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A7/A7r - performance with WA RF lenses
  
 
uhoh7
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p.38 #1 · p.38 #1 · A7/A7r - performance with WA RF lenses


Gary Clennan wrote:
I was in The Camera Store at lunch today... Do you need some additional info?

Aperture, camera settings, PP info for that ugly summilux shot.



Oct 25, 2013 at 03:59 AM
freaklikeme
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p.38 #2 · p.38 #2 · A7/A7r - performance with WA RF lenses


_julian_ wrote:
I agree. But the that tree with the box is also behind the sign which is where the camera was focused. My argument is that the focal plane is not flat but instead showing field curvature. Either lens field curvature, or else due to refraction in the sensor layers lengthening the light path before it hits the photodiodes and changing the focal point at different points in the frame..


But it's not behind the sign post. From the shooter's perspective, it's slightly in front of the sign post. If you could see the back of the tree, it would likely be in focus. If the shooter had rotated in his spot about five or so degrees, the front of the tree would likely be in focus but the Aspen on the left side of the screen would've slowly fallen out of focus.



Oct 25, 2013 at 04:02 AM
michaelwatkins
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p.38 #3 · p.38 #3 · A7/A7r - performance with WA RF lenses


uhoh7 wrote:
Aperture, camera settings, PP info for that ugly summilux shot.


JPG reports: 1/1250 sec; Aperture of course not reported. ISO 200.



Oct 25, 2013 at 05:22 AM
naturephoto1
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p.38 #4 · p.38 #4 · A7/A7r - performance with WA RF lenses


Hi all,

Back from PhotoPlus from yesterday. I am going to try to fill you in regarding the Sony A7r in this rather lengthy discourse that I am going to try to tie together. If we feel that we should post this elsewhere as well I will.

First let me say that the Sony booth had a whole area set up with fixed lenses with both A7 and A7r cameras available for testing and then another area where there were A7 and A7r cameras set up where lenses could be changed. Unfortunately all of the cameras were pre-production and even though we could load our own lenses providing we had an adapter we were unable to load any memory cards. But even if we had we would have no way of reading the files since the cameras did not have the latest firmware. So, at best, all we could do was to have the opportunity to handle the cameras and to see what would be on the screen.

I spoke to Mike Bubolo, National Manager Photo Specialty for Sales at Sony and he and others at the Sony booth knew that I was there to report back to both this forum as well as to the L-camera-forum regarding the camera. Unfortunately the only M mount lens that I had was the Minolta CLE MC 40mm f2.0 Rokkor-M lens and unfortunately no WA Leica or Zeiss RF lenses. According to Mike, there are actually around 4 or 5 Production cameras that are available for testing (in the US?) and that if I called he could probably get me one to try. But, here in is the rub, even if I get a camera, for the sake of getting a better idea as to the performance of the camera with WA RF lenses I have none available at this time.

As to the camera itself, it is really quite small and light and the camera handled and balanced quite well. The EVF was a big improvement over the one for my Fujifilm X-E1. I believe anyone accustomed to an EVF will be quite pleased. It was bright and very contrasty. I was able to load both M mount and Leica R lenses onto the camera but as I indicated we could not save any images to memory cards. I know that Paul of Phigment Tech will be quite pleased that when we loaded the Phigment Tech Leica M to NEX adapter onto the camera with my Minolta CLE MC 40mm f2.0 Rokkor-M lens the camera immediately recognized the adapter and lens. I did not see any issues and as soon as I adjusted the focus on the lens the camera automatically shifted to magnified view, just as it is supposed to. The only questions that I had about this at the time is where the focusing point was on the screen and whether I could move it or we had to go through the menus to allow for this. At this point I do not recall. When we switched over to the Novoflex Leica R to NEX adapter with my Leica R 24mm f2.8 lens we had some problems. We could not figure out how to get to the magnified view for using the lens but we could access the Focus Peaking and adjust the peaking for different colors. The cameras are so new that almost no one knows their way around the menus and operation. Mike Bubolo of Sony ran over to one of the Sony Tech Engineers and came back with the answer and after going through the menus we were able to find and lock in this option to use the lens.

As to the camera shutter, it was a solid click and perhaps a bit louder than some would like. I asked one of the Sony reps about the comparison in sound with the A7 and he indicated that when using the second shutter it was a little but not that much quieter.

While I was at the Sony booth I also took out my Leica R 280mm f4 Apo Telyt just for size comparison for the camera and no question the lens did look large compared to the camera. I did not load the lens onto the camera, The Sony Rep was impressed by the size of the lens by the way.

As to lenses I spoke with both Richard Schleuning, National Sales Manager for Zeiss and Justin Stailey of Leica Camera USA. Richard told me that the Sony lenses for the A7 and the A7r cameras were being designed and made by Sony. In the case of the Zeiss autofocus lenses that had the Zeiss name on them, these were designed by Zeiss, manufactured by Sony and would go through Zeiss QC checks. When I asked Richard about WA RF lenses for the Sony A7r camera he indicated that they (Zeiss) already knew about the outcome of WA RF lenses used on the camera and regardless of the new Sony 36MP sensor along with the gapless microlenses there were going to be problems with the WA RF lenses. In fact, Richard indicated that there were going to be problems with their own existing RF WA lenses with the camera and sensor. He indicated that this was due to the steepness in the angle for the light rays to reach the sensor. When I asked Richard about the MF lenses that Zeiss was going to make, he indicated that Zeiss had just decided to go forward to make them several days ago and at this point they did not know what focal lengths or the number of lenses that they planned to make (at this time). Richard suggested that lenses would probably be available for show at Photokina next year (2014). He also indicated that the lenses would be coming from Zeiss and not from Sony. He indicated that Zeiss understood the problems of using adapters with lens (and RF lenses) and they were going to look at their existing designs to try to figure out what they would use including possibly Distagon or Sonnar (not Biogon I believe to issues) and that the lenses would have native mounts with the adapter (lengths?) built in and they would have all of the contacts and interaction with these new lenses and with the camera bodies themselves. That way there would be communication between the camera and these new lenses.

Richard Schleuning of Zeiss suggested that only those owning RF WA lenses already lenses should consider using these lenses on the Sony A7r due to the steepness of the angle. He indicated that those that do not have RF WA should not go out and purchase them. Rather he suggested that we either get SLR lenses or better yet wait for the MF lenses that Zeiss had coming in the future. I mentioned to Richard then that SLR lenses would include the Zeiss current line along with their previous generation, as well as the Contax lenses that Zeiss had designed and he agreed.

When I spoke with Justin Stailey of Leica about the Sony A7 and A7r he expressed some concern about the weight of the cameras when used with long lenses (the light weight at the end of tripod mounted lens). Justin also indicated that he had real question about using WA RF lenses and the performance of the A7r even with the gapless microlenses for the new 36MP sensor. Justin indicated that Leica knew all of the ins and outs and problems involved with RF WA lenses used for the M cameras and presumably for the new Sony cameras as well. In fact Justin indicated that he did not think that Zeiss much less Sony knew all of the issues when using WA RF lenses with the M cameras and probably also with the new Sony A7r. Justin indicated that he did not believe that the RF WA lenses wider than 35mm would work well on the new Sony A7r without issues and he expected smearing, vignetting, color issues, etc. would be issues. Justin also seems to have had some question of the performance of the new Sony with even some of the longer Leica M lenses. When I asked Justin the possibility of having Leica make lenses that would fit the new Sony A7 cameras, he indicated that even after the completion of the new Factory in Wetzlar that they would not have enough skilled labor to be able to keep up with the production of their own equipment.

So, there we have it as to using RF WA glass for the new Sonya A7r, we will have to wait for testing of these lenses with the camera and to then decide for ourselves based upon the reported results and what is acceptable for any corrections that can be made for the digital files. We will either have to decide on the lenses that may prove to produce good or better results (with or without additional work), purchase SLR WA glass in the meantime or wait the 11? or more months for the release of the Zeiss MF lenses (and we still have no idea of their designs, size, weight, or cost).

Rich


Edited on Oct 25, 2013 at 02:22 PM · View previous versions



Oct 25, 2013 at 01:13 PM
Lotusm50
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p.38 #5 · p.38 #5 · A7/A7r - performance with WA RF lenses


naturephoto1 wrote:
Hi all,

Back from PhotoPlus from yesterday. I am going to try to fill you in regarding the Sony A7r in this rather lengthy discourse that I am going to try to tie together. ...



Nice,useful report, Rich. Thanks. I think most of us figured there might be problems with RF WA lenses. Confirmation of this, and the knowing that important manufacturers are aware of it is valuable. The question that remains is HOW bad are the problems. Worse than the NEX 5N/5R/6/7? Better? Certainly some have seen usable results with these bodies. No doubt that we'll have continuing extensive discussions here about which lenses work well under what circumstances. We've got work to do.




Oct 25, 2013 at 01:32 PM
carstenw
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p.38 #6 · p.38 #6 · A7/A7r - performance with WA RF lenses


Okay, so this is beginning to look like another small camera with either big or slow lenses. Only the image quality and the built-in high-res EVF are serious competitive advantages then.


Oct 25, 2013 at 01:32 PM
mcbroomf
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p.38 #7 · p.38 #7 · A7/A7r - performance with WA RF lenses


Great write up, thanks Rich. Not that the news was as good as we might have hoped though.


Oct 25, 2013 at 01:34 PM
Jochenb
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p.38 #8 · p.38 #8 · A7/A7r - performance with WA RF lenses


Thanks Rich.


Oct 25, 2013 at 01:38 PM
naturephoto1
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p.38 #9 · p.38 #9 · A7/A7r - performance with WA RF lenses


carstenw wrote:
Okay, so this is beginning to look like another small camera with either big or slow lenses. Only the image quality and the built-in high-res EVF are serious competitive advantages then.


Hi Carsten,

I think that it is more than that. I know that there were a lot of impressed people at the Sony booth. I spoke with a number of people, friends and otherwise and they all agree that these are very important cameras and they are going to have a major impact on the whole photographic landscape. There seemed to be a lot of agreement Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and even Leica are going to have to respond.

These 2 cameras as most of us know and foretold would accept a tremendous number of existing lenses MF legacy and could be used to adapt even current Sony A, Canon, and Nikon lenses.

None of my observations have deterred my decision to go forward with my pre-order of the A7r. I will have to wait for the reviews of WA RF lenses with the camera and test my own WA R lenses with the camera. I will decide at that point what to do for my needs, but I am not sure that I could wait the 11? or so months to get these new Zeiss MF lenses.

Rich



Oct 25, 2013 at 01:50 PM
slungu
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p.38 #10 · p.38 #10 · A7/A7r - performance with WA RF lenses


Rich, thanks for the write up.
I still think that the A7/r will be a great tool for some, but maybe not for all that had hoped for it to be THE tool for image capturing. Right now, I would still get that over a 6D, but only because I would use C/Y Zeiss on it. But I will give myself at least half a year to decide on this.

Regards, Stefan



Oct 25, 2013 at 02:14 PM
 

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RustyBug
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p.38 #11 · p.38 #11 · A7/A7r - performance with WA RF lenses


Thanks Rick ... very nice writeup.

That aligns very much with what I figured. The information, while not what folks with UWA RF wanted to hear, at least provides some degree of (likely) reality check to the limits of steep angles with microlens utilization.

Lotusm50 wrote:
The question that remains is HOW bad are the problems. Worse than the NEX 5N/5R/6/7? Better?


In the same portion of the frame, they will likely be very similar, maybe slightly better. BUT, in the outer regions that are otherwise cropped away by the smaller format of 5N/5R/6/7 ... 1) there is nothing to directly compare to, and 2) the trigonometric angles only get even steeper in Zone C (FF) than they would be Zones B and A (which roughly equates to Zones A, B, C on crop).

I don't think there is any way possible that one can hope that Zone C on FF with an UWA RF can yield "better" performance ... EXCEPT ... that in order to yield the same image framing on FF vs. crop, a longer FL can be used and it will have less angular challenges to contend with than its wider counterpart if those changes make the diff regarding the thresholds of the offset sensor/microlens.



Oct 25, 2013 at 02:18 PM
Lotusm50
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p.38 #12 · p.38 #12 · A7/A7r - performance with WA RF lenses


I should point out that Zeiss and Leica might question the performance of existing and classic RF lenses on the A7/A7r becuase they have a distinct interest in selling you new lenses. Obvious, but worth stating.




Oct 25, 2013 at 02:41 PM
uhoh7
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p.38 #13 · p.38 #13 · A7/A7r - performance with WA RF lenses


naturephoto1 wrote:
When I spoke with Justin Stailey of Leica about the Sony A7 and A7r he expressed some concern about the weight of the cameras when used with long lenses (the light weight at the end of tripod mounted lens). Justin also indicated that he had real question about using WA RF lenses and the performance of the A7r even with the gapless microlenses for the new 36MP sensor. Justin indicated that Leica knew all of the ins and outs and problems involved with RF WA lenses used for the M cameras and presumably for the new Sony cameras as well.
...Show more

I would expect the Leica rep to say stuff along these lines. Not that it may not prove to be the case.



Oct 25, 2013 at 02:48 PM
Steve Spencer
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p.38 #14 · p.38 #14 · A7/A7r - performance with WA RF lenses


naturephoto1 wrote:
Hi Carsten,

I think that it is more than that. I know that there were a lot of impressed people at the Sony booth. I spoke with a number of people, friends and otherwise and they all agree that these are very important cameras and they are going to have a major impact on the whole photographic landscape. There seemed to be a lot of agreement Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and even Leica are going to have to respond.

These 2 cameras as most of us know and foretold would accept a tremendous number of existing lenses MF legacy and could be used
...Show more

I think it is more than that too. When Zeiss announced it was making MF lenses for these cameras, I inferred that rangefinder WA probably had some serious issues. After all, Zeiss has some nice rangefinder lenses and if they worked well, there would be little need to develop a new line of lenses. Personally, I think we will have to wait the 11 or 18months (more likely, IMO) to see what Zeiss develops and they very well might produce a set of reasonably fast and reasonably small lenses for these cameras. They know the size and speed of lenses for Leica m, so they know what they should shoot for. I hope they do it, but in the meantime there are some great SlR lenses that are fairly small and reasonably fast and decent quality that people on this forum will adapt for this camera. I think it can still be a great platform.



Oct 25, 2013 at 02:58 PM
Jon Tainton
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p.38 #15 · p.38 #15 · A7/A7r - performance with WA RF lenses


Thanks, Rich, for taking the time to write this up, much appreciated.




Oct 25, 2013 at 02:58 PM
RustyBug
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p.38 #16 · p.38 #16 · A7/A7r - performance with WA RF lenses


I suspect that as new UWA glass rolls out for the A7 / A7R platform ... it'll be sized larger (closer to SLR) than current RF glass.

The demands of the A7R sensor will reveal the tradeoff's of optics more than ever before, so those slight compromises that might have been formerly deemed acceptable/correctable ... will be less tolerable as acceptable compromises ... segueing with Zeiss "no compromise" ideology recently presented in the Otus.

I'm not saying they'll be THAT big, but they still have to cover 24x36. Optics are always a series of compromises ... choose your poison(s).



Oct 25, 2013 at 03:08 PM
Tariq Gibran
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p.38 #17 · p.38 #17 · A7/A7r - performance with WA RF lenses


Nice, informative report Rich. Thanks.

The tone of the Leica representative suggests some serious bias. Somehow, I'm pretty sure Zeiss are fully aware of the issues with WA rangefinder lenses and current sensor technology. At this point - particularly after designing the RX1 - Sony as well (hence the Sonnar designs).

" in fact Justin indicated that he did not think that Zeiss much less Sony knew all of the issues when using WA RF lenses with the M cameras and probably also with the new Sony A7r."



Oct 25, 2013 at 03:49 PM
uscmatt99
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p.38 #18 · p.38 #18 · A7/A7r - performance with WA RF lenses


I'm hoping that while the wide RF glass may not work optimally, the design of these Sony sensors in the coming years relax the design parameters for wide angle lenses. The mirror box is gone, the sensor is presumably more friendly to angled rays than a traditional SLR sensor, and maybe this will keep the size of lenses down. If they can make a killer 18-21mm f/2.8 prime, or even an excellent f/4 wide zoom, that is significantly smaller than current SLR offerings, that's a win in my book.


Oct 25, 2013 at 03:56 PM
naturephoto1
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p.38 #19 · p.38 #19 · A7/A7r - performance with WA RF lenses


Tariq Gibran wrote:
Nice, informative report Rich. Thanks.

The tone of the Leica representative suggests some serious bias. Somehow, I'm pretty sure Zeiss are fully aware of the issues with WA rangefinder lenses and current sensor technology. At this point - particularly after designing the RX1 - Sony as well (hence the Sonnar designs).

" in fact Justin indicated that he did not think that Zeiss much less Sony knew all of the issues when using WA RF lenses with the M cameras and probably also with the new Sony A7r."


I have known Justin for quite a number of years from when he was working with Manfrotto/Bogen till when he started with Leica Camera USA till today. He is and has always been straight forward and honest about his opinions.

By the way and as has been brought up previously and I forgot to include in my review Justin also made it a point that things were going to depend upon the exit pupil of the design of the WA RF lenses.



Oct 25, 2013 at 04:10 PM
robsonj
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p.38 #20 · p.38 #20 · A7/A7r - performance with WA RF lenses


Rich, Thanks for the detailed report!

Also, of topic but, did you get chance to try the autofocus of the A7r, would be interesting to see how that fairs, especially in comparison the the Fuji X-E1.



Oct 25, 2013 at 05:11 PM
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