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One year with Sony Alpha cameras and ZEISS E-mount lenses. Developing my own photographic eye in a in a scratch book manner. Hunting the stream of inspiration and sharing it through a popular blog platform.
This is what 'Days of Zeiss' is all about.




RIP Sony Nex-5N

Toni Ahvenainen

Sony A7 & ZEISS Loxia 2/50 – f/16, 2sec, ISO100, raw Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen

Sony A7 & ZEISS Loxia 2/50 – f/16, 2sec, ISO100, raw
Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen

It's dead. You can see it by looking at its eye: forever closed and the retina behind the eyelids will never again see the beautiful projections of light and shadows created by life. My beloved Sony Nex-5N had a heart attack (shutter failure) and didn't recover from it. What was left is a shallow corpse of once inspirational device with approximately 90 000 shutter cycles in its sleeve. Sure, after four years of hard use it was already approaching the end its lifecycle, but it breaks my heart to see the life escaping from this particular unit which was so inspirational to me and now it is basically transforming to an electronic waste. But one cannot fight against the facts of life: the light that burns twice as bright will surely burn out twice as fast as well.

To be honest, this already happened just before summer and during the recent times I didn't use my Nex-5N so much anymore as I have the full frame Sony A7 as well. However, to me, the Nex-5N was an exceptional camera as it made me the photography enthusiast that I am today. Not only did I use it to capture some of the most important moments of my life (our first born child Aura), but I also managed to use it to create my earlier 365-project '52 Weeks of Sony Alpha Photography' which helped me to start collaboration with Sony & Zeiss. With the Nex-5N I fell in love with the dark lo-key style that I have, learned a lot from photography and of course captured many beautiful moments that today represent my past in a visual form. Sure, I had used digital and analog cameras before as well (often loaned ones from my friends), but none of them inspired me like the Nex-5N. The concept of this little cutie was perfect for me as it was so small, made photography easy to approach and at the same time provided image quality that was most of the time a bit better than the traditional APS-C DSLRs could offer at that time. If Sony knows something it is thinking outside of the box. Of course you can buy new and many ways better cameras today, but you only get to buy that special camera once in your life time which will make you a photography enthusiast. I'm glad that it was the Sony Nex-5N for me.

As inspirational as the Nex-5N was for me at the time, I must confess that during the years I sucked all of its potential and eventually it began to tire me (and which was also reason why I upgraded to full frame A7). The most irritating thing was the lack of a proper viewfinder and the tourist way of photographing with it with my arms stretched forward. Somehow I also got tired of using my two lenses with it (SEL50F18 & SEL1855) and how the files looked (even though the SEL50F18 provided great image quality). This all changed when I started this project with new equipment and the my story continues with the Sony A7. I believe that changing the gear you use can definitely breath in some fresh air to your photography, but I would advice to change more than just camera body to really get a new look into your photography. If I could I would change the whole camera setup for each year to break out of the routines and start all over again every year with a fresh tools. This is also one of the reasons I created this project: to give myself a fresh start and an opportunity to find that original inspiration again.

As I already wrote this sudden death of my beloved Nex-5N happened at early summer. Already then I wanted to create this tribute to my most inspirational camera, but as I was concentrating on summer pictures I decided to do it later on. So the Nex-5N sat on my desk waiting to be buried in a proper way and I kept it just for this picture and blog post. Now that I'm done and the unit has finally fulfilled its last task I have to admit that it is hard for me to just throw it in the trashcan of electronic waste – I feel emotionally attached to it. But I guess that's just the way of life as everything dies and the life must continue. Rest in peace my beloved Nex-5N.

Ps. Nah, in the end I decided to put in to carton box where I store all kinds of random stuff and memories from my life. Sitting there with other memories is, I guess, a proper end location for the camera that made a photographer.