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Thread: Sony-Too many Lens format configurations

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    Sony-Too many Lens format configurations

    I was really excited when I learned of the new Sony A7r primarily because of what it had to offer in terms of its size. Let me explain my dilemma.

    I really love the Nikon D800 system and various lens offerings. Of course there are a few I wish they would adopt from Canon but that is besides the point. I travel a fair bit for work and sometimes I get to go to nice places and schedule an extra day to do some photography.On the rare trips where there is a fair bit more free time with a nice photography venue (e.g. the Rocky Mountains), I will take a lot of gear including a tripod and check my non-camera luggage. However most of the time I want to go light-- carry on only. So I had had two options-- take a micro4/3 system (camera and lenses that cover 14 to 600mm -35mm equivalent--which of course has a lot of limitations) or my Nikon with the 24-120 VR, 70-200/4 VR, and then one or two primes based on where i am going (e.g. Zeiss 18mm/3.5 distagon, Zeiss 50mm makro or Nikon 105mm micro, etc).

    So along comes the Sony A7r and I think this is the perfect travel kit. So now i have the Leica M 16-18-21mm, Sony 35mm/2.8, Leica 28-35-50, Nikkor 50mm AIS, Voigtlander 75mm/2.5, Leica 90mm/2.8 and a Voigtlander 90mm/3.5 in Nikon mount (which in many ways I prefer over the Leica 90mm) and if needed a Zeiss 135mm Nikon mount. I think the Leica 16-18-21 is superb on the Sony whereas the 28-35-50 is so so. I love the Voigtlander 75 and both my 90mm options have their pluses and minuses. The zeiss 135mm is a killer.. amazing… but it is big and heavy..

    So now i need 3 different adapters and 4 different lens formats… Leica M, Leica screw mount, Nikon, and then of course the non-adapter Sony format. I find when changing lenses with all the different formats, I sometimes get confused (briefly of course) pulling off the lens vs lens and adapter, covering the rear with the correct cap… etc.. So now my bag is getting a bit larger than i had originally anticipated and lens changes a bit more complicated. Not sure if anyone else is feeling this way. I am hoping with some of the Sony new lens offerings, I can get down to using the Sony format and perhaps one adapter format to get a good travel kit.

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    Re: Sony-Too many Lens format configurations

    Since you do not seem to be adverse to zooms, why not wait a month or so for the Sony/Zeiss 24-70? That would cover the range of much of your kit. I have all Zeiss glass from my now sold Canon. I will probably just keep that until Sony has a range of native lenses to fit my needs. That would be a very compact kit.

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    Re: Sony-Too many Lens format configurations

    Another solution would be to invest in an adapter for each lens you are going to use with the A7. Then you change all lenses the same way you change the native mount lenses, and carry one set of back caps. It doesn't reduce the load in your bag, but it limits distraction and mistakes.

    I'm simplifying another way, at least to start: I plan to use only Leica R lenses on the A7, so I can use just one mount adapter and one set of Leica R body cap/back caps to cover sealing the body and capping the lenses.

    (I'll eventually pick up the Nikon and Leica M adapters too, but sticking with just one mount adaptation to begin with seems a sensible thing to do. My main purpose in trying the A7 at all is to put my beautiful old Leica R lenses to use on a FF digital body. :-)
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    Re: Sony-Too many Lens format configurations

    Yes Mark, it's the curse of too many choices to cover any "coulda, woulda, shoulda" situation we can conjure up.

    I know it well

    When this camera arrived, I didn't place it in my Sony "Pro" bag with its' A mount brethren … it went into the Leica M Monochrome bag with one adapter … which is one too many IMO. Even with just one adapter, you can end up fumbling about removing the M lens and not the adapter when swapping to a FE lens. :roll eyes: However, it sure beats paying $7,000 for a M240

    We select a camera like this A7/A7R because it is demure in size and easy to carry most anywhere, then pile on the possibilities with various lenses … plus take a simple concept, and make it complex with all the different adapters and do-dads.

    As an old Art Director once advised me regarding being creatively decisive"The problem with making a decision is that it eliminates all the other possibilities".

    The good thing about making a decision is that it focuses your creative energies on the end game rather than getting to the end game.

    This camera immediately reminded me of my business travel days where I left everything behind and only took my Leica CL and three little lenses … 28, 40, 90. I traveled all over the world with just that kit, and nothing else.

    I try to think of the A7R as my modern Leica CL.

    The intent will be the FE24-70/4 zoom, 55/1.8, and for now a M mount 90mm with adapter attached (hopefully, a longer f/2 FE lens will eventually be made. I do not know if I will keep the FE35mm after the zoom arrives … but a 35 and 90 is a nice smaller kit.

    The decision need not be all encompassing … just try to select a basic kit with the adapter already mounted to each choice and keep it small and easy to carry. It is a pretty freeing way to go.

    - Marc
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    Re: Sony-Too many Lens format configurations

    I have an adaptor for each lens. Costly perhaps, I'm using Novoflex but the amount I'm saving by using manual older lenses means that I can afford it. However. Using small lenses it doubles the size of the lens in the bag. I can still fit the A7r and 3 lenses in the space I used to keep a 5D3 with 50L attached but it could be even smaller had I stuck to a single adaptor mount, left it on camera and just changed the lenses. Not a complaint, just an observation.
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    Re: Sony-Too many Lens format configurations

    Usually several months before I travel I start make a list of what I plan to bring and refine it over time. I too am waiting for the Sony FE system to mature (which I think will be pretty good by this time next year). But for now I am also balancing the Nikon gear with the Sony. In less than two months I am traveling to India where I will be moving around a lot and staying in 4 cities traveling by train and plane, for that I am planning on just taking Sony gear a7 and a7r, 24-70, 35 maybe, 55 and (for over 70mm focal length) one or two adapted lenses with adapter for each lens plus an OMD EM1 with 2 lenses for backup. In summer I am traveling to Provence, France where I will be traveling by car once I am there and for that I plan on bringing a Nikon D800 and a couple lenses too. You can't bring everything so you just need to plan as best you can based on each location and travel style. Then each day on the trip I decide what I plan to carry and lock the rest up at the hotel. Lucky you have the WATE!
    Last edited by losta; 20th January 2014 at 06:08. Reason: typo

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    Re: Sony-Too many Lens format configurations

    Godfrey and Ben I had thought about getting an adapter for each lens but that seems so over the top in terms of expense not to mention the added size and weight. At some point might as well just bring the Nikon system.
    Thomas and Losta -- For me I think a lot of what i end up doing is going to be dependent on how good that 24-70 zoom really is in terms of IQ.

    Marc- You make it sound so simple.. However, I think what you said makes a lot of sense. However what makes logical sense and then what one actually does in practice is sometimes not so easy. LOL.

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    Re: Sony-Too many Lens format configurations

    Marc,
    I think you have the perfect philosophy when using this camera.
    I will keep my A900 and large heavy lenses and use my A7R with the compact 55mm and 24-70mm ZA e-mount lenses.
    I must admit: I would like to see what type of images I could produce with the Canon 24mm TSE II and this remarkable sensor!
    Mike
    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Yes Mark, it's the curse of too many choices to cover any "coulda, woulda, shoulda" situation we can conjure up.

    I know it well

    When this camera arrived, I didn't place it in my Sony "Pro" bag with its' A mount brethren … it went into the Leica M Monochrome bag with one adapter … which is one too many IMO. Even with just one adapter, you can end up fumbling about removing the M lens and not the adapter when swapping to a FE lens. :roll eyes: However, it sure beats paying $7,000 for a M240

    We select a camera like this A7/A7R because it is demure in size and easy to carry most anywhere, then pile on the possibilities with various lenses … plus take a simple concept, and make it complex with all the different adapters and do-dads.

    As an old Art Director once advised me regarding being creatively decisive"The problem with making a decision is that it eliminates all the other possibilities".

    The good thing about making a decision is that it focuses your creative energies on the end game rather than getting to the end game.

    This camera immediately reminded me of my business travel days where I left everything behind and only took my Leica CL and three little lenses … 28, 40, 90. I traveled all over the world with just that kit, and nothing else.

    I try to think of the A7R as my modern Leica CL.

    The intent will be the FE24-70/4 zoom, 55/1.8, and for now a M mount 90mm with adapter attached (hopefully, a longer f/2 FE lens will eventually be made. I do not know if I will keep the FE35mm after the zoom arrives … but a 35 and 90 is a nice smaller kit.

    The decision need not be all encompassing … just try to select a basic kit with the adapter already mounted to each choice and keep it small and easy to carry. It is a pretty freeing way to go.

    - Marc

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    Re: Sony-Too many Lens format configurations

    Quote Originally Posted by mark1958 View Post
    Godfrey and Ben I had thought about getting an adapter for each lens but that seems so over the top in terms of expense not to mention the added size and weight. At some point might as well just bring the Nikon system.
    .
    It isn't though. Like really not. The adaptor is only an inch. If like me you've invested in tiny lenses then it makes it all look double the length. Even then it's a tiny package. To be honest if you're using DSLR sized AF lenses then just sticking with the nikon makes sense anyway. It's not a good camera for big lenses. Yes it's smaller but the difference in size equals a horrific loss in ergonomics and useability if you already have as good a sensor in the Nikon's and the Nikon lenses.
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    Re: Sony-Too many Lens format configurations

    Quote Originally Posted by mark1958 View Post
    Godfrey and Ben I had thought about getting an adapter for each lens but that seems so over the top in terms of expense not to mention the added size and weight. At some point might as well just bring the Nikon system.
    Thomas and Losta -- For me I think a lot of what i end up doing is going to be dependent on how good that 24-70 zoom really is in terms of IQ.

    Marc- You make it sound so simple.. However, I think what you said makes a lot of sense. However what makes logical sense and then what one actually does in practice is sometimes not so easy. LOL.
    Mark, it is born neither of sensibility nor of logic … it's just good old fashioned laziness

    I'm sick of carrying around a bag of bricks everywhere on the off-chance I may need some lens … which rarely if ever happens. Half the time I leave it all in my room and take the same one or two lenses.

    While in Miami last week, I put on the 35/2.8 for almost all of my walking around photography. Later on I switched to the 55/1.8 for after dinner shooting at night. It's a little CL to me.

    When I was working down there, I used the M/0.95 and FE lenses plus a few A mounts, and had the A99/A900 with a passel of A mount lenses and flash … but only for work. I don't have the guts that Guy has to dump all the DSLR/SLT workhorse stuff yet … but look forward to the day I can.

    - Marc
    Last edited by fotografz; 20th January 2014 at 13:25.

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    Re: Sony-Too many Lens format configurations

    In my opinion, there is a lot riding on the IQ of the upcoming sony/Zeiss 24-70mm lens. That lens is the specific reason I bought the A7R and if it doesn't deliver as expected, then I may ditch the A7R all together.

    I used the RX1 for the last year with exceptional results. It was almost perfect for what I wanted - excellent IQ in a very small package. I called it my sketchbook since I would often take a test shot or two with the RX1 to determine if the scene was worth dragging out the Leica S2, tripod, etc. For example, I like to hike in the Smoky Mountains for landscape photography. Last year I carried the RX1 in a small pouch attached to the shoulder strap of my pack where it was easily accessible while hiking. When I came upon a scene that had potential, I would pull out the RX1 and take a shot for evaluation purposes. If the shot showed promise then I would take off the backpack and setup the tripod with S2.

    On other occasions - when photography wasn't the purpose of the trip - I would take the RX1 with me (due to it's small size) whereas otherwise I may not have taken a camera at all. The IQ and small size of the RX1 meant I have captured some photos that I am quite proud of and have printed up to 20" x 30".

    The only downside of the RX1 is that the fixed 35mm lens is sometime limiting - not wide enough in some cases and not long enough in other. That is why I bought the A7R and have the 24-70mm on pre-order. I have the Sony/Zeiss 35mm f2.8 for the A7R when I want the small package similar to the RX1 and the 24-70mm will give me the flexibility I seek for more serious photography. Hopefully, the IQ will be good enough so that I can leave the S2 at home and lighten my load considerably for those more strenuous hikes.

    I suspect I am not the only one hoping the A7/A7R system will be an alternative from their larger, heavier camera system without sacrificing too much IQ.

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    Re: Sony-Too many Lens format configurations

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    ... I try to think of the A7R as my modern Leica CL. ...
    That seems to be exactly where I'm headed with the A7 too, albeit that the R lenses are a bit on the bulky side. The E-M1 with 14/2.5, 25/1.4, and 45/2.8 lenses will end up being a lighter kit, and maybe a bit smaller as well.

    Of course, both are much more flexible than just that alone ... The CL like all rangefinders is naturally limited to a rather small range of uses. With either A7 or E-M1, the potential versatility is enormous.

    I'm sick of carrying around a bag of bricks everywhere on the off-chance I may need some lens … which rarely if ever happens. Half the time I leave it all in my room and take the same one or two lenses.
    My last trip with the Olympus E-5 DSLR and four lenses was my cross-USA sojourn with a friend moving her live-in bus from the West Coast to Jackson, Mississippi in 2011. I had the Ricoh GXR+A12 28mm camera unit with me as well. In the course of that entire four week excursion, I pulled out the DSLR just once yet got every great photo I was after. That convinced me it was time to move past the SLR and bag of bricks. It incited a lot of equipment experimentation, exploring different options. Things are settling down now and a big sell-off of that I'm no longer going to use is imminent.

    G

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    Re: Sony-Too many Lens format configurations

    Looking at the lens options you have I wonder why you don't have the M240, you obviously have no issues spending money on the WATE and MATE. No adaptors would be required. The M240, WATE, MATE and your 90 Elmarit would be a great travel kit.
    David
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    Re: Sony-Too many Lens format configurations

    Heck if I'd paid for all those Leica lenses I wouldn't have the money for the M240 either!
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    Re: Sony-Too many Lens format configurations

    I really can't agree with the title of this thread

    I'm revelling in the freedom of choice the a7r is giving me. In the past, for overseas travel where I don't want to lug my MFDB gear and heavy tripod with me, I've been taking an a99 with an a900 as back-up. The cameras have only been good for A mount lenses of course.

    I'm about to embark on five weeks in Southern Africa. I'm packing the a99 with the 70-400G (as it has in-body IS) and the a7r with the 24-70ZA. But in addition I can now take my 21 mm Elmarit for super WA stuff and my 50 'Lux for low light - at no increase in weight.

    The only downside is that I now have to carry two types of battery, though only one slightly bulkier Sony charger.

    In the meantime the a7r is a great walk-around body with any of my M glass, as well as allowing me to use some of my old screw mount favourites - a 50/1.4 Yashinon or a 45/2 Corfield (no relation!) for example.

    Love it!

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    Re: Sony-Too many Lens format configurations

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    I really can't agree with the title of this thread
    It depends on whether you consider "too many" as a negative or a positive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    I'm revelling in the freedom of choice the a7r is giving me.
    I agree. The A7R offers great flexibility. The trick is managing that flexibility to your advantage. It sounds like you have an excellent plan for your travels to South Africa, Bill. South Africa is an awesome place for photography. Enjoy your trip.
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    Re: Sony-Too many Lens format configurations

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    This camera immediately reminded me of my business travel days where I left everything behind and only took my Leica CL and three little lenses … 28, 40, 90. I traveled all over the world with just that kit, and nothing else.

    - Marc
    Exactly! Nothing more is really needed
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    Re: Sony-Too many Lens format configurations

    The metabones adapter with the foot adds a fair bit of size. I have a couple of ideas moving forward

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    It isn't though. Like really not. The adaptor is only an inch. If like me you've invested in tiny lenses then it makes it all look double the length. Even then it's a tiny package. To be honest if you're using DSLR sized AF lenses then just sticking with the nikon makes sense anyway. It's not a good camera for big lenses. Yes it's smaller but the difference in size equals a horrific loss in ergonomics and useability if you already have as good a sensor in the Nikon's and the Nikon lenses.

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    Re: Sony-Too many Lens format configurations

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gowin View Post
    It depends on whether you consider "too many" as a negative or a positive.



    I agree. The A7R offers great flexibility. The trick is managing that flexibility to your advantage. It sounds like you have an excellent plan for your travels to South Africa, Bill. South Africa is an awesome place for photography. Enjoy your trip.
    Thanks, Mark. You're right of course.
    And yes, this will be my third trip to South Africa and Botswana - gets in your blood somehow!
    Bill

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    Re: Sony-Too many Lens format configurations

    Quote Originally Posted by mark1958 View Post
    The metabones adapter with the foot adds a fair bit of size. I have a couple of ideas moving forward
    The problem is that although the camera is so small, the sensor plane is very near the front, far more than you would imagine. That means that to adapt SLR lenses you need a serious chunk of metal sticking out of the front to mount onto. It's why rangefinder lenses do make so much sense with the sony's. Just a shame the camera is so antsy about them. Oh and their price
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    Re: Sony-Too many Lens format configurations

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Exactly! Nothing more is really needed
    +1

    Here is my little travel, MF "3-R" lens kit for the A7R. I was lucky to find a clean 28 w/o "white spot disease".

    Carl
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    Re: Sony-Too many Lens format configurations

    Nice kit, Carl. A "Leica CL Digital" surrogate ... who could have imagined a decade ago that Sony would make it? ;-)

    I heard rumor that the Voigtländer Ultron 28mm f/2 works nicely on the A7. Anyone tried it? I have one of these lenses that I've been considering selling, but if it works well on the A7 sensor that might be reason to hang onto it. It's not a tiny lens, whether it's more compact than an Elmarit-R 24/28 mm f/2.8 with adapter is something of a question mark.

    So much to experiment with and learn with these cameras ... !

    G

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    Re: Sony-Too many Lens format configurations

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Nice kit, Carl. A "Leica CL Digital" surrogate ... who could have imagined a decade ago that Sony would make it? ;-)

    I heard rumor that the Voigtländer Ultron 28mm f/2 works nicely on the A7. Anyone tried it? I have one of these lenses that I've been considering selling, but if it works well on the A7 sensor that might be reason to hang onto it. It's not a tiny lens, whether it's more compact than an Elmarit-R 24/28 mm f/2.8 with adapter is something of a question mark.

    So much to experiment with and learn with these cameras ... !

    G
    Thanks Godfrey. I sold my Ultron 28 2, but still have the 28 1.9 which performs well on the A7R. Also a a somewhat large lens and lower contrast than the 2, but I like the smooth tonal transitions this lens can provide.
    Carl
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