Sony A6500 vs. Sony A7II comparison – which one is the smarter choice?

With the Sony A6500, Sony has entered the terrain of semi-professional crop cameras. The camera is significantly higher priced than other Sony APS-C cameras, and is directly competing with other smaller format flagship cameras like Fuji X-T2, Nikon D500, Olympus OMD-EM1 Mk2 or the Canon Eos 7D Mk2.

Furthermore, the Sony A6500 is now similarly (or even higher) priced than the Sony A7II. This leaves open the question for many people as to whether they should really spend that much on an APS-C camera, or if they should get a full frame body instead. The comparison is obvious, and legitimate, because the cameras share a few key specifications – like sensor resolution, mount, and sensor stabilization. Let’s check what sets these cameras apart from each other.

Sony A7II | Sony FE 1.8/55 ZA
Sony A6500 | Sony 1.8/24
Sony A6500 | Sony 1.8/55 ZA

Continue reading Sony A6500 vs. Sony A7II comparison – which one is the smarter choice?

Review: Olympus OM Zuiko 50mm f1.2

Introduction

A super fast fifty millimetre lens can be a lot of fun. But arguably it’s not the best all around type of lens to have; it’ll be bigger and heavier than a more modest speed fifty, and likely not as good stopped down. It’s more of an occasional use specialty lens. So it makes sense not to spend vast sums for a Leica Noctilux. No-one makes a modern f1.2; and if and when they do it will no doubt be extremely expensive and very big and heavy. That makes the better  legacy 50mm f1.2 lenses well worth investigating.

This review is of one of the better contenders: The OM Zuiko 50mm f1.2. It has a reputation for being usably sharp in the middle wide open, and sharpening up to decent overall performance stopped down. Does it live up to this reputation? Read on!

Sample Images

High resolution versions of the samples can be found at http://www.davidbraddonmitchell.com/Varia/Zuiko1250/

Specifications

Continue reading Review: Olympus OM Zuiko 50mm f1.2

Rolling-Review: Laowa 15mm 2.0 Zero-D

Introduction

laowa 15mm 2.0 fe venus optics review
Sony A7rII with Laowa 15mm 2.0 Zero-D

The Laowa 15mm 2.0 Zero-D is a lens I have eagerly been waiting for since I took a few snaps with the prototype at Photokina in 2016. It is one of the very few lenses making actual use of the narrow flange distance of mirrorless cameras.
But does it only look good on paper or can it keep up with my high expectations? Find out in this review! 
This is a Rolling-Review, bits and pieces will be added as we get to know the lens better.
Last Update:
Review on hold! We got contacted by Laowa who told us this sample does not show the expected performance, especially in the corners. Therefore we will wait for another sample before going on with this review and repeat certain tests if necessary. (07/20
/17)

Sample Images

laowa 15mm 2.0 fe venus optics review
Sony A7rII | Laowa 15mm 2.0 Zero-D | f/5.6
laowa 15mm 2.0 fe venus optics review
Sony A7rII | Laowa 15mm 2.0 Zero-D | f/8.0
laowa 15mm 2.0 fe venus optics review
Sony A7rII | Laowa 15mm 2.0 Zero-D | f/2.0

Continue reading Rolling-Review: Laowa 15mm 2.0 Zero-D

THE MANUAL PHOTOGRAPHERS SERIES PART 6: Simeon Kolev

Selfie with Mamiya m645 | 80mm 2.8 C @F16 | old ORWO NP22 80ASA

B: Hi Simeon, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to use manual lenses?

S: Hi! I will start with what I do for a living: I am a graphic designer and photographer based in Bulgaria. I started editing photos long before I had my first experience with a camera (and that was as part of my job as a designer). But it was only a matter of time for me to get excited about taking the pictures myself. I started with what gear was available in the companies where I was an employee, but back in those days the Canon G5 was like space technology in my eyes.  Because of the huge depth of field of these compact cameras I was mainly focused on landscapes and macro. When I got bored of landscapes and macro I started to look around for something with a larger sensor.

Continue reading THE MANUAL PHOTOGRAPHERS SERIES PART 6: Simeon Kolev

Review: Zeiss Loxia Planar 2/50 T*

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The Zeiss Loxia Planar 2/50 offers all the benefits of manual lens: a great focusing ring, very solid build quality and a small size but it gets rid of most disadvantages like outdated coatings, adapters and you get full exif info.
09/07/17 Update by Bastian: I have just recently been looking for a fast standard lens to use for Milkyway stitching (see this article) and compared this lens and the Sony FE 55mm 1.8 side by side. Therefore I added a few bits from these comparisons.

A German version of this review can be found on phillipreeve.de.

Sample Images

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Zeiss Loxia 2/50 | Sony a7 | f/2 | full resolution
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Zeiss Loxia 2/50 | Sony a7 | f/2 | full resolution

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Zeiss Loxia 2/50 | Sony a7 | f/2

Continue reading Review: Zeiss Loxia Planar 2/50 T*

Review: Sony FE 1.8/85

Introduction

We are happy to see that Sony keeps expanding it’s budget lens lineup. Especially the Sony FE 2/28 reflects a great value for the price, we also liked the Sony 2.8/50 Macro. The Sony FE 1.8/85 is the latest addition to it.

On the paper, the lens seems to hit a sweet spot between cost, brightness, size and weight. Let’s check if the lens can also deliver optically.

Sample Images

Sony A6500 | Sony FE 1.8/85 | f/2.8 | full resolution
Sony A7 II | Sony FE 1.8/85 | f/9 | full resolution
Sony A7 II | Sony FE 1.8/85 | f/1.8 | full resolution

Continue reading Review: Sony FE 1.8/85

4 tips to improve your Astrophotography

Introduction

astrophotography improve panorama sony a7 natural night didymium filter stacking exposure tracker guided guiding
Sony A7s | Voigtlander 35mm 1.7 + 5m PCX OptoSigma + NiSi Natural Night filter | panorama from 5 shots

The shot above can be found in higher resolution here.

With the increased High ISO capabilities of even entry level cameras astrophotography has become available to almost anyone. But if you want your files to show low noise and high dynamic range – or you want to print big – it might be worthwhile using some of the techniques I am going to show you in this article.

Continue reading 4 tips to improve your Astrophotography

Adapters for Manual Lenses on the Sony a7 series: The Guide

There are many good reasons to adapt manual lenses to the Sony A7 series cameras. To do so you need an adapter and this article will help you to choose the right one.

We are three guys from Germany who have adapted manual lenses for many years now. By using several dozen adapters over the years we have learned the hard way, that not all adapters are created equal. We hope that the money we spent on bad adapters will help you to avoid annoying miss-buys we experienced.

In the following two parts we tell you why you need an adapter in the first place, and which issues can arise with adapters. If all you need is the right adapter for your lens you can simply jump to Adapter Manufacturers].

All links marked with a * are affiliate links. If you use them we will get a few percents commission on your purchase without any added cost to you. If you want to support our manufacturer independent work please consider using them.

Continue reading Adapters for Manual Lenses on the Sony a7 series: The Guide

Extension Tubes for Fullframe E-mount cameras

Introduction

Kenko and Fotodiox Pro extension tubes emount e-mount macro makro zwischenring extension ring full frame fullframe fe
Kenko and Fotodiox Pro extension tubes

I do own a macro lens (Sigma 150mm 2.8) that I use for most of my product shots on this blog, but I rarely take it out for shooting as it is quite bulky and heavy. Nevertheless I like to take a close up shot from time to time so I decided to try out the Kenko and Fotodiox Pro extension tubes, to turn my Loxia 85mm 2.4 into a macro lens.

Sample Images

extension tube kenko fotodiox pro ring zwischenring loxia zeiss carl 85mm 2.4 10 16 26
Sony A7rII | Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 | f/2.4 | 16mm Kenko Extension tube
extension tube kenko fotodiox pro ring zwischenring loxia zeiss carl 85mm 2.4 10 16 26
Sony A7rII | Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 | f/4.0 | 10+16mm Kenko Extension tube
extension tube kenko fotodiox pro ring zwischenring loxia zeiss carl 85mm 2.4 10 16 26
Sony A7rII | Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 | f/2.4 | 16mm Kenko Extension tube

Continue reading Extension Tubes for Fullframe E-mount cameras

Review: Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 E Hyper Wide Heliar

Introduction

Sony A7s with Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E
Sony A7s with Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E

The Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E aspherical is the second native E-Mount lens by Voigtlander and it is also the widest rectilinear lens ever produced. I am a wide angle junkie so I was eagerly awaiting this lens. Read on to find out what one can do with such a wide lens!
Update
(06/06/17): long term experiences after one year of usage added

Sample Images

voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 review sample
Sony A7rII | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/16 | higher resolution
voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 review sample
Sony A7rII | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/11 | higher resolution
Sony A7rII | Voigtlander 10mm 5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E | f/8.0 | higher resolution

Continue reading Review: Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 E Hyper Wide Heliar

Manual Lenses | Sony Alpha