Another lens

The Sony a6400 costs $1,499 without a lens. In addition to the two lenses I’ve already mentioned, Sony sent down the truly amazing FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS telephoto zoom lenses. That’s one of those largely white/cream lenses which you use to let people know that you’re a serious photographer.

That 70 to 200mm is, in 35mm-equivalent terms, 107 to 306mm. I took this one to the Tidbinbilla nature park near Canberra. It brought me remarkably close to quite a few kangaroos.

The combination of a wide aperture – f/2.8 across the entire range – and the long telephoto reach resulted in a beautifully shallow depth of field that made the subjects simply pop. The bokeh around them was smooth-as, thanks to the 11-blade iris. All shots were hand-held. Even though the day was somewhat overcast, the wide aperture allowed fast-enough shutter speeds of 1/320 to 1/1000 of a second at an ISO of 100. That produced superb clarity and detail.

The only problem: that lens costs $3,999. Oh well.

Photos

DMF proves very useful at focusing on the thing that you want:

Sony a6400

Stained glass in churches – this one’s in the historic St John’s church in Reid, Canberra – can be hard to capture, given that they are backlit and their surrounds are dark. A bit of exposure compensation and we get this:

Sony a6400

Cropping down, the detail is preserved:

Sony a6400

Control. Control! The camera makes it easy to get the subject in focus, and choose a high-enough shutter speed to get the sought result:

Sony a6400

A view across Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra with a 16mm focal length:

Sony a6400

Near the centre of the frame it’s hard to tell the difference between the same shot using the $1,799 lens (left) and $499 lens (right):

Sony a6400

But at the extreme right of the frame, the differences become clear:

Sony a6400

And now, that glorious long lens. With the naked eye the kangaroo tended to fade into the trees behind it, but not with this lens:

Sony a6400

That doesn’t really demonstrate the clarity and detail, so let’s crop the shot down:

Sony a6400

Conclusion

The Sony a6400 is an excellent APS-C camera, capable of very good performance with price-appropriate lenses. But it’s also full capable of delivering superb results with the most price-inappropriate lenses.

The official website for the Sony a6400 camera is here.