It’s not you, it’s me.  I’m just in a really weird place right now.

At this point, I’ve narrowed my choices down to either a Canon 6D or Nikon D610, the entry level full frame offerings from both companies.  I have decided to take a pass on the Sony A7.  The small size of the A7 is a huge positive, no question, but I just hit a wall when I look at the lens selection.  I know that Sony are aware of their limited range, and are committed to expanding that as soon as possible, however, as above, I just can’t wait anymore.

And don’t talk to me about adapters.  I have no desire to shell out $400 for an adapter so a lens can work half as good as it should.

With two very good choices, and I know that both are very good at what they do, how can I possibly make a decision without driving my car into a wall in desperation?

Test drive.  I’ll rent each, and see how I like both.  Brilliant.

Before I go any further, a quick shout out to LensRentals, who have made this an absolutely hassle free experience.  I highly recommend them.

For a weekend I rented the Canon 6D, and two lenses; a Sigma 24-105mm F/4 DG OS HSM Lens, and a 50mm F/1.4.  I’ve been shooting exclusively with prime lenses for a while know, so I always knew that I was going to get a 50mm.  Plus, probably, an 85mm, we’ll see.  But I still don’t know what to get on the wide angle side of the spectrum.  I had read some great reviews of the Sigma “Art” lens, and was curious to try it out.

First impressions were this: My God, look at the size of that thing.  Here’s a comparison between my humble K-01 and the 6D with the Sigma lens.

Canon 6D 02 Canon 6D 04 Canon 6D 05

I felt I was finally playing with a big boy camera.  Too wild.

I went out shooting with it on the first day and it was a big learning curve.  In a lot of ways.  First, while I normally praise the image quality on my K-01, the serious downside to that camera is the focusing.  I’m sure continental drift happens faster.  For the first few times I’ve pointed the 6D, it was focused before I even realized it was focused.  I actually stood there thinking “Why hasn’t this focused yet?”  This is not because the Canon is super fast, but because what I’ve gotten used to was so mind-numbingly slow.

The Nikon D610 actually has more auto-focus points than the 6D, but I can’t tell yet if that will be a factor.

The image quality I was getting for those first few days was good, an improvement to be sure, but there was something absent.  I think my expectations were way too high, I was expecting full frame magic to be dripping from every shot I suppose.  I was expecting to be blown away and I wasn’t.

Not until I put the 50mm lens on.

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Then I took this picture.  Here’s the link to it in full res.  Now we are talking.

There is no going back after looking at this shot.  I need this camera in my life.  Now.  Well, this or the D610, we’ll see.

There are many things to think about, especially since I won’t be just buying a camera, I will be buying into a whole different system. For example, I’ve hardly heard anyone say good things about Nikon customer service, and then how Nikon handled the D600 oil and dust spot episode is a bit worrisome.

I’m not saying Canon are saints, but from everything I read and hear, Canon tend to take better care of their customers than Nikon. But, I could be off base with that.

There are also the minor differences that all add up.  The D610 has duel memory card slots.  There is no reason the 6D should have only take one memory card. The 6D has the on-off switch on the wrong side.  Well, maybe that’s a bit more subjective, but it was still awkward.

All my serious shooter friends in real life, however, shoot Canon.  If I do get the 6D, I am planning to borrow all their lenses.  Or, get them to sell me their used lenses at the “friend” price.

By now, I’ve sent the Canon back to LensRentals, and the Nikon will be arriving for this coming weekend. I’ve rented just two prime lenses this time, the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 and a 35mm.  I want to see if the 35mm focal length will be wide enough for me.  I’ll be honest, while I wasn’t blown away by the Sigma lens, it was sure nice not having to switch lenses for different shots.

I will write up a review of the D610 as soon as I ship it back.  After that, we’ll see what happens.

1956 Chevy Bel medium

All I know is that I want a camera that can do this.  And I want it now.

A Brief History Of My Gear, And Why I Want A Full Frame Camera

1959 Cadillac Tail Lights

Does gear matter?

This is the continuing conundrum that faces photographers.

So, my usual response is this: Does gear matter?  Yes.  Is gear all that matters?  No.

Yes, gear matters.  That statement may ruffle some feathers, but it’s the absolute truth.  If I take a picture of a flower with a $6,500 Nikon D4, then take a shot of the same flower immediately afterwards with a $476 Nikon D3200, you will see a difference in the pictures, I guarantee it.  There is no getting around that.

Now, is gear everything?  Absolutely not.  Meaning, if I take a picture of that same flower in bad light, or if I cannot properly create a decent composition for that flower, then it (mostly) doesn’t matter if I have gear that costs the same as a pre-owned mid-sized sedan.

Gear matters.  I’ve written down my opinion about gear before, and how I prefer to follow a philosophy I call Punk Photography.  Trying to save the soul of photography.  Then there’s my personal journey I have with my own gear.

When I got back into photography seriously around 2008, I simply started walking around with a Samsung Digimax S830 point and shoot camera.  I have no idea where I got this camera, actually. I can’t remember if I bought it, or was gifted it, or I just stole it.  Or, it just….appeared.  Who knows.  All I know is that having a camera around me all the time helped me “see” again.  Helped me dust off all those compositional skills that had gone dormant since I completed Art School.  And, guess what, I was able to take some not-half-bad pictures with it too.

Norfolk Nov 2008

In 2009, my family and I moved from England to America, from the countryside of Norflok, to the glitz and tainted glamour of Las Vegas.  Upon arrival I immediately bought a new camera, a slightly better point and shoot, the Canon Powershot A1000 IS.  Hot damn I love that camera.

Really great image quality, easy to use, compact.  I took that camera everywhere.  Because I wasn’t worrying about aperture, f-stops, ISO or shutter speed, I was able to just focus solely on composing good pictures.  And, if I’m honest, I took many of my personal favorite photos with that camera.

The Flatlands

Open 24 Hours

T Bucket

I took pictures with that camera for two straight years.  Most of those shots are still up on my flickr page. If you are starting out in photography, I can’t recommend this path enough; just buy a good point and shoot, or even a small mirrorless camera, and spend a significant amount of time just taking pictures.  Don’t worry about gear, don’t worry about settings, don’t worry about anything technical.  Just create.  If you can sustain that, if you can remain creative without any other financial investment in gear, if you can see yourself improving solely on practice, building your experience and shooting every day, then you can get better gear.

Because, in my heart of hearts I believe that having a good eye for composition will trump having good gear every single time.

In April of 2011, after constantly taking pictures with that Canon A1000 for almost two full years, I decided to upgrade.  I bought a Pentax K-x.  My first DSLR.  Hot damn I love that camera.

Pentax K-x

 

Now we’re talking.  All that stuff I had purposely ignored for those previous years, aperture, f-stops, ISO and shutter speed, I needed to start taking that stuff seriously.  I became a student again.  Which is fine.  Hopefully, I will never stop learning new things.

Like before, I had that camera for almost two years.  I took it everywhere, and it never failed me.  I learned everything I could, I grew, I began to really seek out critique for my work.  I checked out webpages, I checked out books from the library.  I learned about stuff I didn’t even know I needed to learn about (prime lenses vs zoom lenses, the qualities of different focal lengths, as two examples).  And, like before, I tried to shoot daily.

It was almost by accident that in February, 2013, I got my current camera, the mighty Pentax K-01.

Pentax K-01

Hot damn I love this camera.

I wrote all about my Pentax K-01 before, you can start HERE if you want to read all about it.  But, for our purposes, I’ll quote the relevant passage:

“I needed an upgrade.

Now, obviously that’s a load of cow manure. I WANTED an upgrade. I didn’t NEED one.

My Pentax K-x is fine, and would have been fine for a long time. But, after having the same equipment for almost two years, I just got that itch.”

Yup.  That’s exactly where I am now.  The mighty K-01 would do me right for many years to come.  But, after about a year and a half….I’m just gettin’ that itch.  Again.

What’s the next upgrade?  Full frame.

I won’t go into too much here about what that actually means, here’s a fine Wikipedia article for you if you don’t already know the difference between a full frame sensor and a cropped sensor.  I might write about the technical differences, in my own words, a bit further down the road.  But, for now, just know that I’m really wanting to upgrade to a full frame camera.  Here’s why.

As I have said before, I come from a fine art background.  Therefore, I can best explain this by using an arts-related simile:  A Full frame sensor is like painting in oils, while using a cropped sensor is like painting in acrylics.

If you look at a great oil painting, there is a weight and depth to the colors that acrylics just don’t have.  Now, don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean acrylics can’t produce great colors, obviously they can.  And with some skill, acrylic paints can absolutely be manipulated to look like an oil painting.  And, if you have a boring subject matter, or a clumsy composition, it doesn’t matter if you are using oils, acrylics or finger paints. A bad painting is a bad painting.

But, at the end of the day, an oil painting is an oil painting, and most of the time it just has a different look to it.  And, I appreciated that this is highly subjective, but I believe oils have a better look that acrylic.  There, I said it.  And, similarly, I think the image quality from full frame camera looks better than from a camera with a cropped sensor.  There, I said it.

And I’m ready for some of that.  I’m ready to start painting in oils.

I have no idea when this upgrade will happen, certainly not this summer.  But, soon.

Hopefully, soon.  We’ll see.