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JohnAONeill

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Re: Sony A7R good allrounder or specialzed tool?
« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2014, 07:44:03 pm »

Regarding vibration and to put things in perspective, I've placed resolution test chart patches at

http://www.paulroark.com/BW-Info/Sony-a7r-Vibration-GitzoTraveler-75mm.jpg .

Relevant (effective, on the sensor) resolutions are shown in line pairs per millimeter.

This comparison shows crops from a baseline image that was make with the Sony a7r on a heavy tripod in the landscape orientation, sandwiched by one made with the Gitzo Traveler (2.7 lb.) tripod, pole up, portrait orientation, 0.7 sec. (close to the baseline shot), and Gitzo Traveler, pole up, portrait, 1/125, which is close to the most maximum vibration point.   I can hand hold the 75mm at 1/125 and match or exceed the Gitzo sample shown at 1/125 -- when I'm lucky. Only pixel peepers will see the difference.

These are under ideal conditions, of course.  It's easy to be careless with the light camera.

Paul
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Thanks for the link Paul. That's really interesting. So is it possible that in this case a sturdy tripod may exacerbate the shutter shock issue? or are we seeing something else here?? I decided after some debate to purchase the A7R and expect delivery tomorrow. Hope to carry out some tests myself. Will post back here with findings.
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Paul Roark

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Re: Sony A7R good allrounder or specialzed tool?
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2014, 10:26:24 pm »

In the resolution/Gitzo Traveler test I was just trying to see how to use the new tripod.  I used a heavy one with the camera in the landscape orientation just to get a baseline for how good the image could be, and that heavy tripod did result in the best image -- but very slightly.  So, I would say that there is not evidence from my experience that would indicate that a heavier tripod would, all else being equal, result in more of a problem.

What I have heard and maybe experienced with some of the testing is that hand holding absorbs vibrations rather well.  I have tried a few experiments with my hand laying on the camera or tripod, in hopes it'll absorb and dampen the vibration.  So far, I see no effect. 

In the past with shutters like this, I found that pure mass right under and in line with the shutter movement did the most good.  For example, on an "L" bracket to hold the camera in portrait orientation, I put a rear lens cap opposite the camera.  A large Canon lens there did materially reduce the shutter shock from that Canon shutter.  (I am not currently use an "L" bracket with the Sony, but for those who are, this hack may be worth trying.)

Carbon tripods are also supposed to absorb vibrations better than aluminum.  It may be that some of the results are consistent with the carbon fiber pole absorbing some of the vibrations.

I think most of the serious vibration complaints are coming from people who use longer telephotos that I generally carry.  I tested with a 75mm because that is what I generally carry with me (along with the 35mm and soon, I hope, a super-wide).

The test shots that produced worse results with the pole down when the camera was in portrait orientation are odd.  It may be that the vibration is a "ping" sound wave that travels down the leg and bounces back to the camera.  I don't know how to explain that result.

By the way, I put a Leica M9 comparison show -- re-sampled to match the Sony size -- on the Jpeg
<http://www.paulroark.com/BW-Info/Sony-a7r-Vibration-GitzoTraveler-75mm.jpg>.  Note also that all sharpening was turned off in raw conversion for these shots.

Paul
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Sony A7R good allrounder or specialzed tool?
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2014, 12:49:30 am »

+1

Erik

Wow!  I have no particular self-interest in this thread, but am amazed/heartened by Paul's thorough, detailed, and friendly response!  What a breath of fresh air, particularly in light of a few posts recently where snippiness seems a matter of course.

At its best, LuLa is an absolute wealth of informative camaraderie -- and PR's post is a terrific example.  Thanks (and even though I already own an a7, I may have to consider adding the "r" now :))

Ron
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Erik Kaffehr
 

ErikKaffehr

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Re: Sony A7R good allrounder or specialzed tool?
« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2014, 01:02:47 am »

Hi,

Thanks for a good posting.

I would add that some of the issues with "Leica type" lenses comes from the cover glass. Sony uses about 2 mm of optical glass (or equivalent) in front of the sensor while Leica uses 0.8 mm. Essentially, the thick glass causes astigmatism, and this may be the major cause of corner smearing you see on some lenses.

It is discussed here:
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2014/06/sensor-stack-thickness-when-does-it-matter

The figure below illustrates the effect:

The figure was calculated by Brian Caldwell, the designer of the Speed Booster and also the famous Coastal Optics Macro.

The original M8 had an even weaker optical package, 0.5 mm, leading to excessive problems with IR.

The optical glass (or package) in front of the sensor really needs to be included in the calculations.

Best regards
Erik


Jim Kasson has also done extensive testing of the A7r and documented this on his blog 'The Last Word' in detail.  The A7r starts here, the A7 here, handholding here and EFCS here . Not easy to summarise but the core problem range seems to be 1/20 1/160 ish. Either side of this, it's unlikely to be purely a camera issue.

Paul's 10x ratio of FL/S seems overly cautious at first, but given that he's using a 35mm, 1/350 is really only an extra stop of safety margin. I use both the Leitz 75mm 'M' lenses 'cron and lux' and haven't found an issue with either at speeds in excess of 1/500 but I 'don't do' landscape (so suggest you take his word rather than mine )

There are various suggestions on the net as to how to best limit the degradation some practical, such as the battery pack, others less so. Obviously if you're using the A7r, as I do, with a fast flash generator such as a Profoto B4, with flash durations of 1/2,000- 1/20,000, shutter shock becomes rather a mute point.

The biggest disappointment IMO, was that I found the 'lux 50mm below par because of corner smearing.  The Sony 55mm though is an exceptional lens rivalling, according to some on this site, the Zeiss Otus - so I'd suggest you factor one in.  I, reluctantly, did and don't regret it. There's also a strong rumour that Sony are about to announce a few new FE lenses ( notably an 85/1.8] at Photokina.

I've set the camera up in such a way that I can implement [AF-ON] at the touch of a button, then turning the lens barrel automatically brings up an enlarged LV for manual fine tune though I've yet to find it necessary with the 55.  Setting the camera up requires some thought and consideration as to your preferred method of working. People complain about the menu system but you've got 12 programmable [Fn] , 3 [C] keys and 5 controller keys all at at the click of a single button.

Regarding some of your other points:
pros >

  • the biggest advantage of the A7r is interoperability the ability to use, via adapters, other lenses. Retrofocal designs in particular so your lens collection isn't lost. Obviously, this requires manual focus, but in 'portraiture' it's now, IMO, a necessity for critical focus.
  • EVF and focus peaking excellent implementation, I won't buy another camera without FP.
  • tethers (via the Remote Camera Control app) into a 'watch' folder in Lightroom or C1.

cons >
  • unsuitability of leica 'wides'
  • limited native lens selection
  • shutter 'noise' although I've got quite used to it and actually like it. Not suitable for discreet shooting though, but for that you've got the Fuji.
  • battery life buy a couple more and an external charger (check them on Amazon) there's also an external mains power source for studio use.

Finally, to answer part of your original question yes, I did sell my D800E, though not the lenses, because the time had come to make the switch and I didn't see any benefit in making a half-hearted jump. Do I regret it ? Not at all. Primarily because of the LV and FP and, more importantly, I now have a choice of Leica, Zeiss and Nikon primes don't 'do' zooms. If I 'need' a Nikon I can always rent one.

Additionally, I don't see any big difference in IQ between the two, if anything I prefer the Sony CFA and skin tones, but that's of little importance to me as most of my photography is B&W.  I see a greater difference from lenses rather than real or imagined output variations.

The other reason for selling the D800, is that, as another poster so helpfully suggested above, I do see a very substantial difference in IQ between a Leica S and Nikon. If ultimate IQ is needed then that's the route I'd take. Do a google search on images by Tom Munro and you'll see some examples.

And to finish on a speculative note -  the ultimate MILC may well be just around the corner - all Leica need to do is modify an M-E,  upgrade the MP and sensor, ditch the OVF for a redesigned high-res internal EVF together with FP, and all bets are off...


« Last Edit: August 21, 2014, 01:04:32 am by ErikKaffehr »
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Manoli

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Re: Sony A7R good allrounder or specialzed tool?
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2014, 05:15:02 am »

I would add that some of the issues with "Leica type" lenses comes from the cover glass ...

Erik,

Thank you for the post and the link to Roger Cicala's article. Yes, I was aware of the article and his others but keeping in mind the subject of this thread, I didn't feel it was necessary to delve into too much technical detail here.

But yes, you are correct - adapted lenses are affected by sensor stack thickness and how telecentric the lens is. In practical terms though I feel it's now pretty safe to generalise and say that 75mm and up are ok, 50mm - hmmm, not so much and stay away from wide-angles unless you're prepared to go into LCC's and a lot of extra post.

You also reminded me of an earlier post by Roger, which is all the more pertinent 9 months on ! (summary attached below)

Anyway, as they say in the casino, 'les-jeux-sont-faits' , John has ordered an A7r, and I guess he'll soon be back to either thank us or curse us in the finest tradition of an Irishman ! [/insert smiley]

All best
M
« Last Edit: August 21, 2014, 05:41:36 am by Manoli »
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Manoli

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Re: Sony A7R good allrounder or specialzed tool?
« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2014, 05:25:41 am »

In the past with shutters like this, I found that pure mass right under and in line with the shutter movement did the most good. 

Paul - that I  both agree with and understand ...

For example, on an "L" bracket to hold the camera in portrait orientation, I put a rear lens cap opposite the camera.  A large Canon lens there did materially reduce the shutter shock from that Canon shutter.

The second part (to me) isn't quite so clear as to what exactly you mean. Could you give some additional guidance ?

Thanks
M
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Paul Roark

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Re: Sony A7R good allrounder or specialzed tool?
« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2014, 10:42:51 am »

My "L" bracket hack is shown at http://www.paulroark.com/BW-Info/L-Bracket-mass.jpg .

I fabricate my own L brackets from 1/8" thick by 1 or 2" aluminum stock that is available at most hardware stores.  The bracket shown in the image is for an older Canon, so the 5D2 does not fit it.  The brackets are left on the camera, attached with a flat-head screw that is flush with the bottom (here on the right) of the bracket.  That allows a threaded hole very close to the center of and just below the shutter for the modified rear cap with lens to be attached.  It's not terribly elegant looking, but these do work very well.  More mass in line with the shutter movement, and all solidly attached, can be a good substitute for a more massive tripod.

I might add that for the cap, there are thin washers inside and out, all held together with epoxy, to give the cap enough strength to hold a reasonably heavy lens.  There is plenty of room inside the cap for many if not most Canon optics to avoid contact with the head of the screw inside the cap.

Note that I have not made one of these for the Sony.  So far it's mostly been used either as a light weight hiking/travel outfit (no heavy lens carried) or in situations where I use heavy tripods.

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com
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Guy Mancuso

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Re: Sony A7R good allrounder or specialzed tool?
« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2014, 11:06:41 am »

Saw my name pop up so thought I would chime in a little since I came from 5 Phase backs , tech cams than to Nikon D800/E and than moved on too Sony. I went with the A series both A7 and A7r for various reasons over my Nikons. The biggys where focus peaking, better live view , size , weight also played a roll but more important I can use Zeiss designed lenses in AF which you can't do with Nikons. I have a lot of A mount lenses with adpter to my A7r. My biggest issue with the A7 series has been speed more than anything and I fixed that easily with selling the A7 and getting  A77II body which gives me amazing AF capabilities for a lot of PR type work. The A7r is the commercial, ad and landscape machine where speed is not the biggest issue nor is the AF abilities. So depending on what type of photography you do the A7r is a very capable cam. Now I view the cameras as disposable more than I do the glass. If they came out with a version II would jump on it. Now shutter shake and all that. I never had a real issue except for once with my Zeiss 135 ZF.2 lens on a vertical at 1/100 where it did come into play otherwise just like any other focal plane shutter camera they all have shutter shake at a certain speed. My Phase DF was horrible at 1/30th of a second for instance and extremely obvious it was happening. As a Pro I don't worry about this stuff because for 38 years I have done workarounds on every system just like almost all pros do to some point.

Nothing is perfect and this issue with the Sony A7r is a internet field day over this issue. Sure it's there in certain situations and such but you can certainly avoid it too and it usually is a 1 stop swing in shutter speed. Now I'm not going to go n about it as its minor in a lot of ways compared to the rest of the industry. I use a RRS L bracket with a Arca Z2 ballhead and RRS series 2 legs and that seems to work okay but I'm not looking for it either . If it happens I can usually tell in the field and work my way around it. But I was not that fond of my Nikons live view and its inability for focus peaking and confirming your focus anyway. So you move on to greener pastures and I am the worst at brand loyalty and will flip a system on a dime if I find something better. But its a good system it's growing but it is still young with regards to native glass but I like the look off there sensors and like using Zeiss glass and other 3rd party lenses as well. Today my Canon 17mm TSE comes and very excited about that.

So bottom line its a nice system that seems to be growing faster than other brands and more important you can produce professional quality images on a daily basis with it. At this point in my career that's all you can ask for and I'm pretty darn happy with it. Sure updates and firmware would be helpful but we can say the same for every system out there. Good luck on your purchase and if you need any help with the system just let me know.
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Guy Mancuso

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Re: Sony A7R good allrounder or specialzed tool?
« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2014, 11:09:02 am »

Sorry did not fix my typos in a hurry to a gig.
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Telecaster

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Re: Sony A7R good allrounder or specialzed tool?
« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2014, 04:18:45 pm »

I think most of the serious vibration complaints are coming from people who use longer telephotos than I generally carry.

Yes, this jibes with my experience. I didn't see any vibration effects with the A7r until I went looking for 'em with a 400mm lens and my old Bogen (Manfrotto) aluminum tripod. I also found that, in portrait orientation, adding mass above the camera (an old heavy flash unit) mitigated the issue. I haven't concerned myself with vertical orientation 'cuz I use the camera mostly with 16:9 screen display in mind. Shooting handheld, which is what I do 90% of the time, my longest lens is a 135mm.

-Dave-
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Manoli

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Re: Sony A7R good allrounder or specialzed tool?
« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2014, 04:21:19 pm »

I fabricate my own L brackets from [...] these do work very well.  More mass in line with the shutter movement, and all solidly attached, can be a good substitute for a more massive tripod.

Paul,
Ingenious adaptation - many thanks for the info.

Manoli
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JohnAONeill

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Re: Sony A7R good allrounder or specialzed tool?
« Reply #31 on: August 22, 2014, 07:05:54 pm »

Saw my name pop up so thought I would chime in a little since I came from 5 Phase backs , tech cams than to Nikon D800/E and than moved on too Sony. I went with the A series both A7 and A7r for various reasons over my Nikons. The biggys where focus peaking, better live view , size , weight also played a roll but more important I can use Zeiss designed lenses in AF which you can't do with Nikons. I have a lot of A mount lenses with adpter to my A7r. My biggest issue with the A7 series has been speed more than anything and I fixed that easily with selling the A7 and getting  A77II body which gives me amazing AF capabilities for a lot of PR type work. The A7r is the commercial, ad and landscape machine where speed is not the biggest issue nor is the AF abilities. So depending on what type of photography you do the A7r is a very capable cam. Now I view the cameras as disposable more than I do the glass. If they came out with a version II would jump on it. Now shutter shake and all that. I never had a real issue except for once with my Zeiss 135 ZF.2 lens on a vertical at 1/100 where it did come into play otherwise just like any other focal plane shutter camera they all have shutter shake at a certain speed. My Phase DF was horrible at 1/30th of a second for instance and extremely obvious it was happening. As a Pro I don't worry about this stuff because for 38 years I have done workarounds on every system just like almost all pros do to some point.

Nothing is perfect and this issue with the Sony A7r is a internet field day over this issue. Sure it's there in certain situations and such but you can certainly avoid it too and it usually is a 1 stop swing in shutter speed. Now I'm not going to go n about it as its minor in a lot of ways compared to the rest of the industry. I use a RRS L bracket with a Arca Z2 ballhead and RRS series 2 legs and that seems to work okay but I'm not looking for it either . If it happens I can usually tell in the field and work my way around it. But I was not that fond of my Nikons live view and its inability for focus peaking and confirming your focus anyway. So you move on to greener pastures and I am the worst at brand loyalty and will flip a system on a dime if I find something better. But its a good system it's growing but it is still young with regards to native glass but I like the look off there sensors and like using Zeiss glass and other 3rd party lenses as well. Today my Canon 17mm TSE comes and very excited about that.

So bottom line its a nice system that seems to be growing faster than other brands and more important you can produce professional quality images on a daily basis with it. At this point in my career that's all you can ask for and I'm pretty darn happy with it. Sure updates and firmware would be helpful but we can say the same for every system out there. Good luck on your purchase and if you need any help with the system just let me know.

Guy thanks for taking the time to post on this thread. I pulled the trigger on the A7R and received my body with 55mm lens yesterday. Initial tests look really very good. That sensor is really something special!

I'm not too familiar with sony's other system cameras but I'm going to google the model you mentioned for higher speed. I guess this is using sony's SLR mount? or can it use FE lenses (with adaptor maybe?) Given my current situation I'm well stocked with fuji glass. Ideally I would like to cover speed / absolute image quality with two bodies sharing the same lens mount, if possible. Apart from costs my goal is weight reduction and two lens sets is not ideal! If only someone could combine the oly's AF with fuji's EVF and Sony's sensor I could just get back to making pictures again ;-)

All the best
John

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JohnAONeill

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Re: Sony A7R good allrounder or specialzed tool?
« Reply #32 on: August 24, 2014, 08:33:24 pm »



Anyway, as they say in the casino, 'les-jeux-sont-faits' , John has ordered an A7r, and I guess he'll soon be back to either thank us or curse us in the finest tradition of an Irishman ! [/insert smiley]



Well I'm pleased to say that I can thank everyone for all of their posts on this thread. I've always come to this forum before investing in new equipment and I am always humbled by the helpfulness of others here! Although I did learn (after much experience) to calm myself down after reading some of Michael R's rather enthusiastic gear reviews (okay so i'm a self confessed gear junkie). I think I'm going to enjoy this purchase though. Finally a camera that is light enough to carry around on long trips with the potential for extremely detailed images! Happy days indeed ;-) okay so I got the 55 with the A7R and it's bloody fantastic. What are you guys doing for ultra wide?

Cheers
John
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Jim Kasson

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Re: Sony A7R good allrounder or specialzed tool?
« Reply #33 on: August 24, 2014, 08:40:19 pm »

What are you guys doing for ultra wide?

The Leica WATE works well on the a7R, and it's quite small for a WA zoom, but it's spendy.

Jim

Manoli

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Re: Sony A7R good allrounder or specialzed tool?
« Reply #34 on: August 25, 2014, 04:36:56 am »

I got the 55 with the A7R and it's bloody fantastic. What are you guys doing for ultra wide?

Pleased to hear it, John !
With Photokina a few weeks away, various 'teasers' and the rumour sites moving into 'full-on' mode - would suggest a modicum of patience. Strongly rumoured is a 24/f2 or 2.8,  Sony and Zeiss about to introduce both AF and MF additions in FE mount. Otherwise, I think you'll find many are using their 16-35's, or similar, on an adapter.

M

ps Jim, great description for a lens ... 'spendy' - as some Anglo Saxons would say, LUV IT !
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Manoli

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Re: Sony A7R good allrounder or specialzed tool?
« Reply #35 on: September 05, 2014, 05:52:49 am »


In the past with shutters like this, I found that pure mass right under and in line with the shutter movement did the most good. [...] More mass in line with the shutter movement, and all solidly attached, can be a good substitute for a more massive tripod.

This thread has probably gone to sleep, but just in case and for future reference ...

Inspired by Paul Roark's ingenious adaptation , and this post by Joseph Holmes, I came up with this alternative generic solution for adding weight to any cam exhibiting traces of shutter shake. I use RRS (MC-L) - generic L plates, monocoque construction and Novoflex Q-mounts.

Joseph Holmes' solution weighs 23.4 ounces (0.664 kg) , the one below weighs 35.3 ounces (1 kg), 2-1/4 in diameter by 1-1/2 deep, compact enough with the entire weight evenly distributed permitting easy alignment on any L-bracket. The machined oxidised bronze weight is attached to the q-mount via a custom full length screw drilled through from the base and the mount uses an anti-slip safety pin to protect against accidental mishaps.

Again, many thanks to Paul Roark for his generous input ( and to pre-empt any blowback,  the snapshots were taken on an iPad at 1/15, handheld - I know, I know )



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Paul Roark

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Re: Sony A7R good allrounder or specialzed tool?
« Reply #36 on: September 05, 2014, 11:52:40 am »

Regarding the Leica WATE 16-18-21 Tri-Elmar, beware of defective units.  I just sent one back.  See http://www.paulroark.com/WATE-M9-16mm-f8-Edges-Compared.jpg for a comparison of the edges of the frame on a Leica M9.  The lens was at its infinity stop, which appeared to be properly set, judging by the very good center and left edge.

Some have claimed a rather high defect rate for Leica.  See http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/54091367

I tested on both the a7r and M9.  The problem looked worse on the a7r.  I'm not sure if this is just due to the higher resolution or something about the camera or adapters.  Both of my M-E (Novoflex and Voigtlander) adapters produced the same results and both were consistent with the M9 test, in general.

I suspect the new high resolution sensors are really going beyond what most lenses were designed for.  Nothing is perfect, and manufacturers have QC standards that, no doubt, reflect their assumptions about what users will be able to detect (or complain about).  I'd hoped Leica would go a bit further than the others, given it's price points, but maybe not.

One article I ran across indicated that the front ASPH (or anomalous dispersion glass) element seems to be the best place for post-production adjustment of centering issues.   I suspect some companies stress ease of adjustment more than compactness.  Leica is probably in the latter group, which is also why I'm interested in the WATE much more than the Canon 16-35 f/4, even though I also have a Canon outfit.  What percentage of WATE's can really make the grade for the a7r, however, may be an open question.

Paul
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