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Paul Perton

Paul Perton



I live and work in a tiny sea-side village near Cape Town in South Africa. My principal areas of photographic interest include both the natural and urban landscape, street photography and steam railways.
  • Nikon D700, D800, Sony NEX-C3, NEX-7
  • Nikon 14-24 f2.8 zoom, 24-70 f2.8 zoom, 80-200 f2.8 zoom
  • Macintosh

More in the (little) Sony saga

Published October 5th, 2011

If you have any interest in photography, chances are you own one of those how-to books by Scott Kelby. He's the self-made Photoshop maven that draws thousands to his almost constant lecture tours as they flit from city to city across the planet.

The man’s good, making money hand over fist, plus he gets all the new toys to play with.

Lucky bastard.

Four years ago, he mooted an annual photo session; a Photowalk as it is now known. Set down for a specific day and organised by volunteer leaders in each city, the walk was to run for just two hours. Beyond that, there were little or no guidelines and fewer rules.

That a US event spread worldwide like a tropical disease speaks volumes for Kelby’s audience. And yes, that included me; I signed-up for the initial Cape Town walk and with my daughter spent the prescribed two hours walking the Bo Kaap, soaking up the sights and scenes.

We had a great time. The results are on Flickr.

In 2009 and 2010, I was unable to join in, but signed-up ea ...

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It's looking more like a winner

Published September 21st, 2011

It’s been almost a month. Almost a thousand pics on my little Sony.

And already, I’m having a change of heart; this really is a fine camera and while my reservations about the quality of its lenses remain, a solution is now at hand.

Let me explain.

Many years ago, I bought a used Leica M4 film camera. I was full of good ideas as to why I should make this purchase - most of which never came to fruition. The M4 came with two lenses; a 35mm f2 Summicron and a bizarre-looking collapsible 50mm f2.8 Elmar. Neither were ever the pinnacle of Leica's lens range when made, which in the case of the Elmar, was more than 50 years ago. The whole kit has been languishing in the cupboard for a long time.

But wait. It is generally known that Leica has never made a bad lens. So...

I ordered an adaptor which allows me to mount Leica lenses on the Sony. It arrived today and while it might look odd, the potential for some serious photographic fun are now sown. Ten minutes of fiddling and setting-up an ...

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Sony's little surprise

Published September 16th, 2011

The NEX-C3 arrived in a remarkably small box, containing camera, 18-55 zoom and a 16mm wide angle. It also housed a battery, strap, CD full of only partially useful software and a tiny flash unit, that is destined to get lost any time soon.

That's how the story began and the first couple of weeks were a constant trial; Sony's software is functionally hopeless at handling the camera's RAW files and the results from the two lenses were disappointing to say the least.

Finally, Apple announced a RAW converter release for Aperture and for the first time, I got a look at the real quality possible with this tiny package of dynamite.

Almost a thousand shots in and I am beginning to really like the C3. I now have adaptors for both Nikon and Leica lenses somewhere in the US-SA mail system, which might add something and will certainly move away from the surprisingly bad distortion displayed by both Sony lenses. The 16mm has a wavy horizontal rendering that reminds me of a '60s hair flick-up at ...

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