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Author Topic: Sony 400mm f2.8  (Read 2728 times)

BernardLanguillier

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Sony 400mm f2.8
« on: June 27, 2018, 07:56:59 PM »

https://www.dpreview.com/articles/1870760563/first-impressions-sony-fe-400-f2-8-gm-oss

Great specs and extremely light for a 400mm f2.8.

Now, what do you guys think about the bokeh?

Cheers,
Bernard

BJL

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Re: Sony 400mm f2.8: a Compact System Camera?!
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2018, 08:00:03 AM »

That first image at DPReview challenges my idea of a compact camera. No criticism of Sony—400/2.8 is unavoidably massive—but is it time to find a more accurate name for this forum? Size is not the defining virtue for me, and I prefer a positive phrasing like “EVF Camera” or “Live View Camera”. But I know some people will quibble with the accuracy of those proposals too.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Sony 400mm f2.8: a Compact System Camera?!
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2018, 09:35:38 AM »

That first image at DPReview challenges my idea of a compact camera. No criticism of Sony—400/2.8 is unavoidably massive—but is it time to find a more accurate name for this forum? Size is not the defining virtue for me, and I prefer a positive phrasing like “EVF Camera” or “Live View Camera”. But I know some people will quibble with the accuracy of those proposals too.

True, but that has been the case since Sony released their f1.4 line up of lenses.

Cheers,
Bernard

shadowblade

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Re: Sony 400mm f2.8
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2018, 10:48:32 AM »

I have little interest in the 400/2.8 per se - it's essentially a dedicated sports lens. But what it represents - the development of fast-focusing supertele lenses capable of working with mirrorless cameras, as well as mirrorless cameras with AF systems and electrical power up to the task - is very promising for future lenses more suitable for wildlife. Recent information out of Sony, detailing 500/4 and 600/4 lenses, seem to confirm this direction, and I suspect a 200-400/4 or similar would not be far behind those two.

IMO 'compact' vs 'SLR' forums never made any sense - the more relevant divisions are cropped sensor, 35mm full-frame and medium/large format.
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chez

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Re: Sony 400mm f2.8: a Compact System Camera?!
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2018, 11:18:38 AM »

That first image at DPReview challenges my idea of a compact camera. No criticism of Sony—400/2.8 is unavoidably massive—but is it time to find a more accurate name for this forum? Size is not the defining virtue for me, and I prefer a positive phrasing like “EVF Camera” or “Live View Camera”. But I know some people will quibble with the accuracy of those proposals too.

Well the Sony 400 weighs less than the Olympus 300 and do we consider the Olympus system compact?
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Rand47

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Re: Sony 400mm f2.8: a Compact System Camera?!
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2018, 12:41:26 PM »

That first image at DPReview challenges my idea of a compact camera. No criticism of Sony—400/2.8 is unavoidably massive—but is it time to find a more accurate name for this forum? Size is not the defining virtue for me, and I prefer a positive phrasing like “EVF Camera” or “Live View Camera”. But I know some people will quibble with the accuracy of those proposals too.

This is worth thinking about, IMO.  With the size of Sony's lenses, and the growing body bulk (e.g. the Fuji X-H1 w/ VG), the defining feature of compact/mirrorless cameras is the WYSIWYG nature of the electronic viewfinder, and not "compact" as a common denominator.  Perhaps, "Electronic Viewfinder, On-sensor Focusing Cameras."  Ah, but that leaves Leica M cameras out!  LOL

I shy away from "mirrorless" because one of the days, not too terribly far in the future, there won't be any cameras with mirrors and so the term will become an anachronism. 

Come to think of it, when that happens there won't be a need for "classifications" of this sort at all.   :-)

Rand
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Rand Scott Adams

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Re: Sony 400mm f2.8
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2018, 03:12:39 PM »

I think of my own gear in terms of rangefinder, EVF and SLR. Size is a secondary thing, though it's important enough that my smallest format sensor wise (Micro 4/3) also gives me the greatest amount of reach field-of-view wise (800mm "equiv.").

The new Sony lens paired with the A9 showcases the kind of speed/accuracy a matured EVF system can deliver.

-Dave-
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Sony 400mm f2.8
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2018, 06:42:21 PM »

yes... but what about the bokeh?

Cheers,
Bernard

shadowblade

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Re: Sony 400mm f2.8
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2018, 11:59:45 PM »

yes... but what about the bokeh?

Cheers,
Bernard

Looks about the same as the Canon and Nikon 400/2.8 lenses: http://mattgranger.com/sony400
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scooby70

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Re: Sony 400mm f2.8: a Compact System Camera?!
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2018, 04:45:03 AM »

That first image at DPReview challenges my idea of a compact camera. No criticism of Sony—400/2.8 is unavoidably massive—but is it time to find a more accurate name for this forum? Size is not the defining virtue for me, and I prefer a positive phrasing like “EVF Camera” or “Live View Camera”. But I know some people will quibble with the accuracy of those proposals too.

Whenever a larger lens comes out there are always people who say "Ah Ha! It's the size of a Brikon." But...  you have to remember that you can also mount a 28mm f2, a 35mm f2.8 or a 55mm f1.8 and you have a compact camera and lens package which is significantly smaller than the brikon. Plus of course even if the "CSC" is the same size the brikon doesn't have WYSIWYG, peaking, focus aids, the ability to see what can never be seen with an OVF and the ability to take pictures without making a sound.
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scooby70

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Re: Sony 400mm f2.8
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2018, 04:46:02 AM »

yes... but what about the bokeh?

Cheers,
Bernard

It'll be completely and utterly irrelevant to most viewing the pictures this lens was intended to take.
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BJL

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Re: Sony 400mm f2.8: a Compact System Camera?!
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2018, 04:52:00 AM »

Well the Sony 400 weighs less than the Olympus 300 and do we consider the Olympus system compact?
My complaint with “compact” is aimed at the whole category of “full time live view” systems, not just Sony’s.

(Though smaller sensors with smaller pixels give some more opportunities for compactness, mostly through shorter focal lengths: once upon a time, “compact” meant 36x24mm vs larger formats, not rangefinder vs SLR.)

P. S. to Scooby70: I am not disputing the opportunities for a smaller kit; just pointing out that the size advantage is not the most important virtue of ditching the OVF, and is not a universal, defining characteristic, because it vanishes when one wants significant telephoto reach.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2018, 04:58:29 AM by BJL »
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scooby70

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Re: Sony 400mm f2.8: a Compact System Camera?!
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2018, 05:19:18 AM »

My complaint with “compact” is aimed at the whole category of “full time live view” systems, not just Sony’s.

(Though smaller sensors with smaller pixels give some more opportunities for compactness, mostly through shorter focal lengths: once upon a time, “compact” meant 36x24mm vs larger formats, not rangefinder vs SLR.)

P. S. to Scooby70: I am not disputing the opportunities for a smaller kit; just pointing out that the size advantage is not the most important virtue of ditching the OVF, and is not a universal, defining characteristic, because it vanishes when one wants significant telephoto reach.

But it can be defining characteristic if like me you mostly use lenses in the 28-50mm sort of range and if you do that the fact is that a CSC is a CSC compared to your average DSLR.

The first time I took my Panasonic G1 out instead of my 5D the weight reduction was such that I had to keep checking the bag to make sure that the camera was still in there and these days I can take an A7 and 35mm out in a very small bag and even in a winter coat pocket. So the CSC does work at times.

I see your point, mount a 400mm f2.8 and it's not really a CSC... Yes. I see that but sometimes it's still a CSC and after moving to CSC for reasons of bulk and weight and to be able to shoot more discretely I came to value the other things.

I was never happy with the bloated things that DSLR's and their lenses became and CSC mostly just get back to the sort of bulk of the 35mm SLR's I had all those years ago, although the new cameras are heavier as back then they were a mostly empty box.

I do appreciate that in general lenses need to be bigger these days to incorporate all of the electrical stuff and to give us the quality across the frame from wide open that we expect to see these days when pixel peeping and these things add to the bulk and weight so even with a humungous lens shaving a bit off the body is IMO still worthwhile especially if you have a 35mm in your bag to use on the way home from shooting the World Cup with your 400mm f2.8.

Size and weight are issues for me and if they were the only advantages they'd still be enough for me and enough to deserve the title of CSC and maybe for a lot more people too as 400mm f2.8 users are going to be a tiny minority, add in discreteness, the EVF and all it brings and the keeper rate and it's a package that no OVF DSLR can match.
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BJL

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Re: Sony 400mm f2.8: a Compact System Camera?!
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2018, 08:15:03 AM »

But it can be defining characteristic if like me you mostly use lenses in the 28-50mm sort of range ...
True, but what “defines” it for some (minority of?) users is not a good reason to name the entire category for that feature.

The first time I took my Panasonic G1 out instead of my 5D ...

That comes back to my point about format size having more effect on compactness than viewfinder type— especially for us at the other end from you in FOV tastes; I love the compactness of my “24-600 equivalent” 4/3” format kit.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Sony 400mm f2.8
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2018, 08:25:45 AM »

It'll be completely and utterly irrelevant to most viewing the pictures this lens was intended to take.

I totally disagree.

Subject isolation is a key reason why people buy the f2.8 version of the 400mm and bokeh ends up occupying most of the image.

This is especially true for sports such as soccer where the background can be incredibly distracting.

This is coming from someone who owns a 400mm f2.8 btw.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: June 29, 2018, 08:30:49 AM by BernardLanguillier »
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chez

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Re: Sony 400mm f2.8: a Compact System Camera?!
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2018, 09:19:15 AM »

My complaint with “compact” is aimed at the whole category of “full time live view” systems, not just Sony’s.

(Though smaller sensors with smaller pixels give some more opportunities for compactness, mostly through shorter focal lengths: once upon a time, “compact” meant 36x24mm vs larger formats, not rangefinder vs SLR.)

P. S. to Scooby70: I am not disputing the opportunities for a smaller kit; just pointing out that the size advantage is not the most important virtue of ditching the OVF, and is not a universal, defining characteristic, because it vanishes when one wants significant telephoto reach.

Well actually the Sony A9 with the new 400 2.8 is compact compared to the equivalent from Canikon. In fact the A9 with the 400 2.8 combined weighs less than the Canon 400 2.8 by itself...that to me is compact.
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kers

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Re: Sony 400mm f2.8
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2018, 09:42:58 AM »

The sony weighes less than the new 500mm F4 Nikon  (  2895 gram vs 3090 gram) and it has about the same price...

frontlens opening of the 400mm sony is (400/2.8)is 143 mm compared to the nikkor  125mm..

so yes a very lightweight lens and relative 'cheap'.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2018, 09:49:41 AM by kers »
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Pieter Kers
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BJL

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Re: Sony 400mm f2.8
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2018, 01:14:30 PM »

The new Sony 400/2.8 is impressively small for its category, but I doubt that is anything to do with the lack of an SLR VF behind it; just technical progress.

Also, maybe you missed my amusement at the bulk of the body in that photo, thanks to the added battery grip.
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Telecaster

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Re: Sony 400mm f2.8
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2018, 04:30:12 PM »

yes... but what about the bokeh?

From what I've seen all the current 400/2.8s render very similarly.

-Dave-
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149113

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Re: Sony 400mm f2.8
« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2018, 10:24:52 PM »

yes... but what about the bokeh?

Cheers,
Bernard

I saw some criticism on FB about the bokeh but honestly I am not seeing much if any difference from Canon and Nikon lenses of the same focal length and the comments seemed to come from the same people that have been critical of Sony since it's entry into the market. Plus the very small number of people either buying or renting this lens are not basing their decision on something as esoteric as bokeh... 1. AF performance 2. Sharpness 3. Build and Durability 4. Weather Sealing 5. Pro Service & Support 6. Weight  ...... 99. Bokeh
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