Alpha 55 1080p HD video – snow in Scotland

This video was made on December 23rd using the Alpha 55 (AVCHD recording) hand held, with SS enabled, and the Carl Zeiss 16-80mm zoom. This video has been uploaded in full 1080p HD and can be viewed at high resolution if you have a fast enough connection. The soundtrack is a classical guitar piece I wrote ten years ago, on the last day of the year 2000, when snow was falling by moonlight which I guess the music represents a bit better than mid-day.
Some camera-mic sound has been left in place for two of the takes, and the shot of the stone wall uses active phase detection AF during video. This was not possible for most takes, as the snowflakes falling made the focus constantly change as they passed the focus zones!

Hope you enjoy it! The camera got very wet with snow – you can see where flakes landed on the lens filter – and ended up being wiped down many times. Eventually, after going into a shop for a few minutes, everything steamed up. But it seems fine after letting it dry out and warm up. It was not very cold, around 1°C for snow to be falling like this.
– David

CZ 16-80mm Adobe Profile

Continuing to make profiles when time permits, here is a reasonably detailed profile for the Sony DT 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 ZA Carl Zeiss zoom (2007) created using the Sony Alpha 550 14.2 megapixel camera using Manual Focus Check Live View at 14X to set the lens focus and ensure the chart is positioned to use 100% of the frame.
http://www.photoclubalpha.com/DSLR-A550 (DT 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 ZA) – RAW.lcp
Right click to download this 56Kb file which should be placed in the Lens Profiles/1.0/Sony folder of the directory on your computer which holds Adobe Lens Profiles.
This profile has been created at full aperture and f/8-f/11 depending on focal length, at 16mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm and 80mm focal lengths and involved 90 raw captures.
It is possible in ACR/Lightroom to use profiles which are not created on your own camera type. This profile can be applied to any APS-C Sony or Minolta camera using the 16-80mm lens; because the A550 is currently the highest resolution body, the CA data gathered is more accurate than would be possible using a lower resolution body but may need a saved adjustment in defaults. Individual lenses differ slightly and may also need adjustments.
I have checked the operation of the profile on files from A100, A700, A200, A380, A350 and A550 and it’s very effective in removing CA. Illumination is much improved at 80mm (notably). You may prefer to turn the geometric correction down to zero (off) when the angle of view matters more than perfect straight lines – and also, where people are in the shot near the edges at 16mm. The distortion of the lens is optimised to lessen ‘stretched faces’ at the ends and corners of the shot, applying the profile removes this slight barrel distortion and does not improve groups. It’s most useful for horizons, rooms, seascapes, and subjects where a good straight rendering is critical.
It has been suggest I should add a donation button for these profiles. By all means see our subscription page, there’s a downloadable PDF of the latest Photoworld magazine for $3. I could easily have zipped profiles and sold them in the same manner, but that is not why photoclubalpha is here; Adobe provide the software to do this free (OK, I know what the rest of their stuff cost me…) and profiles should be made public domain by creators.
– David Kilpatrick

CZ 24mm + 35mm and 85mm SAM lenses arrive

Sony is expanding its line-up of over 30 A-mount lenses with new models that will appeal to seasoned photographers and those new to DSLR cameras alike – a 35mm f/1.8 DT (APS-C) SAM, an 85mm f/2.8 full frame SAM, and the long-awaited 24mm f/2 Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 24mm f/2 for full frame with SSM ultrasonic focusing. In the interests of getting this report on line, it’s mainly Sony words, with a few added comments and edits.
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Zeiss announce 18mm f3.5 – not for Alpha

The parallel development of Carl Zeiss lenses for Sony (AF lenses in the Alpha mount) and independent manual focus lenses for other makes continues. The latest CZ design is a revision of the classic 18mm Distagon last seen in the Contax system, optimised for colour balance and reflection supression with digital SLRs.

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