After the honeymoon... Problems with the A7rii

Started Sep 10, 2015 | Discussions thread
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Dustinash Contributing Member • Posts: 691
After the honeymoon... Problems with the A7rii
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I love this camera.  Really I do.  However I have ran into problems in two different categories:

  1. Adapted lenses AF (Terrible on Laea3, see details below)
  2. Cleaning the sensor

Problem 1

Regardless of the reviews I read on people using amount glass with laea3 I was a little skeptical going in.  I noticed that all these were done in good light and often then lens was stopped down.

But I took the dive.  I sold my 70-200 f4, took the dive and bought the 70-200 f2.8 mark 1.  Waited a month for the laea3 adapter, etc.

Imagine my disappointment when I actually tried to use this lens.  In good light it was relatively ok.  I would not trust it though for anything moving.  And often it takes a few seconds or more while it zooms the whole range in and out a few times then slowly ticks its way into focus.  And that is in good light.

In bad light it is absolutely useless in phase detect.  You have to use the largest point to even have a hope and it hunts worse then an a7 first generation.  If you switch to Contrast detect it will more ably grab focus but really its not good.  Not at all.  When I can't take a picture of my hat in my living room in the evening I know already it will be absolutely useless for wedding receptions.  Don't even need to try.  Sadly this is fail and I need to now sell this all to rebuy the f4.  There goes 500$ on an experiment.  Great job Sony.

Problem 2 - much more signficant for pro photographers anywhere other then the United states

There is no pro service here in Canada.  And Sony will not allow you to clean the sensor on the a7rii with anything other then a rocket blower without voiding the warranty.  This is a major problem because this sensor attracts little bits like mad.  And they don't come off.  The gyration thing in camera might as well be a belly dancer.  To date it has shaken off nothing.  The rocket blower same deal.  Now Bryan Smith mentions using both wet cleaning as being ok, as well as (he's heard) the eyelead gel stick.

Well those gel sticks are sticky for one, even the sony version and the a7rii sensor is not fixed in place.  I have no doubt that gel stick is capable of yanking the sensor right off.  That leaves wet cleaning which may void the warranty.

The other issue is when I examine my sensor with a loop it appears the dust may be very small metal.  So jus the little bit of steel that eventually comes off parts of cameras or accessories.  Well I am assuming because of the charge it just sticks itself to the sensor.  I am hoping to try get a negatively charged brush and remove it but if it metal one little push could be a scratch.

Interstingly I did research on Olympus sensors and they seem to be absolutely devoid of this issue.  People talk about going three years and still having clean sensors.  Is their shaker that much better?  I doubt it, I think the sony sensor holds a significant charge and it actually acts like a magnet.

The obvious problem being, if you can't clean it your self you need to send it in.  Sending it in is expensive and if you are a pro you are out a camera 2 weeks to a month.  Also with sony shutting down their stores here there is no centre you can take it.  This wouldn't be an issue if it was an annual thing but I a have this camera for one months and I can already count 20 small specks on the sensor.

This is a forewarning for pros who think you can just adopt this system.  I started with the a7 which had such terrible low light autofocus it almost ruined a few shoots for me.  I switched to the a7s which is a much better low light camera but absolutely cannot track anything moving.  The a7rii is worse then both those

The the a7rii came along, here was a camera that can track, but it is still short on native lenses, specifically f2.8 zooms and I am not sure about the canon adapters but the alpha one absolutely sucks with the 2.8 70-200.  Would the mark 2 be better?  I doubt it.  This lens focused very decently on the laea4, very snappy in good light but that autofocus system is primitive, the mirror on that adapter will eventually get dirty and it too struggles in low light.

The third minor problem is that as a pro many of us can forge the zooms for good primes.  But there are no good tele primes.  The 90 macro is wicked sharp but not worth 1400$ as a slow portrait lens.  The 85 Batis may be well worth the money but it is totally unavailable.  You are left then, stuck really with an f4 70-200. Its an optically very nice lens.  But it means using flash in receptions, even on the a7s.  Unless you want to risk constant lose of sharpness due to motion blur.

Sony needs to up its game for pro support.  I have to shoot in fashion week new york next week and I have a camera where I will be having to do post processing to remove imperfections, a 70-200 that I don't trust to track models down a runway (I know its going to fail) and no real solid alternative lenses.  I love this system and it is great if your willing to work as an artist with minimum lens switching but for the more heavy duty work of pro event photographers those things add up and have left this photographer extremely stressed.  I want to clean my sensor but I can't.  They wont let me.  I want a solid f2.8 zoom but it doesnt yet exist for this system.  I'd like a 85 in the meantime but the only thing I can get is a rokinon.

Just some thoughts.  The IQ is beautiful and the ergonomics are excellent (aside from the screen which should really flip out) but it comes at a price

Pentax FA 70-200 F2.8 Sony a7 Sony a7R Sony a7S
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