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Author Topic: Am just Gobsmacked by the A7s  (Read 4437 times)

allegretto

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Am just Gobsmacked by the A7s
« on: November 08, 2014, 12:29:59 AM »

Wow... is all I can say. Been reviewed over the Meadow and the Rainbow so no need to go over anything that has been discussed before

The question is.... do I need a hi res back like the A7r? Or just stitch and STFU? Though that is a few extra steps I can do without...

Aside from being noisy, is the A7r really as "capable"? I realize it's subjective so here's my thoughts;

Walkin' around, nothing is gonna beat an A7s for versatility of use... but it's no Sports Camera (can live without a true 10fps monster) and perhaps for serious portraiture (20% of my work) an A7r would be more suited with its richer files. Have the glass for serious exploitation of 36MPx in its sweet spot.

Maybe a few of you have both already and can help me decide.

Thanks in advance
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Am just Gobsmacked by the A7s
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2014, 03:10:56 AM »

Hi,

No A7 for me now, I will wait for the next generation.

Why?

Well, I feel the A7 is a decent camera. It has the same sensor as my Sony Alpha 99. With phase detection AF and electronic first shutter curtain (EFC). Essentially what I have in mirrorless.

The A7r has neither PDAF or EFC. It has been widely reported having vibration problems with many lenses, in the shutter speed range I use mostly. Now, I don't say it is a bad choice, but far from optimal.

The design focus of the A7s is low light shooting and motion. It can be totally silent. I normally print at A2 size, it is possible to make great A2 prints from 12MP but I feel  >16MP is more appropriate.

The way I feel, these cameras were rushed to market, and it is pretty obvious that there will be an upgrade in a few months. Also, talk is about seriously new technology 46 and 54 MP and a "non bayer" sensor.

So I don't buy A7x right now. If I absolutely wanted an A7 series camera I would go with the original A7, unless my main focus was low light photography and/or video in which case the A7s would be a given candidate.

I can add, some of the lenses seem to be pretty good and that may have some attraction for me.

Another observation:
I wouldn't see the A7 series as a good replacement for an M-series Leica. That is because "the cover glass" on the sensor is something like 2mm thick. Nothing wrong with that, except it causes astigmatism with lenses having large beam angles.

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2014/06/sensor-stack-thickness-when-does-it-matter
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2014/06/the-glass-in-the-path-sensor-stacks-and-adapted-lenses

Additionally, neither well design nor microlenses are optimised for Leica M-lenses. A second hand Leica M9 may be the optimal choice.

Best regards
Erik

Wow... is all I can say. Been reviewed over the Meadow and the Rainbow so no need to go over anything that has been discussed before

The question is.... do I need a hi res back like the A7r? Or just stitch and STFU? Though that is a few extra steps I can do without...

Aside from being noisy, is the A7r really as "capable"? I realize it's subjective so here's my thoughts;

Walkin' around, nothing is gonna beat an A7s for versatility of use... but it's no Sports Camera (can live without a true 10fps monster) and perhaps for serious portraiture (20% of my work) an A7r would be more suited with its richer files. Have the glass for serious exploitation of 36MPx in its sweet spot.

Maybe a few of you have both already and can help me decide.

Thanks in advance

« Last Edit: November 08, 2014, 03:13:11 AM by ErikKaffehr »
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Manoli

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Re: Am just Gobsmacked by the A7s
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2014, 05:18:54 AM »

The question is.... do I need a hi res back like the A7r?

Allegretto,

Ultimately, only you'll be able to decide that !
There are numerous threads, opinions and reviews - all pretty much as divided as they were when the cam first came out. Here's a link to one recent thread that might help you decide.

As the French would say, 'merde'.

Edit:
Just came across this blog post by LuLa contributor Wayne Fox - gives another take on the cam and shutter issue.

FYI, I've almost forgotten about the shutter issue. Designed my own deadweight, which I've described in the thread above, and now use it on all cams - (if not for any reason other than it looks cool :~) ). Not saying it's completely cured the vibration but I neither see it nor worry about it anymore. Even without the deadweight, I never managed to handhold the D800E with any success, so for me this was a step-up. There are a few pros (Chris Barrett among them, here ), who use this cam and the Leica R lenses you're interested in.
Your call.



« Last Edit: November 08, 2014, 07:02:50 AM by Manoli »
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Manoli

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Re: Am just Gobsmacked by the A7s
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2014, 07:08:42 AM »

Aside from being noisy, is the A7r really as "capable"?

Not sure which one you're calling noisy , the 's' or the 'r' ?
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allegretto

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Re: Am just Gobsmacked by the A7s
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2014, 07:50:52 AM »

Not sure which one you're calling noisy , the 's' or the 'r' ?

the "r"

lots of stuff about the clunk of the shutter and vibration as you note above. The "r" to my mind is the narrower of the two items. It's just that with 12 Mpx there is s practical limit for me

1) I'm a detail freak at heart about some things and sometimes I think I see a bit of image weakness in cropping. Not often, but sometimes

2) I'm not a long-glass freak so sometimes I'm just FL-limited

3) Good portraiture is an art and more pixels is like an artist with more range in a way

4) tired of 2-3 systems of camera/glass in the house. The Leica lenses are exquisite in the A7s...! I have to go real speciality in other brands to get close. I know about whole compatibility issue with the A7r and wide Leica lenses. No problem, the lenses coming out should be great for it

To get to Eric's point.... sure the A8 will be better... and likely the A9 even better still. It's the "computer argument" all over again. If I was getting stronger in life I'd probably go MF. But my desires are just the opposite now.

Used M9 has been considered... but if you've owned an M9 (did that) and kind of walked away for all the reasons the A7s exists, an M9 is not the solution. I do want some subsystems I can leverage. For the record, never wanted an A7. Not sure what I'd use it for. An a6000 on the other hand may be the "faster" body I'm looking for w/ crop no less



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Manoli

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Re: Am just Gobsmacked by the A7s
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2014, 08:29:54 AM »

3) Good portraiture is an art and more pixels is like an artist with more range in a way

Very much so, which is why I use 2 cams , one for 'studio' 37 (and up) and the fuji x as a Leica M alternative. Lots of talk about tonality etc in portraiture, particularly the well worn 35mm v MF debate, but IMO apart from other considerations ( micro-contrast etc) resolution rules tonality.

I'm surprised you refer to the 'r' as noisy. I never saw any difference with the D800E. Checked the DxO measurements, SNR and tonality, screen grabs below - seem identical to me.

4) tired of 2-3 systems of camera/glass in the house. The Leica lenses are exquisite in the A7s...! I have to go real speciality in other brands to get close. I know about whole compatibility issue with the A7r and wide Leica lenses.

Agreed, I don't have nor tested the 's' - yet. But are you saying the the 's' doesn't have the M wide compatibility issues of the 'r' ? Particularly curious if you've tested the 50mm - Lux with it. No apologies, don't wish to be a heretic, but for me,  I still prefer the way that lens 'draws'  to the Otus.

Another LuLa contributor, torger, has made some convincing posts arguing that a sensor should out-resolve a lens. I just bought a 180/2.8 R (later version) - now that lens is considered to be , in Leica terms, something of a dog (I'm not talking about the APO version). Well haven't had the time to test as I'd like, yet - but first thoughts went to torger - the lens on the A7r is giving me a very 'analogue' look - beautiful. I'm not seeing a resolution disadvantage just a very different look. (caveat: still need to print large and test fully to be sure of what I'm seeing..)

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allegretto

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Re: Am just Gobsmacked by the A7s
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2014, 08:39:18 AM »

Very much so, which is why I use 2 cams , one for 'studio' 37 (and up) and the fuji x as a Leica M alternative. Lots of talk about tonality etc in portraiture, particularly the well worn 35mm v MF debate, but IMO apart from other considerations ( micro-contrast etc) resolution rules tonality.

I'm surprised you refer to the 'r' as noisy. I never saw any difference with the D800E. Checked the DxO measurements, SNR and tonality, screen grabs below - seem identical to me.

Agreed, I don't have nor tested the 's' - yet. But are you saying the the 's' doesn't have the M wide compatibility issues of the 'r' ? Particularly curious if you've tested the 50mm - Lux with it. No apologies, don't wish to be a heretic, but for me,  I still prefer the way that lens 'draws'  to the Otus.

Another LuLa contributor, torger, has made some convincing posts arguing that a sensor should out-resolve a lens. I just bought a 180/2.8 R (later version) - now that lens is considered to be , in Leica terms, something of a dog (I'm not talking about the APO version). Well haven't had the time to test as I'd like, yet - but first thoughts went to torger - the lens on the A7r is giving me a very 'analogue' look - beautiful. I'm not seeing a resolution disadvantage just a very different look. (caveat: still need to print large and test fully to be sure of what I'm seeing..)



Misunderstanding due to my clipped typing

I just meant that between noise and vibration the "r" has received its share of complaints.
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Paul2660

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Re: Am just Gobsmacked by the A7s
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2014, 12:13:31 PM »

The A7r is what you make of it. I recently was able to test one on an Arca DSLR2 and loved it. You can read about it here.

http://photosofarkansas.com/2014/11/07/the-arca-swiss-dslr-2-a-perfect-companion-to-the-sony-a7r-part-1-camera-review/

Personally I love the camera, sensor, live view and the EVF. I had no issues with blur with any of the lenses I used at any shutter speed. But the platform of the DSLR2 is rock solid.

The A7s I believe has the same shutter as the A7 thus no vibration issues. It's 12mp output would be the only limiter for me even with stitching.

I also agree with Eric that a new A7x generation is coming soon and hopefully will have a better shutter implementation.

Paul




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allegretto

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Re: Am just Gobsmacked by the A7s
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2014, 02:43:40 PM »

The A7r is what you make of it. I recently was able to test one on an Arca DSLR2 and loved it. You can read about it here.

http://photosofarkansas.com/2014/11/07/the-arca-swiss-dslr-2-a-perfect-companion-to-the-sony-a7r-part-1-camera-review/

Personally I love the camera, sensor, live view and the EVF. I had no issues with blur with any of the lenses I used at any shutter speed. But the platform of the DSLR2 is rock solid.

The A7s I believe has the same shutter as the A7 thus no vibration issues. It's 12mp output would be the only limiter for me even with stitching.

I also agree with Eric that a new A7x generation is coming soon and hopefully will have a better shutter implementation.

Paul






I don' think the A7s is the same shutter since it can go completely quiet and I don't think this is on the A7
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Jim Kasson

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Re: Am just Gobsmacked by the A7s
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2014, 03:14:01 PM »

I don' think the A7s is the same shutter since it can go completely quiet and I don't think this is on the A7

Right. Here's the breakdown.

a7R -- no EFCS, no electronic shutter, just a Copal mechanical shutter.
a7   -- EFCS, but no electronic shutter, all-mechanical shutter, too.
a7S -- all three.

Jim

Jim Kasson

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Re: Am just Gobsmacked by the A7s
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2014, 03:15:47 PM »

Walkin' around, nothing is gonna beat an A7s for versatility of use.

For the last couple of days, I've been using it with the Leica 135mm APO Telyt. There is a marriage made in heaven.

Jim

Manoli

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Re: Am just Gobsmacked by the A7s
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2014, 03:35:31 PM »

Jim,
Have you tried the 50mm Summilux with the 's' ?

M
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Jim Kasson

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Re: Am just Gobsmacked by the A7s
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2014, 03:38:52 PM »

Have you tried the 50mm Summilux with the 's' ?

Yes. It's not great in the corners, although there's no color casting. The Zony 55 is a much better match.

Herman has had really good luck with the 50 'cron.

Jim

Manoli

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Re: Am just Gobsmacked by the A7s
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2014, 03:52:04 PM »

Yes. It's not great in the corners, although there's no color casting. The Zony 55 is a much better match.
Herman has had really good luck with the 50 'cron.

Thanks for the feedback.
But forgive me, reference to Herman is ... ?

M
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Jim Kasson

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Re: Am just Gobsmacked by the A7s
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2014, 03:54:57 PM »

But forgive me, reference to Herman is ... ?

Oops. He's a LuLa participant. Maybe he wants to keep his name quiet, so I won't blow his cover.

Jim

Jim Kasson

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Re: Am just Gobsmacked by the A7s
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2014, 04:01:23 PM »

But are you saying the the 's' doesn't have the M wide compatibility issues of the 'r' ?

I know this wasn't directed at me, but in my testing, the S has the same smearing issues (but less problematic because of the decreased resolution), and much less corner color casting (which is fixable in post).

I think the smearing is because of the cover glass thickness, which is (and needs to be) the same for the whole alpha 7 series, and the corner casting is due to pixel crosstalk.

Jim

Manoli

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Re: Am just Gobsmacked by the A7s
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2014, 04:03:40 PM »

Oops. He's a LuLa participant. Maybe he wants to keep his name quiet, so I won't blow his cover.

Well, hopefully, he may see and contribute to this thread, in time.
Many thanks,

M
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Manoli

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Re: Am just Gobsmacked by the A7s
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2014, 04:22:34 PM »

I know this wasn't directed at me, but in my testing, the S has the same smearing issues (but less problematic because of the decreased resolution), and much less corner color casting (which is fixable in post).

I think the smearing is because of the cover glass thickness, which is (and needs to be) the same for the whole alpha 7 series, and the corner casting is due to pixel crosstalk.

Always grateful for your input, Jim.

Until today, I thought likewise. But Erik's post above caught my attention and I double checked Roger Cicala's sensor stack database. The A7 series is notoriously hard to measure accurately because the stack is 'cemented to the sensor' according to Roger.  But he's now listing the A7r as 1.85 to 2 physical, 2.55 optical. IIRC, he previously measured at 3.5 to 4. My recollection may well be mistaken, but in the same database he lists the Fuji X-E2 as 2.0mm physical.

Now I use the X-E2 with Leica M's and I don't see any degradation to speak of. Admittedly its APS-C, as is my M8 (APS-H) nevertheless it's raised a question in my mind as to whether or not the sensor stack is primarily the cause or whether it is indeed the micro-lenses fitted to the A7r.

My initial tests with the A7r, even in APS-C mode still revealed substantial smearing in the corners ( 24 Elmar, 28 Elmarit and the 50 Lux).I didn't test the 50 Cron, clearly I should have, but succumbed to the Zony 55.  LCC was relatively easy to correct and has not proved, to me, to be a major issue.

M


« Last Edit: November 08, 2014, 04:33:02 PM by Manoli »
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Jim Kasson

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Re: Am just Gobsmacked by the A7s
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2014, 04:34:55 PM »

Until today, I thought likewise. But Erik's post above caught my attention and I double checked Roger Cicala's sensor stack database. The A7 series is notoriously hard to measure accurately because the stack is 'cemented to the sensor' according to Roger.  But he's now listing the A7r as 1.85 to 2 physical, 2.55 optical. IIRC, he previously measured at 3.5 to 4. My recollection may well be mistaken, but in the same database he lists the Fuji X-E2 as 2.0mm physical.

Now I use the X-E2 with Leica M's and I don't see any degradation to speak of. Admittedly its APS-C, as is my M8 (APS-H) nevertheless it's raised a question in my mind as to whether or not the sensor stack is primarily the cause or whether it is indeed the micro-lenses fitted to the A7r.

My initial tests with the A7r, even in APS-C mode still revealed substantial smearing in the corners. LCC was relatively easy to correct and has not proved, to me, to be a major issue.

I'm not quite getting you. Are you saying that Roger says the stack on the three alpha 7 cameras are different? I would think Sony would have to make them the same so the same lenses will work at their best on all three.

Or are you saying that Roger's sensor stack measurements indicate that the glass that works on your Fuji should work on the alpha 7 cameras?

Jim

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Re: Am just Gobsmacked by the A7s
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2014, 04:55:11 PM »

Now I use the X-E2 with Leica M's and I don't see any degradation to speak of. Admittedly its APS-C, as is my M8 (APS-H) nevertheless it's raised a question in my mind as to whether or not the sensor stack is primarily the cause or whether it is indeed the micro-lenses fitted to the A7r.

The Leicas use a thin stack, somewhere around 1mm. I agree that M lenses perform well with Fuji X-series cameras, but I'd say (judging by my particular lenses) there's still some astigmatism-like smearing going on in the far corners with shorter focal lengths. Thus I think Roger Cicala is at least on the right track.

Re. comments elsewhere in this threadůmy 50/2 M & LTM lenses all perform very well on the A7r. The current Zeiss Planar in particular. Even the 1930s Leitz Summar, assuming you enjoy (as I do) lenses with high central resolution and a rapid falloff beyond that.

-Dave-
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