Sony A7 Legacy Lens Tests (3 primes)

Started Jun 17, 2014 | Discussions
Mark Turney
Mark Turney Senior Member • Posts: 1,924
Sony A7 Legacy Lens Tests (3 primes)
1

I've long gotten past pixel-peeping and critique of minutia in my and others' photography. However, based on suggestions made in my previous post about the A7 and Minolta 50mm lens, I have decided to do a quick test of 3 prime lenses.

All shot in A-Mode, ISO 100, on a small tripod, 2s timer, and focused on the right 'Zulu Warrior' about mid-body. The table was lit with 2 OttLites. The only PP done was WB, slight DxO 'lighting', and sharpening (in DxO) at 160/0.8/2.

The following are the lenses and the f-stops for the shots:

Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 50mm f/1.4 - 1.4, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16

Kiron 28mm f/2 - 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16

Midori 135mm f/2.8 - 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22

There are 22 images in the following folder, which respectively relate to the f-stops as noted above and in the filenames:

http://www.markturneyphotography.com/gallery/Sony-A7-Legacy-Glass-PP-in-DxO/G0000Mscx3s7LhSA/C0000nREOLdWKtjI

Additionally, here is a link to the non-pp OOC RAW and JPG files:

http://www.markturneyphotography.com/gallery/Sony-A7-Legacy-Glass-Tests-RAW-JPG/G0000eugIRN51iJY/C0000nREOLdWKtjI

Password: Testing

Hope this is helpful, and take care everyone!

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Tuloom Senior Member • Posts: 2,662
Re: Sony A7 Legacy Lens Tests (3 primes)

A lot of work, Mark.

Thanks.

Are you a 28mm person. I am. The Pentax SMC 28 3.5 K looks great in samples. I've been on the eBay prowl, but the jackals keep outbidding me. Drats!

Jerry Fusselman
Jerry Fusselman Contributing Member • Posts: 849
Re: Sony A7 Legacy Lens Tests (3 primes)

Mark, would you be willing to offer your summary of what you found?  It does not have to be perfect.

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Jerry Fusselman

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Mark Turney
OP Mark Turney Senior Member • Posts: 1,924
Re: Sony A7 Legacy Lens Tests (3 primes)

A lot of work, Mark.

Thanks.

Are you a 28mm person. I am. The Pentax SMC 28 3.5 K looks great in samples. I've been on the eBay prowl, but the jackals keep outbidding me. Drats!

You're very welcome. I like 28mm... Owned quite a few of the Ricoh GR's including the latest with APS-C sensor. Good "walking around" focal length. Right now, however, I'm focused on the A7 and 50mm the most. Actually sold the Ricoh and my A700 to partially finance the A7 :-)!
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Mark Turney
Ocala, FL
http://www.MarkTurneyPhotography.com

 Mark Turney's gear list:Mark Turney's gear list
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Mark Turney
OP Mark Turney Senior Member • Posts: 1,924
Re: Sony A7 Legacy Lens Tests (3 primes)

Mark, would you be willing to offer your summary of what you found?  It does not have to be perfect.

I sure will... Be posted by tomorrow ;-)!
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Mark Turney
Ocala, FL
http://www.MarkTurneyPhotography.com

 Mark Turney's gear list:Mark Turney's gear list
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Mark Turney
OP Mark Turney Senior Member • Posts: 1,924
Objective Conclusions: Sony A7 Legacy Lens Tests (3 primes)

Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 50mm f/1.4 - focal point (slightly right of center):

Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 50mm f/1.4 - focal point (down from focal point - same plane):

Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 50mm f/1.4 - focal point (up from focal point - "hair" on same plane):

Conclusions: As expected and as with all lenses, there is an ideal f-stop with regards to sharpness. With this Minolta, I see it as sharpest between f/5.6 and f/8. However, sharpness @ the faster f-stops can be improved in pp to a degree and more importantly, sharpness has a perceptual component (see my subjective comments later in this thread).

Kiron 28mm f/2 - Focus (focal point):

Kiron 28mm f/2 - Vignette (top left corner):

Conclusions: With regards to focus, I see the Kiron to be sharpest at f/5.6 to f/8 just as with the Minolta. Same perceptual commentary as mentioned in the Minolta conclusions later in this thread. With regards to vignette, as would be expected with a wide-angle lens originally designed for film (which did not care about angle of incidence of the light), the Kiron exhibits vignetting more at the faster f-stops, but it remains slightly at faster f-stops too. One additional thought is that this lens is fairly low contrast, especially at faster f-stops. However, this is easily corrected in pp.

Midori 135mm f/2.8 (2 images to show focus):

Conclusions: Pretty sharp lens across the range of f-stops, however best at f/5.6 to f/8 as with the others.

Next post will be some more subjective commentary.

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Mark Turney
OP Mark Turney Senior Member • Posts: 1,924
Subjective Conclusions: Sony A7 Legacy Lens Tests (3 primes)

I am well-aware that the Zeiss optics designed specifically for the A7/r cameras would yield tack-sharp results, just as the Ricoh GR and Sigma DP cameras have lenses optimized for their sensors. If your goals mandate that you get multitudes of images sharp across the frame and with no vignetting, then certainly utilize one of these optimized lenses.

Yet, I can't put my finger on it, but there is a certain feel to legacy glass that I personally appreciate. Perhaps, similarly to listening to vinyl records, it's the imperfections and smooth transitions that forces our brains to actually do some work in filling in the "blanks". For my more artistic goals, they are just fine. And, for when I do need to take a less-than-perfect image and optimize it, I have software tools.

Here's the f/2 and f/5.6 Kiron 28mm images, with the f/2 optimized (quickly - didn't spend a lot of time) by adjusting contrast and sharpness to get it close to its f/5.6 counterpart.

And, the f/2 optimized solo:

And, now the same with the Minolta 50mm at f/1.4 (optimized) compared to f/5.6:

And the f/1.4 optimized solo:

Take care and C&C welcome and encouraged!

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osv Veteran Member • Posts: 9,970
Re: Sony A7 Legacy Lens Tests (3 primes)

Tuloom wrote:

A lot of work, Mark.

Thanks.

Are you a 28mm person. I am. The Pentax SMC 28 3.5 K looks great in samples. I've been on the eBay prowl, but the jackals keep outbidding me. Drats!

i have a m28 f/3.5, it's good wide open on my a7r, fairly clean across the image field.

like the smc28 f/3.5, it only has five aperture blades, so on rare occasions the bokeh can be pretty strange... good lens for landscape shots at ~f/10, tho, and fairly cheap to purchase.

you can see the bokeh issues in this cactus shot:

Pentax-M 28mm f/3.5 lens on Sony a7R, Anza Borrego desert pics

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dan

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