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Thread: Sony A900: First Impressions

  1. #51
    Senior Member LCT's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Size matters sometimes

  2. #52
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    My turn for a preliminary report on the A900 and Zeiss 24-70mm.

    Here's a one para summary of the image quality: It's very good, but not quite as good as the Mamiya ZD. The A900 has very good dynamic range but not quite as good as the ZD, or Nikon D700 for that matter. But its still pretty good.

    Sharpness from the Zeiss 28-70mm is very good, but bokeh is poor and somehow the lens seems to have less DOF than an equivalent focal length on the ZD. It should be the other way around of course, so I'm not sure what I'm seeing. I never completely trust zooms to match fixed focal lengths no matter how highly rated they are.

    The image is of a sugar factory in Bury St Edmunds, Jono will know it well It was decoded from raw in SilkyPix, where perspective correction was also applied.

    No colour shifts or nasties, noise quite reasonable, but I have only shot at 200ISO so far. I will have a crack in the studio next.

    The camera itself if nice to use and easy to understand. I tend to use pretty much the same settings so I don't need ludicrously complex menus and options. Its not quite as incredibly nice to use as the D700 is, but its close enough.

    So far, I'm happy, in a balanced way, but looking forward to giving it a more thorough work out to determine if it will replace the ZD for most day to day photography. I guess the fact I'm even considering a small format digital camera replacing a medium format camera says a lot in favour of the A900
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  3. #53
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    I think the G1 shot above stands up surprisingly well!

    Thanks for the comparison Jono.

    Cheers

    Brian

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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Mosley View Post
    I think the G1 shot above stands up surprisingly well!

    Thanks for the comparison Jono.

    Cheers

    Brian
    Exactly, but Jono knows better when printing, may be he can gives his opinion on this.

  5. #55
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Hi Quentin
    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    My turn for a preliminary report on the A900 and Zeiss 24-70mm.

    Here's a one para summary of the image quality: It's very good, but not quite as good as the Mamiya ZD. The A900 has very good dynamic range but not quite as good as the ZD, or Nikon D700 for that matter. But its still pretty good.
    As far as dynamic range is concerned, I'm always surprised at how much is in the hightlights - so it's worth exposing more to the right than you would with any other camera I've used.
    I think it's as good as the D700, but different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    Sharpness from the Zeiss 28-70mm is very good, but bokeh is poor and somehow the lens seems to have less DOF than an equivalent focal length on the ZD. It should be the other way around of course, so I'm not sure what I'm seeing. I never completely trust zooms to match fixed focal lengths no matter how highly rated they are.
    Bokeh is odd as well - I find it's usually really good, and then sometimes one gets a nasty. Dunno about depth of field. I do think that the 24-70 has it over the Nikon equivalent with micro contrast and sharpness, (and of course the use of IS) but the Nikon wins generally on bokeh, and possibly on corner sharpness wide open.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    The image is of a sugar factory in Bury St Edmunds, Jono will know it well It was decoded from raw in SilkyPix, where perspective correction was also applied.
    I do know it. 2 points:
    1. how did you get in - did you just drive in?
    2. why on earth didn't you do the extra 15 miles and pop in for a glass of wine?

    Have you tried RAW developer? Amin seems to think it does best with the A900 files. (I refuse to use anything but Aperture).

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    The camera itself if nice to use and easy to understand. I tend to use pretty much the same settings so I don't need ludicrously complex menus and options. Its not quite as incredibly nice to use as the D700 is, but its close enough.
    Here I think you'll change your mind - I find the Sony a complete delight to use - the custom settings which override everything (even things like the exposure area and focus mode settings), together with the spot/hold AE lock button. It just means that you quickly understand exactly what the camera is doing. Hard to explain - with the Nikon I always felt that it had a superior brain which I didn't quite understand - the Sony seems to me like it's on the same side - definitely designed by photographers rather than engineers (or computer programmers).

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentin_Bargate View Post
    So far, I'm happy, in a balanced way, but looking forward to giving it a more thorough work out to determine if it will replace the ZD for most day to day photography. I guess the fact I'm even considering a small format digital camera replacing a medium format camera says a lot in favour of the A900
    Doesn't it just.

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  6. #56
    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Hi Jono,

    Actually the versatility of the A900 amazes me. It has one huge advantage (apart from portability) over the ZD: no xmas tree lights (unless thats what you are photographing...). Yay!

    And yes, I just drove in..but by a "visitor" entrance round the back.

    More soon

    Quentin

    PS thought about popping in but it would have been a tad rude of me to do so without announcing...
    Quentin Bargate
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Any comments on the sony flash system? predictability, accuracy, fill flash, accessories such as AA battery packs, etc.
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  8. #58
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    Any comments on the sony flash system? predictability, accuracy, fill flash, accessories such as AA battery packs, etc.
    Ben, I've goofed around with the flash and it seems accurate and consistent.

    But I'm not saying anything one way or the other until I do a wedding with it ... as you know, that is a real acid test of versatility and accuracy.

    BTW, the Sony cameras uses a proprietary mount, and to use a Pocket Wizard you have to get a $20. 3rd party attachment. If you use a Metz, there is a module for Sony/Minolta.

    Don't know about AA battery packs, I rarely use them ... except occasionally a little Quantum Turbo SC.

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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeiss View Post
    Marc,

    thanks for the report. Very informative and tempting.
    Any system that lets me use Zeiss glass is interesting to me. I have previously seen images taken with the 135/1.8 - amazing. Just wish they would make it for nikon.

    I won't switch though simply for the fact that I love film too much and there is no F5/6 equivalent with the sony mount - or is there?
    IMO, there is NO other camera like the F6 ... so if that's what you are interested in, then you already have the best there ever was.

  10. #60
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    IMO, there is NO other camera like the F6 ... so if that's what you are interested in, then you already have the best there ever was.
    Not the same as the F6, but the Dynax 9 was a pretty nice camera:
    http://ca.konicaminolta.com/products...9/f_relia.html

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  11. #61
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    I LOVED my 9. I hated having to trade it in for the Canon 10D, which is what I ended up doing. With the Ziess lenses and the 24MP, this might be a mid-point for me before jumping into a MFDB. I could see an A900 with a couple key lenses being able to hold me over for quite a while with landscapes and even more so if there is a canon->sony mount adapter. (dreaming?)

    And the only thing that drove me nuts about minolta/sony that still does is they don't use a standard flash hotshoe. They use that inverted crap, which means you have to put an adapter on any "normal" flash to use it with the Minoltas.

  12. #62
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by karrphoto View Post
    I LOVED my 9. I hated having to trade it in for the Canon 10D, which is what I ended up doing. With the Ziess lenses and the 24MP, this might be a mid-point for me before jumping into a MFDB. I could see an A900 with a couple key lenses being able to hold me over for quite a while with landscapes and even more so if there is a canon->sony mount adapter. (dreaming?)

    And the only thing that drove me nuts about minolta/sony that still does is they don't use a standard flash hotshoe. They use that inverted crap, which means you have to put an adapter on any "normal" flash to use it with the Minoltas.
    Well, I sympathise. Not sure why you need a Canon - Sony adaptor (but I'm not sure it's possible either).

    Still, the most surprising thing I've found about the A900 is that, like the 9, it is a loveable camera. With the Zeiss 24-70 it produces pretty good results (you can download the RAW files from my mobileme account if you're interested).

    A900 RAW Files

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  13. #63
    gtmerideth
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    I'm including some sample shots with a 135/2.8 STF lens.
    The characteristic of this lens is supposedly the smoothest bokeh of any optic.
    I must admit I'm a sucker for bokeh.

    The lens has an element that is thicker progressively from the center to it's edge. The process is "apodization". It also performs as a standard 135 as well and the last frame shows that capability. Minolta designed the lens and it's only competitor is the Nikon progressive focus lens. A good review is available at Dyxum.

    thanks for looking,
    gary

  14. #64
    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Sony vs. Nikon vs. Canon ... That is, the A900 vs. the D3/D700 vs. the 5D Mark II
    A comparison from The Online Photographer
    http://theonlinephotographer.typepad...s-nikon-v.html

  15. #65
    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    jono, you had to post those raw files...

    Actually, the K20d isn't night/day worse, but it is ridiculous how much detail was in the a900 file with distant objects. Ridiculous. Credit-card busting ridiculous...

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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by asabet View Post
    Got a nice core of A900 users here now.......
    Yes it's interesting to see just how the A900 users have increased in such a short space of time. It would be nice to have our own "Sony" heading just like Nikon and Canon on this forum wouldn't it?

    That would take care of all the existing Sony cameras and all the great new stuff that they still hopefully have in development.

    Is this a viable possibility Guy and Jack?
    Cheers, Dave
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Yes it is possible to make a new Sony forum, really keeping a eye on this actually and if it expands with a more user base than we will do it. We try and keep the spacing down on the website so the front page is not so unwieldily looking. We are certainly neat freaks. LOL

    Let's take a look at this when we get back from Moab and see if it has grown more. We will always try and improve this site for our members and make it the best forum possible.
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  18. #68
    Senior Member deepdiver's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Hi Guys,
    I just bought this lens


    I read a lot of nice review about it, specially the bokeh...
    such as this one


    Very interesting lens
    I finally decided to buy it, and try it.
    Here are some quick shots from A900 + STF 135/4.5











    To my Eyes, the bokeh is really smooth, so different from other lens...
    Leica M9 | SE 18 | Lux 24 | Lux 50 | ZM 35 | Nikon D700 | 35/1.8 | 45 PC-E | 50/1.4 | 70-200 VR II | SB 800+600 |SF 58|

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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Yes it is possible to make a new Sony forum, really keeping a eye on this actually and if it expands with a more user base than we will do it. We try and keep the spacing down on the website so the front page is not so unwieldily looking. We are certainly neat freaks. LOL

    Let's take a look at this when we get back from Moab and see if it has grown more. We will always try and improve this site for our members and make it the best forum possible.
    We all just need you on board Guy ... then it'll have it's own space

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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Andre
    I hate you
    I'd been fighting off the 135mm madness . . . until I saw this, and I'm not sure how I can resist.
    It looks gorgeous.

    Oh Dear!

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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    I agree Jono - oh dear! I haven't even paid my credit card bill from buying the camera and here we go again....

    But I've ordered the 300mm f2.8 and 1.4X, so the 135 will have to wait.

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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    I agree Jono - oh dear! I haven't even paid my credit card bill from buying the camera and here we go again....

    But I've ordered the 300mm f2.8 and 1.4X, so the 135 will have to wait.
    Do report back on the 300/2.8 Bill ... rumor has it that it is really, really, really good.

  23. #73
    Senior Member deepdiver's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Andre
    I hate you
    I'd been fighting off the 135mm madness . . . until I saw this, and I'm not sure how I can resist.
    It looks gorgeous.

    Oh Dear!
    Hi jono
    Hihihiihihhi
    buyyyyyyyyyyy, just buy it, I'm sure u gonna love it too
    However, i thing u should know about this lens.
    It's a manual lens and on A900 there is NO focus indicator..!
    It's not easy to use it. (completely different from using ZF on Nikon D3 or D700)
    (I dont like using split screen, I just wish A900 have a build in electronic rangefinder)
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  24. #74
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Yes, I'll report on the 300 mm (my bird lens) in March. Unfortunately I have to spend February in Polynesia - it's going to be tough but somebody has to do it...

    I'll be leaving the MFDB at home and taking the a900, CZ24-70, 70-300 G and 12-24 Sigma and an a700 as backup. Gotta travel light!

    Bill

  25. #75
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Deepiver, there is a focus indicator on the a900. Pick focus point, and then there will be a green dot that lights in the viewfinder.

  26. #76
    Senior Member deepdiver's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    Deepiver, there is a focus indicator on the a900. Pick focus point, and then there will be a green dot that lights in the viewfinder.
    HA?? Are u sure about this?
    I tried it on this lens 135/4.5 STF, the green dot did not light on at all...
    However, If i'm using AF lens, such as ZA 24-70 or ZA 135/1.8 set it to manual focus, YES the green dot will turn on, once i hit the focus point that i picked.

    I will try it again tonight,
    I will let u know
    thx u
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  27. #77
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by deepdiver View Post
    Hi jono
    Hihihiihihhi
    buyyyyyyyyyyy, just buy it, I'm sure u gonna love it too
    However, i thing u should know about this lens.
    It's a manual lens and on A900 there is NO focus indicator..!
    It's not easy to use it. (completely different from using ZF on Nikon D3 or D700)
    (I dont like using split screen, I just wish A900 have a build in electronic rangefinder)
    HI Andree
    I'm a little confused by the specs of the lens. I've seen it stated sometimes that it has 9 blades 'auto aperture' and 10 blades 'manual aperture' I've also seen it indicated as AF - is this not right, or is it just manual focus in it's 'defocus' mode?

    Some explanation would be most welcome . . . Generally speaking I don't find manual focusing on a decent ground glass screen any problem though.

    Thanks in advance

    Just this guy you know

  28. #78
    Senior Member deepdiver's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by deepdiver View Post
    HA?? Are u sure about this?
    I tried it on this lens 135/4.5 STF, the green dot did not light on at all...
    However, If i'm using AF lens, such as ZA 24-70 or ZA 135/1.8 set it to manual focus, YES the green dot will turn on, once i hit the focus point that i picked.

    I will try it again tonight,
    I will let u know
    thx u
    Bad news...
    I'm at my room now, with A900 + 135 STF.
    The focus indicator does not work with this lens.
    Just like what i said earlier
    No green dot
    Leica M9 | SE 18 | Lux 24 | Lux 50 | ZM 35 | Nikon D700 | 35/1.8 | 45 PC-E | 50/1.4 | 70-200 VR II | SB 800+600 |SF 58|

  29. #79
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI Andree
    I'm a little confused by the specs of the lens. I've seen it stated sometimes that it has 9 blades 'auto aperture' and 10 blades 'manual aperture' I've also seen it indicated as AF - is this not right, or is it just manual focus in it's 'defocus' mode?

    Some explanation would be most welcome . . . Generally speaking I don't find manual focusing on a decent ground glass screen any problem though.

    Thanks in advance
    Hi Jono

    The lens have 9 blades on the 1st aperture blades (the auto one)
    the 10th blade is the manual blade ( 2nd blade)
    here is the picture of the 10th blade


    the 10th blade is a manual blade, cannot be control with camera, we need to close it ( F4.5 - F6.7) manually.

    I hope this explanation is good for you, please let me know if this is still not clear.

    Andree
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by deepdiver View Post
    Hi Jono


    the 10th blade is a manual blade, cannot be control with camera, we need to close it ( F4.5 - F6.7) manually.

    I hope this explanation is good for you, please let me know if this is still not clear.

    Andree
    How peculiar - but yes, I do completely understand now.
    Thank you for the information.

    Just this guy you know

  31. #81
    Senior Member Robert Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    I've never seen a lens with two irises. Is this very unusual?
    Sláinte

    Robert.

  32. #82
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Wow, deepdiver. That surprises me about the green dot. Mine works with my chipped m42 adapter, so I assumed it would with the STF. Did you try M mode?

  33. #83
    Senior Member deepdiver's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    Wow, deepdiver. That surprises me about the green dot. Mine works with my chipped m42 adapter, so I assumed it would with the STF. Did you try M mode?
    Hi Douglas,
    Yes, I tried at all mode, S, A, C and M
    all of them did not display the green dot
    However, if I'm using other lens (AF one) such as ZA 24-70, SAL 50/1.4 or 135/1.8 ZA, the green dot will led on when I'm using manual focusing.
    Leica M9 | SE 18 | Lux 24 | Lux 50 | ZM 35 | Nikon D700 | 35/1.8 | 45 PC-E | 50/1.4 | 70-200 VR II | SB 800+600 |SF 58|

  34. #84
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Ugh. Sorry to hear about that annoyance. I'm surprised Sony set things up that way.

  35. #85
    Senior Member deepdiver's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Can't do anything about it
    BTW, i took a pics using STF 135 this morning.
    I want to see how the bokeh re-act if i'm stopping down the second aperture.
    Here are the results

    F4.5


    F5.6


    F6.3


    Any comments ?

    Andree
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  36. #86
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by deepdiver View Post

    Any comments ?

    Andree
    That bokeh!
    I want one even more now

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  37. #87
    gtmerideth
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    More bokeh for your pleasure, Jono.

    The 135 STF is fun to work with.
    gary

  38. #88
    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Andree and Gary, Lovely photos, lovely bokeh.

  39. #89
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    You guys are killing me... I'm new here, and about to switch from Canon to the a900.

    This STF looks really promising also as a natural-light headshot lens... sharp where it needs to be, beautifully smooth everywhere else. Thanks for sharing.

    Shelby
    www.shelbylewis.com

  40. #90
    Senior Member deepdiver's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Hi Cindy and Shelby.
    Please don't forget Zeiss 135/1.8 too
    It's a very nice lens as well
    2 shots from A900 + ZA 135/1.8





    Andree
    Leica M9 | SE 18 | Lux 24 | Lux 50 | ZM 35 | Nikon D700 | 35/1.8 | 45 PC-E | 50/1.4 | 70-200 VR II | SB 800+600 |SF 58|

  41. #91
    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Lovely girl. Very 3D, the photos

  42. #92
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Do report back on the 300/2.8 Bill ... rumor has it that it is really, really, really good.
    I've just been told my 300 and 1.4X are "in the mail". With luck I'll be able to comment and post a few pix mid-next week before I leave for the tropics.

    Stay tuned,
    Bill

  43. #93
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    I've just been told my 300 and 1.4X are "in the mail". With luck I'll be able to comment and post a few pix mid-next week before I leave for the tropics.

    Stay tuned,
    Bill
    Do tell, Bill ... Do tell !!!!!!!

    No way can I afford that puppy right now, so I have to live vicariously through you

  44. #94
    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    You guys are killing me. Today I did some shooting back to back between the DLux4 and Pentax. I have to say the DLux4 stood it's ground quite well. Given that, it makes the Pentax setup somewhat redundant. If I'm going to have something that isn't pocketable (ie dSLR), then I should be getting a serious bump in iq. I do love the handling of the Pentax primes and don't exactly look forward to using the 24-70/a900 setup. But the results see to speak for themselves...

    I'm composing ads for my Pentax gear. Already shot the pictures (with the Leica ). Now just have to pull the trigger on the submit button.

  45. #95
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Do report back on the 300/2.8 Bill ... rumor has it that it is really, really, really good.
    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Do tell, Bill ... Do tell !!!!!!!

    No way can I afford that puppy right now, so I have to live vicariously through you
    I'll do my best to make it a thrilling experience!

    Incidentally, check out the price at The Camera Store (in Calgary) - and keep in mind the current $CDN to US exchange is about 1.24:1.

    Bill

  46. #96
    Senior Member Eoin's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    I would like to thank you all very £€king much for scratching my gear itch I'd been thinking about this Sony a900 over the past few months and after a trip to Thailand over Christmas I was quite chilled on the idea, almost forgotten.

    On getting home and the excellent € to £ exchange rate I googled the a900 and came across your stunning images here, I never really ventured out of the leica section here or on LUF but now that I have, I'm smitten.

    Anyway, after a lot of phone calls to the UK which seems to be the hotspot for camera purchases at the moment, I've sourced a 900, 24-70 Zeiss and 135 1.8 Zeiss. Happy days, despite non existent Sony stock levels I should have everything by next weekend and saved a bundle on € prices.

    In the mean time I'll just console my self and my lighter bank balance with your stunning images.

    So here's to another convert, Thanks

  47. #97
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Eoin View Post
    I would like to thank you all very £€king much for scratching my gear itch I'd been thinking about this Sony a900 over the past few months and after a trip to Thailand over Christmas I was quite chilled on the idea, almost forgotten.

    On getting home and the excellent € to £ exchange rate I googled the a900 and came across your stunning images here, I never really ventured out of the leica section here or on LUF but now that I have, I'm smitten.

    Anyway, after a lot of phone calls to the UK which seems to be the hotspot for camera purchases at the moment, I've sourced a 900, 24-70 Zeiss and 135 1.8 Zeiss. Happy days, despite non existent Sony stock levels I should have everything by next weekend and saved a bundle on € prices.

    In the mean time I'll just console my self and my lighter bank balance with your stunning images.

    So here's to another convert, Thanks
    Hi Eoin
    Lovely to see you here - a BIG welcome
    Congratulations!
    were LCE any help?

    I'm jealous of that 24-70. Next winner to get is the lightweight 70-300, it's not too fast, but it's very sharp and has nice bokeh
    Go for It!

    Just this guy you know

  48. #98
    Senior Member Eoin's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Thanks for the welcome Jono,
    Dave wasn't able to help me, but I see exactly what you mean by "they'll be polite". Refreshing experience to say the least.
    I think for the moment the 24/70 will do almost 90% of everything for me, the 135 I'm hoping will be my prime portrait lens on FF. I can't quite stretch to the 85 1.4 but I may get some milage out of a 50 or 58 Rokkor with a conversion, it could be a killer lens on the a900 for me.

    Anyway, a few days to wait before the packages start to arrive, plenty of reading to be done on the system.

    Thanks for your help

  49. #99
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    Some more bokeh (not like Andree's - but not horrid either!


    with the 70-300 G zoom


    with the 100mm f2.8 macro

    Just this guy you know

  50. #100
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    Re: Sony A900: First Impressions

    The Ghost in the Machine




    both with the 100mm macro

    Pretty in pink


    with the 70-300 G zoom


    with the 100mm macro

    Just this guy you know

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