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Thread: Sony A long glass

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Sony A long glass

    I'm at a disadvantage here since I never shot Sonys long zooms past the 70-200. Forget price for a second what's the best they make I know they have a 70-300 and a 70-400 but which lens is better and lets go a step further better than the Sigmas and Tamron lenses. Also which works better now with the new A7rII. Certainly like to see them using the LA-E3 adapter too for the extra AF points and functions.
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    Senior Member MikeEvangelist's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A long glass

    I've especially wondered about how the Sony 70-400mm (mark II) would compare to the Tamron 150-600mm that I'm currently using. The Tamron starts to soften above about 400mm, so I thought the Sony might be an alternative. It's slightly faster, and if it's any sharper at 400mm, I could just crop when I need a bit more reach. It's also marginally smaller.

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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Wondering the same thing.
    150-600 and A3 adapter arrived Thursday afternoon and I've been doing some testing.
    Its a nice lens. smaller than I thought it would be. Then I saw a used 70-400 GII and the same thoughts crossed my mind about overall performance comparison. Especially since I have time to decide about which lens to keep.

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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Curious as well. I have 2 friends with the 150-600 and the result seem to be good but the 70-400 also seems like an interesting choice. These appear used often enough.

    Jim

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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Looks like we really are looking for answers here. This could be very informative
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Sony A long glass

    New version of that lens. Looks pretty good too

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...telephoto.html
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Here is a link to comparison page on DPReview site.
    They have reviews of both lenses so its possible to look at comparisons.

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    Senior Member MikeEvangelist's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Quote Originally Posted by dmward View Post
    Here is a link to comparison page on DPReview site.
    They have reviews of both lenses so its possible to look at comparisons.
    Interesting. If I'm reading these correctly, looks like the 70-400mm isn't really any better than the Tamron (except vignetting). I was hoping for more.

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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEvangelist View Post
    Interesting. If I'm reading these correctly, looks like the 70-400mm isn't really any better than the Tamron (except vignetting). I was hoping for more.
    That's my take as well.
    Distortion is a bit more as well.

    Both easily corrected in Lightroom. So, no benefit to the Sony option I can see.

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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    New version of that lens. Looks pretty good too

    Sony 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G2 Telephoto Zoom Lens SAL70400G2 B&H
    Guy, I used the Sony A Mount 70-400 II zoom lens on the A7RII in Africa for over two weeks. Very impressed with it. I rented it from Lens Rentals. Though I don't have extensive experience with the Nikon and Canon equivalents, I do know a sharp file. I (think) I have attached a file shot at 400mm f/9 ISO 100 1/1600 second on a bean bag.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by hcubell; 13th September 2015 at 03:19.
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    Re: Sony A long glass

    I own both the 70-400 G1 and the Tammy 150-600 but only use them on A mounts. The Tammy will stand toe to toe with the Sony at 7.2 or more aperture and 550mm and under on a apc. I think the 70-400 wins on the FF a99 imo


    Sorry I can't tell you how they work on my a7rII but I see no reason to use them on that body so no need for a 3 adapter
    Last edited by Jim DE; 12th September 2015 at 10:41.

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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Personally I avoid buying any old/new A mount glass. I think Sony ought make a decision on what they are pushing. If the A mount is dead then they should close shop on the lenses as well. This waffling around has to stop.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Personally I avoid buying any old/new A mount glass. I think Sony ought make a decision on what they are pushing. If the A mount is dead then they should close shop on the lenses as well. This waffling around has to stop.
    They do need to stop waffling about on the A mount. Kill it I say and move on to FE but better see those lenses first like what we are talking about
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sony A long glass

    I have the v1.


    Camus Marsh Birds by unoh7, on Flickr

    DSC00986 by unoh7, on Flickr


    DSC01176 by unoh7, on Flickr


    DSC01308 by unoh7, on Flickr

    I won't pretend I know what I'm doing with it LOL
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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    They do need to stop waffling about on the A mount. Kill it I say and move on to FE but better see those lenses first like what we are talking about
    Agree on both counts!

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Red face Re: Sony A long glass

    I tested the 70-400 GII and tamron 150-600 A mounts side by side briefly for a couple of days using both the LEA3 and LEA4 last week before my current safari trip. I was more interested in AF and functionality using the A7RII vs resolution testing.

    i found that I preferred using the 70-400 with the LEA4 but the extra reach and my need for mid-long tele actually had me decide to go with the Tamron in the end. The versatility of the 70-400 range is huge for most situations and it worked well on both adapters but I decided that the extra reach but in a full telephoto zoom was going to be better for this trip (plus I have the 70-200 and 24-240 as needed for the other ranges).

    Build quality of both is excellent and the shorter body and balance of the 70-400 was nicer since the Tamron racked out to 5-600mm becomes a pretty long lens.

    Big difference in price between the lenses if buying new. I actually bought the Tamron for this trip but long term I would likely get the Sony but I'd rather wait for a native FE lens and get full functionality vs 7/8th with the adapters.

    Qualitatively very similar up to 500mm on the Tamron. I didn't have a lot of chance to dial in the best apertures but I will know a LOT more about it in a few days shooting in the bush. I figure that I'll heed the stop down to f7 or f8 when going very long. I wanted the extra reach which kind of trumped the identical performance I saw in my admittedly limited tests.

    The two day rental from lensrentals.com was worth it for the $160 to compare them hands on. Certainly cheaper and more ethical than buy/return I thought.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: Sony A long glass

    If one thinks about the diameter at the lens aperture for a say 70/200 f2.8 FE lens would have to be then the FE reduced size advantage goes out the window. I really think they will need both systems personally. The A for long fast glass, higher frame rates and the fastest AF systems they can build. The the E mount for short tele and under with a smaller footprint and easier to move around with.

    I just don't see the need or an advantage for a smaller body with a slower frame rate and slower AF system on the back of a 500 or 600mm fast lens mounted to a gimbal on top of a RRS tripod for BIF. The form factor of larger bodies just make panning and handling much more comfortable. Is the SLT the perfect answer? Nope but neither is on sensor focusing at this point in time. I just don't see BIF or sports with glass longer than 200mn as a design intent for these FE bodies at the moment.

    Sony is saying nothing about abandoning A mount. Fact iis its execs state just the opposite it is only on forums we keep hearing the gloom and doom like we also see with the lossy compression RAW's on FE forums only. I literally stopped going to one such forum entirely and even deleted its web addy from my favorites because of all the "sky is falling" "witch hunting" to find anything at no matter how ridiculous the criteria you have to go through to see these so called deal breaking issues with the a7rII. I assure anyone they will do the same thing on each and every new body that hits the market because those individual in some twisted way validate their purpose on this planet by doing this crap. I got sick of it...
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    Re: Sony A long glass

    If I were really into shooting subjects that require long lenses the larger body on a monopod/gimbal is a reasonable option.

    In my case, its a matter of wanting something that I can pull out when a situation arrises where a long lens is the right tool. And, wanting to keep everything down to one camera platform.

    I can always put the battery grip on the A7RII if bigger works better with the lens.

    The telescoping zoom function is a benefit, for me, since it makes the lens shorter for carrying around.

    I think I'll use F8 as kind of a default aperture. Seems like the beginning of the sweet spot and a reasonable aperture for most focal lengths.

    I'll know more next week after getting to try it at the BMW Championship.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Agreed. I shoot with A7RII series cameras with the battery grip. I prefer the heft on my A7RII and A7II vs the skinny raw A7 series (although the A7s I like as a small handheld night camera).

    i can post in a couple of weeks how well the A7RII/150-600 performed on a full wimberley on my Gitzo GT1588 (which seems to intimidate everyone who sees it! )
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Great responses folks, this will help a few folks out. Myself I'm on hold for the really long stuff but wanted to know what folks thought.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sony A long glass

    i own 70300G and 70400G, both mk 1. there is certain rendering style with the 70400G that i rarely see in other lens. the best way to describe it is probably say it has certain 3D-ness and silkiness associated with it. i put it down to the G coating.

    the 70300G can do similar style rendering in 50-60% of the situation. but i very rarely use the 70400G due to size and weight. on A7R (mk1) with LAEA4, 70300g balance/handle quite well. im waiting for the 70300G mk2 so i can see the improvement in AF speed.

    (See attachments, both from 70400G with a77 mk1. I dont have the original files at hand [moving house at the moment]. i just download/re-upload some of my facebook pictures which lost some of its sharpness)
    Attached Images Attached Images    
    Keep It Simple.
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    Re: Sony A long glass

    thanks for starting this thread Guy, I too have been looking for longer glass for the 7R2. I purchased the Tam 150-600mm until Sony/Zeiss makes a FE mount so I'll stay tuned to this thread.
    Mike

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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Thanks it was really inspired by Mike Evanglest as he was asking me some questions in this area and I'm a little lost on the long stuff so I agree a great thread as we are learning a lot here. Great stuff folks it's why Jack and I started this place. It's threads like this
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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Took the 150-600 Tamron out for a test drive this afternoon.
    There was an antique Mustang Car Show at the Autobahn Country Club as well as practice for members on the other track. The show cars got a chance to cruise on the south track.

    The truck was shot at 330mm, F5.6, ISO 400, 1/2000.

    The BMW as shot at 600mm, F8, ISO 800, 1/2500.

    The BMW is going much faster than the truck.

    Camera was set to AF-C, medium flexible spot, burst mode. I had the camera and lens mounted on a gimbal and monopod.

    The lens performs as I expected. I'll have to get much better at panning.

    I'm acquiring focus, with multiple green squares in the focus zone, then, while continuing to pan fire off 3 or 4 images. The bit that I've checked it appears that I have at least one acceptable image per burst which I consider acceptable given the nature of this shooting.


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    Re: Sony A long glass

    I noticed, when reviewing the images from the track yesterday that it appears the first image in a burst sequence is better focused that subsequent images. This suggests that the lens is only focusing for the first image. Anyone with some experience that can either support or refute the observation?

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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Which burst speed did you use?
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Quote Originally Posted by k-hawinkler View Post
    Which burst speed did you use?
    Good question.
    I just selected the burst mode icon. Didn't notice that I had a choice about high or slow. Based on the number of frames per burst I'm going to guess slow since I could consciously decide to stop and only one additional frame was fired. None of the bursts are more than 4 or 5 frames.

    Update: I just checked and the lens does support H and L burst modes and I had it on H.
    Last edited by dmward; 15th September 2015 at 10:53. Reason: researched burst speed on camera

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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Hi,

    I own some long Sony glass. The 70-300/4.5-5.6G, the 70-400/4-5.6G and the 400/4.5APO. Of these I use the 70-400 mostly. It works on the A7rII and is decently sharp, but nowhere as good as the 90/2.8 macro.

    AF works accurately for static subjects.

    Will post some images end of september, don't have the bandwith now.

    The 70-300 is not as good as the 70-400. But all lenses I have used on the A7rII worked well. Better than expected.

    Best regards
    Erik


    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I'm at a disadvantage here since I never shot Sonys long zooms past the 70-200. Forget price for a second what's the best they make I know they have a 70-300 and a 70-400 but which lens is better and lets go a step further better than the Sigmas and Tamron lenses. Also which works better now with the new A7rII. Certainly like to see them using the LA-E3 adapter too for the extra AF points and functions.

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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Was at the BMW Championship today. It was a Pro-Am so was able to take camera onto the site without photographer credentials.

    Here is a shot made with 150-600 at 600mm. Also cropped from full frame. to about 4700 pixels per side.

    I did not take a monopod so I decided to set the aperture at F8, Shutter speed at 1/2500 and then use Auto ISO to get exposure in matrix mode.

    Some processing in Lightroom to open shadows. There was a strong sun backlighting so shadows were set to +100. Highlights brought down at least -25, then black point was set to ensure there really is something black in the image.

    Handheld. One of the accredited photographers was standing next to me but inside the ropes, he had a Canon 1D something with 200-400 zoom. He commented on my camera and the good things he had heard about it.

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    HERE are some more pictures from the day. Bill Murray was a crowd favorite. He grew up one street over from my wife. One of his best friends is a friend of her's as well. That's what started the conversation on the side of the practice green.
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    Senior Member MikeEvangelist's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Quote Originally Posted by JMaher View Post
    but the 70-400 also seems like an interesting choice. These appear used often enough.
    One just came up on Amazon Warehouse Deals for $1700, so I decided to give it a whirl. (It's returnable.) Looking forward to comparing it to the Tamron personally.

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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Mike I was in Tempe camera Friday and a customer was buying a A7rII and he was heading out to shoot a football game of his son. Long story short the sales guy did not know the system. Of course I jumped in and they had the Silver 70-400. So had them put a LAE-3 on and it worked pretty nice in the store. Want to hear your thoughts. I forgot to get the price though
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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Hard to get a long lens with decent speed and the kind of sharpness we are used to.

    My longest lens with these attributes is the Nikkor 180/2.8 AIS ED. It is a great lens, no caveats. The sony 70400 can be decent, especially once you hit 5.6 or 8.

    Now I'm looking at a nikon 300/2.8 AIS ED, which is a monster, but supposedly great at 2.8 and you can find them under a grand.

    Yes it's MF For me that's OK.

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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEvangelist View Post
    One just came up on Amazon Warehouse Deals for $1700, so I decided to give it a whirl. (It's returnable.) Looking forward to comparing it to the Tamron personally.
    I think you'll enjoy it. It's the best long zoom in this range I've ever used, and at 400mm more or less the equal of Canon's 400mm 5.6 prime. It's sharp, contrasty, quick to af (this is where the g2 version really shines), etc. Also, aberrations are quite well controlled - better than Nikon 300mm 2.8 AIS in that respect.

    I'll be curious about the comparison with the Tamron, as I'm sure that extra reach is hard to give up. It's really too bad Sigma decided not to release a version of the 150-600mm OS Sport in A-mount or e-mount. I bet that lens would really shine on an A7RII.

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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Quote Originally Posted by uhoh7 View Post
    Hard to get a long lens with decent speed and the kind of sharpness we are used to.

    My longest lens with these attributes is the Nikkor 180/2.8 AIS ED. It is a great lens, no caveats. The sony 70400 can be decent, especially once you hit 5.6 or 8.

    Now I'm looking at a nikon 300/2.8 AIS ED, which is a monster, but supposedly great at 2.8 and you can find them under a grand.

    Yes it's MF For me that's OK.
    I've started using the Canon FD 300mm f/4 L. Manual focus, decent lens once you correct for lateral CA. About US$400.

    full image:



    crop (open in new tab for full resolution):



    EDIT: my bad I'm using it on E-mount, not A-mount.
    Last edited by doug; 21st September 2015 at 13:44.
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    Re: Sony A long glass

    I recently bought the Canon 200 2.8 for a tele option for my long exposure kit. Really impressed with the lens and it is pretty small, especially when you compare it to the big zooms. The Metabones firmware update yesterday means it now has AF on the A7RII. Worth considering if you don't want long long.

    Speaking of tele lenses, I was a little bored yesterday and took out my Canon 90TSE and my Minolta M 90/4 to see which I preferred the look of for LE. Was surprised that the cheap little Minolta looked better to my eye, but the interesting thing for me was that it appeared that the M lens was easier to focus than the Canon on the A7RII. Not sure why but the evf seemed sharper more contrasty, has anybody else found this with M lenses?
    David
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Limited wifi and cell coverage where I am in Kruger. NP but what I can say is that the Tamron 150-600 is stellar - but really only with the lea4, not the lea3 which I found to be severely lacking in compatibility overall with the A7RII overall. 399 focus points are nice but worthless if they don't work reliably with the lea3 vs seamless with lea4.

    pics to follow when I get back on saturday.
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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Quote Originally Posted by Hausen View Post
    Speaking of tele lenses, I was a little bored yesterday and took out my Canon 90TSE and my Minolta M 90/4 to see which I preferred the look of for LE. Was surprised that the cheap little Minolta looked better to my eye, but the interesting thing for me was that it appeared that the M lens was easier to focus than the Canon on the A7RII. Not sure why but the evf seemed sharper more contrasty, has anybody else found this with M lenses?
    The Minolta M (actually C) mount 90/4 lens was made by Leitz. Lenses with more contrast have always been easier for me to focus.

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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    ... the Tamron 150-600 is stellar - but really only with the lea4, not the lea3 which I found to be severely lacking in compatibility overall with the A7RII overall. 399 focus points are nice but worthless if they don't work reliably with the lea3 vs seamless with lea4.
    Graham,
    So far I've been pleased with the 150-600 performance with the LEA3. I'm not attempting to do birds in flight or similar. I have used it to shoot cars on a race track moving at an angle across the frame and panning.

    What specific performance benefits are limited to the LEA4?

  41. #41
    Senior Member MikeEvangelist's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A long glass

    I'm frequently reminded that at longer focal lengths, shutter speed is the primary limiter of sharpness on the Tamron. Even using a monopod with a gimbal, it really needs to be at least 1/1500th if I want anything approaching sharpness. And given how slow the lens is, that can be a challenge. If it weren't for IBIS, I think it would unusable without a tripod (at least for me).

    Here's a shot at 1/1250 at 600mm that I consider acceptable.



    Larger version here.

  42. #42
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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Nice shots with that Canon lens, Doug

    I just weakened and bought this beast:

    Nikon 300mm F 2 8 Ed If AI s Manual Focus Lens | eBay

    It's got some funky aspects, wrong nameplate for one LOL, but it seems fairly clean and for that lens, price is not too bad (includes shipping )

    My poor A7.mod is sitting happily in the corner, no idea what is on the way

    Did some reading and they all claim it's as sharp at F/2.8 as about anything ever made.

  43. #43
    Senior Member doug's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Quote Originally Posted by uhoh7 View Post
    I just weakened and bought this beast:

    Nikon 300mm F 2 8 Ed If AI s Manual Focus Lens | eBay
    Looks like fun My problem with Nikon lenses - and I admit it's MY problem - is that after 35 years using Leica-R my brain is hard-wired to turn focus and aperture rings the Leica/Canon direction.
    Doug Herr http://www.wildlightphoto.com
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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Mike,
    I agree completely with the shutter speed requirement consideration for sharpness at longer focal lengths.
    The shot of Jordan Spieth I linked to in an earlier post is a perfect example. The result, even cropped is sharp. There is another shot on the gallery link of him walking up the fairway with a disabled vet caddie. I printed that, also cropped, to 12x17 and its sharp. Don't remember exactly the focal length but it was out close to 600.

    I've found that manual shutter and aperture and then Auto ISO works in these situations. Outside, properly exposed, even higher ISO images look fine. I think the Spieth headshot is close to ISO 800.
    David

    dmwfotos | davidmward.photography
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  45. #45
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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Quote Originally Posted by doug View Post
    Looks like fun My problem with Nikon lenses - and I admit it's MY problem - is that after 35 years using Leica-R my brain is hard-wired to turn focus and aperture rings the Leica/Canon direction.
    good point it's confusing.

    This thread has me going enough that I dusted off my 600/5.6 Kilfit Zoomar and went back to adapting it.

    Took off the hood to fit it into this shot:


    L1039252 by unoh7, on Flickr
    Last edited by uhoh7; 22nd September 2015 at 16:05.
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  46. #46
    Senior Member MikeEvangelist's Avatar
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    Sony 70-400mm vs Tamron 150-600mm bake-off

    Preliminary indoor tests seem to indicate that the Sony is sharper to some degree at all focal lengths and apertures; especially at the edges.

    When I have some decent daylight I'll shoot a better sequence, but here's some examples.

    100% center crops, all @ ƒ8, on Sony A7Rii on LA-EA3 adapter, IBIS OFF.

    The Tamron @ 300mm
    Name:  Tamron @ 300 mm.jpg
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    The Sony @ 300mm
    Name:  Sony @ 300mm.jpg
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    The Tamron @ 400mm
    Name:  Tamron @ 400mm.jpg
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    The Sony @ 400mm
    Name:  Sony @ 400mm.jpg
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    The test subject -
    Name:  Sony @ 150 mm-5.jpg
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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Mike,
    Thanks for the tests.
    In my view, the deficiency of a flat subject at relatively close focus distance is field curvature. What impact does the curve in the plane of focus have in causing the apparent softness of the flat plane target?

    I don't know the answer, just that its something that has an influence.

  48. #48
    Senior Member MikeEvangelist's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Quote Originally Posted by dmward View Post
    In my view, the deficiency of a flat subject at relatively close focus distance is field curvature. What impact does the curve in the plane of focus have in causing the apparent softness of the flat plane target?
    Very good question. If the sun ever comes out here, I hope to shoot something with three actual dimensions.

    (Although this particular test sequence is pretty much immune to field curvature, since it's just a center crop, and I focused on the center.)

  49. #49
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Mike is that the silver Sony 70-400
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  50. #50
    Senior Member MikeEvangelist's Avatar
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    Re: Sony A long glass

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Mike is that the silver Sony 70-400
    No, it's the newer, white, mark II model.

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