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Thread: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

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    Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    I just began testing last night. Here's an image using a Mamiya 120mm macro lens 1/60 ISO 200 handheld. More coming...

    Don Libby
    Iron Creek Photography
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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    I figured everyone needs a little sun in their life.

    The light is just too harsh right now to do much testing. Sony A7r Phase One 80mm 2.8 lens. Shot 1/60 ISO 50. No post processing.

    Don Libby
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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Very nice Don - predictable question: which adaptor?

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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    The adaptor is a FOTODIX Pro NEX adaptor F/Mamiya 645. I got it from B&H for $69.95

    I'm in the process of writing a blog series on the various lens.

    Here it is connected to the Phase One 80mm.



    The one possible negative I have with the adaptor is that after installing a QR plate to the bottom I found I couldn't easily attached it to the camera as it rubbed on the RRS bracket. The work around is to install it first then place the plate on it if I were using a tripod or monopod. Its a workaround for sure just slows me down...
    Don Libby
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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Cut the damn foot off Don. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Its funny because I have a similar issue with the Sony 4 adapter /RRS L plate and my flip lock Arca clamp. The distance between the adapter and RRS L bracket is very small. I can't put on tripod by dropping it in the Arca flip lock. I have to slide it on from the side. Not a big deal and actually it makes it safer as it won't fall out unless I slide it off.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Well, this begs for a test - a7r with Phase lens vs DF/IQ180 with same lens....
    Bill

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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    I'll see what I can do next week while in Carmel, maybe use Kens 180 as I "only" have a 160....
    Don Libby
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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Don, how do you control the aperture? Does the adapter have enough electronic contacts to allow stop down metering?

    So far all the legacy lenses I've used on the a7r have aperture control rings on the lens. Phase/Mamiya lenses are controlled from the camera.

    ???

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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Sadly Bill there is no aperture control. What I've learned is by using both the shutter speed and ISO I can get a really deceit image.

    I've got a couple test files from the 80mm this evening but want to wait until the skies get better (typical flat blue with no clouds) so may have to hold off for a day or two.

    On a different note, I tried the Schneider 55LS and it seems to work very well.

    I've got a couple more days here in Tucson before I head to Carmel next week with a couple days that look promising and will continue the testing. I've planed a stop over at Valley of Fire on my return to Tucson so I'll be getting more trigger time there.

    I plan on posting results from all my lenses so with the 120 taken care of and the 80 shortly, I then do the 55 before going to the 150 and finishing off with the 240 along with using the 2x on the 240 as I really want to see what the camera looks like with that much lens on front - sort of a large lens cap I suppose.

    I'll be adding more results both here and on my blog as we progress.

    Don
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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    hmm, maybe Metabones should make a focus reducer for medium format lens on full frame A7(r)

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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Thanks Don. I presume then that you're shooting at full aperture. That would be great for my Mam 150 as it's best aperture is f2.8.

    I'll look fwd to your findings while I'm ordering my adapter!

    Cheers.

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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Thanks for your test results. Gave me the impetus to look into an adapter to use my Pentax 645 manual focus lenses, all with aperture rings, on my A7R. Many of these lenses are redundant to 35 mm format lenses I have, but the Pentax 645 120mm macro is a stellar lens compared to all formats I have.
    Regards
    Dave in NJ
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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Mamiya m645 120mm f/4 macro, Mirex T/S adapter, Sony a7r

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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Quote Originally Posted by gurtch View Post
    Thanks for your test results. Gave me the impetus to look into an adapter to use my Pentax 645 manual focus lenses, all with aperture rings, on my A7R. Many of these lenses are redundant to 35 mm format lenses I have, but the Pentax 645 120mm macro is a stellar lens compared to all formats I have.
    Regards
    Dave in NJ
    Dave, Although the Pentax 120mm 645 macro is superb, trying out some of the other Pentax medium format lenses isn't redundant in my opinion. When I tried various 645 focal length lenses on the D800e, I was surprised at their level of performance even over many of the excellent similar focal Nikon 35mm format lenses. I attributed some of the look and notable imagery to the fact that the D800e was using the sweet spot of many of these 645 format lenses. Of course it's on a lens by lens (case by case) basis.

    What's so convenient about most all of the Pentax legacy 645 lenses as you noted, is that they all have aperture rings, so you have a choice of selecting shooting aperture.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Don, I can't quite put my finger on it, but there is something alluring about the first image in this thread that you posted...simply lovely. I can image a good sized framed print or wall mural as simply being a lovely addition to a room.

    Dave (D&A)
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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    Don, how do you control the aperture? Does the adapter have enough electronic contacts to allow stop down metering?

    So far all the legacy lenses I've used on the a7r have aperture control rings on the lens. Phase/Mamiya lenses are controlled from the camera.

    ???

    Bill

    One can use the light meter in the camera, counting f-stops.
    Works like a charm.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Cut the damn foot off Don. LOL

    I did exactly that for a Fotodiox adapter for an F lens.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    The A7 and 7r are the perfect cameras to adapt all kind of lenses. Now with the short flange focal distance you can do even more crazy things. It opens a world of best lenses for a really good sensor. Pure fun !
    I am right now working on a solution with 28mm shift 24 degrees of tilt and TS image angles starting at 14mm.







    More to come

    Greetings from Germany
    Stefan
    because photography is more than technology - and " as we have done this all the time "
    facebook:hcam.de - www.hcam.de - www.hartblei.de
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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Now that would be nice to have. Need a test Guinea pig I'm in.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Hey,
    I'm not being a wise guy here, just asking. Why would you want to put a medium format lens on the Sony?
    Robert
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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    It's actually a great question. Makes me wonder as well but it maybe some folks only have DSLR style of glass in MF. Also you do get the center of the lens or the sweat spot as they say. Also you do have some TS options with Zoerk and Mirex adapters for medium format lenses. As you can see Stefan is also working on that very thing. Another reason is there are some really nice MF glass out there and they have big image circles so shifting and such can be a much bigger advantage than 35 glass. This alone could be huge panos with a lot of stitching movements and more so than let's say a Canon TS.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Quote Originally Posted by k-hawinkler View Post
    One can use the light meter in the camera, counting f-stops.
    Works like a charm.
    Only for lenses that have a manual aperture control.... not for the LS lenses. An electronic handshake between the camera and lens is needed. Too bad as it would be interesting to use those lenses on the A7r.

    Victor
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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    It would but there are some great lenses out there with Aperture rings. Pentax comes to mind immediately and some fun Mamiya glass as well. Hassy there is a ton
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Quote Originally Posted by OlderThenDirt View Post
    Hey,
    I'm not being a wise guy here, just asking. Why would you want to put a medium format lens on the Sony?
    Robert
    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    It's actually a great question. Makes me wonder as well but it maybe some folks only have DSLR style of glass in MF. Also you do get the center of the lens or the sweat spot as they say. Also you do have some TS options with Zoerk and Mirex adapters for medium format lenses. As you can see Stefan is also working on that very thing. Another reason is there are some really nice MF glass out there and they have big image circles so shifting and such can be a much bigger advantage than 35 glass. This alone could be huge panos with a lot of stitching movements and more so than let's say a Canon TS.
    Robert - as Guy said, great question. The main reason for me doing this is that I no longer have access to 35mm lens (other than Sony). The other reason is that personally I've always felt that medium format lens offered me more in the line of image quality. Add this to Guys response as to "why".

    Don

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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Hasselblad 250mm + Tele-Converter = 500mm


    Result:
    ALPA (MAX, STC, TC) | CAMBO (Actus DB2, WRS-AE) | CONTAX | HASSELBLAD | LEICA | DB (CFV-16, CFV-39, IQ180, IQ360, IQ3100, P45+) | Lens (Canon, Fujinon, Leica, Nikon, Pentax, Rodenstock, Schneider, Zeiss)
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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Some very nice work/ideas showing up!

    This will be the end of my testing with the 80mm - tomorrow promises to have clouds so I'll be using the 55LS in the morning leaving the 150 and 240.

    Overall I'm very pleased with what I'm getting and feel the downside is caused by user error more than equipment failure. I started this project doing handheld shots and feel I should continue that way. I've had a few missed focus point however again I'll take the blame for them.

    Three images follow, in each case the non-post processed one followed by one that is slightly processed using things I normally would when starting out on a file. The last image surprised me so I had to offer 3-samples. I'm still getting my thought together and once I do I'll post them on my blog.



    1/1600 ISO 8000


    After some slight post processing that includes individual level adjustment (red, green and blue) then over to the filter section and shake reduction. Just a bit noisy however I think if I worked it just a little more I could have toned it down.


    1/1600 ISO 64


    After some slight post processing that includes individual level adjustment (red, green and blue) then over to the filter section some slight work in the sky with Nik Viveza 2.

    After some slight post processing that includes individual level adjustment (red, green and blue) then over to the filter section and shake reduction. Had to crop this at 100% just to show the fine details.

    Three samples next. First and second have no post processing however the second is a 100% crop showing the fine details. The third contains slight post processing that includes individual level adjustment (red, green and blue) then over to the filter section and shake reduction. I'll admit that I screw up focusing on the read instead of the front bud however this was handheld and if I were doing this for real the camera would have been on a tripod where it belongs. Yet this shows me the potential.


    1/160 ISO 500


    100% crop


    Processed

    I test the way I shoot. In other words I shoot landscape, nature and wildlife so that's what I test in order to see what I can achieve for my own work. It wasn't until I joined GetDpi that I had any thoughts of sharing because again, it was for my own knowledge of whether or not a piece of gear or process would fit into my own workflow. Also I absolutely hate JPEG files as I know that they don't/can't show the true finished work; in short my personal opinion I think they suck. Now that's off my chest I'll say that as good as some if not all this images look they look much better on my calibrated monitors in full resolution Tiff format - hell if they didn't they'd never see the light of day.

    I plan on continuing the test with the 55LS then on to the long lens just to see what they can produce. While I have no real interest in what the 240 alone can produce on a Sony I will do it because in one-way I'm interested in seeing what it looks like mounted on the camera!

    Cheers

    Don
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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Hey Don,

    They work so well on the Sony that you might even want to try those lenses with the PhaseOne back! All kidding aside, other than the obvious weight advantage, why would you want to use the Sony instead of the PhaseOne back that you have and work perfectly?

    See you in Carmel.

    -Paul
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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Great question! The sole reason for doing this test is that I wanted to see how the lenses would perform and trust me there's no way in hell that I'd ever consider giving up either the WRS or the DF (until a new better body comes along).

    One of my thoughts on this was if Canon, Nikon and Leica lenses are so good then my Phase\Mamiya should be just as if not better. Beside I like pushing the envelop just to see that "what if". Doesn't mean that I'd consider doing it in real life.

    One thing I did find interesting a couple minutes ago. I finished shooting the camera porn showing the various lens on the 7r and had the 2x and 240 together on it. I figured what the heck and tried it out. The weight was much better than on my DF yet it was a little uncomfortable shooting handheld.

    See you next week in Carmel and to answer the unasked question, yes I'll be bringing everything with me as I plan on shooting in Valley of Fire on my way home.
    Don Libby
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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    To be totally honest folks I started this because I was bored. I'm recouping from a nasty bout of food poisoning that has still left my stomach tender. When I'm bored I tend to do crazy things like think up new tests. All the images shown so far are within 10 feet of my bedroom door so it's been easy. I'm feeling much better with each day and today I actually feel the best in close to a week. I'm getting cabin fervor and want to get out tomorrow morning besides we should have some clouds.

    Just a little back story to the reason why the heck is he doing this......

    Don
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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Hey Don, playing is a plenty good reason for tying something "outside the box". I have several nice Pentax 645 lenses because of the "build it and they will come" idea - if I have the lenses maybe a 645D will fall from the heavens.
    Otherwise, I was hoping you had come across a great reason for me to use them on my A7r.
    As I said, just asking.
    Hope you feel better soon.
    Robert

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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Get well soon, Don - we need you!
    Bill
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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Dave, Although the Pentax 120mm 645 macro is superb, trying out some of the other Pentax medium format lenses isn't redundant in my opinion. When I tried various 645 focal length lenses on the D800e, I was surprised at their level of performance even over many of the excellent similar focal Nikon 35mm format lenses. I attributed some of the look and notable imagery to the fact that the D800e was using the sweet spot of many of these 645 format lenses. Of course it's on a lens by lens (case by case) basis.

    What's so convenient about most all of the Pentax legacy 645 lenses as you noted, is that they all have aperture rings, so you have a choice of selecting shooting aperture.

    Dave (D&A)


    Thanks for the tip Dave. Right now I do not have a Pentax 645 -->Sony NEX adapter. I do have a Pentax 645---->Nikon adapter + Nikon ----->Sony adapter which I could try in series. I know you have accumulating tolerances, but I would think live view focusing would eliminate any focus issues. I will give it a try.
    Regards
    Dave in NJ

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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Quote Originally Posted by OlderThenDirt View Post
    Hey,
    I'm not being a wise guy here, just asking. Why would you want to put a medium format lens on the Sony?
    Robert
    My reason for wanting to try MF lenses on my A7R is simple: Because I have them sitting on a shelf with the 645D: 35mm f3.5, 75mm f2.8, 120mm Macro, 150mm f3.5, 200mm f4, 300mm f4 with matched 1.4X. Because I will only be using the center "sweet spot", I think the 420mm (300mm + 1.4X combo) will use a "crop factor" telephoto effect of even longer, sort of like using a full frame 35mm format lens on APSC cameras. What a piece of plumbing that would be: two adapters + 1.4X and a 300mm lens.
    Best to all from NJ
    Dave

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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    MF on a small frame camera for me was about price. I have an 80mm f2.8 and 50mm f4 Zeiss with Tilt adapter (to Nikon) that cost under $400 all in. I really like the zeiss glass and having them tilt provides a much better solution then lens baby would.

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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    Get well soon, Don - we need you!
    Bill
    Bill, Thank you very much for such kind words. Please don't think I'm at deaths door just yet - I had a very bad case of food poisoning last Sunday and I've found the older we get the longer it takes to bounce back. Each day I've felt better with today being the best. While not yet back at 100% I'd say I very close and looking to getting back on the road later this week heading to Carmel.

    Again, please except my sincere thanks.

    Don

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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    I'm going to break this into two separate posts. First some camera porn....


    Schneider 55mm LS


    Mamiya 120mm macro


    Mamiya 150mm


    Schneider 240 with 2x extender attached


    480mm handheld 1/4000 ISO 2000 Don't particularly like this as it reminds me more of a surveillance photo yet it's proof it works.

    I finished testing the 55mm LS this morning with great results. So far I tested my 55, 80 and 120mm and if you accept the shot above the 240. What I quickly have found is that not only is this doable I've gotten some great results. It's one thing sticking a lens on a body; it's entirely different that they actually work as expected. So, with this in mind I'd stopped the testing for the time being. Not that I expect to get negative results quite the opposite.

    I'm busy the next couple days shutting down the studio in order to head to Carmel then Valley of Fire on my return. Call me crazy however I ordered a Rokin FE14mm e-mount to try in Valley of Fire and I get it Tuesday and want to spend time getting used to it before I leave.

    What have I learned? That as far as I can tell, just about any good quality medium format lens (I consider my Phase, Schneider, Mamiya to be on the top of the list) will work very well with the Sony A7r and by extension although not tested, the A7. It also appears I'm not the only one thinking about this.

    Next up is the results of the Schneider 55mm LS....

    Oh almost forgot to add - my favorite lens during all this was the 120mm macro!


    Don
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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    I've decided to make the Schneider 55mm LS the last lens combo to test.

    There really isn't much more I can add to what I've already said before. The combination of medium format lenses and the Sony A7r work. What's left to you is to decide if you want to actually do it.

    I've found the lack of aperture settings not to be a huge factor as I was able to overcome the loss by using the shutter speed and ISO; what helped the most is the live view.

    I switch gears a little today and instead of showing the non-processed image I'm showing the processed ones.


    55mm LS 1/1000 ISO 200


    55mm LS 1/1600 ISO 250 Is anyone else as tired of seeing this tree as I am?


    55mm LS 1/1600 ISO 100 converted using Nik Silver Efex Pro


    55mm LS 1/3200 ISO 100 Silver Efex Pro again


    55mm LS 1/3200 ISO 100


    55mm LS 1/8000 ISO 160


    55mm LS 1/250 ISO 640

    One last thought - shooting this way you'll be dependent on using a combination of shutter speed and ISO so be prepared to extremes. Super fast shutter speeds and very high ISO depending on your shooting conditions.

    More than anything else think outside the box and have fun do it!


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    Senior Member Stefan Steib's Avatar
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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    why not using one of these :

    Build in Aperture Canon EOS EF Lens to SONY NEX E Mount Adapter NEX-5 NEX-7 NEX3 | eBay

    with this you can even put a Mirex Tilt shift ontop of it (M645AF-EOS) and have some movements (needs to be evaluated)!
    The mirex would have to be modified to take the new AF lenses though .

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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Don, can you please help me to understand how do you use Phase / Mamiya lenses w/o aperture control? How do you control DOF?

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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    This is just a snap but the RZ lenses are looking good with the a7r. This is the non-LA version of the 140 macro.

    Using the el-cheapo Fotasy EOS-NEX + not so cheap Fotodiox RZ-EOS


    _DSC1384-Edit by cgthanos, on Flickr

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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    RZ 110mm on a E mount to RZ mount helicoid with about 12mm of shift including rotation. Oooh now that would be incredibly nice! Using that lens with the intended FOV on something the size of the A7r. Goose pimples. I've got a shift adaptor for Mamiya 645 to EF mount and dumb EF to E mount but none of the Mamiya 645 lenses we have really excite me enough to bother. Even if I could stop them down.
    Last edited by Ben Rubinstein; 28th February 2014 at 03:40.
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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Quote Originally Posted by subrata1965 View Post
    Don, can you please help me to understand how do you use Phase / Mamiya lenses w/o aperture control? How do you control DOF?
    I answered this off line and forgot to do the same her (don't want anyone thinking I'm ignoring Subrata).

    Actually this is a very good question re DOF when using this type of lens and adaptor. The adaptor I used is dumb. By that I mean its only function in life is to act as a means of attaching the lens to the camera body; that's the good news. The not so good news is that there's no way for the lens and body to speak to each other. The lens reverts to wide open aperture and is manually focused. The body is left controlling shutter speed and ISO.

    The good news is that even with all the above quirks, having the ability for live view is awesome. Through out the testing I found I was able to focus on what and where I wanted and using the shutter and ISO quickly bring the image into an area that I liked. I don't think I had 100% success rate however I do remember having more than enough to satisfy myself.

    I haven't done any more with this but may return to it if I get bored again....


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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Thanks...great discussion!

    I am thinking of the A7 with a Hasselblad Zeiss Makro Planar 120, with and without extension tubes. Any one knows how to make sense of the Hassie's magnification charts in this application? What is the highest possible magnification with just the lens and with tubes?

    Thanks.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Has anyone tried the Mirex T/S adapter direct to the Sony/Minolta mount or does that need an additional adapter (assuming not FE mount Sony??).

    Looking at interesting options for some of my Mamiya and Hassy V glass on the A7r.

    I just got my Hartblei super rotator for the Phase One back so I may just get the Fotodiox Pro adapter M645 -> FE first but other T/S options could be fun to try.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Graham, I have one - Mirex TS for M645 to A mount, which then needs an A mount to (F)E adapter, such as the Sony LA-EA3 I use for Leitax'd older lenses. At the time of buying most such TS adapters were from memory not specific to A mount, but m42, only from memory here, but I had faith Sony will keep going. I found it a little fussy on the a900 but the a7r is superior in many ways that will help: more res, EVF, histo, review, etc. The first universal camera..

    I have a number of the M645 MF lenses some of which are very decent. I have not tried any on the a7r (my travel cam!), figured I would sell them and the adapter to an A900/a99 user or see what Sony does for that mount. Many lens aficionados really rate the 120/4 as one that stays with native 35mm format lenses, but they all have a fine draw and tones. The 80/2.8 is another fine one.

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    Senior Member Stefan Steib's Avatar
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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    The combination Mirex and Sony A7/R/S is made in heaven.
    You can do things with this that were only a wet dream some time ago.

    Here is one of my crazy setups. the used 1,4 Sigma Apo EXDG Extender reaches about 28mm of shift.......in words TWENTY EIGHT when used with two Mirexes. Quality very decent....

    because photography is more than technology - and " as we have done this all the time "
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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan Steib View Post
    The combination Mirex and Sony A7/R/S is made in heaven.
    You can do things with this that were only a wet dream some time ago.

    Here is one of my crazy setups. the used 1,4 Sigma Apo EXDG Extender reaches about 28mm of shift.......in words TWENTY EIGHT when used with two Mirexes. Quality very decent....

    I'd try this just based on the cool factor of the way it looks!

    Okay now you have me searching for a T/S adaptor to use on my Mamiya/Phase glass...
    Don Libby
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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    With 28mm of rise Ken, Guy or I could even get a straight up headshot of Don
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Re: Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    With 28mm of rise Ken, Guy or I could even get a straight up headshot of Don
    will you be standing on each others shoulders?
    Don Libby
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