Ever since I got the A7r five months ago, I've been wondering how well its files would print compared to my Phase DF and IQ180 back. Today, being a bit bored with our poor weather, I decided to find out.
I mounted the FE 55 mm f1.8 on the Sony and exposed at f8, ISO 200.
The Phase was equipped with SK 80 mm LS lens also set at f8 and ISO 200. Although both cameras were Gitzo-and-Cube mounted I felt the higher ISO was needed because it was a bit breezy and I wanted to freeze the trees.
As you can see, the horizontal field of view is almost identical with the 80 mm SK lens providing a slightly wider field of view. Exposure was "the right" as light as possible without losing the detail of the white lighthouse. Both files were processed in C1 at defaults; no additional sharpening was performed.
Because most of the prints I sell are around 30-50 inches wide I decided (arbitrarily) to print to 36 inches at 300 dpi on a 16 inch roll, cropping the pics to 7 inches high. As most of the rest of the frames were sky or water there didn't seem much point in printing those bits too.
I printed on a Canon Image Prograf at 16 bits on Epson Premium Luster.
Here's what I see in the prints.
1. To my surprise, given the DXO scores, the MFDB file has clearly greater dynamic range - I think one can see this even in the jpeg above.
2. There is better detail and micro contrast in the MF file - but the difference is not huge. The Sony files hold up extremely well.
3. The MF file is more accurate as respects colour.
4. A 36 inch print isn't far off the native size of the Sony file but as size increases the MF will surpass it. I made several prints from a 50% crop and MF was clearly ahead as one would expect.
My conclusion is that up to 36 inches, the Sony file is just about as good as the MF for resolution. Beyond that, no contest!
Just some fun !