All posts by RickybanPhotography

Its been a while :-(


Yes it has been a while since i last posted on my Blog. I have given myself a kick up the ass and will now commit to a least 1 blog a week.

I wanted to kick this promise off with places to go.

Living in the UK, there are plenty of amazing places to do photography. Sometimes it just takes some willpower to get up early and get to the destination.

My choice this time is Corfe Castle in Dorset.

It was a 3 hour Drive in freezing crazy foggy weather. I started at 4am. I got to Corfe by 7am. I parked in the carport nearest to the castle. But unfortunately, it was so foggy, i had no idea which way to go. I could see nothing. Luckily for me i bumped into a fellow photographer who was happy to lead me through the dense fog, throughout a small lane and then up a treacherous slippery foggy hill.

Once up onto of the hill, and above the fog, there was the most amazing view of..well a sea of fog. It was like being on the edge of an abyss. And of course once at the top i was in the company of other crazy dedicated photographers.


The amazing thing about Corfe castle is that its on the middle of three hills. So you have the option of taking images of it with the sun inferno or behind it. You just need to keep warm and wait for the fog to drop and the castle to pop out and say hello. corfe-6







Sony FE 24-70 GM vs Sony FE 70-300 G @ 70mm Shoot out part 1


I thought i’d have some fun as I have both the 24-70mm GM and the 70-300mm G Lenses.

So, how do they both perform on the same Camera and same settings at 70mm?

Obviously the GM can stop down to F2.8. So to keep it fair. I have set this shootout to be at 70mm F4.5.

Now i know people will ask why i am doing this. Because both lenses are different and used for different things. But my reasons are simple. Its a chance to compare a new G to a GM at 70mm and because… i can! 🙂 Oh and i have not seen anyone else stupid enough to do it.

I am working on a Review of the Sony 70-300mm G F/4.5 and hope to post it by tomorrow.

So my test is simple: I will focus on Sharpness and colour rendition. I have tried to keep the images as similar as possible and neither of them have had any post processing.

I picked some flowers from the garden, as they show lots of sparkle and detail.

So heres is the G to start things off.

My initial observation is that it is a lovely sharp image. For a 70-300 zoom lens. There is no mistaking it is bloody sharp.

Flower 70-300 full

And here it is cropped, to see the detail. As you can see. Lovely and sharp, great detail and colour. A little soft in transition around the petals. But all in all, not much to complain at. And better / sharper that the Sony FE 70-200 G F4 lens.

Flower 70-300 cropped

Ok now for the 24-70 Gmaster.

Going by this first image, it was hard to tell them apart. The GM had the edge when it came to vignetting. And it rendered the colours better, especially the yellows. But all in all. It’s very close. Bokeh on the G showed a shallower DOF.

Flower 24-70 full

Cropping the image i could see that the sharpness is better on the GM, and the way it transitioned separation. Much more defined edges, better colours and more detail. But not worlds apart, unless you pixel peak.

Flower 24-70 cropped

Now here is the real difference. With the G70-300, i could not get very close to the subject due to its closest focus point. With the GM, i could use it like a 70mm macro and get very close. Getting love detail. This image is also at F/4.5. I just wanted to show the extra agility of the GM.

Flower 24-70 close

This GM is such a sweet lens. Worth every penny!  Its so damn good in so many ways. Landscape, portrait, a little macro…and all lovely and sharp.

Flower 24-70 close cropped

Now, i’m going to throw a spanner in the works! Is it fair that i showed the diversity of the GM at 70mm. Yes, i think it is as its a test of both lenses at 70mm. And i did not even go into the F/2.8 advantage, Bokeh and DOF.

But to be fair, i will break the rules and show although the 70-300 G can’t focus very close. It can zoom in at 300mm :-). And its a very sharp 300mm lens at that:

300mm full

300mm cropped

So as you can see, there is more than one way to skin a cat 🙂


(No Cats were skinned in the process of writing this blog!)

Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment. Or suggest the settings for my Shootout part 2.


Sony GM 24-70mm F2.8 First look and images


carparkI thought i would give my first impression of the new Sony GM 24-70mm lens.

So i will start with this statement. “Its like having a bag of primes in a single lens”.

Straight out of the box i was surprised how big, solid and heavy it is. It is a beast. But then a 24-70mm F2.8 is never going to be small. Its very nice to handle. Comes with a lovely black carry case that i will never use ;-).


Focusing is fast silent and deadly sharp like a Ninja with  sword!  One thing i noticed is that is shows amazing contrast and detail. I need some more time. But so far i honestly think this sucker is as sharp at 24, 35, 50, 70mm as a bloody decent prime lens! What!!! I know, right! Thats not right!


But it is. It’s madness. I think i maybe in love. I have never been exited about a new lens like i have say the release of the A7RII. But i was keen about this. Before going mirrorless. A 24-70mm 2.8 was my main and most used lens. It has been the one thing i have missed. And have had to cover the ranges with primes.


I know there is a 24-70mm F4. And i have tried it. Sorry Sony but it sucked! It was slow, soft in the corners and just not the sharpest of Sony lenses. Yes its Zeiss, but it’s no way good enough for portrait with poor Bokeh. It’s also very slow in low light and hunted way to much. Yes i could have used other vendor glass but i really don’t like the fuss with all of the adapters. An i have a prime lens addiction. An addiction i think Sony maybe helping to cure.

So far the new Gmaster is just about all i could ask for and more. Its fast, sharp as hell and has stunning build quality. It is large, it is heavy. But i just don’t care! The Bokeh is great. the fine details are lovely. But what really gets me is the absolutely love rendering of fine contrast. I have never seen such detailed clarity in my images before.

So, what does this mean for me! I will be selling several primes on eBay over the next few weeks! Trying to recoup some money! And relearning what its like to have a great 24-70mm lens again.


To Sony i say thank you. You listened to your user community and really delivered.

I think this lens is going to help me clear my head as well as my bag of primes.

One Negative Comment

There is some considerable lens flare. Granted this was a test at 24mm, and i did not test the other focal ranges. This image below is straight out of the camera. As you can see there is a pretty little mess across the lens. I for one am not that bothered. I had it with my Nikon.

lrns flare


I have been asked what gear i use, so i thought i would add it in.


  • Sony a7ii soon to be sold.
  • Sony A7Rii
  • Iphone6

Lenses and what i use them for:

  • Samyang 12mm Fisheye Prime (Wide, very wide usually in building like churches, stations etx…This is an incredible sharp lens.It really pics up the details.23653480323_fe5c6d0c03_o
  • Sony 16-35mm f/4 Zeiss (General landscapes, street…Its great to have the flexibility of a sharp lens and 16-35 focus lengths. Its not the sharpest lens at the edges though!)23380235361_90d0b4500f_o
  • Sony 55mm F/1.8 Zeiss Prime (A great portrait, street and all round lens. Its sharp, nice bokeh at F1.8 and very very cheap for a F1.8 Zeiss. I love this lens)20193126332_8f565903de_o16060155688_22d5236e7b_o
  • Sony 90mm F2.8 Macro Prime (The macro lens in my armoury. This lens is both great for macro, and portrait and even a landscape when far enough away. Its just so amazingling sharp!)east922935095414_f38776daa9_o
  • Sony 70-400mm F/4 G (This is an A lens and uses a EA3 adapter. But thats because there is no 400mm E mount lens yet. This lens is ok, pretty sharp and had to have a 70-400. I use this mainly for playing. I have taken pictures of the moon and wildlife. But its not something i have used much. I plan on using it more. Its massive, heavy and way off balance for the Sony a7R11.)22656800754_dafb096d63_o
  • Zeiss Loxia 35mm F2 Prime (one of my favourite lenses of all time. Yes its manual, but its gorgeous to use. Its tiny, f2, sharp from edge to edge. You can spend a lot more on a lot less. This is my street lens and is fantastic in low light24454796532_5b8e4be485_o24526672070_aea03b629a_o24764032219_815c54d404_o
  • Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8 Prime (I was amazed by the 35mm Loxia. The 21mm blew me away. Its Epically sharp from edge to edge wide open at F2.8. This is a wide angle lens, has no distortion and is just amazing. This is now my Landscape lens of choice.) Its my favourite lens.24562628103_83b55caacd_o25192998956_4b32184da3_o24942459445_0c8d06832e_o24313759374_6a264979ba_o


  • Manfroto MT190CXPRO3

London Calling the Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8

London is a popular place for photographers. The biggest challenge these days  is finding something new. A new location, or a new spin on something well photographed. But sometimes its nice to take a popular image, even an iconic one and make it your own. That Sometimes means creating the individuality digitally. Personally i think photography is art. Which means your imagination is the limit. HDR, Composite…Its all fair game depending on what your vision is.

So excuses aside 😉 to justify this image. I saw it done 5 years ago and have been meaning to have a go ever since.

One spin on things can be a new lens. This image was taken with the Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8. It handles the low light fantastically.

I’ve had very specific images of mine copied and i really enjoy seeing what other people do. So i think anyone who is copied, should take it as a compliment and enjoy other photographers take on it.

One thing i always try to do is add people in and create a story.lonely

Sony A7Rii 2.0 Firmware with 14bit Raw support is here!!!!

Click on the link below to get yours!

Once updated, just go into the menu and you can modify the setting to turn it on. Its in the first Camera settings menu, page 1 called Raw file type. The setting will be compressed by default. So just click on it and choose Uncompressed and Voila!

I’m not sure what the benefits are part from solving the issue of some very rare artifacts. I don’t seem to be getting much more from post processing.

Whats the bad news?

85mb image files compared to 45mb compressed. Time to invest in some more storage.

The images took a noticeable longer time to write to my SD card. And i have a very good PNY SDXC U3 100mb’s per sec SD card.

Issues to report:

HDR 9 shots definitely took longer to write to my SDXC card.

I had to re-install my in Camera Time-lapse application. But the others were fine.