Keeping Reptiles

Timmy the Greyhound

I have kept, cats, dogs, birds, fish, hamsters and snakes.

Currently we have a Ted the Greyhound, two birds, and two snakes; Oz the Corn snake and Bertie the baby boa.

Of all of these reptiles are both the easiest and the hardest. The advantage of the types of reptiles I keep is that they do not need to feed, often for weeks at a time, a big bowl of water can last several days.

Some reptiles are more difficult than others, please do you research, some of my vivariums are over two hundred cm by ninety cm. Not everyone can afford the space for these sizes of vivarium, and if your keeping lizards or some large pythons you will need to dedicate a large room.

The key to keeping them is to do your research. You need to give them the room they need. You need to know the temperature they need to be kept at and whether you need to change that temperature during the day and night and by season.

Often you need to provide a high ambient temperature, a hot spot and a cold area.

Next humidity. This can be a challenge, pick your vivarium carefully, glass, plastic and wood are your options. You also need to consider your substrate. Does it need to increase humidity or decrease it. Will it cause issue with feeding, does your reptile like to borrow?

Lighting, some want heat but not light, others need a UVB source, but also want to be able to hide from the light sometimes.

Bertie the Boa, less then one year old

Lastly making the reptile feel safe; hides in the cold area and hot area is a minimum. Too much glass can make your pet feel exposed, does it need a dark area to hide in.

As I said, research is key. Choose the right pet and know your subject to give them a good life, and you can give each other years of pleasure.

Having a mini project – Lamp Posts

Leica M10, 50mm Sumilux-M

While I shoot professionally, mainly corporate and events plus model portfolios and the odd wedding I also try to have a walk around Lincoln at least a couple of times a week.

Its a very photogenic little city.

I often have a number of projects on the go, my main ones are drinks and doors at the moment, plus people on the on the phone, but I also have a lamp post and signs project. Simple little projects like this give you a focus when you are lacking in direction.

Its an easy thing to do and can lead to some interesting future ideas and keeps your interest when you need some inspiration.

Mirrorless: who is winning

I see a lot in the press and the general internet chatter that Nikon is playing catchup.

Leica SL2

So who is winning the game for full frame mirrorless autofocus bodies.

Well on specs just looking at bodies one would say Sony is leading. The highest megapixel count. They already have a large selection of lens from themselves and third parties. Out of the box the autofocus feels faster then the other manufactures.

The reality is that any camera today is good, I always rate cameras with how they feel in the hand, how quick can you change a setting, especially with the camera to the eye. This is where Nikon and Canon come to the fore. Both have excellent handling but each follows there own preferences; a Canon user will prefer the Canon and the Nikon user will prefer the Nikon.

The handling on the Panasonic is less ergonomic than the big two but still beats the Sony, but in handling terms I would give Leica the points as best in this department. Leica is simple and straightforward.

Feature wise on the bodies, actually there’s not much in it, despite what you will hear, there are all quite close and with sensors with these megapixel counts the 16 MP lead the Sony has over the Canon means very little.

So on the bodies, feature set is about even, Sony have a slight lead on the megapixel front, but in handling its Leica, Nikon and Canon at the top. Fuji and Panasonic / Olympus take the middle ground with Sony bring up the rear.

Lets now look at lens. Sony has been in the mirrorless game the longest and there are plenty of lens to pick from. If cost is not an option the Leica L mount glass is simply in another league. The native Nikon Z glass, especially the S designation is simply outstanding and comes in at a price below that of the equivalent Canon or Sony glass.

For an all round camera I would say the Nikon Z range and glass takes the win. If price is not an option and the glass is key, pick the L system glass and pair it with the Leica or Panasonic. If you need the megapixels pick the Sony and pair it with their G series glass or Zeiss glass but again that’s putting it in Leica L glass prices. In recent tests the Nikon Z glass with the S designation topped many of the Zeiss glass lens.

So who in my opinion is winning? Glass its Leica then Nikon, body performance out of the box Sony, then Canon and Nikon ignoring ergonomics, but dive into the settings and customise, its a close call between Canon and Nikon. Trying to use the cameras its Leica, with Canon and Nikon joint second. As a Nikon fan ignoring cost its Leica who is top for pure usability and image quality, but you have to weigh in the fact that third party companies like Profoto are going to support Canon and Nikon first. I’ll give Canon and Nikon a joint lead on overall system, the Sony megapixel lead and their poor ergonomics is not enough.

I see on the internet and especially YouTube’s batting against Nikon hard. Those first models that hit the press were pre-production models, but any issues are now over, as a system camera its Canon with Nikon a hair behind. Out of the box without customising a Sony will focus faster but dive into the settings and Nikon will beat it. I would say if you’re a Nikon user pick Nikon, a Canon user pick Canon. If you are not already in a system with a collection of glass, then pick Nikon, the glass is better for the cost than the others.

So for the win in overall system terms, and value for money and performance, I give Nikon the win, Canon a hair breadths behind, the Canon body may be a fraction better but the better Nikon glass at lower cost gives the win to Nikon, especial with the over heating issues Canon has had.

Leica SL2-S Announced

The new cheaper faster Leica SL2 the SL2-S

The mirrorless wars are mounting up.

If your after high res bodies, lens that are simply unmatched but with options and choice from Leica, Panasonic and the now ever growing list of L mount glass; the L Alliance is leading the way.

Now Leica give us more options, a low resolution Leica SL2 with a 24 MP sensor, optimised for speed and video with a promise of a coming firmware update to greatly up the ant in autofocus performance.

The new Photoshop and Lightroom

During lockdown I have cancelled my December photoshoots and moved the November shoots to December.

In the meantime I have been trying out a few things. First up, testing my tethering, for which I have purchased a new cable. Secondly testing out a few ideas about colour temperature.

Lastly Adobe have released new version of Photoshop and Lightroom. The shot above was taken earlier in the year, but I have heavily edited it and played around with the new colour grading software.

Its a bit over the top but was a fun quick edit and has taught me quite a lot about the new functionality in these two produces.

COVID-19 Lock Down – its been a while

Leica M10, 50mm Summilux-M – Highstreet chores

I was organising a few old photographs from the beginning of this year and noticed that I have not take any street photography shots since March.

One of the reasons I like using my Leica is the challenge, focusing and composing the shot, getting the metering right with the old fashioned centre weighted meter; in fact my M4 has no meter, only my M8 and M10.

I am going to be seriously out of practice.