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Which System? Need some advice
  
 
DrShouter
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Which System? Need some advice


Hello,

I sold my 5D III (with 24-70mm f2.8 L II, 70-200mm f2.8 L NonIS, Sigma 20mm f1.4) and want to jump into the high MP and DR game and narrowed it down to the Sony A7R III or the Nikon D850. I think the Image Quality from both bodies should be on par. With a few pluses and minuses on both sides:
D850:
+Ergonomics (better usability with gloves)
+Weather sealing and rugged
+better and bigger LCD
-Weight and Size

A7R III:
+IBIS
+EVF (better for manual focus, otherwise i have no preference OVF vs EVF)
+Weight and Size
+no front- or backfocus Problems, especially with fast lenses
-Weather sealing
-Bad Ergonomics

Bodywise i tend a little bit more to the D850 (because I like the feel of the bigger Body and the build quality).

I do a lot of Landscape work in the mountains when I am out climbing/mountaineering/ski touring (I carry only the WA). For that i need a Lens with a focal length between 20-24mm (4mm more or less is not very important for my work) and something around 200mm for Wildlife (yes is long enough for me). Both as fast as possible because of nightscapes and astro. Now the Problems with my decisions starts with the lens selection.

There
Zeiss Loxia 21mm --> best in class at 2.8, good coma
Sony 16-35mm GM --> on par with the Loxia, good coma
Sony 70-200mm GM --> DXO says best in class, Lensrentals says worse than Nikon 70-200mmE FL, so I dont know whats true


A good wide angle prime is essential for my next System, so i had a look at the Nikon offerings and the the look all not that great on a high MPX Body? Didi miss something? My System decision would be so easy when there is a good offering for the Nikon mount

Nikon 24mm f1.8G --> good stopped down,wide open very soft and a little bit of coma
Nikon 24mm f1.4G --> worse than f1.8G
Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 --> to soft for a high MP Body (in comparison to the Canon 16-35mm MKIII and the 16-35mm GM it looks not that good)
Zeiss M18mm 2.8 --> good but also not on the level of the two E Mount lenses and heavier
Zeiss 21mm 2.8 --> same as Zeiss 18mm
NEW Zeiss 25mm f1.4 --> looks perfect, but so damn heavy
Nikon 105mmE f1.4 --> one of the best lenses I have ever tried
Nikon 70-200mmE FL --> looks awesome

What is your opinion? Any advice? Which route would you go?

Thanks



Nov 09, 2017 at 11:21 AM
OccAeon
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Which System? Need some advice


Seems like Nikon is the easy pick. Why not just go with the Sigma 20mm Art again, if that served your needs before?


Nov 09, 2017 at 01:29 PM
davewolfs
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Which System? Need some advice


The Nikon 20mm can be an option. The 14-24 can hold its own when stopped down, so can the old 17-35. If there is an FL that you find using and over and over again you can get a no compromise Milvus.

I own Sony and I like the combination of some specific lenses and the ability to adapt others. But I do miss my old D700 as this camera has never felt as ergonomically friendly.

Edited on Nov 09, 2017 at 01:42 PM · View previous versions



Nov 09, 2017 at 01:35 PM
Chris Court
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Which System? Need some advice


The Nikon 20mm 1.8 is killer, too.

You seem to have found some overly harsh reviews of the 14-24 and the two Nikon 24s. At least in my case, the 14-24 and the 24 1.4 have been absolutely fantastic on all bodies I've used them on up to the D810. I can't imagine the extra 10 mpx of the D850 would suddenly show them up as "soft."

Best
C



Nov 09, 2017 at 01:39 PM
DrShouter
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Which System? Need some advice


Not the Overall Image is soft, but even when you stopp down the Sigma 20mm, Nikon 24mm 1.4/1.8, Nikon 20mm and the Nikon 14-24mm to f2.8 (i need the speed for nightscapes) the Corners are soft and are not up to the Level of the Loxia. (I checked the DxO Sharpness Field Map)



Nov 09, 2017 at 01:52 PM
milkod2001
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Which System? Need some advice


IQ wise you probably never see difference and you can't go wrong with either system.

I'd go with Sony though if you travel a lot. A7RIII with Loxia 21 is lighter and smaller than D850 and 20 or 24/1.8G combo.1015g vs 650g a weight of bodies only, it makes huge difference when you have to carry it all day.



Nov 09, 2017 at 03:51 PM
Blakehfreeman
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Which System? Need some advice


I'd venture over to lensrentals blog... I trust DXO about as far as I can throw them. I've owned the Nikon 14-24, 24mm 1.4G and Sigma 24mm 1.4A and they were all up to the task of my D800E. With the current discount I nearly repurchased the 14-24.

Both systems will serve you well! But... if you want to purchase on the used market go Nikon, some amazing lenses on the market that are at crazy prices on the used market. Good luck!

DrShouter wrote:
Not the Overall Image is soft, but even when you stopp down the Sigma 20mm, Nikon 24mm 1.4/1.8, Nikon 20mm and the Nikon 14-24mm to f2.8 (i need the speed for nightscapes) the Corners are soft and are not up to the Level of the Loxia. (I checked the DxO Sharpness Field Map)




Nov 09, 2017 at 03:57 PM
nikonos6
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Which System? Need some advice


I totally understand your difficulties on this decision.
Owning Nikon system for a long time I also consider moving to sony just for the same reasons you mentioned +the better video usability.
I would absolutely love to have this 16-35mm 2.8 quality lens for the Nikon,
and the loxia 21 is probably the best in its range.
But for rather conventional use in the field I really love how the Nikon can be used ( and abused sometimes..).
It just is reliable and has its handling advantages.
And as everyone knows - the 105e is such a fantastic lens indeed.
In the end I would perhaps go with Sony if I came from Canon and had not used and would not have invested in the Nikon system deeply already.



Nov 09, 2017 at 04:13 PM
lawa222
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Which System? Need some advice


For those kind of high-output, action-oriented activities, you might find the Sony bigger focus spread and IBIS super useful (even though you didn't use stabilized Canons before). That being said, if you've got big hands, Sony ergonomics are possibly a complete dealbreaker with gloves.

I'd second opinions on Nikon 20/1.8 - it's great.

If you're not using 2x teleconverter, Nikon 70-200/4 is worth considering. It is tack sharp, cheap, very light in comparison, and fairly tough (and even if not you can break 3 used ones before you buy 1 new 2.8!). Heck if you've got the fast wide prime for your night photos, I'd only look at f4 zooms. Saves a lot of size/weight for mountaineering and will perform similar at f8-16.



Nov 09, 2017 at 04:22 PM
OccAeon
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Which System? Need some advice


lawa222 wrote:
Nikon 70-200/4 is worth considering. It is tack sharp, cheap, very light in comparison, and fairly tough (and even if not you can break 3 used ones before you buy 1 new 2.8!). Heck if you've got the fast wide prime for your night photos, I'd only look at f4 zooms. Saves a lot of size/weight for mountaineering and will perform similar at f8-16.


I agree, I love the 70-200 f/4. It's a great lens overall - super light and reasonably sharp. I recall that Nasim from Photography Life figured out that it actually has about as good or better subject isolation as the 70-200 f/2.8G at 13 feet or closer, despite the difference in aperture, because of the respective focus breathing of the two lenses (on the f/2.8 you lose focal length up close, whereas on the 70-200 f/4 you gain it). 



Nov 09, 2017 at 05:14 PM
 

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Mykal
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Which System? Need some advice


What about the Nikon 28mm f/1.4. Not wide enough?


Nov 09, 2017 at 06:42 PM
Arka
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Which System? Need some advice


I'm using both a Nikon D850 and Sony A9 at the moment for very different reasons. A few thoughts on your initial post, though I don't see how you can go too far wrong either way given the excellence of either choice:

(1) If a larger body is your preference, I think the choice is easy. The D850 really is much larger than the Sony A9 (and presumably also the A7R III). I have the exact opposite preference so I favor the A9 for most of my day-to-day shooting.
(2) Do not mistake larger size for better ergonomics or build. My Sony A9 feels every bit as robust as my Nikon bodies (including my new D850, which I've had for all of a day). And while ergonomics is also a personal thing, I disagree with your assertion that modern Sony cameras have objectively "bad ergonomics." That is simply not true, though only you can be the judge of whether the cameras are unsuited to your usage preferences. As for me, I recently sold all of my Nikon cameras in anticipation of the D850, and also picked up an A9 to replace my Leica M240. After using an A9 as my only camera for several months, my D850 came in yesterday. I used it for some shooting, but was struck by how familiar yet strange it felt to return to a Nikon dSLR after months of using the A9 almost every day - the larger body, the mirror blackout, the clacking shutter (versus default silent operation on the A9), the need to specifically turn live view on rather than have it turn on and off automatically depending on whether I am looking through the eyepiece... there are countless other differences. These distinctions are sometimes tough for dSLR users to initially adapt to when they move to Sony, but once you've adapted, it's hard to give them up. Also, it is clear to me that there is no one answer to questions of ergonomics - there are things the Sony does I wish Nikon would do, and vice versa. One common complaint - I would really like both cameras to have better smartphone apps for connected shooting and image upload.
(3) I don't find the 14-24 to be at all soft, and coma control is excellent. It's heavy for back-country trekking, but if you're only carrying the wide, it gives you a little more versatility than a single wide angle. If you're not satisfied with the 14-24 for your wide angle needs, why not use a Sigma Art option? Those lenses are fabulous, and would probably be usable on either camera.
(4) The fold-out screen on the D850 feels really crappy - I don't know how else to say it. It does not inspire confidence, and I would hesitate to use it very often. Indeed, even the instruction manual warns you to not touch certain parts of the fold-out mechanism, which kind of undercuts the weather sealed aspect of that camera.
(5) Touchscreen functionality is much better on the D850. Much much better.
(6) The LV AF on the D850 is pretty terrible. LV AF on Sony cameras is, of course, as good as the AF system can be. In the case of the A9, it's almost telepathically good. Not sure how much of that AF power will make its way to the A7R III
(7) The lighted buttons and top panel on the D850 are fabulous. You'll love them for astrophotography or night-time landscape work. Such a good idea.
(8) The viewfinders of both cameras are really a thing to behold. The Sony EVF is clear, displays a ton of useful information, and also shows you exactly what your picture will look like based on the exposure settings. The Nikon OVF doesn't offer all of those advantages, but it is big and incredibly bright - much better than what its predecessor offered and probably among the best I've seen in a dSLR (and I've used quite a few, including Nikon and Canon pro dSLRs).
(9) Nikon offers an XQD card slot, which is nice (and very fast). I don't think the A7R III offers that capability.
(10) The D850's AF through the viewfinder is very good. The A9's is better - it's ability to track moving subjects in low light using native system lenses is absurd... almost feels like cheating. And Eye-Detect is a hard feature to live without once you have it. That said, it remains to be seen how much of the A9's AF will trickle down to A7R III.



Nov 09, 2017 at 08:30 PM
charles.K
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Which System? Need some advice


Best always to rent and test for yourself. No amount of convincing on the forum should sway your judgement.

I have come from 4 years from Sony A7r, A7s, A7II, A7rII and it is an excellent system. The lens lineup although some excellent lenses is still quite patchy for areas where you may need a great lens. I will probably opt for A7rIII myself with a couple lenses but this will be alongside my D850/D750 combo.

I had Canon for about 10 years and loved the lens system. The only reason I moved away was that I did not like the AF system on the 5D and 5DII. My understanding this has been resolved and having tried recently the 5DIV I was really impressed.

The D850 is an amazing camera and the more time I spend with it, the more I like it. Yes the body is larger/heavier but the ergonomics are excellent. If I need easy light lens to go, there are many from Nikon. The 50/1.8G, 20/1.8G, 85/1.8G and 35/1.8G just to name a few all which are very cost effective in the used market.

I have tested the 20, 24, 35 and 50 Art on the D850 as well as the 24-105/f4 Art. These lenses are excellent and if you look at DxO then they are at the top. Personally I do not pay attention to DxO as the results can be very misleading. The LenRental blog as already suggested is much better and they also praise very highly all of the Art lenses.

The 14-24/f2.8 is superb on the D850. This lens has been a work horse for many years and there is good reasons for it. Do not pay attention to the DxO results as I don't feel they are indicative. Test it yourself or opt like many have the Sigma 12-24/f4 Art or Tamron 15-30/2.8. All of these lenses are excellent. I think people spend too much time reading reviews which are not right.

You mention 20-24mm WA. The 20 Art as you have is excellent but the 24 Art is a f/1.4 truly an excellent lens also and weighs 665 gms.

The Loxia 21 with the A7rII/III is a superb lens. This where the strength with A7rII/III system is, when you carefully select smaller/lighter lenses to match. The moment you opt for fast and longer lenses the Nikon is much better. The 16-35GM is also superb. The 70-200/2.8 GM is the weakest link as it is does not perform as well as the 70-200L II according to Lens Rental testing. The 70-200E FL is the best zoom in its range and the ergonomics with the D850 are excellent.

I suspect if you using WA 90% of the time, the A7rII or A7rIII combined with the 21 Loxia or 16-35GM will be the better option.

The elephant in the room, is the ability to use Sigma Art lenses where you cannot with the FE mount for now. There are some of the best and sharpest lenses with the Art series and they are fantastic value. The Art series AF accuracy/speed and consistency with the new AF module on the D850 is superb. You have full face and eye recognition with the Art series also.

Edited on Nov 10, 2017 at 03:03 AM · View previous versions



Nov 09, 2017 at 11:04 PM
Mescalamba
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Which System? Need some advice


With Nikon you are locked in system.

With Sony, you are free to use whatever you like (and there is really plenty of options).

Also Sony comp will be probably quite a bit lighter (lens not that much, but body is). Plus with Sony, you can go "alternative" route and at least for WA pick some light and small lens, manual focus and very expensive probably.



Nov 09, 2017 at 11:07 PM
Arka
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Which System? Need some advice


A few people got really mad at me when I posted an image similar to the one below a few months ago, but I think still think it's a useful point of reference when thinking about system size and weight. These are the two systems I am currently using, both outfitted with excellent off-brand 35mm f/1.4 lenses capable of autofocusing. The A9 has a Leica 35mm Summilux attached to it via a TechArt Pro autofocus adapter. The D850 has a Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art lens attached to it via native F-mount. I don't have an L-plate on the Nikon yet, but I will soon. The Sony A9 system weighs about 1.2 kg, while the D850 configured as shown weighs about 1.6kg - not an insubstantial difference. Note that if you like the larger body, the D850 definitely wins. I personally don't care for the big camera, so I still end up preferring the Sony for most of my daily shooting, reserving the Nikon for times when I want the extra resolution, or desire specific lenses such as the 14-24 or 105mm f/1.4.







Nov 10, 2017 at 09:42 AM
suteetat
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Which System? Need some advice


How important is size and weight for you when you do your landscape work.
I have D850 and A7r ii. I have to say that when I need something light for landscape while not compromising on IQ, nothing beat A7r ii and Leica WATE. While I really don't like A7r ii much with its 50/1.4, 85/1.4G as the lenses are so big and heavy and it is rather awkward to hold this setup for a long time, Sony does have significant weight and size benefit on its wide angle lens even when uses Sony's own lenses. However, at the moment, I tend to use my D850 quite a bit more than A7r ii as I uses 70-200/2.8, 105/1.4, Otus 28/1.4 and 85/1.4 quite a lot and with big lenses, it is much more comfortable to use it with D850 (of course I could use these lenses with Sony if I want)



Nov 10, 2017 at 12:26 PM
DrShouter
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Which System? Need some advice


suteetat wrote:
How important is size and weight for you when you do your landscape work.
I have D850 and A7r ii. I have to say that when I need something light for landscape while not compromising on IQ, nothing beat A7r ii and Leica WATE. While I really don't like A7r ii much with its 50/1.4, 85/1.4G as the lenses are so big and heavy and it is rather awkward to hold this setup for a long time, Sony does have significant weight and size benefit on its wide angle lens even when uses Sony's own lenses. However, at the moment, I
...Show more

Weight is critical, but today i tried the A7II with the 24-240mm lens (the image quality is not that bad, i was really surprised) from my father and it was really really really awful to hold the combo, very front heavy (and the lens is "only" 800g). So the question is, if i really want to carry at least +400g/600g/1000g more (D850 + Nikon 24mm 1.8/Zeiss 21mm/Zeiss 25mm) or take the A7R III with the Loxia 21mm for around 1000g in total. On the other side, i climbed and hiked 600km trough the patagonian wilderness with the 5D + 24-70mm with around 1800g in total and a 24kg backpack with no real weight issues. So maybe the weight difference is only relevant for me on the paper but not in the real world.

I am also a little bit worried about the weather sealing of the Sony, is it really that bad?
Last year I hiked 300km in 21 days through Iceland and it was raining all the time, I was wet and all my gear was wet for days, after a few days I thought that my camera gear will definitely die on that trip, but nothing, the 5D worked like a charm

How is the focusing with the D850 + Zeiss Otus handheld and the OVF?
And how is the focus accuracy in general, are the mirrorless really that better to nail the focus (ax on the eye for portraits)? Had some problems with front/backfocus in the past....
I am interested in the Milvus 25mm 1.4 and the samples from Llloyd Chambers looks really really reallly promising...

Thank you very much for all your comments!
I think the best option will be to buy both, the A7R III for Landscape and the D850 for the longer lenses
Ok that is not really an option hahah



Nov 10, 2017 at 01:08 PM
Jannik Peters
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Which System? Need some advice


DrShouter wrote:
I think the best option will be to buy both, the A7R III for Landscape and the D850 for the longer lenses
Ok that is not really an option hahah


I do this exactely, just in a smaller scale because I have the feeling that I rarely need more than 24MPs..

I really tried to settle on a Sony-only system for many years because I like to shoot with an EVF, tried many cameras and lenses and ended up with frustration and many missed moments. I have a little child and the AF of the Sony cameras (A6500 was the fastest) just didn't keep up with it in a way that I wanted. I got the D750 which feels like a Dinosaur on steroids. I kind of love it, I can finally capture the little emotions and moments that I wanted to. It just gets out of my way. If AF is one of your concerns, I'd probably still settle on a DSLR, at least as an extension of your gear. I don't know if it really has to be a D850 if you already got the A7RII(I) but it definitely makes sense.

This is how my gear looks like:

A7II with Voigtländer Ultra-Wide Heliar 5.6/12 III, Zeiss Loxia 2.8/21, Voigtländer Ultron 1.7/35, Voigtländer APO-Lanthar 2/65, Contax 4.5-5.6/100-300 for landscape, architecture and travel (photography-orientated)

D750 with Nikkor 2.8/24-70 G ED, Sigma Art 1.4/35, Nikkor 1.8/50 G, Nikkor 1.8/85 G. I still have to buy one of the 70-200s and the 5.6/200-500 to complete my Nikon kit. I use this for portraiture, studio, family, travel (family-orientated)




Nov 10, 2017 at 01:24 PM
suteetat
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Which System? Need some advice


DrShouter wrote:
Weight is critical, but today i tried the A7II with the 24-240mm lens (the image quality is not that bad, i was really surprised) from my father and it was really really really awful to hold the combo, very front heavy (and the lens is "only" 800g). So the question is, if i really want to carry at least +400g/600g/1000g more (D850 + Nikon 24mm 1.8/Zeiss 21mm/Zeiss 25mm) or take the A7R III with the Loxia 21mm for around 1000g in total. On the other side, i climbed and hiked 600km trough the patagonian wilderness with the 5D + 24-70mm
...Show more

Manual focus is really easy with D850. In OVF, dot focusing on Nikon is very easy, although to get exactly sharp focus such as get the eye nailed with Otus 85/1.4 @ 1.4, it is better if you fine tune the lens first. I don't find that it is as critical to fine tune wide angle lens but it does not hurt. You can also use peaking and focus magnifier on LCD screen which is convenient for landscape (on tripod). If you do a lot of hiking in extreme weather or temperature, D850 will be better I think. Battery life on A7r iii is better than A7r ii but still not the same as D850 so that may be important for longer hike especially if you cannot recharge your batteries more often. I don't know if A7r iii will be better than A7r ii regarding temperature. I had only used my A7r ii at 0c or slightly colder with no problems but other friends had complained of camera malfunction, locked up etc at 0c to -10c but some people had no problem. Next year, I plan a trip to Siberia/Baikal Lake where temperature should be around -20C or lower, I certainly plan to bring my D850 and leave A7r ii at home as chance of camera malfunction will be less with D850 in that environment.
At least up to A7r ii, in the manual, Sony only claims moisture resistant if I remember correctly.
However, I did a 6 days hike in Bhutan last year with D500+ 300/4 PF and A7r ii with Leica Wate, 50/2 apo and it was raining the whole time and both cameras got soaked a bit (I was using D500 in the rain a bit but the Sony got soaked while in my backpack) but both did not have any problem though.



Nov 10, 2017 at 01:34 PM
charles.K
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Which System? Need some advice


DrShouter wrote:
Weight is critical, but today i tried the A7II with the 24-240mm lens (the image quality is not that bad, i was really surprised) from my father and it was really really really awful to hold the combo, very front heavy (and the lens is "only" 800g). So the question is, if i really want to carry at least +400g/600g/1000g more (D850 + Nikon 24mm 1.8/Zeiss 21mm/Zeiss 25mm) or take the A7R III with the Loxia 21mm for around 1000g in total. On the other side, i climbed and hiked 600km trough the patagonian wilderness with the 5D + 24-70mm
...Show more

The A7rII with the WATE is an awesome combination and I had for about 12 months before the Loxia 21 arrived. The entry cost is very high. If was I taking that path I would now opt for both A7rIII and D850 with that budget in mind

Both are great systems and you REALLY need to pick up both systems with the lenses you will be using and make the decision. I suspect the decision is not the obvious choice you were thinking otherwise you would not be here. There is no wrong decision except if the camera system does not inspire you to take shots

Regarding the D850, the manual focusing capabilities through the OVF and LV are amazing. The focus dot confirmation through the OVF is very fast and accurate. So far I have not needed any fine tune AF adjustments. The LV is fast with focus peaking. I really don't need the magnified for 95% of shots. The D850 has a number discussions relating to this in the resource thead. So using the Otus and Milvus will be easy except for the weight and size. As mentioned I have had the A7 series for 4 years and I prefer the manual focusing now with the D850. I realize this is different that what people are thinking but you have to try for yourself.

Good Luck




Nov 10, 2017 at 01:40 PM
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