Theatre via Sony A7 & $100 "Dark" Legacy Zoom: Yes You Can!

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Mel Snyder
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Theatre via Sony A7 & $100 "Dark" Legacy Zoom: Yes You Can!
4 months ago

Attended a fabulous production of "12th Night" in the Boston Commons - and the open-air location meant the producers made no attempt to forbid photography except to request no flash.

Lens used was an old Nikon 70-210mm f4-f5.6 AF you can pick up on eBay for as little as $100. I bought it years ago for my Nikon D300 as a lighter backup to my 80-200 f2.8. In the D70 era, f2.8 was of real value. And so, those of you who fear going FF because of the expensive Sony/Zeiss lenses need not fear. I have a 40mm f1.8 Konica Hexanon that, from f4 and smaller, the resolution and contrast of that $40 lens can compete with Leica M lenses.

I knew the Nikon 70-210 lens to be acceptably sharp wide open, so I set the aperture on f4. These are just a few of my 200+ shots, of which 95-98% were in focus - even when actors jumped from the stage to enter the audience. Most below were cropped at least 25% - some more.

High ISO capability means even reputed "dark" legacy lenses can do really well on the A7.

And a quick grab shot with the 50mm f2 Summicron-M on the way out of the park. It was so dark and contrasty that I could barely see any shadow detail. But the A7/Summicron could - which is why lens contrast/shadow-vision can be critical to low-light capability of any system.

I could not see any detail of the couple in front of the fountain - but the A7 can. This is where th combination of A7/FF and Lightroom makes a difference from APS-C.

 Mel Snyder's gear list:Mel Snyder's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony Alpha 7 Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Leica Summicron-M 50mm f/2 Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS +12 more
Sony Alpha 7
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