What a bias A7/r review using third party lens!

Started Jan 21, 2014 | Discussions thread
ProfHankD Veteran Member • Posts: 6,167
Lens choices & lack of postprocessing

darkdirtydwarf wrote:

But I agree that some comments are a bit off like talking of paid jobs and MF lenses. Who in his right mind would do a paid job with MF lenses on ANY body these days (with the exception of some REALLY good photographers)?

I would. Guess what I very successfully used 100% of the time professionally in the 1970s.  

Seriously, it depends on what kind of shooting, but there are plenty of situations where one of my old manuals is a way better answer than any autofocus lens.  This is even more often true when budget is an issue.

The real error of the reviewer is forgetting to say that the A7(R) allows much better use of the legacy lenses than the original film cameras did. I wish he tried to focus the Hexanon F1.2 with an OVF. THEN he would have out of focus images...

Very much agreed.  I replaced the screen in my A350 to use manual lenses with it, and even that excellent 3rd-party screen with microprisims and splits isn't close to being as effective as peaking in my NEX-5/NEX-7/A7.

As a final thought though, he used pretty bad lenses. The Hexanon 57mm F1.2 (as well as the 40mm F1.8) "glow" wide open. No chance for the focus peaking to see anything more than a human eye could. But when I use my Minolta 58mm at F1.2, the focus peaking feature DOES work pretty well.

Yeah.  Old 17mm ultrawides are seriously technologically challenged, and his actually does better than average, but that's somewhat pointless on an A7R. The 57mm f/1.2 looks unexpectedly bad -- certainly way worse than my Canon FL 55mm f/1.2 wide open -- but perhaps that's a problem with that Hexanon in general (I thought it might be a condition issue with his $30 copy)? Peaking in magnified view isn't useful with such poor IQ because nothing is ever sharp enough to peak. It also is easier to find lenses (old or new) up to the standard of an A7 vs. A7R.

I think it's also worth noting that the images are presented straight from the camera, without fixing the defects that are usually automatically fixed for lenses the cameras recognize. Even just fixing vignetting (which there is an app for) would significantly even the dynamic range, allowing the JPEG engine to render the whole frame with notably more lively color. A little postprocessing would show most of the IQ flaws are somewhat different from those common in modern lenses, but not consistently worse. For example, low contrast is very common for old lenses, whereas new lenses (especially autofocus ones) commonly are poorly centered and have artifacts from imprecisely-shaped (molded) aspheric surfaces.

In sum, I think Barney is a bit of a newbie when it comes to using old lenses on modern cameras... but weren't we all once?  I started doing this in 2009, and I do it a lot, so of course I know more tricks. I even get to leverage tricks I learned 35-40 years ago when I did photography professionally.

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