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Thread: I fondled it and I liked it.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    I fondled it and I liked it.



    Man does that sound so bad. Hey i was in Vegas thought I get in the mood. LOL

    Anyway I was a good boy rest assured. I did get to play with the A900 for actually quite awhile and tried some of the lenses . The 16-35,24-70 , 135 1.8 and 70-200. I was afraid to try the 300 2.8 for budget reasons. LOL

    I loved all the lenses and they all looked really nice but that darn 135 1.8 really got me. Man was that lens SWEET. It was a little noisy in AF mode and maybe just a worn out demo lens , not sure. But the images on the LCD just sang and so did the 24-70. Some things did bother me. The menu and trying to get around was kind of funky and something I really would have to get used too. Tough to get to format card and I know this was all me but hey I have been around a lot of dig cams and it is taking me some time to figure this one out. I really need to sit down with it and get it in my head or read the freaking manual. LOL The grip is nice but a touch uncomfortable for my small hands. Not a deal breaker though and the AF center point setup is something to get used too. Not sure what points of focus area was going on. Now these are setup at the shows so I really can' t go by what they setup as there shooting mode. We all like different things going on. But overall it was very nice and i went immediately afterward to the Nikon and picked up the D3x and still liked the A900 better and once agin maybe the 3rd time now I get the real *** in the Nikon booth that could care less about me than him going home. This has been 3 shows this has happened to me when I come across the indifference attitude. Tell you what tell Nikon they just lost 15 k sale and all my friends too. Seriously that really mad me made and same for the Canon booth they treated Terry like a piece of dog meat. First impressions and you know that story .BTW the Sony folks would have polished my shoes that is how nice they where and at the very end of a show too. That made a impression. The lady could not pull enough lenses out for me to try and talk about the system and than be real honest with me and say no A700 get the A900 trust me. I like honest people. I obviously told her my needs and such and directed me correctly. More later just wanted to touch in
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: I fondled it and I liked it.

    Guy,
    That could get you in trouble real fast.
    -bob

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: I fondled it and I liked it.

    Cool, Guy. Glad you liked the camera. One tidbit. If you press the play button to review images, and then press the menu button while in that image review mode, it takes you right to the format/delete screen. You can also set the menu up to return where you left off, rather than starting off at the beginning each time. If you end up buying the system, let me know, and Id be glad to give you some tips on getting settings dialed in.

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    Senior Member Eoin's Avatar
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    Re: I fondled it and I liked it.

    The only question now is...... how long before you jump. LOL

    The menu system coupled with the dedicated EV, ISO & custom settings actualy make navigation quite simple. The joystick can get knocked causing the focus point to shift but a quick push brings it right back to center.

    I think the manual is available online somewhere, might be worth a download & read while you're waiting before you decide

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: I fondled it and I liked it.

    Thanks guys and that is a great idea and I know most of it was me and not the camera on getting the settings down. I'm waiting for one more product announcement
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: I fondled it and I liked it.

    Must be a world wide thing. I had similar experiences in the UK. I know a lot of the Nikon pro guys personally and always have a nice chat, so can't evaluate their general appearance to the world.
    However, Sony were really enthusiastic and helpful. The 135 f1.8 is also the lens I desire, yes it's more than a want. I'm currently moving more towards portraits, just the way the work is going. The press PR is fading away so I'm really having to have strict words with myself. The Zeiss 135 on a 16mp full frame is what I've asked Sony for but still awaiting a response. The D700 would do but Nikon don't have a comparative lens. Their 135 isn't stabilised, which I need. I currently use an 85 on a crop so that is OK for now.
    I have had so much trouble getting hold of Nikon stuff. I ordered a 14-24 before the price went silly and it never arrived, my friend is trying to get a 12-24. I'm currently waiting for a SD-9 battery pack and no one really cares There seems to be little or no stock. I understand Jacobs got a lot of Nikon and Canon gear for the focus show. A retailer told me they got most of the 5D2's that came into the country. He wasn't happy because he couldn't get any
    So the big decision is the 16-35 or 24-70 zeiss as the other lens. 24-70 makes most sense but I quite often don't do sense
    David
    Last edited by DavidL; 7th March 2009 at 07:39.

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    Re: I fondled it and I liked it.

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidL View Post
    So the big decision is the 16-35 or 24-70 zeiss as the other lens. 24-70 makes most sense but I quite often don't do sense
    David
    David! Surely you're not about to get an A900?!!!!
    If so - the 24-70 is pretty fab. I'm also lusting after a 135 f1.8, but can't quite bring myself to jump

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: I fondled it and I liked it.

    The A900 is a very compelling proposition. My only hesitation (you reading this Leica S2 team..) is the ability (actually) very limited ability to use any existing R, Mamiya, CV, Nikon etc glass on the body. At least for now. That may change over time where registration distances permit and the camera gains enough of a base to justify the interest of the 101 machine shops spewing out adapters in China.

    I've spent a LOT of time and shipping costs whittling my lens selection down to some CV, R, Nikon, Mamiya APO glass that does a primo job, for me, on my 1Ds2. I also know that I can (as is the current intent) move all those lenses to a Nikon FF with ease. I have one cheap M42 adapter that's never seen a lens and I wouldn't know Minolta glass, other than my Rokkor 58/1.2 in EoS mount, from a tree stump.

    The Sony body is GREAT bang/buck. Nice IQ. However, the glass, while overall excellent from what I read, is spendy, limited in selection (for now) and not universally a knock-out (100 macro, CA with some ,etc). There is also the Sony warranty, which I understand, like Nikon's, is nation-specific, thus requiring me to buy all this gear new (the used market for Sony in canada being miniscule) domestically. Now while Sony new prices are good here vs some other nations, I always like having someone else pay my initial depreciation.

    To have to change-out all my glass, spend large incremental $$$ to replace them and start that evaluation, weeding and waiting (for more selection) process all over again is a real "cause for pause" vs. simply sell/swap my adapters, picking up some leitax kits and moving to a Nikon D__
    Last edited by robmac; 7th March 2009 at 08:39.

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: I fondled it and I liked it.

    DavidL, the problem with Sony coming out with a 16MP version of the A900 is that the noise won't be much better than the A900 downsized to 16MP, unless Sony changes the design of their ADCs on their sensors. Sony has drawn a line in the sand when it comes to ISO. Sony's on-chip ADC has the lowest read noise out there at base ISO, and the A900 probably has the best spectral response out there, the but that is at the cost of high ISO. The D3x gets around this a bit with it's multiple read/sample of the Sony chip in 14bit mode, but that's at the cost of fps, and a shooter I know of who owns both the D3x and A900 says the A900 has better spectral response than the D3x...and much better than the 5Dii. IMO, that's why the Sony is cultivating a bit of a cult status, but isn't going to sell boatloads like the 5Dii, which has the better high ISO. Hopefully, Sony gets a move on getting their new backlit CMOS tech into FF sensors, and that will be a nice jump in high ISO noise handling, but that tech is just now arriving in their HD cams, so who knows how long it will take?

    Robmac, I agree that Sony isn't the way to go with alternative lenses, yet. Not too much out there in the adapter world. Leica R requires a, albeit simple and reversible, mount replacement, and I think the only Nikon adapters have a glass element. There are Hasselblad V, Mamiya 645, and Pentax 67 out there, as well as the m42 you mentioned. If you're a mostly "alternative" lens shooter, Canon is the way to go, IMO.

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    Re: I fondled it and I liked it.

    Canon is for now, but my next body will (for now) be a Nikon. I have NO interest in any of the new Canon bodies (having owned the 1D2, 1Ds Mk1, 5D), have long shunned the Canon Lens Lottery (having lost too many times), like what Nikon is doing and with the leitax kit have decided to move in that direction.

    That said, if MA adapters (IIRC they must be chipped for focus confirm) for R, etc come available, Sony is an option - or a hybrid kit of say a Nikon D700 for low light and an eventual A900 to replace the 1Ds2.

    I've seen Hassy-MA adapters, but none for Mamiya as yet - other than a spendy kit you could assemble from Novoflex.

    Edit: saw your comments and DPR link to R-MA conversion on other thread. Looks pretty simply done. Use 2 of the 6 screws for spacers (or have machine shop mill you some), a couple of old MA mounts and you're done. That said, you would be EPROMS (donated or custom made) for VR and focus confirm. Still, looks easily doable.
    Last edited by robmac; 7th March 2009 at 13:13.

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    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
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    Re: I fondled it and I liked it.

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Canon is for now, but my next body will (for now) be a Nikon. I have NO interest in any of the new Canon bodies (having owned the 1D2, 1Ds Mk1, 5D), have long shunned the Canon Lens Lottery (having lost too many times), like what Nikon is doing and with the leitax kit have decided to move in that direction.

    That said, if MA adapters (IIRC they must be chipped for focus confirm) for R, etc come available, Sony is an option - or a hybrid kit of say a Nikon D700 for low light and an eventual A900 to replace the 1Ds2.

    I've seen Hassy-MA adapters, but none for Mamiya as yet - other than a spendy kit you could assemble from Novoflex.

    Edit: saw your comments and DPR link to R-MA conversion on other thread. Looks pretty simply done. Use 2 of the 6 screws for spacers (or have machine shop mill you some), a couple of old MA mounts and you're done. That said, you would be EPROMS (donated or custom made) for VR and focus confirm. Still, looks easily doable.
    Here is a 645 to Minolta mount: http://cgi.ebay.com/Mamiya-645-adapt...742.m153.l1262

    A chip is needed for the A900 in order to use A mode or focus confirmation. SSS apparently still works without a chip (i use a hassie 150 CF sometimes,) but, from what I understand, it is optimized for 50mm without a chip, so SSS improves with it.

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    Re: I fondled it and I liked it.

    Thanks for the info on the adapter -- and the SSS default.

    Edit - looked at the adapters - sound like well made kit.
    Last edited by robmac; 7th March 2009 at 13:39.

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    Re: I fondled it and I liked it.

    Zoerk and Cirrus both have adapters to allow use of Mamiya 645 lenses on Alpha bodies.

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    Re: I fondled it and I liked it.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    David! Surely you're not about to get an A900?!!!!
    If so - the 24-70 is pretty fab. I'm also lusting after a 135 f1.8, but can't quite bring myself to jump


    Why not? It's the only Sony lens that really makes pictures pop out of your monitor. It brings back life even in flat low contrasts scenes. Imagine how your scarecrows would look like at rainy dull days.

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    Re: I fondled it and I liked it.

    The only thing that holds me back on the Sony is high ISO shooting.DOn't know if it's still true

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    Re: I fondled it and I liked it.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    David! Surely you're not about to get an A900?!!!!
    If so - the 24-70 is pretty fab. I'm also lusting after a 135 f1.8, but can't quite bring myself to jump
    Yep, afraid so. It's the Zeiss 135 for portraits that is appealing as it seems to be my new thing in terms of work. Think the PR stuff will die with the recession so I'm thinking of hocking in some of the nikon gear, not your old lenses though, so don't worry.
    The alternative is the D700 but Nikon don't have an equivalent stabilised lens. No way I'm going to hand hold a 135 without it.
    If all the shoots currently booked this month aren't cancelled it will probably happen.
    David

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    Re: I fondled it and I liked it.

    The area Sony Stores have some A900s to try - think I'll wander down over the next little while with a CF card.

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    Re: I fondled it and I liked it.

    Played with an A900 today at a local shop. The lens selection to test from sucked - was hoping to try the body with the 135 or 24-70, but alas...

    Initial impressions, excluding IQ (see below) were good.

    Liked:
    ---------
    -Ergos. No grip to try with, but body alone fell right to hand
    - SSS - very nice. Had visions of some nice fast MF glass with SSS
    -Switchology approach was refreshing - no 101 sub menus to scroll thru
    -Menu system - nice, clean, easily read, 1 screen 'page' per only
    -VF - big, bright
    -IQ - am loading shots now, but given the light in store and lenses, no real high hopes, but we'll see. Offered to let me take her for a walk, but the lens selection made that offer less attractive than sounded.
    - LCD - Nice.
    -Flash - tried the new tilt/swivel flash head - nice unit
    Sony policy - 2 yr warranty and (at least in Canada) 30 days no questions asked full refund if not happy.

    Not keen on:
    -----------
    - AF did fail to lock in iffy light number of times, but max aperture on the lens (75-300 IIRC) was pretty slow.
    - Robustness - felt little 'light' vs say a 5D and w/o question my 1DS2, a D3 or D300.
    - IQ - see above, too early to tell and not a great test anyway.


    Will play with the files and keep in touch to see if shop gets in some better glass for a more representative test. the as yet to be judged IQ aside, for the $$$ it's a sweet rig. That VF and the SSS alone would justify the price at 1/2 the MPs.

    I must say the Sony Store staff bent over backwards (within the context of the gear they had) and were reasonably well informed on the gear - a refreshing change around here.

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    Senior Member dhsimmonds's Avatar
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    Re: I fondled it and I liked it.

    I am not surprised that you liked the handling, most photographers do! The VF is really great and a dream for low light photography using manual focus. I only ever use the single central AF.

    I know what you mean by the light build, but it is deceptive. It is a light magnesium alloy construction, but disarmingly very robust. The vertical grip adds to the robustness, is easy to fit or remove and adds more shutter buttons....I really like it.

    Like all FF sensor cameras, the A900 really needs to use the best glass and here the Zeiss lenses really sing with that large sensor. Try it again with some decent glass, oh and by the way the Zeiss glass is really heavy but somehow they seem perfectly balanced with the lighter body. The switching from AF to MF is quick and simple and although the A900 will never win a beauty competition it's ergonomics are really great.............no manual required!!
    Cheers, Dave
    www.simmondsphotography.com

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    Re: I fondled it and I liked it.

    Dave - good feedback.

    Downloaded the files thru Raw Developer. Only took 24 or so as lenses sucked wind and lighting was cave-like, but some thoughts:

    1. Noisy beast. ISO 400 was stretching it. If I were a Sony retailer, I'd set up a corner with some nice lights/windows with an A900 on a 'pod, a couple of premium lenses and a nice backdrop for testing. For moderate to high iso low light work, my test of the D700+ 14-24 and 70-200VR, etc blew the A900 away (in the relevant criteria). In good light with premium glass, IQ would obviously favor the A900. If you could get the right lens mix and adapters, etc an A900 and D700 would make a great and big bang/low bucks studio & field combo.

    2. Great detail. In the studio or good light with premium glass this thing would rock -- as witnessed by the shots displayed here and elsewhere.

    3. Very nice tonality and color - nothing way off or over the top (a la Canon).

    4. AWB was pretty good. I think the 1DS2 is better, but given the horrid store lighting and w/o a side-by-side it would be hard to tell. That said, any WB correction took seconds.

    5. Top glass is ESSENTIAL. If you want/need an A900, buy the premium glass and start converting or adapting your best R, Hassy or M645 units, etc. Sony needs to get off the stick and get the lens line in gear.

    6. SSS - An EASY two stop advantage. I was shooting at speeds that would have been an utter waste of CF card space on any other body w/o VR glass. Kept imagining what the camera would do in good light with a Leica 180/2 APO or my Mamiya 200/2.8 APO on the front ;>

    7. RD does a good fast job given the file size and my 'challenged' Mac.

    8. More USM was required than I would have liked, but given the low light, high ISO and crap glass, lets call that comment 'pending' a better lens test.

    Almost tempted to get a Mamiya/MA adapter and go back for a walk with the beast with my 200/2.8 APO. Anyway just some thoughts from an admittedly challenged test.

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    Member jdbfreeheel's Avatar
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    Re: I fondled it and I liked it.

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    I wouldn't know Minolta glass, other than my Rokkor 58/1.2 in EoS mount, from a tree stump.

    The Sony body is GREAT bang/buck. Nice IQ. However, the glass, while overall excellent from what I read, is spendy, limited in selection (for now) and not universally a knock-out (100 macro, CA with some ,etc). There is also the Sony warranty, which I understand, like Nikon's, is nation-specific, thus requiring me to buy all this gear new (the used market for Sony in canada being miniscule) domestically.
    I am coveting the A900 too, and, as a replacement to my D300 kit. I decided that I've decided to go FF and since I shoot MF more now, big files have become what I want to look at and play with. As a result, the D700, though fantastic, doesn't quite do it for me. I'm not a super low light shooter, so while the high ISO performance of the D700 and D3 are truly noteworthy, they aren't what I need. I mean, I loved my Kodak SLR/n and you could use files above iso 100 on that

    Re: glass, one note, as I continue to research this platform shift, is that there does exist quite an active used Minolta glass fan club and you can pick up good glass for cheap (though popularity of the alpha system seems to be raising the prices). Now, I'm not talking all 'pro' glass, but certainly decent glass that can be used without fail if you find good copies.

    I demoed the a900 with the 24-70 Zeiss glass and it's just downright beautiful. Oh boy, here we go again...

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    Re: I fondled it and I liked it.

    I'm probably lucky they didn't have the 24-70 in stock...

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: I fondled it and I liked it.

    YUP you are. That lens was pulling on my pocket hard
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: I fondled it and I liked it.

    And BTW, there's the deal right now where if you buy the a900 and the 24-70 at the same time, you get $500 off. It appears Amazon and BH take the discount instantly at time of checkout however the local SF Calumet quoted me that it was a mail in rebate meaning I would have to pay tax on the full kit.

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