Love my Sony inspires me! by Jens Niedzielski

Love my Sony A7II…it inspires me!

by Jens Niedzielski

Hello Steve!

I’ve been reading your website / blog quite a bit lately, as I have become an avid user – and fan – of the Sony A7 (Mark II). After following your experiences with the A7 and A7s, and trying the A7s myself during a shoot in the Maldives in March, I decided to get the A7ii, and I am using it extensively ever since (darn, they just announced the A7R Mark II…).

I’d say the Sony really makes me want to take photos so much more than any other camera before – one reason being the fact that I can throw an endless array of vintage MF lenses on it. Lately I shoot almost exclusively manually, even fast-moving objects (kids (haha), horses etc). And I got hold of really nice vintage glass, from Canon FD lenses, to old Nikkor lenses, Rokkor, Takumar, Zeiss Jena, Jupiter, Industar, MIR, to name a few.

Anyway – thanks for pointing me in the right direction 🙂 Attached please find 3 recent photos taken, and I hope they are somewhat inspiring… All taken with the A7II.

1. GO.RIDE – I am currently residing in Thailand, and some of my friends are some of the very few people in the country who are into horse trail riding. Outdoor, no strings attached. Most people who ride are staying in the safe and sound environment of horse riding clubs and rings – but these guys and girls are going out rinding in forests, farmland and so forth. The real deal, so to say. They often abuse me to take their pictures LOL, but I also feels it’s quite a privilege as this is a really rewarding subject to photograph.

The photo was taken with the A7II x Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS Lens (Silver). That day I decided to challenge myself by shooting horse riding with a portrait lens, while keeping it under control otherwise thanks to AF (as the other day I shot arena / ring horse riding with an MF portrait lens, which despite the fact that they were waaaaay slower in there still was really difficult). The setting should be ISO100, f/2.8 which I chose as a sweet spot of shallow depth of field combined with ‘getting something in focus’.


2. LAST LIGHT – this is an ‘after sunset’ / blue hour shot across Bangkok’s high rises. This is one of the very few unobstructed views into sunset direction in Bangkok, and literally was shot during the last seconds of having noticeable light that day; it went dark after that even for the A7II (I guess the A7s would have had a fun time after that).

For this one, I had paired the A7II with a Tokina 17mm f/3.5 RMC. Taken at 50 ISO, f16, about 30sec exposure I believe.


3. THE TRAIN HAS LEFT THE STATION – this shot was taken inside Bangkok’s iconic Hua Lamphong train station. That day I went inside late at night to avoid people ruining my photos 🙂 It turned out that the station is very heavily and brightly lit inside making it difficult to show the vintage look and feel of the station due to cold, bright and clinical light.


Apart from taking some great shots in b/w and of the old trains that night, I decided to try some creative shot around the empty tracks that would give me the feeling of an empty old train station, or a station late at night, without resorting to more common techniques like b/w.

This was once again shot with the A7II x Tokina 17mm f/3.5 RMC.

P.S. I am aware / really quite a bit into post-production of images, but I am not using ‘filters’. All post processing is done only in LR and PS. Whenever I shoot, photos or VDOs, apart from trying to capture a really nice shot, fun for me starts when working the RAW files or VDO clips in post to see into what direction I can tweak them. Any photo, given the circumstance, inspires me to give them a certain treatment based on my perceived mood and tone of the moment. It may not be everyone’s taste, but it’s mine 🙂

Thanks a lot and best wishes,



J (Jens Niedzielski)

Bangkok, Thailand


  1. Love the riders image, and has been observed, it has a painterly feel to it. Can you tell us what PP you do? Assume you are employing off camera flash?

    I too have that Tokina lens, just too much distortion to be used effectively. It worked once, with a sea / sunset where there were no uprights for it to bend!

  2. If you’re going to use a super-wide, I suggest that you always keep the camera level. The shot of the city at night is lovely, but for the converging verticals. 🙂

    That shot also showed something very useful: the Sony sensor handles light sources much, much better than sensors from other manufacturers. The Leica M9, despite its perfection for skin tones, would not render the light sources without fringing. Canon sensors are equally poor in this regard.

    If you’re going to replace film, you have to provide more than mere resolution. I like what I see here.

    • Thanks Karim. You are right level is key. I wanted more sky though, so I usually go for, say, 60+% sky and taking into account any issues 🙂 I couldn’t straighten this one out as some things would disappear, which I din’t like, so I decided to leave it as shot. Thanks for liking it anyway 🙂

  3. Hi Jens,

    I like the first picture a lot. This was taken with an APS-C size lens, right? Did you use other APS-C lenses on the A7II? It would be interessting to know, how these lenses perform, for people who want to go small and light.
    Great shots on your web page 😉

    Thanks for sharing

    Erik Neu

    • Hi Erik,

      yes, it’s the 50mm OSS 1.8 APS-C. Works indeed like a 70mm+ lens. I like the look and feel of it, although I’d say it’s not that great under low light conditions, and the AF often places the focus where you don’t want it at f/1.8 or so – so you’d need to get used to ‘read’ the AF points quite a bit. But it’s very small, fast and fun to use, just don’t expect perfection. For the price a no-brainer I’d say, always have it in my bag and I use it quite a lot, despite the smaller file size. Sharpness is really good as well.

  4. Wow. Image no1 is superb. I really like the look of it. Might have something to do with the lens you used, but i guess there is also some work in post involved. Anyhow congrats.

    • Hi Elderin, I’d say I chose the ‘wrong’ lens for the job in the first place (sometimes I really like to mismatch subject / occasion and lens choice) 🙂 The rest was done in LR, came out quite nice, and happy you like it.

  5. First shot with the horse riders looks great. Almost like a painting. Good job on editing the shot.

  6. Hi Jens. Very interesting images. The one of the riders especially caught my attention/eye as it looks remarkably like a fine painting.

    • thanks! was a nice moody day and the colours just came out like on a painting when given the right mix of luminance and saturation. got that ‘painting’ comment a lot 🙂

  7. I tried to love the 17mm RMC- alas, I just couldn’t do it. Glad to see someone squeeze some juice out of it though.

    • I actually love it, it’s not perfect but has been a good companion recently. Glad you think it has some juice in it after all 🙂

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