Dean’s photos can be found in the menu at the top of the web site, attached to Dean’s Photography, or you can go explore here, in the Portfolio category. Also, each post on this web site has photo sliders that are unique to that page. In other words, no photos are repeated in any of the web site sliders.
Dean’s current equipment list
Sony DSLR-A850 – Yes, the A850 is old by today’s evolving camera technology. It does not shoot HD video, and it does not boast off-the-charts high ISO settings. And professional photogs will scoff at it for being a Sony rather than a Canon or a Nikon, so you will engender no respect from them. But I am in love with this camera. It just takes awesome photographs, and is satisfying to use out in the field. Yes, it has a great auto setting but it gives you all the manual settings that make you really think about your shots. It’s a full-frame (35 mm) camera, and pumps out huge file sizes. And once you go full-frame it’s hard to go back to cameras with smaller APS-C CMOS sensors.
Here is a 2013 review of the A850 at Photographic Central.
Sony DSLR-A350 – This is another camera I take along on a photo shoot, usually loaded up with a prime lens. The A350 replaced my very first Sony APS-C camera, the A100, that I mistakenly left behind in the Honolulu airport departure lounge. This sad loss led to the purchase of the A-350, for which I now have a great deal of affection. Why take two cameras on a shoot? When you are stalking insects and butterflies you don’t know which lens you will need at a moment’s notice: a prime or a zoom. With a full arsenal of two cameras loaded with various focal length lenses there is no escape for my victims.
Update: I’ve switched across to using a monopod with my A850 and Sony 7-400 mm G lens, so I no longer have the A350 around my neck on a shoot. Now it is relegated to landscape work.
Sony Mount Lenses
Sony 70-400 mm F 4-5.6 SSM “G” lens – The newest addition to my arsenal is, quite simply, a magnificent lens for wildlife photography. Although I prefer the bokeh of my cheap Tamron lens, the Sony “G” or professional-grade lens beats everything hands down for sharpness and for speed of focusing. This lens now lives almost permanently on my Sony A850, and will only come off if I need the added zoom factor when I attach it to my A350 APS-C camera, or I’m doing landscape shots. Only downsides: heavy to carry, and makes you stand out in a crowd as the lens is silver and enormous.
Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 24-70 mm F 2.8 zoom lens – this is a magnificent piece of glass. Almost as expensive as my A850 itself, this lens gives delightful, eye-popping shots. It’s heavy, though, and not ideal for the macro shots of nature. Loaded onto the A850 it elicits the same emotion as wearing a Rolex Submariner watch: heavy, old school, expensive, and deeply satisfying. Like a Rolex buy one if you can afford one.
Tamron LD Di 70-300 mm F 4-5.6 zoom lens – slow and inexpensive but nonetheless I have had a long love affair with this lens. It usually lives permanently on my A350. Along with some buttery-sweet bokeh and nice colors it also has a macro setting (at 180-300 mm). For beginner photogs this is a great purchase to go with an entry-level Sony Alpha camera.
Tamron SP Di 90 mm F 2.8 prime lens – ideal for shooting insects and flowers, without getting too close and freaking them out. Produces extremely sharp photos (almost too sharp!), but lacking the rich output of the Carl Zeiss. For that luxury you would need to pay a lot more. But I don’t care, because this lens is so much fun to work with, in the realm of macro photography. It also doubles as a decent portrait lens.
Future lenses: Sony are rumored to be releasing a Carl Zeiss 50 mm Prime lens in mid-2013. This will fill the gap in my lens collection, and is eagerly awaited.
Post production: Adobe Lightroom 4.4, and Adobe Creative Cloud Suite (subscription) for the Mac. I also use the image editor Acorn (for OS X on the Mac) for website production, and Snapheal for cleaning up an image when I don’t want to fire up Photoshop. RAW work is done in Lightroom (Apple’s Aperture is essentially in the App Morgue), and Adobe is the way to go for serious work. I’m now using Photoshop for all my reduction & website sizing needs, which results in a better web image.
Coming soon: Lens filters, bean bags, and monopod/tripod equipment list.
Details: DSLR-A850 with Tamron 90 mm prime lens @ 1/250 sec, f/ 4.5, ISO 200
© 2013 by Dean Ramsden. All rights reserved.