Day 3 with the Sony A7 and A7r – Nashville Musicians and Models!

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Day 3 with the Sony A7 and A7r – Nashville Musicians and Models!

See Day 1 HERE

See Day 2 HERE

NEW: Final 1st look Wrap Up with loads of thoughts, samples and more (Wwas posted AFTER this article you see here)

Just an afternoon update while I have an hour or so to write. Half of the long day os over and this morning I was able to shoot the A7 and A7r in a Nashville Recording Studio to shoot a new up and coming performer, Leah Turner . She put on a GREAT soulful show and sounded amazing. It was such a great experience to shoot inside of a studio while the artist was recording. I have shot artists on stage quite a few times but never in a studio, so I enjoyed it.

We were treated to a small private 3 song concert and were allowed to shoot whatever we wanted. Many of you who know me know that I go for the emotion in the shot..waiting until the one moment that shows me something..soul..excitement..passion..love or whatever that may be. So I waited and waited and was able to capture a few that I really liked. I also am not a fan of zooming into the face as I would rather capture the entire scene and what is happening.

I mixed it up with the A7 and A7r and swapped between the Zeiss Otus and Zeiss 35 Zm f/2, which is also quite amazing on the A7 or A7r.

Leah in action with the A7 and 35mm Zeiss f/2 – click for larger. This, as with all of my A7 and A7r samples is a JPEG.

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The next few shots of Leah were shot with the A7r and Zeiss Otus..the monster 55 1.4 in Canon mount. I used the Metabones adapter and seeing that this is a manual focus lens it feels really nice when shooting. 

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After the mini concert we went downstairs to shoot a model who was there waiting for all of us crazy photographers. 

This one is shot with the Sony FE 55 1.8 lens, which is also a gem – A7

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This one was shot with the Otus at 1.4 as was the image after this one. A7r

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and a full size OOC JPEG using the Otus 55 1.4 from Sony along with the A7R – click it for full size. Is this enough detail? Keep in mind, this is an OOC JPEG, the RAW will be even more detailed. 

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Finally we took a walk to another Studio where artist Ben Folds was recording his next album. We kind of surprised him I think and when 47 of us poured into the small studio he seemed a bit overwhelmed but it was awesome to meet a man I have been a fan of for 15 years. In fact, he sings the song “The Luckiest” which happens to be a special song to me and my finacee. I put in a request with him because later on today we get to go to his sound check and then shoot his concert at the Ryman Theater here in Nashville.

Ben Folds testing out the Sony A7 – He is also an avid photographer so he seemed interested in this new camera. He said he has been shooting a Sony RX100 and loves it. 

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This is going to be a great night! More to come tomorrow with pics from Ben’s performance with the A7 and A7r as well as some late night Honky Tonk. Not sure if we will be able to get close to the stage (maybe not) for Ben’s show but either way I will be having a good time.

Tomorrow we will be doing some off road driving as well as partaking in a Halloween costume contest..all being shot. I am hoping to test the RX10 tomorrow!

Steve

164 Comments

  1. hey folks.. I got my A7R and 35 2.8… Initially I was ehhh… having both an Xe2 and 5d3… and a bunch of lenses… however… having handled this A7R a little more and recognizing the benefits of a small body FF.. it is very nice.. a couple or gripes… the 35mm 2.8 is a disappointment in build with plastic threads on the filter mount.. (where else did the skimp)…., the shutter on the A7R is extraordinary … that’s all I will say.. about that..:)).. high iso compared to my Xe2 and 5d3.. 1600 and up is not the best I gotta say….. a sensor sacrifice..perhaps…..

  2. I have a quick question for the experts ….

    After “pre-order” a:

    A7R + a Zeiss 35 F2.8

    I ask myself after (too) much reading on the web if the following setup would work?

    a7 + Novoflex Adapter for Leica M Lens to Sony NEX Camera + Zeiss ZM C Sonnar 50mm 1.5

    Of course not AF in this case, but the manual focus does not seem to be a problem with Sony (after an adjustment period, of course).

    What do you think?

    Should I keep the combo A7R + Zeiss 35 F 2.8 (because Zeiss is probably optimized for a7 (r) or opt for exotic config a7 + ring + sonnar 50?

    Thank you for your advice

  3. Steve, as always, your photos look amazing. If I wasn’t familiar with your work, I’d say you’ve been shooting with this camera for years! This camera definitely caught my attention. I have a nikon D90 & wanted to get either a mirrorless NEX-7 or a full frame Canon 5D mark III for a long time but decided to wait. I’ve been waiting for an NEX-7 upgrade or an affordable full frame … then this Alpha a7 absolutely blew me away. I have a Nikon 50mm f/1.2 MF and a few prime legacy lenses I bought cheap from ebay such as Canon 58mm f/1.2 FL & Minolta Rokkor 28mm f/2.8 MD (which I have yet to test out on a mirrorless).

    Will my lenses work with the a7 using the correct adapter? What kind of adapter do I need, a special adapter like the metabones, an adapter with AF confirm, or one of those cheap ones I see at amazon for $35? Will the current 3rd-party-lens to e-mount adapters work on this new full frame e-mount (really curious about that one)?

    Also … to avoid vignetting, will I have to go crop mode for any of my lenses? How about an M-mount lens?

    Any advantage of using a Voigtlander 50mm f/1.1 Nokton over my current Nikon 50mm f/1.2 Nikkor (aside from the faster f/1.1)?

    Coming from an nikon D90 APS-C size sensor, please forgive my lack of knowledge as I have no experience with a mirrorless or full frame camera before.

  4. Hello from Belgium Steve, Hello from Belgium the communities,

    First of all thanks a lot for this great articles on the new sony, I’m convinced to buy one and I pre-ordered the a7r….but want to be sure that I took the right decision.
    Currently I’m shooting with an X-PRO1 (was as I already sold it) and want to be 100% sure that the AF of the a7r is not a show-stopper as it seems different than the a7, I mean I don’t want miss 1 shoot on 2 because of the AF.
    Now 24MP Vs 36MP is another story but I would be tempted to try the 36MP to catch amazing details on the pictures but I know (from the D800e story) that the little movement during the capture of the picture will ruin your picture….that the price to pay and I’m more a patient photographer than a crazy one  and my style are Street (quiet), Portraits, Landscapes.

    So do I take the good decision by choosing the a7r over the a7 ?

    Thanks in advance for your answer.

  5. Really good shots man, by far the best I’ve seen with the a7/a7r anywhere on the internet. The church glass in those studio shots is beautiful, very rich color.
    One thing I’m noticing on some of the shots is the orange-ish skin colors. My a850 used to ‘orange’ people and it drove me crazy. Only seeing it in some shots though.
    Other than that, they look ultra clean & detailed.
    I noticed there wasn’t any shots above iso 6400? Looking forward to seeing what these bad boys can be pushed to.
    Thanks for sharing & Keep up the good work!

    Ps- hopefully Santa will bring you a MacBook pro for Christmas 🙂

  6. Steve, just a quick question. Since the A7 and A7r are capable of using the Playmemories App, do you think the “lens compensation app” will do the trick with regards to the color-shifting on the edges?

  7. Steve, is the following a correct bottom line conclusion?: Leica M mount lenses work as well or better than on the current Leica M on both the A7 and the A7R using 35mm and longer lenses. There is a slight vignetting problem for 28mm and 21mm Leica M mount lenses (at least the ones you’ve used) on the A7, but sharpness and color are as good as on the Leica M. If the primary goal is to use the camera as a Leica M alternative for use with Leica glass, the A7 is a better choice than the A7R. I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but that’s what I believe you have been writing. If I am incorrect in any respect, I would greatly appreciate a clarification. Thanks, Marty

  8. Thank you very much! You really helped me make my choice.

    Please have a look: the guy besides the window is not taken with A7, as stated, but with A7R. … And Otus, i guess?

      • Hello Steve,

        first of all thanks for your site and blog, for the posts and for the imagery you produce – I like the style and can relate to it. I have been casually reading it for a while, and will continue doing so.

        Then as well – thanks and at the same time “no thanks” for helping me to take a decision which will leave a nice big hole in my wallet – your posts sold me both on an A7R and an Otus 55mm f/1,4… the results presented are quite stunning…

        I think the A7R will be first, after waiting for a few weeks into the general release (to avoid leading edge becoming bleeding edge if there are hidden systematic problems) – and the Otus will follow in a while, after clearing out some legacy kit and setting aside the cash…

        Cheers

        Michael
        =->

  9. Wow…Steve, stop shooting that good pictures 🙂 Seeing your pics I thought, wow thats the cam for me, but then I went to see the pics on dpreview and :(((( Well, that shows me that a good cam in the right hands does give wonderfull results (well done Steve) but I think I am more the dpreview shooter and I wont get your results with the A7 so I doubt that these cams (A7/A7R) are the right choice for me. Too bad 🙁

    • Well, my theory is that if you have passion and love photography you will create great photos with cameras you are excited about. I do not see this as a “job”..it is part of my life. I enjoy it so therefore I feel blessed to even be here testing these cameras. I want to make sure I put my best effort into creating the photos to show what they are capable of. They did indeed inspire me. Some others..this may be their “job” that they dislike. If that is the case, they will go through the motions without a care and just provide what they need to get the job done. So if you are someone with passion and love for the craft, you would do quite well with any of these cameras.

      • Thank you for your reconforting words but still, no matter which cam you use, most of your pics do look better then on any other webside I look at, so I think passion and love just wont do it, it needs some talent too and the eye for the situation, the right angle ans so on. It seems you have it all 🙂 About me, well I’m a little maniac regarding OOC pics. I’m not the pp man, spending hours at making the pics look right, What I search is sharp, natuarly looking pics with very low noise (high iso) OOC pics and I thought that is what FF provides. But looking at some pics out there (Dpreview) well a lot are not sharp at all, to bright, digital looking… I do not take that bad pics with my RX100 😉 Well I wait till your final verdict and then decide, maybe I will get the OMD-EM1 and save some money 🙂 Thx

    • LENSES? There is ONE zoom lens here and that is the $300 Kit zoom, the 24-70 which I do not recommend to anyone. If you want to see samples from the kit zoom, DPReview has plenty. If anyone is going to buy an A7..or A7r..I would NOT get the kit zoom. It does not show what the camera is capable of. An E-M1 and 12-40 would do much better if you want a zoom.

      • > $300 Kit zoom, the 24-70 which I do not recommend to anyone.

        Some of us, pros-enthusiast-amateurs, use ONLY zoom lenses.
        How about some supporting image evidence for NOT getting it…?
        And how is one going to determine IQ of A7(r)+KitZoom vs. RX10
        without side-by-side comparisons?

        Believe it or not, some camera stores are not going to have floor
        models for testing because they want to sell ALL as new in box.

        Isn’t there an obligation that comes with being one of the “46” chosen?

        • I was messing around with the zoom for the last hour and actually it is a little better than I thought. Still not something I would buy with this level of camera but I promise I will use it when I review the camera soon. Thanks.

  10. I saw Ben Folds in concert this summer. He’s definitely avid, as he was taking photos throughout the show. He’d have a break where he wasn’t playing piano or singing (or had come in to provide piano for Barenaked Ladies, who were part of the tour), and he’d reach into the piano and pull out his Leica, snap a few shots from the stage (sometimes of the crowd, sometimes of other band members), then put it back in the piano and continue playing. It was pretty cool.

  11. Hi Steve,
    Forgive those of us having kittens. Please let us know how is the Cv 28 ultron you have with you?

  12. Hi Steve,
    Love some of the pictures, and you lucky guy to meet Ben Fold!! Love him, ask him when he will be back in Dublin!!!

  13. Zeiss Otus looks darn nice. oo i wish it to be wider, something like 35mm.
    Maybe secondary version for M-mount with f 2.0, 300g lighter.

  14. Hi Steve,
    I am a little bit worried because the guys from “The Photoblographer”, who are with you at the event, have a much more critical view on the Sony 7(R).

    – Focus Peeking does not work accuratly
    – Autofocus is off
    – Metering is sub-optimal

    Usually I trust your opinion, did you notice anything like them?

    kr, Christian

    • I spoke with Chris because he was having issues. But, the fact is that I have had ZERO issues like this. No focus peaking issues (but I know how to use peaking correctly, many people do not). No AF issues besides slow AF in low light – it hunts in low light and can get frustrating – I am talking bar light at 11PM kind of low light. But I have a new wrap up coming today with more thoughts and tests.

      But AF in general has not missed for me once using the 35 or 55 lenses. Chris has been using A mount lenses via an adapter much of this trip including big telephotos. Maybe those are not optimized, no clue. But me, no problems AT ALL with peaking or manually focusing. The proof is on my pages with loads of photos posted using manual focus only. 🙂

      Exposure..he told me he was having overexposure issues. Again, not me. When you take a shot of a scene that has mixed light, say for example a leaf with sunlight hitting it while the rock around it is not in the sun..I would use center weighted or spot metering. If using evaluative you may get some weird exposure. But it all comes down to what you are shooting as well as what lens you are using.

      I had a couple of shots UNDER EXPOSE using an M mount lens but other than that, no problems…again, as you can see in the sample images I have been posting all week.

      You can trust what you want or who you want, I just write about my real experiences, good or bad. So far I found that with the 55, the AF is slow in low light and it hunts and can miss. In good light it has been rock solid.

      So I suggest reading more reports. But do know that if you are serious about taking quality photos, these cameras can do the trick once you learn how to use them..same with ANY camera.
      Thanks

      • Thanks for you quick and comprehensive replay, I really appreciate it.

        I never regretted following your advice and experience, so I am looking forward to get this camera into my hands.

        Luckily here in Austria (Europe) the A7 is launched on the 19th of November, so I guess, I will be among the first to shoot with this gem.

        Thanks again for your enthusiastic work and for sharing it all with us.

        Christian

      • Steve, you said you know how to use peaking. I’d love it if you’d share your tips on using this technology to its fullest. Thanks.

        • Its all trial, error and practice. When peaking first appeared it was tricky and I stopped using it until I realized you do not and can not count on the peaking but you also have to use your eyes. When you see the peaking light up make sure you are where you want to be focus wise by looking in the EVF. The EVf on these cameras are large enough to focus without using aids, but they do help. Id say shoot them for a few days using manual glass and then you get the hang of it.

      • Steve – what about the phoblographer’s comment about always feeling the need for a tripod on the A7R? People have said similar things about the D800e.

        • I am not Steve, but I can comment on this effect from the point of view of the NEX-7, which by pixel size and pitch is in this context even more critical than the A7R – the resolution is so high that if you are pixel-counting and display the result magnified to the pixel level, you can detect blur even with slight motion (shake) of the camera body – if this bothers you, you either have to go to very short exposure times – the old rule of thump from the old days of 35mm film – exposure time (sec) shorter than the reciprocal of the focal length in mm (t[s] < 1/f[mm] – unit swap) – is not valid here any more, you need significantly shorter times than that … my safe rule of thump is now t[2] <= 1/(4*f[mm])… or to use a tripod/monopod to support the camera/lens combination. Alternatively, one lives with a slight blur – in small print sizes this can be quite acceptable – dependent on the perception of the viewer.

          Needless to say, with a full frame sensor one needs less magnification than with a smaller one (reciprocal of crop factor), and a similar level of blur at the pixel level will be less disturbing in the print…

          All in all, this is in a way a luxury problem – the resolution is so high that you see blur which in the past would have been glossed over/hidden by the limited resolution of the film emulsion…

    • I would say this…Look at Steve’s photos. Look at the Phoblographer’s photos…not just these…go to both sites and look at some posts from both places. Sit down and have a talk with your self. Who do you want to listen too? 🙂 Steve’s comments are rock solid about these and pretty much any other camera. He has a lot of experience, and he “gets it”. I am an experienced photographer and Steve talks to me more than a lot of others. That’s a fact.
      Thanks for the sharp, raw (I mean the lighting, not the file!) images, Steve…we can really see what this camera can do. They are impressive in a lot of areas…but not all.

  15. Hello Steve, what an awesome jam packed trip so far. Thank you for all!

    The question that’s burning still for many of is is this…

    Which one a7 or a7r for M-mount exclusive users?

    (Not interested in autofocus…but want the best corners + resolution for the following, for example…)

    M mount 28mm, 35mm, 40mm and 50mm.

    So…preorder which camera for the entire Leica M replacement package? 🙂

    The question remains, if it’s the a7 are we giving up that much resolution of the a7r just be able to shoot under 35mm? Is it worth it? Or just give up on 28mm entirely because the a7r is that much more superior visually and gp with 35mm and up?

    THANKS!

    * I’d asked this above but not sure you saw.

  16. Let’s wait for your full review on the 35 and 50 with A7/A7r then. A comparison with M240 with those lenses will be very interesting to most of us. Thanks for your effort.

  17. So…has anybody asked the big question yet? Before the A7 was released, internet-land received wisdom was that the first FF mirrorless camera that could accept Leica glass would be the death-knell for the Lecia M bodies. What do we think now it’s here? Will the $4,700 difference between the M and the A7r now seem totally unjustifiable or will that Leica magic keep the punters on the (looooong) M waiting list?

    • Not necessarily. People who want the rangefinder experience will get the Leica bodies, people who want the good Leica glass IQ may finally get it with the Sony. Chalk me up as the latter, so I’m following Steve’s week in Nashville with great interest. Still hoping to see some pics with the CV 21/1.8 and the CV 50/1.5. 🙂

    • “So…has anybody asked the big question yet? Before the A7 was released, internet-land received wisdom was that the first FF mirrorless camera that could accept Leica glass would be the death-knell for the Lecia M bodies..”

      Not gonna happen. When the Sony was first announced I too was excited that this camera would be able to take my Leica lenses, and use them to their fullest extent. But all tests so far have shown that yes you can use them, but no they do not perform, on this camera, in the spectacular way as was hoped.
      Add to that that while this Sony provides really really good results with the Sony lenses (and the gigantic Zeiss manual 58mm lens), even at 35mm with non Sony lenses, some after market glass (Voigt 35 1.2) purple shifts. Steve has an example of that in his first Honky Tonk posting with the shot of the guy wearing glasses in the street. Look at the sky in the corners.

      So what we have here is a camera with incredible IQ with Sony and some Zeiss lenses, as long as they are over 35mm. My Leica cameras work perfectly with my Leica lenses all the way down to my 18mm lens. No color shifts, no smearing. Steve has mentioned that the Leica bodies do color shift in the same way as the Sony when using non-Leica glass. Which is true. But the fact is, the Sony does that also with Leica glass, while the Leica does not.

      Then you add other aspects, like build quality and handling. The Sonys are not built at the same level (plastic front and dials on the A7) as other pro level cameras let alone Leicas. But you wouldn’t expect that at $2000. I think the Leica X-Vario (at about $3K) is also built weak in comparison. And finally the Sony has the EVF, while the Leica uses, as always, an optical rangefinder. Love it or hate it (for both!), that is a huge difference which influences the end user’s decision to buy.

      If I didn’t have all my current lenses (Leica and Nikon), then I would consider the Sony, and only if I didn’t plan on shooting wide. Which I do. As it is, all this does is inadvertently bring Leica to the forefront of many people’s discussions. Which is great as they may not have even been on the radar for those people! Talk about free publicity!

      The only time Leica could be in real trouble is if someone brought out a FF optical rangefinder camera in the M mount. Cosina did that with the Zeiss Ikon, which is a great film camera, but that happened just as everyone was changing to digital! If they did it again, but digital, THAT would be a game changer. They already use the Leica M mount, already make killer lenses in that mount (no adapter needed!) and doods like me with Leica glass will have a real alternative, instead of pretending that everything works great with adapters.

      I’m looking forward to the Nikon Df – supposedly a ‘traditional’ digital SLR that can take my old Nikon glass with no issues.

      Peace out.

      • Sorry to say that you are wrong. Every lens for Leica, 35mm and up will perform as good or better than it does on the Leica M. The 50 Lux is gorgeous on the A7 or A7r. Not sure what you have been looking at or reading but me being a leica fanboy an all would go A7 or A7r for my 35 and up Leica M lenses over a $7000 Leica M at this moment. Save $5000 and get as good or better quality and color. No brainer really unless you must have the red dot. Just calling it like I see it and I see it clearly after 4 days of full day use.

        If you want 28mm and under, go with Leica as there will be issues (the same issues that these non Leica lenses have on a Leica M)

        • It seems inevitable that Leica M will become increasingly obsolete. Its lenses kept it alive the past few years but true competitors are beginning to emerge and the price factor will be hard to impossible to sustain. The other class of camera under increasing pressure is DSLRs as Sony, joining Leica, offers smaller cameras with equivalent IQ. But what is not mentioned enough is the fact that until mirrorless cameras offer equivalent autofocus speed a DSLR is still the preferred camera for people who shoot kids and animals and other rapidly moving things. I have tried and returned several mirrorless cameras with excellent IQ including the Sony RX1r because they are only useful for shooting static scenes and things at a distance. I already have a Leica M to do that. Most of the time I can actually manually focus a Leica faster than most mirrorless cameras can autofocus (the OM-D is the exception). A good example is a friend of mine who is an avid and skilled photographer. Like many people he does not like to hump a DSLR around and for the past couple of years he has also used a Sony NEX7 that is small and light and unobtrusive. He used it recently to photograph his granddaughter receiving a diploma. He pressed the shutter as the diploma was handed to her but the camera delayed a few seconds while it struggled to focus and finally fired as she was walking off the stage. He was not happy. If I were starting from scratch an A7 or A7r might be tempting as a second camera but because I photograph kids a lot a DSLR will still be my main camera for now.

          • IF(?) Mf rocks When putting a stellar 50 summicron on the A7r. We would have a super versatile, lightweight, one lens only, worldclass IQ package that Would never let you Down. THAT is my Dream scenario. AND it is only halfway insanity budgetwise. Why would you then need DSLRs? But then again, maybe its just a Dream. Or is it… Steve?

          • Rasmus, you can’t project your style on everyone. Your package will let me down if I need fast, accurate and precise autofocus and the best IQ, or if I want to shoot very wide angle, and I do that much more often than I shoot at 50mm. I prefer shooting my Leica when I can, mostly because of the size, IQ and lenses (thanks Steve, I learned that mostly from you). But it does not cut it when I am photographing my very energetic grandson as he runs around at distances varying from 10 feet to 100 feet away. Nor would your kit do the job if I want to shoot a wide angle shot of a landscape. The point is, there is no one perfect camera for every person. The closest to a perfect camera I can imagine would be an A7r with a small and affordable Leica quality 15 to 300mm f1.4 zoom and DSLR quality autofocus that will produce a good shot in any light. It may eventually come but it is not here yet.

          • Cheers. Off course you are right – I should not project my MF 50 style as the only style out there. But for my kind of shooting it could be a Dream Scenario and it could be the last of DSLRs for me. On a more general level I do feel that the a7s could create a retro movement for MF and M lenses. P.s. Good luck to leica on keeping that wunder lens of yours below tank size and all the best to you and your grandsonian landscapes

          • gsutton is dreaming:

            “…a small and affordable Leica quality 15 to 300mm f1.4 zoom and DSLR quality autofocus that will produce a good shot in any light.”

            That would be great indeed – only, Physics is in the way. Look at the Otus – and you can extrapolate that such a thing would be huge and heavy…

            Up to APS-H (or S35+), there are a few near-perfect telecentric zoom lenses available which almost cover your range in one lens- but they are not f/1,4 but rather, model-dependent) T2,8 (f/2,5) for 24..290mm or T3,5 (f/3,2) for 25..250 in high quality. These lenses are as well a bit on the big and expensive side (length >400mm, diameter >120mm, cost > 50 K$….) – look at the Thales Angenieux Optimo series of Cine lenses… and, as for all really top-quality lenses, they are manual focus…

          • Rasmus, thanks and best to you as well. I know that physics make the dream lens improbable but who knows, maybe around the time we figure out how to travel faster than the speed of light someone will make my dream lens too. It has to be no bigger than your 50mm though . . .

          • > physics make the dream lens improbable

            But physics makes it possible, too, no?
            Helium-filled lenses?
            Magnet system worn on belt that repels heavy lenses from underneath…?

          • I have been using rangefinder-Leicas for more than three decades, but never made the move from film-based Leicas to ‘digital’ Leicas, as I found that both performance and price left things to desire, and have kept two Leica M4Ps in use up to now, even if I have been using ‘digital’ kit in parallel.

            I went through a number of DSLRs on my way to ‘digital nirvana’, but could never fill the gap in usability and portability compared to the Leica M – so I tried quite a number of exchangeable lens mirror-less digital cameras, M4/3 first (I still like the Panasonic GX1 with EVF and fast primes or Novoflex-adapted manual lenses) and then APS-C, up to now sorely missing affordable and useable full-frame mirror less designs.

            In the APS-C context, the NEX-7 has been my choice in the balance between quality of the results (IQ, …) , usability, user interface and robustness – the Fuji X-Pro having been a strong contender, but in the end the E-mount and the (IMHO) better manual focussing support of the NEX-family tipped the balance. The NEX-7 ‘purple fringing’ problem will only occur with short focal length lenses with the rear element close to the focal plane that are not designed to do telecentric projection – telecentric lenses do not pose a problem, neither do proper retrofocus lenses (i. e. almost anything designed for SLR) – for my ‘problematic’ superwideangles (Biogon, Super-Angulon) and Fisheye, I got a back-up body (NEX-5R), combined with a Zacuto Z-Finder, augmented by a spirit level in the field of view. With this set-up and focus peaking I have hardly any need for autofocus, and the highly magnified view of the LCD screen allows for composing in the same way my trusty old Rolleiflex medium format film camera does, and a standard DSLR viewfinder does not.

            The example of your friend, loosing crucial shots by focus-hunting or other AF problems (even current top-range DSLRs can run into trouble, keyword focus calibration on the D800), is not a consequence of technical shortcomings of the equipment alone, but as well of a big error of judgement on his side – a scenario like the one that failed for him calls IMHO for manual pre-focus – that, combined with the burst function of the NEX-7 should have reliably afforded good results. As experienced and skilled photographer, your friend should have known the behavior of his equipment… I learned my lesson on that one, albeit on film, in the 1990ies with the EOS1N…

            Now back to the main topic of this discussion:

            I think the A7/A7r changes the paradigm for me, too: Full frame, high IQ, reasonable price – this is what I have been looking for. The perceived IQ of the A7 and (more so) the A7r make me, for the first time, think about retiring my film-based M4Ps after finishing my film stock, and go digital all the way…

        • “Sorry to say that you are wrong. Every lens for Leica, 35mm and up will perform as good or better than it does on the Leica M”

          Thanks for your reply Steve. Are you saying I am wrong on all my statements? I can understand that the M lenses may have worked well for you with your Sonys but the fact that other reports have shown the opposite results makes one think that there is a variance – perhaps in the adapters or the cameras – that results in different results. Which is a little bit disconcerting given that you would not know until after you have purchased the camera.
          As for the rest, in hand feel, construction, an optical rangefinder are all reasons why Leica will still have its place in the market, no matter how technically accomplished other cameras may be.

          I am very much enjoying these reviews.

  18. As reported by other reviewers, the A7 is not working well with many RF lenses. Smearing at corner is common even for the 50 lux at large aperture. Sony designs the A7/A7r for their own system in mind, not the RF lenses. This is true for all the other mirrorless systems. So for Leica or other RF lenses, it is better to use RF camera ie Leica M.

    • Untrue. Works well with the 50 Lux and anything 35 or over. So far I have not seen any issues at all with 35mm and up on either body. The Zeiss 35 is gorgeous, the 35 1.2 is gorgeous, the 50 Lux is just as it is on any M, etc. There are issues with the ultra wides and up to 28 on the A7r..not as bad on the A7. I’d shoot an A7r and Zeiss 35 and 50 Planar any day as my main system because I have been seeing the results and they are phenomenal.

  19. Hi Steve,

    I’ve got the ZM 35 f2 as well, but heard it suffers from magenta cast due to its symmetrical design. When used on my nex 7, it seems that magenta cast is rather obvious in an outdoor setting with strong sunlight. I’ve had no noticeable problems for indoor shots as well as low-light outdoor conditions. Is that true for the a7r as well? It’s one sharp lens with rich Zeiss colours and it will be a shame if I were to sell this because of the magenta cast.

    Thanks

    • “heard” is the key word. No issues on the A7 or 7r that I have found yet and i have been using them. Now, I have only used certain lenses a few times but the only ones I saw out of what I have with issues is the Voigt 12mm, 15mm and 21mm 2.8 Zeiss. The Voigtlander 21 1.8 seems just fine.

      • That’s great to hear. I guess it will be manageable if magenta cast is around the same level as it’s on nex 7. Any thoughts on 18mm ZM? I’ll be picking it up soon as my main WA lens on the A7R. Thanks Steve.

  20. Ordered my A7r but won’t be investing in any Sony or Zeiss glass, since I already have a staple of M glass — can’t wait to see how the APO-50 and Noctilux-50 0.95 perform on the A7r. This body makes total sense, and I don’t need AF glass since it would only better me and my Leicas by 1 fps.

  21. Great work and shots. Busy busy times! As someone looking to use legacy glass I’m in the A7 or A7r confused box and I’m wondering if with certain WA designs its the case that the A7 smears the edges and corners, and the A7r doesn’t but has vignetting and colour cast?

  22. Would my stable of old OM lenses work with these cameras? Other than manual focus is there a downside to using these older lenses?

    • Charles: I used to own a stable of OM Zuikos. I think they will be superb with the A7 and A7R. You will need a high quality adapter to ensure that infinity focus is accurate when set by the markings on the focus ring. I would only trust Novoflex or Rayqual adapters.

      The 18mm, 21mm, and 24mm Zuikos are very compact, light weight, and sharp. I would predict that they would have less problems with edge sharpness or magenta shift than similar lenses for the Leica mount.

      They were all very easy for me to focus with the Ricoh GXR M mount using focus peaking. Of course, with ultrawide lenses, there is a lot of depth of field, especially stopped down.

  23. Steve,

    Mate I just wanted to say ‘long time visitor’ (of your blog/website) ‘first time commentor’ and that I and many others that don’t comment appreciate the pressure your under. Its hard enough to get ‘that’ shot sometimes, let alone with another 49 journos around you, limited time, new hardware, and THEN you have thousands of people on here all wanting something different from each days shooting! (Personally I’m hanging out for the baby brother RX10 shots 😉 )
    Awesome pics, awesome cameras…awesome future for digital photography. Cheers mate.

  24. Steve, I have a question that would be the most kind of you to answer.

    I have few M-mount lenses and was wondering which of the two, A7 or A7r, should I take for street photography?

    Thanks in advance

      • Hi Steve.

        First let me thank you for the blog and paying so much attention to replying to our stupid questions.

        Second, I was thinking also about the way these two cameras will behave in low light:

        How is the focus under low light? Here in Sweden things get pretty dark for some part of the year.

        Second, what about the high iso? Is the a7r much better than the a7 in that department?

        Thanks again.

    • Funny as I do not even have VSCO on my traveling laptop 🙂 What you see here in day 3 is OOC JPEGS, resized down to 1500 or 1800 pixels wide along with some contrast adjustments. The OOC file had no adjustments as it is an OOC file. I am finding the color of the A7’s to be very nice and rich depending on what JPEG color setting that you use. It is all in the lens really. That Zeiss Otus puts out some sweet color.

      • Speaking of OOC Jpegs is there an option for no NR? or NR level settings? If not and you have a chance to speak to someone from Sony please mention the feature, really miss it on Nex 7. I know the majority of persons interested on a FF camera, be it 24 or 36Mpx usually wouldn’t shoot jpegs but.I work for a magazine and end up shooting a lot, but the type of photos that don’t justify the extra space that Raw requires so a good and relatively neutral OOC Jpeg is what I use (zero sharpening, -1 contrast). I know the advantages of raw but if jpegs where better (less compression artifacts, less smearing because of too aggressive NR, etc), one wouldn’t need raw as much.

  25. Hi Steve,
    I read an article in the Phoblographer from Chris Gampat and he wrote about problems getting the right
    Focus point using focus peaking with the Sony Cams.Do you have similar experience.
    Thanks for all doing that for us.

    • I have not had any such problem. As you can see, mostly 80% of my shots were done in Manual Focus. If the peaking was off, they would not be in focus. But just because my camera was fine does not mean another had an issue, just saying mine worked as most focus peaking cameras do.

      • When it comes to nailing manual focus with Sony focus peaking there still quite much technique involved. Are you maybe using focus magnification too? When shooting MF glass stopped down a bit the peaking may give too much “color” even when the focus is not quite perfect yet. Based on what Chris Gambat wrote a long time Nex user gets a bit of impression that he is not quite in terms of how to get best out of Sony MF.

  26. Hi Steve, thanks for your samples. I understand that this camera and the lenses you got make you open up the aperture but I’d really love to see some small-aperture test on the a7r which claims to have ‘diffraction reduction’ technology. If that really worked as the name implies, it would be a breakthrough in photography. I am still skeptical though.

  27. Yeah, personally I love the lighting and I don’t see it as non-flattering. Personally I like the look of these photos even untouched. Lots of character and the people look “real” there is always PhotoShop if you want…

  28. It is pretty clear the 35mm Biogon is a warm, rich moving lens that seems to like the A7 and produced some really great color tones and IQ in this series.

    The Sony 55mm clearly falls behind in this series and has some odd magenta cast to it and kinda a too sharp graininess that was unflattering to the model’s face.

    The Zeiss Otus is more neutral with a nice 3D look but still has a too digital look to me in this series.

    Of course the 35mm Biogon standing above these other two lenses is expected as the 35mm biogon is one of the few greatest lenses ever made for film rangefinder.

    I would definitely like to see more with the 35mm Biogon and the A7.

  29. Steve:

    Thanks for providing all the great information and details.

    It is apparent that the pancake 12, 15 and 21 mm all have issues (reported by you and other sites). It will be good if you can test the Voigtlander 21 mm f1.8 and/or the Zeiss Distagon 21 mm f2.8. It will be good to see if the newer this 21 mm Ultron or the Distagon 21 mm (Canon or Nikon mount) has these same issues. I suspect they will have less issues.

    thanks, Bigtree.

  30. Okay, snap question: Specifically for the kind of low-light reportage style photos Steve has been doing so well here, which would you pick: an A7(r), or a Fuji X camera?

    Based on Steve’s results, the A7 twins plus a wide-aperture lens look like a great low light/high ISO combo. But the Fujis also are known for good high-ISO performance, and they’ve got a lot of nice wide-aperture lenses in their lineup (and via adapters.)

    • In my opinion the Sony is fugly. The Fuji is not. I own an X-Pro. But the fact is the capabilities of the A7r appear to trounce the Fuji. The MTF for the Sony 35 and 55 are impressive and the results shown so far seem to back it up.

      With Fuji automatic lenses there are no low light issues. The camera does very well with all set to Auto: ISO, DR, Shutter, Aperture. I still do not own a flash for this camera.

      I use my old Oly OM f2 glass on the Fuji and do appreciate the digital-film alchemy. In low light and with no image stabilization and a 1.5 crop factor I don’t go much below 1/125 to stay sharp. I set Velvia, DR400, and Auto ISO 6400. In most cases this is sufficient, but not in all.

      Seeing the results Steve has achieved with the VM35 1.2 (especially in low light) and the ZM35 2 on the Sony is inspirational and leads me to believe that the Sony will excel beyond comparison with Legacy glass as well.

      So, given the choice of Fuji or Sony. Right now, because I do not shoot wide angle under 28mm, I would go with the Sony. However as soon as Fuji puts out its FF ILC, that Sony will go right on eBay.

  31. I showed my wife the picture of the A7r with the Otus. She said, “Oh my! It’s soooo big!” Well I can’t say I haven’t heard that one before. But she did comment that sometimes a smaller lens with a better body is the magic combination. So I’m thinkin’ one of those medium size Voights might just be good enough for the girls I go out with.

  32. I just wanted to thank you for all your work Steve. I just also saw the samples dpreview just posted, and apparently the person who shot them didn’t really know how to use a camera (lots of very low shutter speeds and blurry shots). Even your test shots are of good quality. Sorry to be negative about another website, but you are doing so much better to give us an idea of what a camera is capable of. Very much appreciated.

  33. Really interested in hearing the basics – how the Sony FE lenses focus in fully auto focus mode? How easy is it to scroll round a single focus point? How accurate are the focus points on the periphery for composing rule of thirds without having to focus/recompose? How is the continuous focus on a moving subject? Thanks.

  34. I don’t understand all the criticism? These images are not retouched…they are journalistic on the run to show how amazingly sharp and clear that these cameras can produce images under difficult conditions….I think they really accomplish their goal!
    WOW..these camera and lens combinations are amazing. What fun!

  35. I don’t understand all the criticism? These images are not retouched…they are journalistic on the run to show how amazingly sharp and clear that these cameras can produce images under difficult conditions….I think they really accomplish their goal!
    WOW..these camera and lens combinations are amazing. What fun!

    • It’s not criticism on the photograph or the camera or photographer. It’s criticism for whoever set up that scene. The light is very unflattering to the subject. Steve worked those shots really well but the lighting is rather harsh on the subject. Like someone shining a spotlight from the side on her.

      • Well…they are in a music stage setting and the lighting definitely mimmics harsh stage lighting…even the glow in the background….What better to show off resolution than harshness….feel free to download and retouch till your hearts content….I want to know what this camera can do! 🙂

    • Sooooo many photographers and none of them was looking at the subject. Everybody was too occupied with “newest toy” in their hands. None a single one to grab that Diva on a stand and move it a bit to get a proper light. As I mentioned before, bad lightning. Period. No excuse for it. What ever gear was used…

      • Boo Hoo. I have an excuse…I wasn’t there to move lighting nor am I a studio photographer. Lights were set up before any of us walked in. It was a set up scene and we all shot the same thing. WE COULD HAVE moved the lights if we desired but I am NOT a fan of studio lights at all, I never ever use them. I am natural light 98% of the time. When not, I like to use handheld LED’s that I can play around with until I get what I want. At this event we walked in, shot for 10 min and walked out. Then on to the next. It was not some full blown studio session.

  36. Image quality looks very impressive. But I’m thinking the world needs the A7 more than the new singer..

    Interesting times ahead; will the Nikon DF challenge the A7 on IQ, price and size..

  37. I saw Ben Folds Five 14 times while a teen in Tennessee (in Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Atlanta). And he is an avid photographer. He used to post on the large format forum at photo.net, and his 3 EPs early in his solo career were all named for photo equipment/theory: “Speed Graphic,” “Sunny 16,” and “Super D.”

  38. Hi Steve…Many thanks for your efforts in bringing us some much anticipated hands on shooting. Your thoughts on the cameras is much appreciated. My interest is in nature/macro/landscapes more than anything else. Being on a budget I would love to hear your thoughts on the comparison of the two cameras in various situations. It seems that the A7 is a terrific performer from your examples over the three days. If the results are close between the two I would favour the A7 with a good prime lens….

  39. Thanks a lot Steve for taking your time posting this. I must say it looks a lot better than the pictures posted at The Rumour Site the day of the release of the A7/A7R shot with M lenses. Those photos made me cancel my order and get a rebated RX1. Keeping the M9 for a bit longer me think..

  40. Hey Steve,

    Your photos from all 3 days are simply Amazing! Can you please share with us if there are a common set of settings that the cameras are set too? Eg. Noise Reduction turned off, Contrast +1, DRO off etc. Reason I ask is because the photos that you’re taking are significantly less smudged / compressed looking than some of the other sample images floating out there on the internet. In my mind, your photos are the ones that are really showing what this camera is capable of – in skilled hands of course 🙂

    Thanks in advance.

  41. While I appreciate that the $4000 Otus is a fantastic lens on the A7r…that B&W headshot shows the danger of too much sharpness for people shots…. I’m really more interested in understanding the capabilities of the Sony 35 and 55 on A7r as those are the ones I will buy… 🙂

    • Oh and I would say nice work Steve… but since I’m green with envy at your ability to spend a week with these cameras on Sony… I can’t work up the words… 😉

  42. Nice work 🙂 Would love to see a close up portrait with the A7r – skin is the most interesting subject for pixel peeping; we pretty much do know what skin should look like, but most of us really don’t know what a brick wall or a neon sign should look like 🙂

    For me; Sigma DP2 Merrill is king in that respect (from the samples I can not tell if the A7r is as sharp as the magic DP2).

    Maybe the new FF cameras should come with some sort of warning: “Too much bokeh is just silly”. I think people have used small sensor cameras too long; and because nice bokeh is hard to get with a small sensor, people thing bokeh must be “good” – just because it has been hard to achieve… Why do people desire caviar? Because it’s hard to get and the price is high…

    • A lot of women naturally have very fine, soft fuzz over most of their skin. It’s just so fine most cameras can’t see it, and most people have to get very close to see it. Or you cake on so much makeup it hides it all.

      Another model shot with the a7 showed similar fine fuzz on a woman’s cheek. Just shows how good the camera and lens is.

      Might be like when the news stations went to HD, some anchormen/women had to find new jobs if their face didn’t hold up to high def.

  43. preview has full-size downloads. The FE lenses do look very good, and maybe that is the best option for these cameras. Hope they add a 24 and 18, even F4 would be fine if they are sharp across the frame.

    • I was hoping the initial glass offering for the FE mount was going to be good. Still wish the 35mm at f2.8 was equal to the f2.0 on the RX1, but I think the 55mm at f1.8 may work.

      I know size matters – while the Zeiss Otus results looks great – I don’t see the purpose putting that monster on a “compact” camera.

      Roger

  44. Hello Steve, what an awesome jam packed trip so far. Thank you for all!

    The question that’s burning still for many of is is this…

    Which one a7 or a7r for M-mount exclusive users?

    (Not interested in autofocus…but want the best corners + resolution for the following, for example…)

    M mount 28mm, 35mm, 40mm and 50mm.

    So…preorder which camera for the entire Leica M replacement package? 🙂

    The question remains, if it’s the a7 are we giving up that much resolution of the a7r just be able to shoot under 35mm? Is it worth it? Or just give up on 28mm entirely because the a7r is that much more superior visually and gp with 35mm and up?

    THANKS!

    • Hi,

      Steve is really an awesome photographer. I like the photos of this serial a lot.

      The 3 articles so far are not a alpha 7/7r review. I would like to have one with M glass.

      And I’m impressed by the quality of the 7 and 7r. It is a very good cam.

      I personal hoped for a body for my elmarit 28mm. And I would neither recommend the 7 nor the 7r for this lens.Tested both as I’ve already posted.

      Of course, I don’t blame Sony for not producing a cam for this lens.

      So I have the option to sell the elmarit and buy a 35mm Zeiss or go the leica body way. (I never had one). Using elmarit on a nex 6 (thanks Steve!)

      Problem with elmarit 28 mm and 7r is color shift on the borders.
      I thought the 7 would be a better choice. But now I think there is corner smearing with the 7. I’m not sure, because it can also be caused by the lens.

      If there is no smearing with the 7r (open question), it might be an option with post processing color correction.

    • Shane, That is what i am wondering about also…which one??????
      Poor Steve though we all just keep asking him stuff…the poor man!!!!!
      Thanks Steve for helping all of us…you’re the best!
      sori

    • It is already proven that the stock Sony primes are going to be fine. M mount users like mf lenses that will last forever, thus our desire to determine which sensor will work best with them.

      I am admittedly confused how the A7r, with the microlens array, is not always better than the A7. The word at the release was that this feature made the A7r the better camera for “legacy” glass. The sample images; however, are not making this clear. I am shooting normal 35 f2.8 / 50 1.4 lux and then prob a 90 2.

      But never complain about the a/c in the car of a guy giving you a free ride…..or of a passionate photog who has the M mount world on his shoulders at this point. Steve for Prez.

  45. Steve, could you post full size OOC jpegs? Also such photos don’t tell much about performance of lens in corners. Would it be possible to have 100% center/corner crops of photos that have fine details across the frame(i.e. landscape with trees at mid-range,infinity)?

  46. Just really nice photographs. They remind me of what the very best professional magazine photojournalists produced so easily in the decades before digital. The camera seems to be on another level from the Leica digital Ms in terms of the ease at which it gets acceptable color with no sign of dreadful color casts, skin tones or noise. If it’s easier to focus Leica lenses on this Sony than on a Leica rangefinder, especially for some of us whose eyes are going and for whom focusing a Leica is often a humiliating experience… this camera could sell a LOT of Leica glass. Good stuff and thanks again are due to Steve for all this great work.

  47. Thank you Steve!. Your writeup is greatly appreciated and samples very informative in helping us better understand its potential. I am sad though it won’t work well with my CV 12mm but I do have a CV 35mm 1.7 ultron, a vintage (1971) Pentax 50mm 1.4 Super Takumar and a CV 75mm 2.5 heliar that probably should work. I look forward to more :-).

    BTW I was wondering if you had a chance to look at the battery compartment. It seems on my NEX 5 and 6 plus my point and shoot cyber shots, Sony uses plastic making it feel a bit flimsy. Can you please comment as to whether or not the a7r is better built in that area as well?

  48. Another set of well taken picture. Your work is appreciated! The A7 definitely sounds like a winner for me. The A7R did feel a little bit more premium due to the mag front plate and solid metal top dials when I handled it. I fell in love with the 55mm f/1.8 when I tried it. Beautiful build and bokeh and sharp. I just wish the close focus distance was better, but that is probably too much to ask.

  49. It is rather the unforgiving perpendicular hard (non diffused) lighting in combination with sweated or oiled skin what does this effect.

  50. Love these photos you’re taking, my kind of photography…keep it up. I was about to switch from NEX-7 to Canon DSLR cause Leica way out of my price range…but I think these Sony will do nicely. Still a tough decision between A7 and A7R 🙂 although i doubt I need 36mp. Is the A7R any easier to manual focus, or you find they are pretty much the same? Trying to decide on the lens to go with…for the purposes of street/night/low light photography…maybe 2nd hand Leica 35 Summicron F2, or new Zeiss 35mm f/2 or Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2 II paired with the Sony 55 1.8.

    • I’m in the same boat – I like the A7r for IQ, but the A7 is no slouch either. I’m waiting for Steve’s assessment of the low light capabilities of each.

      I like the A7r’s higher IQ as I often like to blow up pictures scenery pictures and have just gotten into printing on aluminum. Second, I admit, I use it as a poor man’s zoom . I like to shoot wide 28 to 35 generally for most of my shots – but at times I find I capture a particular part of the photo that I crop down too.

      So for me – I’m trying to figure out if the low light (call it dramatic lighting) of the A7r is close to the A7 or if the IQ of the A7 is closer to the A7r. I think the A7r will win out in the end, but we will see.

      – Roger

      • I’m with you, Roger, I like to shoot a bit wide then sometimes recompose via cropping. so I like the idea of 36mpix. sounds like sony lenses will be a really good way to go. Hopefully the 24-70 zoom will work well. just too bad its not faster.

  51. Hi Steve, thanks for your continuing work in reviewing these unique cameras…I am a bit confused by your comment saying that one would be better off using the native Zeiss 55 than a 50 Lux on the A7. For many of us the possibility of using our old Leica M glass at their original FOV is precisely what makes these cameras so attractive. Could you please clarify how well do the Leica M lenses perform on them?, do you still think the A7 is the right choice?,
    Thanks!!!

    • I’m saying if you do not own either you would be better off with the Sony as it’s 1/4 the price and has AF and is A solid performing lens. The Leica for not perform as good on the M as it did on the M9 and while the lux does great on the A7 or A7r – if buying new you could save $3000 and buy the Sony and can’t imagine anyone would be disappointed.

  52. Hey Steve, I know the aperture and features are different, but what’s your feeling so far on ZM vs equivalentish ZE? Great work so far on testing the cameras, I hope you keep enjoying the rest of the week and thank you!

  53. I liked the photo taken with A7 and Zeiss 35mm f/2 the best.
    The color rendering and depth is superb.
    Starting to get a feel A7 may be the better rounded camera without sacrifice to real world IQ.

  54. Wide angle (14- 35 range) performance should be one of the sought after and strongest benefits of FF. But so far, I haven’t seen rave reviews – other than for astronomically expensive lenses. I know.. I know.. its super early.. need to allow more time for full reviews. have my fingers crossed !

    • Need to see how the A7 and A7r perform when a manual focus wide angle SLR lens is attached. A comparison with similar focal length wide angle rangefinder lens would be very interesting.

      Also, can the A7/A7r be manually placed into crop mode? I would be interested in how the CV 15 or 21mm functions with the A7/A7r in crop mode. How does a CV 21mm Color Skopar in crop mode compare to the SEL20mm.

      Similar question would exist for any lens, adapted rangefinder, adapted SLR, E-mount or Alpha-mount if they perform with less problems in crop mode. If so, that might be a rationalization to choose the A7r over the A7.

  55. Steve, if you get a chance, shoot a few more big scenery shots with both cameras, please. I like to blow up scenery shots and print on aluminum for impact so IQ is important to me – but on the other end of the spectrum I also love to shoot the shots you post most often – up close and personal with dramatic effect (re: challenging lighting conditions.)

    At first, I thought the A7r was for me all the way, for IQ – but the A7 seems to be keeping up quite nicely so far, especially in the more intimate shots.

    I guess I will have to wait for the RAW to see how close they are, but I like what I’m seeing from the A7.

    – Roger

    • I remember seeing him at a little club in Hoboken NJ 20 years ago with the Ben Folds Five…. great band! … “I wasn’t cool at school. You probably don’t remember me.”….was sorta my anthem….

  56. Thanks for all of your hard work Steve.

    I’m curious why you are spending so much time shooting with lenses other than the two primes that Sony is releasing with the new cameras… Are they not as good or are you more interested in seeing if this camera plays nice with manual focus lenses?

    The absence of pictures by those two lenses over the past three days is causing me think you might feel these lenses lack character… soul, etc. The Otus lens shots are amazing and have magic to them, but I’d never pay 4 grand for a giant lens for a compact FF camera, so I’m not all that curious about it.

    This is not me being critical of your blog at all, I love it. I’m just curious and anxious to hear your feedback on the new FE lenses.

    • I’ve been shooting with all lenses / mostly with M mount and the Zeiss as that is what was requested by most. I still have two days and will be sure to shoot more with the 35 and 50. No worries.

      But I can only do so much. For those who keep asking for details and comparison and shutter sound comparisons – all of that will come when I review the camera – these are not reviews – just my thoughts after shooting along with my results.

      • For most of us (average consumers, not lense collectors) the new gear needs to be evaluated as a system and not a frankensystem. It’s great to be able to use old stuff laying around, but this camera was engineered with these new lenses in mind and the lenses with this camera in mind. The most important thing for buyers to understand is how it performs as intended. The rest is a bonus.

        • Objection.

          The A7 would not get this attention, if it was just another camera body, but with a limited choice of compliant lenses, and years to wait until they become available. Who would buy an A7, with a 28-70/3.5-5.6 or 35/2.8 as the only lenses available now? Marginally less weight/size, marginally better image quality and some AF features (eye/face tracking) that are not possible with conventional DSLR won’t be enough.

          It is all about the possibility to recycle lenses from abandoned camera systems. And it helps to migrate from other systems to A7. Not all of us are willing to buy an A7 plus a set of new lenses, in parallel or replacing our old gear.

          Compared to the introduction of Canon EF and Minolta A mount, deliberately designed to make the adaptation of Canon FD and Minolta MD lenses impossible, this is an interesting change in marketing strategy. It cannibalizes future FE lens sales to a lesser degree than it encourages immediate A7 body sales. After toying with adapted lenses, many A7 users will upgrade to FE lenses anyway, just for the convenience of AF. And Sony won’t need to bother with niche lenses for which sales never amortize R&D, but Sony is expected to offer for a “professional” system.

          • For me, using non-native lenses is a nice option… but it’s just ‘icing on the cake’

            I’m more interested in native, AF lenses (the 35mm and 50mm will likely cover 70% of what I shoot – and Sony has an aggressive road-map for the next year)

            I know a lot of people are looking forward to using legacy lenses on the system, but my guess is just as many (or more) are interested in the e-mount lenses, and for them/us, it’s really more about ‘big sensor, small body’ (great for travel, street, etc.)

      • Steve, I appreciate your tests with the Otus on these cameras. Wondering if you see much difference with the a7 and a7r with this lens? Also does the weight of the Otus put a strain on the adapter and mount if the lens isn’t supported? Thanks.

          • Steve,

            You are doing a wonderful service in providing early characterization of camera and lens combos. With regard to the two feature 35s ( Voigtlander 1.2 and Zeiss 2.8), which would you recommend? I’m leaning towards the 1.2 because of flexibility even though it is MF but would appreciate your perspective. Thanks very much.

  57. I’m torn between getting something simple like the X-E2 with the 18-55 and 55-200 or the A7 with the kit lens. I personally prefer zooms because I can really only do nature photography where I live. I’m assuming the 70-200 f/4 will look massive on the A7. I have them both pre-ordered, so I have a few more weeks to think about it…

  58. as always great images and very helpful commentaries… but since I keep seeing that big monster lens I figure I’d say that for super glass on the A7/A7r most of your readers with the budget would gravitate to the Leica 50mm lux asph… I’d be interested to know if the Leica 50 asph performs well with the A7r. There are some vague reports that it does not…

    • The 50 Lux is semi soft on the Leica M through f/2.8 (tried 3 copies on 5 bodies..all the same), sharp as a tac on the M9 and insanely sharp on the M8. From what I have seen, it is sharper on the A7 than it is on the M without question. But its a different experience shooting the A7. In reality, one would be best with the Sony 55 1.8 for best performance and AF.

  59. great to know how wonderful the Otus lens is. But seems like the common man would not be able to part with $4K for it. I’m personally much more interested and a bit concerned about wide and super wide performance on the A7’s since there are numerous reports / concerns about vignetting. with the lack of native lenses, almost all wides are using an adapter which probably adds to vignetting. What do you think?

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