My 7th year with A7R2

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richj20 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,321
My 7th year with A7R2
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Back in 2016 I began considering a Full Frame Camera. I was impressed with the landscape photographs by a friend with his Nikon 8** camera (I forget the model #).

But I wasn't enthusiastic about the size/weight. Later that year another friend told me about Sony FF mirrorless and a 42mpx camera, which was the A7R2. I never thought that a FF camera could be this small and light.

I bought into the system and have been a "happy camper" ever since.

I've noticed the A7R2 mentioned in several threads recently, so I thought I would share photographs along with why I like this camera and continue to use it.

For several years, I made a few trips each year to a vacation ranch in the Southern Sierra Nevada. It became a home base, so to speak, and I traveled throughout the Sequoia National Forest to photograph.

Landscapes

I enjoyed the variety of scenery, and was especially interested in the vegetation. I looked for compositions with plants/flowers in the foreground and a nice backdrop scene.

Cattails in Winter. One of my first winter landscapes on this ranch. I recall experimenting to see how close in I needed to focus and still have acceptable detail in the far background. About 1/4 into the scene, if I remember. Here, the background is a granite dome about 2 miles away.

I tested with both AF and MF and AF is always accurate, so I don't normally use MF for landscapes.

Willows and native grasses. A different season with the same granite dome in the background.

I use the grid overlay on the LCD to help with framing and leveling. I like using the LCD for landscapes, and I have a black cloth affixed to my wide brim hat which I pull over the camera to block out all ambient lighting. (it reminds me of my days with a view camera)

Architecture

I have an ongoing project of photographing local attractive buildings.

The camera was held about chest level. I was happy that the grip of the camera fits my hand nicely, and it is no problem to steady the camera in any position.

Up in the Sierras I like especially the architecture in the small rural towns. I used the camera level and the grid screen to frame this country store. I rarely have to make any leveling adjustments when editing.

Rural churches in their simplicity are attractive to me. Temperature was about 20 degrees F and the camera gave me no problems. (not that cold compared to other places, of course!)

At home I often get the opportunity to photograph inside churches to catch good lighting. The camera Steady Shot is excellent (my lenses do not have OSS).

The relatively small size of the camera makes it nice for indoors where people are around. With the tiny 2,8/35 mounted I'm not conspicuous at all. I would not have thought that a FF camera would be so nice and easy to use indoors.

Local historic hotel. Usually indoors I set the camera's ISO AUTO Min. SS at 1/60 or 1/30, depending on the lighting

People

I don't photograph people very much, and my first opportunity with this camera was on a trip to that Ranch, where I photographed a few of the ranch employees.

I made small prints for them

Close up

The 12x magnification makes precise focusing easy with this camera. The button on the lens is configured for Focus Magnifier. I use DMF with AF + MF. Because of the long throw of the macro lens (many turns of the ring to move the elements) AF gets the lens to the proper distance quickly, then MF for final focusing, where the long throw is useful.

I'm very happy with the colors reproduced by this camera. They record flower colors accurately.

There have been times when I've used the camera one-handed with my left hand holding back a branch, or holding a bounce or reflector card. I was really happy at first when I realized I could use the camera in this manner.

Flash

Sony's small HVL-F20M works well with this camera. I use fill flash a lot for flowers, eg - when parts of the flower are not illuminated. Another use is for darkening the background, achieved with a low flash output:

Seeds of Red Yucca. It creates a rather dramatic scene.

Another use is at night for this Arroyo Lupine.

The button layout is quite handy. I use Silent Shooting by default. For flash, this has to be disabled, so I have the Down Button on the Control Wheel configured for Silent Shooting On/Off.

The Left Button is for Flash Comp

The Right Button is configured to switch between Finder and Monitor

The Control Wheel itself is configured for ISO

C1 is WB

C2 is Focus Settings - selecting and moving

C3 is ISO AUTO Min.SS

C4 is SteadyShot

Once I set up these configurations, it didn't take long to "memorize" the layout, and I can quickly make changes pretty much without looking at the camera.

Those are my most used setting, thus, I don't normally need to access the Menu except to format. The camera "remembers" the last accessed menu item, requiring just a few clicks to format.

All of this has made the camera a pleasure to use, and I expect continuous satisfaction - especially when I start traveling again!

- Richard

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