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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

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Sooooo....who's the woman that Sports Illustrated named Sportsperson of the Year? Link? =)

Strange times indeed!
Not the much further east and a bit north is Southern Ontario; another country yet still crazy weird weather. This Wednesday morning December 16, overcast, a mite damp 5 degrees...NO SNOW! I'll take it, allows photographs of moving objects (trains) from either direction without concern as to where the sun should be located; ditto other items.

Mike, we'll eventually get something recembling what El nino delivers to us as winter, however don't hold your breath. As with you digging in the electrical connector box for the Sony charger; winter shall arrive, we just don't know in what form.

+1 for Sigma, never the quality leader over my professional career; if you were going to buy after-market, it was Tamron. Everyone tells me Tokina is the bomb (and makes high end lenses for other companies), but too many lenses that are virtually too near to each other in zoom range. One of these company's should have grasped onto making a range of primes for APS-C tho, and that would have insured their bright future. I am also "iffy" about the Sigma "Art" lenses too, based on their past reputation; but I did buy the 19mm and 30mm for M4/3rd's, and was very please for the outlay of cash.

While the weather is still good, take a road trip down to Ithaca and visit the Johnson Museum ( http://museum.cornell.edu/ ), on the Cornell campus. Beautiful museum, in a spectacular building. If you haven't seen the Cornell campus or driven around the lake, you've missed some beautiful sights. Good places for lunch in Ithaca.

Damn, Mike -- next thing I know you'll be publishing a user report on the Canon EOS 5DSR with one of those five-pound Zeiss Otus lenses mounted on front and a manly tripod mounted to the bottom. Is there nothing a man can take for granted anymore?

Just think how the groundhogs must be feeling.

Regarding the weather... welcome to the flip side of our west coast pattern. The east coast freezing cold and snow of last winter was the counterpoint to our west coast heat and drought. Sounds like the tables have flipped.

Our weather since late summer here in the southwest has also been unusual: temperatures about normal but a lot more moisture (particularly rain).

I too owned (past-tense) the A900. It was my first digital camera and I liked it very much. I replaced it with the Fuji X-T1 and have never looked back. Per your previous post, some people collect cameras I collect old-glass: I love the way they render to black and white as well as the bokeh. I am looking forward to the X-PRO2 or X-T1/2 with the hope of the rumored 25m sensor. Why? Since I shoot mostly square more pixels is highly beneficial.

Sunny and 70 in Austin. But I have stopped sending my kid Polartec and Goretex for his time in Saratoga Springs. He's doubtless walking around in sandals this week...

Don't forget the sunscreen.

On a less important note: the Sigma 50mm Art lens is my current favorite lens in the entire equipment cabinet. Has me salivating for the 24-35mm f2.0. It's just a matter of time...(damn ellipses).

It's too late for your recent move, but once when I moved from Montana to Maine I was told (incorrectly, it turned out) that to go through Canada I had to have a complete inventory of all my household belongings to get through customs easily.
So I numbered each packing box and created a list of its contents.
It sure was helpful finding stuff once I reached my destination.

I understand the hesitance around Sigma lenses, however after having, and really, really, liking the 18-35mm f1.8 ART on an APS, I took the plunge and purchased (amongst other lenses) the 50mm f1.4 ART for my Nikon D750. Truly a lens to die for (if one had to die for an object).

Ever since Serena Williams threatened to shove a tennis ball down the throat of a lines person at the US Open in 2009, I've been no fan of hers.

[I take it you've never had a bad day, or an occasion on which you behaved in a way that was not your best? Personally, I've had moments worse than the one you mentioned. Even, once or twice, at work. Fortunately for me, my worst moments didn't happen in front of huge crowds, and weren't televised and archived where everyone could see them in perpetuity. I was able to apologize later and the incidents were eventually forgotten. Guess I'm lucky in that. --Mike]

Looking forward to your comments on the a900. The used price now is about the same as for a used A77mkii. Now which would you rather have? And why?

This photo of the A900 makes me want to use mine again (instead of the EPL7 or A99). What a sexy beast.

The ONE I must obey has the perfect answer for when men lose things. "Ah, no wonder you can't find it, you're only having a man look!"

I've recently made a very important discovery. I can now often use the 'Girl Look' accusation in reverse.


Strange things are afoot. For one thing, September was like August here, and Winter still hasn't arrived...

Here in northern Arizona (not to be confused with the deserts of southern and central Arizona) we had temperatures well below zero this morning. Flagstaff airport was -6°F and Grand Canyon airport -15°F.

Temperatures this cold occur several times each year and typically after a widespread snowfall -- so the photo opportunities abound.

However, if you would like your cold weather back...

El Niño won't affect North American weather until early 2016. That's always the case with the ENSO.

Currently the synopsis for the North Eastern Pacific looks like a La Niña (!) with high pressure over the subtropic Pacific and cool, damp, northwesterly flow moving Gulf of Alaska storms into the Pacific Northwest US.

Plenty of snow coming to the Cascades in the next few days which will feed the snowpack in WA and OR.

http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2015/12/mountains-of-snow.html

But it will flip in the New Year.

Ditto to adamct. I lost my glasses without which I am pretty blind, and only after an increasingly panicked search through the house did I happen to glance in the bathroom mirror.

Apropos of the featured comment, I spent 10 furious minutes searching for my keys yesterday because I felt my front right pocket and they weren't there. They were in my front left pocket, where I always carry them. I realized this when I noticed my cellphone, which is what actually belongs in my front right pocket, sitting on its charger. Yes, my brain knew something was missing, but it misidentified what was absent.

I wish I could say that I found this turn of events surprising.

Today in Saint Paul, Minnesota, we had thunder and lightning, rain, a shower of large snowflakes, and sunshine, all within about 30 minutes. Looks like a brown Christmas this year.

What a felicitous piece of writing (and the comments that ensued)! Made my day. Thanks, Mike.

Yesterday, my favorite local online store delivered my Domke bag five days ahead of schedule, in spite of the pouring rain brought by the unseasonable Typhoon Melor that thankfully skirted Manila. However, it devastated provincial areas that hadn't recovered yet from another super-typhoon last year, which damped somewhat my enjoyment of the F-6's arrival. Weatherwise, December is no longer a quiet month like it used to be.


We're about to have 39 degrees Celsius tomorrow here in Melbourne, Australia, (102 Fahrenheit) and if we hit 40, it'll be BY FAR the earliest 40 degree day ever recorded. Desperately need rain, but my garden was zapped by a killing frost only three weeks ago. We live in interesting times . The recently deposed Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott is famously quoted as saying, only three years ago " Climate change is crap, coal is good for the world"

I loved the Sony a850. I ditched it in favor of the Nikon D800.

Why? I squawked when Sony replaced the a850/900 with pellicle mirror Alphas. ...and I didn't much care for the 50mm f/2.8 macro--a Minolta film-era legacy lens.

When I retired, I ditched the Nikon along with the holy trinity (14-24, 24-70, 70-200). The D800 served me well. By the way, the Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 G macro lens is a gem.

I now shoot, contentedly, with Oly mft bodies and lenses.

Dear Stephen,

Please check on how many MALE star athletes have never, ever acted out in public.

Do get back to us when you have numbers.

Heaven forbid a woman ever should, though.

pax / Ctein

Guys and Gals,

I own the a900 and three lenses (the Sony 70-200/2.8G - the 1.4x is pretty useless for many things - the Zeiss 135/1.8 in A mount, and the ancient Minolts 35/2). The electronics in the body are pretty shot so I power the bad boy from the extra battery pack. It makes for a heavy load towards the end of the day.

I shoot alot of water polo and sometimes the games go into the evening, Many times the "stadium lighting" can hardly be considered lighting. And, while the continuous focus is great for players moving parallel to me, the continuous focus for the players / ball moving towards me is USELESS.

I lust after a Canon 1Dx for a variety of reasons (maybe so I can think of myself as being a "real" sports photographer, but several things have come into play that prevent me from going in that direction. I may also buy a used a77mk11 which should serve me well, though I still love full frame.

YET, in spite of my complaints, and the desire for another camera, the a900 keeps taking photos. I shot it in the rain and it keeps working. I knock it about, and it keeps working. It is like a faithful old dog that still hunts. I will keep it until it dies!! Long live the a900.

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