Back to Basic with A7R
Old 03-26-2017   #1
fuwen
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Back to Basic with A7R

After tasting the Apo Distagon 55/1.4, I get hooked to the quality of Apo lens design. Prior to Otus I have not use any Apo lenses before (well, a Sigma designed Rollinar 70-210/3.5-4.5 Apo but I doubt it is a true Apo but nevertheless quite a good lens, and I am not rich enough to play Leica, even used). But Otus Apo is certainly very breath taking, in terms of resolution, almost completely free from fringing, and is so confident to use at the maximum aperture and the centre of the photo is still laser sharp! These are the common characteristics of Otus lenses, which I feel when using the Otus 55/1.4 and the 28/1.4. Even the 135/2 Apo Sonnar also feels the same, short of a f1.4 aperture.


So I began photography back around 1980s with a outfit of Praktica BC1, Prakticar 28/2.8, 50/1.8 and 135/2.8. As a kid I had been admiring the Rolleiflex SL35E and the Rollei 35S. When I was in University when I got my pay as a student working for industrial attachment I then bought the Praktica, thinking it was German but only later to find out it was East German and thus the very good price. Then it was a system I have no regret and the Praktica is definitely very value for money.



Of course after playing with a Rolleiflex SL2000F and a 50/1.8 Planar and 135/2.8 Sonnar I got immediately hooked to the Western Zeiss. After one big round I get back to the same point, now on digital with Sony Alpha 7R Mk II with Otus 28/1.4, 55/1.4 and 135/2. But things do not seem improve a lot. Yes now I have a set of outstanding primes covering my favourite focal lengths, extremely high quality, high resolution and Apo quality, and very fast aperture. But the weight of the outfit has increased more than double!



The original plan was go for Leica M mount lenses with the ZM series but unfortunately the wide angle ZMs do not work well on digital full frame, so that was really a disappointment and a bit felt cheated by Zeiss. But then Zeiss in the first place did mention they were design for Leica M digital, not other FF mirrorless.
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Old 03-26-2017   #2
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After using Otus 28/1.4, you will find Otus 55/1.4 very handy hahaha! Anyway, I am a 28mm fan. Rollei days I only have the HFT 25/2.8 Distagon (Don't quite like the Rolleinar HFT 28/2.8). Contax days I have the 28/2.8 and 28/2 Distagon. Luckily I am not a fan of 85mm so I save some money not going after the Otus 85/1.4 and will use the extinct ZM 85/2 instead.


Pulau Ubin Singapore, Alpha 7R, f5.6, 1/500-1/1000, ISO 100
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Old 03-26-2017   #3
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Pulau Ubin Chek Jawa, Alpha 7R, f4/5.6, 1/125, ISO 400


Crop of the centre
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Old 03-26-2017   #4
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http://www.fuwen.net/index.php/home/...apo-distagon-t
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Old 03-26-2017   #5
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135mm is always my favourite focal length. During Contax days though it is a difficult choice for me to choose between 135/2.8 Sonnar, 135/2 Planar and 100/2.8 Makro Planar, if I can only bring one of them with me. Now Zeiss has the 135/2 Apo Sonnar in Classic ZF and Milvus series. The Classic ZF series has the solid mechanical feel, but the Milvus is modern looking, weather proof and has a nice De-click feature for video shooting.

Interestingly the 135/2 Apo Sonnar has a very close focusing distance first time I see in Zeiss lenses, up to a close distance of 0.8m, closer to all the 135mm I have used for Praktica, Rolleiflex and Contax.


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Old 03-26-2017   #6
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Alpha 7R, f2.8, 1/500, ISO 100
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Old 03-26-2017   #7
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Alpha 7R, f2.8, 1/125-1/250, ISO 1000, Manfrotto 190XPROB/054Mg
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Old 04-05-2017   #8
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interesting post. no question about optical quality but than aren't those Otus lenses bit oversized on Sony?

Zeiss just announced 135 Batis for mirrorless, and the series consists of 18/2.8, 25/2, 85/1.8, 135/2.8.
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Old 04-05-2017   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarski View Post
interesting post. no question about optical quality but than aren't those Otus lenses bit oversized on Sony?

Zeiss just announced 135 Batis for mirrorless, and the series consists of 18/2.8, 25/2, 85/1.8, 135/2.8.
U are right about the size, the A7 series need to be used with the battery grip.

Have not touch the Batis as I am ok with manual focusing, but the Batis 135/2.8 Apo Sonnar is very tempting. The MTFs at f2.8 and f5.6 is almost identical meaning performance already very good at f2.8, with Apo performance!
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Old 04-05-2017   #10
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I like everything about the A7R except for:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yBrtCNrtVw
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Old 04-05-2017   #11
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Ah... there is always a Praktica creeping through cracks in this forum - I started with a BMS electronic back in the late 80's and the 50 f/1.8. Bought loads of them secondhand too - never seemed to last. I have plenty of happy memories using my BMS though and hundreds of ektachrome slides.

Sorry... i digress... no experience with the Sony or Zeiss unfortunately...
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Old 04-06-2017   #12
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Those Otus lenses are huge!

Hope to run into you in Singapore. I will be moving in by August for graduate school
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Old 04-06-2017   #13
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how come all the pic seems kind of blur?
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Old 04-07-2017   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p.giannakis View Post
Ah... there is always a Praktica creeping through cracks in this forum - I started with a BMS electronic back in the late 80's and the 50 f/1.8. Bought loads of them secondhand too - never seemed to last. I have plenty of happy memories using my BMS though and hundreds of ektachrome slides.

Sorry... i digress... no experience with the Sony or Zeiss unfortunately...
My BC1 still working fine though. . Prakticar certainly good value for money.....
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Old 04-07-2017   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bucs View Post
Those Otus lenses are huge!

Hope to run into you in Singapore. I will be moving in by August for graduate school
I am busy with 4 kids but do let me know when u are here! Welcome to Singapore.
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Old 04-07-2017   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newfilm View Post
how come all the pic seems kind of blur?
The photos are super sharp but I am lousy in preparing them for internet posting. Has been asking for a while can some body enlightens me on a simple work flow that will make the photos look sharp on the internet? Unfortunately I dun know how to use photoshop, just iPhoto on Mac mini....
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Old 04-09-2017   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuwen View Post
The photos are super sharp but I am lousy in preparing them for internet posting. Has been asking for a while can some body enlightens me on a simple work flow that will make the photos look sharp on the internet? Unfortunately I dun know how to use photoshop, just iPhoto on Mac mini....
I think iPhoto has this Web Export feature, which it can export and upload photo of your choosing to Flickr, which then flickr going to create multiple different size of the same photo for optimal web view. That should be great for a minimum no fuss web sharing of your image.
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Old 04-09-2017   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuwen View Post

The original plan was go for Leica M mount lenses with the ZM series but unfortunately the wide angle ZMs do not work well on digital full frame, so that was really a disappointment and a bit felt cheated by Zeiss. But then Zeiss in the first place did mention they were design for Leica M digital, not other FF mirrorless.
Not exactly back 2 basics, but this is my smaller version of your kit There is a 135/2.8 as well, that I don't use much.



Just a thought,

Roland.
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Old 04-09-2017   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p.giannakis View Post
Ah... there is always a Praktica creeping through cracks in this forum - I started with a BMS electronic back in the late 80's and the 50 f/1.8. Bought loads of them secondhand too - never seemed to last. I have plenty of happy memories using my BMS though and hundreds of ektachrome slides.

Sorry... i digress... no experience with the Sony or Zeiss unfortunately...
My first good camera was a Praktica, an LTL with that renowned 50mm Zeiss Tessar, I still have a fondness for that old camera and that lens.
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Old 04-09-2017   #20
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Hi Fuwen
is there any reason why you have not considered the Zeiss 55 1,8 AF
It also rather compact
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Old 04-09-2017   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pistach View Post
Hi Fuwen
is there any reason why you have not considered the Zeiss 55 1,8 AF
It also rather compact
I am ok with MF. Otus for the exemplary quality, a lens design that is so confident to use even at f1.4.

If the day I am lazy with weight, then I will bring along the ZM 50f2 : )
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Old 04-15-2017   #22
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ZF 135 f2 Apo Sonnar T*



Alpha 7R2, f4 1/125, ISO 200, Manfrotto 190XPROB/054Mg, 14 Jan 2017.




Alpha 7R2, f2.8/4 1/125, ISO 1000, Manfrotto 190XPROB/054Mg, 14 Aug 2016.
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