My Dalliance with Sony.

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I have been considering adding a different system for some time now. I wanted to finally try out a larger sensor body for legacy glass. Just before Thanksgiving (the week of November 25th) KEH ran a 20% off sale. This put a couple different bodies within my purchase range. They had some full frame Sony A7ii's and Fuji XT2 & XH1 bodies available. After much hemming and hawing, I decided to spring for a Sony A7ii as an early Christmas present for myself. I thought it would be nice to be able to shoot my Leica R and Super Takumar glass in front of the full frame sensor. I ordered some dumb adapters from Amazon to try things out.



My first impressions was that the camera was a bit heavier than I expected. I think I am just spoiled with my Olympus bodies. The Sony was heavier and bulkier, and while it balanced nicely with the legacy glass, it made for a pretty hefty kit. I poked through the menus setting up the camera how I would like to be able to use it. As usual, I don't really understand people's issue with camera menus. I have never had issue with Olympus, and I didn't have any problems navigating the Sony ones, either. Everything seemed to be pretty straight forward. I did, however, miss the ability to add copyright information that was directly recorded on EXIF. I thought that would have been industry standard. I was able to set function buttons for focus magnify, AEL, IBIS focal length, among others. I really liked the ability to quickly change the IBIS focal length settings. I didn't care for how the camera did AEL. When pressing the button the only notification was an asterisk (*) in the display. It didn't say AEL. I always had to verify that it was doing what I wanted it to do.

We had planned on a day trip up to our favorite place in East Tennessee for the day after Thanksgiving , the Roan Highlands. I thought that that might be a good place to do some shooting with the new rig. The cloud ceiling was pretty low all afternoon, so lighting wasn't the best. I got a few shots with the Sony and my Super Takumars. Where I found I like the results best was portraits of my wife and son. It did great with those. As for landscapes, I wasn't overly impressed. The images were okay, but not anything that I couldn't have done on my mft cameras. I chalked it up to familiarity. I just needed to get more time with the camera.

Super Takumar 50 1.4

Back at home I thought I would try some of the more creative things I enjoy shooting. I tried both my versions of the Leica Macro-Elmar-R 100mm f/4 lens. With the Helicoid version I found there was a glare and/or light leak coming in. I really am not sure what was happening. The other lenses didn't have the issue, and the Leica doesn't have the issue on my mft cameras. I think maybe there was some kind of reflection inside the adapter. It was pretty disappointing. The bellows version of the lens worked fine. I did some pseudo planet shooting with the setup. I was happy with the results. I was getting nice clean files.



Leica Macro-Elmar-R 100 4 (bellows)

Next, I took the camera out for a sunrise shoot. I will say that when the camera gets a hit, It produces really, really nice results. I was very happy with what I could get out of the camera, save one big caveat. I was fighting sensor dust. One of the first things I found when it was delivered was a couple specks of dust on the sensor. I was able to clean them off, and I ran the cleaning tool in camera. However, it seemed to continue to return. When I was out shooting the sunrise, it really came apparent. It made the camera less appealing to shoot pretty quickly. I know that I don't keep my equipment spotlessly clean, but I have never had an issue with dust on my Olympus bodies. It's quite possible that I just got unlucky with this used body from KEH. Oh well.

Leica Elmarit-R 28 2.8



Leica Summicron-R 50 2

Lastly, I took the body and Leica lenses with me as we spent an evening in downtown Knoxville. I shot around for a bit, but really was not happy with much of anything. I think I had already come to the decision that I wasn't happy with it, so that soured my creativity with the camera.

Leica Summicron-R 50 2

I packaged up the camera and sent it back to KEH today. I still had a couple of days on the 14 day return window. I figured it was best to return it now with the only penalty being shipping costs.
 

Stanga

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The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. But it can often just be an artificial green turf that you are looking at.
 

WT21

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Sony a7 series has strengths, but I guess it's what you want/need. I've had 2 Sony A7s (maybe 3?) and assorted Sony lenses. For some reason (maybe it's the plastics or something?) I found them all to be dust magnets.
 
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It doesn't hurt to look. Olympus owners are spolit for camera body features and some outstanding glass.

I think to appreciate larger sensors, OP is absolutely right to look at low light situations - they are simply better.

For other systems though, I do sometimes wonder how many people are disappointed when they realize that double the megapixels does not equal 'twice as sharp'?
 

robcee

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nice review. Your take on the AEL function on all of the Sonys I’ve used is bang on and highlights what I feel is a poor information presentation in general compared to the Nikons and Olympuses I’m used to.

They can make some nice pictures though. Your sunrise pics are great.
 
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Which m43 bodies did you compare it against? Until yesterday I had A7rii and it doesn't feel good the way EM1.2 feels. As far as ergonomics and comfort GOES Sony has much to figure out. Funny because both of those are pretty much same sized (EM1.2 grip is about half a centimeter deeper) but there's something wrong about Sony contours. Hope the newer III series bodies have improved.
 

Lupin 3rd

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It doesn't hurt to look. Olympus owners are spolit for camera body features and some outstanding glass.

I think to appreciate larger sensors, OP is absolutely right to look at low light situations - they are simply better.

For other systems though, I do sometimes wonder how many people are disappointed when they realize that double the megapixels does not equal 'twice as sharp'?
Agree to the above and I’d just like to add that there’s more than just sharpness that makes a photo. I love the images I get - straight out of the camera - from my old EM5 (mk1) and 45/1.8 or 17/1.8.
 

WT21

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Which m43 bodies did you compare it against? Until yesterday I had A7rii and it doesn't feel good the way EM1.2 feels. As far as ergonomics and comfort GOES Sony has much to figure out. Funny because both of those are pretty much same sized (EM1.2 grip is about half a centimeter deeper) but there's something wrong about Sony contours. Hope the newer III series bodies have improved.
there are lots of strengths of Sony a7, but why on earth do they keep with that old body? It was ugly and uncomfortable 8 years ago, and it hasn’t gotten any better since.
 
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Seattle
there are lots of strengths of Sony a7, but why on earth do they keep with that old body? It was ugly and uncomfortable 8 years ago, and it hasn’t gotten any better since.
Amazes me too. I am told the 7RIV greatly improves on ergonomics, finally. Looks to me ergonomics take backseat when opting Sony because they keep racking up sales regardless.
 

Henry01

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My English is not that good, but the following I want to say about the sensor story, you all know 500PX go there to search on Nikon D300, or Olympus EM5 but also On Sony 7…, Nikon 750, 800 or Canon D5, 6 or something like that. The differences that you find are marginal and do not justify your money spending. It doesn't really matter creatively, with normal use. It is wanting to have, and wanting to sell from manufacturers .. your choice. What you do find are beautiful photos made with older equipment!
 

Brownie

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My English is not that good, but the following I want to say about the sensor story, you all know 500PX go there to search on Nikon D300, or Olympus EM5 but also On Sony 7…, Nikon 750, 800 or Canon D5, 6 or something like that. The differences that you find are marginal and do not justify your money spending. It doesn't really matter creatively, with normal use. It is wanting to have, and wanting to sell from manufacturers .. your choice. What you do find are beautiful photos made with older equipment!
I think you said that quite well!
 

demiro

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there are lots of strengths of Sony a7, but why on earth do they keep with that old body? It was ugly and uncomfortable 8 years ago, and it hasn’t gotten any better since.
For me, liking the idea of a bargain full frame kit to supplement m4/3s but not wanting to shoot MF glass, the A7 was always tempting for low light, but never compared favorably to Canon/Nikon options because of AF (for sports) and choice of lenses. The famed Sony menu system was just a bonus. Obviously newer models offer more, but I've never really been tempted. Wish I could say that for a lot more formats and cameras!
 

demiro

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Agree to the above and I’d just like to add that there’s more than just sharpness that makes a photo. I love the images I get - straight out of the camera - from my old EM5 (mk1) and 45/1.8 or 17/1.8.
Yes. I would/could/should have been very happy with nothing more than the original E-M5 and those two primes. Very special stuff from Olympus in the "good old days" of this format.
 

WT21

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For me, liking the idea of a bargain full frame kit to supplement m4/3s but not wanting to shoot MF glass, the A7 was always tempting for low light, but never compared favorably to Canon/Nikon options because of AF (for sports) and choice of lenses. The famed Sony menu system was just a bonus. Obviously newer models offer more, but I've never really been tempted. Wish I could say that for a lot more formats and cameras!
I'm not going to do it, but the price of a used Canon 6D + an older 70-200/2.8 is a bargain. I think it was like <$1,000 last I checked. That was tempting, but I just don't have the use case, lol.
 

demiro

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I'm not going to do it, but the price of a used Canon 6D + an older 70-200/2.8 is a bargain. I think it was like <$1,000 last I checked. That was tempting, but I just don't have the use case, lol.
My version of that is D600 + 85/1.8 for basketball. Cost < $800. I prefer Canon, and I almost bought a 6D, but it doesn't fit my needs quite as well.
 

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