This week I went out to the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain resort and took some snaps of the Golfers in the Accenture Match play PGA event. My goal was to use both zooms at the maximum apertures, (mostly at the long end), to separate the subject and background, and to see how the relatively inexpensive zooms held up optically. Also important; can the NEX-7 focusing keep up with moving subjects, and how does the jpeg processing handle textures like fabrics and skin.
Most shots in the gallery have been downsized to 6mp (3000 x 2000). The reason I did this is the depth of field is so slim close-up near 200mm, F/6.3, there isn’t much in focus, so the full sized images look a little fuzzy unless you look closely at the narrow field of sharp detail in the faces and fabric, plus, with moving subjects, perfect focusing is a hit and miss affair. I’ve included four full-sized samples, two using the Tamron, and two with the Sony for those that want to judge the quality directly. Check the end of the caption to see if it’s full sized, it’ll say ‘full size’.
There is no AF micro adjustment option on the NEX-7 using NEX lenses, it’s only for the LA-EA2 AF adapter. That represents a problem when you need perfect focusing. Both lenses where close in most situations, but not perfect. However, the images presented here are what I’d consider very close to being correctly focused on the subject. Sometimes you can tell by looking at the grass or clothing near the subject and see where the camera focused. The Golfer’s shoes close-up shot shows how slim the DOF is.
I used RAW+Jpeg for all shots, but the images culled for this gallery were taken from the jpegs right out of the camera, and downsized if indicated in the caption. Camera settings were creative style ‘Landscape’ and default for everything else. OSS was turned on for all shots, and worked great, not a single shot was blurry because of camera shake.
The differences between the two lenses is mostly noticeable along the sides, where the Sony is sharper; and color fringing, where the Tamron has much more at the long end, with blue standing out more along white to dark areas. Even when downsized, I think both lenses, along with the NEX-7 will produce a great looking 8×10″ print, or a magazine cover as long as you focus correctly.
As a side note; the jpegs are showing false detail (moire) in the fabric and to a lesser extent the skin, the RAW images do not show this, and the additional detail is noticeable.
Contrast detect AF on the NEX cameras and lenses is not fast enough to keep up when the subject is moving towards, or away from you at longer zoom lengths; so for fast action, you’ll need to use a different lens and the LA-EA2 adapter, or a camera with phase detect AF.
I’ve captioned the images in the gallery with appropriate settings and the Golfers’ name; I’m not up to speed with the names of all the players, so if I’ve made a mistake, note it in the comments.
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