February 12 2014 - Photo Jottings

February 12 2014


Random thoughts. 

I’ve been using the Sony A7R for a few weeks now, although I have just over 4k shots on the counter I think I’m starting to figure it out.  I haven’t encountered the vibration issue that some people are complaining about with telephoto lenses, so no big deal there.  I do find that 36mp is too much for most work, almost 207mb saved as a tiff!  I’m now using the Sony 10-18mm F/4 on it, and get much more realistic files, 15.3mp in crop mode, for a saved tiff of nearly 88mb.  I usually dump the RAW and full size tiffs when the job is finalized, but that may be weeks.  Most of my work is for either commercial websites or Real Estate, so 36mp is  too much; you only need about 2000 tack sharp pixels wide, a really good lens with 12-16mp is fine.  I’d recommend the A7 for most people, that’s what I’d buy if I had to do it over.  The dynamic range and color depth are really nice, the shadows are really smooth and colorful close to ISO 400—way better than current Sony APS-C sensors.

The Sony FE 24-70/4 does not look like a stellar lens if you can count on some of the initial reviews out there, it looks like it has the same optical characteristics as the Sony 16-70/4; we’ll see.

Some folks are writing about how much they like the micro four thirds system, but are concerned about the future of Oly/Pan, and if they are going to make it in the long run.  I’m guessing the MFT system will, just like I’m guessing the Sony (Minolta AF) system will make it, both are having serious problems.  Sony is now considered junk by Moody’s, but apparently it’s been junk before.  Minolta, then Konica Minolta sold off it’s camera business to Sony, but the legacy carried on, just with a different name; that could happen to Oly/Pan and Sony, same stuff, different name.  Not totally related, but lensrentals.com has a good article out about the technology changes in the photography industry.

Speaking of micro four thirds, over the past year or so I’ve been using the Oly E-M5 and several Panasonic lenses, and find they’re great for just about everything.  The zoom lenses are mostly very small and lightweight, even the F/2.8 mid-range and telephoto ones; compare the Panasonic 35-100/2.8 to Sony’s new 70-200/4, the Sony is well over double the wieght and size, a stop slower and more money.  If I had to live with only one system, MFT would be it.  The trouble with a full frame system is that the lenses are going to be big (and so far, expensive), even if the camera itself is as small as a typical MFT body.  Sure, F/2.8 full frame primes like the FE 35/2.8 are very compact, but there’s no optical image stabilization, and F/2.8 is not fast for a prime, so those features, or lack of, tend to wipe out some of the benefits of the full frame sensor. 

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