Sony Week - Part Four - The Local Tourist

on March 21, 2017

It is no fun being a local tourist - particularly if you have lived in the place for 53 years. The exciting mustn't-miss glamour spots of the 1960's have not worn well. Some of them peaked when the America's Cup races were held and some of them have yet to do so...So finding iconic world-beating landscape award-winners on a cloudy Tuesday at 2:30 is somewhat problematical - particularly if you want to get off Leach Highway before the rest of the world gets on it at 3:30...

In most Australian cities you can at least find a dramatic view around the war memorials - they are grassed and lit and maintained. Thus I used the naval memorials up on the hill as my base to view. If the council had not been cutting the grass and if the wind had not been blowing a gale it might have been idyllic.

As it was, it provided a good workout for the 28mm f:2 full frame lens and the 18mm f:1.8 APS-C lens. In this case, as with the studio shots from yesterday, I eschewed using RAW for either camera -it was easier to set a fair comparison in train by putting them both to JPEG. I also used a programmed or auto setting for both and selected 650 ISO. AF was in operation for both, and as there was a good amount of light under the clouds, the speed of focusing was no problem for either camera.

Against the light shots are tough - the camera sees what we refuse to see and renders it as flat or overblown in highlights. It's no good hoping for good light if the geography of the place puts you looking into it anyway, but you can tantalise yourself by moving round the other way when the sun breaks through the clouds - as seen in the torpedo shot.

Technical note: This is an ex-US Navy torpedo that was not fired at Japanese ships and did not explode. As opposed to the ones that were fired at Japanese ships and did not explode. I recommend RUN SILENT RUN DEEP as a reference for this question.

But back to the cameras. They both shot fast and accurately. They both turned in files that benefited from the "automatic haze removal " feature of the Photoshop Elements 14 program. But look at the difference between the full frame and the APS-C in the image of the HMAS ADELAIDE ( L01) tied up at Victoria Quay. Here's the force of the newer sensor, greater resolution, and larger surface area of the sensor all combined. Plus a bit of the in-body 5-axis stabilisation throwing in goodness.

As loyal as I am to the APS-C system for my studio shots - and for good reason - I must say that if I was taking landscape shots that I wanted to blow up to large images, I would have to acknowledge the superior result of the full frame. I daresay there is more that could be wrung out of an RAF RAW file but then there is more that could be extracted from a Sony RAW file as well.

There may well be similar improvements in portraiture or large group images - I must see if I can get another chance at the larger sensor in the studio with a human subject.

And as a final note - Street photography has been touted as a fine division of the art. It may well be, but there are streets and there are streets. I drove a number of the crowded ones around Fremantle and concluded that in the rich ones the locals didn't want me to stop - and in the poor ones I looked at the locals and had no desire to stop. I think I will do my touring up to Coles and leave it at that.