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Author Topic: Sony A7r—First Impressions  (Read 1537 times)

Telecaster

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Sony A7r—First Impressions
« on: January 11, 2014, 02:21:55 pm »

I picked up my A7r last eve and had some time to set it up & play a bit last night. Took some more pics outside this morning. Feel-wise it's more solid than I expected. The wheels & buttons are firm but not stiff. The shutter button action is kinda strange...a light touch activates AF but you have to press firmly to trigger the exposure. I can deal with it but I'd prefer to use less pressure (as per most other digicams I own). The shutter button placement is more classic rangefinder/early SLR than the more forward modern style. I can see this bugging folks who've only used cameras with more ergonomic placement. The Menu button is located on the left side of the rear, above the LCD screen. Odd but again no biggie. The grip is comfortable and substantial enough for easy holding with the sort of lenses most suitable IMO for this camera...that is, small & light ones.

I ended up getting the 35/2.8 as well as the 55/1.8. Both are very light. The 35mm is also nicely compact, with a convex hood. The 55mm itself is reasonably sized too, though its tulip-shaped hood is quite large. I plan to try it out with a smaller cylindrical hood to cut down on the "Look, I'm a Photographer!" vibe. The 55 seems an odd choice given the more obvious 35, which makes me wonder about Sony's plans re. building out the lens lineup. (Assuming they have firm plans.) An 85mm would pair up just right with the 35, yet a 100mm or even 105mm would go better with the 55. IMO anyway. I'm rooting for an 85/2.8 as per the Contax SLR lineup. On the wide end a 24-25/2.8 would do the job for me but I'd expect to see a 21mm too (or maybe instead) given Zeiss' history with that focal length.

I got a Novoflex Y/C-to-E adapter but haven't yet tried it out. I also have a Voigtländer Contax/Nikon rangefinder-to-E adapter on order, mainly for my Nikon 105/2.5. Think I'll give my mid-1950s 21/4.0 (officially f/4.5) Zeiss Biogon a spin too once this adapter arrives...if it works at all well I'll be both surprised and very pleased.

So far I've enjoyed snapping away with the camera and both lenses. The camera is very responsive in all areas. The shutter is indeed clunky sounding & feeling, an anachronism in such an otherwise modern-behaving gizmo. But vibration is better damped than I'd expected. Given that I'm not shooting for massive enlargement or extreme on-screen scrutiny I don't expect it to be an issue. I've taken plenty of exposures, handheld, in the 1/30th to 1/125th sec. range...haven't seen any dreaded anomalies yet.

I've attached a few pics, all in 16:9 aspect ratio per my intent with the A7r. The first is with the 55mm wide open, taken in my cluttered rec room (books, music, movies, guitars!). The second pic is a full-res crop of the first surrounding the point of focus. The third, also taken wide open with the 55, shows the new 35/2.8 next to its Y/C mount counterpart. I cropped this one quite a bit given that the 55 only focuses to 50cm.

I'll attach a couple pics taken outside this morning to a followup post.

-Dave-
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Telecaster

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Re: Sony A7r—First Impressions
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2014, 02:51:15 pm »

To note: the pics attached to this and the previous post are from the camera JPEGs, lightly tweaked and then downsized (or cropped full res) on my iPad using the Photogene app. I used the Neutral color profile with contrast, saturation & sharpening dialed down to minimum values. Once I get the chance to do some serious pic-taking I'll experiment with RAW conversion to see if it gives me anything extra in a 3840x2160 output file that I can't get from the JPEGs.

From this morning I've attached a couple pics (and a crop) representative of southeastern Michigan weather over the past year. Both taken from my front porch while the sky was doing what it now does best: clogging the view with clouds/fog/mist and precipitating. In my 53.5 years on the planet this is by far the shittiest weather I've experienced anywhere. Month after month of unrelenting blah. Both pics taken with the 35/2.8 at f/8, 1/60th sec. The third image is a full-res crop from the second pic.

-Dave-
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eronald

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Re: Sony A7r—First Impressions
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2014, 03:35:24 pm »

Weather not conducive to handheld medium format camera use :)

Edmund
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