I took my Sony RX1 out last Saturday on a photography outing with a few friends. The place is Gardens By the Bay, which was just launched last year in Singapore and I have never been there before. So I feel it may be good to pay a visit and also see whether I can grab some good photos using my RX1. To be honest, Sony RX1 isn't the perfect candidate for shooting macro photos. The Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm F2 on RX1 is not a macro lens. Though it indicates as macro if you turn the focus ring to 0.2-0.35m. The magnification factor is only 0.26x (A typical macro lens would have a magnification ratio of 1, or at least 0.5).
So how do I get something similar to those macro lens? Of course, I played a small trick here. There is a digital zoom function in RX1 which provides maximum of 2.0x cropped image. Thanks to its 24 mega pixel sensor, the photo resolution can still remain at 2640*1760 even after the 2x digital zoom. With the help of digital zoom. We can get a magnification ratio of 0.52, which is decent for close-up shots.
Another problem is that RX1 may struggle a bit when trying to focus on the small subject, for example, the stamen of the flower. That's when we need the manual focus. As lens is getting closer, the depth of field becomes really small. That means most of things in the picture will be out of focus. To keep the depth of field large enough, the aperture should be adjust to small such as F22. However, a small aperture will most likely decrease the shutter speed which causes the photos blurry. So usually I'll shoot at F8 or F11 depending on the lighting.
Basically that's how I shoot the macro photos using my RX1. If I want to get more decent close-up shots, I'll need to use a tripod and that would be a whole different story for that setting.
Here are some of my experience with the Sony RX1 shots so far.
1. Photos are extremely sharp. The lens is already producing sharp images even at F2. Then you could imagine how sharp that is when the aperture steps down to F5.6 or F8. That's like you are seeing the subject with your naked eye.
2. Digital zoom is really a great feature here. Although I could crop the original picture on my computer later anyway, it helps framing the photos properly on the spot. So I don't have to go through the cropping hassle at the post process stage.
3. The colors are rich and correctly reflected in the photo. I don't have any issues and I don't even bother to increase the contrast in my post-process - I usually did that for most photos taken by other cameras.
Below are some photos I got for this trip. The photos are straight out of JPG without post processing. Hope you enjoy them!