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The Nikon FM3D We've Always Wanted? Sony A7R
  
 
jhinkey
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · The Nikon FM3D We've Always Wanted? Sony A7R


I know this is the Nikon gear forum, but a number of us Nikon junkies have wanted a digital version of the FM3A - i.e., a FM3D (or something like that) for some time.

Though I love my D800 I've wanted a FM3D for those times where I just don't need 90% of what the D800 has to offer, but want the 36MP FX sensor and be able to use my manual focus Nikkors in an easy way without the weigh and size of the flagship Nikon DSLR. The Df did not tick this box for me. Nor does my excellent m43 GX7 and lenses (which are excellent for travel, but give up IQ in many situations).

Well, I got impatient waiting for Nikon and grabbed an excellent deal on a Sony A7r. It's Sony, it's almost completely foreign to me, and it's the start of a journey.

I plan on using mostly my Nikkors with it and use it when I need compactness and light weight kit for hiking/climbing/backpacking/etc. and AF is not a concern. Not planing on buying any Sony glass.

I've had mine for a whole day with very limited shooting, but my first impression is that it reminds me of my FE2 or FM3A - small, light, and the loud clanking sound when I trip the shutter. Also the EVF allows me to accurately focus my f/2.8 and faster glass w/o issues.

Nikon is certainly capable of coming out with their version of the A7R, but do they have the will to do so?

Anyways, I'll be reporting on my journey with Nikon glass on this Sony version of the FM3D in this thread. I'll try to slant my comments toward someone at Nikon who at the off chance might be reading this so they can indeed make the FM3D. Feel free to chime in with opinions, critiques, etc..





45/2.8 AI-P Up Close

  ILCE-7R    ---- lens    1/60s    320 ISO    0.0 EV  




Jun 10, 2014 at 05:23 PM
Mishu01
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · The Nikon FM3D We've Always Wanted? Sony A7R


Good! I'll follow carefully this thread! Thanks for sharing your experience. I look too for a Nikon DM3A


Jun 10, 2014 at 10:04 PM
jhinkey
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · The Nikon FM3D We've Always Wanted? Sony A7R


I think I'll first take some images of my D800 with a 16/3.5 AI attached (one of my most used combos) along side the A7R with a 16/3.5 AI attached via adapter to get a sense for the size differences. I already know the IQ differences are minimal when shooting RAW (though I have not done exhaustive testing under extreme circumstances).


Jun 10, 2014 at 10:20 PM
Weasel_Loader
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · The Nikon FM3D We've Always Wanted? Sony A7R


That's funny. I just picked up an FM3a and for a second time another F6. Maybe when I get tired of film again, I'll try an A7. Until then, my D700 have to remain my digital imager.


Jun 10, 2014 at 10:30 PM
Hardcore
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · The Nikon FM3D We've Always Wanted? Sony A7R


I have been thinking about the new a7s as a travel camera. I'm just not feeling like I'd save that much weight though. I know from past experience that 12 megapixels is more than enough for what I print and the ability to shoot in near darkness would pretty darn cool.



Jun 10, 2014 at 10:52 PM
zephyres
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · The Nikon FM3D We've Always Wanted? Sony A7R


I have been looking at A7/A7R recently to use with some of my MF nikon lenses. Thanks for taking time to report your feedback. I will be following this thread.


Jun 10, 2014 at 11:01 PM
jhinkey
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · The Nikon FM3D We've Always Wanted? Sony A7R


My main reasons for picking up the A7R were:
- Focusing accuracy with my MF Nikkors and Nikon mount lenses (Zeiss 135/2 APO & Leica R 180/3.4 APO Telyt)
- Size/weight for those occasions that require great IQ (otherwise it's m43 time)

It turns out that it may satisfy my FM3D (or DFM3A) desires too . . .



Jun 10, 2014 at 11:04 PM
snapsy
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · The Nikon FM3D We've Always Wanted? Sony A7R


I think the A7s will be what the Df was marketed to be - a low-light monster but one where manual focusing with ultra-fast lenses is actually achievable.


Jun 10, 2014 at 11:05 PM
jhinkey
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · The Nikon FM3D We've Always Wanted? Sony A7R


So far focusing my fast lenses on the A7R has been a breeze - two clicks of a button and I'm zoomed in to 75%, another click and I'm viewing 100% pixels.
Haven't tried it in dim light though.



Jun 10, 2014 at 11:22 PM
ariel777
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · The Nikon FM3D We've Always Wanted? Sony A7R


I'm interested in seeing some Zeiss 135/2 captures with the A7R and how you would compare them to the D800 images...when you get a chance, of course. Also, what adapter are you using? Thanks.


Jun 10, 2014 at 11:31 PM
 

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jsv_20
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · The Nikon FM3D We've Always Wanted? Sony A7R


The peak focusing is spectacular on grass with f/2 glass!

Wait till you start playing around with the apps...some are gimmicks, but stuff like this is pretty spiffy (and cheap I may add for what it offers!):

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.glensk.RCCDroidPro&hl=en

Recently released for the a7, but I have no idea if it'll work on the other a7x cameras.



Jun 11, 2014 at 01:40 AM
jhinkey
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · The Nikon FM3D We've Always Wanted? Sony A7R


ariel777 wrote:
I'm interested in seeing some Zeiss 135/2 captures with the A7R and how you would compare them to the D800 images...when you get a chance, of course. Also, what adapter are you using? Thanks.


I used the 135/2 AIS this evening with the A7r and manged some good shots - I need to adjust some things on the A7R, but my keeper rate was pretty good.

Currently using a Fotasy adapter, but I don't like it. It's fine, but the mounting flange is only held on by 3 screws - don't want to put my 135/2 APO on it and have the flange fall off. I have a Metabones (with tripod foot) on the way. The Metabones is great quality.

I'll shoot the 135/2 Zeiss later in the week.



Jun 11, 2014 at 04:07 AM
Frogfish
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · The Nikon FM3D We've Always Wanted? Sony A7R


Hardcore wrote:
I have been thinking about the new a7s as a travel camera. I'm just not feeling like I'd save that much weight though. I know from past experience that 12 megapixels is more than enough for what I print and the ability to shoot in near darkness would pretty darn cool.


Like John I've also picked up a new Sony. In my case the 24MP A7 as I felt there are distinct differences between the two and the D800E and my Nikon/Zeiss glass is certainly my prime landscape kit.

Last weekend my wife and I headed out about a 7 hour drive from Shanghai to take 3 x 1 day hikes throughout a spectacular area of Chinese countryside. Normally on any trip over 24 hours I'd take 2 Nikon cameras with me (I've been caught out with gear failures before and it ruins the trip), the D800E and the D3s. This time the D3s stayed at home.
The A7 was a revelation in terms of weight saving. It feels like a feather when you are used to large DSLRs. Due to the non-arrival of either glass or adaptors I could only use the Sony-Zeiss FE55/1.8, a spectacular piece of glass with MTFs and major reviews comparing it to the Otus. It was a perfect combination, D800E and Zeiss 21mm on a strap and the Sony in my hand or cargo pants pocket.

I could see me adding an A8r (as and when) to supplement the D800E in the future too.

The beauty of course is that not only does all my Nikon glass work on the A7 (with adaptor and, of course, in MF mode) but I can add virtually any other glass I choose to as well - the camera-lens world is now truly my oyster ! My eyes aren't great for MF and I gave it up about a year ago, now with the focus peaking and magnifying it is a whole different ball game and I'm delighted to get back into it. Recommendations for classic Nikon glass that will work on the A7 without aberrations will be gratefully received !

I really wish that Nikon had brought out something similar with an adaptor to permit AF use of F mount lenses on it (as Sony have for their A mount). They have the sensors and the know-how and if Sony can do it then Nikon certainly can.



Jun 11, 2014 at 04:28 AM
jsv_20
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · The Nikon FM3D We've Always Wanted? Sony A7R


The 105mm f/2.5 is a beauty to use on the a7. It's compact, light, and it's got a built in hood. So far no issues, but I haven't used it in extreme situations that could produce ghosting or flare.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jsvfoto/14209694977/

The 50mm f/1.8s MKII is tiny and easy to use. It's crazy sharp! The only problem is it can flare real bad with the metabones adapter.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jsvfoto/14373027776/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jsvfoto/14395075654/


Edited on Jun 11, 2014 at 02:39 PM · View previous versions



Jun 11, 2014 at 05:59 AM
the solitaire
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · The Nikon FM3D We've Always Wanted? Sony A7R


I had some ideas along the same lines a while ago John.
With the lack of a decent alternative I find myself shooting film again with a Nikon F3 and am positively surprised by the sharpness film still offers compared to modern digital cameras.

Nonetheless, a real alternative to the F3 or FM3a in digital guise would be great. A small camera that stows away in a coat pocket, lens attached. And another lens or two in a remaining coat pocket.

Manual focus lenses are really small and ideally suited for this kind of thing, if that suits your style of shooting. I know it suits me fine and the lack of size and weight as well as the build quality and haptics are all equally fine blessings. With that however the bar for the properties of the camera body is raised quite a bit. I handled several compact system cameras with shutter speed dials and so far none compared to the feel of an F3 or FM2 which I both own and still use



Jun 11, 2014 at 10:14 AM
Frogfish
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · The Nikon FM3D We've Always Wanted? Sony A7R


Buddy - take a good look (handle) at the A7 and A7(r) and also go to the 300+ page long A7(r) Image thread. Maybe you will change your mind now.


Jun 11, 2014 at 11:28 AM
nikt
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · The Nikon FM3D We've Always Wanted? Sony A7R


I'm glad Sony released something for those looking at this sort of camera. Seems to be many options when it comes to small bodied cameras (incl fuji, oyl, pana) and some can that can even take Nikon adapters.

Too small a market for Nikon to focus on, at this stage, though. Hope they're spend their R&D on the D300 and D700 replacements. Also hope the DfII is not cut back with features when this comes later (whenever that is).






Jun 11, 2014 at 01:41 PM
carlitos
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · The Nikon FM3D We've Always Wanted? Sony A7R


jhinkey wrote:
I think I'll first take some images of my D800 with a 16/3.5 AI attached (one of my most used combos) along side the A7R with a 16/3.5 AI attached via adapter to get a sense for the size differences. I already know the IQ differences are minimal when shooting RAW (though I have not done exhaustive testing under extreme circumstances).


Could you maybe take a picture of the 16/3.5-A7r combo, to show size difference; and any of the rest of the Nikon glass you try out over time?

Still, though, don't you have to take the picture in stop down mode, using non-native (Nikon) glass? For me, I think, that would be too inconvenient, having, you know, pretended to do that with my film cameras. I'd like to try an A7(r), but, I'd like to see what the Zeiss MF lenses will be like.

Could make life difficult for 3 other camera manufacturers.



Jun 11, 2014 at 02:35 PM
ariel777
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · The Nikon FM3D We've Always Wanted? Sony A7R


Thanks, John. I use the Metabones adapter for my Fuji X system and am quite pleased. As to the 7R, FF certainly is quite appealing (though I really like the Fuji renderings), and you made an excellent decision. I'll probably add it in the not too distant future as I transition from the heavy Nikon package but retaining my FF landscape lenses. Once you carry around a lightweight package producing excellent IQ, it's difficult to turn back. Fuji X does it and, apparently the Sony 7R setup (per the FM image thread) does likewise in FX.


Jun 11, 2014 at 02:45 PM
James R
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · The Nikon FM3D We've Always Wanted? Sony A7R


Frogfish wrote:
Buddy - take a good look (handle) at the A7 and A7(r) and also go to the 300+ page long A7(r) Image thread. Maybe you will change your mind now.


This thread would be more productive on the Alternate Gear forum where there many A7 users post Q&A and images. being on a Nikon Forum is limiting, and thereby less informative.



Jun 11, 2014 at 02:58 PM
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