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Sony A7

By Jorge Torralba

[size=17]Sony A7[/size Are you ready for the new Sony 24 and 36 mega pixels Full Frame camera and it's assortment of Zeiss lenses? Get ready for a game changer in the photo industry that is sure to have the people at Solms shaking their knees.

http://ag2si.com/gallery/1/sml_U1I1381848415.SEQ.0.jpg

Replies

Reply from Andrew Paquette on 12-20-13 2:42 AM
I forgot to post the links. Here they are:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7DxmJ9O5WL4LVNiZGNoOVg5OTg/edit?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7DxmJ9O5WL4VG1OOGpITlRZa1k/edit?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7DxmJ9O5WL4eEUyYkpLOWdjVjg/edit?usp=sharing

They were too big for my website.

AP
Reply from Andrew Paquette on 12-20-13 2:25 AM
I've taken down the PDFs and substituted 3 RAR files. Inside, you will find TIFF images with labels to explain what they are. Keep in mind these are unedited apart from cropping. In this state, the A7r images have problems, but it is not difficult to fix them. I used the Sony software on the A7r files, LR on the D800 images.

AP
Reply from Jorge Torralba on 12-19-13 9:43 PM
I like your comparison between the two cameras. Well done.
Reply from Andrew Paquette on 12-19-13 7:10 PM
Waeshal,

I'll upload the high res version of the shots then. Thanks for the encouragement.
AP
Reply from Glen Charles on 12-19-13 2:40 PM
Andrew: It is good that you have taken the time to do the comparison tests, but the compressed PDFs are too low a resolution to be able to tell anything about the camera. Even your photos - which are very interesting - have been compressed very badly. So we will have to rely upon your observations.
Also you used both IDC and Adobe for the ARW files - can you comment on any differences you found?

Loved your piece for Steve Huff. What you have shown is useful for new photographers trying to select a camera. I admire your courage to speak to an audience of old timers. Don't worry about what they said, they were not your prime audience. I am an old timer too, but I loved the article.

Glen
Reply from Andrew Paquette on 12-19-13 12:51 PM
For what it's worth, I wrote an A7r/D800 comparison for SteveHuffPhoto at the following URL: http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2013/12/16/the-sony-a7r-vs-the-nikon-d800e-by-andrew-paquette/#comment-270127

The response is divided between people who appear to be righteously indignant because I didn't do a Lloyd Chambers-style comparison, and those who think the real world test was interesting despite the flaws complained about by the others. I made the test partly because of comments on this forum, to see whether the problems with Leica glass on the Sony were so serious that the D800 still got better shots despite having lesser glass (supposedly.)

My conclusion was that the images right out of the camera do tend to be a bit worse, but that it is fairly easy to edit them to make them as good or better than what I was getting out of the D800. They may not be as strong as if the Summilux was connected to an M240, but they are at least the equal of the Nikon kit but are much smaller and thus more portable.

Because of the more critical comments, I did a quick series of controlled comparison shots and made a PDF of them. The file is lower res than I like, but I didn't want to upload a 100mb file. If you are curious, you can get it here: https://sites.google.com/a/mundusvirtua.com/photos/home/photo-resources

AP
Reply from Odd Geir Saether on 12-19-13 2:51 AM
I've been reading all of the above with great interest. For me the peaking function of the NEX is the one and only reason why I ended up selling my M9. I love the camera, the sensor is fab, but the rangefinder is pre cambrium, compared to the peaking system. I pre ordered the 240, but was very disappointed by the EVF; very weak peaking for one thing, and small image. So, I stuck to my NEX-7, + got myself a second house, for less lens changing. However, I must admit that I missed the wonderful sensor of the M9, so I kept dreaming of an FF version of the NEX. What I missed most, was probably the way M9 could handle WA shots, all the way down to 12mm - no magenta! So - for me, the main disappointment with the A7r, is the fact that already at 28, the magenta is visible in the outer edges. Another problem; I reluctantly have to admit, the APO-Telyt 135/3,4 gets the corners cut - the E-mount is a tad too narrow. I can live with that, but if anybody can tell me which plug-in can cure the magenta in my WA shots, I shall be ever so grateful!
(Bottom line is - I'm a wee bit uncertain about what the A7r does for me that I'm not getting with my two NEX's)
Reply from Glen Charles on 12-18-13 8:15 AM
Well, first we have no idea what WB he used for the shot, - obviously the scene wasn't WB'd correctly. Was it a JPG or not? Each camera applies a different amount of sharpening for JPGS. You must compare the RAW files converted to TIFF to see what the camera can do. Secondly Ken Rockwell chose a very high contrast hard edged subject, so he apparently only wanted to see high MTF response of the system, not what the low contrast response looked like. The quality of the lens on the SONY was not evaluated properly because he did not shoot RAW (I suppose) nor use SONY Image conversion software (from ARW) to do the conversion. Adobe has not received the algorithms from SONY to unbutton this peculiar sensor, and so camera raw by adobe will not give the best images.

For the SONY software to try for yourself go to:
http://esupport.sony.com/US/p/model-home.pl?mdl=NEX7&template_id=1®ion_id=1&tab=download#/downloadTab

There are windows and MAc versions of version 4 which works for all NEX/ILCE/RX cameras.

Download a ARW file from the ILCE cameras and convert with IDC.

Reply from Huss Hardan on 12-17-13 8:35 PM
I've now read quite a few conflicting reports about how well the A7 works with Leica glass. Even the best ones mention it only works with a few. The worst ones - well, look at what the person everyone loves/loves to hate has to say:


"Here are three files I just shot. Click each for the 24 MP file direct from camera:

LEICA M typ 240 and SUMMILUX 50mm f/1.4.

Sony A7 with SUMMILUX 50mm f/1.4.

Canon 5D MK III with EF 50mm f/1.2 L.

What do you see?

I see the M typ 240 as reference. It's image is swell.

I see the Sony as not quite as sharp with the same lens. It's much worse with the 21mm f/3.4 in the corners; the Sony sensor does not work well with many LEICA lenses and gets soft in the corners. I'll show that later. Worse, the Sony's auto WB got fooled by the green tree and turned the trunk magenta! Garbage.

The Canon 5D Mk III is the best: sharp and colorful.

Typical. These real-world comparisons are something not allowed at commercial websites that have to keep camera companies happy. Just look at the color differences!"

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/00-new-today.htm

December 18 post.
Reply from Glen Charles on 12-9-13 6:16 PM
If you are using ACR to unbutton the Sony A7r raw images you will be disappointed, because the proprietary file format of SONY has not been released to Adobe. IDC does a better job. Read this article by the Leica-Boss.
http://www.leica-boss.com/2013/11/lightroom-adobe-camera-raw-vs-sony-image-data-converter-for-a7-and-a7r-raw/

"I agree. Playing with the Sony software is a revelation. The images are so much better." from a user.
Reply from Andrew Paquette on 12-4-13 3:36 AM
Regarding the PS problem: I was up from 2AM until 6AM (mostly in the hold queue) with Adobe last night. The reason is that I got a note from one of their people saying that my serial number was okay after all. This made me worry that the new one wouldn't work either because of something on my machine, so I went through their Hell-like customer treatment to find out what was going on. The final answer is that my copy was okay but they have hundreds of copies randomly designed to time out after a year so that they can check on prof of purchase and then give a new permanent serial number that really is permanent. Nice to know they've seeded their field with land mines like this. So now I will have paid twice and for all I know the new copy will also blow up sometime next year, so I still have the same problem.

Proof of purchase shouldn't be an issue, if, that is, they would accept the invoice or emails I was sent from the reseller. They don't, so I have to contact the reseller and get them to craft a custom document that answers all of Adobe's questions to prove I bought the software. For this reason, I was looking for alternatives last night. The best I saw were Paintshop Pro and Gimp, but neither were as good as PS from what I saw.

AP
Reply from Huss Hardan on 12-4-13 12:40 AM
[quote]paqart wrote:
Desmo,

For some reason, my copy of Adobe CS6 stopped working yesterday, along with the Adobe 8.2 RAW (AWR) converter. When I tried editing some shots in LR without the RAW conversion, I found it was impossible to get rid of the horrible vignetting and magenta cast in the corners. To edit the files, I ran them through Sony's RAW to TIFF conversion tool, which did a horrible job, leading to the aforementioned problem.

The point is that now I see the problem you were talking about, but only because of this lousy RAW conversion issue in PS. I gave up on fixing it and just bought another copy of CS6. Hopefully it will work when it arrives in a couple days.

AP[/quote]

Oh man that sucks. You may want to have your computer checked/scanned before you load the new software in case something on it caused the failure.
Hope you get the CS6 up and running soon.
Reply from Andrew Paquette on 12-3-13 4:33 PM
Desmo,

For some reason, my copy of Adobe CS6 stopped working yesterday, along with the Adobe 8.2 RAW (AWR) converter. When I tried editing some shots in LR without the RAW conversion, I found it was impossible to get rid of the horrible vignetting and magenta cast in the corners. To edit the files, I ran them through Sony's RAW to TIFF conversion tool, which did a horrible job, leading to the aforementioned problem.

The point is that now I see the problem you were talking about, but only because of this lousy RAW conversion issue in PS. I gave up on fixing it and just bought another copy of CS6. Hopefully it will work when it arrives in a couple days.

AP
Reply from Glen Charles on 12-2-13 4:05 PM
[quote]paqart wrote:
Desmolicious,

... As for getting the most out of the Leica glass, ... I have already found that I can get images with the 35mm summilux that I cannot get with my Nikkor 35mm 1.4G or any of my Zeiss lenses. Therefore, even if I am missing something, I am getting more than I was getting and am getting it in a much more comfortable package.

AP[/quote]

And I have had a similar experience with the Nex-5's. Leitz lenses have qualities not found with Nikon, Nikkor, Sony and CSV lenses on the Nex-5. I have to believe that Leitz glass on the Alpha 7 must produce images of the same quality, because the lens determines what colors are captured, and how much scene DR can be passed on to the sensor.

Whether or not I will buy the A7r (there are other interesting options,) depends on how much I want to go with FF - it has its disadvantages. Since I never make pictures bigger than 4MP (my biggest display at the moment,) anything more in the capture is superfluous. And if I want to shoot RAW, I am forced to shoot at full resolution, and then deal with the downsizing issues for the WEB.
I think that if I was going to be making large prints (of landscapes) I would start with a used MF camera.

My feeling is that one is either a rangefinder cameraman or not, and if the former, (as Ashwin Rao) then the Leica is the only choice.
Reply from Glen Charles on 12-2-13 3:48 PM
Desmo:
Well, Ashwin is a passionate supporter of the Rangefinder method, though he is a sports medicine doctor by profession, not a photo technician, and he was an artist before. He says that he uses 35, 50 and 90 mm lenses for his primary kit, and doesn't like the WA because they draw him away from his subjects. His sample images on the link you gave, are from mostly non-Leica lenses (7 out of 12 listed,) and the only wide lenses he posted pictures of were made with the 35mm Summilux f 1.4, so I am not sure how you could infer that WA (24, 21, 15, and 12mm) lenses would perform poorly from this report alone.

It seems that he has no real interest in any camera which is not a rangefinder, because he depends upon seeing the field beyond the frame for his timing. His heroes are HCB, and Capa. I think he is married to the rangefinder and cannot be swayed into the SONY camp, no matter how good the product.

I would not let his opinion - he is not trying to be a scientific observer - affect my decision. He likes to shoot kids, family, people in action, and the rangefinder is still useful for that. I don't use my Nex for those kinds of shots, I use a DSLR, or a bridge camera. For creative work I use only Leitz and Nex, and choose from a wide range of lenses from many eras, to create a certain mood. I find that 15mm 18mm 24mm 28mm wide lenses can work well on my Nex-5, though some have vignetting and some purple corners - and all have to be corrected by software. The time taken for this is a very small fraction of the total time I spend on a picture.

If you like to shoot the subjects that Ashwin does, then perhaps the Alpha 7 would not be the best choice. But if you are an artist and want to make art with the camera, the Alpha is probably the better way to do it - this year anyway.
Reply from Andrew Paquette on 12-2-13 3:17 PM
Desmolicious,

I think you might be interpreting the Rao review a bit more strictly than he intended. He wrote, as Steve Huff did, that the 35mm and up range is okay in most situations. From what I've seen, I agree. On top of that, there is no way I would spend 6,350 euros on an M240 with all of its problems, such as the many firmware crashes that Lloyd Chambers writes about. No matter what camera or lens you use, there will always be a few things to look out for and avoid. The A7r is sensitive to certain lighting situations, but there are ways to mitigate this, such as shooting something else or correcting in pp. As for getting the most out of the Leica glass, maybe you could get more out of your M240, but I have already found that I can get images with the 35mm summilux that I cannot get with my Nikkor 35mm 1.4G or any of my Zeiss lenses. Therefore, even if I am missing something, I am getting more than I was getting and am getting it in a much more comfortable package.

AP
Reply from Huss Hardan on 12-2-13 2:07 PM
[quote]waeshael wrote:
desmolicious wrote:
Paqart, It is a shame to have bought a top end Leica lens for the sole purpose of using it on the Sony. I would have bought the Sony Zeiss 35mm as that is designed for it, and works perfectly with it.


That's throwing the baby out with bath water. The Zeiss lens is not the quality of the Leitz glass. It is sharp and high contrast but Leitz lenses are designed for specific pictorial purpose. That is why there are so many 50mm Leitz types. You choose the lens to draw the scene in a particular way. I have two 50mm Leitz, a 50mm Nikkor f2, a 50mm Nikkor H, and a 55mm Macro-Nikkor and they all draw the scene differently. I have to choose the one I need for a particular effect.

The one advantage of using the SONY/Zeiss camera specific lens is that its optical failings (caused by inadequate optical corrections i.e these are not hand tuned lenses with rare earth glass - as are the older Leitz lenses), can be corrected by the computer in the camera.
But the sensor is not seeing 2/3 of the light that the lens sees - the spectral response of the sensor is very limited by the Bayer filter to Red Blue and Green. The colors Yellows, Cyans and Magentas are not seen at all by the sensor. So, for the lens design there is no need to correct for colors that aren't detected by the sensor - so the lens can be made cheaper. But can you put that lens on an M? Or any other camera that it will physically mate with? And expect to have good colors - I think not.

With the "generic" Leica glass you can be sure that it is as optically perfect as can be for any camera.

G[/quote]

This test by Ashwin Rao - who used to post on this site - shows issues with the A7 even with the 50mm Lux. All these real life tests have shown that the Sony will only work properly - i.e. to the levels of excellence that we expect from Leica glass - with only one of my 8 Leica lenses. The 90mm Macro Elmar.
So this Sony is a disappointment to me, and cannot replace a Leica body.

Ashwin's test here:

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2013/12/02/a-weekend-with-the-sony-a7r-a-companion-review-by-ashwin-rao/#comment-267657
Reply from Glen Charles on 12-2-13 4:42 AM
[quote]desmolicious wrote:
Paqart, It is a shame to have bought a top end Leica lens for the sole purpose of using it on the Sony. I would have bought the Sony Zeiss 35mm as that is designed for it, and works perfectly with it.
[/quote]

That's throwing the baby out with bath water. The Zeiss lens is not the quality of the Leitz glass. It is sharp and high contrast but Leitz lenses are designed for specific pictorial purpose. That is why there are so many 50mm Leitz types. You choose the lens to draw the scene in a particular way. I have two 50mm Leitz, a 50mm Nikkor f2, a 50mm Nikkor H, and a 55mm Macro-Nikkor and they all draw the scene differently. I have to choose the one I need for a particular effect.

The one advantage of using the SONY/Zeiss camera specific lens is that its optical failings (caused by inadequate optical corrections i.e these are not hand tuned lenses with rare earth glass - as are the older Leitz lenses), can be corrected by the computer in the camera.
But the sensor is not seeing 2/3 of the light that the lens sees - the spectral response of the sensor is very limited by the Bayer filter to Red Blue and Green. The colors Yellows, Cyans and Magentas are not seen at all by the sensor. So, for the lens design there is no need to correct for colors that aren't detected by the sensor - so the lens can be made cheaper. But can you put that lens on an M? Or any other camera that it will physically mate with? And expect to have good colors - I think not.

With the "generic" Leica glass you can be sure that it is as optically perfect as can be for any camera.

G
Reply from Glen Charles on 12-2-13 4:25 AM
[quote]paqart wrote:
Desmolicious,


I was concerned about the colour issues at the edges that you mentioned, so I looked for it pretty carefully on the few dozen shots I took. I even shot almost directly into the sun and other dumb things like that, to see how it reacted. You can see the 1500 x 1000 derezed versions here on the site. I didn't see any of this vertical colour banding on the edges that we've been reading about.

AP[/quote]

You will see banding in any image that has been scrunched to fit your browser window, so whether you see it or not depends on the size of the window compared with the size of the picture. On many monitors (1080 tall) anything taller than 900 pixels (allowing room for header and browser tabs etc.) will have to be scrunched to fit. Here the 1000 pixel height was scrunched down to about 900, which can introduce banding in uniformly exposed areas (walls, skies.) To see the full picture click on the blue button with the four arrows at the top of the picture. Then scroll around to see the sides. The banding will have gone away - unless you over compressed the JPEG in the first place!
Reply from Glen Charles on 12-2-13 3:58 AM
Desmo: I think that the price for the A7r reflects the quality of the construction vis a vis the M cameras. The most costly part of the A7r must be the sensor - probably accounts for $1000, or so. The body is dust and splash proof, but it is only a $1000 body compared with about $5000 for the M body. Both cameras will be obsolete in a few years.
As for the purple corners - if they are caused by the lens, here I think not - they are easily fixed in pp. I have to do this often for CSV 15mm on the NEX-5. In the M, the software does the work for you , as long as you use a lens that the M recognizes - the purple fringes are still caused by a WA, you just don't see them in the data. In the case of the cathedral shot: in my browser the overall color is biased towards magenta. When I downloaded the file and corrected it using XE847 filter in Graphic Converter, the color bias was removed and so were the purple corners. It now looks pretty good. It is important to view the full size image in the browser, because at the reduced size the color distortion is made worse. (see my comments on full size display in this Forum today.)


And here is a report from Luminous Landscape on
"Using Leica M and Nikon Lenses
For some photographers (myself included) putting Leica M mount lenses on the Sony A7R may be reason enough to break out a bottle of Veuve Cliquot champagne and celebrate. Using an M to E adapter (I have a Metabones), virtually every Leica M lenses that I own works well on the A7R. Some of the ultra-wide and very wides do vignette, so be aware of this. There is no software correction for this, because we're mixing and matching. With other systems where the lens and camera are from the same company there's a lot of magic that can be done in firmware.

I had neither the time nor the full selection of lenses to test in detail what works and what doesn't, but I think it fair to say that most retrofocus design Leica M lenses will work on the A7R. When you consider that this camera has a high resolution EVF, focus peaking, intelligent Auto-ISO – so manual aperture lenses can be used in a semi-automated manner, and of course a 36 Megapixel sensor, this is hot stuff indeed.

In my opinion, anyone who owns a set of (or even a few) high quality M series Leica optics should seriously look at the Sony A7R. They make for a killer combination, and the Sony costs less then a third of an M240 camera. Just test that the lenses that you plan on using work as you expect before taking the plunge.

I also tried several of my Nikon lenses using a Novoflex adaptor (with aperture control ring) and they too worked just fine, including the superb 14-24mm Nikkor. There is some chromatic aberration visible on some lenses at some apertures, but a trip to the Lens Correction tab in Lightroom or Camera Raw / Photoshop makes short work of this.

Overall, I can not recommend the A7R highly enough for anyone looking to find a new body for their Leica lenses, and who find the price of an M240 a bridge too far, as I did last year. And for those of you with M8, M9 or M240 bodies, the A7R makes a relatively inexpensive second body as well."

Desmo, I think you should buy an A7r with a 30 day return guarantee, and give it a real test, and let us know what you experience. I know you will check it out thoroughly.

Glen
Reply from Huss Hardan on 12-1-13 11:23 PM
Paqart, as well as your lens flare shot, you can also see the magenta corners on your indoor chapel shot. Look at the bottom left corner, it is purple.
I am not sure if this lens also smears the corners -for that you would have to have the corners in focus, and then check at high rez.
The problem with the Sony, as you have demonstrated, is that it does not work well with all Leica lenses. It is a shame to have bought a top end Leica lens for the sole purpose of using it on the Sony. I would have bought the Sony Zeiss 35mm as that is designed for it, and works perfectly with it.
The bottom line is that the dream of a FF non Leica digital camera that can use Leica lenses without issues is still unrealized. Maybe a software update from Sony will help, but I am not sure that they are that concerned with fixing issues with non Sony lenses.
Reply from Andrew Paquette on 12-1-13 3:22 PM
Desmolicious,

I tested it for about two hours and then got really sick for over a week and had to lie in bed with the camera sitting five feet away, taunting me. I'm starting to get better, so hope to take it out in the next day or two. The real test will be a trip I'm taking to Wales in about ten days. I'll be there for a week, taking as many photos as I can manage.

Having said all that, I was concerned about the colour issues at the edges that you mentioned, so I looked for it pretty carefully on the few dozen shots I took. I even shot almost directly into the sun and other dumb things like that, to see how it reacted. You can see the 1500 x 1000 derezed versions here on the site. I didn't see any of this vertical colour banding on the edges that we've been reading about. Maybe it is more subtle than I think, but I've seen examples from ultra wides and it is pretty obvious. Bottom line is that I think it performs okay with the 35mm.

When I was originally considering the M240, I was also expecting to buy a Zeiss 15mm Distagon for it. This is because I already have the Zeiss 15mm for a Nikon mount and love the lens so much that I was willing to pay for the smaller version in a ZM mount. However, I would hate to get it and then find out it had that colour problem, as I'm sure it would because it is such a wide lens. At first that made me hesitate to get the A7R, but in the end I decided I didn't want to buy a tiny camera so I could haul around a bunch of heavy spare lenses. I have my D800 for that. I wanted something light that I could take on a trip without any hassle and that would give the best IQ possible. Therefore, I am thinking of using it just with the 35mm for now, maybe a 90mm Summicron later.

My next lens though (I think) will be the new Otus, but I will get it for the D800, not the A7r.

AP
Reply from Huss Hardan on 11-30-13 7:59 PM
I was interested because I have a lot of Leica glass, but was turned off by two things:

1/ Multiple tests have shown that it only works well with the WATE lens, and Leica glass at 50mm and over. Anything else leads to smearing in corners, as well as colour shifts. There are lots of examples posted out there. People like Steve Huff who have extolled its virtues have been ambigious as to how it performs with Leica glass. He said it does not work well with ultra wide lenses, but works great with wide and up "M mount" lenses. i.e. he seems to be avoiding mentioning Leica glass, but instead uses the "M mount" catch all as it is some Zeiss and Voigtlander lenses that work well.
So, in all honesty, unless you are just happy with WATE and 50mm and longer Leitz lenses, it is a disappointment. Paqart, you mentioned you bought the Leica 35 1.4 to use with the Sony. Have you actually checked out the corner performance? From other accounts where it has been meticulously tested, it does not play well. You would get much better performance from an M9 or M240.

2/ I checked it out in the Sony store and was really disappointed as to how cheap it felt. Construction was below that of my tiny Canon S95. From a feel/handling perspective it feels like a sub $1000 camera. The Olympus OMD EM1 feels much much better built.
I am not criticizing the technical performance mind you, just the feel in the hand aspect. If I don't want to pick a camera up I am not going to use it!

Just to show I am not a Leica fanboi, my M-E is still broken, waiting a new sensor board from Leica HQ. Just used it for 9 months and took extreme care of it. This is why I was really hoping that Sony had made something that could be a replacement. But since it can only use my 50 and 90 lenses properly, it does not seem to be.
Reply from Glen Charles on 11-26-13 7:06 PM
I don't need the A7, but I ought to have one, because it is a wonderful piece of camera gear and it will go out of production within a year, I guess, and will be a collectors item, and no-one will be able to justify buying a two year old A7 for 20% over retail. That is what has happened to other good digital cameras. So, I will get the A7r. I will love it and use it until I can no longer get batteries for it, or it can no longer be repaired (that's what happened to the Leica MDR back.) If the price drops just before the camera is replaced by something else from SONY, I guess I will buy another as a back up. I have back up parts cameras for the DMC-LC5 which I use all the time for fall colors. It is encouraging that since 2002, only two of my digital cameras have stopped functioning properly - a Canon G5, and a Toshiba PDR-M70. The other fifteen are still hanging in there. I wind them up every few months and check them out. I walked into Best Buy this week and found a battery for my old Canon SD450 (2003) hanging with all the modern batteries. Inserted into the camera, it made pictures - The SD450 has an optical viewfinder too. I can't bear to part with any of them.
Reply from Andrew Paquette on 11-23-13 1:41 PM
For what it's worth, I was hesitating to buy a Leica M240 because from what I'd read, it sounded inferior to my Nikon D800, and at triple the price. I wanted a small camera with an M-mount, but I wasn't comfortable paying the M-camera premium to do it. About three weeks ago I heard about the A7r. I pre-ordered it a few days later, and got it last Tuesday. To go with it, I bought a Summilux 35mm 1.4 ASPH. This wasn't the cheapest lens in the world to buy, but I didn't mind the cost because it is reputed to be excellent in just about every way, unlike the M240. Without the Sony A7r I would not have become a Leica customer.

Now, I can see myself buying more Leica lenses later on, and probably quickly spending more than I would have spent on the M240, but on things that I actually want: high quality glass, instead of paying a premium for an M-mount monopoly.

The only thing I don't like about the Ar7 is that the Novoflex mount does not communicate f-stop or other lens information to the camera. There are a couple that will work, but I haven't been able to find them where I live (Netherlands.)

I put a couple A7r/Summilux shots up just now, but will have a lot in a couple weeks when I get back from a trip to Wales. So far I am just testing the controls, but I really like the way it handles. It is a beautiful little camera.

AP
Reply from Jorge Torralba on 11-10-13 9:26 PM
I know this is a Leica oriented site. But you have to admit, this is exciting. Auto focus Contax G lenses on a Sony A7 using auto focus

Reply from Glen Charles on 11-7-13 10:38 AM
Go to here for Steve Huff's experience with Leica glass on the A7 (it was very good)

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2013/10/31/my-1st-look-wrap-up-of-the-sony-a7-and-a7r-cameras/

I have been reviewing the M experience by people from their own web posts at various sites, and what I see is that the primary difference, today, is not in the quality of images - because everyone can use Leica lenses now - but in the difference between rangefinder experience and EVF/Mirrorless.

If M users would like to have an exclusive site, surely a rangefinder only site would fit the bill? Didn't we used to have one of these?
Reply from Glen Charles on 11-6-13 9:41 AM
Good job, JT. Let us know how you like them.
Reply from Jorge Torralba on 11-6-13 9:30 AM
Talking about new cameras, I also ordered the new Nikon Df. Should be interesting to see how that works out.
Reply from Glen Charles on 11-6-13 6:20 AM
Steve: Regarding dynamic range of the scene and printer capabilities to display it. A landscape scene will consist of light and dark patches that are beyond the range of any camera to capture, unless the camera system can reduce that range to something the sensor can handle. In the best conditions with the camera ISO set at its lowest setting, and the camera curves adjusted to contain the brightness values in the histogram display, you may be able to record a dynamic range of 13 stops. But there will be noise in the shadows (have a look at the Leica MM sample bridge picture on the Leica-camera site.) If you print this picture on a good quality system, you will only be able to show a brightness range of 100:1 or almost 7 stops - that's the limit of ink/paper today. This hides the noise in the shadows, and makes the print look better than the screen display. If you look at the image on a calibrated monitor using an editor, you will be able to see details in the highlights and shadows (and the noise) because the DR of the monitor approaches 10,000 :1 (just over 13 stops.)

Today all cameras have a DR of at least 11 f stops, and will produce an image that has more brightness values than can be printed. The printer software reduces the DR to fit the ink/paper combination you have selected. Tonal adjustments of the image in your editor have more impact on the acceptance of the printed landscape than DR of the camera.
Reply from Glen Charles on 11-4-13 11:16 AM
Bajanexile: If you look at the color gamut of as srgb calibrated monitor and premium glossy paper and good Epson ink, you will see that the monitor is able to display deep reds and blues that the paper and ink cannot approach. (On the mac I use colorsync to compare the gamut of all the devices I use.) Lets face it there is no red ink, nor blue ink, only magenta cyan and yellow inks (plus various shades of these.) On paper yellow can be more intense than on the monitor.
Reply from Glen Charles on 11-4-13 10:21 AM
BTW, I use Live Picture 2.6 a mac classic/PPC program. Here is the 1996 press release.
"As with previous versions, Live Picture's resolution independent tools offer unique production capabilities and unparalleled creative freedom. Live Picture's speed and unlimited, non-linear Undo functions free users to explore and generate alternative concepts quickly and fearlessly. Because Live Picture images are resolution independent, they can be scaled to any size while maintaining output quality. Users can take advantage of pressure-sensitive and unlimited-size brushes to create stunning effects, and apply 48-bit brush strokes and gradients without banding or artifacts." Live Picture 2.5 is shipping for a list price of $995 (SRP). Originally it sold for $4500 and today it is less than $50 if you can find it.

The point is that all the big magazine production houses were using this software in 1996 to produce huge glossy prints, some poster size (8 ft x 5 ft) from an image source that was probably less than 24 MP (scanned at that time), by upscaling the image. It is interesting that the high res displays (I have 4MP) have 3x the number of pixels, so a 4MP display has 12MP. To compare with printer resolution, you need to have 4MP x 6 (or8 colors) dots on the paper or 24 million dots per print. If I display a 24 MP ( interpolated from the original capture, as I said,) on my 2000 x 1600 monitor, it is going to be 6000 pixels wide which is about 50 inches across and more than twice the monitor real estate. I am sure that the detail on this monitor is a lot more than you can see on a small print (less than 30 inches wide.)
The Epson 24" wide printer with 8 colors lays down 1440 dpi or a resolution of 180 "pixels" per inch. The Mac retina display has a screen resolution of 220 pixels per inch. The 27 inch thunderbolt display is 2560 x 1440 resolution (that is 7680 x 4320 LEDs) way better than a 24" Epson printer. Even my 10" Nexus 10 has a screen resolution of 2560 x 1600 (7680 x 4800 LEDs.) So I can say that I can view pictures at the highest resolution. I can post a 120MP image to the screen and see every tiny detail. And this is a TIFF file with no compression artifacts. My FS100 camera produces 22 MP images which are 66 MB RAW files and TIFF files the same size. The detail is stunning and can be displayed on a monitor, no problem.

So, it is entirely possible to see fine detail on the monitor - better than print. DR depends on the capture not on the display method. But you have no control over the DR on the viewers monitor - better control on the print DR.

Also remember a 36 MP file size is made from a 9MP capture that is interpolated 4x by the camera software (RGBG photosites (4) make 1 pixel), whereas a 24 MP file is really 6MP capture. If you want better resolution you have to go to MF film - but then no Leitz glass will fit the camera.
Have you seen the NEX device that lets you capture a scene (landscape/architecture only) in 8 exposures moving the camera each exposure behind a MF lens? Check this out. Now you can make 100+ MP pictures with any NEX camera. Great for landscapes and architecture.
http://www.engadget.com/2013/03/07/fotodiox-nex-medium-format-moving-adapter/

Have a look here at Joseph Holmes landscape work which also describes his processes.
http://www.josephholmes.com/

Go here for a virtual color chart that has no noise - download zip file and open in your favorite editor and also print and compare the detail.
http://www.brucelindbloom.com/
Click on the info button.
Reply from Glen Charles on 11-4-13 1:49 AM
Ah, well if you are printing, the DR is a function of the inks and paper, which are much better in the yellows and mid blue/greens than an sRGB monitor can display. The monitor can show deep reds and deep blues that you can't print. So nothing shown on the web is going to be of much help in your evaluation, is it? You had better get one of each and do a review for us all. I hardly print any more except for my own wall hangings. But I have an acquaintance who regularly prints commercial landscapes which sell for $500 or so, and he uses MF reversal film and scans it.

So, I assume to keep the widest dynamic range and most detail you will convert from 14 bit RAW to 16 bit TIFF wide color space before editing it in a 16 bit editor with a wider working color space, and then converting to the color space of the ink/paper to print. Am I right?

If you go to this much trouble, then you deserve the very best camera equipment.

I'd buy the camera just to mount the glass I like.

Cheers
Reply from Glen Charles on 10-27-13 9:02 AM
Steve: regarding the NEX-7 with Leitz glass, and considering your predilection for Landscape and Architecture, I would suggest you get a NEX-5 with Fauer Finder (only fits 5 series) as you will then have the equivalent of a 9" window on the world, easy to frame and set orthogonals. Also you will then be looking at a very good simulation of what the computer will display with all the adjustments to DOF, color and contrast on the camera. The CSV 15mm is a linear lens with almost no vignetting (some color shift in the corners) that, according to Ken Rockwell, outperforms the Leitz 21mm in every way, and a bargain at $600.

The Nex7 viewfinder provides only a small image compared with the Fauer finder. I have some pictures of the set up at waeshael.com - click on photography, then look on the index on the left for the Fauer finder.

You will probably also like the Auto HDR on the Nex-5/7.
Reply from Glen Charles on 10-26-13 12:28 PM
I am sure I will get one for Christmas. I have two NEX-5 cameras with the Fauer Finder and use Leitz glass on them almost exclusively.
I can focus accurately using the mag zoom mode better than the peaking system which is good for small apertures but not so good wide open, and not so good for some lenses. The mag mode is fantastic if you are using the Fauer finder, which I never remove (but only fits the 5 series.) I never miss even at f 1.5 using magnification, even in dim light I can focus on an eyelash - try that with a RF.

Yes, I think Sony sensors are the best of the RGBG types. Looking forward to their new sensors also.
Reply from Jorge Torralba on 10-26-13 10:45 AM
I have it on order. I am making my judgement based on readings and not actual experience with it. The A7 at a fraction of the cost of an M with a better sensor, more experience in the technology of digital cameras should leave the 's in the dust.

In all honesty, the only thing I like about Leica is their lenses and film cameras. I find their digital cameras poorly built and susceptible to damage from minor impacts. Furthermore, their quality control on new digital M's has been horrendous. I have seen brand new M240 with scratches and stripped screws used to align the rf. You would never see this from a Japanese camera maker.

All in all, the Sony with it's two variants of their full frame cameras will be a welcome pair to the photography world. And if you throw a Leica lens on it, you are golden. Not to mention focsuing manually in low light with their peak technology and EVF will be a blessing. Sometimes it's just hard to focus a rangefinder in low light.

I am sure they are combining a lot of technology from their nex, rx etc ... into this first generation camera that will only get better.

Needless to say. I can't wait to get sonyalphaimages.com going :D
Reply from Glen Charles on 10-26-13 6:57 AM
Read what Michael has said on Luminous Landscape
"In my opinion, anyone who owns a set of (or even a few) high quality M series Leica optics should seriously look at the Sony A7R. They make for a killer combination, and the Sony costs less then a third of an M240 camera. Just test that the lenses that you plan on using work as you expect before taking the plunge.

I also tried several of my Nikon lenses using a Novoflex adaptor (with aperture control ring) and they too worked just fine, including the superb 14-24mm Nikkor. There is some chromatic aberration visible on some lenses at some apertures, but a trip to the Lens Correction tab in Lightroom or Camera Raw / Photoshop makes short work of this.

Overall, I can not recommend the A7R highly enough for anyone looking to find a new body for their Leica lenses, and who find the price of an M240 a bridge too far, as I did last year. And for those of you with M8, M9 or M240 bodies, the A7R makes a relatively inexpensive second body as well."

For the full article
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/sony_a7r_hands_on.shtml

waeshael
Reply from Huss Hardan on 10-23-13 5:08 PM
it apparently works poorly with Leica lenses so i have no interest.
If i was going to start afresh building a new system, then maybe i would be interested but i do not like using EVFs. This one has the same EVF as the Sony a99 which i did not like.
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