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Thread: I'm asking the same question in the Sony section...

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    Senior Member peterb's Avatar
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    I'm asking the same question in the Sony section...

    I'm curious. Ultimate resolution aside, at the low noise ISOs has anyone had the opportunity to shoot with both the Sony A900 (or A850) with the Zeiss 24-70mm attached AND the Nikon D700 with their own 24-70mm f2.8 attached?

    Just curious to hear what you thought of the output.
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    Re: I'm asking the same question in the Sony section...

    Yes....I've had both (still have Sony it replaced the Nikon). Didn't shoot them side by side. I'm happier with the Sony and the Zeiss 24-70 than the Nikon....but it isn't just about the lens. I like the colors I get from the Sony better than the Nikon. The 24-70 is tough at the wide end with filters so if you are a wide shooter, don't rule out the 16-35.

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    Senior Member peterb's Avatar
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    Re: I'm asking the same question in the Sony section...

    Terry,

    Just curious what was your take on the 'feel'? How it felt in your hands. I had a writing gig in NYC this week and went to B&H where you can hold and fire the cameras. I don't know if it was my imagination but the D700 felt a little chubbier while the A850 (and the A900) felt more 'right' in my hand. Yet reviewers tended to feel otherwise. Was that my imagination?

    Best,

    Peter
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    Re: I'm asking the same question in the Sony section...

    I am much happier holding the Sony vs the Nikon. Some of it is also for me dealing with the user interface. The buttons on the Sony seem to be more "right" for me. I know that the four buttons on the top deck aren't as ergonomic as they could be, I think even Reichman commented on this early on, everything else seems better suited to the size of my hand. On both cameras I use a hand strap.
    I find the menu system of the Sony, so much easier than the Nikon. It just seems pretty logical and not nearly as complex as the D700. On that score YMMV because I tend to use very simple settings and don't use all the fancy AF that the Nikon gives.

    Bottom line before you even talk about IQ I like the Sony better than the Nikon....now add the fact that you get double resolution and to me (for the way I use a camera) it is a slam dunk.

    Now many won't agree but I thought there was a huge difference to me in how solid the A900 feels versus the A700 (I was thinking backup for a brief nanosecond). I haven't held the A850 to know how the build quality compares.

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    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
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    Re: I'm asking the same question in the Sony section...

    Interesting to see how a simple straightforward question turns into the inevitable personal, subjective camera choice. Sounds sometimes like the Sony gang's getting into Leica-like proselytism

    So, who has shot both 24-70 side by side, or has similar files to compare?

    Oh, and wouldn't the ode to Sony with Sony lens kit recommandations be better off on the Sony forum?

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: I'm asking the same question in the Sony section...

    Well, it is a personal choice. One of the reasons why I've not considered seriously changing to Sony, is that neither the A900 nor the A700 fit well in my hand. I don't know if I have particularly small hands, but to me, they feel "fat" if you see what I mean. I fear I would be tired after a whole day carrying the camera in my hand, something I often do, sometimes with heavy lenses.

    It must be said though, that I even find the S5 to be on the large side. The D80 is a nice size, and don't even get me started on the Pentax bodies. They're almost perfect... for me that is.

    As for the 24-70s, I'm afraid I cannot help you. I've used neither.

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    Re: I'm asking the same question in the Sony section...

    Quote Originally Posted by Corlan F. View Post
    Interesting to see how a simple straightforward question turns into the inevitable personal, subjective camera choice. Sounds sometimes like the Sony gang's getting into Leica-like proselytism

    So, who has shot both 24-70 side by side, or has similar files to compare?

    Oh, and wouldn't the ode to Sony with Sony lens kit recommandations be better off on the Sony forum?
    I'm sorry but the original post didn't ask if you have files from both that you've shot side by side by side. It asked if you had experience using both. So, I answered as best I could fully disclosing I could not provide side by side. When I say I like the Sony color better, that is easy for me to back up. When I would import Nikon files into LR I was constantly fiddling trying to find a profile that looked right to me. When I bring the Sony files into LR they just feel so right. As a follow up, Peter asked a subjective question.
    Funny, I haven't been actively posting about Sony gear and I would mind not owning it. However, for the times I want high resolution and beatiful colors I go for the Sony. If micro 4/3 could produce those images, I would dump the Sony. So I honestly can say in this instance rabid Sony fangirl I ain't.

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    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
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    Re: I'm asking the same question in the Sony section...

    OK, if the question is "Nikon or Sony?", the answer is as always: there's no absolute, it's a strictly personal choice based on requirements and preferences.

    Thanks to the extremely agressive pricing, good available stock and at the time ridiculously low British pound exchange rate, a couple of months ago i more than seriously investigated the possibility of a complete switch to Sony at virtually no cost -or even get a few bucks out of it.
    Reasons? Simple. For one, unexpectandly (and reluctantly) i'm starting to need a higher pixel count. As we all know the Nikon offer in this respect is limited for now to the darn expensive D3X. I happen to have regular access to a full a 5D MkII kit and files and since it's not the subject here let's just say that as fine as this system is, it's definitely not for me. Then, on a general basis i love Zeiss glasses and could occasionally use the AF provided by the Sony system. Plus there's this wonderful 135mm 1.8, with no real Nikon equivalent, and i'm now pretty much exclusively a prime shooter, so... it looked like i had the perfect profile, and opportunity.

    I eventually abandoned this swap possibility for different reasons, all personal -that's why i never talked publicly about it. But since the topic is raised, let's take a little time here not to let unaddressed some maybe bold -and for some misleading- assertions that could be perceived as a general truth. First, i truly did not care for the camera handling. Second, camera operation was definitely not a plus compared to Nikon. AF? For the quite occasional use of AF on Zeiss i would trade off the very versatile and efficient Nikon AF options. Not of the essence to me, but not really worth it either.
    Also, for my array of uses the Live View (or absence of) was a huge downside: shooting products a lot in studio conditions with many close-ups, the terrific D700/D3 LV with instant 10x magnification feature allowing for ultra fast, ultra precise manual fine focusing was more than hard to let go. Not if mostly everything else was not only on par but better.
    Yes, this is personal, since obviously enough if you mainly/only shoot weedings or candids or even some category of landscapes, this is typically not as relevant. But still, the high ISO performance can then be. Or not. Again a matter of personal evaluation.

    Lenses: let's put one thing out of the way first... Comprehensiveness wise, in the DSLR department Canon lens offer is unrivaled, period. Not only the brand own line up, but a lot of alternatives are out there, too, including Zeiss ZE (+ZF if needed) and all sorts of adaptations, OM lenses, even Contax N AF zooms can be tweaked, etc. Both Nikon and Sony suffer from a lesser choice, on the Nikon side because despite a lot of available recent zooms, many primes are old design and would welcome or even require an significant (!) upgrade. For Sony, the Zeiss offer is limited and the various lenses are not equal -to say the least. All this is perfectly documented here and there already, so let's skip the details. In a few words and sticking to primes, Sony do have a winner with the 135mm 1.8. Nikon has one with the 105VR. These two would be completing nicely... too bad. Sony 50mm offer is minimal if not poor, no Zeiss, and overall that's a setback for some (me included). Surprisingly, the Sony 1.4 version seems to turn out a pretty slick lens... but then, Nikon 1.4G is, too. And you get access to Zeiss primes, including the terrific 50/2M.

    In the zoom section, thoughts on the 24-70 comparison, which was after all the OP question: personal (again) feeling, i like the Sony Zeiss version better than the Nikon. Despite the latter super reputation, i'm among the Nikon users who still like the good ol' 28-70 version. Funny enough, talking the other day with a guy operating a shop with a four-photographer team shooting hundreds of weddings and (mostly family) events a year, 3 out of 4 still use the 28-70 because they love its character and don't bother for the extra sharpness and corner precision of the newer avatar for their work -sorry, off topic. Or not, i guess my point here is taking an example where none of us would dare say "it is better than the 24-70". Just feeling good with that one.

    Lens wise, in one word -and this is no news- Sony has one clear trump card: the Zeiss AF.
    Not all equal in results, with a limited choice, and for some not as good as their MF counterparts. But they're here.

    A quick note on the mentionned "better colors": old debate, and truly it's really a matter of tastes and situations, not discounting software choice, knowledge, and skills. Two thoughts: first, LR/ACR is definitely not the best RAW engine for Nikon NEF files. NX2 and C1 are. But again, some get super results with LR/ACR and/or Aperture. IIRC, Jorgen who posted above, is one of them, or Jono Slack talking about defectors into the Sony camp. Then, what do we cover with "colors"?
    Macro, products... Nikon colors are extremely good. For these i have proof. No need to repost macro shots in this thread, just have a look at the galleries out there, most of mines (of course you can find much better ones) have limited processing. Products? i shoot a lot of products and paintings for catalogs, and anyone with experience in these areas will confirm that you can rely on any engineer, designer and artist to get super picky when it comes to color accuracy and not readily finding them ok if they're off. Nature? Look at the work of Andy Rouse and alike, with there also minimum processing. Fotomassimo anyone? (sorry can't remember his real name right now, just the moniker). OK, skin tones then... that's what we hear sometimes, but to stay with what's available handy, how come for example that Jorgen Udvang's work is so good in this regard (not only with the S5 but also with the D80). If he gets better results with candids than most of us (better than me, for certain), is it because he has better equipment? Fat chance. Seeing what he can get out of a D80 with a Tamron zoom, one keep wondering what would he'd get out of a D700 and 50 1.4G or 105VR (not talking about a 200VR, but he's too frail for that)... What about Dustin Diaz? List could go forever...

    Nope... not breaking astonishing news here, but... it's a matter of photographic skills in the first place.
    And yes, time, efforts to tame and understand any given system.


    In the end, as often if not always comparing systems, there's no clear line.

    Sony has a great kit, with limitations and some quirks, but a couple of great lenses, affordable high-pixel package, very good IQ. That can be enough for some -example of Mark Williams comes into mind- and make their day, but not for everyone.

    Nikon makes available to their long-term or more recent users, very high quality, reliable equipment with proven, known operation and feel, along with a couple of unique features.

    To each his own.

    Me, today? I'd like a Fuji S7
    Or a D800 -if it's a D3X packaged into a D700 form. Or a more affordable D3X.

    Oh well... while holding my breath :sleep006:, i found my personal -complementary to Nikon- solution for having Zeiss AF in a super slick body.
    Got myself a Contax 645 kit for Christmas

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    Re: I'm asking the same question in the Sony section...

    I have shot with both. I personally had the Nikon set (new replaced with a Canon 5DII), and I used a friends Sony.

    I think it's difficult to comment without considering the resolution difference. It seems that I would prefer the Sony including this considerable resolution difference.
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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: I'm asking the same question in the Sony section...

    Interseting viewpoints, Corlan, and I mostly agree. (Frail? Me? But I just came back from the gym! I can lift this.... hmmmm... wow, that was... oh well, back to our regular photo show.)

    Apart from Fuji, and the fact that Nikon is lagging behind (again) in the megapixel race (yes, it's a problem for me as well, and I can't afford a D3X), I find most of the sensors to be very similar, if not identical. The differences are in the processing, the lenses and.... ergonomics. Canon users often claim that ergonomics are unimportant to image quality. I couldn't disagree more. Many of the photos that I've taken wouldn't exist without a camera I could agree with. The best lenses in the world won't help me one iota if I can't take the photo blindfolded with one hand tied to my back, standing on two toes, simply because that's the situation I find myself in sometimes. Get the shot, get the shot, get the shot, even if the shot isn't worth a dime, at least not from a financial point of view. But when it comes to satisfying my own needs as a photographer, I would die from frustration if I missed it because I bought and/or brought the wrong camera.

    The D80 is borderline, with flawed ergonomics, at least for being a Nikon, but a great viewfinder and very nicely balanced when fitted with lenses that weigh less than a kilo. The S5 has the classic Nikon ergonomics. Only the Pentax K-7 can compete there, and the lenses are... I need a Pentax But for me, the S5 is a bit too big.

    I'm convinced that the Zeiss 24-70 is better than the Nikkor. If I need to see the results side by side, the differences are to small for me to worry. Then, we're back to ergonomics again. And size. Would it fit into my 4-day-bag (Kata DR-467i Digital Rucksack, 4 shirts in the laptop pocket, camera gear in the bottom compartment and the rest in the top compartment)? No way! And the 135 won't fit either. I've tried. So I won't buy a Sony. Then why can't I travel with a civilized piece of luggage, like other people do? Because I walk 10-20km per day, carrying all my stuff. It's flexible and it's fun. I'm getting older every day, but that doesn't mean that you'll find me in an air-conditioned bus, watching life from a distance. Heavy lenses simply don't fit into my plans for extremely late retirement.

    Which brings us back to where we started; the choice between two lenses and between two systems. It's a question of much more than optical qualities, and it's extremely personal. Think there's only one way of using a camera? There's one way for every human being on earth, each with his or her particular quirks and habits. And all these quirks and habits have to be fitted into the ways of a handful of camera and lens manufacturers of which none can cater for all the needs of any one user.

    If I was shooting weddings, Sony would be on my list, just like my 80-200 is with me wherever I shoot for money. But choosing one brand over the other because of one lens? Does that make sense? Oh well... maybe it does. I've been considering Pentax for the 77mm alone for a few years myself

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