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Tywais

Sony Alpha A7 & A7R

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I have the Contax G 28mm f2.8 which I have used on a Sony NEX 5N with a Kipon adapter. It is a very sharp lens but it scratches the internal baffle of the NEX 5N as it as fraction of a mm too long. No harm to the optics, only the internal aesthetics of the camera. I am not sure what this new Eagle adapter would be like using the Contax G's autofocus system. Autofocus was a bit of a problem with the Contax G1 version of the camera. It will be interesting to see how well the lens will work in conjunction with the A7's modern day electronics. As long as it fits without banging on the baffle, it should be OK to use manually with the Kipon adapter and not bother with the electronics. Focus is not such an issue at 28mm f2.8 and the autofocus probably won't do any better than manual. In which case this adapter might be a gimmick.

The 21mm Contax G is too long at the back for the NEX cameras and almost certainly for the A7 body. The other two should be fine as there at shorter arsed than the 28mm.

Another thing to watch out for is whether the the 28mm lens produces magenta fringing on the FF Sony's. Early reports suggest that most wide angle rangefinder lenses will do that on the A7R but not the A7. This was the same issue with the NEX 5N which didn't have the magenta fringing and the NEX 7 which did. It is a probably due to the difficulty of making offset microlenses work with smaller pixels which disadvantages the higher pixel models. Leica has in camera software that fixes the problem for its own wide angle lenses.

One thing that is a big disappointment is the two part noisy shutter which sadly makes the A7 and A7R unsuitable for unobtrusive street photography. The RX1 is much quieter and a lovely little bundle. but who can justify the price for one fixed lens.

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Early reports suggest that most wide angle rangefinder lenses will do that on the A7R but not the A7.

Possibly because the A7r has no AA filter?

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Albeit at a phenomenal cost this might well be the answer to using our Contax G lenses for digital. Options also available for converted lenses.

http://www.japanexposures.com/lens/

At this price, you are better off buying Zeiss M or Leica glass.

The Zeiss Contax SLR range are pretty good too and I don't think any less sharp than Zeiss Contax G. I have the Contax 50mm f2 and it is just as good as a Leica 50mm f2 Summicron, although a little bulkier but light and a fraction the cost. The Contax 60mm f2.8 macro and 100mm f2.8 macro are great macro lenses too and there is nothing much finer in macro than the 100mm. If you are a millionaire, you should have a Contax 85mm f1.2 special edition but I love my Cannon FD 85mm f1.2L which is more affordable to mere mortals.

For autofocus I think it makes more sense to get the Sony Zeiss prime lens offerings when they are all available than go with autofocus adapters for legacy lenses.

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Took another look in a Sony showroom. The salesman was heavily pushing the A7, saying that the A7R was only good for landscape and would require a lot of post retouching work on portraits (hair would look really bad) due to more pixels and no AA filter and that moire would be a big problem. He was effectively saying that its resolution would be excessive but this might depend on what lens you use. The two non-Zeiss lenses they have in stock probably have less resolution than the sensor which would not make this a problem. You could also use a vintage portait lens known for its soft character, if this really is an issue. The moire issue seems to be complete BS as it is unlikely to affect most photographers and a test by Camerlabs suggest that the AA filter in the A7 is almost useless at reducing moire and the A7R performed only marginally worse than the A7 in that respect. The Canon 5D III performed much better at eliminating moire but the A7R outguns it in resolution, high ISO and some other areas. It's funny that the modern trend is to make consumers pay a premium to remove AA filters, particularly if they are useless in the first place.

I think the salesman's view was heavily influenced by the fact that they have stock of the A7 already and can't say when they will have stock of the A7R. They will no doubt push the more expensive model when it arrives.

Still no detailed tests of the magenta corner smearing with wide angle RF lenses, although some have said that it exists in the A7R but not in the A7. Leicas which have no AA filter have this problem with the Voigtlander 12mm and 15mm lens which can be resolved in post or or by shooting in B&W. Leica 21mm lenses and the WATE 16/18/21mm don't have the problem but they are corrected in camera by onboard software. The NEX7 has the problem but the NEX5N doesn't and both have AA filters. Both the A7 and the A7R have offset microlenses and the A7R's are gapless which should deal with the colour shift more effectively. The problem could be smaller pixels but more tests are needed. It is possible that use of a helicoid macro M to E adapter will resolve the issue by pushing the rear element of a wide angle RF lens 4-5mm out from the sensor. It would also reduce the minimum focus distance from 70cm to about 40cm in the case of a Leica 21mm lens, which is of course its main purpose. The Hawk factor version of these are available on Ebay for US$180 and the much better quality but heavier Voigtlander version is at AV Camera in Bkk for aoubt B10,000.

I wonder whether Sony will come out with A7N and A7RN models with a silent shutter option in a year's time!

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Good analysis and not much more to add. As things stand I'm still on the fence although I have to say that the A7 appeals more simply because of AF speed, flash synch speed and smaller sensor. I can envisage enormous problems with the "wrong" lens on a 36Mb sensor.

I'll wait and see what the guys produce in real field tests before taking the plunge but a FF mirror less and able to use my M mount lenses at their native focal length would be a real treat............. Maybe!

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Good analysis and not much more to add. As things stand I'm still on the fence although I have to say that the A7 appeals more simply because of AF speed, flash synch speed and smaller sensor. I can envisage enormous problems with the "wrong" lens on a 36Mb sensor.

I'll wait and see what the guys produce in real field tests before taking the plunge but a FF mirror less and able to use my M mount lenses at their native focal length would be a real treat............. Maybe!

Thanks for your comment. AF might be a bit of issue, given the A7R's lack of phase detect, particularly for video, but the reports so far suggest the A7R's AF is not too bad at all. Neither camera is probably suitable for sport. For me AF is probably not an issue as I also want to mount mainly M lenses, although I might come round to Zeiss Sony prime lens later on. I bought some Sony E mount lenses for my NEX-5N and a Sigma 30mm f2 E mount which was not bad but I ended up hardly using them once I got back into the swing of using MF again. MF is better in low light and the Sigma is not match for my vintage Leica 35mm f1.4.

One thing I think will take a bit of getting used to in upgrading from APS-C will be the loss of reach at the longer end. Using a 135mm lens in place of a 90 or 85mm will be a pain and there are no fast M mount 135s. Perhaps the NEX-5N will stay in my bag for that.

You could always go the M42 mount route (Novoflex do an M42 adapter for the A7) and use a CZJ DDR 135 f/3.5 or Tair 11A, something like that. Both are pretty cheap still.

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