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  Reviews by: Fred Miranda  

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Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 OSS SEL70200G

Sony-FE-70-200mm-f4-G-OSS
Review Date: Dec 13, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,231.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: build quality, quiet OSS, relatively compact, IQ even wide-open
Cons:
fly-by-wire focus mechanism.

The size of the lens is about the same as the Canon/Nikon competitors which is very compact for a 70-200 f/4 lens. Yes, maybe it's not a small lens but we are talking full frame here and I always prefer IQ over size.

The Sony 70-200 f/4 is just as good or better than my Canon 70-200 f/4L IS which is a superb lens. Micro contrast and colors are excellent and there is no apparent compromise. A shortcoming of the Canon 70-200 f/4 was always 200mm f/4 at MFD. The Sony performs way better at MFD and the image stabilizer seems almost silent. In contrast Canon's IS version is very loud.

At 200mm, there is a small penalty in the corners when shooting wide open. That is minimum though and it's just perceptible because the center is that good. Maybe I got lucky with my copy but can only highly recommended this lens.


 
Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* SEL1635Z

fe1635
Review Date: Dec 13, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,348.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ at 16-20mm, compact, OSS, build-quality
Cons:
fly-by-wire focus mechanism

I tested the FE 16-35 f/4 OSS today and I'm impressed. The lens is optimized for the widest range (16-18mm)
At this range the lens is superb. Micro contrast, color and resolution are top notch from center to corner even wide open. That proved to me that the A7/R is capable of great resolution at ultra-wide-angles even in the corners when the lens is optimized for the body. I'm not sure what happened to the FE 24-70 f/4...I hope there will be a version II coming really fast.

I'm getting similar resolution on the extreme edges when compared to my TS-E 17mm @f/4 and that is hard to do.
Stepping down to f/5.6 and f/8 improves the extreme edges further and at f/11 the entire image is sharp but there is a small micro-contrast reduction that is noticeable in the center area due to diffraction.

At 24mm and 35mm, I don't get the same excellent center to corner performance wide open. However starting at f/5.6, IQ is greatly improved in the corners. At f/8 seems to be the sweet spot. (Especially at 35mm)
I intend to use this lens for video and landscape photography and could not be happier with its performance. It will complement my Canon tilt and shift lenses and I will not hesitate to use it at any giving opportunity.


 
Sony a7R

Screen_Shot_2013-11-13_at_3_58_01_PM_copy
Review Date: Mar 9, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: 36MP Exmor sensor | Superb EVF | E-mount compatibility with an array of | Sony and other adapted lenses | Compact size and Lightweight | Manual mode with auto-ISO and exposure compensation Weather sealed High quality RAW files with amazing dynamic range
Cons:
Noticeable Shutter Vibration above 100mm focal length in the 1/30s - 1/125s shutter speed range | RAW lossy compression | Slow wake-up time | Low battery life capacity | Unable to toggle the LCD On/Off with a custom button. You can assign a custom function to turn off the LCD but it only blacks out the screen without actually turning it off.

Sony’s full frame A7R catches the eye of Canon shooters with its adaptable mount. This compact, mirrorless body packs in a 36MP Exmor sensor and delivers impressive IQ and dynamic range.

I took it for a spin in Death Valley and Mono Lake and the results may surprise you.

Read my review:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/A7R-review


 
Sony FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* SEL2470Z

Screen_Shot_2013-11-13_at_2_25_05_PM_copy
Review Date: Mar 1, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Well built, image stabilization, color, Zeiss micro-contrast, small and light.
Cons:
distortion at 24mm and 70mm; Extreme corners are soft from 24mm until 30mm due to astigmatism.

Here are my initial impressions shooting at about 25 feet distance with the A7R:

The FE 24-70 f/4 is plenty sharp wide-open at all focal lengths. Micro contrast improves dramatically by stopping down to f/5.6. However, at the wide range, stepping down further reduces micro-contrast from the center and does not do much for the extreme corners.

From 24mm until around 30mm, the aperture sweet spot is between f/5.6 and f/8 and at 50-70mm performs fine at f/8.

At 24mm, corners are somewhat sharp at f/5.6 but extreme corners do not follow and look very soft. The same happens at 30mm to a lesser degree. There is an improvement at 35mm and at 50mm the lens performs its best. Very sharp center and extreme edges. Sweet spot is f/5.6. At f/8 extreme corners sharpen up even further.

At 70mm, I find the extreme corners sharp when stoping down to f/5.6. At f/8 corners improve further. No changes going to f/11.

So, like many reviewers, I find the FE zoom's achilles heel to be from 24mm until 30mm at the extreme corners. It's not due to field curvature. Focusing on the extreme corners does not improve them probably due to astigmatism.
At 70mm, I found the lens sharp from center to edge when stopping down to f/5.6-f/8.


 
Canon EOS 1D X

1dx-thmb
Review Date: Sep 3, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, 12FPS 18mp RAW files, Excellent AF and metering systems.
Cons:
Less pixel dense than predecessor, inability to AF @ f/8

I was very fortunate to have an opportunity to test out and review a production model of this new camera.

If you are curious about the new features or wondering if you should upgrade, you may find the answers to your questions in my review. Read about the pros and the cons and my experience using the EOS 1D X in the field.

Coupled with the 400mm and 500mm series II lenses, I had a blast pushing the limits on Canon's new equipment.

To read my Canon EOS 1D X Review, click below:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/1dx-review

All the best,
Fred


 
Canon EOS 5D Mark III

5DIIIs
Review Date: May 3, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: - Build quality - New AF system - Lower noise at ISO 6400 and above - Better and bigger LCD - 6 FPS - 100% viewfinder
Cons:
- Small resolution change - No sensor improvement at base ISO.

I just had the time of my life testing out two incredible new cameras, the Canon 5D Mark III and the Nikon D800. I took them to Yosemite and Mono Lake for a little over a week and would like to share with you my personal review.
Hope you enjoy it!

Here is the link: http://www.fredmiranda.com/5DIII-D800
All the best,
Fred


 
Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM

ef400_4dois_1_
Review Date: Jun 4, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,000.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Lightweight for a 400mm f/4 Handles well in a compact design Sharp wide-open Fast AF and effective IS
Cons:
Price Great IQ but not jaw dropping. :)

Many find disappointing that the 400mm f/4 DO IS does not match the optical quality of the 300mm f/2.8L IS with the 1.4x II extender...
To me the obvious difference is in contrast.
However, we are left with other practical considerations, such as weight:
The 400 DO weights about 4.3 pounds
The 300/2.8L IS + 1.4x weights about 6 pounds (That is almost 2 pounds heavier!!)
I found the 400mm f/4 DO IS to be of very high optical quality aside from the lower contrast, yielding nice looking bokeh and great flare protection. When combined with the 1.4x extender, IQ suffers noticeably.

This picture was taking with the original Canon 1Ds + 400mm DO + 1.4II extender @560mm (contrast and sharpening in post)
http://www.fredmiranda.com/hosting/showphoto.php?photo=70&sort=1&cat=500&page=3