Frank Petronio photographer


Five frame panorama from Nikon D810 with Zeiss 50/1.4 Milvus lens. It’s hard to display really wide pans (this is 6:1) but if you go full screen on a large monitor (like an iMac 5K) it looks fantastic. 

Sigma 135/1.8 ART Lens Samples

So I took this lens to Universal Orlando and these are simple grab shots. It is very sharp, has pleasing bokeh, excellent build quality – and this is key – fast, accurate auto-focus thanks to a more powerful ring motor. It burns my ass that a $1600 pro Nikon f/1.4G lenses have pokey mediocre auto-focusing. I tried the Zeiss 135/2 ZF2 shortly beforehand, that is also a superior lens but it is manual focus only.

Still I’m not in love with the 135mm focal length so I’m selling it along with the Sigma USB dock (which is very useful! I wish other companies had similar products). 

Harry Potter and amusement parks… meh, my familial duty and it put joy in the hearts of the women but I feel for the working class stiffs obligated to take their kids to these overpriced amusement parks in the same way they save up for outrageous college tuitions. Both are huge rip-offs. 

Beretta 1301 Tactical

When I stopped shooting 3-gun I traded my Taran Tactical Benelli M2 towards an Atlas 2011 pistol, figuring I’d do less taxing USPSA matches (We’ll see about that). For home defense and fun shotgunning, I bought a used Remington 870 and proceeded to build it up (forged extractor, low drag follower, buckshot choke, Tritium front bead, and Magpul furniture). And it’s the nicest 870 I’ve ever had (of six or seven) but I found myself spoiled by the Italian semi-automatics… caught myself short stroking the pump action one too many times. It’s still for sale, only $500, taking a haircut on it. 

So I bought a discounted Beretta 1301 Tactical with the carbine-length 18.5” barrel and soft-shooting gas system for $700 on sale (a new M2 Field is about $1250). I had already owned a nice 1301 Comp so I knew they were nice guns – they have less recoil than the inertia-driven Benellis, otherwise fit and finish are similar (both are owned by Beretta, the world’s oldest arms manufacturer). Out of the box the gun was fine but I couldn’t leave it alone and sent it to Steve Rose at Rose Action Sports in Kentucky. He opened up the loading port, radiused the stock, threaded the barrel for Rem-Chokes, polished the trigger, adjusted the too-tight shell catch, and throated the barrel. I also added a protective housing over the rim of the bolt release to prevent inadvertent shell dumping. I added some Noveske and Magpul QD sockets for my VTAC sling. Now I have a quick-pointing, low-recoil shotgun that shoots slugs as well as my accurized Benelli – it’s like a rifle out to 100 yards, especially using the ghost ring sights instead of the traditional bead or fiber optic. I could take it 3-Gunning if I added a longer extension tube (no big deal) but more likely it will be my ultimate HD gun with a Surefire LED mounted upfront. As well as being a fun blaster for range days. If I did go hunting then it would probably be one of the nicest deer set-ups ever. 

Might be fun to take clay shooting just to shake up FUDDs – I believe it can shoot five rounds per second. 

I’m hardly a gunsmith but I know what I like so I end up modifying my guns to suit, just like my cameras. 

Perfect Last Day of Skiing

Greer Hill, cut in 1939

Had my best day of skiing in years yesterday. Friends know that I’ve been battling swelling and pain from Rheumatoid Arthritis so much that I’ve been barely able to ski more than a handful of runs at a time (some days I’ve only done one and done). But by doing yoga and changing meds I’ve gradually improved. Luckily I hit Holimont on a perfect bluebird day, just below freezing. Their grooming was top notch and I am not shy about admitting I like making GS turns on fast, smooth cruisers. Now the weather calls for a week of warmer, rainy days and my knees don’t abide by slush, so I’ve stoned and waxed my skis and washed and treated my ski clothes to be ready for better season next year. Kudos to Holimont for their superb operation, it’s really the best skiing in New York.

Me on Greer Hill

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