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Author Topic: Sony Alpha 7 and lenses...  (Read 7916 times)
dreed
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« on: October 16, 2013, 05:13:53 PM »
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I'm not sure that I understand why anyone would buy an Alpha 7, Alpha 7R if it is size & weight that you're concerned about because once you get past prime lenses under ~135mm, the lens size starts to dominate the equation. Same again for any of the quality zoom lenses. The Alpha 7 & 7R will require lenses of similar size to the "L" lenses from Canon in order to deliver similar IQ.

In this, I think that it is m4/3 that is leading the way because the smaller sensor and camera allows for smaller and lighter lenses that deliver equivalent IQ to the larger ones.

So if I'm looking for a smaller and lighter camera system, I don't think that Alpha 7 is it. Then again nor is Canon's EOS-M, Nikon's 1 or Sony NEX.

Similarly if I'm prepared to have a 70-200 lens that's built for full-frame sensors, wouldn't I want to have a full size camera plugged onto the back of it to balance out the weight better?
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Bernard ODonovan
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2013, 06:31:53 PM »
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I'm not sure that I understand why anyone would buy an Alpha 7, Alpha 7R if it is size & weight that you're concerned about because once you get past prime lenses under ~135mm, the lens size starts to dominate the equation. Same again for any of the quality zoom lenses. The Alpha 7 & 7R will require lenses of similar size to the "L" lenses from Canon in order to deliver similar IQ.

In this, I think that it is m4/3 that is leading the way because the smaller sensor and camera allows for smaller and lighter lenses that deliver equivalent IQ to the larger ones.

So if I'm looking for a smaller and lighter camera system, I don't think that Alpha 7 is it. Then again nor is Canon's EOS-M, Nikon's 1 or Sony NEX.

Similarly if I'm prepared to have a 70-200 lens that's built for full-frame sensors, wouldn't I want to have a full size camera plugged onto the back of it to balance out the weight better?

Your question is very weighted  Grin

Lets look at some other factors...

EOS users that want D800E type resolution in full frame can use an adapter...

Users that do not need a Single Lens Reflex viewfinder (non action types) can do with the Mirrorless system...

Mirrorless means what is focused on the sensor IS focused better than a wonky DLSR mirror (D800 outer focus points anyone) to the limit of the lens shut down aperture focus shift.

No mirror slap!!!  Some DSLR bodies may feature soft systems and the lager machine gun pro models may have better damping and mass, but vibration is vibration and the only thing to shake in the SONY's are the shutters...

Full Frame...!  Some still like it ;-)   ultimately you are finding m4/3 is working for you, so go shoot and enjoy it...

Choice... If someone values a body that can one day be a light travel cam and the next on the end of a bigger longer lens, why ever not. In any case, I think the average user going for the longer glass may be more action oriented and so prefer a DSLR...

I know you not arguing for a DSLR but your having a dig at the inevitable, full frame glass will be big although SONY will obviously try to keep it smaller for this range...

Not forgetting you can bulk these out a bit if needed:



Live and let live... Happy shooting  Cool
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 07:24:02 PM by Bernard ODonovan » Logged
John Camp
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2013, 07:30:15 PM »
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I tend to agree with dreed on this. In his review of the GX7 (I think) Michael mentioned how much he enjoyed having a 600mm-equiv lens which he could hold in his hand, and also that he'd gotten many of his favorite street shots with it. I agree with that. In fact, that seems to me to be the whole point of small-body cameras -- small *systems.* I have a GX7 (I used to have two, but one broke) and both the 12-35 (24-70 equiv) and 35-100 (70-200 equiv) constant f2.8 lenses, and the longer of the two (the 35-100) is only about four inches long. The lens and camera together weigh less than my Nikon 70-200 lens alone, and makes a very small, fast system. The r version of the new Sonys is small, but if you want to hang a fast 70-200 on it...well, you might as well be shooting a Nikon or a Canon. I think it will make an excellent camera for those folks who like to go out with a fast 35 prime or a fast 50 prime and nothing else, but with the quality you can get from zoom lenses now, those people are pretty far between. And my GX7 with a fast prime will still be smaller...
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Bernard ODonovan
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2013, 08:20:48 PM »
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I tend to agree with dreed on this. In his review of the GX7 (I think) Michael mentioned how much he enjoyed having a 600mm-equiv lens which he could hold in his hand, and also that he'd gotten many of his favorite street shots with it. I agree with that. In fact, that seems to me to be the whole point of small-body cameras -- small *systems.* I have a GX7 (I used to have two, but one broke) and both the 12-35 (24-70 equiv) and 35-100 (70-200 equiv) constant f2.8 lenses, and the longer of the two (the 35-100) is only about four inches long. The lens and camera together weigh less than my Nikon 70-200 lens alone, and makes a very small, fast system. The r version of the new Sonys is small, but if you want to hang a fast 70-200 on it...well, you might as well be shooting a Nikon or a Canon. I think it will make an excellent camera for those folks who like to go out with a fast 35 prime or a fast 50 prime and nothing else, but with the quality you can get from zoom lenses now, those people are pretty far between. And my GX7 with a fast prime will still be smaller...

Very good points.. I think each system has it pros and cons. For high pixel/large sensor style these camera's will also make sense for some...

More choices can't be bad...

Some of the demo samples from the new K3 looked really nice.. That is another strong new camera by the looks. Again it will suit different people...
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davidgp
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2013, 12:34:23 AM »
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Not entirely true... Probably in long zooms like the 70-200 there is no going to be too much difference (in lens weight terms) with respect other full- frame solutions. But the biggest advantage in weight reduction is the lack of mirror, zooms in the range os 70 mm or lower will weight less since they need been less lens elements.

In the case of prime lens... Sony a7r + 35mm/2.8 weights less than Olympus e-m1 + 17mm/1.8... ( don't let the numbers missled you, a7r will still have shallow depth of field with that lens than the e-m1)
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dreed
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2013, 01:22:05 AM »
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In the case of prime lens... Sony a7r + 35mm/2.8 weights less than Olympus e-m1 + 17mm/1.8... ( don't let the numbers missled you, a7r will still have shallow depth of field with that lens than the e-m1)

Which comes back to what John Camp said earlier:

I think it will make an excellent camera for those folks who like to go out with a fast 35 prime or a fast 50 prime and nothing else, but with the quality you can get from zoom lenses now, those people are pretty far between.

And it would seem that from my initial estimate of it being 135mm or less, it has halved to 70mm or less.
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2013, 01:23:37 AM »
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I'm not sure that I understand why anyone would buy an Alpha 7, Alpha 7R if it is size & weight that you're concerned about because once you get past prime lenses under ~135mm, the lens size starts to dominate the equation. Same again for any of the quality zoom lenses. The Alpha 7 & 7R will require lenses of similar size to the "L" lenses from Canon in order to deliver similar IQ.
What is the size of HQ Leica UWA vs "equivalent" Nikon/Canon UWA? I would think that there is a significant gain from not having a mirror at wide-angle (possibly offset by complexity in micro lenses).
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So if I'm looking for a smaller and lighter camera system, I don't think that Alpha 7 is it. Then again nor is Canon's EOS-M, Nikon's 1 or Sony NEX.
May I recommend the Sony RX100M2? Then again, people have different requirements, and there is room for many different camera models.

I believe that the A7R may be a great house (we will see if actual performance matches expectations) for landscape wide-angle, macro, tilt&shift, street photography if you can find the right lenses. I am not so sure that it will be a great all-round/travel/pocketable/children snapping camera for that many people.
 
-h
« Last Edit: October 17, 2013, 01:27:23 AM by hjulenissen » Logged
Paulo Bizarro
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« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2013, 03:11:21 AM »
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I think you guys are focusing on too much detail, and forgetting the big picture: that these new Sony's are both compact and full frame... even if you want to use it with a 70-200 f2.8 lens, you can use the grip to get better balance. If you already have a Canon or Nikon FF and said zoom lens, would you change? Probably not?

What Sony is stating is that what was unthinkable a few years ago, is now possible: FF compact with fixed lens, FF compact interchangeable lens system, and let's not forget the RX100 and RX10. Sony is now the only camera maker that has a full suite of products to cater for everybody, and they are all very high quality, especially with the allure of Zeiss glass. And of course the big plus is to be able to use one's M mount lenses on a modern and high quality platform.
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dreed
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« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2013, 06:27:01 AM »
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I think you guys are focusing on too much detail, and forgetting the big picture: that these new Sony's are both compact and full frame... even if you want to use it with a 70-200 f2.8 lens, you can use the grip to get better balance. If you already have a Canon or Nikon FF and said zoom lens, would you change? Probably not?

But would you go into the FE mount fresh if you had nothing, knowing that it will not make your 300/2.8 lens significantly smaller as would moving to m4/3?

Sometimes detail is important and I think this detail will come into play ... but perhaps we should just wait and see what the reviewers say rather than speculate.

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What Sony is stating is that what was unthinkable a few years ago, is now possible: FF compact with fixed lens, FF compact interchangeable lens system, and let's not forget the RX100 and RX10. Sony is now the only camera maker that has a full suite of products to cater for everybody, and they are all very high quality, especially with the allure of Zeiss glass. And of course the big plus is to be able to use one's M mount lenses on a modern and high quality platform.

So if you don't own any M-mount lenses, then the FE camera system has considerably less appeal?
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barryfitzgerald
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« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2013, 08:09:46 AM »
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But would you go into the FE mount fresh if you had nothing, knowing that it will not make your 300/2.8 lens significantly smaller as would moving to m4/3?

Sometimes detail is important and I think this detail will come into play ... but perhaps we should just wait and see what the reviewers say rather than speculate.

So if you don't own any M-mount lenses, then the FE camera system has considerably less appeal?

Well no there are a lot of manual focus lenses out there and some really good ones too across many lens mounts.
A lot of these lenses (bar longer focal lengths) are much smaller size wise.

Forget the Alpha 7 lenses the appeal is not here (not for most) they are too big, too slow and if they ever release f2.8 zooms they'll be even more massive and expensive
To be blunt I think Sony are wasting their time trying to build up yet another lens system on E mount, very little appeal here unless they started doing pancake primes or something much more compact.


« Last Edit: October 17, 2013, 08:11:21 AM by barryfitzgerald » Logged
Telecaster
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« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2013, 01:32:52 PM »
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In the case of prime lens... Sony a7r + 35mm/2.8 weighs less than Olympus e-m1 + 17mm/1.8... (don't let the numbers missled you, a7r will still have shallow[er] depth of field with that lens than the e-m1)

IMO the DOF argument is a fallback position resorted to when other arguments fail to persuade.   Roll Eyes  I can pop an 85mm f/1.4 + Metabones SpeedBooster (a reverse TC, turns the lens into a 60mm f/1.0) on an m43 camera and shallow-DOF just about anyone into the ground. But in the real world it's largely a non-issue.

The A7(r) just needs more lenses! A 25/35/55/85/100mm set would pique my interest. Until then...nope.

-Dave-
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Paulo Bizarro
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« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2013, 03:01:14 AM »
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But would you go into the FE mount fresh if you had nothing, knowing that it will not make your 300/2.8 lens significantly smaller as would moving to m4/3?

When we talk about such lenses, you are going to use a tripod anyway. So the limitation here will be Ai servo speed, frame rate, and focus tracking reliability.

Sometimes detail is important and I think this detail will come into play ... but perhaps we should just wait and see what the reviewers say rather than speculate.

So if you don't own any M-mount lenses, then the FE camera system has considerably less appeal?

That is not what I said... it's an extra appeal. I also don't buy into denigrating these new cameras, just because the initial lens collection may not be complete, or to everyone's desire. After all, did Canon or Nikon introduce overnight the 60+ lenses in the EF or Nikon mount, for example? As a start, one can get the D800 quality in a much smaller package, and shoot with the FE Zeiss 35 and 55 mm lenses; or adapt existing M mount lenses. For shooting action or sports, it's not there yet, but for travel, landscape, documentary, street, etc, it's very attractive.
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dreed
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« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2013, 03:36:06 AM »
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Well maybe I'll just have to wait for Michael or someone to write a review where they compare using big lenses on the Alpha 7 range with using them on "traditionally" sized DSLRs.

Just now I'm trying to imagine how the Alpha 7 body is going to do when I've got it connected to a large prime or zoom on a tripod. Is the little camera going to break? Will it be too front heavy? Or will it just require using lenses that have lens to tripod mounts on lenses that traditionally didn't require them?
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Manoli
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« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2013, 04:10:05 AM »
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I'm not sure that I understand why anyone would buy an Alpha 7, Alpha 7R if it is size & weight that you're concerned about ...

I don't see the main, and only, attraction of these CSC cameras as just size and weight. Sony have just produced a FF version, which up to now was only available in APS-C format. They fill a void for a versatile alternative / back-up camera, as well as potential for a full and complete system in and of itself in the future.

Main advantages being : smaller size AND focus peaking (not available on OVF's)* combined with the versatility to mount a wide variety of lenses via an adapter (Canon, Nikon, Schneider PS-TC, Leica R, Leica M, Zeiss etc etc ..)

* ps And now, thanks to Fujifilm, something called Digital Split Image technology - available on the XE-2

So if you don't own any M-mount lenses, then the FE camera system has considerably less appeal?

Yes. But not just M-mount lenses, any high quality lenses.
Another perspective is that the A7 offers me little more than I'm already getting with my Fuji XE-1, other than FF.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 08:52:38 AM by Manoli » Logged
Manoli
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« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2013, 04:30:24 AM »
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Just now I'm trying to imagine how the Alpha 7 body is going to do when I've got it connected to a large prime or zoom on a tripod.

Below is an 80-400 mounted on an x-pro 1 ..


Or will it just require using lenses that have lens to tripod mounts on lenses that traditionally didn't require them?

I would have thought 'de rigeur' for any large lens, heavy weight combination, if you want to protect the camera from 'mount strain'. The majority of Metabones Speed Boosters include a tripod mounting foot. I suspect that the new versions of both adapters and Speed Boosters, to accommodate the FF, Sony (FE) mount will too.

What I'm unsure about is whether or not a new version will be required to accommodate the FE mount. I suspect it will.
http://www.metabones.com/buy-speed-booster/nikon-g-to-emount-speed-booster-detail
« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 04:58:20 AM by Manoli » Logged
barryfitzgerald
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« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2013, 05:04:57 AM »
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Such bodies are less well suited to bigger longer lenses. Yes you support big lenses and tripod them, but it's not ideal for such a small body handling and ergo wise.
Having listened to the shutter sound of the A7, it's not going to be the stealth camera some might want it to be (surprisingly loud really)

No idea why they have evidently no electronic front curtain either.
The other problem is at the wide end, it's going to be a lens designers nightmare to get good performance esp at ultra wide angles.
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Bernard ODonovan
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« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2013, 06:51:04 AM »
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...did Canon or Nikon introduce overnight the 60+ lenses in the EF or Nikon mount...

Here are the first few years of EOS:

YEAR   M   Lens
1987   3   EF50mm f/1.8
1987   3   EF35-70mm f/3.5-4.5
1987   3   EF35-105mm f/3.5-4.5
1987   3   EF100-300mm f/5.6
1987   4   EF15mm f/2.8 Fisheye
1987   4   EF28mm f/2.8
1987   5   EF70-210mm f/4
1987   6   EF100-300mm f/5.6L
1987   10   EF135mm f/2.8 Soft Focus
1987   11   EF300mm f/2.8L USM
1987   11   EF28-70mm f/3.5-4.5
1987   12   EF50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro
1987   12   EF50-200mm f/3.5-4.5

1988   6   EF28-70mm f/3.5-4.5 II
1988   6   EF35-135mm f/3.5-4.5
1988   6   EF50-200mm f/3.5-4.5L
1988   10   EF35-70mm f/3.5-4.5A
1988   11   EF24mm f/2.8
1988   11   EF200mm f/1.8L USM
1988   11   EF600mm f/4L USM
1988   12   EF100-200mm f/4.5A

1989   4   EF28-80mm f/2.8-4L USM
1989   9   EF50mm f/1.0L USM
1989   9   EF85mm f/1.2L USM
1989   9   EF80-200mm f/2.8L
1989   10   EF20-35mm f/2.8L

More here:

http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/Canon_new_lenses.html

For Canon the EOS mount was difficult for pre EOS users as they could not so easily use old glass on the new Canon standard without many issues.

Nikon fudged their way into AF so the recent fully electronic mount has had a mix and match history, which has it's pro's and con's but still uses the same basic mount

Not disagreeing with your comments just a reminder of what happened...
« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 06:54:47 AM by Bernard ODonovan » Logged
Bernard ODonovan
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« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2013, 06:57:22 AM »
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I think you guys are focusing on too much detail, and forgetting the big picture.....

Quite a broadside, I think you knocked out some friendly shipping  Grin
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dreed
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« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2013, 09:34:07 AM »
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I don't see the main, and only, attraction of these CSC cameras as just size and weight. Sony have just produced a FF version, which up to now was only available in APS-C format. They fill a void for a versatile alternative / back-up camera, as well as potential for a full and complete system in and of itself in the future.

But as a backup camera, you have to have a whole extra set of lenses unless you're using a converter and if you're using an adapter, you're faced with this problem:

There is no free lunch, episode 763: Lens Adapters

I keep reading size as being the reason but size only matters up to a certain point, after which the lens dominates due to the size of the sensor.
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barryfitzgerald
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« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2013, 09:44:31 AM »
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But as a backup camera, you have to have a whole extra set of lenses unless you're using a converter and if you're using an adapter, you're faced with this problem:

There is no free lunch, episode 763: Lens Adapters

I keep reading size as being the reason but size only matters up to a certain point, after which the lens dominates due to the size of the sensor.

I can't agree with this

Putting a great lens on your camera via an adapter might still be better than an average native-mount lens. On the other hand, that great lens certainly wouldn’t be as good as it would be on its native-mount camera.


Makes no sense. A native mount lens will make the rear elements sit very close to the sensor. An adaptor increases the sensor to element distance. Vignetting, corner softness are far bigger issues with rangefinder type cameras than they were with reflex cameras. MUCH more an issue with compact cameras too even with good quality lenses (35mm era again lens very close to film plane)

One reason we probably have not seen an UWA lens from Sony...it's going to be difficult to get good peripheral performance even with the new micro lenses.
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