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Review: Sony A7R teams up with Canon glass
  
 
AJSJones
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p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · Review: Sony A7R teams up with Canon glass




AGeoJO wrote:
...
The 36MP sensor of the camera brings out the best and worst of your lenses. Lenses that perform somewhat weak in the corners tend to stand out more now since its weakness becomes now magnified. But if you stop down the aperture 3-4 stops you will notice a significant improvement there.

IMHO, the issues that you are referring to have mostly to do with quality of the adapter. And people tend to pixel peep now since it is a new camera and notice more "issues" they didn't notice before since the camera they used before did not quite have the
...Show more

Thanks for those additional comments to complement a great review and pictures.

I wonder how much is adapter "tilt" and how much just poor edge performance being better "seen" by the higher density sensor. DPR's quantitative data shows for several (3rd party) lenses a significant improvement (almost as much as you would predict, but not quite) in the centre but little improvement at the edges when compared on 5D2 and D800. (The Sigma 35 is one). I think I recall Fred saying earlier that some of his problems could be solved by tilting the lens (only on TS obviously) but field curvature might also be playing a role. Have you (or Fred) tried to improve edge performance (possibly at the expense of centre improvement) by tweaking the focus with zoom LV looking at a corner? (For those who print big landscapes and "picture peep" on the print, focus stacking might be a way out if the edge and centre can be captured at different focus positions - just thinking out loud...)



Jan 29, 2014 at 03:45 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · Review: Sony A7R teams up with Canon glass


AJSJones wrote:
I wonder how much is adapter "tilt" and how much just poor edge performance being better "seen" by the higher density sensor.


I do not have any light to shed on the specific answer to that question, but I do know that there is a tendency to overlook this sort of thing when comparing older gear to newer.

I recall that when the 5DII first came out that we saw a slew of posts about how "my 5D is sharper than the 5DII and I have 100% magnification crops to prove it!" In fact, the higher photo site density camera produces images that are at least as sharp and will be sharper when sensor resolution is the limiting factor.

So why did folks think the opposite was true? They were comparing 100% crops and therefore looking "more closely" at a smaller section of the image from the higher MP camera. (A 400 x 400 pixel section of a 21MP image comprises a significantly smaller percentage of the image area than a 400 x 400 pixel section of a 12 MP image.)

Inspecting 100% magnification crops is sometimes a useful and informative exercise, and for some things (such as certain types of sharpening, for example) it is critical. However, if we aren't careful we can allow ourselves to be misled by what we see at 100%, especially when we compare systems with different sensor sizes and/or MP counts. Here, the ultimate test is most likely large prints at the same size.

Dan



Jan 29, 2014 at 03:52 PM
ben egbert
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p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · Review: Sony A7R teams up with Canon glass


AJSJones wrote:
Thanks for those additional comments to complement a great review and pictures.

I wonder how much is adapter "tilt" and how much just poor edge performance being better "seen" by the higher density sensor. DPR's quantitative data shows for several (3rd party) lenses a significant improvement (almost as much as you would predict, but not quite) in the centre but little improvement at the edges when compared on 5D2 and D800. (The Sigma 35 is one). I think I recall Fred saying earlier that some of his problems could be solved by tilting the lens (only on TS obviously) but field
...Show more

Fred said in a recent reply that he focuses the 17tse off center to accommodate field curvature and improve edges. I tested it on my 5d3, 17TSE and found that when focused nearer the edge of the frame but still mid way into the depth provided sharper edges/corners without any visible degradation at infinity. This was at f8 and without tilt. I also tried it with shift and got similar results.

I have seen some of my 17TSE shots with amazing sharpness and many others slightly soft nearly everywhere. The trouble with an UWA is that almost focused can look pretty good until you see one that is perfectly focused. I never understood why this was happening, now I will be careful to get at least one set with the focus off center.

The difference between perfect and nearly perfect is for me almost not visible at 10x live view.


.



Jan 29, 2014 at 04:29 PM
AGeoJO
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p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · Review: Sony A7R teams up with Canon glass


AGeoJO wrote:
...
The 36MP sensor of the camera brings out the best and worst of your lenses. Lenses that perform somewhat weak in the corners tend to stand out more now since its weakness becomes now magnified. But if you stop down the aperture 3-4 stops you will notice a significant improvement there.

IMHO, the issues that you are referring to have mostly to do with quality of the adapter. And people tend to pixel peep now since it is a new camera and notice more "issues" they didn't notice before since the camera they used before did not quite have the
...Show more

AJSJones wrote:
Thanks for those additional comments to complement a great review and pictures.

I wonder how much is adapter "tilt" and how much just poor edge performance being better "seen" by the higher density sensor. DPR's quantitative data shows for several (3rd party) lenses a significant improvement (almost as much as you would predict, but not quite) in the centre but little improvement at the edges when compared on 5D2 and D800. (The Sigma 35 is one). I think I recall Fred saying earlier that some of his problems could be solved by tilting the lens (only on TS obviously) but field
...Show more


There are too many moving parts , let's call them using their fancy names, too many variables . It was time consuming and frankly, quite confusing. In the beginning, I wasn't even aware that adapter tilting would cause that and I wrote if off as a bad corner performance of a lens. Then I tried the same lens using another adapter, hey, I got different result and it seemed like the lens was not bad at all. The direction of tilting of the adapter is not always consistent either, although two of the same brand (mine and that of a shooting buddy of mine) were both tilted in the same direction.

The field curvature of the lens definitely plays a role. BTW, Sony's sensor has built-in micro prisms that are off-set towards the corners. So, depending on the degree of field curvature of a particular lens, it may work out just fine and it can take advantage of that feature. That's the way Leica did it plus that is supported by a powerful lens-specific software correction via the 6-bit code. BTW, I found out yesterday on the Sony application site that there is a new app (for a paltry sum of $4.99) that lets you put in lens correction data for specific lenses. Frankly, I have not bought it. I am not even sure whether it is only for Sony lenses. Since some adapters enable the camera to identify selected Canon lenses, it is possible that it may work on those, too. It seems that the type and amount of correction is more for color shifting and not for smearing. Plus, it maybe only for JPG images. In that case.... meh . I just downloaded the remote control app for my phone/iPad yesterday. But I will look into that later.

To answer your question, no, I didn't do any focus adjustment or tilting targeting the corners. I am not sure whether Fred did it or not. Frankly, it would be better to just get a perfectly aligned adapter (yes, that goes without saying, right?) and you go from there. Yes, you stop down the lens to get the desired DOF/corner performance, especially if you do some kind of tilting/shifting. BTW, I noticed that RF adapters are less susceptible to this issue because of the shorter distance to the sensor.

Hope this helps,
Joshua



Jan 29, 2014 at 04:57 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · Review: Sony A7R teams up with Canon glass


dfresh wrote:
Thanks for taking the time to do this Fred! Out of curiosity, you mentioned that you don't notice the moire on the A7R dome sample, but to my inexperienced eyes it is clearly visible there and not present on the 5D3 sample. What am I missing?


Hi Doug,
Please check again. The Canon 5D Mark III shot is the one showing moiré pattern from that distance. The sensor resolution advantage yields higher nyquist frequency and in this example, the A7R crop shows less moiré even without a low pass filter.
Fred



Jan 29, 2014 at 07:05 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · Review: Sony A7R teams up with Canon glass


RCicala wrote:
Fred, you don't write enough. That was a superb review and answered half a dozen questions I hadn't even gotten around to asking yet. Thank you!


Likewise. I truly enjoy reading your reviews Roger!
Fred



Jan 29, 2014 at 07:09 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · Review: Sony A7R teams up with Canon glass


Gunzorro wrote:
Great review, Fred! Thanks!

I would have added to the "Cons" the "Rube Goldbergian" additional gear/customization to make the Canon line-up work properly. You mentioned the tolerence problems with Metabones, but didn't list the various contraptions and their inconsistencies as a con.


Thanks for your kind words Jim.

Regarding the adapter. It's a cons for Canon shooters but not the camera itself. I agree that it's a bit of a hassle modifying adapters to correct internal reflections. Also, adapter tolerance and variation is something to keep in mind when shooting with ultra-wides.
Maybe it was bad luck, but I got a centered copy after trying a few.



Jan 29, 2014 at 07:18 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · Review: Sony A7R teams up with Canon glass


StillFingerz wrote:
Fred, thank you, you've realy got me thinking, what a great review, not to mention most useful info and your usual incredible images. Without a fullframe body in my kit, pondering either the 6D or 5D3, Sony is definitely in the mix with it's lighter weight and EXMOR sensor

Your inclusion of the older FD glass was a bonus in my case, you mentioned the Metabones III adapter for the EF glass, I'd be most interested in what adapter you used for your FD lenses; and the FD mount type it supports; older FD twist or the newer FD button?

Jerry


Jerry,
I'm planning on updating the review with comparisons between EF and FD lenses and Sony vs Canon lenses.



Jan 29, 2014 at 07:19 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · Review: Sony A7R teams up with Canon glass


eric hagemann wrote:
Fred (anyone)

Have you tried any long duration exposures ? I am interested to know if the Sony incarnation of the Exmore sensors suffers from the same issues as the d800 in this regard

Cheers


I tried 30 second exposures but didn't test the camera for astrophotography. This is on my list of tests.
What is the issue with the D800 and long exposures?



Jan 29, 2014 at 07:21 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · Review: Sony A7R teams up with Canon glass


lenticular11 wrote:
Great review!

I particularly like the use of the legacy FD TS 35/2.8 T-S lens
I have that lens and plan to use it on an A7R.

Your review doesn't mention any colour-shift or smearing when pairing the camera with the Canon TS-E 17 or even the Samyang 14mm lenses. Is this the case


I believe this is more of an issue with rangefinder lenses because of the proximity of the exit pupil to the sensor .
I didn't see any color shift or smearing using SLR lenses.
Fred



Jan 29, 2014 at 07:24 PM
 

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p.3 #11 · p.3 #11 · Review: Sony A7R teams up with Canon glass


Mike K wrote:
Nice summary write up Fred. It saves a new comer from reading several really long threads. Thanks for your effort.

You discussed the litany of issues that early adopters have worked through. However you didn't mention the adapter (Metabones III) alignment questions. I know that you had tried 5 different copies to choose the best of the batch, certainly more effort that the average enthusiast will endure. My recollection is that with the average Metabones III adapter has excellent resolution in the center of the image, but the improvement of resolution was not carried out to the frame edge. Can
...Show more

Mike,
With a well-centered adapter, the A7R resolution advantage is visible from center to corners.
The "center" resolution increase is more noticeable when comparing to Canon's 22MP but after having a centered adapter and testing many wide-angle lenses, I concluded that the high megapixel sensor is very high demanding, especially towards the edges of the frame. Only our best lenses will show bigger improvements in the corners.
The Canon TS-E 17mm for example was a difficult lens to test on the A7R. The high resolution sensor "amplifies" its shortcomings like field curvature, increasing the discrepancy between center and edges. From my tests, correct focus placement becomes more critical.
Fred



Jan 29, 2014 at 07:42 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.3 #12 · p.3 #12 · Review: Sony A7R teams up with Canon glass


Fred Miranda wrote:
Regarding the adapter. It's a cons for Canon shooters but not the camera itself. I agree that it's a bit of a hassle modifying adapters to correct internal reflections. Also, adapter tolerance and variation is something to keep in mind when shooting with ultra-wides.
Maybe it was bad luck, but I got a centered copy after trying a few.


If it is any consolation, MF digital shooters using various digital backs deal with this, too - though for them it may involve carefully shimming the back!



Jan 29, 2014 at 08:05 PM
Scott Stoness
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p.3 #13 · p.3 #13 · Review: Sony A7R teams up with Canon glass


lenticular11 wrote:
Great review!

I particularly like the use of the legacy FD TS 35/2.8 T-S lens
I have that lens and plan to use it on an A7R.

Your review doesn't mention any colour-shift or smearing when pairing the camera with the Canon TS-E 17 or even the Samyang 14mm lenses. Is this the case



I have the ts17 and have tested zeiss 15/2.8 and have conclluded that any canon mount lens on metabones does not have color shifting problems because the sensor is further away from the lens.

So ts17 is fines and samyang should be too.



Jan 29, 2014 at 08:11 PM
Scott Stoness
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p.3 #14 · p.3 #14 · Review: Sony A7R teams up with Canon glass


Fred: Thank you very much for the review. Great pictures and observations.

I have said elsewhere, I am using this camera and like the exta mpx and the dynamic range but am hopeful that canon makes an alternative and I will switch to it quickly.

But before anyone buy the a7r they should know:
1) You cannot use a wide angle (<35mm) rangefinder lens without creating lots of post processing work. There is no canon e mount native wa.The angle of the light coming in creates purple shift on edges and lots of vigneting.
2) The battery performance and camera sleeping performance means you will have to bring a bucket of batteries in cold weather and likely means that it is not a great tool for hiking. I used up 4 batteries in an hour using liveview at -20.
3) You cannot zoom and autofocus in liveview like you do on the 5diii
4) The shutter has huge vibration such that at some shutter speeds the vibration blur is such that the image loses the benefits of the the extra mpx by vibration blur. It iis worse in portrait mode.
5) The menu is quirky and awkward - for example if you want to live view focus with magnification you have a choice of 2s, 5s and infinity. 5s is too short and infinity causes battery usage.Manual focussing and infinity causes battery usage because it does not time off.
6) Auto iso is broken in that it just makes the shutter speed 1/60 and lowest possible iso. 1/60 is not fast enough and is not changable thus motion blur will cause the 36mpx to be wasted.
7) Between the adapters ($400), battery chargers, ($100), 5 batteries ($500) remote shutter release ($100 if you can find one), L mount for your adapter ($200) and buying a 35mm native lens ($800)and camera, it will cost you $2000 over purchase to make this camera useful.
8) The combination of a7r and l plate and adapter and no uwa native lens mean that this tool is bigger and more awkward than the 5diii with same lens.
9) Between the battery performance and lack of ability to use the rangefinder lens, it is not a good camera for hiking.
10) I am still bracketing and for still shots on tripod, the extra dynamic range is not enough to stop me from doing this. Despite the increase in dynamic range.
11) I have had nothing but frustration in using the raw converter supplied by sony. It freezes and starts and freezes...

Altherntively :
1) flip screen is great
2) mpx are great
3) more dynamic range is great
4) Focus confirm with color is great
5) You can use most lens with this body except wide rangefinder
6) There is hope for hardward/software updates that will solve 2/3 of above.

Not saying don't buy it but buy it with foreknowledge.

Scott

Edited on Jan 30, 2014 at 05:34 AM · View previous versions



Jan 29, 2014 at 08:29 PM
tsdevine
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p.3 #15 · p.3 #15 · Review: Sony A7R teams up with Canon glass



I don't regularly hike at -20 (I assume Celsius right?), and my hikes are day hikes (< 10 miles.) For that purpose I don't see it being any worse than bringing my 5D II. Honestly I'd much rather bring the a7R.

Just a counter opinion on this, I realize everyone's situation is different. But this particular one I had to throw in my 2 cents.

-Tim



Jan 29, 2014 at 10:43 PM
Scott Stoness
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p.3 #16 · p.3 #16 · Review: Sony A7R teams up with Canon glass


tsdevine wrote:
I don't regularly hike at -20 (I assume Celsius right?), and my hikes are day hikes (< 10 miles.) For that purpose I don't see it being any worse than bringing my 5D II. Honestly I'd much rather bring the a7R.

Just a counter opinion on this, I realize everyone's situation is different. But this particular one I had to throw in my 2 cents.

-Tim


I shoud have said snowshoe

Not quarrelling but just providing more detail. Everyone will be different.

I would also say the batteries performance is lackluster even in good weather compared to the 5diii. On a typical hike with the 5dii I could get by with one full battery. Unlike the 5dii where the auto off is not finicky, the a7r is finicky and only times out if the settings are set tin a particular manner ( eg. not in infinity on magnication and liveview). So when you forget to check the battery goes dead.

My standard hiking kit is eosm and efm22 - small light and dangling from my neck, and uwa in my pocket, with autoiso on, and autobracketing. If its not around my neck the need to get it out and set it up will result in few pictures.

For me hiking without a uwa lens is not a great, and the only uwa that work wel on a7rl are canon style mounts with longer lens. ( This will be fixed in a year or so when a native uwa is built/sold but not for a while.) Thus you are not likely to carry around your neck a7r, an adapter with an L plate, and a big uwa. You will only take uwa shots when you have time to set up and put away.

In addition, the a7r with the 35/2.8 is not as comfortable to hang around your neck on a rigouous hike as the eosm because the lens sticks out considerably more (2 x or so which causes bouncing and neck strain and risk of scratching) and the a7r outweighs the eosm by 200 grams (more neck strain).

So it is still better for hiking than the 5dii around the neck but you have to carry the stuff in your pack.



Jan 29, 2014 at 11:16 PM
tsdevine
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p.3 #17 · p.3 #17 · Review: Sony A7R teams up with Canon glass



Okay Scott, more info is a plus. My hikes are usually spring and fall, sometimes summer. Usually in the 3 to 7 mile range, sometimes closer to 10. At the minimum I'm taking the 5D II, Zeiss 15 & 21, and the Sigma 35mm. Also my tripod (usually my Gitzo GT2540EX), filters, etc. This past fall I was lugging a DP1M and DP2M with equipment above (including L brackets, etc.) So I needed batteries for both systems. I have a Mountainsmith photo backpack to carry my stuff.

I sold the Sigma 35mm and one of the Merrills, downsized to the 35 & 55 FE. So I'll just be taking the a7R, Zeiss 15 & 21, 35 FE, maybe the 55 FE. Oh...and maybe a couple other small primes. :-) In any case I don't get to shoot much this time of the year, but I've only ever gotten to a second battery on my a7R. I shot over 350 photos last Sunday and still had around 20% on the first battery. I've only shot in the extreme cold once with the a7R, I was worn down before the battery did but I understand the performance is going to be further degraded in the cold.

So our frame of reference was pretty different, probably gives those reading the thread different perspectives based on their concept of shooting while hiking.

-Tim




Jan 29, 2014 at 11:45 PM
RCicala
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p.3 #18 · p.3 #18 · Review: Sony A7R teams up with Canon glass


For anyone interested in the insides, I've done an A7r teardown. Elegantly engineered camera: http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2014/01/the-a7r-teardown-a-look-inside-sonys-awesome-full-frame-mirrorless-camera


Jan 29, 2014 at 11:45 PM
tsdevine
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p.3 #19 · p.3 #19 · Review: Sony A7R teams up with Canon glass



Wow Roger, that is both cool and amazing!

-Tim



Jan 29, 2014 at 11:52 PM
artd
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p.3 #20 · p.3 #20 · Review: Sony A7R teams up with Canon glass


Scott Stoness wrote:
I would also say the batteries performance is lackluster even in good weather compared to the 5diii. On a typical hike with the 5dii I could get by with one full battery. Unlike the 5dii where the auto off is not finicky, the a7r is finicky and only times out if the settings are set tin a particular manner ( eg. not in infinity on magnication and liveview). So when you forget to check the battery goes dead.

My standard hiking kit is eosm and efm22 - small light and dangling from my neck, and uwa in my pocket, with
...Show more
If battery life is the concern, I'm not sure an EOS m is really a much better alternative, since it's battery life is actually worse than the A7r (in fact I think the EOS m had some of the worst battery life of any mirrorless camera.) But then again, I also don't rely on the auto-off feature...I turn my camera off manually after I'm done with the shot. But that's a habit I've been in since my earliest days of DSLR shooting

I've found it absolutely liberating to have the A7r and 35FE for casual hikes. I don't hang it from my neck, I sling it around my shoulder. My previous solution for this kind of thing was either a 5DII with 40mm, or a NEX 5n with 30mm. The A7r setup weighs a lot less than the 5DII and gives me better IQ. A bit heavier than a 5n, but well worth it for the full frame sensor.



Jan 30, 2014 at 02:20 AM
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