For a lack of available rides, Marla got assigned this little guy, Caramiel. Yeah, the wild fellow who was bucking off much more proficient teen riders last week… At first it seemed they would get along well
He started by trying to roll off with my kid on top, which I was close enough to prevent (by a hair) by peeling her off his back a split second before he would have crushed her little legs under his fat belly… Then about two laps later he just went into bronco mode and bucked her off plain and simple. I was NOT happy (this is after she got back on, like a real little trooper).
This is what a typical session looks like. A bunch of happy teen girls chatting around and ready to help with riding props or giving the younger kids a hand. This is part of why I love the place so much. The mood is great.
You’ll notice I have made zero mention of photogaphic matters yet. I will. Now. All the (countless) pics in this post are made with the NEX 6 and LA-EA2 + SAL 50/1.4 combination. IQ wise, it works great. I was able to keep the ISO at 800 and still get useful shutter speeds ranging from 1/100 to 1/320 depending on the various lighting conditions in the barn. Some shots did get as low as 1/80th and that caused some blurred/failed shots as well. I really wish Sony would offer less primitive control over its ISO settings on enthusiasts models such as the NEX 6 and 7 !! We need at least intermediary values at will (meaning 1/3 stop ISO increments), because there is quite a bit of difference both in output and shutter speeds between 800 and 1600, and morever between 1600 and 3200 ! And, in a perfect world, being able to set a minimum shutter speed and max value in Auto ISO, AND use said Auto in Manual mode would be invaluable. This ain’t a perfect world though.
That doesn’t tell you much on how the gear performed, right ? Wrong. Just look at the pics and draw the conclusions for yourself. The IQ is the best I’ve ever had in that same place, with that same light. It worked very well. That’s the output side of the story. What about capture ?? Another totally *different* story. AF of the SAL with the LA-EA2 is a bit schizophrenic. It’s very nervous, but not in the best sense of the term. Sometimes it stutters to death, very rapidly, instead of just going calmly to focus. I did miss a bunch of shots. And this NEX 6 unit I just got has the most horrible black out time. About 1.5 seconds. Believe me when you’re shooting moving ponies it’s an eternity !! It just seems to take that long to *process* the bloody shot it just took. At first I thought I was capturing RAW + jepg. Huh huh, jpeg Fine only. Then I thought about DRO1 being the culprit. Tried with DRO off and it was just as bad. Then, later, once back at home, I tried to switch to Continuous Shooting (but NOT the speed priority mode), and bingo, no more black out time. All you need is a really light and delicate release finger, so you only fire several shots if you want to. Issue solved (will have to check again in situ though).
All three girls loved the backwards riding !
So how reliable and useful was my photo combo that day ?? Mmm, the output is obviously very satisfying (well, I’m very satisfied anyway, opinions may vary). In usability there were a bunch of operational quirks, including a few software related ones that could easily be addressed by the manufacturer (ISO issues). I’ll test again with the continuous shooting mode to see if I can work around the terrible blackout time that crippled me so this time around.
Girls wise they had a good time, yes there was some minor drama involved due to larger pony shortage, but we’ll live to tell the tale 😉 And of course go back next week !