4 hours in London with a Sony A7 + Zeiss 50mm Planar - gavinphotography

4 hours in London with a Sony A7

I've had the Sony A7 a few months now, and last week I took it for a walk around London. My original plan was to spend the afternoon and evening up in London, getting some long exposures with the Lee Seven5 filter system and my new portable Giottos tripod. However, life sometimes gets in the way and I decided that this would just be a nice mooch around Camden with my A7, Zeiss 50mm Planar and Joe (@jharphoto)! 

So don't think of this whole experience as a gear review, because it isn't really that. It's more a write up of my walk with the camera. Hopefully you will like some of the images even if you couldn't give a monkeys about the Sony!

So I hopped on the train for a 2 hour ride to London armed with my gear, a nice latte, a hoody and a jacket (as it turns out I wasn't exactly prepared for the glorious day we were about to have).

I took with me the A7, Zeiss 50mm Planar, a 32GB Sandisk SD card, 3 official Sony batteries (plus 1 third party) all in a very small Crumpler bag that I've owned since my Nikon D50 days. It also gave me the chance to use my new Toma leather wrist strap, which, btw, I found to be great!)

And I think that is the first part of the magic of this system: all that full frame goodness in a small bag. 

Camden is a beautiful place in the sun. It was only my second visit there, and it looked splendid. Walking down the canal on a hot day is incredibly relaxing (while me and Joe talked gear - he took along his Leica M6 + Voigtlander 40 1.4, naturally I had Leica-envy).

That being said, my feet were hurting by the end: not the best day to wear in new boots...

The shot below is my favourite of the day. I consider myself rather proud of it tbh

We eventually decided to wonder away from Camden, where we stumbled upon the new BBC HQ - I really like the shot of the 2 ladies deep in conversation. 

By this time I actually stopped to give a  moment of thought towards how the camera had performed thus far (conscious of the blog I would write based on my day) and you know, I can barely think of a negative. And I've said it elsewhere but I really mean it - the large EVF really is a treat. The biggest compliment I can give it is that I don't think about the fact that I'm shooting with an EVF.

Oh, and at this point I should also point something out: manual focussing with the Zeiss 50 Planar + focus peaking is a joy. Please consider that I am a photographer of the digital age, almost all my photographic experience comes from digital, starting with the Pentax *ist DS. So while I only shoot manual exposure now, focussing has always been autofocus. Yet it really is so natural with this lens. I daresay it's because it's designed for manual focus and I'm simply discovering something that many of you know already - still, it certainly has opened my eyes.

The best thing about this camera/lens combo is that it's got me out shooting as a hobby again. Being small yet with no compromises, I have no issues with taking it pretty much any and everywhere. I'm already planning my next trip to London, and this time it will be an afternoon/evening. 

Oh, but of course me being me and me being a lover of new things shiney, I've already got my eyes on a new lens - the Mitakon 50 0.95 (see Steve Huff's early look here). On the face of it it seems a bit unnecessary since I'm really happy with the Zeiss, but hey, it's a 50mm 0.95 designed specifically for the Sony A7/r/s - I'd be doing a disservice to the makers if I didn't indulge!

Until then, I hope you like my images. I've kind of returned to 50mm after a few years away from it, having favoured 35mm more recently. It's incredibly refreshing to change focal length every now and then.

All the best.


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