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Thread: A7R + FE55 = Portraits?

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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    A7R + FE55 = Portraits?

    I shoot exclusively tech cam - architecture & landscapes. I can do everything that I want in my fields and equipment. I have been completely happy for years and have not missed anything.

    However, lately I have been asked several times of familyportraits in home/garden invironment. I'm not particularly interested in the DF+ body and have therefore looked around for a camera/lens for this sole purpose.

    I figure that with this one lens setup I can do headshots as well as a familyshot of 4!
    Would you say that for this single purpose - is this a wise choice? Since portraits is NOT my field I have a lot to learn and I am not updated on which camera/sensor is good/natural on skincolours, accurate autofocus (prefer accuracy instead of speed), how sensitive camerashake is and so forth....
    Since I am a hardcore tripodguy in my natural fields of photography I can very well see myself using a monopod and a small loose ballhead as a good compromise between flexibility and base support.

    Coming from Alpa 12 system/Credo 60/Schneider lenses I am pretty spoiled on technical quality, which is why my head turned the A7R way.

    I should add that whatever it will be, it is not a question of building a large new/different system with future possibilities, no, this is a body with one max two lenses for portraits only! It is more for me to be able to say yes to an assignment if I choose to do so and ofcourse to slowly learn this field.....

    Any advice would be appreciated
    Alpa FPS MAX TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A7R + FE55 = Portraits?

    Dan it would be perfect for this. I would recommend getting the 35 also in case you need the room for a bigger group or limited by space. A A7r and the 35/55 would be a nice kit. Besides all that it would be handy for travel and even when doing location shooting for some grab shots for a client. For a single person I would give your self a little breathing room with the 55mm since it is a tiny bit short for a headshot. I much prefer 85 and longer for that. But with 36mpx sensor you get plenty to crop in a little if needed
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A7R + FE55 = Portraits?

    Dan you could also opt for the 24-70 zoom instead to gain a little length for a headshot as well. Depends on what you like here. The 55 is a very very sharp lens to have in the bag. Jury still out on the 24-70 but my guess like all 24-70 it starts getting good around 28mm and maybe very good at 70mm. The book on zooms in general shave off the front and back side of them and there pretty good but some are good at the maximum zoom level. Almost never are they good on the very wide side. Nature of the beast on wide angle zooms in the mid size range. I never met a good 24mm on a 24-70 zoom usually it starts at 28mm to be good and without a lot of distortion. Here distortion is not what you want with people.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: A7R + FE55 = Portraits?

    Thanks Guy! So far the locations have had plenty of space, so zooming with your feet for a group of people with the 55 is normally a non issue. I agree totally that the 55 is on the short side for really close headshots, I too prefer a 75-85 for that. But, as you say, with plenty of pixels I have quite a bit of freedom to crop a little.
    Zooms have never really been my thing to be honest, it is strange but with its intended flexibility it shortcuts something in my brain and I become less creative.

    The perfect setup would be the 35 + an 85 but I figure that a good compromise is to start with the 55 only and learn the field!!

    Edit: a Fuji X T1 + XF56/1.2....could this be an option? I love Fuji in most respects but have doubts about going into paid assignments and not shooting fullframe.....I don't know if that is stupid thinking or not!
    Alpa FPS MAX TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A7R + FE55 = Portraits?

    I'm with you on zooms. I need a mid range one but that's intended for PR type work . I'm a prime guy all the way. The 55 is a great start. The only problem could be DOF if your stacked like 3 deep with people. Why I brought up the 35 also was you can gain a little more DOF with it. Something I have run into many times but I get really big groups on the corporate side of photography. Like a whole team of people on a work project for instance. Big

    So depends sometimes how big these groups can get. I guess bottom line would not hurt you to have a 35mm also just in case.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com
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    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Re: A7R + FE55 = Portraits?

    Dan

    I concur with the advice given above. The FE 55/1.8 gives its owner a powerful lens for portraits. I mused as such in a post in the A7/r photograph thread:

    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/566817-post2671.html

    Like you, I really only shoot landscapes and am occasionally pressed to do a portrait for a relative or friend. With the FE 55/1.8 I know I can do a good job.

    LouisB
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    My new book "Whitechapel in 50 BUildings", Flikr Stream, www.louisberk.com
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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: A7R + FE55 = Portraits?

    Hi Dan!
    I also think the 55 would be excellent. But I think the second lens should be an 85-100 prime.

    Like a Leica 90 summicron


    Dave
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    Re: A7R + FE55 = Portraits?

    The 55 FE is a great lens. However a better option for headshots is the Sony Zeiss 85mm with the LEA4 adapter.
    Either way you cant go wrong!

    Gregg
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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: A7R + FE55 = Portraits?

    Just remembered that I have my old Contax G body and a 45/2 and 90/2.8.

    Could it be a good idea to use these two on the A7R?

    If yes - would you opt for a metabones adapter with manual focus or the Art-tech (not sure about brand) autofocus adapter?
    Alpa FPS MAX TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com

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    Re: A7R + FE55 = Portraits?

    You have the lenses and can best judge how the damping is on them for manual focus feel. I have read that the glass is great but perhaps not having quite optimal feel for manual focus, tho I have no experience with these lenses. If the autofocus adapter gives you the option of manual focusing, as I would assume, then assuming price not an issue, get that one. The autofocus will likely be bit slow, so you will have to decide between the speed of autofocus and the feel on manual focus. Still, given you have these lenses and optically they are supposed to be excellent, getting an adapter sure makes sense. If you want the best quality and autofocus, then do get the FE 55 at some point or at least try it out.

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    Re: A7R + FE55 = Portraits?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luvwine View Post
    You have the lenses and can best judge how the damping is on them for manual focus feel. I have read that the glass is great but perhaps not having quite optimal feel for manual focus, tho I have no experience with these lenses. If the autofocus adapter gives you the option of manual focusing, as I would assume, then assuming price not an issue, get that one. The autofocus will likely be bit slow, so you will have to decide between the speed of autofocus and the feel on manual focus. Still, given you have these lenses and optically they are supposed to be excellent, getting an adapter sure makes sense. If you want the best quality and autofocus, then do get the FE 55 at some point or at least try it out.
    Dan:
    I agree with luvwine's appraisal. I'd like to add one thing. I have both the metabones mf and the techart AF adapters. I never liked the difficulty of getting the metabones adapter attached to the camera and lens (though once correctly connected the focus ring was smooth) so I got the af adapter and that is very good. I don't use the AF. I like the manual focus (actually manual focus by wire). I do agree that the 45mm is very sharp. But the FE 55mm is spoiling me.

    Regards,
    John

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: A7R + FE55 = Portraits?

    Quote Originally Posted by danlindberg View Post
    Just remembered that I have my old Contax G body and a 45/2 and 90/2.8.

    Could it be a good idea to use these two on the A7R?

    If yes - would you opt for a metabones adapter with manual focus or the Art-tech (not sure about brand) autofocus adapter?
    I used both of these lenses on the NEX7. Since you already have the lenses, I would just buy a manual focus adapter and give them a try. The 90 f/2.8 should be especially good on the A7r, and the 45mm will probably be worth the try, too. Both were a nice size with the NEX7 body. The magnification feature of the A7r makes manual focusing amazingly easy.

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    Re: A7R + FE55 = Portraits?

    Quote Originally Posted by danlindberg View Post
    Just remembered that I have my old Contax G body and a 45/2 and 90/2.8.

    Could it be a good idea to use these two on the A7R?

    If yes - would you opt for a metabones adapter with manual focus or the Art-tech (not sure about brand) autofocus adapter?
    I have both lenses. The 45/2 is very comparable to the 55 FE in the center on an A7R. I need to do more testing to see the borders and corners.

    The G 90 was a disappointment. I have a Nikkor 85/1.4 G and compared the two lenses. The G90 could NOT hold its own against such a sharp, modern lerns. It was thoroughly beatened in the center, borders, and corners.

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    Re: A7R + FE55 = Portraits?

    Quote Originally Posted by danlindberg View Post
    Just remembered that I have my old Contax G body and a 45/2 and 90/2.8.

    Could it be a good idea to use these two on the A7R?
    G90 is stunning on A7R starting from wide open.

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