Full frame dSLR for manual focus?
/forum/topic/1173715/1

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sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 10298
Country: United States

wfrank wrote:
And Sony vs Canon. Sorry but I cant see how A900 matches the 5D2 in any respect. Doesnt it lack both liveview and video, and can you change the matte to a fast one (factory supported)? It's like 30€ easy switch for a 5D2. MF is o interest here, and I fail to flush away the ancient feel the A900 steams compared to the 5D2 right there. And then comes ease of adaptability, Sony may be better than Nikon, but both worse than Canon.

The one thing I see is IBIS, but in my experience that is useful for longer focal lengths which is not what typical MF fans do a whole lot of. The sensor doesnt impress either, as opposed to current generation sensors from Sony such as in the A99 or D600/D800. I'd prefer the 5D2's over what noise I've seen in A900, but maybe that's just a matter of what you're used to and what tools are available for RAW files between the brands.

Finally, with ML the 5D2 de-aged a couple of years for people interested in focus peaking and such. For me it brings a number of other things too, one-click full magnification of screen (LV) and also can impose a small magnified view in the LCD when that is suitable. You can even configure it to a simulated split screen if you want.


the a900/a850 have better viewfinders than the 5DII and they have better factory supported precision matte screens as well. i believe they cost $60, not sure about euro price. they also have better sensors at base iso (the 5DII kills them above iso 400 though). finally, IBIS is AWESOME at short focal lengths. if you don't think so that means you've either never had it and are just idly speculating, always use a tripod, or never shoot in poor light.

the lack of liveview kills the sonys for me though. that is the main weakness of the a900/a850 for manual focus. the lack of video and poor high iso will also kill it for most people regardless of whether they shoot manual focus.



xbarcelo
Registered: Nov 04, 2010
Total Posts: 534
Country: Spain

The A900 you can change to a factory supported matte screen. Easy switch, which makes MF a breeze (actually better than 5D2). True about liveview and video. Adaptability is arguable, because many lenses hit the 5D mirror, whereas the A900's is easier to cope with (ie. Lux 35). IBIS is wonderful and much more useful than you think (albeit only really active on chipped lenses). And the sensor is better than you might think. Jpegs suck, that's very true, but Lightroom does wonders to this cam. No Magic lantern, though, which is a big shame…



douglasf13
Registered: Apr 09, 2008
Total Posts: 6008
Country: United States

wfrank wrote:
Micro-sensor decimal-orgy when TS looks for full-frame. Huh.

But when it comes to Sony FF vs Canon FF. Sorry but I cant see how A900 matches the 5D2 in any respect. Doesnt it lack both liveview and video, and can you change the matte to a fast one (factory supported)? It's a 30€ easy switch for a 5D2. MF is o interest here, and I fail to flush away the ancient feel the A900 steams compared to the 5D2 right there. And then comes ease of adaptability, Sony may be better than Nikon, but both worse than Canon.

The one thing I see is IBIS, but in my experience that is only useful for longer focal lengths which is not what typical MF fans do a whole lot of. The sensor doesnt impress either, as opposed to current generation sensors from Sony such as in the A99 or D600/D800. I'd prefer the 5D2's over what noise I've seen from the A900, but maybe that's just a matter of what you're used to and what tools are available for RAW files between the brands.

Finally, with ML the 5D2 de-aged a couple of years for people interested in focus peaking and such. It also brings a number of other things too, one-click full magnification of screen (LV) and also can impose a small magnified view in the LCD when that is suitable. You can even configure it to a simulated split screen if you want.


A few things:

- the A900 does have user replaceable focus screens from Sony, and it is the best OVF of any 35mm DSLR at any price point.

- I found the stabilization super handy for my 50mm and 85mm primes.

- While the A900 doesn't quite compete with the 5Dii at high ISO (although newer versions of LR have mitigated this a bit,) the IQ of the A900 at low to mid ISO still trumps the 5Dii, so it's a trade off. The color and DR of the Sony are better, and the camera is without the deep shadow banding of the 5Dii. I'd still pick the A900 over the 5Dii, in terms of IQ.

Either way, as I've mentioned before, if I was shooting only MF glass, I'd seriously look into the new A99, because EVFs are fantastic for TTL manual focusing. I'd take the mirror out and Leitax some Zeiss and Leica R lenses.



sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 10298
Country: United States

douglasf13 wrote:
Either way, as I've mentioned before, if I was shooting only MF glass, I'd seriously look into the new A99, because EVFs are fantastic for TTL manual focusing. I'd take the mirror out and Leitax some Zeiss and Leica R lenses.


+1, i would have done this already, but i'm hoping a smaller FF mirrorless camera comes out in the next year or so.



naturephoto1
Registered: Nov 09, 2005
Total Posts: 1580
Country: United States

sebboh wrote:
douglasf13 wrote:
Either way, as I've mentioned before, if I was shooting only MF glass, I'd seriously look into the new A99, because EVFs are fantastic for TTL manual focusing. I'd take the mirror out and Leitax some Zeiss and Leica R lenses.


+1, i would have done this already, but i'm hoping a smaller FF mirrorless camera comes out in the next year or so.


Well we know of one very expensive one that is coming. But I too am waiting for something as an alternative at least to consider and will not require me to change all of my Leica R lens mounts.

Rich



freaklikeme
Registered: Apr 08, 2005
Total Posts: 5659
Country: United States

The budget is for a used 5DII or D600. If you all know where a99s are available for those prices, please share.



sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 10298
Country: United States

freaklikeme wrote:
The budget is for a used 5DII or D600. If you all know where a99s are available for those prices, please share.


oops, forgot. wait a year, maybe less?



JohnJ
Registered: Jul 09, 2005
Total Posts: 1994
Country: Australia

Tarocco wrote:
.... I'm leaning towards a 5D MKII with the right screen but will I be disappointed compared to the OM2N?...


Yes, it will be a dissapointment compared the the OM2 which has a large image magnification combined with a bright screen. The image magnification on the 5D2 is lower, ie you are looking at a smaller image. The 5D2 is dimmer/darker, especially if you fit the Egs screen which you will probably have to to be able to focus accurately. The 5D2 also seems to suffer from a kind of flare from stray light which I always found made focusing harder than it had to be. I never had that same problem with a 1ds2.

Having said that, and dumped as much poo on the 5D2 as I possibly can, it can be used to focus accurately but it's not ideal. A lot will depend on the lenses you use so if your lenses are a little on the fuzzy side then your life will be much harder. On the other hand if your lenses are already sharp at the aperture you will be focusing at then you will probably be OK. By way of example, I tend to use a Leica R 80/1.4 at F2 where it is already very sharp and focusing using the 5D2 is relatively easy.



JohnJ
Registered: Jul 09, 2005
Total Posts: 1994
Country: Australia

LightShow wrote:
...although I believe the OM2 is slightly smaller than the OM1.



I always thought that OM1 and OM2 viewfinders where the same size and that is supported by this link:

http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/olympusom1n2/shared/accessory/screens/index.htm



Bifurcator
Registered: Oct 22, 2008
Total Posts: 9299
Country: Japan

I think something else to consider is that the mind and most aspects of one's vision is comparative in nature. I think unless you carry an OM-1 or OM-2 along with you for constant reference you're not going to know the difference. Maybe if you keep telling yourself to remember that there is a difference then you'll still notice it tho.

I shot with the OM1, 2, and 10 in my bag for a few years and didn't really notice any differences between them. The next camera I moved to and really every camera since, I didn't notice a difference unless I consciously made an effort to remember and compare.

With special attention to MF on any of the cameras being discussed I kinda doubt any will be crippling your ability. I can only assume your brain will adequately adjust to the device as mine seems to.



BTW, I think the only difference between the OM1 and the OM2 viewfinders were that the OM1 used a pentamirror and he OM2 used a pentaprism. At least I don't remember there being a size (magnification) difference. <shrug>



mawz
Registered: Sep 11, 2005
Total Posts: 7709
Country: Canada

A couple notes.

If you like the NEX+EVF for LV, be sure to look at the A99, it's FF and has an EVF superior to any NEX other than the NEX-6. The A77 and A65 also share the earlier revision of the 2.4MP EVF so they're very similar to the NEX-5N/5R/7 for EVF performance (the lower end SLT's in the A5x and A3x lines have a lower-spec EVF that's adequate but not nearly as good as the excellent 2.4MP unit).

As to OVF's, the OM finders are highly overrated. They're big, but the focus screens are your choice of poor or awful (the newer ones are poor, the older ones awful), an A900 with an M screen is far superior for manual focus.

For comparable film bodies, just about all have better finders in reality, if not on paper (comparable bodies that is, ie FM vs OM-1 or an FA vs OM-4T). I was very happy to get rid of my OM-4T and OM-1, in good part because of the poor finders. They're also very poorly built for 'Pro' bodies, I was not impressed with the build or the performance and the only OM body I'd consider buying again is the OM2000, which is cheap plastic and not designed by Olympus, I found it to be a lot more likeable than the actual OM's. Liked the glass but the more I used the bodies the less I liked them. Magnification is not everything as the OM finders and Pentax's very similar MX prove.



mawz
Registered: Sep 11, 2005
Total Posts: 7709
Country: Canada

Bifurcator wrote:

BTW, I think the only difference between the OM1 and the OM2 viewfinders were that the OM1 used a pentamirror and he OM2 used a pentaprism. At least I don't remember there being a size (magnification) difference. <shrug>


They're both Pentaprism, with essentially similar specs. The OM-3/4 had a smaller finder (which was IMHO better than the OM-1/2 finders)



Mescalamba
Registered: Jul 06, 2011
Total Posts: 3072
Country: Czech Republic

If someone thinks about A900/A850, then they could also think about 1DsMK2. Its pretty good camera too. Tho prices are similar. Advantage of Canon is lots of adapters, for Sony, most things need to be really adapted (Leica R or C/Y only Leitax).

D3X, if you are lucky can be reasonable "cheap" for what it is. Saw one on local SH, but it was gone next day. Probably not a real option due price.

Yea and old 5D isnt bad either, just need to have mirror fixed and shaved for some lens. Cheapest option, but not bad one I think. Except limited DR and no shadow lifting possible.

Guess it depends on what you want to shoot too.. What I would like for alt shooting is wierd APS-H in form of 1DMK3 or 1DMK4. Will get there again one day.. or at least I hope.



Jorgen Udvang
Registered: Aug 01, 2005
Total Posts: 2127
Country: Thailand

Canon 6D would be my choice. More compact than the 5DII and with a better sensor. Replaceable focusing screens too.



melcat
Registered: Jun 13, 2008
Total Posts: 697
Country: Australia

I still have an OM-3 in the cupboard, and shot with an OM-1, OM-2N and OM-4 before that. From 2007 to 2011 I used a 5D, and now a 1Ds Mk III. Here's my comparison of the finders:

The OM-4 and OM-3 with the stock 1-13 screen are almost identical in viewfinder size and brightness to the original 5D with Ee-S screen. I verified this by a side-by-side comparison. The brightness is not surprising, since the OM-3 and OM-4 also have semi-silvered mirrors like modern AF cameras. It must be understood that there were a large number of screens in the OM system and used examples often had ancient dim screens scavenged from 1970s bodies. There was also a 2-13 screen that came with the OM-3Ti that is like a modern Canon one: brighter, but it doesn't show the full shallowness of field.

The OM-1 and OM-2 have larger finders which are also about as bright (no semi-silvered mirror, but the increased light spread over the bigger area).

The 1Ds Mk III of course has a finder slightly larger than the 5D.



freaklikeme
Registered: Apr 08, 2005
Total Posts: 5659
Country: United States

sebboh wrote:
freaklikeme wrote:
The budget is for a used 5DII or D600. If you all know where a99s are available for those prices, please share.


oops, forgot. wait a year, maybe less?


I'm hoping for three months. I'm figuring that's about how long I can hold out, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a price drop or rebate.



zhangyue
Registered: Jan 28, 2011
Total Posts: 2715
Country: United States

Do you guys know if I need code the lens to be able to have in body IS? Or any lens will have that?

If sony have a99 with a900 OVF. I might have bought it.



sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 10298
Country: United States

zhangyue wrote:
Do you guys know if I need code the lens to be able to have in body IS? Or any lens will have that?


the lens needs to be chipped, there is no way to code it in camera. you can buy chips for ~$20 on ebay and attach them with a bit of epoxy. leitax and other venders also offer prechipped mounts/adapters.

zhangyue wrote:
If sony have a99 with a900 OVF. I might have bought it.


yeah, that'd be awesome. not gonna happen i'm afraid.



freaklikeme
Registered: Apr 08, 2005
Total Posts: 5659
Country: United States

sebboh wrote:
zhangyue wrote:
Do you guys know if I need code the lens to be able to have in body IS? Or any lens will have that?


the lens needs to be chipped, there is no way to code it in camera. you can buy chips for ~$20 on ebay and attach them with a bit of epoxy. leitax and other venders also offer prechipped mounts/adapters.


With Leitax Sony mounts, David directs you to James Lao for the chips, where you specify focal length and max aperture for each chip, and you ask James to ship them to David. He attaches them for you (free!) and then sends each mount labeled appropriately. It's very smooth and doesn't take as long as it sounds like it would. I don't think I've ever had to wait more than a couple of weeks for a chipped adapter.



zhangyue
Registered: Jan 28, 2011
Total Posts: 2715
Country: United States

Thanks, guys



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