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Thread: Love my new A99, need help on a couple of issues...

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    Love my new A99, need help on a couple of issues...

    I finally got the A99 and so far it's living up to my expectations with manual focusing my R lenses. Focus peaking seems to work much better than the NEX-7. Dimly lit shots taken indoors with the Lux 80 and the 80-200 were both in focus with no camera shake. So the combination of focus peaking and stabilization are working very well.

    However, unlike the NEX it won't allow live view magnification when shooting RAW, and if I use magnification and shoot jpeg the shot is taken magnified as well. Both seem kind of strange and I couldn't find anything in the manual regarding either. Am I doing something wrong?

    Thanks,
    Alan

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    Re: Love my new A99, need help on a couple of issues...

    The live view magnification should work irregardless of shooting RAW or jpeg. Mine works just like the NEX 5N/7.

    If you use the 70/80-200 range a lot, you may want to look into Sony 70-200/2,8, as it's an excellent performer.

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    Re: Love my new A99, need help on a couple of issues...

    I shoot raw only and use the magnify button all of the time. As you probably figured out, the settings are pretty involved till you get them just right for you. I imagine that no two people would have them all set exactly the same.

    I use the modes 1 and 2 for manual focus lenses (1) and AF/MF lenses (2). Page 190 of the manual explains setting up the mode registers.
    The button called smart teleconverter is used for magnifying (under Fn). I put a ball of Sugru on the button so that I could easily find in without looking. (My hands are not as large as a man's.) Press once and you get the red box. You can move the red box with the joystick. Press again on the smart teleconverter button for fine magnification. You can press again for more magnification. One more press or pressing shutter takes you back to un-magnified view.

    When in mode 1, my Menu settings are: AF w/shutter OFF, AEL w/shutter OFF, Release w/o lens ENABLE, Peaking Level HIGH, Peaking Color YELLOW, Live View Display Setting Effects ON, Smart Telecon Button FOCUS MAGNIFIER. I also have my other buttons assigned, but those are the ones that should get you going in the right direction.

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    Re: Love my new A99, need help on a couple of issues...

    Thank you Cindy and Ocean for your quick responces. I'll try the your settings Cindy. Great camera

    Alan

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    Re: Love my new A99, need help on a couple of issues...

    Thanks again Cindy, with the Smart Telecon button properly set to FOCUS MAGNIFIER, focusing is a breeze with the Lux 80 wide open at close range not well lit. I never had it focused this consistently, not even on the R9.

    Alan

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    Re: Love my new A99, need help on a couple of issues...

    Good to hear, Alan. Focusing wide-open is a joy on the A99.

    I am enjoying my 50 R Summilux and waiting for delivery of my Leitax adapters for 24 R-elmarit and 80 R-Summilux. Once I get those set, I will convert my 90 R-cron, 135 R-elmarit and 100-R macro. Now if only I could buy the Speedbooster in Sony A mount so that I could use these lenses on my NEX7 with Speedbooster. I have an A to E converter, but would like to Speedboost.

    Oh, and get some black Sugru and try it on that smart telecon button. It really improves focusing for me. Just roll some into a small ball that is smaller in diamater than the button. Press it down onto the button (don't go over the edges). When it dries, it stays. I have one on my Nex7 focus button, too. When you sell the camera, it will just peel off with no damage done.

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    Re: Love my new A99, need help on a couple of issues...

    Cindy, that's quite a nice collection of Rs. I have the Lux 80, 80-200 f4, 180APO, 35-70 f4,and the Elm 19 V2. All Leitax'd except the 180. Which I left in R mount to use with a APO 2x also Leitax'd. This way I get 360 on the A99, 180 on the M if I ever get one, and 540 and 270 on the NEX-7 with or without the 2x.
    Last night I was able to get usable images with the 180+2x handheld with the A99 in regular room lights. Some camera shake but still ok. A lot of fun.

    The Sugru is a great idea. right now i've programmed the custom button on the front for focus mag. Works pretty good. my thumb falls naturally near it when manual focusing.

    Alan

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Love my new A99, need help on a couple of issues...

    At first glance, the A99 has a daunting amount of reconfigurability, but it is nice that each of us can make it work in the best way for us. Once it is set-up, it isn't necessary to dig into the menu that often.

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    Re: Love my new A99, need help on a couple of issues...

    I got used to setting the AF/MF button for focus to get it off the shutter with the a900, so it's a natural for me to use it for magnification on the a99 - I am all manual lenses now. Otherwise I use the same settings as Cindy's.

    I would love Sony to give a menu item to remove the first step in focus mag - the red box display, and go straight to stage 1. Focus mag ratios are around 6-7x in stage 1 and around 12x in stage 2.

    Using stage 2 actually improves your handholding technique, that is a lot of magnification on a 100mm lens for example. But oh so satisfying.

    The other button I use almost constantly use in shifting indoor light is the silent dial on the left front - my primary use is ISO, but with a dwell if calls up just about everything short of good hamburger. Turn to change, press to select, very nice indeed, verticals as well.

    Cindy, if your 90/2 is AA I will turn greener than the incredible hulk. I get by with Contax 21mm, 35-70/3.4, 100/3.5, 100-300mm, 28/2.8 supplemented by Summ 50/2 e55.

    If either you or apsheng has mounted a Lao chip for SS, I'd be grateful for some tips, as David has just a bare outline of how to go about it on his site. What type of glue, positioning, success etc. I have asked David to do us a nice illustrated guide like his mounting instructions but he is busier than a one-armed bricklayer in Beirut these days.

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    Re: Love my new A99, need help on a couple of issues...

    Hi Philip:
    I have mounted several Lao chips on Leitax mounts. I use quick set Epoxy glue. Place the tab of the Lao chip in the slot in the flange (only one flange has the slot) and position it against the right side of the slot (clockwise when looking down at the camera side of the mount). Never had problem with the position this way. Needless to say, you should glue the chip before installing the mount to the lens to avoid any accident with the glue.

    One more question about setting up the A99. Every time I power up, the focus mode reverts to AF-A. It even goes back to AF-A when I tried to save MF into memory??

    Thanks,
    Alan

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    Re: Love my new A99, need help on a couple of issues...

    Alan,

    First, Press Fn then look for Focus Mode on the left side menu listing - set this to MF, if the camera lets you...I don't have chips on my MF lenses so I get a 'no lens attached!' warning. You may see a menu choice - if so, select MF.

    What I do is set every menu setting how I want it, then store all my preferred settings for my main kind of shooting in Memory 1. It will always revert to this batch of settings if you move the dial to some other setting then back to '1'. I do this to check what I have set on occasions. Looking around I can't see an 'MF/AF-A/ etc button so it is a menu item now. Or maybe a camera-detected setting for MF lenses which don't 'talk' to the camera.

    The focus mag will work no matter jpeg or RAW, I have mine on AF/MF ands swear by it. If it is not working you do not have it set, look in the menus or in your memory spot. I keep it simple, and look around if I need something.

    Also, for those looking to know more, Gary Friedmann has an ebook out for the a99, $30 or so, many hindreds of pages. But really you have to go through each menu item, set them how you want them use the memory numbers. Sonys never change them no matter what settings you use in live shooting. It will recall your latest settings on startup however, so either reset them manually or move the mode dial to another setting them back to Memory 1 (M1), your original settings reappear. So do check on startup, you can get caught with ISO and exp comp sometimes, particularly. I use A mode, front dial exp comp, in M1 if this helps.

    The menu is logical but very rich, you need to spend a couple of hours just going through it. Use what Cindy or I do to see if it suits.

    Thanx re the chip fitting too!

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    Re: Love my new A99, need help on a couple of issues...

    Alan, write me if you need more or anything else..

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