An Upgrader’s Guide to the Sony A7rIV

This isn’t a full review: if you want to check out the SNR then Bill Claff’s site Photonstophotos is where you want to go, and for technical analysis of many features of the rIV the Jim Kasson’s series is by far the best resource. Both of these sites are much to be preferred to any of the camera review sites if you have a modicum of technical knowledge.

This article, though, is more of a personal discussion of how much the differences between the A7r4 and A7rIII matter to me: and a spoiler is that while there are lots of technical differences which you can read about in the sites I mentioned, they aren’t the most important ones.

So as you can tell already, I made the plunge. Was it a good idea? that’s what this article may help you decide!

If you end up finding this useful and decide to buy one, using one of the links below will cost you nothing, and will make a small contribution to the cost of this site. None of us does this for a living, we don’t run advertising, and the small commissions just help make it possible to keep the site going.

You can buy it from B&H here

You can buy it from Amazon here

You can buy it from eBay here

Biggest Benefits

The biggest two benefits for me are the upgraded viewfinder, and the ability to make the AF/MF indicator red.

The upgraded viewfinder is great. It’s now about 5mp, and is noticeably crisper than the A7rIII. I find myself rarely or never using focus peaking, and often magnifying a little less in manual focus. This is really nice: it’s much less distracting not having focus peaking. Make sure you have the viewfinder refresh rate set on standard: the resolution drops at the high setting (the high setting is useful though – for example you might use it in  a  memory setting which uses high burst rates to follow action with autofocus. In this situation refresh rate would be more important than resolution).

The second improvement is the new, red colour available for the AF/MF target. This is wonderful! As someone who uses manual lenses maybe 2/3 of the time, my practice has been to move the focus target over what I want to focus on, then use a press of the joystick to magnify (setting initial mag to 5.9x eliminates an extra press you might otherwise need). But so often I would lose the target – it would be quite invisible. So I would have to reset it to the centre, and move it again, in the process losing the shot I wanted. The red target is really easy to see and I would personally pay big money for it. I’d also resent it big time as well, though, because it’s the kind of thing that could easily be made available on the rIII by firmware.

I think the enhanced sealing is also a big benefit. I have hated the way that I have babied the previous bodies in drizzle. Reports on the sealing of the rIV really do seem to indicate improvement – not just on the achilles heel of the riii which was the baseplate (never set an r3 down on a damp surface). The larger buttons which some people love for their ergonomics also are easier to make seals for apparently.

Image Quality

Continue reading An Upgrader’s Guide to the Sony A7rIV

Voigtlander 50mm F2 APO-Lanthar announced

Voigtlander just announced a new 50mm F2 APO-Lanthar in E-mount.

Specifications

Diameter 63 mm
Length 61 mm
Filter Thread 49 mm
Weight (no hood, no caps) 364g
Max. Magnification ~1:7
Close Focusing Distance from the sensor 0.45 m
Number of aperture blades 12
Elements/ Groups 10/8

Price and Release date not released yet.

Data based on this source. No official release from Cosina directly yet.

First thoughts

Our praise for the optical performance of the 2/65 APO and 2.5/110 APO was very high indeed. The only real issue with both is that their weight and size makes them less ideal as everyday lenses. And the 2/50 adresses that.

So this sounds like a really interesting lens for those who want a lens well suited for a 61MP sensor. We expect the Voigtlander to outperform any other current 50mm lens in terms of sharpness across the frame and CA-correction.  For now that is just a guess but I think it is a safe one based on the performance of the other two APO-Lanthars.

One interesting question is how the bokeh will compare to less well corrected lenses like Voigtlander’s own 1.2/50.

We will try get out hands on one as soon as possible but we have no idea when that will be.

Leica M Summilux 75mm f1.4

Leica M Summilux 75mm f1.4 – Version 2 (Canadian)

The Leica 75 Summilux (75 Lux) is legendary. It’s a compact, fast, short telephoto rangefinder lens designed for portrait and shallow depth-of-field photography. Prices and praise for the 75 Lux haven’t lessened over the years, and it’s said to be one of Walter Mandler’s favorites works. You’ll be hard pressed to find a clean copy for under 3.5k. Let’s dig deeper.

Click here to see all 75 Lux review photos and others at larger resolution on my flickr album.

Note 1: Throughout the review, FE or Sony 85 means the 85 f1.8, GM 85 refers to the GM 85 f1.4, and the Samyang is the manual focus version unless specified.

Note 2:  For a more extensive look at the finer distinctions between the 75 and 80 Summilux, read this.

Specifications

Focal Length: 75mm
F-stop: 1.4-16
Weight: 600g
Aperture Blades: 10 (unrounded)
Hood: Permanent (retractable)
Mount: Leica M
Internal focus: No
Filter Size: 60mm
MFD: 0.8 (will focus closer)
Environmental Sealing: None
Years Produced: 1980-2007
75 Lux @ f1.4
75 Lux @ f2
75 Lux @ f1.4

 

Continue reading Leica M Summilux 75mm f1.4