Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Cameras, Lenses and Shooting gear => Topic started by: shadowblade on June 18, 2017, 11:12:29 pm

Title: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: shadowblade on June 18, 2017, 11:12:29 pm
I'm currently having to replace all my camera gear and am having trouble finding a 70-200 f/2.8 that's up to standard.

I've tried 8 copies so far, at 5 different stores, on a borrowed A7r2, and all of them were soft wide open - almost as if the front element had been smeared with Vaseline. Not too dissimilar to the original Canon 70-200 f/2.8 (not the current Mk 2 version), which I would consider unacceptably soft for landscape photography.

Is it a design flaw, or is the QC for the 70-200 just that bad?

Already bought a 24-70 GM, which is tack-sharp. But now I'm facing having to sell it, open but unused,  at a substantial loss, because I can't find an acceptable 70-200 to go with it, and replace it with a Canon or Nikon system , which I'm loathe to do because I think Nikon is in a death spiral and am uncertain about future F-mount cameras (the D820's supposed 46MP is well behind the A7r3/A9r's likely resolution, and also behind the 5Ds).
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: davidgp on June 19, 2017, 12:46:50 am
I don't have a copy of it... But reading reviews I saw some of them good, like the DxO one, and other people that mention it is not in the same level as Canon or the last Nikon one, like lens rental one...

Being as expensive as it is, probably I will pass on this lens and wait to see if the new 100-400 it is up to the task... I don't care too much that the lens is f2,8...


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Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: shadowblade on June 19, 2017, 03:41:00 am
I don't have a copy of it... But reading reviews I saw some of them good, like the DxO one, and other people that mention it is not in the same level as Canon or the last Nikon one, like lens rental one...

Being as expensive as it is, probably I will pass on this lens and wait to see if the new 100-400 it is up to the task... I don't care too much that the lens is f2,8...


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I'm pretty much in the same boat, waiting for the 100-400.

I'd like a 70-200 f/2.8, but can wait five years for Sony to release  a sharp version, provided the 100-400 is as sharp or sharper corner-to-corner as the Canon and can cover those focal lengths in the meantime.

What I don't really want to do is buy into an SLR system that's on its way out, with lenses that may no longer be supported by new bodies in 7-8 years time (e.g. if Canon abandons the EF mount due to mirrorless taking over, as happened with the FD mount, or if Nikon is taken over and the buyer abandons the F-mount to instead make lenses for the Fuji or Sony E-mount). I previously used SLR lenses on the A7r2, but these were holdovers from when mirrorless either didn't exist, or wasn't a serious choice; the A9, if nothing else, demonstrates that mirrorless technology is here in full force and that the SLR's days as a dominant camera design are likely numbered. Canon, at least, will continue to develop cameras in competition with Sony; what is less certain is whether they will continue to use the EF mount, or move to a more flexible mount with a shorter flange distance.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on June 19, 2017, 03:56:04 am
Digilloyd seems to have a very negative view of the Sony 70-200 f2.8 performance.

This suprised me a bit because the other lenses in the sony Master series seem to be very good, starting with the 85mm f1.4.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: davidgp on June 19, 2017, 04:01:28 am
What I don't really want to do is buy into an SLR system that's on its way out, with lenses that may no longer be supported by new bodies in 7-8 years time (e.g. if Canon abandons the EF mount due to mirrorless taking over, as happened with the FD mount, or if Nikon is taken over and the buyer abandons the F-mount to instead make lenses for the Fuji or Sony E-mount). I previously used SLR lenses on the A7r2, but these were holdovers from when mirrorless either didn't exist, or wasn't a serious choice; the A9, if nothing else, demonstrates that mirrorless technology is here in full force and that the SLR's days as a dominant camera design are likely numbered. Canon, at least, will continue to develop cameras in competition with Sony; what is less certain is whether they will continue to use the EF mount, or move to a more flexible mount with a shorter flange distance.

I don't see the Sony E mount dying on 8 years, or the Canon EF mount. Sony is pushing a lot of lens, so they must be selling quite well, even considering the infamous Sony tax (new lens system, it will take some time lots of lenses in the market so prices go down like in the case of Nikon and Canon). But this is my gut feeling, more that actual facts. So, you can safely ignore it :)
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: davidgp on June 19, 2017, 04:06:00 am
Digilloyd seems to have a very negative view of the Sony 70-200 f2.8 performance.

This suprised me a bit because the other lenses in the sony Master series seem to be very good, starting with the 85mm f1.4.

Cheers,
Bernard

Not surprised in my case. When lens rentals published its review, there was a very long thread in Fred Miranda forums talking about if it was an error in their side or the lens was bad (lens rental evaluated 10 different copies).

DxO gives the lens a good review, but the main difference between Lens Rentals and DxO is that the former tests the lest at the infinity while the latter to more close distances. I'm not subscribed to Digilloyd chambers, but from the blog post where he said the lens was crap and he was not doing further testing with it, looks like it was at infinity distances also. Maybe this lens does not perform good at infinity close distances... but this is my speculation, and not 100% sure if the comments makes sense or not.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: shadowblade on June 19, 2017, 04:21:59 am
I don't see the Sony E mount dying on 8 years, or the Canon EF mount. Sony is pushing a lot of lens, so they must be selling quite well, even considering the infamous Sony tax (new lens system, it will take some time lots of lenses in the market so prices go down like in the case of Nikon and Canon). But this is my gut feeling, more that actual facts. So, you can safely ignore it :)

Not the E-mount - that's a mirrorless mount that will stay around. Same with the Canon EF-M mount (18mm flange distance and 47mm throat diameter). Both are suitable for full-frame mirrorless lenses.

EF-S will almost certainly die. So will A-mount. EF and F mounts also have uncertain futures, as they will have no reason to exist once the mirror box is supplanted. The mount itself may survive, since their larger throat diameter is even better for developing lenses (particularly tilt-shifts and lenses with wide apertures) but they may no longer use the same flange distance (e.g. the sensor may be moved 18mm behind the mount instead of 44mm), rendering current lenses unusable on them.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: shadowblade on June 19, 2017, 04:29:06 am
Not surprised in my case. When lens rentals published its review, there was a very long thread in Fred Miranda forums talking about if it was an error in their side or the lens was bad (lens rental evaluated 10 different copies).

DxO gives the lens a good review, but the main difference between Lens Rentals and DxO is that the former tests the lest at the infinity while the latter to more close distances. I'm not subscribed to Digilloyd chambers, but from the blog post where he said the lens was crap and he was not doing further testing with it, looks like it was at infinity distances also. Maybe this lens does not perform good at infinity close distances... but this is my speculation, and not 100% sure if the comments makes sense or not.

As a landscape photographer,  infinity is the distance which matters.

The primes are all best-in-class, or not far from it. I'm far less confident in the zooms. The 70-200s I tried certainly won't hold up at 100MP, as had been promoted - they don't even hold up at 42MP. Same story as with Sigma, really - primes are great, but they've yet to convince me about their zooms.

The 24-70 I have seems really solid, but one lens doesn't make a full system.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: davidgp on June 19, 2017, 04:52:50 am
As a landscape photographer,  infinity is the distance which matters.

The primes are all best-in-class, or not far from it. I'm far less confident in the zooms. The 70-200s I tried certainly won't hold up at 100MP, as had been promoted - they don't even hold up at 42MP. Same story as with Sigma, really - primes are great, but they've yet to convince me about their zooms.

The 24-70 I have seems really solid, but one lens doesn't make a full system.

I went through two copies of the 24-70, first one I got... from 50 to 70 mm, left corner was never sharp until f11... it was completely decentered... second copy performs ok. But yes, one lens does not make a system.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: shadowblade on June 19, 2017, 05:15:06 am
I went through two copies of the 24-70, first one I got... from 50 to 70 mm, left corner was never sharp until f11... it was completely decentered... second copy performs ok. But yes, one lens does not make a system.

For a minimum viable system, you need to cover the 16-200mm range with zooms which are sharp corner-to-corner sharp wide-open. A good 24-70 only covers part of that. The 70-200 doesn't meet the standard. I'm guessing it performs OK stopped down to f/5.6, but that's the standard of 15 years ago. I wouldn't hesitate to shoot a distant mountain peak in the starlight at f/2.8 with either the Canon or Nikon 70-200. I wouldn't be able to do that with the 70-200 Sony copies I've tried. It might be OK for portraits, where softness is OK and corner sharpness doesn't matter, but isn't acceptable for anything requiring critical sharpness.

Is it an optical flaw or excessively loose manufacturing tolerances? The existence of some sharp copies out there leads me to think it's the latter. Certainly,  some images suggest it's as sharp in one corner or another as the new Nikon. But we need that same sharpness in all four corners and the centre,  not just one or two of them.

A real pity, since the camera bodies and primes are fantastic and eye focus is such a great feature to have.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: Christopher on June 19, 2017, 04:57:31 pm
Why bother wide open for landscapes ? Lenses should perform between 5,6 and 11.

It's true that the Sony sounds quite horrible especially for that price. However, there aren't many zooms that actually perform wide open sharp in every corner. Or at least not 1-2 years ago.


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Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: shadowblade on June 19, 2017, 10:39:37 pm
Why bother wide open for landscapes ? Lenses should perform between 5,6 and 11.

It's true that the Sony sounds quite horrible especially for that price. However, there aren't many zooms that actually perform wide open sharp in every corner. Or at least not 1-2 years ago.


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Because, on a typical landscape trip, you're shooting things other than just landscapes. The mountain peak may be the objective, but, along the way, you might also shoot some wildlife, flowers and other nature shots, portraits of local people, the portrait of a monkey, etc. All of which benefit from sharpness wide-open.

Also, night landscapes are frequently shot wide-open, to capture stars as pinpoints rather than trails.

The Canon 70-200 has been out for six years and is sharp corner-to-corner at f/2.8. Same with the recent Nikon.

The Sony likely works fine for event and action photography, where ultimate sharpness is less critical and corners barely matter at all. But it falls down flat as a landscape or general-purpose travel lens, which needs to perform across the frame.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: shadowblade on June 20, 2017, 12:18:23 pm
To put it another way, with the Canon 70-200, I'd quite happily shoot a landscape even with a 1.4x TC. (sand dune shot)

I'd also use a 1.4x TC on the Sigma 120-300. (monastery shot)

But the Sony 70-200 GM samples I've tried weren't usable for landscapes even without a teleconverter.

Or did I just happen to get the returned rejects at every store?
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: davidgp on June 20, 2017, 12:31:56 pm
To put it another way, with the Canon 70-200, I'd quite happily shoot a landscape even with a 1.4x TC. (sand dune shot)

I'd also use a 1.4x TC on the Sigma 120-300. (monastery shot)

But the Sony 70-200 GM samples I've tried weren't usable for landscapes even without a teleconverter.

Or did I just happen to get the returned rejects at every store?

Beautiful work... I love both photographs!!!

Not sure about the 70-200GM... but maybe it is not cut for landscape work.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: shadowblade on June 20, 2017, 12:52:01 pm
Beautiful work... I love both photographs!!!

Not sure about the 70-200GM... but maybe it is not cut for landscape work.

For a top-tier lens priced higher than any of its competitors,  that's not really acceptable performance. The 70-200 f/2.8 zoom is supposed to be the 'do everything' lens within that focal length range, able to handle everything from rapid-focusing sports, to smooth bokeh for portraits, to corner-to-corner sharpness for landscapes. The current Canon, Nikon, Sigma, etc. all manage to do that. The Sony samples I've tried were barely as good as the old Canon 70-200 mk 1, which was decidedly soft at f/2.8.

I don't know if it's the optics or the quality control, but, whatever it is, the performance I've seen is unacceptable for an all-purpose lens and leaves a gaping hole in the Sony lens lineup. And it makes a mockery of the G Master claim of 'sharp enough for 100MP' and 'best possible image quality'.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: JKoerner007 on June 20, 2017, 09:17:30 pm
Why don't you consider the Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8E FL ED (http://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/product/camera-lenses/af-s-nikkor-70-200mm-f%252f2.8e-fl-ed-vr.html)?

It's better than the Canon, the Sony, and the Tamron ... and it has Nikon's 'E' designation with the electromagnetic diaphragm.

Thus, it should work smoothly with an adapter and produce the type of stellar images you're looking for.

Don't see what other option there is, really, if that's the focal length you're looking for and are not satisfied with Sony's native iteration.

Certainly would be worth a try, and you can always send it back if you didn't like it within 30 days, or keep it if you do.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: shadowblade on June 20, 2017, 09:37:46 pm
Why don't you consider the Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8E FL ED (http://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/product/camera-lenses/af-s-nikkor-70-200mm-f%252f2.8e-fl-ed-vr.html)?

It's better than the Canon, the Sony, and the Tamron ... and it has Nikon's 'E' designation with the electromagnetic diaphragm.

Thus, it should work smoothly with an adapter and produce the type of stellar images you're looking for.

Don't see what other option there is, really, if that's the focal length you're looking for and are not satisfied with Sony's native iteration.

Certainly would be worth a try, and you can always send it back if you didn't like it within 30 days, or keep it if you do.

Poor AF. AF through an adapter may be able to lock onto nonmoving objects, but I don't need AF to shoot something that doesn't move. It's hardly going to accurately track a motorcycle coming down the street or a leopard moving through grass.

The only reason I was using a Canon 70-200 on the A7r2 previously was because I already had one. Wouldn't buy one for the sole purpose of using it on an adapter.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: JKoerner007 on June 20, 2017, 09:42:35 pm
Poor AF. AF through an adapter may be able to lock onto nonmoving objects, but I don't need AF to shoot something that doesn't move. It's hardly going to accurately track a motorcycle coming down the street or a leopard moving through grass.

The only reason I was using a Canon 70-200 on the A7r2 previously was because I already had one. Wouldn't buy one for the sole purpose of using it on an adapter.

Have you tested it yourself or is this an assumption?

By all accounts, it has blistering AF on Nikkor cameras, so it should at least be average on a Sony.

Naturally, you can do it you want, but it's better to see and test it yourself, for sure, than assume.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: shadowblade on June 20, 2017, 10:17:20 pm
Have you tested it yourself or is this an assumption?

By all accounts, it has blistering AF on Nikkor cameras, so it should at least be average on a Sony.

Naturally, you can do it you want, but it's better to see and test it yourself, for sure, than assume.

The Canon 70-200 is equally fast on a 1Dx2 or 5D4, but sluggish on the A7r2,  and even on the A9.

At the same time, the Sony 70-200 is just as fast and accurate on the A9 as the Canon is on a 1Dx2 or the Nikon is on the D5. Trouble is, it just isn't sharp, except when stopped down two stops.

You're not going to get equally-fast AF with an adapted lens, nor will you have the invaluable eye AF. You don't buy a top-tier lens and body only to get 'average' AF.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: JKoerner007 on June 20, 2017, 10:36:09 pm
The Canon 70-200 is equally fast on a 1Dx2 or 5D4, but sluggish on the A7r2,  and even on the A9.

No it isn't.

The new E FL ED is faster than Nikon's G VR II (Canon's equivalent), with better VR, and better imagery. Why would you think Canon's elder lens would be "as fast" as Nikon's newest?

Further, Canon's AF performance on a Sony, with an adapter, might not have the same translation as Nikkor's AF (E) on a Sony.



At the same time, the Sony 70-200 is just as fast and accurate on the A9 as the Canon is on a 1Dx2 or the Nikon is on the D5. Trouble is, it just isn't sharp, except when stopped down two stops.

Exactly. Fast AF + poor performance = you get lousy results "quickly" :-\

Wouldn't it be better to get awesome results at a decent pace?



You're not going to get equally-fast AF with an adapted lens, nor will you have the invaluable eye AF. You don't buy a top-tier lens and body only to get 'average' AF.

On the contrary, many top-tier lenses have average (even zero) AF.

I guess my real point is try it out for yourself and see ... rather than base your belief system on "reviews" and assumptions.

Weren't all of the Sony 70-200 GM reviews "glowing" ... and yet your own experience was mediocre? Take a lesson from that.

Point being, you were prejudiced in favor of the Sony ... but it disappointed ... so consider the possi-(probi)bility that you might be prejudiced against the Nikkor ... and yet you might be thrilled in real life.

With a 30-day trial/return with most reputable dealers, what have you got to lose?
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: shadowblade on June 20, 2017, 10:48:24 pm
No it isn't.

The new E FL ED is faster than Nikon's G VR II (Canon's equivalent), with better VR, and better imagery. Why would you think Canon's elder lens would be "as fast" as Nikon's newest?

Further, Canon's AF performance on a Sony, with an adapter, might not have the same translation as Nikkor AF (E) on a Sony.



Exactly. Fast AF + poor performance = you get lousy results "quickly" :-\

Wouldn't it be better to get awesome results at a decent pace?



On the contrary, many top-tier lenses have average (even zero) AF.

I guess my real point is try it out for yourself and see ... rather than base your belief system on "reviews" and assumptions.

Weren't all of the Sony 70-200 GM reviews "glowing" ... and yet your own experience was mediocre?

Point being, you were prejudiced in favor of the Sony ... but it disappointed ... so consider the possi-(probi)bility that you might be prejudiced against the Nikkor ... and yet you might be thrilled.

With a 30-day trial/return with most reputable dealers, what have you got to lose?

7 days here, not 30, with return for store credit only.

Besides, I don't even own a camera at the moment - had to borrow the A7r2 and A9 to test lenses.

The top-tier lenses with no AF aren't action lenses. The 70-200 is, and I'd intend to shoot action with it occasionally.

It seems a waste to spend 3k on a lens with the intention of throwing it out after a few years when Sony comes out with a better version of its current lens. I don't really want to buy a lens that won't work as well on my camera as it does on its native mount (so TS-E and Otus lenses are fair game, since the work just as well on any camera). I'm also hesitant to buy into the Nikon system, given that its future is uncertain (certainly the future of the SLR F-mount, possibly the future of the company) and given that the D820, at 42-46MP, seems almost certain to significantly under-resolve the A7r2 and 5Ds replacements

In any case, are there any adapters which AF well with Nikon lenses?
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: JKoerner007 on June 20, 2017, 11:04:47 pm
7 days here, not 30, with return for store credit only.

That's a bummer. Still, since you're going to buy "something," credit is not really that bad.



Besides, I don't even own a camera at the moment - had to borrow the A7r2 and A9 to test lenses.

Even more of a bummer.



The top-tier lenses with no AF aren't action lenses. The 70-200 is, and I'd intend to shoot action with it occasionally.

"No" AF is a stretch. The E FL ED has blistering AF with Nikkor, likely decent AF with an adapter.



It seems a waste to spend 3k on a lens with the intention of throwing it out after a few years when Sony comes out with a better version of its current lens.

I doubt Sony is going to produce a better lens than the FL ED Nikkor. Maybe better than its own, but you've already given your opinion on that.

$3000 isn't a "waste," if it produces the best image quality you can get. Given it's the modern Nikkor design, you could enjoy it for a long time, now until the foreseeable future, and sell it for a decent amount should something more appealing get developed ... at a much later date.



In any case, are there any adapters which AF well with Nikon lenses?

Not sure on that one, to be honest, as I don't need to use adapters on my D810. (Just sold my D500 in anticipation for the D850.)
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: davidgp on June 21, 2017, 12:59:40 am


In any case, are there any adapters which AF well with Nikon lenses?

I think Fotodiox has an AF adapter for Nikon lenses, but I didn't read too much good things about it.

Since many people switching to Sony were from Canon cameras (from Nikon made less sense, they were already using were using Sony sensors... Before canon released their new sensor technology in the 80D... And reduce a bit the advantage of Sony in DR and noise at low ISO). The best AF adapters are the ones from Metabones and Sigma for Canon lenses, and even those, since they are reverse engineering the Canon EF protocol (it's not documented to anybody but Canon), they don't work well in all lenses and never close to native implementation.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: shadowblade on June 21, 2017, 01:09:37 am
I doubt Sony is going to produce a better lens than the FL ED Nikkor. Maybe better than its own, but you've already given your opinion on that.

$3000 isn't a "waste," if it produces the best image quality you can get. Given it's the modern Nikkor design, you could enjoy it for a long time, now until the foreseeable future, and sell it for a decent amount should something more appealing get developed ... at a much later date.

So, maybe 30% of the purchase price to essentially rent it for 5 years or so? Although I'd still need a second 70-200 for those action shots on the occasions that I take them - expensive to buy, even more annoying to carry.

I'm really hoping the 100-400 is razor-sharp corner-to-corner, allowing it to do double duty as the landscape telephoto in addition to being a wildlife lens for non-dedicated-wildlife trips. Then I may be able to skip this generation of 70-200 entirely, until Sigma or Sony release something better (or at least with better QC - the sharp 70-200 GM images I've seen are *really* sharp, corner-to-corner).

Every lens gets superseded eventually. The Canon 70-200 was best in class for 6 years, until the Nikon came along. Each generation tends to outdo the last - Canon and Nikon have been leapfrogging each other for decades. When Canon updates their current 70-200, it will likely outdo even the current Nikon (with a 60-80MP 5Ds2, it had better be sharp). And, if Sony acquires Nikon, all bets are off.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on June 21, 2017, 01:56:42 am
The best AF adapters are the ones from Metabones and Sigma for Canon lenses, and even those, since they are reverse engineering the Canon EF protocol (it's not documented to anybody but Canon), they don't work well in all lenses and never close to native implementation.

It is in fact surprising that Sigma has not released an adapter for Nikon AF lenses since they are already reverse engineering the Nikon AF.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: davidgp on June 21, 2017, 03:21:09 am
It is in fact surprising that Sigma has not released an adapter for Nikon AF lenses since they are already reverse engineering the Nikon AF.

Cheers,
Bernard

I think it is just a market decision, probably less people switching from Nikon to Sony than Canon to Sony...

I think this could be for two reasons,  Nikon is already using Sony sensors, so less motives to switch from Nikon to Sony. Secondly, there are more Canon users than other brand... so a higher probability than someone is interested to use a Canon lens than a Nikon...


Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on June 21, 2017, 04:45:40 am
I think it is just a market decision, probably less people switching from Nikon to Sony than Canon to Sony...

I think this could be for two reasons,  Nikon is already using Sony sensors, so less motives to switch from Nikon to Sony. Secondly, there are more Canon users than other brand... so a higher probability than someone is interested to use a Canon lens than a Nikon...

Yes, fair enough.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: hogloff on June 21, 2017, 09:12:39 am
Forget about experimenting with Nikon AF lenses on Sony bodies...they just don't perform. If you are looking at AF tracking with Sony cameras, stick to Sony mount lenses. I understand Sigma is in the process of releasing their lenses with native Sony mounts. I'd wait rather than drop $3,000 for an mediocre solution.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: JKoerner007 on June 21, 2017, 11:35:50 am
So, maybe 30% of the purchase price to essentially rent it for 5 years or so? Although I'd still need a second 70-200 for those action shots on the occasions that I take them - expensive to buy, even more annoying to carry.

Again, you assume. I was merely suggesting you actually try and see.



I'm really hoping the 100-400 is razor-sharp corner-to-corner, allowing it to do double duty as the landscape telephoto in addition to being a wildlife lens for non-dedicated-wildlife trips. Then I may be able to skip this generation of 70-200 entirely, until Sigma or Sony release something better (or at least with better QC - the sharp 70-200 GM images I've seen are *really* sharp, corner-to-corner).

One of your main complaints is that the 70-200 Sony was mush at f/2.8, so how is a slow f/4 100-400 going to solve your desire to be razor-sharp at f/2.8 :o


Every lens gets superseded eventually. The Canon 70-200 was best in class for 6 years, until the Nikon came along. Each generation tends to outdo the last - Canon and Nikon have been leapfrogging each other for decades.

Not so. Canon's L II and Nikon's VR II 70-200 lenses were basically even, until Nikon upped the ante with the 70-200E FL ED, improving it in every respect, whilst minimizing its size and weight.



When Canon updates their current 70-200, it will likely outdo even the current Nikon (with a 60-80MP 5Ds2, it had better be sharp). And, if Sony acquires Nikon, all bets are off.

There are a lot of if-clauses, "likelys," and "may"-prognostications in your thinking.

Back to reality: no one is going to buy Nikkor, and they've been completely dominant (batting 100%) in creating class-leading super-teles with their E FL ED glass. Thus, why not see for sure how the best current 70-200 f/2.8 works for you?

It's just a suggestion. Won't hurt to give it a shot.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: JKoerner007 on June 21, 2017, 11:37:21 am
Forget about experimenting with Nikon AF lenses on Sony bodies...they just don't perform.

How can you make this blanket, unilateral statement for E lenses as well as G?

The subject of this thread was a lament that, in fact, the Sony "didn't perform."



If you are looking at AF tracking with Sony cameras, stick to Sony mount lenses.

Yes, but the native Sony lenses suck by comparison, so why "stick with that" at all?



I understand Sigma is in the process of releasing their lenses with native Sony mounts. I'd wait rather than drop $3,000 for an mediocre solution.

The Sigma 70-200 is the mediocre solution. There is nothing "mediocre" about the 70-200E FL ED. Anyway, to each his own.

I am glad I don't have to "wait" for anything to get both class-leading, wide-aperture acutance and AF with Nikon.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: jwstl on June 21, 2017, 11:38:52 am
Forget about experimenting with Nikon AF lenses on Sony bodies...they just don't perform. If you are looking at AF tracking with Sony cameras, stick to Sony mount lenses. I understand Sigma is in the process of releasing their lenses with native Sony mounts. I'd wait rather than drop $3,000 for an mediocre solution.

Exactly. the Nikon 70-200 is best in class but the AF Nikon to Sony adapters just can't keep up with high speed action. I have one and use it with my wide to short tele primes for mostly static subjects but that's it. I would rather have a Nikon body and the Nikon 70-200 than the A7RII and the Sony 70-200 if action is the primary use. Nikon isn't going anywhere.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: shadowblade on June 21, 2017, 12:04:48 pm
Again, you assume. I was merely suggesting you actually try and see.

Easy enough to say when it's not your money going towards the trial.

If the AF doesn't hold up with an adapter (and, so far, it doesn't hold up for tracking action with any lens, from any maker, on any adapter), I'm stuck with a $3000 lemon.

Quote
One of your main complaints is that the 70-200 Sony was mush at f/2.8, so how is a slow f/4 100-400 going to solve your desire to be razor-sharp at f/2.8 :o

If it's sharp wide-open, it still ticks off several requirements that would otherwise require an extra lens in the kit.

If it were only sharp in the middle, it would covers the odd wildlife or distant action shot on trips not otherwise dedicated to wildlife.

If it's also sharp enough in the corners for lsndscape work, it can pull double duty as the telephoto landscape lens. That way, I could do without the 70-200 until a good one comes out, rather thab choosing between one that is soft and one which won't AF as well as a native lens.

Quote
Not so. Canon's L II and Nikon's VR II 70-200 lenses were basically even, until Nikon upped the ante with the 70-200E FL ED, improving it in every respect, whilst minimizing its size and weight.

Central sharpness, yes. Not so much in the corners, and not so much when it came to CA. The VR II was close, but the Canon was still ahead.

 
Quote

There are a lot of if-clauses, "likelys," and "may"-prognostications in your thinking.

Back to reality: no one is going to buy Nikkor, and they've been completely dominant (batting 100%) in creating class-leading super-teles with their E FL ED glass. Thus, why not see for sure how the best current 70-200 f/2.8 works for you?

It's just a suggestion. Won't hurt to give it a shot.

It's a $3000 gamble with bad odds. No other lens on any adapter comes close to matching the AF performance of even the worst native lens. Why should this be any different?

Nikon's telephotos are currently the best because they're also the newest. Notice how the general trend is that, where the Nikon lens is newer than the Canon equivalent, the Nikon is better, while, when the Canon lens is newer than Nikon's closest equivalent (e.g. 11-24, 16-35 f/2.8, 200-400) the Canon is better? Nikon and Canon lenses keep leapfrogging each other, and whichever one is better at the time depends largely on which one is newer, rather than who makes it.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: hogloff on June 21, 2017, 12:26:40 pm
How can you make this blanket, unilateral statement for E lenses as well as G?

The subject of this thread was a lament that, in fact, the Sony "didn't perform."



Yes, but the native Sony lenses suck by comparison, so why "stick with that" at all?



The Sigma 70-200 is the mediocre solution. There is nothing "mediocre" about the 70-200E FL ED. Anyway, to each his own.

I am glad I don't have to "wait" for anything to get both class-leading, wide-aperture acutance and AF with Nikon.

We all get it that you are a Nikon cheerleader, but I'm giving practical advice from experience with native Sony glass and adapted glass...the AF is just not adequate, at least not tracking and no eye AF which is really a game changer.

How much experience do you have with adapting lenses to Sony cameras...thought so. And how much experience do you have shooting the 70-200 GM...thought so. Nuff said here.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: alan_b on June 21, 2017, 01:29:43 pm
Forget about experimenting with Nikon AF lenses on Sony bodies...they just don't perform. If you are looking at AF tracking with Sony cameras, stick to Sony mount lenses. I understand Sigma is in the process of releasing their lenses with native Sony mounts. I'd wait rather than drop $3,000 for an mediocre solution.

Which Nikon -> Sony AF adapter(s) have you used?  Specifically what performance fails: won't AF at all, slow to focus, won't track, etc?
Thanks.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: JKoerner007 on June 21, 2017, 01:31:04 pm
We all get it that you are a Nikon cheerleader, but I'm giving practical advice from experience with native Sony glass and adapted glass...the AF is just not adequate, at least not tracking and no eye AF

Why the ad hominem?

Have you ever tried a Nikkor E (electromagnetic-aperture) lens or only G (mechanical-lever) Nikkor lenses?

My point is there is likely a difference.



which is really a game changer.

Is that not your own cheering? ;)
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: hogloff on June 21, 2017, 01:42:30 pm
Which Nikon -> Sony AF adapter(s) have you used?  Specifically what performance fails: won't AF at all, slow to focus, won't track, etc?
Thanks.

Haven't used any Nikon adapters but have used both the Metabones and Sigma adapters for Canon lenses. They work fine for static objects, but fall short for tracking and especially in low light compared to native glass. I would not use adapted lenses if my goal was AF tracking.

From all the discussion on the net, adapted Nikon lenses are even worse at AF.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: hogloff on June 21, 2017, 01:46:35 pm
Why the ad hominem?

Have you ever tried a Nikkor E (electromagnetic-aperture) lens or only G (mechanical-lever) Nikkor lenses?

My point is there is likely a difference.



Is that not your own cheering? ;)

No, never used Nikon lenses on Sony cameras...but I've tested quite a few Canon lenses on Sony cameras using various adapters and was not satisfied with the AF...specifically AF tracking. Talking with people who tried using Nikon lenses on Sony cameras in AF tracking modes, they basically abandoned their efforts.

Bottom line, my recommendations are to stick to native mount Sony lenses if you want consistent AF tracking. That is in line with everyone I discussed this with.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: shadowblade on June 21, 2017, 02:05:20 pm
Why the ad hominem?

Have you ever tried a Nikkor E (electromagnetic-aperture) lens or only G (mechanical-lever) Nikkor lenses?

My point is there is likely a difference.



Is that not your own cheering? ;)

Canon lenses have had electromagnetic apertures since 1988. It's only a new thing for Nikon.

We all know how well Canon lenses AF with adapters. Functional for locking onto things that don't move much, not great for tracking action against busy backgrounds. We also know that many Nikon lenses won't work with adapters at all, since there's no way to control the aperture without a mechanical link.

Adding an electromagnetic aperture doesn't make a lens AF any better. It merely makes the use of an adapter possible. Nikon E lenses use the same sort of motors as G lenses,  or Canon EF lenses,  or Sony A-mount lenses - optimised for single, rapid moves via PDAF, without the capacity to make rapid, small, precise moves necessary to take advantage of other focus modes used concurrently by mirrorless cameras. That the new Nikon 70-200 focuses so well is due to the D5/D500 AF system, not due to anything inherent in the lens. There's no special AF technology in the lens that a mirrorless camera can take advantage of, but which Canon/Sigma/Sony all lack. The Nikon 70-200 won't do any better with an adapter than any other lens AF-wise. Not that there are many good Nikon AF adapters to even test it with.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: JKoerner007 on June 21, 2017, 02:31:40 pm
Talking with people who tried using Nikon lenses on Sony cameras in AF tracking modes, they basically abandoned their efforts.

This only begs the question: were they using G lenses or E lenses?

There is an avalanche of the former, hardly any of the latter.

It matters, because the former has a mechanical lever (making adapters struggle more) while the latter does not.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: JKoerner007 on June 21, 2017, 02:39:14 pm
Adding an electromagnetic aperture doesn't make a lens AF any better.

Perhaps, but the older G lenses with mechanical levers were harder to mesh with other systems via third-party adapters.

The G lenses do not give precise aperture control, whereas other manufacturers (Canon) did not have the same lever control mechanism in their camera bodies.

This has all been changed with Nikkor's E lenses.

You used to use the Canon 70-200, which satisfied you, so the Nikkor 70-200E FL ED would have upgraded you from your past position.

You just finished a long series of laments, after trying the "native Sony," which let you down and couldn't even compare to your old Canon.

Yours therefore appears to be a self-inflicted dilemma, as the best of both worlds, right now, rests with Nikkor E FL ED telephoto lenses ... on Nikon cameras for sure ... and even Sony cameras ... and it will likely stay this way for several years.

You keep arguing theory and future prognostications for a purchase decision to be made today or next month.

Hope that works out for you,
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: davidgp on June 21, 2017, 02:47:39 pm
This only begs the question: were they using G lenses or E lenses?

There is an avalanche of the former, hardly any of the latter.

It matters, because the former has a mechanical lever (making adapters struggle more) while the latter does not.

I apologize if I'm wrong in my assumptions, but I'm assuming that you think we are saying that Nikon lenses can not AF quick, not at all, they do, and probably mounted in a D5 they are one of the fastest systems on the market if not the faster.

The problem, not exclusively with Nikon lenses, but adapting any electronic AF lens, it is that the adapter manufacturer needs to do the following: Understand the commands the Sony camera does and translate them to whatever the lens electronic signals talks and viceversa. So here, you need for the adaptor to do this translation well and really quick.

For complicating matters, the Sony E system you can get the specification from Sony to build lenses, so I suppose also adaptors manufacturers can also access to it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_E-mount#Third-party_lens_manufacturers (but even with access to it, Sigma is having problems right now saying their adaptor does not work well with the Sony A9... probably Sony changes something in the electronic signals). But Nikon F mount it is not documented and probably that changes a lot each time Nikon releases a new type of lens, like the G or E lenses you mention. So, adaptor manufacturers need to reverse engineer whatever Nikon lens signals need to understand and send back (this is the main reason why Sigma has his dock connection to easily update lens firmware, each time a new camera is out in the market some incompatibilities appear with third-party lenses).

That it is more or less the same in Canon EF lenses.

So yes, the Nikon lenses can be as good as you want in AF, the translation done by the adaptor it will be never be up to the native implementation Nikon does in their D5, D500, D810... etc... so, for AF in the Sony system, the safe bet it is native glass.
So yes, at the end,
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: shadowblade on June 21, 2017, 03:04:27 pm
Perhaps, but the older G lenses with mechanical levers were harder to mesh with other systems via third-party adapters.

The G lenses do not give precise aperture control, whereas other manufacturers (Canon) did not have the same lever control mechanism in their camera bodies.

This has all been changed with Nikkor's E lenses.

You used to use the Canon 70-200, which satisfied you, so the Nikkor 70-200E FL ED would have upgraded you from your past position.

You just finished a long series of laments, after trying the "native Sony," which let you down and couldn't even compare to your old Canon.

Yours therefore appears to be a self-inflicted dilemma, as the best of both worlds, right now, rests with Nikkor E FL ED telephoto lenses ... on Nikon cameras for sure ... and even Sony cameras ... and it will likely stay this way for several years.

You keep arguing theory and future prognostications for a purchase decision to be made today or next month.

Hope that works out for you,

The only reason I used the Canon is because I already had it, from back when the 5D2 was king of landscape photography. In other words, extra outlay = $0.

Combined with an A7r2 body, Canon lenses on adapters made for an excellent landscape system for virtually zero extra cost, far beyond what Canon put out for a few years (and even the 5Ds isn't great, due to DR limitations and poor ISO performance). For wildlife and action, just throw the same set on a 1Dx or 1Dx2 and you're good to go. And it would also be good to go if Canon (as looks likely) decided to up their game and release a 5Ds2 with a competent sensor.

But cobbling together a set from preexisting parts isn't the same as building one from scratch. You'd never spend $30k putting together a non-medium-format system that can barely autofocus, unless you shoot only one thing and that thing does not require AF. Spending very little to get a competent landscape system that can't AF, as a stopgap measure using lenses you already have, is one thing. Spending $30k to get the  same system from scratch, that still can't AF, is another thing entirely.

And have fun replacing your entire setup in 5-10 years' time when SLRs are obsolete, Nikon is a subsidiary of someone else and F-mount (and possibly EF-mount as well) is history.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: SrMi on June 21, 2017, 04:06:51 pm
...

And have fun replacing your entire setup in 5-10 years' time when SLRs are obsolete, Nikon is a subsidiary of someone else and F-mount (and possibly EF-mount as well) is history.

I would think that DSLRs have still a very long and successful life in them. I you look at the 14 adult winners of NHM Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2016, you'll notice that all of them were shot with a Nikon or Canon DSLRs. All the top photographers that I have traveled with still use Nikon or Canon, none of them contemplate switching to a mirrorless. I like using my mirrorless cameras (Sony excluded), but I like to try out new cameras and switch from DSLRs to mirrorless and back. IMHO, both technologies will appeal to different photographers and will coexist for a long time.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: JKoerner007 on June 21, 2017, 06:42:45 pm
The only reason I used the Canon is because I already had it, from back when the 5D2 was king of landscape photography. In other words, extra outlay = $0.

Combined with an A7r2 body, Canon lenses on adapters made for an excellent landscape system for virtually zero extra cost, far beyond what Canon put out for a few years (and even the 5Ds isn't great, due to DR limitations and poor ISO performance). For wildlife and action, just throw the same set on a 1Dx or 1Dx2 and you're good to go. And it would also be good to go if Canon (as looks likely) decided to up their game and release a 5Ds2 with a competent sensor.

Makes sense.



But cobbling together a set from preexisting parts isn't the same as building one from scratch. You'd never spend $30k putting together a non-medium-format system that can barely autofocus, unless you shoot only one thing and that thing does not require AF. Spending very little to get a competent landscape system that can't AF, as a stopgap measure using lenses you already have, is one thing. Spending $30k to get the  same system from scratch, that still can't AF, is another thing entirely.

Your impediment is your Sony-fixation.

You can't spend $30K with Sony and get a complete system (unless 3rd-/4th-tier telephotos are acceptable to you, which you've already indicated are not).

The only way to spend $30K, today, and get a complete system is to go with Canon or Nikon.

If you want that $30K to bring you the very best AF + telephoto lenses, that narrows your choice down to Nikon (although both are excellent).



And have fun replacing your entire setup in 5-10 years' time when SLRs are obsolete, Nikon is a subsidiary of someone else and F-mount (and possibly EF-mount as well) is history.

No problem.

During those 5-10 years, I will have enjoyed a complete system, at the top of its game, with all of its parts, that will still be taking superb images a decade from now (plus whatever innovations Nikon brings to the table as time progresses).

Meanwhile, have fun waiting 5-10 years to have "a complete system" with Sony ... while you limp along complaining about the inequities ;D
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: hogloff on June 21, 2017, 06:46:50 pm
Makes sense.



Your impediment is your Sony-fixation.

You can't spend $30K with Sony and get a complete system (unless 3rd-/4th-tier telephotos are acceptable to you).

The only way to spend $30K, today, and get a complete system is to go with Canon or Nikon. If you want the very best AF + telephoto lenses, that narrows it down to Nikon (although both are excellent).



No problem.

During those 5-10 years, I will have enjoyed a complete system, at the top of its game, with all of its parts, that will still be taking superb images a decade from now.

Meanwhile, have fun waiting 5-10 years to have "a complete system" with Sony ... while you limp along complaining about the inequities ;D

Everyone's version of a complete system is totally different. For me, my longest lens I need is around 200mm and that's very rare. I focus on travel photography and landscapes and the vast majority of my photos are below 100mm, with many below 20mm. This range is completely covered for me on my Sony system. I have zero interest in the big heavy telephoto lenses.

As far as a travel camera that will not cripple you after carrying it on your wrist on on your neck...what does Nikon have? Maybe Nikon is not quite as complete as one thinks huh?
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: JKoerner007 on June 21, 2017, 06:53:53 pm
Everyone's version of a complete system is totally different. For me, my longest lens I need is around 200mm and that's very rare. I focus on travel photography and landscapes and the vast majority of my photos are below 100mm, with many below 20mm. This range is completely covered for me on my Sony system. I have zero interest in the big heavy telephoto lenses.

Your point is well taken for your purposes.

Shadowblade, however, says he wants to have telephoto primes/zooms, which makes my post relevant to him, the O/P.



As far as a travel camera that will not cripple you after carrying it on your wrist on on your neck...what does Nikon have? Maybe Nikon is not quite as complete as one thinks huh?

Exaggerating to make a point isn't helpful.

Nikon has the D810 (soon to be D850) and far more excellent normal primes than Sony.

Don't get me wrong, I admire Sony.

However, without Zeiss lenses, adapters, third-party assistance, etc. it's a Swiss-cheeze product line compared to Nikon's.

After Shadowblade waits-out the 5-10 years he mentioned, they may be complete unto themselves.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: hogloff on June 21, 2017, 07:39:20 pm
Your point is well taken for your purposes.

Shadowblade, however, says he wants to have telephoto primes/zooms, which makes my post relevant to him, the O/P.



Exaggerating to make a point isn't helpful.

Nikon has the D810 (soon to be D850) and far more excellent normal primes than Sony.

Don't get me wrong, I admire Sony.

However, without Zeiss lenses, adapters, third-party assistance, etc. it's a Swiss-cheeze product line compared to Nikon's.

After Shadowblade waits-out the 5-10 years he mentioned, they may be complete unto themselves.

One of the big advantages I see with the Sony system is their relationship with Zeiss. The loxia and Batis line of lenses are superb. You look at this as a negative to using a Sony system...I see it as a total positive. See I don't care who makes the lenses...I'm not attached to brands like some others
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: hogloff on June 21, 2017, 07:56:46 pm
As a landscape photographer,  infinity is the distance which matters.

The primes are all best-in-class, or not far from it. I'm far less confident in the zooms. The 70-200s I tried certainly won't hold up at 100MP, as had been promoted - they don't even hold up at 42MP. Same story as with Sigma, really - primes are great, but they've yet to convince me about their zooms.

The 24-70 I have seems really solid, but one lens doesn't make a full system.

Since you are looking at landscapes, have you considered the Sony 70-200 f4 lens? From what I've seen, it is stellar.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on June 21, 2017, 07:58:39 pm
One of the big advantages I see with the Sony system is their relationship with Zeiss. The loxia and Batis line of lenses are superb. You look at this as a negative to using a Sony system...I see it as a total positive. See I don't care who makes the lenses...I'm not attached to brands like some others

Sony is building very quickly a great system, no doubt. They are indeed the only game in town when you want a very compact system with excellent image quality and have some unique features that make them untouchable for some applications such as those requiring totally silent shooting. It is really wonderful for us photographers to have such new amazing options to address some shooting situations.

On the other hand, if compactness and those silent application are not really important, and if you care about today's performance and not future potential, my view is that today Nikon is still on top of the hill.

Are there clear concerns that they may not stay on top of the hill very long? Yes. But will they still have an amazing system in 10 years with image quality potential far exceeding the actual needs of 95% of photographic application? I believe the answer is yes also.

When you go a bit beyond the Sony hype and the Nikon bashing, you look at facts and a very telling one IMHO is the fact that the newly released Sony 70-200 f2.8 - to which they must have devoted their very best engineers - is quite a bit behind the Nikon released only a few weeks later. The same can be said about the Sony 85mm f1.4, that although it is excellent, is also slightly behind the Nikon 105mm f1.4 both in terms of technical qualities and look. And both the 70-200mm f2.8 and the 105mm f1.4 can be focused consistently at their max aperture with the D5.

Personally, I also prefer the feel of a D5 compared to that of the Sony A7/A9 with vertical grip when shooting large lenses such as a 200mm f2.0 or 400mm f2.8. But this is really a matter of taste.

A Sony a9r and a few compact primes will probably be on my wish list this year because I am fortunate enough to be in a situation at the moment where I don't really have to choose. If I had to choose I would stay with Nikon only for now.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: shadowblade on June 21, 2017, 09:13:48 pm
I would think that DSLRs have still a very long and successful life in them. I you look at the 14 adult winners of NHM Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2016, you'll notice that all of them were shot with a Nikon or Canon DSLRs. All the top photographers that I have traveled with still use Nikon or Canon, none of them contemplate switching to a mirrorless. I like using my mirrorless cameras (Sony excluded), but I like to try out new cameras and switch from DSLRs to mirrorless and back. IMHO, both technologies will appeal to different photographers and will coexist for a long time.

Given that the A9 was only released a few weeks ago, and is the first mirrorless camera capable of handling fast action, that's to be expected. All the winners in 2016 used Canon or Nikon because no-one else made a wildlife-capable camera.

The A9 changes everything. I had expected 5D3/D810-level, or maybe 5D4-level AF, but this thing matches the D5 when attached to a native lens. Now it just needs a few long lenses,  and it looks like they're on their way (400mm prime at the end of the year).
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: shadowblade on June 21, 2017, 09:17:56 pm
Since you are looking at landscapes, have you considered the Sony 70-200 f4 lens? From what I've seen, it is stellar.

At f/4, it's less sharp in the corners than the GM at the same aperture (the GM being stopped down one stop, the f/4 being wide open). It seems to have fewer manufacturing/decentering issues, though.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: hogloff on June 21, 2017, 09:20:52 pm
At f/4, it's less sharp in the corners than the GM at the same aperture (the GM being stopped down one stop, the f/4 being wide open). It seems to have fewer manufacturing/decentering issues, though.

What apertures do you shoot your landscapes at? I typically am stopped down to f8 or f11 where I'm sure the two lenses both deliver great results.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: shadowblade on June 21, 2017, 09:38:58 pm
Makes sense.



Your impediment is your Sony-fixation.

You can't spend $30K with Sony and get a complete system (unless 3rd-/4th-tier telephotos are acceptable to you, which you've already indicated are not).

The only way to spend $30K, today, and get a complete system is to go with Canon or Nikon.

If you want that $30K to bring you the very best AF + telephoto lenses, that narrows your choice down to Nikon (although both are excellent).



No problem.

During those 5-10 years, I will have enjoyed a complete system, at the top of its game, with all of its parts, that will still be taking superb images a decade from now (plus whatever innovations Nikon brings to the table as time progresses).

Meanwhile, have fun waiting 5-10 years to have "a complete system" with Sony ... while you limp along complaining about the inequities ;D

You're forgetting the bodies.

The D820 looks set to have a resolution around 46MP, which is almost certainly far less than what Canon and Sony will bring in the 5Ds2 and A9r/A7r3. DR should be in the same ballpark, going by recent releases.

Also, with regards to AF, the D810 was no D4 and the D820 will probably be no D5. How much this means depends on what Sony brings out. If it's an A7r3, it doesn't matter so much. If it's an A9r, though, Sony will just have upped the ante for wildlife and sports photography, with a top-tier tracking system as well as high resolution for cropping (something not seen since the 1Ds3 in 2007).

But my main interest is landscapes. Sony has the elements of a complete system there - 24-70, 70-200 and primes, with 100-400, 12-24 and 16-35 coming shortly. TS-E lenses can easily be adapted with no loss of function. For the occasional dedicated wildlife trip, it's easy enough to borrow a 1Dx2 with 200-400 and 600mm lenses. The problem is that the 70-200 isn't very sharp (or just has so many manufacturing issues it's impossible to get a sharp copy), and that adapting a sharper 3rd-party lens would mean losing its secondary function for candid portraits and occasional action shots - something I've missed being able to do while using Canon lenses on the A7r2.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: shadowblade on June 21, 2017, 09:46:11 pm
What apertures do you shoot your landscapes at? I typically am stopped down to f8 or f11 where I'm sure the two lenses both deliver great results.

I shoot more than just landscapes. Mainly landscapes, but also the occasional shot that requires more DOF control. So I'm looking for lenses that can do it all within their respective focal length ranges (plus a few specialised lenses, such as macros and tilt-shifts). F/4 is fine for most things, but when you need something faster, there's no alternative.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: JKoerner007 on June 21, 2017, 10:47:20 pm
You're forgetting the bodies.

The D820 looks set to have a resolution around 46MP, which is almost certainly far less than what Canon and Sony will bring in the 5Ds2 and A9r/A7r3. DR should be in the same ballpark, going by recent releases.

I am not.

The (I'll bet) D850 will have 46/50mpx, which is all 99.999999999999999% of photographers will ever need.

The rest is a waste of computer space, unless you authentically produce 50"+ prints.



Also, with regards to AF, the D810 was no D4 and the D820 will probably be no D5. How much this means depends on what Sony brings out. If it's an A7r3, it doesn't matter so much. If it's an A9r, though, Sony will just have upped the ante for wildlife and sports photography, with a top-tier tracking system as well as high resolution for cropping (something not seen since the 1Ds3 in 2007).

Again, you rely on too many if-clauses IMO. There is no doubt the Nikon D850 will be in the 50mpx range, which is why I just sold my D500 (I will be able to crop my D850 shots and still get better images with that sensor than with a 20mp sensor at 1.5x). No need to deal with a APS-C camera at this kind of mpx (no more advantage).

Sony does not have a "top-tier" tracking system, but a second-best tracking system. It is Nikon's tracking system which is top-tier. Further, since Sony telephoto glass isn't even 2nd tier (Canon holds that distinction), or 3rd tier (Sigma holds that distinction), you're basing your whole future on a 4th-best lens system coupled with a "maybe" AF system.

You're setting yourself up for more thread-topics of disappointment, rather than thread topics of complete satisfaction.



But my main interest is landscapes. Sony has the elements of a complete system there - 24-70, 70-200 and primes, with 100-400, 12-24 and 16-35 coming shortly. TS-E lenses can easily be adapted with no loss of function. For the occasional dedicated wildlife trip, it's easy enough to borrow a 1Dx2 with 200-400 and 600mm lenses. The problem is that the 70-200 isn't very sharp (or just has so many manufacturing issues it's impossible to get a sharp copy), and that adapting a sharper 3rd-party lens would mean losing its secondary function for candid portraits and occasional action shots - something I've missed being able to do while using Canon lenses on the A7r2.

You're still going to come out a loser.

You're forgetting Nikon is going to be upgrading its 14-24mm f/2.8 lens [which came out in (and totally dominated everything since) 2007] to E FL ED. Guarantee this will blow Sony's clumsy effort away.

The same thing will be true when Nikon upgrades its 24-70 VR to an "E FL VR" shortly as well.

No way will Sony's entry efforts beat Nikkor's upgrades.

Look, we've debated for a few pages' worth, and I doubt we will ever agree.

If you purchase now, you're purchasing 3rd/4th best overall.

You believe that, in 5-10 years, Sony will "dominate everything." We disagree.

In the more important "now" equation, Nikon already is dominant.

In the next 3-5 years, after Nikon upgrades all its lenses to E FL ED ... and brings out its D850 (D5s and, likely, D500s) ... you're still going to be lamenting the inequities of Sony's mere 10 years' experience in lens production ... while Nikon users will be enjoying the fruit of over 100 years' experience in that regard.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: davidgp on June 22, 2017, 12:58:18 am

The (I'll bet) D850 will have 46/50mpx, which is all 99.999999999999999% of photographers will ever need.

Umm... I heard that argument a lot in the past... With 12 MPx, with 16MPX, etc...

In some years I'm sure people will say, 100 MPx it's really what any photographer will need.



Enviado desde mi iPad utilizando Tapatalk
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: BernardLanguillier on June 22, 2017, 02:00:29 am
Umm... I heard that argument a lot in the past... With 12 MPx, with 16MPX, etc...

In some years I'm sure people will say, 100 MPx it's really what any photographer will need.

Mp is really just one kpi.

My D5 images perfectly focused often contain more detail than my imperfectly focused H6D-100c images.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: shadowblade on June 22, 2017, 03:42:51 am
I am not.

The (I'll bet) D850 will have 46/50mpx, which is all 99.999999999999999% of photographers will ever need.

The rest is a waste of computer space, unless you authentically produce 50"+ prints.

That's almost all I print. I rarely print small.



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Again, you rely on too many if-clauses IMO. There is no doubt the Nikon D850 will be in the 50mpx range, which is why I just sold my D500 (I will be able to crop my D850 shots and still get better images with that sensor than with a 20mp sensor at 1.5x). No need to deal with a APS-C camera at this kind of mpx (no more advantage).

None of which helps if the AF system can't keep track of the subject. If it's an A7r3, then every high-resolution body is in the same boat. If it's an A9r, then Sony comes out on top by a long way.

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Sony does not have a "top-tier" tracking system, but a second-best tracking system. It is Nikon's tracking system which is top-tier. Further, since Sony telephoto glass isn't even 2nd tier (Canon holds that distinction), or 3rd tier (Sigma holds that distinction), you're basing your whole future on a 4th-best lens system coupled with a "maybe" AF system.

Sounds like you haven't tried the A9 yet.

Speed- and accuracy-wise, without eye focus, I couldn't tell them apart when shooting performing birds. Both with a 90% plus hitrate. But Sony's AF covers a greater proportion of the sensor,  and the eye AF for shooting human subjects puts it over the top.

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You're still going to come out a loser.

You're forgetting Nikon is going to be upgrading its 14-24mm f/2.8 lens [which came out in (and totally dominated everything since) 2007] to E FL ED. Guarantee this will blow Sony's clumsy effort away.

Almost certainly not.

The shorter flange distance makes UWA lens design for mirrorless much easier than for an SLR. The optics required are far less extreme.

In any case, the Canon 11-24 beats Nikon's corners, except when you need f/2 8. No doubt the next-generation Nikon wil beat the Canon, until the next-generation Canon comes along after that.

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The same thing will be true when Nikon upgrades its 24-70 VR to an "E FL VR" shortly as well.

Before that happens, Canon will release 24-70 and 70-200 Mk III lenses, since the current ones are half a decade old. These should surpass the current Nikon E lenses, going on the previous record of the two companies leapfrogging each other.

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No way will Sony's entry efforts beat Nikkor's upgrades.

They've already matched them at other focal lengths. Compare the various 24-70mm lenses. Or the primes. Nikon is better in some, Sony in others, Canon in others. It's just this one lens where the Sony seems to be phenomenally weak - or, more likely, just poorly-made rather than poorly-designed, since it seems that sharp samples exist, and the lenses I tried all had at least one super-sharp corner.

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You believe that, in 5-10 years, Sony will "dominate everything." We disagree.

In the more important "now" equation, Nikon already is dominant.

In 2000, Kodak was also dominant. They also had no plan for the future, except for more of the same.

Canon and Sony have both made big moves in next-generation mirrorless technology. Nikon hasn't even started, and doesn't have the resources to catch up - all they can do is make a bigger and better SLR, which isn't going to help them when mirrorless exceeds the limitations of SLRs, the turning  point likely being this year. Canon is behind in mirrorless camera design at the moment, but has the necessary technology, as well as the resources to catch up.

So, in 10 years, I don't know who will be dominant - Canon or Sony. But it certainly won't be Nikon.

The 'now' question doesn't matter. I'm not buying a system for the next five years. I'm buying a system where I can accumulate lenses and other gear over the next 10 or 15 years, with clear, ongoing support for the system and without having to worry about it floundering as it gets overtaken by technological developments (by which I don't just mean a sharper lens or better AF system comes out,  but a shift occurs, like MF to AF or SLR to mirrorless, which renders current equipment unusable or significantly suboptimal on the new system).

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In the next 3-5 years, after Nikon upgrades all its lenses to E FL ED ... and brings out its D850 (D5s and, likely, D500s) ... you're still going to be lamenting the inequities of Sony's mere 10 years' experience in lens production ... while Nikon users will be enjoying the fruit of over 100 years' experience in that regard.

10 years, 100 years, doesn't matter. It's the product that counts. Even Canon and Nikon still produce lemons. And Sony's path for improvement is a lot clearer than Nikon's. It's obvious what Sony needs to do to make a better 70-200, and no doubt their engineers are already doing that. It's not so clear what Nikon can do from here, apart ftom make it compatible with an as-yet-nonexistent class of mirrorless cameras. The next generation will likely be equal, with indistinguishable performance.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: jwstl on June 22, 2017, 11:25:26 am
You're forgetting the bodies.

The D820 looks set to have a resolution around 46MP, which is almost certainly far less than what Canon and Sony will bring in the 5Ds2 and A9r/A7r3.

I seriously doubt the A9r when released will be at or more than 46mp. There's a reason they had to stick with a 24mp sensor on the A9 instead of using a higher MP sensor such as the one from the A7RII; they needed fewer MPs to get that performance. The A7R series will always be the high MP line and the A9 the performance line...just like Nikon with the D8xx and the D5. You can't compare the A9 line with the D8xx line at all: apples and oranges as they say.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: JKoerner007 on June 22, 2017, 11:42:59 am
That's almost all I print. I rarely print small.

Um, okay.



None of which helps if the AF system can't keep track of the subject. If it's an A7r3, then every high-resolution body is in the same boat. If it's an A9r, then Sony comes out on top by a long way.

Well, by all means, do carry on then with your hopes of future achievement for Sony.

Meanwhile, I don't I have to "wait" for class leading excellence.



Sounds like you haven't tried the A9 yet.

Speed- and accuracy-wise, without eye focus, I couldn't tell them apart when shooting performing birds. Both with a 90% plus hitrate. But Sony's AF covers a greater proportion of the sensor,  and the eye AF for shooting human subjects puts it over the top.

No, I have not tried the A9 yet ... and what is a performing bird?



Almost certainly not.

Almost certainly you will continue to live "in wanting" for many years, given your Sony fixation. After all, you are the one complaining about the behavior of the 70-200 AF performance with your Sony system as well as complaining about the mushy sharpness at f/2.8.

Meanwhile, no one with a Nikon D5 + 70-200E FL ED is complaining about their autofocus speed or extreme acutense of their images. They're simply enjoying the best in the world.

This juxtaposition between your lack-of-total enjoyment (with your system preference) and Nikonian deep enjoyment (with their system preference) will continue-on for another several years.



The shorter flange distance makes UWA lens design for mirrorless much easier than for an SLR. The optics required are far less extreme.

In any case, the Canon 11-24 beats Nikon's corners, except when you need f/2 8. No doubt the next-generation Nikon wil beat the Canon, until the next-generation Canon comes along after that.

Before that happens, Canon will release 24-70 and 70-200 Mk III lenses, since the current ones are half a decade old. These should surpass the current Nikon E lenses, going on the previous record of the two companies leapfrogging each other.

We disagree.



They've already matched them at other focal lengths. Compare the various 24-70mm lenses. Or the primes. Nikon is better in some, Sony in others, Canon in others. It's just this one lens where the Sony seems to be phenomenally weak - or, more likely, just poorly-made rather than poorly-designed, since it seems that sharp samples exist, and the lenses I tried all had at least one super-sharp corner.

The only lens arena where Sony dominates is in its 85 mm recent release, which is competing with a 7-year-old Nikkor lens ... and the Sony just barely surpassed the aged Nikkor. When Nikon updates to an E lens, the Sony will be left wanting by a wide margin.



In 2000, Kodak was also dominant. They also had no plan for the future, except for more of the same.

Canon and Sony have both made big moves in next-generation mirrorless technology. Nikon hasn't even started, and doesn't have the resources to catch up - all they can do is make a bigger and better SLR, which isn't going to help them when mirrorless exceeds the limitations of SLRs, the turning  point likely being this year. Canon is behind in mirrorless camera design at the moment, but has the necessary technology, as well as the resources to catch up.

So, in 10 years, I don't know who will be dominant - Canon or Sony. But it certainly won't be Nikon.

Since you jumped from Canon to Sony, you give each more credit over Nikon than either deserves.

The truth is, Nikon has "enough technology" to have more class-leading cameras and lenses than Canon and Sony put together.

When Nikon decides to invest its considerable talents into a serious mirrorless system, its users will benefit from its already-superior lens portfolio.



The 'now' question doesn't matter. I'm not buying a system for the next five years. I'm buying a system where I can accumulate lenses and other gear over the next 10 or 15 years, with clear, ongoing support for the system and without having to worry about it floundering as it gets overtaken by technological developments (by which I don't just mean a sharper lens or better AF system comes out,  but a shift occurs, like MF to AF or SLR to mirrorless, which renders current equipment unusable or significantly suboptimal on the new system).

Now and tomorrow are both relevant.

'Now,' you are complaining, and you will continue to complain tomorrow, and for the next few years, easily.

Meanwhile Nikon users really have nothing to complain about. Five years from now, Nikon users will just have more innovations available to them, and Sony will still be catching up.



0 years, 100 years, doesn't matter. It's the product that counts. Even Canon and Nikon still produce lemons. And Sony's path for improvement is a lot clearer than Nikon's. It's obvious what Sony needs to do to make a better 70-200, and no doubt their engineers are already doing that. It's not so clear what Nikon can do from here, apart ftom make it compatible with an as-yet-nonexistent class of mirrorless cameras. The next generation will likely be equal, with indistinguishable performance.

Nikon hasn't produced any lemons at all, in their professional offerings, in quite a while. Mostly, they've been hitting everything out of the park (read all the top spots on SenScore/LenScore, and you will see Nikon dominating 2-1 over Canon, Leica, Sony, and Zeiss).

I guess I will conclude my debate with you by agreeing with your very last sentence.

In 10 years, Canon, Nikon, and Sony will all have awesome systems for the end-user.

The only difference is, now, only Canon and Nikon do.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: shadowblade on June 22, 2017, 11:52:19 am
I seriously doubt the A9r when released will be at or more than 46mp. There's a reason they had to stick with a 24mp sensor on the A9 instead of using a higher MP sensor such as the one from the A7RII; they needed fewer MPs to get that performance. The A7R series will always be the high MP line and the A9 the performance line...just like Nikon with the D8xx and the D5. You can't compare the A9 line with the D8xx line at all: apples and oranges as they say.

No, they needed the lower MP for the frame rate.

Sony is known to be working on a 70-80MP sensor. That will go into the high-resolution model(s). If both an A7r3 and A9r are produced, there's no way the A7r3 will have a better sensor. If you already have a 72MP sensor, putting a 46MP sensor into yoir high-resolution flagship while putting the 72MP sensor into the lower line just wouldn't make sense. You'd be killing off your own top model before it even hit the shelves. No-one whose prime concern is resolution would buy the 46MP body when a cheaper 72MP body is available. And pure action photographers would gravitate towards the A9 and its faster frame rate. You'd be stuck with those few photographers who can't decide between resolution and AF performance - and they'd be a desperately unhappy bunch,  knowing that a better sensor is out there on your lower line of cameras, while they're stuck with a second-rate sensor for no real technical reason.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: hogloff on June 22, 2017, 12:33:46 pm
Um, okay.



Well, by all means, do carry on then with your hopes of future achievement for Sony.

Meanwhile, I don't I have to "wait" for class leading excellence.



No, I have not tried the A9 yet ... and what is a performing bird?



Almost certainly you will continue to live "in wanting" for many years, given your Sony fixation. After all, you are the one complaining about the behavior of the 70-200 AF performance with your Sony system as well as complaining about the mushy sharpness at f/2.8.

Meanwhile, no one with a Nikon D5 + 70-200E FL ED is complaining about their autofocus speed or extreme acutense of their images. They're simply enjoying the best in the world.

This juxtaposition between your lack-of-total enjoyment (with your system preference) and Nikonian deep enjoyment (with their system preference) will continue-on for another several years.



We disagree.



The only lens arena where Sony dominates is in its 85 mm recent release, which is competing with a 7-year-old Nikkor lens ... and the Sony just barely surpassed the aged Nikkor. When Nikon updates to an E lens, the Sony will be left wanting by a wide margin.



Since you jumped from Canon to Sony, you give each more credit over Nikon than either deserves.

The truth is, Nikon has "enough technology" to have more class-leading cameras and lenses than Canon and Sony put together.

When Nikon decides to invest its considerable talents into a serious mirrorless system, its users will benefit from its already-superior lens portfolio.



Now and tomorrow are both relevant.

'Now,' you are complaining, and you will continue to complain tomorrow, and for the next few years, easily.

Meanwhile Nikon users really have nothing to complain about. Five years from now, Nikon users will just have more innovations available to them, and Sony will still be catching up.



Nikon hasn't produced any lemons at all, in their professional offerings, in quite a while. Mostly, they've been hitting everything out of the park (read all the top spots on SenScore/LenScore, and you will see Nikon dominating 2-1 over Canon, Leica, Sony, and Zeiss).

I guess I will conclude my debate with you by agreeing with your very last sentence.

In 10 years, Canon, Nikon, and Sony will all have awesome systems for the end-user.

The only difference is, now, only Canon and Nikon do.

Why worry so much about what other people shoot with. If you have found Nirvana with you equipment then great for you...maybe others find other equipment fits their needs better. I personally find the weight and bulk from DSLR's too unwieldy for my travels and shoot with a mirrorless system...but if someone decides to use a DSLR, I really don't care...maybe you should look at it the same way rather than always making things a race.

Sometimes the great 810 with the 70-200 lens is just not the right answer to be carrying around for months on end in SEA with temperatures into the high 30's with extreme humidity.

Enough already of this cheerleading from the sidelines. 
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: shadowblade on June 22, 2017, 01:55:10 pm
Well, by all means, do carry on then with your hopes of future achievement for Sony.

Meanwhile, I don't I have to "wait" for class leading excellence.

How do you like tracking wildlife with your D810?

It kind of does the job. It's not great at it.

The A9 is fantastic at it.

Now stick a high-resolution sensor into an A9 and you get a do-it-all body that outshines anything else out there - AF and cropability for action, resolution and DR for landscapes. That's what an A9r would bring. And it's a whole lot more likely to happen than a 1Dxs or D5x with the same capability.

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No, I have not tried the A9 yet ... and what is a performing bird?

Falcons and parrots trained to swoop, dive and manoeuvre among and over crowds and obstacles. Also probably one of the most challenging stress tests for an AF system.

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Almost certainly you will continue to live "in wanting" for many years, given your Sony fixation. After all, you are the one complaining about the behavior of the 70-200 AF performance with your Sony system as well as complaining about the mushy sharpness at f/2.8.

The problem with the 70-200 GM isn't the AF. A 70-200 GM on an A9 is just about the fastest and most accurate combination out there. Pretty much every review out there (formal or otherwise) heaps praise onto this combination for speed and accuracy.

The problem is that the edges just aren't sharp when the lens is wide-open. I don't know whether this is an optical issue or a QC/decentering issue - I suspect it's the latter, since there always seems to be at least one sharp corner or edge.

Of particular note, the reviews heaping praise on the 70-200 (especially in combination with the A9) all seem to be using it to shoot fast action. In other words, situations where edge sharpness doesn't matter at all, since the edges are going to be out-of-focus anyway. They haven't used it to shoot landscapes, or subjected it to the stress test of a brick wall or test chart wide-open. And it's true that the 70-200 GM is very sharp in the centre even wide-open, and makes a fine action lens for that reason. Just that the edge softness wide-open makes it less than stellar as a landscape lens, thus limiting its utility as a general-purpose short-to-medium telephoto lens.

Sony's AF performance issues are only when using non-native lenses via an adapter. It's still better than any other system using a non-native lens, but nowhere near as good as a native lens. In other words, it's not 'Sony's AF sucks'. It's 'AF using adapters sucks'. And it just so happens that adapters and non-native lenses are uses a lot with Sony,  firstly because it's possible (you can't take a Canon 11-24 and put it on a D810, for instance) and secondly because, as a new system,  Sony is still putting together its portfolio of key lenses, so users have had to adapt other lenses in the meantime.

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Meanwhile, no one with a Nikon D5 + 70-200E FL ED is complaining about their autofocus speed or extreme acutense of their images. They're simply enjoying the best in the world.

Except when it comes to shooting a landscape. Then you're saddled with only 20MP and limited DR.

Switch to the D810 and your AF is no longer stellar.

Carry both and you're now carrying a pair of bricks. And you still can't make use of both the resolution and AF at the same time.

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This juxtaposition between your lack-of-total enjoyment (with your system preference) and Nikonian deep enjoyment (with their system preference) will continue-on for another several years.

For a few years, maybe. Until the SLR system becomes decidedly obsolete and they ditch F-mount for something more suited to mirrorless, leaving you with a pile of lenses which are as useful on new bodies as FD lenses are today. Or if they keep F-mount but go mirrorless, leaving you with lenses that work slowly and less accurately on the new mirrorless bodies, since theit motors aren't designed for them. Or if they are unable to adapt to mirrorless and continue on as a legacy system la Leica, becoming less and less relevant and with their performance falling further and further behind the forefront year by year. Or until Nikon collapses in a heap or are otherwise acquired by someone else, who then makes use of their patents, optical formulae and production facilities to further their own lines, leaving F-mount users orphaned.

Never invest in obsolete technology, or technology whose obsolescence can be seen coming in a few years. Would you invest in a new taxi company these days?

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The only lens arena where Sony dominates is in its 85 mm recent release, which is competing with a 7-year-old Nikkor lens ... and the Sony just barely surpassed the aged Nikkor. When Nikon updates to an E lens, the Sony will be left wanting by a wide margin.

Barely surpasses it in the middle. And kicks it into the next stadium in the corners and edges.

That's one of the many problems with Lenscore. It only takes maximum sharpness into consideration. A lens can have weak edges and corners, but, so long as the middle is sharp, it will score highly in the sharpness metric.

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Since you jumped from Canon to Sony, you give each more credit over Nikon than either deserves.

When I was shooting Canon (before full-frame E-mount existed), Canon lenses were the best, with the sole exception of the 14-24 (the 11-24 not having being released yet and the 16-35 Mk II having laughable edges). The 24-70 and 70-200 both beat the Nikon equivalents at the time (the 24-70 still holds its own against the current Nikon). The Canon telephotos beat the Nikon telephotos of the time (the current Nikon superteles are half a generation newer than the current Canons, with the exception of the 200-400, which, not coincidentally, is also reflected in optical performance, although none of them are slouches). The Nikon 24mm tilt-shift is a joke.

In fact, the inferiority of Nikon glass at the time was why I did not switch to the D800e when it came out in 2012, only switching to the A7r in 2014 when it allowed me to continue using the better Canon glass on a better sensor than the 5D3. The loss of AF wasn't a big deal for landscape photography, since it didn't cost me anything to keep using those lenses and I could still put them on a 1Dx to shoot action.

By the way, the best-performing Nikon bodies sensor-wise all use Sony sensors. Now Canon can also make sensors in the same performance ballpark (look at the 1Dx2 and 5D4 and extrapolate for resolution to see the likely DR of a new 5Ds2), but Nikon still can't make a sensor of its own, and the ones it designs aren't great either.

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The truth is, Nikon has "enough technology" to have more class-leading cameras and lenses than Canon and Sony put together.

When Nikon decides to invest its considerable talents into a serious mirrorless system, its users will benefit from its already-superior lens portfolio.

You can't create something out of nothing. Canon and Sony both have advanced mirrorless AF systems - in Sony's case, comparable to the best SLRs - while Nikon has nothing in that field. Both Canon and Sony took years to get where they are now with mirrorless AF, and they are far bigger companies, with far more resources, than Nikon. They would literally have to stagnate for a decade if Nikon were to have a chance of catching up.

With regards to lenses, Nikon may have the upper hand with optical design (not mechanical design) at the moment, but that's only because their lenses are newer. The next generation of Canon lenses (from now and over the next 5 years or so) will almost certainly surpass the current Nikons. And the next generation of Nikons, 5-10 years from now, will almost certainly surpass that batch of Canons. It's an endless leapfrogging game, with Canon and Nikon release dates offset against each other by about half a generation.

Future Nikon mirrorless users can't benefit from the current crop of lenses. They'd need new motors to take full advantage of CDAF-based refinemeny and AI-based focus mode (eye focus,  image recognition, etc.). So they'd have to buy new lenses anyway, even if the optics remained the same. Otherwise, lens performance would be like putting an A-mount lens on an E-mount camera via an adapter - not great, limited by the mechanics of the SLR lens.

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Nikon hasn't produced any lemons at all, in their professional offerings, in quite a while. Mostly, they've been hitting everything out of the park (read all the top spots on SenScore/LenScore, and you will see Nikon dominating 2-1 over Canon, Leica, Sony, and Zeiss).

1. Comparing like-for-like (zoom vs zoom, prime vs prime, UWA vs UWA, etc.) notice how the top-rated lenses by sharpness (leaving aside Leica and Zeiss, who manufacture to a different level of precision - comparing Nikon and Canon here) are also the newer lenses. Not coincidentally, the newer batch of lenses are also Nikon lenses - Canon updated many of their lenses a few years back, whereas Nikon has been doing it more recently. Now strip away the newer lenses and you'll see that the next group of lenses, sharpness-wise, is that group of Canons, which are sharper than the previous group of Nikons, but not as sharp as the newest batch. Conclusion - that newer designs tend to be sharper than older ones. And, since Nikon has updated their top lenses more recently than Canon, naturally they have more in the top 10 at the moment.

2. As mentioned earlier, Lenscore is a very flawed measurement because it only considers maximal sharpness, not across-the-frame sharpness.

3. A website that rates the Canon 16-35 II as sharper than the 85/1.8, 400/5.6 and TS-E 17 has absolutely no credibility. It flies in the face of all common observation and experience. It may be accurate if they're just taking peak central sharpness into consideration (best focal length at best aperture), but that goes to show just how useless that metric is. The 16-35 II has terrible edges at all apertures. It's also very sharp in the middle. But no-one could ever argue that, overall, it's sharper than the TS-E 24L II, for example.

More useful and credible data sets provide across-the-frame data at different apertures and focal lengths. Photozone.de, for example. Even DxO (the overall marks for lenses are worse than useless and give the site a bad name, but look at the field diagrams and measured MTF charts, which show you exactly where a lens is and isn't sharp).

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I guess I will conclude my debate with you by agreeing with your very last sentence.

In 10 years, Canon, Nikon, and Sony will all have awesome systems for the end-user.

The only difference is, now, only Canon and Nikon do.

In 10 years' time, Sony and Canon will likely have equal performance. Nikon will likely be making fantastic lenses for Sony cameras, as a subsidiary, or for both Sony and Canon, as a dedicated optics company. F-mount users may or may not have a legacy SLR body onto which to mount their lenses.

It's not for no reason that, even 10 years ago, when Sony had yet to make a stills camera (other than point-and-shoots), Canon saw it, rather than Nikon, as being its greatest rival in the camera business. It's come a long way in that time and has momentum behind it. Canon has the resources to match it. Nikon may be at the top of their game now, but they climbed a different peak (SLR rather than mirrorless) and probably lack the resources to go after the new objective and catch up with the two frontrunners. A Nikon-Fujifilm partnership may be able to so it, but not Nikon alone.
Title: Re: What's wrong with the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 GM?
Post by: Farmer on June 23, 2017, 05:50:50 am
7 days here, not 30, with return for store credit only.

Australia, right?

The Australia Consumer Law is your friend.  Stipulate your requirement before purchase, or note an official (website is fine) list of specs that meet your requirements.  If either are not met, then you are entitled to a replacement or a full refund.

Of course, if they tell you they can't guarantee that or it's not mentioned officially anywhere, then you can't do the above but also you were advised in advance.

I've just come back from Uluru and Kata Tjuta, but I used my 24-70 almost exclusively.  I used the 70-200 for a little while walking around Kata Tjuta, and over the weekend I will see if there was anything interesting and sharp at 2.8 to look at and if so I'll post it up.