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Thread: Still have A7R questions after using for nearly a month

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    Still have A7R questions after using for nearly a month

    Still get surprises when I use this camera.
    1. First, I swear the ISO changes by itself while I am shooting. I usually set it to 400 to try to guarantee reasonable hand held shutter speeds. Today it changed to 320 before I noticed it. The other day it went to 160.......am I going batty?
    2. I am confused regarding "Live View Display": Setting Effect On/Off. Initially I had it set to "On", as I thought I would need it set there to see the effects of using a polarizer filter....is this correct? But then I noticed with it set to "On", if I shoot at say, f16, the lens diaphragm is actually stopped down, so I am trying to auto focus or manual focus with the lens stopped down, adding tremendous depth of field, which I would think would lead to less than optimum focus.
    3. With focus mode set to DMF, and Live View Display Off, I auto focus, and when I touch the focus ring, it magnifies the image (useful), but it also stops the lens all the way down to shooting aperature, making direct manual focus difficult, because of the depth of field. Is this what is supposed to happen?
    4. With auto focus engaged, I found focus peaking getting in the way of my composition, ( a bunch of yellow or white jiggelies bouncing around, covering my center of interest), so I turned it off. Are you folks using it for auto focus lenses?
    5. I want to use a bunch of legacy MF lenses with adapters. How would you set up the camera? I am assuming the following:
    Fire without lens
    MF assist: "ON"
    Peaking Level: "ON"
    Live View Display: Setting Effect ON/Off....confused here, which should I select....for manual focus lenses, I assume it makes no difference?
    Should I focus wide open, then stop down and take the picture?
    If I choose to focus wide open, then stop down to take the picture, will the finder black out? Is this a function of setting Effect ON/OFF?

    I am away from home and do not have MF lenses with me, but I return home tomorrow, and looking to avoid additional frustrations.

    Thanks in advance
    Dave in NJ

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    Re: Still have A7R questions after using for nearly a month

    You probably have the rotating dial set to ISO in shooting mode and you're accidently spinning it while shooting. Set it to "not set" or another function and set ISO to another button, thats what I did at least....

    As for LV setting effect, really depends on your shooting style, if you shoot with filters or strobes, you'll want the effect off. It will act like an SLR with aperture control for wide open viewing all the time. You can program another button for DoF preview or preferably the setting effect preview. I have my camera set like that in case i do want to see what an exposure would look like.

    I have a quick setting to swap out the peaking so I can use it when I need it, and not when I don't. with most AF lenses I don't have it on...

    as fo your last question, i'd program a button for mf assist so you can easily and quickly double tap it to zoom into an area with your MF lenses..

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    Re: Still have A7R questions after using for nearly a month

    2. This is displaying the brightness relative to your exposure settings. If you're under it will look under. It also shows the display based on your jpg settings so that if you're shooting B&W it will show in B&W.
    5. You want LV display on. You can then set sharpness and contrast to maximum to help you focus manually. I don't like focusing wide open then stopping down unless you know your lens has no focus shift. With LV setting on, when shooting in manual yes the viewfinder will darken. Otherwise as you stop down the shutter or iso will change (depending what mode you're in) to compensate and show you your exposure as it is.
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    Re: Still have A7R questions after using for nearly a month

    Thank you both.....very helpful. I will post some MF lens photos. Fortunately, I kept, and started to collect old mechanical 35 mm cameras and lenses.......dirt cheap after digital caught on. I have some rather rare birds.....such as Edixa, Praktina, Petri, Miranda, Topcon / Exakta ( the Auto Topcors are beautifully made), etc., and more mundane lenses such as Nikkor, Leica R, Zeiss CY, AND M42 Takumars.
    Regards and thank you again.
    Dave in NJ

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    Re: Still have A7R questions after using for nearly a month

    I use the A7 exclusively with manual focus Leica R and Nikkor lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by gurtch View Post
    Still get surprises when I use this camera.
    1. First, I swear the ISO changes by itself while I am shooting. I usually set it to 400 to try to guarantee reasonable hand held shutter speeds. Today it changed to 320 before I noticed it. The other day it went to 160.......am I going batty?
    You're bumping the four-way dial, with it set to the default where turning it changes ISO setting directly. Either teach your fingers to not touch it inadvertently, or put ISO on some other control.

    Quote Originally Posted by gurtch View Post
    2. I am confused regarding "Live View Display": Setting Effect On/Off. Initially I had it set to "On", as I thought I would need it set there to see the effects of using a polarizer filter....is this correct? But then I noticed with it set to "On", if I shoot at say, f16, the lens diaphragm is actually stopped down, so I am trying to auto focus or manual focus with the lens stopped down, adding tremendous depth of field, which I would think would lead to less than optimum focus.
    With a dedicated E-mount lens:

    Leaving this setting "On" will allow the viewfinder to approximate closely the actual exposure setting, so the lens stops down and the viewfinder darkens if your exposure time/ISO setting would produce underexposure to show the effect. The histogram will reflect the absolute exposure setting in Manual exp mode, linked to the meter readout bar. And the DoF will reflect the actual DoF at exposure time.

    Turning the setting "Off" will allow the camera to try to keep the viewfinder at a constant brightness to aid focusing and framing in dim circumstances. The histogram in Manual mode will show you the relative brightnesses in the scene uncoupled to the meter readout. The meter readout will show you how far off the null ("correct") the camera thinks you are to +/- 3 EV range. The aperture will modulate from wide-open to stopped down, and only be at the set aperture for exposure, so you cannot rely upon the view reflecting the actual stopped down (or wide open) view all the time*.

    *It's better not to think of the aperture in SLR terms of wide open at viewing, stopped down at taking. In general, the camera will either use gain, refresh rate, and lens opening to keep the view brightness constant with the setting OFF, and will set the lens to the taking aperture, modifying refresh and gain to simulate taking shutter speed in order to support seeing the "live" view approximation with the setting ON.

    With a manual lens:

    The camera has no control of aperture, so with the setting ON the view is simulated using refresh and gain for whatever aperture you set. And with the setting off, the view is held constant through refresh and gain as best possible. The histogram and meter readout views act the same as with dedicated lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by gurtch View Post
    3. With focus mode set to DMF, and Live View Display Off, I auto focus, and when I touch the focus ring, it magnifies the image (useful), but it also stops the lens all the way down to shooting aperature, making direct manual focus difficult, because of the depth of field. Is this what is supposed to happen?
    I have no AF lenses so I'm not sure how it is supposed to behave.

    Quote Originally Posted by gurtch View Post
    4. With auto focus engaged, I found focus peaking getting in the way of my composition, ( a bunch of yellow or white jiggelies bouncing around, covering my center of interest), so I turned it off. Are you folks using it for auto focus lenses?
    I see little advantage to using focus peaking unless I'm adjusting focus. I have the down button on the four way controller set to configure and enable focus peaking for when I want to use it.

    Quote Originally Posted by gurtch View Post
    5. I want to use a bunch of legacy MF lenses with adapters. How would you set up the camera? I am assuming the following:
    Fire without lens
    MF assist: "ON"
    Peaking Level: "ON"
    Live View Display: Setting Effect ON/Off....confused here, which should I select....for manual focus lenses, I assume it makes no difference?
    Should I focus wide open, then stop down and take the picture?
    If I choose to focus wide open, then stop down to take the picture, will the finder black out? Is this a function of setting Effect ON/OFF?
    For all adapted lenses, the only shooting modes that make sense are A and M. Turn "Fire without lens on" and leave it on ... it makes no difference when using AF lenses.

    MF Assist: can only be enabled by selecting the command in the menu or by assigning it to a button. I have it set to the AF/MF button (lever up): first press shows the area selection rectangle, which you can pilot to another position if you want, second press is 5.7x, third press is 11.7x. Disable by half-press on the shutter release.

    Peaking: can only be enabled by selecting the command or by assigning it to a button. I have the down arrow on the four-way controller set to configure, enable, disable peaking.

    Live View Display: I leave the setting ON most of the time, and turn it OFF when I'm working in very dim cirumstances so that it is easier to see for framing and focusing.

    Focusing: If you focus wide open and then stop down, the lens you're using *could* focus shift and throw the focus off, or you *could* move the camera and throw the focus off. Normally, I find I can focus very easily with most lenses up to about f/8, and I only stop down past f/8 when I need much more DoF.

    Given Picture Effect ON: If you are in A mode and focus wide open, then stop down the lens, the finder will maintain the same brightness by shifting the exposure time (and/or ISO if you're set to AutoISO) to suit. If you are in M mode and focus wide open, and if you're using a fixed ISO, you need to adjust the exposure time for focusing, then stop down and re-adjust the exposure time for exposure. If you're using M mode and AutoISO, the camera will compensate by shifting ISO setting, refresh and gain adjustments to simulate.

    Given Picture Effect OFF: The viewfinder/LCD will maintain a constant brightness, to the limits of the camera's ability to adjust gain and refresh rate. A and M modes will work the same, but in M mode be sure to watch the metering readout independently of the histogram as the histogram will not reflect the absolute exposure values, only relative values.

    Sheesh, one can write a dissertation about how a modern camera's settings behave. Life was so much simpler when you couldn't see anything, you just loaded a film with a set sensitivity, set aperture, and exposure time, and hoped. ;-)

    G
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    Re: Still have A7R questions after using for nearly a month

    If one is shooting in ambient light, I can't think of a circumstance where "shooting effects" should be set to anything but "on". With the setting "on", one has WYSIWYG images, no histogram or chimping needed. If the ambient light is dim, push the exposure to add gain to the EVF to aid focusing, and back off to the "zero" meter setting after focus is achieved. The only time I use "setting effect" off, is when using flash.

    I don't understand why one would choose aperture priority when using adapted lenses with an aperture ring. Manual or shutter priority are the settings to use.

    MF assist. This setting apparently only works with native lenses. My "A" mount lenses (with ssm motors), mounted on the Sony LA-EA3 on my a7r will autofocus, but won't automatically go into zoom manual focus by using the lens focus ring. The setting has nothing to do with adapted lenses and zoom manual focusing.

    Graham

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    Re: Still have A7R questions after using for nearly a month

    Graham I think the 4 adapter it does. Let me check with my ZA 85 in the morning
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    Re: Still have A7R questions after using for nearly a month

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamB View Post
    If one is shooting in ambient light, I can't think of a circumstance where "shooting effects" should be set to anything but "on". With the setting "on", one has WYSIWYG images, no histogram or chimping needed. If the ambient light is dim, push the exposure to add gain to the EVF to aid focusing, and back off to the "zero" meter setting after focus is achieved. The only time I use "setting effect" off, is when using flash.
    When shooting in truly dim circumstances, I want the viewfinder to stay bright if what I'm shooting is people. I have no time to rack the EV comp back and forth constantly.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamB View Post
    I don't understand why one would choose aperture priority when using adapted lenses with an aperture ring. Manual or shutter priority are the settings to use.
    There's no difference when using adapted lenses between S and M modes because the camera has no control of the aperture setting. It does nothing for you to use S mode ... you're setting the shutter time and the aperture manually. If you use A mode, you control the aperture and the camera adjusts the exposure time to suit.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamB View Post
    MF assist. This setting apparently only works with native lenses. My "A" mount lenses (with ssm motors), mounted on the Sony LA-EA3 on my a7r will autofocus, but won't automatically go into zoom manual focus by using the lens focus ring. The setting has nothing to do with adapted lenses and zoom manual focusing.
    It is surprising if the Sony mount adapter does not support auto operation of MF Assist with their own lenses, but perhaps it's as Guy said ... the later model does, yours does not. However, you can always trigger MF Assist magnification manually as I suggested above for MF lenses.

    Godfrey

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    Re: Still have A7R questions after using for nearly a month

    Okay I have to take back the comment I made . With the 85mm ZA A mount lens when I go to manual focus the lens it will not magnify like the FE lenses. I have to treat it like my manual lenses and hit my zoom button. Here is what i do like about this though. I can stay on DMF or AF settings get quickly to the focus point than just manual focus and watch my focus peaking and I can magnify if I want as well with the button
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    Re: Still have A7R questions after using for nearly a month

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I use the A7 exclusively with manual focus Leica R and Nikkor lenses.



    You're bumping the four-way dial, with it set to the default where turning it changes ISO setting directly. Either teach your fingers to not touch it inadvertently, or put ISO on some other control.



    With a dedicated E-mount lens:

    Leaving this setting "On" will allow the viewfinder to approximate closely the actual exposure setting, so the lens stops down and the viewfinder darkens if your exposure time/ISO setting would produce underexposure to show the effect. The histogram will reflect the absolute exposure setting in Manual exp mode, linked to the meter readout bar. And the DoF will reflect the actual DoF at exposure time.

    Turning the setting "Off" will allow the camera to try to keep the viewfinder at a constant brightness to aid focusing and framing in dim circumstances. The histogram in Manual mode will show you the relative brightnesses in the scene uncoupled to the meter readout. The meter readout will show you how far off the null ("correct") the camera thinks you are to +/- 3 EV range. The aperture will modulate from wide-open to stopped down, and only be at the set aperture for exposure, so you cannot rely upon the view reflecting the actual stopped down (or wide open) view all the time*.

    *It's better not to think of the aperture in SLR terms of wide open at viewing, stopped down at taking. In general, the camera will either use gain, refresh rate, and lens opening to keep the view brightness constant with the setting OFF, and will set the lens to the taking aperture, modifying refresh and gain to simulate taking shutter speed in order to support seeing the "live" view approximation with the setting ON.

    With a manual lens:

    The camera has no control of aperture, so with the setting ON the view is simulated using refresh and gain for whatever aperture you set. And with the setting off, the view is held constant through refresh and gain as best possible. The histogram and meter readout views act the same as with dedicated lenses.



    I have no AF lenses so I'm not sure how it is supposed to behave.



    I see little advantage to using focus peaking unless I'm adjusting focus. I have the down button on the four way controller set to configure and enable focus peaking for when I want to use it.



    For all adapted lenses, the only shooting modes that make sense are A and M. Turn "Fire without lens on" and leave it on ... it makes no difference when using AF lenses.

    MF Assist: can only be enabled by selecting the command in the menu or by assigning it to a button. I have it set to the AF/MF button (lever up): first press shows the area selection rectangle, which you can pilot to another position if you want, second press is 5.7x, third press is 11.7x. Disable by half-press on the shutter release.

    Peaking: can only be enabled by selecting the command or by assigning it to a button. I have the down arrow on the four-way controller set to configure, enable, disable peaking.

    Live View Display: I leave the setting ON most of the time, and turn it OFF when I'm working in very dim cirumstances so that it is easier to see for framing and focusing.

    Focusing: If you focus wide open and then stop down, the lens you're using *could* focus shift and throw the focus off, or you *could* move the camera and throw the focus off. Normally, I find I can focus very easily with most lenses up to about f/8, and I only stop down past f/8 when I need much more DoF.

    Given Picture Effect ON: If you are in A mode and focus wide open, then stop down the lens, the finder will maintain the same brightness by shifting the exposure time (and/or ISO if you're set to AutoISO) to suit. If you are in M mode and focus wide open, and if you're using a fixed ISO, you need to adjust the exposure time for focusing, then stop down and re-adjust the exposure time for exposure. If you're using M mode and AutoISO, the camera will compensate by shifting ISO setting, refresh and gain adjustments to simulate.

    Given Picture Effect OFF: The viewfinder/LCD will maintain a constant brightness, to the limits of the camera's ability to adjust gain and refresh rate. A and M modes will work the same, but in M mode be sure to watch the metering readout independently of the histogram as the histogram will not reflect the absolute exposure values, only relative values.

    Sheesh, one can write a dissertation about how a modern camera's settings behave. Life was so much simpler when you couldn't see anything, you just loaded a film with a set sensitivity, set aperture, and exposure time, and hoped. ;-)

    G
    In fairness the books and dissertations in those days were on film processing...
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    Re: Still have A7R questions after using for nearly a month

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    In fairness the books and dissertations in those days were on film processing...
    So true!

    G

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