This past week I've been behind on my blog posts, as I spent most of my time preparing for some upcoming aerial shoots of New York. Last night was the first. I wanted to photograph at sunset and into the twilight, which lasted another half hour. The main purpose of these trips is to gather material for a large scale print project of images I am taking of the city.
Working in a helicopter close to nightfall means high ISO settings and fast aperture lenses. I had two outfits with me for the nighttime work, a Nikon D810 equipped with Sigma 24mm and 35mm f/1.4 lenses. The second camera was the new Sony A7RII with its 42mp sensor. It had just arrived earlier in the week. I planned to use it with Leica M-lenses, but my good friend, Jeff Hirsch of Fotocare in New York, had a Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 lens he let me try.
The photo below, taken about 25 minutes after sunset, was captured with the Sony A7RII and Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 lens wide open with an ISO of 1250. The shutter speed was only 1/50 second, which was a bit risky, but I just keep my finger on the shutter button and capture so many images that one of them is bound to be sharp. I'd rather do that than raise the ISO and pick up excess noise. It's a technique I've used for years, and it usually works.
On my Nikon D810 I had an f/1.4 24mm lens, which gave me one extra stop resulting in an even lower ISO and higher shutter speed.
I'll be posting more on this aerial mission later in the week, plus a first-look review of the Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 lens.