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Getting myself confused with the Sony A7 and lenses
Old 07-01-2015   #1
Austerby
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Getting myself confused with the Sony A7 and lenses

Hi

I've been reading a lot about the Sony A7 series cameras and have got myself somewhat confused about the differences between them as well as the lens choices available.

Does anyone know of a handy summary of the options and suggested routes, for example:

- what the A7 / A7ii / A7r / A7rii /A7s general purpose - eg is the A7R more for video, which is best for legacy lenses, which for action photos etc.

- the different lens options - I see Sony has the E and FE ranges, there's also Sony/Zeiss lenses and Zeiss lenses.

- what's the difference between the Loxia, Touit, and Batis lenses from Zeiss

- use of legacy lenses with lens adaptors

Maybe there's a book I can buy which helps me with getting my head around these options, or perhaps a website that explains it all?
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Old 07-01-2015   #2
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You can find some information here:

http://www.verybiglobo.com/sony-alph...s-a7s-ilce-7s/

There are many posts about manual lens on various Sony E mount cameras.

Please notice that author of the blog is also from Prague and friend of mine. I have no interest in his blog activities. His manual lens collection is well over 400 lens those days I think.
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Old 07-01-2015   #3
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A7 is the original.

A7R is without anti aliasing - landscape camera.

A7S is the video version

A7II has in body stabilization and a few changes

A7RII is still the landscape but adds the 4k like in the A7s. Claims of better AF.

All AF is bad in these cameras.

FE is a7 sony/zeiss pertnership series full frame glass.

Loxia is MF, full frame, Zeiss glass for A7 series, no sony involvement in lens design.

Touit is apsc zeiss.

Batis is AF zeiss, FullFrame, for A7 series.

Adapters are available for most mounts to use on the a7 series. I use leica M, pentax screw mount and canon EF. You can pretty much adapt anything to it.
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Old 07-01-2015   #4
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- A7ii is second generation of a7, both are 24mp but the a7ii has ibis (camera body image stabilization)
- A7rii is second generation of a7r (a7r is 36mp and a7rii is 42mp)
- A7s was designed as a extreme high ISO camera w/ good video capability by using a sensor w/ big pixels and reducing mp count to 12

There are a lot of other differences. Maybe easier to go over to preview.com. Look for cameras pull down menu. Select side by side camera comparison.

E mount lenses are for their apsc size sensor line like a6000 or nex 7. The fe mount lenses actually use the same mount design. The f in the fe is for symbolizing that this is a full frame e mount lens. Same difference as fx and dx on Nikon lenses. E and fe mount lenses can be use interchangeable. On a Sony a7, it is apsc cropped by default. Menu item to disable crop. Most apsc lenses will show a portion of their image circle vignetting when crop is disabled on the a7 family.

Toit are zeiss lenses design for apsc sensor. Loxia and Batis are also zeiss lenses design for full frame sensors. Loxia is manual focus only and Batis is af.

Gary
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Old 07-01-2015   #5
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Wafflecakee..yah beat me..I type too slow

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Old 07-01-2015   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austerby View Post
- use of legacy lenses with lens adaptors
I'll just chime in on this one. As already mentioned, adaptors are available for almost any mount. Most SLR lenses work well; however, if you want to go the path of smaller rangefinder lenses (like myself) you need to be careful about which ones will work - especially wides.
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Old 07-01-2015   #7
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As pointed out above, the A7s is only 12 mp, which is not a factor with video, but may be a big factor, depending on what kind of photography you do, when shooting still photos.
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Old 07-01-2015   #8
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This is fantastically helpful - just the clarity I was looking for. Thanks.
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Old 07-01-2015   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP Owens View Post
As pointed out above, the A7s is only 12 mp, which is not a factor with video, but may be a big factor, depending on what kind of photography you do, when shooting still photos.
As much as pixel count obviously is an issue at some point, I was surprised to see an 18" x 27" print from the A7s recently that was absolutely superb.
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Old 07-01-2015   #10
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The image quality out of the a7s is astounding.
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Old 07-01-2015   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wafflecakee View Post

All AF is bad in these cameras.
Complete BS!
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Old 07-01-2015   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
Complete BS!
Missed that comment about bad af. Af on original a7r was slower than expected, but I have been told has been fixed in a7rii. The a7 and a7s are fine. The mk2 versions have the update af algo from the a6000, which should be very good. If u expect pro dslr af speed, ain't gonna happen w/ current set of cameras though.

For me, the nex family, the a6000 and a7 are mainly my universal back for my legacy slr and rf lenses.

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Old 07-01-2015   #13
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I have the a7, it's unusable for event work. I've got my fingers crossed that they've nailed it in the a7r2 but I'm not holding my breath.

I shoot M lenses most of the time because it's faster.
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Old 07-01-2015   #14
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I find this helpful. http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/topic102992.html
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Old 07-01-2015   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wafflecakee View Post
I have the a7, it's unusable for event work. I've got my fingers crossed that they've nailed it in the a7r2 but I'm not holding my breath.

I shoot M lenses most of the time because it's faster.
Is it due to low light related focusing issues. I find my a7 is good enough in good light, but as light gets dimmer..not so good. The mk2 versions of both the a7 and a7r are supposed to have the af focus improvements of the a6000 which in general is much better than the a7 and a heck of a lot faster than the a7r. I only have the 35f2.8 as my only fe mount lens though, so I really don't have a lot of data points..I mainly use it w/ legacy lenses.

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Old 07-01-2015   #16
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Good light but the 55mm. I'm hoping for improvements. Then again I'm looking to sell the 55 and get the loxia anyway.
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Old 07-01-2015   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wafflecakee View Post
I have the a7, it's unusable for event work. I've got my fingers crossed that they've nailed it in the a7r2 but I'm not holding my breath.

I shoot M lenses most of the time because it's faster.
Unusable compared to what? Any mirrorless is going to look pretty bad compared to a 1D...

I agree with the M lenses being faster, though. manual focus in general is more reliable in difficult light conditions - even on SLRs.
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Old 07-01-2015   #18
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The A7 (and A7ii) are the general purpose cameras. The A7S performs best with legacy WA lenses, although cyan corners show up on some of them.

For legacy lens use I highly recommend the Kolari Vision thin filter stack modification. It puts the A7/r/s (not available on A7ii) roughly on par in terms of legacy lens performance with the M9. But if you work mostly with 35mm or longer, the regular bodies are good enough regarding Rangefinder lens use. For SLR lenses, compatibility is generally very good.
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Old 07-01-2015   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YYV_146 View Post
Unusable compared to what? Any mirrorless is going to look pretty bad compared to a 1D...

I agree with the M lenses being faster, though. manual focus in general is more reliable in difficult light conditions - even on SLRs.
5d2. I know mirrorless hasn't caught up yet but that came out in 2008. It's just not a great system. It does the job if you've got time but for event work I'm usually not using my A7.
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Old 07-01-2015   #20
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Yeah.. If u need pro dslr performance.. Right now nothing in mirrorless is close. Expectations on af speed is always relative to your use. So a lot depends on how fast u really need, whether the new af algo and better hw will make a difference.

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Old 07-01-2015   #21
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I use and enjoy the Sony cameras for most of my work and find the AF adequate, especially for the body/lens combinations with Hybrid AF (contrast and phase detection).

For long tele, e.g. shooting birds, it's back to SLR. Otherwise I like the Sonys.

I think the Sony/Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 is a superb lens. The Touit 32mm is a great normal on APSC cameras now that Hybrid AF is supported for this lens.
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Old 07-01-2015   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
Complete BS!
I agree that without context that may be a BS comment , but so is your comment It is BS, compared to a D4s
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Old 07-02-2015   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryLH View Post
Af on original a7r was slower than expected, but I have been told has been fixed in a7rii.
Honestly, I used the A7r and it was fine... and anyone who knows me can tell you that I rely on fast AF.
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Old 07-02-2015   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisLivsey View Post
I agree that without context that may be a BS comment , but so is your comment It is BS, compared to a D4s
Well, of course... but compared to other mirrorless cameras, it is a tiny bit slower than the best of the best.
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Old 07-02-2015   #25
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I have M-mount and Nikon F lenses mostly so will be using lens adapters.

I do have a new and rather lively young hound who I really do need AF for to capture in her prime, so will maybe look at the Batis 25mm.
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Old 07-02-2015   #26
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Hope you don't mind but I'll just add a <<few notes>> to your post.

I use the Sony A7R, A7S and A7 II
Quote:
Originally Posted by wafflecakee View Post
A7 is the original. <<24 MPixel, no IBIS (in body image stabilization)>>

A7R is without anti aliasing - landscape camera. <<36 MPixel, no IBIS, no electronic 1st shutter or silent mode shooting>>

A7S is the video version <<12 MPixel, 4K video but no in-camera recording, great camera for low light photography, no IBIS, both electronic 1st shutter and silent mode shooting>>

A7II has in body stabilization and a few changes <<same 24 MPixel sensor, still worse image quality than either A7R or A7R but IBIS does help, electronic 1st shutter and silent mode shooting>>

A7RII is still the landscape but adds the 4k like in the A7s. Claims of better AF. <<42.4 MPixel, IBIS, new BSI sensor for improved image quality and higher ISO performance, claims of faster AF with 3rd party lenses still unconfirmed but looks good...>>

All AF is bad in these cameras. <<AF is actually pretty good on all the A7 series cameras when using Sony FE lenses, at least for my usage; wildlife, landscape, portraits, general shooting. AF is mostly unusable with adapted 3rd party lenses>>

FE is a7 sony/zeiss pertnership series full frame glass. <<"FE" is simply "full frame E-mount"; no different than normal Sony E-mount but is used to specify full frame E-mount lenses>>

Loxia is MF, full frame, Zeiss glass for A7 series, no sony involvement in lens design.

Touit is apsc zeiss.

Batis is AF zeiss, FullFrame, for A7 series.

Adapters are available for most mounts to use on the a7 series. I use leica M, pentax screw mount and canon EF. You can pretty much adapt anything to it.
<<I adapter Canon EF & FD, Pentax, Minolta, Sigma, Tamron, M42 and T2 lenses to Sony A7 series bodies. Image quality is great! Manual focus is faster than autofocus with adapted 3rd party lenses. Hopefully this will change with the A7R II!?>>
Adapting some Nikon lenses to A7 series bodies has been a problem; however, rumors exist of (automatic) adapters being developed. Nikon's use of a mechanical interface on their lenses has posed a problem with adapting them to other mounts.

High quality Sony/Zeiss lenses are expensive! I use the A7 kit lens (28-70mm), 24-240mm and 70-200mm, f/4. The 28-70 is a reasonable general purpose lens. I find the 24-240 actually better than the 70-200. The 70-200 is soft on the edges/corners and is quite terrible for astrophotography (serious star stretch on edges and in corners!); not nearly as good as an adapted Canon 70-200 f/2.8!

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Old 07-02-2015   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwana4swahili View Post
Hope you don't mind but I'll just add a <<few notes>> to your post.

I use the Sony A7R, A7S and A7 II


Adapting some Nikon lenses to A7 series bodies has been a problem; however, rumors exist of (automatic) adapters being developed. Nikon's use of a mechanical interface on their lenses has posed a problem with adapting them to other mounts.

High quality Sony/Zeiss lenses are expensive! I use the A7 kit lens (28-70mm), 24-240mm and 70-200mm, f/4. The 28-70 is a reasonable general purpose lens. I find the 24-240 actually better than the 70-200. The 70-200 is soft on the edges/corners and is quite terrible for astrophotography (serious star stretch on edges and in corners!); not nearly as good as an adapted Canon 70-200 f/2.8!

bwa
I almost wonder if you have a decentered 70-200 f/4, as that lens was supposed to be pretty good.

The 24-240 is an unexpected hero I guess, as other reports also say it's not bad, and one guys claimed it beat his 24-70 at around 40mm.
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Old 07-02-2015   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwana4swahili View Post
All AF is bad in these cameras. <<AF is actually pretty good on all the A7 series cameras when using Sony FE lenses, at least for my usage; wildlife, landscape, portraits, general shooting. AF is mostly unusable with adapted 3rd party lenses>>
AF with the Techart Contax G adapter may suffer (probably from vignetting of the PD pixels) if the lenses are stopped down significantly - the wide angles are worst affected, the 28mm starts focus hunting or misfocusing from f/5.6, the 21mm is better used manual. Wide open the 28mm and up are not much slower or less accurate than on the Contax G1, and the longer the lens, the less vulnerable it is to the effect - the 90mm indeed does fare better than on the G1 up to f/8 or 11.

AF with Canon EF lenses seems to have issues with power constraints, and perhaps undocumented communication between Canon lenses and bodies - it is slow, prone to misfocus and reportedly does work better only with some third-party lenses.

There are no other AF capable mounts so far - but predictably those that have no auto aperture will run into the same issues as the Contax G adapter.
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Old 07-02-2015   #29
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I almost wonder if you have a decentered 70-200 f/4, as that lens was supposed to be pretty good.

The 24-240 is an unexpected hero I guess, as other reports also say it's not bad, and one guys claimed it beat his 24-70 at around 40mm.
Is there an easy way to check for "decentering"?

bwa
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Old 07-02-2015   #30
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Quote:
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Is there an easy way to check for "decentering"?

bwa
Find a flat surface and shoot with the camera centered, then checking for the resolution of each corner.

I agree that the lens may have something wrong. I don't currently own a copy, but my impression is that it is quite likely the sharpest 70-200mm zoom currently available, outperforming the older Canon design by a good margin and holds its own against the 70-200mm F2.8 IS II.
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Old 07-03-2015   #31
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I'm wondering how the a7rII will do with legacy m-mount lenses with its newly redesigned sensor. By the looks of the sensor design, seems like it would do well, perhaps better than all the others. We'll just have to see.
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Old 07-03-2015   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YYV_146 View Post
Find a flat surface and shoot with the camera centered, then checking for the resolution of each corner.

I agree that the lens may have something wrong. I don't currently own a copy, but my impression is that it is quite likely the sharpest 70-200mm zoom currently available, outperforming the older Canon design by a good margin and holds its own against the 70-200mm F2.8 IS II.
I already know the resolution in the corners and on the edges is far worse than the center from attempting to shoot star fields with the lens. The Canon 70-200 f/2.8 does a far superior job!

Is this something fixed by Sony support or am I just being too picky WRT to Sony's 70-200 lens?

Based on its present performance I would probably sell it and keep the 24-240 lens...

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