Samyang, or the reason I switched back to FF

EarthQuake

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Years ago I shot with a Sony FF DSLR system. A900, lovely 1.4 primes and 2.8 zooms from Sigma and Minolta. But it was all too annoying to carry around, my kit weighed about 9 pounds at one point. I'm not a professional, I do most of my photography when I travel, so the big pro kit was more something that I had because I could - rather than something I needed.

So when the EM5 came out I was thrilled. I tried some of the earlier M43 cameras, but they were, in a word: terrible. Finally, with the EM5 there was a mirrorless camera worth using. A camera that was fun again, that I took with me when I went out. I originally bought it as a secondary travel system, but the A900 and my entourage of lard lenses sat dejected on the shelf. Soon after, the EM1 came out and addressed the concerns I had with the EM5 (mostly ergonomics and AF). I sold all of the Sony A mount gear back in 2013 or so - a good move, you don't want to try selling A mount gear these days.

I used (and loved) my EM1's for about 6 years. Though I had no shortage of problems with them. The IBIS in one of them failed, I ripped out the USB port using a remote shutter, the grips fell off, the dial fell off (okay, that was the EM5). The dials stopped registering, were repaired, stopped, were repaired, and failed a third time. I got very familiar with Precision Camera's repair service. Still, I rather enjoyed the little buggers and the freedom of a small system.

At some point, Sony released the original A7. I was interested and got a chance to try it, and it was, like those early M43 cameras: terrible. Poor ergonomics, awful responsiveness. A good sensor in a half-baked shell. Then the A7 II series bodies came out, they were much better, but still behind the original EM1 in usability. My trusty Olympus and friends stayed in my bag.

Finally, the A7 III. A camera that gets so much right. Good ergonomics, great battery life, class-leading dynamic range and high ISO, and excellent autofocus. 4 dedicated dials, and enough custom buttons to have every function easily accessible. Importantly, a flippy screen, not one of those vlogger selfie screens that seem to appear on every camera these days. The IBIS isn't great, but hey, at least it has it. I wouldn't trust the weather sealing as far as I can throw it, and honestly, I'm not any more confident that dials won't fall off than I was with the Olympus. But again, it gets a lot right.

Meanwhile, Olympus and Panasonic are making bigger and bigger cameras, putting vlogger screens on every comfortable body they make, and their high-end lenses (in the range I shoot, mostly wide-angle to short tele) are bigger than equivalent mirrorless full-frame glass. Somewhere along the lines, M43 has gotten away from what drew me in.

So back to FF I go. With a bag full of small, light F2.8 and 1.8 prime lenses. These days, I'm especially enjoying the poorly built, but extremely small and lightweight Samyang primes. I've got the 18/2.8, a 145g marvel - sure it's not tack-sharp at 2.8, but hey, where can I get a lightweight 9/1.4 with AF? Or even a 9/2 or 9/2.8 for that matter? Then we have the 75/1.8, a darling of a little lens at 230g, nearly half the weight of my old Nocticron, while giving significantly more DOF control. The Sony 35/1.8 is about twice as big and heavy as my old 15/1.7 - but is still only 280g, and with ~two stops more DOF control, I won't complain. Plus, Samyang is coming out with a 35/1.8, which will probably be under 200g, and cost no more than $400.

Yeah, these cheap little plastic Samyang lenses will probably fall apart. Just like my EM1s, so I guess there is some strange comfort in that. But I think I'll have fun with them while they last.

I wonder how many have been through a similar journey and switched, or decided to stay put?
 
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Darmok N Jalad

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Yes, the pro lenses and bodies aren’t exactly light, but if you’re talking about small and light (and well made) primes, M43 has always had those. For example, my E-M5iii along with 9mm, 14mm, 25mm, and 45mm primes weigh less than 2lbs total. Then again, the EM1 and G9 aren’t trying to be as small and light as possible, but comfortable to hold and operate. And while the pro glass on M43 isn’t exactly light, it’s often considerably cheaper than the pro glass of FF. If you’re willing to compromise on glass quality on FF for compactness or lightness, then it’s a bit unfair to compare cheap, low build-quality FF lenses to solidly constructed pro M43 lenses, unless you can’t tell a difference in the quality of results and can expect the same life from them. M43 primes are quite solidly made, and a few of them easily slip into a pants pocket.

Certainly not trying to sway your choices, but I just thought I’d make those points. Hope your new kit works out for you!
 

EarthQuake

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Yes, the pro lenses and bodies aren’t exactly light, but if you’re talking about small and light (and well made) primes, M43 has always had those. For example, my E-M5iii along with 9mm, 14mm, 25mm, and 45mm primes weigh less than 2lbs total. Then again, the EM1 and G9 aren’t trying to be as small and light as possible, but comfortable to hold and operate. And while the pro glass on M43 isn’t exactly light, it’s often considerably cheaper than the pro glass of FF. If you’re willing to compromise on glass quality on FF for compactness or lightness, then it’s a bit unfair to compare cheap, low build-quality FF lenses to solidly constructed pro M43 lenses, unless you can’t tell a difference in the quality of results and can expect the same life from them. M43 primes are quite solidly made, and a few of them easily slip into a pants pocket.

Certainly not trying to sway your choices, but I just thought I’d make those points. Hope your new kit works out for you!

Oh absolutely, the little 1.8 M43 primes are great. Before I sold my kit I had: Panasonic 8mm 3.5, Laowa 7.5/2, Panasonic 15/1.7, Olympus 25/1.8, and Panasonic 42.5/1.7. That said, image and build quality for these are generally similar to, perhaps a little better than the Samyang AF FE lenses, and build quality for most of those is a little worse than say, the Sony FE 35/1.8, and 85/1.8. So build isn't a significant difference at this point, but we'll see how they hold up after years of use.

I went back and forth on M43 F1.2 lenses. When I first put together my M43 kit, I had the Olympus 45/1.8, then preordered the Nocticron as soon as it was announced, and then eventually swapped it for the 42.5/1.7. The Nocti is one my favorite lenses ever, but generally sat on the shelf or in my luggage when I took it on trips.

And of course, since we're talking FF, a 1.8 lens provides DOF control/light gathering similar to 0.9 on M43. So it's a little hard to compare the F1.2 M43 primes to 1.2/1.4 FF primes. Yes, FF lenses with the same aperture will be much bigger/heavier/more expensive. But I think it makes more sense to compare lenses with similar physical apertures, rather than f-ratios. 1.2 on M43 produces physical aperture/light gathering/DOF of roughly 2.4 on FF, so the pro primes (build quality excepted) are more comparable to entry-level 1.8 FF primes. There aren't many pro-build F2/2.8 primes or F5.6/8 zooms for FF systems. Unfortunately, there isn't really an apples to apples comparison that can be made.

What pushed me over the edge to FF was being able to get 1.8 FF primes that didn't cost much more than my current kit and are only a little bigger/heavier.

Now, I haven't fully replaced my lens lineup - or perhaps I should say satisfactorily. I swapped my Panasonic 7-14/4 for a Tamron 17-28/2.8 - I gain a faster aperture and weather sealing, but it's about 50% heavier, twice as large, and not as wide. But I do have the little Samyang 18/2.8 for when I want a lightweight UWA. Laowa is coming out with a 14/4 that's about 250g soon too, which I'll probably buy.

There is no native AF fisheye for FE - so I've swapped my petite Panasonic 8/3.5 for a 500g TTArtisans 11/2.8. Luckily I only tend to use the fisheye on a tripod for panoramas. But hopefully, someone will release a compact FE fisheye with AF (come on Samyang). I haven't replaced my 12-35/2.8 yet either - I picked up the cheap Sony 28-70 3.5-5.6 but it's not really a lens I enjoy using.

Anyway, here are some photos! Mostly around the garden because I haven't had a chance to travel recently. My wife and I were supposed to go to Seattle this spring but Covid-19 shot those plans. We're planning on going out to Kentucky next month though, hoping to get there as the leaves are changing color and maybe do a bit of astrophotography out in Daniel Boone National Forest.

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Sony 85/1.8

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Tamron 17-28/2.8 (at 28mm)

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Sony 35/1.8

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Sony 85/1.8

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Tamron 17-28/2.8 (at 17mm)

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Samyang 75/1.8

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Samyang 75/1.8

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Samyang 35/2.8 - cheap as chips ($150 used) and hardly any bigger/heavier than a body cap
 
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I'm sitting at the same fork in the road. Have the panasonic g9, 8-18, 25f1.4, 42.5f1.7 and want to add the sigma 56mm and 35-100f2.8 or switch to Sony with the 20mm f1.8, samyang 45mm, and tamron 70-180f2.8. Three lenses cover 90% of what I do with better low light, dynamic range etc and honestly about the same cost maybe cheaper.
 

EarthQuake

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I'm sitting at the same fork in the road. Have the panasonic g9, 8-18, 25f1.4, 42.5f1.7 and want to add the sigma 56mm and 35-100f2.8 or switch to Sony with the 20mm f1.8, samyang 45mm, and tamron 70-180f2.8. Three lenses cover 90% of what I do with better low light, dynamic range etc and honestly about the same cost maybe cheaper.

Yeah, it's worth pointing out how (relatively) small and light these great Tamron zooms are. 17-28/2.8, 28-75/2.8, 70-180/2.8, the focal lengths are a little odd, but if you want fast, weather-sealed FF zooms, they're an excellent choice. Of course, they're bigger/heavier than M43 options, but still very compact and lightweight compared to the usual 2.8 FF zooms. The new 28-200/2.8-5.6 is very interested too. If there was a 14-100/1.4-2.8 that weighed 545g I may never have left M43!

I've been looking at that 20/1.8 too. I might buy or rent it and give it a try for astro sometime soon. Every review I've read seems to suggest that it's a phenomenal lens.
 
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Yeah, it's worth pointing out how (relatively) small and light these great Tamron zooms are. 17-28/2.8, 28-75/2.8, 70-180/2.8, the focal lengths are a little odd, but if you want fast, weather-sealed FF zooms, they're an excellent choice. Of course, they're bigger/heavier than M43 options, but still very compact and lightweight compared to the usual 2.8 FF zooms. The new 28-200/2.8-5.6 is very interested too. If there was a 14-100/1.4-2.8 that weighed 545g I may never have left M43!

I've been looking at that 20/1.8 too. I might buy or rent it and give it a try for astro sometime soon. Every review I've read seems to suggest that it's a phenomenal lens.

Main thing holding me back is the new panasonic s5. Def doesn't have the lenses Sony does but with features like the live comp better ibis etc plus getting the sigma 45 and 20-60 for 2300 makes it tempting to buy and wait until they get all the lenses needed.

One thing I have never liked on Sony's was how it handled highlights as they always seemed harsh especially on faces in outdoor portraits.
 

Reflector

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Yeah, it's worth pointing out how (relatively) small and light these great Tamron zooms are. 17-28/2.8, 28-75/2.8, 70-180/2.8, the focal lengths are a little odd, but if you want fast, weather-sealed FF zooms, they're an excellent choice. Of course, they're bigger/heavier than M43 options, but still very compact and lightweight compared to the usual 2.8 FF zooms. The new 28-200/2.8-5.6 is very interested too. If there was a 14-100/1.4-2.8 that weighed 545g I may never have left M43!

I've been looking at that 20/1.8 too. I might buy or rent it and give it a try for astro sometime soon. Every review I've read seems to suggest that it's a phenomenal lens.
The 28-75 is a bit iffy and less of a stellar "2x-7xmm f/2.8" lens, the corners vignette and it definitely isn't as much of a "high resolution" lens as the other much larger 24-70mm f/2.8s. There's a lot of trade offs to be made when it comes to trying to cover a large image circle. Ultimately the trade off is to try to cover a larger image sensor with a smaller lens that optically is a bit closer to the consumer end all so it gets a faster aperture.

Check the image quality from that 28-200mm and compare it to the output from something like the Olympus 12-100 f/4. That 28-200 will likely have the same problem as the Canon RF superzoom: Optical non-excellence.
 

EarthQuake

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Main thing holding me back is the new panasonic s5. Def doesn't have the lenses Sony does but with features like the live comp better ibis etc plus getting the sigma 45 and 20-60 for 2300 makes it tempting to buy and wait until they get all the lenses needed.

One thing I have never liked on Sony's was how it handled highlights as they always seemed harsh especially on faces in outdoor portraits.

It will be interesting to see where the L-mount goes. At the moment it's similar to where FE was a few years back, limited lens lineup and relatively large and expensive options from first party producers. Hopefully they get some more third parties involved (like Samyang or even Tamron - if Sony doesn't have an exclusive deal with them).
 

EarthQuake

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The 28-75 is a bit iffy and less of a stellar "2x-7xmm f/2.8" lens, the corners vignette and it definitely isn't as much of a "high resolution" lens as the other much larger 24-70mm f/2.8s. There's a lot of trade offs to be made when it comes to trying to cover a large image circle. Ultimately the trade off is to try to cover a larger image sensor with a smaller lens that optically is a bit closer to the consumer end all so it gets a faster aperture.

Sure, every lens is a compromise. It really depends on your priorities. If you want a relatively lightweight and compact F2.8 lens, but still want the inherent advantages of a larger format system, the Tamron zooms are fantastic. If you want a lens that's sharp into the corners wide open on a 60+ MP body, certainly, there are better lenses for that. Personally, I don't make wall-sized prints so that sort of performance isn't relevant to me.

Check the image quality from that 28-200mm and compare it to the output from something like the Olympus 12-100 f/4. That 28-200 will likely have the same problem as the Canon RF superzoom: Optical non-excellence.

Conventional wisdom would say the Tamron has to be a mediocre lens. But every review I've seen on it suggests that it exceeds expectations and is more of the exception to the rule that consumer-level superzooms need to be underwhelming.

If you're curious, Dustin Abbott has a detailed review here: https://dustinabbott.net/2020/06/tamron-28-200mm-f2-8-5-6-rxd-a071-review/

From his conclusion:

"I’ve frequently noted in these types of reviews that every zoom lens involves compromises, and that is far truer for a superzoom lens (pretty much anything greater than a 4x zoom ratio). Trying to pack both wide angle and telephoto performance into a single lens is very challenging, and that’s doubly true if you are also trying to keep the lens compact. So the engineers choose what to compromise. Maybe it will be strong distortion, heavy vignette, or high levels of uncorrected aberrations. Perhaps it will be less sharpness and acuity in certain parts of the zoom range. The Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 RXD (A071) does have some compromises, but most of them can be seen at face value. These include an abbreviated zoom range relative to competitors and a lack of a built-in image stabilizer. An unseen compromise is a less-than-pleasing bokeh in certain situations.

But by intentionally choosing these visible compromises, Tamron has managed to deliver a lens with surprisingly few optical compromises. The lens has a reasonably nice build (including weather sealing), very fast and accurate autofocus, and a very strong optical performance across the zoom range. It also has low levels of distortion and aberrations while also delivering faster maximum apertures than competing lenses. It is able to produce far sharper images than what experience led me to suspect."
 

SpecFoto

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Yeah, these cheap little plastic Samyang lenses will probably fall apart. Just like my EM1s, so I guess there is some strange comfort in that. But I think I'll have fun with them while they last.


Well, at least you are prepared for the inevitable. Over at fredmiranda dot com and Amin Sabet’s sister Sony site www.Talkemount.com a lot of people have initially said how great the Samyang/Rokinon AF lenses are; cheap, lightweight and very good AF. But by a far wider margin than any other brand for Sony E mount, including Sony, Zeiss, Sigma, Tamron, Voigtlander or Tokina, there have been reliability issues with the AF, FW updates and decentering both before and after purchase. And a good percentage of people have dumped the lenses once the problems started. Just this month Dustin Abbot, who gave high marks to his Samyang 85mm f1.4 lens in a 5 lens 85mm shootout done a year before, had issues when testing it against the newest Sigma 85mm f1.4 DN lens. He hadn’t done anything to the lens, but the AF all of a sudden became unreliable and the poor results are clearly shown, see below, go to 19:50:


For the last 2 years I have shot with an A7III and agree it is a GREAT camera. And for that reason I feel a high quality camera deserves appropriate high quality lenses. Sony partnered with Zeiss and makes 2 excellent, very sharp, small lenses that are high quality with metal build, based upon time tested Zeiss Sonnar designs. The 35mm f2.8 ZA and 55mm f1.8ZA. The biggest drawback to either is the high new purchase price of $800 and $900. But since they have been out for 5 plus years you can find excellent used copies for $400-$500. Just last month I upgraded my A7III to the A7RIII, and both these lenses just shine with the 42MP sensor, and will never leave my Sony kit. I also bought initially the Sony FE 28mm f2 lens for $400 new. It has more than normal mustache distortion that is corrected in LR or other software, but I just found I like the 20/21mm, 35mm, 55mm and 85mm set better and the 28 did not fit. My 21mm is a Voigtlander MF lens, a really great landscape lens that is pretty small, but again a full metal build. Yes it is MF, but you can set it to f5.6 and everything from 1 meter on is in focus. Oh and I have the Tamron 17-28mm f2.8 zoom you mentioned previously, it is pretty good for a zoom, but I am really a prime guy.

I see you already have the Sony FE 85mm f1.8, that is probably the best buy in the entire Sony lens lineup. I used mine for 16 months and took almost 4,500 portraits with it. But while I really liked it, I upgraded to the Batis 85mm f1.8 for 2 reasons, weather sealing and the lens IS, with the added Zeiss contrast a bonus. My most used portrait lens is my Batis 135mm f2.8, and the lens IS added to the Sony IBIS (not that great, 2-3 stops behind Olympus) does make a difference, at least for the way I shoot, so I wanted the same for the 85mm.

But I also continue to shoot with my Olympus gear, having bought a new EM1.3 a few months back. I see a need for both systems and often shoot them alongside each other. Olympus because of the best in class weather sealing, build and IBIS is the camera I take to my surfing and boating events, or overseas to Thailand most years (my wife is Thai) where it can rain everyday (BTW, my 5 & 7 year old EM1's work just fine, did have one peel the letherette off, but I glued it back on). You may have seen youtubbers who got salt water on Olympus gear rinsing it off under a fresh water faucet, no joke, I have done this too. Just don’t try that with your Sony or Samyang gear though :laugh: Anyway enjoy the new Sony system!
 
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EarthQuake

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@SpecFoto yeah it remains to be seen how well the Samyang lenses hold up. I saw that Dustin Abbot video as well and it is somewhat concerning. I've also read a lot of people have issues with QC, but I must be lucky (or do less pixel peeping than most), the Samyang lenses I've had have been great so far. Except for the 24/2.8, that one was soft as velvet wide open - but I think that is somewhat typical for that lens. From what I understand, many of the concerns about AF were for their first-gen AF lenses like the 50/1.4. AF seems rock solid with the 12/2.8, 35/2.8, and 75/1.8 so far. (Famous last words.)

I originally had the Batis 85 - it came at a decent price bundled with a used A7 II. But it was too big/heavy for me, and the AF isn't the best, so I swapped it for the Sony 85/1.8 - the image quality differences between these two lenses are marginal in my opinion. I then swapped the Sony for the Samyang 75/1.8 to make my bag even lighter.

I also had the Sony 35/2.8 (bought used for about $400, then sold after I got the 35/1.8), but other than size/weight, I was underwhelmed by it. I think the Samyang 35/2.8 produces images just as nice as this one, and it was only $150 used. But I'll probably swap the tiny Samyang (and the Sony 35/1.8) for the Samyang 35/1.8 when it's available (sounds like it will be announced on Monday).

I've hovered over the buy button on used copies of the 55/1.8 - but I'm more of a 35 +75/85 kind of guy. I know a lot of people love 50s, but it always seems too tight to be of general use, and too short to be useful for portraits etc. Still, I wouldn't put it past me to buy it on a whim someday.

I understand wanting to use the best lenses you can on an A7* body, especially the A7R series. For me, I switched to FF more for dynamic range, high ISO, and DOF control, and less for high-resolution sensors and the like (most of my images go on the web, and when I print, it's rarely large prints). That said, if you're shooting dual systems, it makes a lot of sense to go for smaller lenses on M43, and larger, heavier, high quality lenses on the A7. But I'm a single system kind of guy, so I prioritize small and lightweight. I am sure I am an oddball in this regard. With these little Samyang lenses, they're barely any bigger than M43 lenses, so it's the best of both worlds for me - at least until they fall apart. :laugh: I may end up back with the better built Sony lenses before too long (don't worry, I'll report back if I do). That Sony 20/1.8, in particular, is calling to me...

As to weather sealing, while I had an EM1, none of my prime lenses were weather-sealed, so my use patterns won't really change much there. But yeah, I really doubt the A7 III, even with a quality, sealed lens, will take the sort of abuse my EM1 took. I took with the Panasonic 100-400mm on a whale watching trip off the coast of Iceland a couple of years back. As we were heading out to sea a storm came in - we got absolutely soaked with the rough seas kicking up gallons of saltwater on us. The EM1 and 100-400mm handled it perfectly. This is something I probably wouldn't subject the A7 III to, which is a bit unfortunate. On the other hand, in the last 7 or so years, it was the only real test I gave the EM1's weather sealing. So while great to have, the times I'll miss it will likely be few and far between. But yes, I heartily agree, if you're often shooting in inclement weather, I don't think there is a better system than Olympus. Though from what I understand, Pentax is very good too.

I'll probably consider renting an EM1 + 100-400mm the next time we take another trip with birding or whale watching in mind. Or maybe the A7r IV and one of the FE 100-400mms. The sealing is reportedly somewhat better on the IV series bodies.
 
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SpecFoto

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@EarthQuake I certainly hope your Samyang lenses hold up for you. It is always good to have a lower price manufacturer of lenses, as the Sony line it pretty $$$.

Regarding the 55 f1.8, I mentioned in another thread that I do a lot of outside portraits and I pretty much use the 85 and 135mm for that. But for inside portraits I use the 55, or when traveling with my wife/friends I find the 35/55mm combo just about perfect for people. Both are small and use the same 49mm filter and the results are great, see below. Besides everyone is shooting with their phones and the 28mm FOV on most of them is too distorted with people for me.

Re the Sony 100-400 GM, I bought that lens last December and it is awesome. So very sharp across the field at all FL and it packs down to a pretty small size, just about identical to the new Oly, only a few mm wider diameter. But at $2,500 it is not cheap and the TC's for Sony are $550 each. I already have a TC 1.4 from Oly to work with my 40-150 Pro f2.8 and now the Oly 100-400 comes out to some pretty good reviews at $1,000 less. I can get to 210-840mm (FF) by using the crop mode on my A7RIII and a 1.4 TC, but it has got me thinking about maybe selling the 100-400 GM and getting the Oly version. For the rest of this year I don't need to make any changes, and will wait until more people have it and report.

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EarthQuake

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@SpecFoto yeah I'll be honest, I've lusted after the little 55/1.8 ever since the first A7 was announced, even though it's not a focal length that I use all that often. So despite my zen minimalist intentions here, I'll probably try it out at some point.

It's good to hear your report on the 100-400GM. I don't use a lens like this often enough to own one, but it sounds like an A7R IV + 100-400GM + 1.4x TC would be a great option to rent. I usually rent a long lens and an RX10 (for my wife - she uses her phone for everything except birds) for birding trips. I could use the A7R for some landscape work in those cases too, maybe make a couple of huge prints.

Though the used prices for the A7R III are getting so attractive that it's tempting to pick one up just for fun. We'll see how that goes, my other hobbies will probably keep me from picking up another ~$2k-ish body. Unless an A7R V comes out soon and the III dips down to closer to $1.5K... Urgh, I just checked eBay and some are selling for about $1700. This is not good for my bank account.
 

SpecFoto

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@EarthQuake I shoot a lot of winter birds down at the Salton Sea that is not too far from where I live. I bought the 100-400GM for this and last year it was just great to use. And now that I have the A7RIII the crop mode becomes interesting. So I will use it this winter and see how all goes. I use the AF-C mode and a 3 to 5 FPS rate for most shots and I am also very interested to see how the EM1.3 performs. Been using my Nikon D500 for this in the past, and neither mirrorless camera will get the results the D500 does, but that is OK. Both are much improved over previous models and if I can get 60% or more keepers I will be happy.

Yeah, I sold my A7III with 22,000 clicks for $1,400 and bought a mint A7RIII with 1,400 click for $1,800 last month. For $400 a no brainer. So far all is great, but the AF points are not 92% on the A7R like on the A7, more like 68%. So when shooting vertical portraits, the eyes can get above the area where the AF points are. Not a real world problem as I have focused and recomposed with Nikon for a long time, but the Eye AF is addicting once you get used to it.
 

Mike Wingate

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Sony FF looks very interesting. A range of lenses, but some people say horrible things about them. The upcoming 7C looks a valid GX8 replacement.
 

SpecFoto

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Sony FF looks very interesting. A range of lenses, but some people say horrible things about them. The upcoming 7C looks a valid GX8 replacement.

Mike the Sony, just like the Olympus, are about the 2 most computer orientated cameras made. Soooo many functions on both and that is why they always get bad reviews for the menu, plus a lot of buttons and switches to cram onto a smaller size body. My A7III at 24MP, and now A7RIII at 42MP are just about the same size as my EM1.3.

But the reality is, if you study the camera and use it, it will become 2nd nature. I have no problem switching between the Sony and my Olympus even on the same shoot. They both now have the My Menu function that allows you to put a numerous items buried in the menu into a easy to get to main menu only 1 button away. And they both have a FN button that bring up a screen by default with numerous settings for AF, IBIS, drive modes, picture modes, etc. Both have pre assigned buttons for ISO, WB, and EC, with front and rear control dials for aperture and shutter speed. And both have custom dial slots that allow for pre-programming and saving a bunch of camera settings with just a turn of the dial. I use mine for Portrait, Action and Landscape settings and all are set in the same 1, 2 and 3 slots on each camera, again making it easy to switch and not be confused. So for me, picking up on Sony was pretty easy.
 
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Mike Wingate

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Mike the Sony, just like the Olympus, are about the 2 most computer orientated cameras made. Soooo many functions on both and that is why they always get bad reviews for the menu, plus a lot of buttons and switches to cram onto a smaller size body. My A7III at 24MP, and now A7RIII at 42MP are just about the same size as my EM1.3.

But the reality is, if you study the camera and use it, it will become 2nd nature. I have no problem switching between the Sony and my Olympus even on the same shoot. They both now have the My Menu function that allows you to put a numerous items buried in the menu into a easy to get to main menu only 1 button away. And they both have a FN button that bring up a screen by default with numerous settings for AF, IBIS, drive modes, picture modes, etc. Both have pre assigned buttons for ISO, WB, and EC, with front and rear control dials for aperture and shutter speed. And both have custom dial slots that allow for pre-programming and saving a bunch of camera settings with just a turn of the dial. I use mine for Portrait, Action and Landscape settings and all are set in the same 1, 2 and 3 slots on each camera, again making it easy to switch and not be confused. So for me, picking up on Sony was pretty easy.
Thanks for that confirmation. I really like the no nonsense looks of the Sonys.
 

EarthQuake

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Yes, that is my experience with Olympus and Sony menu systems (and controls in general) as well. I found it easy to go from an EM1 to an A7. These cameras are extremely customizable, but that means they have a lot of options in the menu, and things are sometimes oddly organized and named. But usually, I take an hour to set them up when I first get them, and then very rarely have to go back to the menus. My Menu is great for adding stuff like format card - which I always have to hunt for in the standard menu on the A7.

The A7 III has 4 dials, 3 customizable and 1 dedicated to exposure compensation. Front and back dials used for aperture/shutter speed, and then the dial around the 4-way controller I have set to ISO. So all the common shooting parameters are always accessible without pressing buttons or going into menus. I shoot raw so I leave WB on auto, and I've set the various custom buttons (and 4 way controller) to things like drive mode, AF target style, AF/MF toggle, MF zoom, and focus peaking.

You can customize all the functions on the FN screen (which is similar to the Super Control Panel on Oly) too. Overall it's extremely flexible.
 
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SpecFoto

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OK, just because we all love Camera Porn, here are my Olympus EM1.3 and Sony A7RIII. I have dressed them alike in matching leather half cases with PD leather trimmed hand straps. 17mm f1.8 on the EM1.3 and Zeiss 35mm f2.8 on the A7RIII, both are almost pancake size and very good lenses. Very close in overall size, the Sony viewfinder is taller due to the extra 1.3 million pixels. And Yes, I even blacked out the white nameplate for each with a black marker.

Quick what I like best/worst about each:
The EM1.3 has better IBIS, better build, better weather sealing, more touch screen functions, and with the lens release on the left side, there is room for 2 FN switch on the front right of the lens, which I use for face priority and the eye detect on/off, Sony lacks these FN buttons in front. The EM1.3 has a lot of trick computational functions, like hand held Hi Res, live Capture, photo stacking, that all work in-camera. Sony lacks most of these and the hi-res shot on the Sony must use special software on a computer to put a photo together, therefore I have never used it. The locking pin on the EM1.3 Mode dial is press to lock, or press again to unlock, easy. The Sony button must be held down while the dial is turned, so a 2 hand operation. The SCP panel on the EM1.3, while having lot of quick access to functions, is not customizable and is preset at the factory. With the Sony the FN button brings up 12 slots, all of which are user settable via the LCD, but not with the touch screen.

The Sony A7III and RIII have the On/Off button where is should be, under the shutter dial, and a tilting screen, not the flip-out screen like on the EM1.3. I really detest this flip-out screen and never use it, it is always against the body. The A7III 2.36 million dot EVF and 922,000 dot LCD are the same specs as the EM1.3 but the A7RIII ups the EVF to 3.6 million dots and the LCD to 1.44 million dots, and they are a bit better. The Eye detect AF is slightly better in the Sony, it works slightly better with my longer lenses at farther distances. The Sony can charge from almost any USB power bank with the camera is on and it can be operated while charging. The EM1.3 is very picky and the camera must be off to charge. Only 1 specific Anker 26,800MA/h specific power bank allows it to be on for now, and it can be used for tethering. The Sony lens release button just to the right of the lens is very tight for larger fingers and takes a couple extra seconds to remove a lens because of it, and they did not put any FN buttons on the opposite side, probably because it would they would only work with the left hand.


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