GXR Lenses, lensors & Misc.

Started Dec 6, 2013 | Discussions thread
Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 35,609
Re: Off on one of my rants ;)

sroute wrote:

Tom Caldwell wrote:
I find the Sony-type focus peaking disappointing after the Ricoh Mode2 system

I'd be happier if Sony had even Mode 1 level focus peaking. Even on the A7r I find FP good for quick zone focus, not so good for nailing critical focus or even acceptable focus, not without magnification.

I have the NEX6 on medium line strength.  On a high resolution lens with good dof the peaking degenerates into an ink blot on unmagnified screen.  At first level magnificationit is quite useful, but has usually disappeared by second level magnification.  I have found re-assigning th AEL lock key to trigger magnification better than the thumb muscle destroying soft key B. Especially when soft shutter press permanently cancels screen magnification.

I leave it on, for manual focus only, and on low so as to not interfere too much. But primarily I'm using the excellent screens, with or without magnification.

than to throw bricks at the Ricoh Mode2 system which as a system walks all over the Sony focus peaking method as ann available tool.

Mode 2 doesn't work well in lower light, nor does the GXR EVF period -- that's where I'm throwing bricks at, mostly.

I find that if the Ricoh focus peaking stumbles in low or bright light situations then a temporary play with the very easily used EV control can help. I also don't have a lot of regard for the clip on evf.

I fully agree that the NEX6 (at least and to my personal knowledge) provides a much superior plain focus experience by evf than what the Ricoh GXR can provide either by clip on evf or by lcd.

Just wait until you spend some quality time with the A7 / A7r. The first day I had it I was focussing, using the rear LCD only, a Distagon 28/2.8 on an object. I'd not yet learned where the magnification feature was hiding nor peaking. Nailed the focus first time, easy as can be. Most lenses I've mounted have provided the same sort of experience - focus unmagnified seems to pop into place.

It's pleasantly unnerving.

I'm not here to abuse the GXR. I've kept mine and it continues to serve a purpose here at Chez SRoute.

While I really appreciate the NEX6 - great evf, great tilt lcd, good sensor, good images, fast shot to shot recycling. In use it is not such a happy camera as the GXR. Presumably the A7r is better from a serious user point of view.

Sony could make one change that would make the A7/r (and perhaps also the NEX-6) cameras more friendly to manual focus lens owners - improve the configuration of the zoom function. The GXR is great in this regard.

Therefore hype about the A7 type is much more concentrated on the Sony forum than the excitement out there in camera-buying land.

Depends on where you live. In one German shop their first delivery of A7 / A7r cameras totalled 1,000 units, every single one being presold. My dealer pre-sold all they could get allocated to them except for two units and apparently those only because buyers switched from A7 to A7r; the "R for resolution" version outselling the A7 here 3 to 1.

How this all plays out in the long run, who knows, but my bet is that Sony is on to a winning formula and like most such things it will take some time before it becomes obvious to all.

Pre-Christmas catalogues are full of Canon and Nikon kits at various price levels with the occasional Sony Alpha - not one of them mentions sensor size amongst the sell-hype.

Until the dealers get large stocks of the A7 type at good margins they are going to still push the dslr body no matter what sensor is inside. Nothing like the $$$$ return and they are supposed to be advising folk on the best cameera for their needs ....

An A7r must have reasonable margins, certainly no worse than selling a D600. What they don't have is a bevy of lenses, yet, by which to make incremental sales. That will come with time.

My point in talking about the Sony development is to underscore that from where I stand, Sony has made quite a few improvements that make a difference for usability. The camera feels far removed from my past NEX experience and is much closer to how I perceive the GXR. I'd have liked Ricoh to build this camera - they probably would have done it two steps better... or at least that's what I used to feel. Now, I'm not so sure. Sony has been pushing the tech forward. The new EVF is brilliant. They could use Ricoh's focal plane shutter though.

I'd still like Ricoh to build a camera like this but just don't see it happening as the hill might be too steep for them to climb.

Ricoh is the inscrutible in the camera company business.  It does not play normal rules.  Has a certain "Citroenesque" ideology about what they produce - don't follow conventional logic and do things their own way.  The user just has to like what they get which in my own maverick way I usually do.  I see Sony as the technical bravura - all brilliant technology roughly lashed together with bits of firmware string and not quite right user interface.  But it works in a more fumble fingered way.  With my stock of MF lenses I am an obvious candidate for the A7 type or a Ricoh equivalent made from a box of left over Sony parts.  I have half a mind to wait a few more months to see if Ricoh shows any more sign of life.  I already have enough cameras to keep me happy, the A7r would be an indulgence but I would hate to be faced with a " necessary" double indulgence from Ricoh some time down the track as I am sure Ricoh would make a more pleasant to use camera should they decide to make me my GR sized GXRII  

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Tom Caldwell

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