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Thread: A7R from the opposite direction

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    A7R from the opposite direction

    Happy Hols to everybody!

    OK, that's out the way, now is the time to stop eating and drinking and put your serious head on. The A7R is a bit like the joke about the lost motorist stopping to ask directions, and the yokel answers with 'well I wouldn't start from here'. With the A7R many people aren't starting in the right place, or with a clean sheet, their current lenses (focal lengths and manufacturer's) aren't always working as well as they would want them to (obviously Leica M and derivatives come to mind). So, the question is...

    if you could choose a single manufacturer of (affordable) SLR manual focus lenses to use on the A7R, which would it be?

    Would it be Nikon, Olympus, Canon etc? I qualified it with 'affordable' just to stop the default being Leica R. Try to think outside of what you just happen to have to what you wish you had, as a set, to use with the A7R. I think the answers may clarify a route map for ditherers to the A7R concept, instead of the bewildering number of posts about the awesomeness of individual and varied lenses on this camera.

    Steve

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    Senior Member Ron Pfister's Avatar
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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    Steve, I personally think you can't go wrong with Zeiss C/Y lenses. Their image quality in most instances is very close to the corresponding ZE/ZF.2 offerings, and the cost is considerably less (with the exception of a few highly sought-after lenses). If you can live without super-fast apertures, a set of 2.8/28, 2.8/35, 1.7/50 and 2.8/85 would be stellar, IMO. Compared to ZE/ZF.2 or Leica-R, these lenses are all relatively small and very light-weight.

    Edit: I would personally go for the later MM versions which have the latest coatings and are all made in Japan. They can be recognized by the highest f-number on the focusing ring being green.
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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    I came from Nikon so I have there mount like the Zeiss 135 F2 lens and with Sonys native lenses I am still Zeiss. I also bought a ZA 85mm 1.4 but here is a thought and I think many maybe overlooking Minolta glass from the past as they are basically Sony A mounts and sure they had some dogs in the kennel but they also have some winners.

    Now going back a little and for me to play it safe, noticed I still have a few Nikon mounts and my thinking is if I ever had to go back to Nikon I already have some glass. From a Pros seat I can only risk so much. I also did what I though I would not do and that was completely switch over and I did it really fast. This could be a issue but anyway hobbyist don't have those concerns but I would try not to have to many different brands as the look among your lenses might pose a raw processing nightmare to have a matched set.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    Well Steve, while I agree that the A7R shouldn't be judged solely on what lenses you may already have, or some stratospherically priced rare optics we all wish we had ... the first question I would ask is why limit it to one maker/set when this is one of the few cameras that can take almost anything ... with some notable and documented exceptions?

    Meaning we can seek out the best from each maker and build a killer set of manual focus optics that work with the A7R's 36MB FF sensor.

    For example, Canon makes much touted W/A T/S lenses, and some posters have shown they work fine. On the other hand, Nikon makes the unique 85/2.8 PCE Macro I'd love to add for increased DOF control when shooting macro, or de-focus placement when shooting portraits.

    If anything, I think my quest would be to find smaller lenses that play well with the A7R to compliment the whole A7/A7R size factor. I already have a full dance card of excellent but bigger DSLR lenses with my ZA AF lenses on the LA-EA4 adapter.

    One set that has me intrigued is the old Leica CL lenses and their later Minolta branded counter-parts ... 40mm and 90mm. Both were designed to be tiny for the demure CL, and would be a great travel set just like they were with the CL. I think Vivek has used the 40mm to good effect already.

    The other, so far mostly overlooked, option is to use some of the native E mount APSc lenses. Not everything needs 36 meg, and a few of these lenses could make excellent snap-shot walk-about alternatives, which the A7R can be set to automatically recognize.

    I'd love to try the Zeiss E 16-70/4 OSS AF lens which translates to 24-105/4 ... a perfect spread for shooting weddings. And I assume but would confirm that the Optical Steady Shot will work on the A7s.

    So yeah, it can appear "bewildering" but each of us should be able to determine our specific needs, and sort it out from there.

    Just my 2¢

    - Marc
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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    I'm thinking the same thing Marc, putting big lenses on this camera seems to be a waste...
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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    I'm thinking the same thing Marc, putting big lenses on this camera seems to be a waste...
    I'm not troubled by using larger lenses when needed Ben, especially after I added the wrist strap. Such a small camera is still a benefit when packing and carrying ... like at weddings.

    Yet, the thing is SO small, why not take advantage of that for a lot of shooting? ... I for one tend to take small with me more than I do big stuff. That is why I've always had a Leica M.

    There is a whole world of these smaller lenses out there to explore ... and it's so easy to manually focus this thing in low light I'm just giddy over it ...

    - Marc

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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    Unless you have some you don't want to part with. I'm not giving up my Leica 19 and Zeiss 135 for anything. But I went from a very large Sigma 35 1.4 to the Sony 35FE and let me say that was a huge size and weight difference . Picked up a very small 28-70 zoom with the A7 which I'll switch out later for the 24-70 but this lens is not bad either. Added a big ZA 85mm 1.4 but this lens I wanted AF. In the end I did get a little smaller but when this lens line expands it will get smaller. Now I could buy some M glass but frankly its expensive and if I did maybe a 50mm and 75 nothing on the wides though. I'm not into the hassles with fixing crap in post. I also would not do any of that via software in camera either. That's a dangerous way to go IMHO. One you touch the raw your lights out after the fact.i wish folks would leave that stuff for later in post.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    Also like any system we build kits for certain types of shooting this is the perfect travel kit maybe by far the best around. So yes you could easily build a very small kit for the road and some might want a AF kit for certain things. I think what Marc and I are saying is you get a ton of choices to play around with given on what your intentions are.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    One of the things about this camera, and I assume others to follow from both Sony and other manufacturers is the opportunity to build a totally different kind of camera system.

    For my purposes-- controlled portraits and urban landscapes Ive been running 3 systems at a time for 20 years:

    1. Large optimal quality-- Either Nikon or Canon flagship and lenses
    2. Smaller, more easily transportable, travel type-- Leica M, Contax G, most recently Fuji X Pro 1
    3. Super compact, go everywhere -- Sony RX100, Canon S90, most recently Canon M

    NOW, I am approaching this from, like you indicate, the opposite direction, instead reshuffling my lenses to build distinct lens groups:

    1. Large DSLR/SLR lenses optimized for specific purposes or not available in another form: Canon EF 85mm and 50mm f1.2's, 17mm, 45mm, and 90mmTS-E, 100mm Macro, 14mm f2.8II, and maybe adding the old lenses Ive owned in the past and loved: Sony/Minolta STF, Nikon 14-24mm

    2. "Travel type": I added the Leica WATE, CV 50mm f1.5 ASPH, Olympus OM 100mm f2.8

    3. "super compact": CV 12mm, CV 35mm f1.4 MC, Olympus OM 50mm f1.2, Olympus 100mm f2.8

    4. "low light": CV 21mm f1.8, CV 35mm f1.4 MC, Canon RF 50mm f0.95 and or Canon EF 50mm f1.2, Canon EF 85mm f1.2.

    The need for 2 "systems" is now obviated --Although Im still tentative about letting go of my DSLR.

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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    I'm only worried about one thing giving up the DSLR and that is speed in shooting although you turn things off like review and turn the LCD off and such the speed is better but my other is follow focus and I'll know that better when I'm under the gun in two weeks shooting runway. Even worst case I could get away without follow focus. I need to play with this . Outside these two things I can't see a downside.

    Now dual SD slots would be far better .
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    There is one way to look at it- if you own Leica M lenses, just sell one or two and you get a nice set of manual focus lenses to go with the A7R (in some cases you can even fund an A7R and a set of lenses).

    There are way too many options...
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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    There is one way to look at it- if you own Leica M lenses, just sell one or two and you get a nice set of manual focus lenses to go with the A7R (in some cases you can even fund an A7R and a set of lenses).

    There are way too many options...
    I've had this thought over night and I never expected the thought to come when buying the A7/r. I may actually trade my M9-P towards a MM. The color out the A7's is really THAT good.
    Sony Visible Light & IR Photographer
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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    I dont own a A//A7r but I have some very good experience with some Pentax limited on the K5IIs. These lenses would fit the A7 well in size too.
    31/1.8, 43/1.8 are very fine lenses. 43mm on FF could be a very flexible short normal lens.

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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    Vivek
    Do you have or know someone with the 90CL lens or equivalent? Curious how it performs on the a7r.

    Guy

    Love to hear your impressions of using the a7 versus the a7R, especially the AF even though it sounds like you might be using MF more often. Also what about the shutter differences for you.

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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    Vivek
    Do you have or know someone with the 90CL lens or equivalent? Curious how it performs on the a7r.
    Lou, I have and I have posted some pics already. For example, this one:



    and this (focus was not where I wanted though):



    It is superb on the A7R.
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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    Just tried my Canon lenses on the A7r. I don't have an adaptor so had to approximate it using my M42 adaptor but the size difference is farcical. Selling them all...
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    Vivek
    Do you have or know someone with the 90CL lens or equivalent? Curious how it performs on the a7r.

    Guy

    Love to hear your impressions of using the a7 versus the a7R, especially the AF even though it sounds like you might be using MF more often. Also what about the shutter differences for you.
    Just put it together this morning and it is actually pretty fast for the A7. Couple tricks though if you want speed. Between shots. Turn off rear LCD and turn off image review. You can shoot quite fast also don't use raw and JPEG together. One or the other and the camera itself is quite quick.

    AF seems a touch faster on the 7 but I really need to try that in daylight. I shot this morning with Christmas tree on only so I need more light.

    I'm still working on the follow focus but even so on single frame single focus point you can go pretty dang fast. I'll be testing it heavy in La on about 15 k frames. So I need to find my best settings. I even thought about face detection. Gasp

    Old dog trying way new tricks. Lol
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    Btw I'm almost tempted to buy a second vertical grip. Problem is I have some bigger lenses in the Z 135, ZA 85 and zoom. So not sure yet on that. I can just hold it better and the balance is nice. If I was shooting all m lenses for example probably not. I suggest if you can get to a store try the vertical grip. Extra battery life is nice because both these bodies suck battery fast. I have 7 batteries
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Pfister View Post
    Steve, I personally think you can't go wrong with Zeiss C/Y lenses. Their image quality in most instances is very close to the corresponding ZE/ZF.2 offerings, and the cost is considerably less (with the exception of a few highly sought-after lenses). If you can live without super-fast apertures, a set of 2.8/28, 2.8/35, 1.7/50 and 2.8/85 would be stellar, IMO. Compared to ZE/ZF.2 or Leica-R, these lenses are all relatively small and very light-weight.

    Edit: I would personally go for the later MM versions which have the latest coatings and are all made in Japan. They can be recognized by the highest f-number on the focusing ring being green.
    Ron

    I would be very interested in buying some Zeiss C/Y lenses, as I loved them on my Contax RTS's - all sold unfortunately ..

    Which Adapter for Sony FE mount would you suggest for the Zeiss C/Y glass?

    Thanks

    Peter

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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    Thanks Vivek. Agree the lens is superb and maybe even better than superb.

    So many posts I can't remember all your shots, but I assume you are using the minolta? Was is exactly the full name of the lens please? Thanks for your reply and have a nice Christmas day.

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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    Hi Lou,

    The name is MINOLTA M-ROKKOR 90MM 1:4, LENS MADE IN JAPAN, 2007844 (Not the very best sample one could find. This (and the 40/2) came with a CL I bought, years ago).

    Thank you and best wishes to you and yours as well.

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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    I dont own a A//A7r but I have some very good experience with some Pentax limited on the K5IIs. These lenses would fit the A7 well in size too.
    31/1.8, 43/1.8 are very fine lenses. 43mm on FF could be a very flexible short normal lens.
    I'll agree with that……all three Pentax FA LTD primes match up well on the A7/r……31/1.8…..43/1.9…..77/1.8. I would say the only drawback of these three are the fact that because they are autofocus lenses, their throw is relatively short and the focus mechanism is not very well damped.

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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    Ron

    I would be very interested in buying some Zeiss C/Y lenses, as I loved them on my Contax RTS's - all sold unfortunately ..

    Which Adapter for Sony FE mount would you suggest for the Zeiss C/Y glass?

    Thanks

    Peter
    Peter,

    You'll hear many viewpoints on this. I have had excellent success with the Rayqual adapter and the Novoflex….pretty pricey though. I like the Novoflex because you can add on a tripod collar which helps allay fears of distorting the camera mount when putting on the heavier lenses.

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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich M View Post
    I'll agree with that……all three Pentax FA LTD primes match up well on the A7/r……31/1.8…..43/1.9…..77/1.8. I would say the only drawback of these three are the fact that because they are autofocus lenses, their throw is relatively short and the focus mechanism is not very well damped.
    You are right, I didnt think of that because on the K5iis I use them AF only.

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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    Ron

    I would be very interested in buying some Zeiss C/Y lenses, as I loved them on my Contax RTS's - all sold unfortunately ..

    Which Adapter for Sony FE mount would you suggest for the Zeiss C/Y glass?

    Thanks

    Peter
    +1 on Rich's input: I would recommend the same. In my case, I have converted all my C/Y lenses to Nikon-F mount with Leitax bayonets so I can use them with all my camera bodies (Canon, Nikon, Sony) with only two adapters. I find that very convenient.

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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    Some terrific ideas, thanks to all.

    I have to say I forgot about the Zeiss C/Y option but its good to see how everybody is organising themselves using the A7R. I can feel the credit card twitching.

    Steve

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    Re: A7R from the opposite direction

    I use six CZ Contax Yashica lenses, and have them on Leitax Sony A mounts. I always felt that Sony would do well, even back in a900 days, and I always like the colour more than C/N.

    Now we have a camera and dream sensor to make them work great. I am lucky enough to be able to use an LA-EA3 maker's adapter. It works fine, weighs 110 grams and I figure not changing it out often means I can hopefully keep dust down to a workable level.

    One thing that is surfacing with adapters is internal reflections, some users are getting strong flare, with the sun in/near the frame. I have heard that Novoflex is best of the non-Sony adapters.

    The Contax lenses have their supporters, but most people think of them as 'not quite as good' predecessors to the ZEF range. They include some outrageous manual focus zooms that would never be made today. Aficionados however love them for the low contrast organic look, lighter weight, very good focus/aperture rings and across the frame sharpness at smaller apertures. On Sony a7r they are very appealing indeed. Mine average 18 years old.

    Light ones that would work well:

    18/4, 25/2.8, 28/2.8, 45/2.8, 50/1.4, 85/2.8, 100/3.5, all under 300-350 grams

    many are around 475-600 grams: 21/2.8, 35-70/3.4, 135/2.8, 60/2.8 macro.

    More (much more) fun information here from an unlikely source of Contax fans - RED users:

    Contax Zeiss Survival Guide
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