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Archive 2020 · Giving up on a7RIV and 200-600 :-(

  
 
SouthFla
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Giving up on a7RIV and 200-600 :-(


Sorry for the rant, I just feel like venting after looking at my results from yesterday's shoot. I understand that the RIV mega-pixel beast demands the utmost attention to technique with its Uber resolution, and to be honest the results I have gotten shooting landscape, portrait, static subjects and general photography are incredible. In fact, I feel that I have taken more "portfolio-worthy" images with this camera (and lens) more than any other equipment I've had the fortune of owning. But anytime I try capturing moving action (i.e. BIF or aviation photography involving subjects traveling at speed) with the RIV and 200-600 I cannot get anywhere near acceptable results, regardless of whatever myriad of focus settings, tracking modes, or OSS settings I utilize. It's just so bleeping incredibly frustrating...

When the combo correctly focuses on a moving bird or jet the sharpness and results are stunning, but more often than not the results are a muddy soft focus mess. For any other type of photography with the combo the results have been amazing, with crisp images and a high percentage of keepers, so I donít think itís faulty equipment. The gear is not mis-focusing or focusing on the wrong part of a moving subject, the results are just ďmushyĒ looking. Yesterday I tried to shoot the Blue Angels: Zone focus, af-c, OSS off, 1/3200 @ f7.1, Hi bursts. Easy stuff with a contrasty subject on a sunny day with low ISO. My keeper rate was maybe 2 in 10, and thatís being generous. And these were with SLOW moving BAs.

While I understand the RIV may not be ďright toolĒ for this type of shoot, it should be able to produce some successful imagery with appropriate camera settings and technique. My RIII and 100-400 at air shows gave me +97% keeper rate and seemingly couldn't miss. Hell Iíd take a 50% keeper rate and be thrilled with this combo. Itís SO frustrating as I REALLY love the RIV and all of the improvements over RIII (not to mention the incredible resolution and printing and cropping abilities).

Iíve reached out to Sony months ago, they asked for sample pictures which I sent, but they have not responded since - despite numerous contact attempts

I canít really pull the trigger on a second body a9/II just for these types of shoots, so Iím wondering if the 100-400 would perform better on the RIV? Iíd consider changing the RIV for a9/II but I donít think Iím willing to give up the considerable reduction is resolution. I've read and been told of sporadic, even ďverifiedĒ rumors around the Ďnet that Sony is ďaware of the (focusing) problemĒ with the RIV and 200-600 and possibly working on a firmware fix, but I donít put a lot of faith in those rumors...

Anyway, sorry again for the blathering rant with not much point other than to express my frustration after looking through my photos. For better days here are a few pics from my last airshow with RIII and 100-400:

http://imagesbyjda.com/WebPics/FMI.jpg

http://imagesbyjda.com/WebPics/FM2.jpg

http://imagesbyjda.com/WebPics/FM3.jpg

John



May 09, 2020 at 07:24 AM
Jman13
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Giving up on a7RIV and 200-600 :-(


The issues with the 200-600 on the R IV are well documented. It seems to be some sort of incompatibility with the lens and body, which is super bizarre, and I'm shocked they haven't updated firmware to address it yet. I have not heard of any such issues with the R IV and the 100-400. I also don't have any systemicc issues with my adapted sigma 150-600 on my R IV, so length isn't an inherent issue. It is bizarre.


May 09, 2020 at 07:43 AM
2xbass
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Giving up on a7RIV and 200-600 :-(


Iím sorry to hear of your situation.

I thought it was pretty well documented that the 200-600 with the A7RIV is not an ideal combination for fast-moving action and that the 100-400 produces better results. Iíve been saying for a long time that I think itís just really wishful thinking that the 200-600 would perform as well as any of the GM lenses, including the 100-400, given its reach, range of reach, and its low price. I can believe that Sony have priced it for lower margins but even then, something has to give when youíre getting all what it offers for such a low price.

Iíve personally never owned the 200-600 but Iíve read enough about it, and talked to many clients, followers on my YouTube channel, and other photographers about it, and itís not a lens I would recommend with the A7RIV.

Now I know there are some people who have the combination and swear by it but I really do wonder how much they are pushing the gear.

Although I donít shoot with the 100-400 it is pretty faultless for what it is. Unfortunately I moved to the 400 GM before the A7RIV came out so Iíve never owned the combo personally but I know plenty of people with that combo and have never heard of a complaint.

Edited on May 09, 2020 at 11:16 PM · View previous versions



May 09, 2020 at 08:00 AM
bobby350z
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Giving up on a7RIV and 200-600 :-(


Why can't Sony fix it? Personally that's one more thing I like about Fuji.


May 09, 2020 at 08:02 AM
Douglas L
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Giving up on a7RIV and 200-600 :-(


SouthFla wrote:
Sorry for the rant, I just feel like venting after looking at my results from yesterday's shoot. I understand that the RIV mega-pixel beast demands the utmost attention to technique with its Uber resolution, and to be honest the results I have gotten shooting landscape, portrait, static subjects and general photography are incredible. In fact, I feel that I have taken more "portfolio-worthy" images with this camera (and lens) more than any other equipment I've had the fortune of owning. But anytime I try capturing moving action (i.e. BIF or aviation photography involving subjects traveling at speed) with the RIV
...Show more

Not a surprised finding for this combo. I tried this combo for the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds flyover, the results are less than satisfactory. I have shot over 50 airshows with different cameras and lenses in the last 10 years, the A7RIII+200-600 gave me insanely sharp images last year. The strange thing is the A7RIV+200-600 yielded me 3-4/10 sharp pictures for bald eagles and ducks in flight, sometimes even with the 1.4TC. I was very happy with those.

Edited on May 09, 2020 at 08:47 AM · View previous versions



May 09, 2020 at 08:19 AM
2xbass
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Giving up on a7RIV and 200-600 :-(


bobby350z wrote:
Why can't Sony fix it? Personally that's one more thing I like about Fuji.


The problem as I see it, is that itís not clear what there is to fix. From what Iíve seen, it definitely works for some situations and there are people who are happy with the combo but I suspect they are not pushing the gear that much. Every camera and lens has its limits, itís just a matter of what that limit is.



May 09, 2020 at 08:22 AM
johnvanr
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Giving up on a7RIV and 200-600 :-(


Sony will shoot itself in the foot if it doesnít fix this. I get sharp images, but somewhat slow focusing, with the Canon 500mm f/4 on my A7R IV but not with the Sony 200-600mm. I can use the latter only on my A9 and then itís tack sharp and blazingly fast.

When Canon rolls out the 5R and it really performs within its specs, out goes Sony unless this issue is fixed. If, on the other hand, it can make the 200-600 work with the A7R IV it offers a real competitive kit for a great price.



May 09, 2020 at 08:44 AM
molson
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Giving up on a7RIV and 200-600 :-(


2xbass wrote:
From what Iíve seen, it definitely works for some situations and there are people who are happy with the combo but I suspect they are not pushing the gear that much.


Not pushing it, or just have the skills to use it? I see lots of great examples taken with the A7R IV in the 200-600 lens thread...



May 09, 2020 at 08:59 AM
2xbass
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Giving up on a7RIV and 200-600 :-(


molson wrote:
Not pushing it, or just have the skills to use it? I see lots of great examples taken with the A7R IV in the 200-600 lens thread...


Well that could certainly be possible too.



May 09, 2020 at 09:02 AM
johnvanr
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Giving up on a7RIV and 200-600 :-(


In my experience, it's pretty much like the results with the Canon 7D II: sometimes really nice, but you can't count on it. And it's that critical difference between a tack sharp image and one that's just not there. Really frustrating, because it looks nice unless you zoom in and discover it's off and can't be saved.


May 09, 2020 at 09:19 AM
mogul
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Giving up on a7RIV and 200-600 :-(


bobby350z wrote:
Why can't Sony fix it? Personally that's one more thing I like about Fuji.


Fuji can't focus either?



May 09, 2020 at 10:26 AM
molson
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Giving up on a7RIV and 200-600 :-(


johnvanr wrote:
In my experience, it's pretty much like the results with the Canon 7D II: sometimes really nice, but you can't count on it. And it's that critical difference between a tack sharp image and one that's just not there. Really frustrating, because it looks nice unless you zoom in and discover it's off and can't be saved.


The "sharpen soft images" preset in Capture One 20 does wonders...



May 09, 2020 at 10:32 AM
scott f
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Giving up on a7RIV and 200-600 :-(


I have the 200-600 , A7R4 and A9. For birds in flight, Iíve also found the A7R4 plus 200-600 to be a pretty weak performer. For static subjects it works well, so Iím hoping a firmware update would improve things, but itís starting to look less likely.


May 09, 2020 at 10:41 AM
bobby350z
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Giving up on a7RIV and 200-600 :-(


mogul wrote:
Fuji can't focus either?


No what I meant was that Fuji usually releases firmware fixes and upgrades a lot more than other camera mfg.



May 09, 2020 at 11:59 AM
nhsonyshooter
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Giving up on a7RIV and 200-600 :-(


So dumb question as I don't have the 200-600. I have been quite happy with my 100-400. Does the 200-600 perform any better on the A7iii as far as AF and keepers?


May 09, 2020 at 12:45 PM
jeffbuzz
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Giving up on a7RIV and 200-600 :-(


It seems possible that the resolving power of the FE 200-600mm is simply approaching the resolution of the a7RIV sensor. I find the a7RIII challenging enough to shoot due to the high resolution sensor. 60+ megapixels seems like it must be much less forgiving.

While I don't rule out the possibility of some weird hardware or software conflict between the 200-600 and a7RIV, it just seems really unlikely.

Every lens has some ultimate resolving power limit. It is rare for any manufacturer to admit that or quantify it. A Fuji manager did recently make an offhand remark that most their current lenses are "are good for about 32 megapixels". Now my questionable equivalency math says that equates to ~64 megapixels of full frame sensor area. My opinion is that most of the higher grade Fuji and Sony lenses are roughly equivalent in optical quality. (I own both systems so don't be too quick to flame me) So I don't think it is a stretch to speculate that some Sony lenses may have a resolving limit of somewhere in the 64 megapixel range. That is really close to what the a7RIV is capable of.


Edited on May 09, 2020 at 02:04 PM · View previous versions



May 09, 2020 at 01:59 PM
arbitrage
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Giving up on a7RIV and 200-600 :-(


I was starting to come around to the R4 and 200-600 but then over the past 3 days it has been letting me down again. It has a huge tendency to back focus just slightly behind subject. This morning I made a big mistake thinking I'd mounted my A9II on the 200-600/1.4TC and then found a nicely perched bird I've never photographed before...got two sort of focused shots out of 20. This was a bird on a super isolated clean perch with blue sky background. Absolutely unacceptable.

And it has nothing to do with technique...I easily handhold the much heavier and more unwieldy 600GM with 2xTC at 1200mm on the R4 and get lots of keepers without issue. Even for BIF.

I could get keepers easier with the 100-400GM, adapted 400DOII (even with 2xTC) and of course the best of all 600GM (even with 2xTC).

With bare 200-600 lens on R4 with OSS on 2, 3 or OFF, TS of 5, not using Tracking modes and e-shutter I can get a fairly good hit rate on perched birds. But throw on the TC or OSS 1 and it goes downhill fast. Forget about BIF reliability with it. It is not an optics problem and it isn't a focal length/technique problem.





Massive fail this morning...I rescued this with Topaz Sharpen AI







Meanwhile, fast BIF, 1200mm, larger unwieldy lens




May 09, 2020 at 01:59 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Giving up on a7RIV and 200-600 :-(


arbitrage wrote:
I was starting to come around to the R4 and 200-600 but then over the past 3 days it has been letting me down again. It has a huge tendency to back focus just slightly behind subject. This morning I made a big mistake thinking I'd mounted my A9II on the 200-600/1.4TC and then found a nicely perched bird I've never photographed before...got two sort of focused shots out of 20. This was a bird on a super isolated clean perch with blue sky background. Absolutely unacceptable.

And it has nothing to do with technique...I easily handhold the much heavier and
...Show more

So, perhaps an algorithm issue? Is Sony aware of this shortcoming?



May 09, 2020 at 02:06 PM
arbitrage
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Giving up on a7RIV and 200-600 :-(


Fred Miranda wrote:
So, perhaps an algorithm issue? Is Sony aware of this shortcoming?


Supposedly they are. There have been a few rumors of a FW but that was months ago. I haven't reported it myself.



May 09, 2020 at 02:09 PM
AGeoJO
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Giving up on a7RIV and 200-600 :-(


In the meantime, until Sony introduces a new FW, that is, you will be better off using the A9 or A9 II with the G 200-600mm lens. If you insist in using the A7r IV, then your best bet would be with the GM 600mm f/4. Take your pick . Another option would be to use the A7r III with the 200-600mm lens. I understood that that combo works fine.

Edited on May 09, 2020 at 02:29 PM · View previous versions



May 09, 2020 at 02:28 PM
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