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Wildlife photography using Sony E-mount system - Part II
  
 
LBJ2
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p.5 #1 · p.5 #1 · Wildlife photography using Sony E-mount system - Part II


Joshua, MedicineMan, dallvr: Thank you for looking and commenting ( The Anhinga shot is one my favorties from this group too) The green rim around the eye denotes breeding plumage. He sure attracted my camera + lens

So far so good with this kit A9+GM 100-400 and the 1.4xTC and am very satisfied with the IQ + TC. Being able to hand hold this setup really lets me get out there where the action is and I think the silent/electronic shutter helps too. Am still experimenting with the 2.0x TC at 800mm.



Dec 29, 2017 at 12:29 PM
MedicineMan404
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p.5 #2 · p.5 #2 · Wildlife photography using Sony E-mount system - Part II


LBJ the 2.0 isn't perfect but doable eh and remember at the dam without it I wouldn't have been in the game at all. Living where you do I don't know I'd use it often, meaning the venues I've shot in Florida like Viera, Stick Marsh,CircleBarB, etc. 560 was normally plenty. Where I live the 2.0 and F11 is worthless but in February we'll visit and enjoy a bit of sunshine and maybe see a bird or two


Dec 29, 2017 at 01:33 PM
AGeoJO
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p.5 #3 · p.5 #3 · Wildlife photography using Sony E-mount system - Part II


dallvr wrote:
@MedicineMan404@, thanks for your input on my question about Sony service. I do a lot of my shooting in challenging environments, mostly Africa, some Arctic (Svalbard). I try to take good care of my gear, avoid lens changes as much as possible and make every effort to keep it all clean. But these environments are be pretty harsh. Probably the worst was blowing sand in Namibia. It was absolutely necessary to send my bodies and lenses to Canon's factory service after that trip. That's the main reason I am leery about going with Sony; it seems that while Sony has
...Show more

I had some experience with Sony’s service in the past. The first one was early on and it was before Sony started the Pro Imaging service that I now belong. It was my fault; I dropped the camera, Sony A7r, on a concrete floor and it stopped working. It was a real impact damage and Sony fixed it for a fee and rightfully so. The second time around, the exact same camera developed shutter issues shortly before the warranty period. Sony fixed it under the warranty. Both times they turned it around about a week or so.

I joined the Pro Imaging about 18 months ago. It is basically very similar to the Gold Membership of CPS., down to the fee. So far, I used it only once. I sent the camera in on Monday and I received it back on Friday the same week. They pay for shipping over there and back. It was more a maintenance/cleaning work that time around. Last year at a trade show where Sony had pro services there, they did clean my bodies and lenses, too on the spot. They had 3 technicians that did the work at that time.

My exposure to Sony’s service in the last 4 years has been roughly the same as that to Canon’s while I was a CPS member. My experience with the repair frequency with both brands has been or was also similar. I took my Sony gear to Lapland earlier in the year and during some excursions there, the gear was exposed to cold weather and it operated without any glitch. However, I have to admit that the confidence level that Sony gear can withstand harsh conditions is not quite up there yet. As far as being prone to repair they are actually on the same level. It is more the stigma rather than the reality. I have had quite number of Sony cameras and so far, the only one that developed the issue was the A7r and that one sustained a damage from the fall.

The question I have to you is the reason for you to consider switching from Canon to Sony as a wildlife photographer. Currently, Sony doesn’t have a native long FE lens yet. Let’s face it, even with the A9, the AF performance with an adapted lenses about the same to slightly less than that using the same lenses on Canon bodies. The big advantage of Sony is the sensor and its higher dynamic range, among others. The gain is there in wildlife photography alright but it is definitely less important unlike in landscape photography, for example. Just a fruit for thought here.



Dec 29, 2017 at 03:45 PM
dallvr
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p.5 #4 · p.5 #4 · Wildlife photography using Sony E-mount system - Part II


Thanks, Joshua. Your experience with Sony's service is encouraging. According to the terms of Sony's pro service, I probably won't qualify even though I use my equipment like a pro who makes money from it. When I sell photos, I have made the decision to have all the money I make from photography go directly to Wilderness Trust, a nonprofit in southern Africa that supports research, conservation and children's programs. I don't receive ANY money and donate the costs of making prints, framing, etc. And I can't meet Sony's intrusive requirement that MOST of my money must come from photography, an intrusive requirement IMO.

My reasons for wanting to make the switch boil down to this—I am a small person, and older (past retirement age), and it is getting more difficult to hand hold the 1DXII with 100-400II. What I like best about the a9 is the lighter weight, lower bulk, with an improvement in frame rate, resolution, silent shutter etc. as compared to my Canon equipment. I hope that with the lighter weight of the Sony body and slightly lighter weight of comparable lenses, there might be a combination that will give me the ability to use a longer prime in the future. My goal is to keep doing the wildlife photography into the future with gear that is lighter and less bulky (easier to transport on small planes).



Dec 29, 2017 at 04:05 PM
AGeoJO
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p.5 #5 · p.5 #5 · Wildlife photography using Sony E-mount system - Part II


dallvr wrote:
Thanks, Joshua. Your experience with Sony's service is encouraging. According to the terms of Sony's pro service, I probably won't qualify even though I use my equipment like a pro who makes money from it. When I sell photos, I have made the decision to have all the money I make from photography go directly to Wilderness Trust, a nonprofit in southern Africa that supports research, conservation and children's programs. I don't receive ANY money and donate the costs of making prints, framing, etc. And I can't meet Sony's intrusive requirement that MOST of my money must come from photography,
...Show more

The term “Pro” is somewhat misleading, I would say. Yes, I have sold files/prints but I would starve had my livelihood depends on that. To me, it was more a passion for photography rather than anything else. I believe, at least the last time I applied for the Pro Imaging service, Sony puts more emphasis on your equipment that would qualify you to be a member. Like I mentioned previously, the fees, requirements and benefits between the Sony Pro Imagain and Canon CPS are really similar to each other. I am not aware that Sony changed the requirement. Maybe they did modify the requirement recently that I am not aware of. I turned in the application form once back then and they automatically grandfather existing members after that.

Yes, to the lighter weight between Canon 1Dx I or II and Sony A9 and the same goes with the Canon 5D Mark IV and Sony A7r III. The bulk/weight of the 100-400mm lenses on both camps is about the same. The Sony GM 100-400mm lens still enables you to get AF tracking on the A9 while the Canon counterpart lens cannot do that on the Canon body.

BTW, at 5’ 7” I am not a large person either and I passed my retirement age as well. Like I mentioned in this thread, I am using a camera support for my wildlife shooting. Although I can handhold the camera with the GM 100-400mm lens plus a 1.4X TC alright but I feel more comfortable using a monopod at the least. It is easier on the shoulder/arm, I can compose better and I can get sharper images that way, too.



Dec 29, 2017 at 04:29 PM
dallvr
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p.5 #6 · p.5 #6 · Wildlife photography using Sony E-mount system - Part II


"Sony puts more emphasis on your equipment that would qualify you to be a member" That's the way it should be as long as you are willing to pay the price of a pro service membership in order to get rapid turnaround and professional service. I hope that's still the case, although the statement on the website sounds like they are placing a lot of emphasis on photography being the prime source of your income in order to be a Pro member.

My 5D4 does AF tracking with the 100-400 II, but only has a frame rate of 7 per second.

I'm a 5'3" woman and at my age, I think I do need some camera support after a lot of years of hand holding. I'm thinking about the RRS safari clamp to give me that support.

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences.



Dec 29, 2017 at 08:22 PM
AGeoJO
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p.5 #7 · p.5 #7 · Wildlife photography using Sony E-mount system - Part II


dallvr wrote:
My 5D4 does AF tracking with the 100-400 II, but only has a frame rate of 7 per second.


My mistake; I left out the 2X TC in my post. What I meant was you can get AF tracking with the GM 100-400mm lens plus a 2X TC on the A9 while the Canon lens cannot do that with a 2X TC on a Canon body. The limit of the AF tracking of the A9 is f/11 while that of the A7r III is f/8, which is I believe is the same as a Canon body. Correct me if I am wrong.


dallvr wrote:
I'm a 5'3" woman and at my age, I think I do need some camera support after a lot of years of hand holding. I'm thinking about the RRS safari clamp to give me that support.





Dec 29, 2017 at 08:51 PM
dallvr
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p.5 #8 · p.5 #8 · Wildlife photography using Sony E-mount system - Part II


Oh ok, now I understand what you mean about the AF tracking. I don't use TCs, have never been happy with the IQ, and the limitations that you've described on the non-flagship Canon bodies. I've only really used a 1.4X on the 1DX or 1DXII, and have not liked my results. Obviously, you've mastered the skill of getting great results with TCs, but it has never worked for me.


Dec 29, 2017 at 08:55 PM
mjm6
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p.5 #9 · p.5 #9 · Wildlife photography using Sony E-mount system - Part II


Has anyone looked at the performance of the Sony TCs compared to the Canon TCs on Canon lenses?

Looking at a site out there (www.the-digital-picture.com), you can see the impact of the Sony TCs on the 100-400, and similarly the Canon TCs on their 100-400 and also other lenses like the 400 2.8 and others.

It appears that the Canon TCs perform better on their respective lenses than the Sony ones do on the Sony lenses, so I'm wondering if choosing a 2x Canon is better than a 2x Sony, or a 1.4 Canon and 1.4 Sony...



Dec 30, 2017 at 06:58 AM
MedicineMan404
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p.5 #10 · p.5 #10 · Wildlife photography using Sony E-mount system - Part II


^Here's a current page of Brian's kit-
https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/My-Current-Cameras-and-Lenses.aspx
Bias comes in many forms and shapes, sometimes even so cryptic that the reviewer can't see it.



Dec 30, 2017 at 08:10 AM
 

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mjm6
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p.5 #11 · p.5 #11 · Wildlife photography using Sony E-mount system - Part II


Are you suggesting that he is falsifying his lens test examples? I find that hard to believe...

I could see poor testing practices coming into play, but what is the point of doing tests if you are going to fake them? If he is a Canon brand ambassador, I guess there would be a bias implied, but if he got caught doing that, it would be very bad for Canon to have been associated with someone like that.

While the quality of some of his content is only slightly over that of Ken Rockwell, he does at least have the lens testing and MTF charts for comparisons, which are handy if they are reasonably done.



Dec 30, 2017 at 08:34 PM
AGeoJO
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p.5 #12 · p.5 #12 · Wildlife photography using Sony E-mount system - Part II


jankap wrote:
What do you think of lens boosters?
I have a Metabones LR to E-mount and it works very good. One wins one f/stop.
That means the frontlens is 30% smaller.
Jan


If the Canon lens that you use has an aperture of f/2.8, as an example and under certain lighting conditions, you can get the shutter speed of 1/500sec with that lens. Adding a speed booster will get you 1-stop faster shutter speed under the exact same conditions. What changes is the format, again from FF to APS-C. So, a lens booster is used for APS-C format cameras.



Dec 30, 2017 at 09:53 PM
MedicineMan404
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p.5 #13 · p.5 #13 · Wildlife photography using Sony E-mount system - Part II


Implying nothing and I'd certainly not put him anywhere near KR.
All I'm saying is even someone very well respected like Carnathan has intrinsic leanings/interpretations/etc. Even moreso given his strong Canon background and backing.

Now when Jim Kasson, Fred M, or Roger C. chime in I'll listen. Why? Simple, those three are
without dogs in certain camps.

Hey mjm, just an old man's bias into which bias I'll be biased to believe



Dec 30, 2017 at 09:54 PM
ilkka_nissila
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p.5 #14 · p.5 #14 · Wildlife photography using Sony E-mount system - Part II


mjm6 wrote:
Are you suggesting that he is falsifying his lens test examples? I find that hard to believe...

I could see poor testing practices coming into play, but what is the point of doing tests if you are going to fake them?


I have doubts about the validity of that site’s tests. I’ve noticed in some cases the focus is not correct in the center of the image for some Nikon lenses. I would call it poor technique.



Dec 30, 2017 at 10:24 PM
mjm6
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p.5 #15 · p.5 #15 · Wildlife photography using Sony E-mount system - Part II


Yes, OK. I'm good to go with possibly a bit of ingrown bias and poor technique.

However, since there is the option to use either a Canon TC or a Sony TC when shooting a Canon lens on a Sony, I think it makes sense to target that for exploration to see which ones work the best. It wouldn't surprise me if the Sony worked best for focus, but the Canon worked best for image quality since they are likely tuned specifically for the lens design principles that Canon employs, whereas Sony is geared toward... well, that's not clear yet, since they don't exactly have a lot of super telephoto lenses to guide this yet (except the older Minolta and subsequent Sony lenses).



Dec 31, 2017 at 07:14 AM
AGeoJO
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p.5 #16 · p.5 #16 · Wildlife photography using Sony E-mount system - Part II


smpetty wrote:
Joshua -

I see that you're now using both the A9 and the A7RM3. I'm still split between these cameras. I can get an A9 new through Greentoe for around $3,600. My A7RM3 from Adorama arrived today. I can't keep both. Have you gained any insight into how much better is the AF on the A9 versus the A7RM3? Which would you consider a better body for someone who shoots landscapes, wildlife, birds/BIF, horses, dogs, informal family, nightscapes/astro, and macro? I know that each body has its own skill set, but if you could only keep one, which one would it
...Show more

Hi Scott,
I went to a local birding place yesterday morning and only took/used my A7r III with the Canon 400mm and both TCs. Frankly, I am impressed with the speed of the AF of that camera. The shooting circumstances however didn't give me the opportunity of testing its tracking ability with the exact same setup I did with the A9. So, I am still not sure, which one I will pick but the pixel density of that camera is nice and lets me crop quite a bit without seeing much if any degradation. Of course, the A9 being only a 24MP camera, it has less ability to let you crop too much.

In general though, I believe we got the answer you are looking for. Since you already get the A7r III, I would keep that camera and use it for the jack of all trades. If you are doing more and more wildlife/bird photography and you started noticing the short coming of the A7r III then you always can either add the A9 or even switch to the A9. By the time, the price of a used A9 could be less than the price of a new A7r III . Personally, I would suggest to get both as you do need a spare, just in case, one for whatever reasons, goes out of commission. You cannot go wrong with either body and it also depends on how often you need the AF prowess over the pixel density or the other way around.

Here is an image taken with the A7r III from yesterday using the same lens/TC arrangement I did mostly on the trip to Bosque. Please note that this bird is tiny and flies really fast. And no, I could not and did not follow focus this guy in flight. Well, actually I cheated a little and pre-focused on the branch as I noticed that that perch was his lookout spot for spotting flies/insect that morning. Whatever it takes to get the shot, right or maybe I should keep this to myself ?

I know I am not helping much here but it is what it is, sorry ,
Joshua




© AGeoJO 2017

Touch down - Vermillion Flycatcher!

  ILCE-7RM3    EF400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens    784mm    f/8.0    1/500s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Dec 31, 2017 at 08:26 PM
bvphotos
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p.5 #17 · p.5 #17 · Wildlife photography using Sony E-mount system - Part II


Joshua, how much better is the AF speed of the A7RIII over A7RII with the 400 DO II + the 1.4x or 2x TC in your experience?


Dec 31, 2017 at 10:23 PM
AGeoJO
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p.5 #18 · p.5 #18 · Wildlife photography using Sony E-mount system - Part II


bvphotos wrote:
Joshua, how much better is the AF speed of the A7RIII over A7RII with the 400 DO II + the 1.4x or 2x TC in your experience?


It is tough to quantify the speed. But for sure the AF of the A7r III is more responsive than that of the A7r II I used the A7r II with the bare 400mm lens for BIF, I couldn’t get more than 2 images in focus, mostly only 1, And I would consider myself lucky. In many cases it simply couldn’t even find the focus. Depending on the size of the target, the A9 could track well even if the BIF is approaching us or diagonally and not only flying parallel. I noticed yesterday that the A7r III could find focus easily, more easily than the A7r II but everything is based on memory and it wasn’t a direct comparison and I didn’t do any measurement. I could say for sure that its AF performance is better but by how much and how it compares to that of the A9, I don’t know that yet. I am still evaluating this camera further in that aspect. For sure, I will take that with me to Costa Rica in February together with the A9.



Dec 31, 2017 at 10:51 PM
bvphotos
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p.5 #19 · p.5 #19 · Wildlife photography using Sony E-mount system - Part II


Thanks for your quick response. Another trip to Costa Rica? Looking for peons to carry your baggage?


Dec 31, 2017 at 11:08 PM
AGeoJO
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p.5 #20 · p.5 #20 · Wildlife photography using Sony E-mount system - Part II


bvphotos wrote:
Thanks for your quick response. Another trip to Costa Rica? Looking for peons to carry your baggage?


You are very welcome! And yes, in 2 months to be exact. ....



Dec 31, 2017 at 11:22 PM
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