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One more A7r shutter question

I've been using a Leica Monochrom for BW and an A7 as a casual color camera. I've accumulated some good Zeiss C/Y lenses to use on the A7. But now my MM needs to go to NJ for servicing, and I'm considering acquiring an A7r body for BW conversions while the MM is out-of-commission. I figure that if it weren't for the A7r's shutter vibration, 36MP BW-converted A7r files should look just about as good as 18MP MM files without a Bayer array.

I understand that to avoid vibration, A7r folks have been shooting at 1/250 or above, or weighing down the body on a tripod with various heavy objects (did anyone try York barbells?). I've been thinking about longer exposures as a solution, and I wonder about the pattern and duration of vibrations.

I photograph landscapes with fairly long exposures. So I wonder if the shutter shakes as it opens, as it closes, or all-the-time? My thought is that if it vibrates only on opening or closing, then fairly long exposures would be relatively free of vibration effects. But if that's so, how long would exposures need to be? 1/8? 1/2? 2 or 4 seconds? Too long to be practical?

I'd appreciate any info / advice / experience about this,

Kirk
 

iiiNelson

Active member
My advice is to rent one and see if it works for you. I regularly use the A7R with lenses as long as 180mm no problem. Higher shutter speeds help for many. I don't think you will notice any shitter vibration at all with short to medium telephoto at "normal" shutter speeds (focal length < 135mm.)
 

Stefan Steib

Active member
It all depends on your tripod and head - and the masses of camera (I use the battery grip, now Meike) and lens and how they are mounted(preferrably tripod collar). I have an old Benbo MK5 (10kg!) with the large Benboball (size like an Arcaball=huge and heavy) and with this I can even use my 300 and 500mm and images are pinsharp.

But that is also valid for all DSLRs, my converted 5D MK2 with removed antialiasing filter is exactly the same, also an HCam with longer lenses or any MF body NEEDS a stable mounting.

I am using this stuff since my 8x10" Viewcameras for nearly 30 years now and I never had any problems since.

But I am also perfectly OK shooting shorter lenses up to 200mm out of hand with the A7R. The Battery Grip makes a huge difference, much recommended.

It´s the weight Buddy, either your back hurts or the images...... :angel:
 
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Vivek

Guest
..36MP BW-converted A7r files should look just about as good as 18MP MM files without a Bayer array.


Kirk
Kirk, No.

I had the A7r with me when I visited some new additions to the family but only the MM was used and that the wise choice.



Leica MM, Jupiter-3 50/1.5
 

Stefan Steib

Active member
Hi Vivek and Kirk

can an A7R replace an M9 Mono for BW ?

Yes or better if you want and need to modify the color balance for the BW conversion (filtering!).

No - maybe the M9 Mono will be a bit better when you really use filters when shooting(so carry around a whole bunch of them for all lens diameters and steppings,as light middle,dark red etc.pp.), but as it is AFTER the shot the image is as the name says BW. No more chance to modify the balance for BW conversion. Plus - 1-4 stops loss for that - add a tripod most of the time.

my 5 cents.

Regards
Stefan
 
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Vivek

Guest
Hi Vivek and Kirk

can an A7R replace an M9 Mono for BW ?

Yes or better if you want and need to modify the color balance for the BW conversion (filtering!).

No - maybe the M9 Mono will be a bit better when you really use filters when shooting(so carry around a whole bunch of them for all lens diameters and steppings,as light middle,dark red etc.pp.), but as it is AFTER the shot the image is as the name says BW. No more chance to modify the balance for BW conversion. Plus - 1-4 stops loss for that - add a tripod most of the time.

my 5 cents.

Regards
Stefan
Stefan, No disrespect to you at all but your 5 cents are worthless when it comes to this. Call it Leica induced inflation if you want. :D

(Not just A7 series, you can take and try to compare any Bayer dyed camera with similar sized out there.)
 

johnnygoesdigital

New member
I think vibration could still be an issue with longer exposures, but it really depends on the focal length. If you're shooting wide angles then vibration is less of a concern. The A7 has EFC, so no vibration at all, but if wanting to shoot without a Bayer array then the Fuji Xt1 is probably the next best thing to the MM...seriously, it's really good at B/W, and all your M lenses can be adapted. Prints up to 24x36 should be fine with an X, but since you have the A7, probably no need to switch.

When I shoot "wet plate" on glass sheets vibration is always a concern. To counter that I open the shutter, let it settle, then remove the lens caps for exposure and replace it at after the timed interval. Being careful to remove/replace the lens cap is key, but it does work. Usually, a slightly oversized lens cap works perfect, so you don't have to pinch the standard Sony cap and risk vibration.
 
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turtle

New member
Evidence shows that lenses under 50mm don't show vibration issues at any speed and exposures over about 1/4s, with any FL, don't have issues, but this would require testing with your set up especially if you have very long lenses.

Vibration is definitely an issue for some people under some circumstances, but I shoot mostly wides and have never seen it in practical use. I have not seen it with my 55mm FE, tho some say they have. With a 90mm, I would avoid anything between 1/4 and 1/200th to be on the safe side.
 

Chuck Jones

Subscriber Member
Evidence shows that lenses under 50mm don't show vibration issues at any speed and exposures over about 1/4s, with any FL, don't have issues, but this would require testing with your set up especially if you have very long lenses.

Vibration is definitely an issue for some people under some circumstances, but I shoot mostly wides and have never seen it in practical use. I have not seen it with my 55mm FE, tho some say they have. With a 90mm, I would avoid anything between 1/4 and 1/200th to be on the safe side.
Kirk, I've got to agree with what Tom says here. There is evidence that this condition does exist. I've got an article published that Joe Holmes did for us on this issue last December when it first showed up: A7R Shutter Vibration - Problem Explained - The Camera Forum®

With that said, for all practical purposes I have had no notice of it in any of my work. I rarely use lenses longer than a 90mm, and I'd guess 90% of my work is done with a 50mm or wider. I've got a couple of old Canon FD telephotos, but shooting hand held I always try to keep the shutter speed well above a 200th Sec when using them. Ergo, outside the 1/4 - 200th sec "danger zone" your pretty safe whatever your doing.

You sound like your work would entail multiple second exposures. As long as you have a proper BOAT ANCHOR weight stiff tripod, I doubt you will ever see this problem. In my own case, my 90mm Elmarit is my go to portrait lens, and I have yet to see a single image of mine where this subject was an issue. If I were you, I would just go ahead and shoot, aware this issue does exist, and also aware that it likely will not concern you. Then if it shows up, speed up or slow down your exposure accordingly.
 

Guy Mancuso

Administrator, Instructor
I have had very few issues and it was with longer lenses like the 135 1.8 and no issues with long exposures ever. To me it's somewhat of a overblown issue and one reviewer just keeps repeating the same old crap. It's there but like anything else you find work arounds. Btw its on almost every system out there. Happened all the time with my phase one DF and longer lenses. Kirk the Internet and someone's agenda go hand in hand. Capice
 
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Vivek

Guest
That reminds me, Guy. There has been at least one attempt to use a debayered D800 (36mp sensor). Nothing comes close to the MM. :)
 

Stefan Steib

Active member
Stefan, No disrespect to you at all but your 5 cents are worthless when it comes to this. Call it Leica induced inflation if you want. :D

(Not just A7 series, you can take and try to compare any Bayer dyed camera with similar sized out there.)
well I´m sorry , but for me BW just straight out of the camera has never been the best solution, nor professional. For all but maybe reportage or portrait (even there you should filter BW) that looses the quality necessary to improve for best definition and tonal richness.

If this is a fact, then the technical aspect is as follows:
maybe at 100% there still is a slight disadvantage of a 50% scaled Bayer image to a same Mpix ISO Monochrome sensor. BUT: loosing 1-4 stops for the filtering will either raise the exposure time, cost you depth of field OR you will have to raise ISO which will eliminate that slight resolution advantage completely.

And that´s the rest of the story.
I have used the Achromatic plus for about 3 months and I have worked with BW backs for years. I know pretty well what I am talking about.

Regards
Stefan
 

Don Libby

Well-known member
I've been using a 7r for most this year and have shot all the way out to 200 using the FE70-200 and have not seen an issue. Sandy recently got a 150-500 and so hasn't had any noticeable concerns. don
 
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Vivek

Guest
I have used the Achromatic plus for about 3 months and I have worked with BW backs for years. I know pretty well what I am talking about.

Regards
Stefan
The comparison is apples to oranges. The achromatic plus may need filtration while there is a filter on the MM's sensor. Besides, the CCD in MM has microlenses.

There are big differences.
 

Stefan Steib

Active member
The bluegreen filter on the Leica has no impact on the visible light just as the name indicated is UV/IR cut.
That does not change anything. Same applies to microlenses.
The tonal response of the BW chips are mostly similar, the leafs I used over the years, the megavison and also my BW Bighot were all behaving completely the same.

Regards
Stefan
 
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Vivek

Guest
Stefan, I have had a discussion with you on the Achromatic back a while ago. I will leave it at that. :)
 
Much, much help and wisdom here (despite small disagreements). Thank you, thank you.

First, please let me turn the issue back to the original question: I was not asking whether the A7r was a better body for BW than MM. Please leave that aside; I only wanted to know how an A7r might be used optimally, especially with reference to exposure duration and shutter vibration.

Second, I should have said more about what I wanted to use it for, which is landscape photography with short focal-length lenses. (Examples, http://kirkthompson.visualserver.com/Portfolio.cfm?nK=17645

The consensus seems to be that the length, weight, and magnification of long lenses is what makes shutter vibration a serious problem; so if stay with wide angles and avoid shutter speeds from 1/4 to 1/200 sec., I'll probably be OK. I'll use this advice unless someone comes up withan important amendment.

I originally bought a Monochrom after experiencing some dissatisfaction with the tonal transitions of converted BW A7 files. Today I checked the two cameras with the same lens, and was less displeased than I expected to be with the A7's conversions. I'll compare this week with a borrowed A7r, to use as above. And I'm quite likely to pick up a used one as a backup, while the MM is away for servicing – and perhaps to keep until the rumored Alpha 'pro' version materializes. Acquiring a backup MM seems too daunting.

Thanks again,

Kirk

PS, Vivek's new family member is quite beautiful/handsome, and the photograph does a fine job of depicting a human relation.
 
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Annna T

New member
Much, much help and wisdom here (despite small disagreements). Thank you, thank you.

I originally bought a Monochrom after experiencing some dissatisfaction with the tonal transitions of converted BW A7 files. Today I checked the two cameras with the same lens, and was less displeased than I expected to be with the A7's conversions. I'll compare this week with a borrowed A7r, to use as above. And I'm quite likely to pick up a used one as a backup, while the MM is away for servicing – and perhaps to keep until the rumored Alpha 'pro' version materializes. Acquiring a backup MM seems too daunting.
Just a side note and it may not suits you for landscapes : but people who got the new A7s are raving about the beautiful tones they are getting when converting to B&W. There was a thread "Fun with the A7s", but I don't know where it ended when it was decided to have one single thread for all the A7 series cameras.
 
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Vivek

Guest
Combination some of the features of the A7s and the A7r is expected in an A9 which should show in a couple of months.
 

turtle

New member
I'm a MM users and also own both A7 and A7R. I personally think the MM is still right up there at the top if your work and style does not revolve around excessively manipulating colour channels. Tonality is beautiful. My personal view is that for some work colour channels are crucial, but for the work the MM was designed for, it matters little. Besides, a heck of a lot can be achieved with local, or global tonal or contrast changes.

Complex, changes in colour separation never were the preserve of B&W photography and many of those who think this way are colour photographers trying to make B&W work for them, but selecting the scenes they photograph through ‘colour eyes’ in the first place. Even Saint Ansel took most of his images with just a yellow and could not achieve a fraction of what we can now in post processing. Sure, colour channels give more flexibility, but it may give more flexibility than most need or is necessarily good for them.

The A7R is a superb camera for B&W work as it has the pixels to assist in smooth tonal transitions. However, all things being equal, I still find the MM 'prettier' and don’t feel short of options with one or two filters to hand, or just a yellow on there all the time. No I can't do everything I could do with a Bayer camera, but that is not always a bad thing....

I also think there is an awful lot of folklore associated with certain colour cameras being great or terrible for B&W, especially if shooting RAW. One person's whimsical opinion, based on a sunny day and a good JPEG engine soon becomes widely recognized fact.... something integral to the DNA of the camera itself. Sure, there are some differences, but they are a lot smaller than some would have you believe. The truth is much less convenient than 'awesome cameras for B&W'. It is called experience and hard work!
 
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