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Messages - drjlo

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The IQ penalty is probably my primary consideration but I've read varying testimonies regarding the 1.4 versus the 2x.

There was an article on line once (gone now) that compared the Canon 1.4x III, 2x III, and Kenko's.  Canon's 1.4x III did not have any better IQ than Kenko, but Canon 2x III was clearly better than third party 2x TC. 
I have the Kenko 1.4x, Kenko 2x, and Canon 2x III, and I would say Canon 2x clearly has better IQ than Kenko 2x, and if stopped down to f/8 on 70-200 f/2.8 II (with adequate shutter speed), the Canon 2x comes very close to the 1.4x in IQ. 

So I would recommend getting Canon 2x III as the relative best buy, but if you're worried about 2x IQ loss anyway, also buy the Kenko 1.4x which is excellent and cheaper.

Sonalpharumors reports the following rumor with a SR5 rating (i.e. "almost certainly correct!")

I can already tell you that there will be many more cameras in the months to come (RX and Alpha and E-mount). I am working on those rumors right now….be patient ;)[/color]

It seems to me Sony just keeps introducing new bodies too quickly, leaving behind all those who have bought in.  It seems like just yesterday when Sony introduced NEX5, 5R, 7, 6, RX1, then RX1R, then A7, A7R, A6000, etc ...

Those who recently bought A7/R with Zeiss lens for say $3000-3300 will not be happy to see a similar body/sensor with MUCH improved hybrid AF! >:(

Sony has also shown terrible customer service for customers who have already paid the money, i.e. denying any problems with their HVL60M flash and its clear overheating issue.

I don't know..  Sony's seeming sell-and-forget practice and lack of support for their own customers over the long haul makes me uneasy about plunking down $$$ into a Sony system, especially for any kind of professional use.

I have already returned my A7R/FE55mm/HVL60M package before these new camera rumors, and I suppose I will watch Sony very closely to see if they address some of the more serious issues with the upcoming batch.  Hey, if they can introduce a RX1R MkII or A7R Mk II with fast hybrid AF, lossless RAW, electronic shutter, and a reasonably-priced interchangeable Zeiss 35 mm f2.0 lens, I may reintroduce myself to Sony.

FE 55mm has -1.6ev vignetting, which is same as Zeiss Otus 55mm per DXO, somewhat heavy for a $4K lens but not too bad in real life shooting.  First photo is FE55 at f/1.8 without ACR vignetting correction, second photo with vignetting corrected.

FE55 no vig corr by drjlo1, on Flickr

FE55 vig corrected by drjlo1, on Flickr

;D ;D ;D Good one! ... when I read the title I thought you bought a ZEISS lens that did not live up to its name.

At least my endodontist uses top-shelf equipment  :)

As far as Zeiss, I did just return the Sony/Zeiss FE 55 mm f/1.8 when I returned the A7R.  The lens was sharp as heck, but I did have one issue with it.  It's minimum focus distance was a pretty far 50 cm with magnification of only 0.14x, which was a hair too little for close-ups or near-macro's ("ring shot"). 

I guess I'm just spoiled by my EF-M 22 mm, which can do 1:2(!) macro at 15 cm and even by my 35 L which can do 30 cm at 0.18x, which was a big difference in practice. 

Third Party Manufacturers / When Zeiss Glass does not warm your heart
« on: March 12, 2014, 10:59:34 PM »
is when you see it right before root canal  :'(

IMG_20140312_132615a by drjlo1, on Flickr

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: A7R Lust
« on: March 12, 2014, 12:39:20 AM »
BH has a promo going on to get a new a7r $300 off when you give them any camera.

I gave in to A7R lust due to the $300 trade-in-for-any-camera Plus the $200 Sony rebate, from Focus Camera.  I just returned it yesterday  :'(  I actually had the package with $650 Sony rebate for the HVL60M flash, FE55mm f/1.8 lens. 

Before buying the A7R, I recommend people read this thread and also the review by Thom Hogan at top of the thread.

While heavily Nikon-biased, he does point out some factual issues regarding A7R.  Make sure you can live with them. 

The reason I returned mine were somewhat different.  Thom Hogan review does not even point this out, but currently there is NO TTL wireless triggers available for Sony A7R's new Sony hotshoe.  Even with the old Sony/Minolta hotshoe, there were very limited choices, but now there is none, zero, zilch, nada, from anyone. 

Since I usually use wireless TTL triggers on my 5D III, with off-camera flashes to shoot events, this is a deal-breaker for me.  Manual triggers will miss too many shots and opportunities when everyone is running around.

The other big issue I had was the method Sony chose to move the AF point around in Flex Spot AF mode.  For my 5D III, I use the awesome joystick to move around the AF point rapidly, which can easily be done without ever having to take the eye off the OVF. 

On the Sony, one dial in front of the camera moves it veritically, and another dial in back of the camera moves it horizontally; to make matters much worse, these two dials are very stiff and are located in awkward places.  That's not all.  The C1 button required to activate the AF point into a moveable point is in a very awkward position, which I could never press without taking my eyes off the EVF.  All this led to rather painful user experience, which bothered me way more than even the whole Sony "lossy RAW" issue. 

Couple these issues with the lossy RAW issue, the shutter vibration/blur issue, and Sony customer service completely denying any problems with their Sony HVL60M flash which overheats/shuts down after 20 flashes, I just couldn't tie up ~$3K in the A7R.  Perhaps I would have kept the A7R anyway, but comparing images from both cameras, I simply did not see IQ advantage of A7R over 5D III for the type of shooting I do (events, portraits, not much landscape), not printing large nor viewing at 100%. 

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: B&H or Adorama
« on: March 11, 2014, 01:21:46 PM »
Chances are, things will be fine with both companies...IF things go well.

If something goes wrong, I personally would rather deal with B&H customer service. 
I know somebody who is currently in limbo due to Adorama's suboptimal packaging and expensive Zeiss lens arriving damaged, involving mutliple returns to get the same lens in one piece.  The lens is now stuck in UPS-claims-denied world with no end in site and no help from Adorama. 

On a personal level, remember the time Canon EOS-M/lens package was on $300 sale, and after taking a bunch of orders, Adorama unilaterally cancelled their customers' orders without any replacement or offers when the exact body/lens combo was no longer in stock. On the other hand, B&H Photo, in same predicament, decided to honor their customers' orders and shipped out the EOS-M/lens/+ bonus flash package they DID have in stock, at the same price.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: A7 / A7R Reviewed by Thom Hogan
« on: March 11, 2014, 12:52:06 PM »
It's a nice review to balance against the initial head-over-heels reviews, but to me, he is writing as a Nikon D800E devotee, trying his best to pick at the A7r (and by doing so, everything else including Canon).  His conclusion is:

"The D800E, after two years on the market, still clearly produces the highest quality images I’ve seen out of camera other than Medium Format ones, and it does so clearly. It’s the best all-around camera I know of at the moment."

I might give D800E kudos as the best landscape-on-tripod camera but best "all-around camera"?   ???


EOS Bodies / Re: EOS 7D Replacement Mentioned Again [CR1]
« on: March 11, 2014, 11:59:44 AM »
Video, video, video!? 

For me to consider 7D II, its new (a long awaited) ~25 MP sensor would at least have to match the IQ of crop bodies like Fuji X-T1 or Nikon D7200.  It's just been way too long of a wait for Canon IQ improvement. 

Or...Canon can up the ante by introducing in-body RT controller (sigh... I know it won't happen).   

Woke up this morning with this sunrise, so I took a shot with Sony A7R with FE55 and 5D III and 24-70 f/2.8 II both at around 55 mm and at f/3.2  The 24-70 is a bit disadvantaged as it's barely stopped down, and the auto white balance of both cameras yielded very different WB, so I did my best to match WB. 

Sony A7R, FE55mm by drjlo1, on Flickr

5D III white balance match by drjlo1, on Flickr

For the curious, this is how 5D III WB looked before matching.  Recalling what my own eyes saw, I would say the sky looked like somewhere between Sony and Canon but more towards Canon.

Canon 5DIII WB, exposure match by drjlo1, on Flickr

It's "New Homes" Sale balloon :)
I so wish this sensor was inside my 5D III.

Sony A7R with FE55mm

DSC00080ps by drjlo1, on Flickr

Sony HVL-F43M flash (which seems to be a better "fit" on this camera) ... originally I wanted to go for the HVL-60M but gave up the idea after trying it on the a7, it just looked ridiculously huge on this small camera.

Even F43M would be awkward on camera, and I hate that flash-on-camera look.  Even with my 5D III, if at all possible, I shoot 580EX II off-camera on gorilla pod/portable stand via either Yongnuo 622 or Canon 90EX (smaller venue) in TTL mode.  Looking to do the same with Sony A7R, I was shocked find NO TTL wireless triggers available.  I then looked at the smallest Sony flash HVL20M as TTL-trigger, but many other people must be thinking the same because they go for full-price on fleabay.  I don't like to miss shots by trying manual wireless triggers, but I tried my Yongnuo RF603 manual trigger on the Sony A7R, but Sony's new "standard" hotshoe really isn't standard and RF603 wouldn't fire.   

The strobist limitations along with the effort it takes to move around the flex focus point really didn't let me enjoy the shooting experience, e.g. having to push a button in awkward location to activate the AF point, then using the two stiff dials, one in front of camera and one behind (!), to move point vertically and horizontally really takes away from the joy of shooting and simply too slow to move the AF point.  A7R really needs a 4-way joystick like 5D III does. 

And it seems like some new "problem" is reported weekly for A7R, e.g. shutter vibration, "light leak," lossy RAW, not really weather-sealed, etc.  The lossy sony RAW thing especially bugged me in the back of mind, especially since this kind of thing really shouldn't happen if you are aiming for the semi/professional photography market.  It's also something Sony can fix *IF* they wanted to, but they don't seem willing to do so, just like they are not willing to admit to the FVL60M flash overheating problem after 20 shots. 

Oh, well, it saves me $3K, which I will save up for the next Canon purchase.  All right, Canon, you still got me, with your "poor DR" and all  ::)

I think I am returning my A7R.  I suppose mostly I had to see for myself that the sensor DR advantage really did not make much subjective IQ difference to me (from my 5D III) for the types of photos I tend to take. 

I tend to shoot a lot of events, portraits, some landscape, a lot of night/evening walkaround, and I simply did not see enough difference to keep the A7R.  The fact Sony has hopeless support for TTL wireless triggers and the speedlite HVL60M overheats also severely hampers my event shooting.  The FE55mm is very sharp, but there is no way Sony can come up with a native FE lens collection that comes anywhere close to my current L glass party, especially the T-SE 24mm, 85L, 70-200 f/2.8 II, 24-70 f/2.8 II, etc. 

If Sony can come up with a working top-level speedlite (hopefully RT), support wireless TTL triggers, improve AF speed and introduce touchscreen (touch to focus), and improve the EVF (still nowhere as good as OVF IMO), then A7R Mk II may be in consideration.

For those of you considering these cameras, Focus Camera and B&H are running promotions to get $300 credit for used cameras traded in when you buy the A7 or A7r. 


Rented the A7r during a trip through Utah & Arizona; think I may jump on this myself if they'll take one of the p&s I no longer use.  Will try to post some shots in the A7/A7r thread later when I get home.

I bought from Focus Camera because that $300 for any camera trade-in, even a non-working point-and-shoot, is stackable on top of the $650 ($200 without flash) Sony instant rebate, leading to $950 total off the package (body+lens+sony flash).  Granted, that Sony flash is the HVL60M, which has known overheating issues similar to Nikon SB900, but it is still a top-of-the-line Sony flash and should work fine for casual use without continuous flashes.  If needing continuous flashing, SPTS will repair it for $100.  http://www.sp-ts.com/

One last thing, Focus Camera website does NOT list a package with body+flash+FE55mm, only one with FE35mm.  So if you want the 55 mm in package, call focus camera and point them to their eBay listing package and order that one.   

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