Tag Archives: sony a7r

The Curious Case of the Wide-Normal Primes – Sony 28mm f/2 vs. Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 Distagon

The wide-normal prime is somewhat of an oddity. Nestled between the 17mm & 20mm ultra-wides and the 35mm & 40mm normals, the wide-normal primes sit comfortably, or awkwardly (depending on who you ask), in the 24mm to 28mm range.

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Shot handheld with a Sony 28mm f/2. The wide-normal prime is arguably the most versatile consumer prime lens.

In this lens shootout, we took two of the newest and most anticipated primes for the Sony FE mount to the Orange County County Fair. The County Fair is a public event that brings family and friends together for carnival games, petting zoos, and bacon. Lots and lots of bacon.

In typical iLHP lens review fashion, our tests will be broken down in several rounds as listed below:

  1. Sharpness and Distortion
  2. Vignetting and Flare
  3. Bokeh and 3D Pop
  4. Field of View
  5. Real World Handling

The Contenders & Their Specs

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(c) John vR @ photographicwanderings.com. Despite the Batis’ larger size, it doesn’t weigh that much more than the Sony, and it’s materials are beautiful.

On the left, weighing in at a welterweight of 335g with a $1,299 price tag, is the brand new OLED displayed Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 Distagon. On the right, weighing in at a featherweight 200g with an equally wallet-easy $448 price tag, is the Sony 28mm f/2.

Both have completely silent AF systems. Both come with pedal-shaped lens hoods. The Zeiss blows the Sony out of the water in terms of build quality, what with its high quality plastics that resemble metal and the world’s first OLED focus scale. But at almost 3x the price, the build quality is expected and, honestly, necessary. The Sony is minimal yet still built very well. No complaints for either lenses then.

Continue reading The Curious Case of the Wide-Normal Primes – Sony 28mm f/2 vs. Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 Distagon

A Quick Comparison Review – Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 vs Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 Sonnar

Last time, we took the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 out to the Newport Beach boardwalk and did a on-location photo shoot with two of our lovely models. To get some perspective on just how good the Batis 85mm really was, we compared it to one of the best AF lenses on market today, the Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 Sonnar (aka the mini-Otus). We drove up to Lake Hollywood Park, busted out our tripod, and did some comparison shots using the famous Hollywood sign as the backdrop.

In a real-world but less-the-scientific comparison between the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 and the venerable Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 Sonnar, we found very little difference in terms of sharpness throughout the aperture range.

F1.8-Batis-85mm-vs-Zeiss-55mm-Sharpness
Click on the image for full resolution.

With the Zeiss 55mm being one of the sharpest and highly rated AF lenses, this is saying a lot for the new Zeiss Batis 85mm. In fact, pretty much most real world reviews on the Batis has found it to be very sharp right from thef/1.8. I’m sure once Photozone.de gets around to reviewing more Sony lenses, they will verify our current findings. In the meantime, here are some of our quick & dirty impressions.

Continue reading A Quick Comparison Review – Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 vs Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 Sonnar

Making the Switch from a Canon 5D Mark III to a Sony A7RII

This isn’t a typical camera review of the A7R2 though, it’s more like a journey on how I got here. You see, I’ve been watching the Sony mirrorless system for a while now but I couldn’t bring myself to take the jump, I use the Canon 5D Mk III and L Series lenses for my pro line of work and use the Fuji X-Pro 1 for my street and travel photography.

Some serious Gear Acquisition Syndrome!
My G.A.S was getting out of control with my existing cameras such as the Canon 5D Mk III, Fuji X-Pro 1, X-A1 and now the Sony A7RII.

Honestly speaking, I was quite happy with this set up until a couple of months ago when Sony introduced the A7RII with its 42 megapixel BSI sensor, a claimed 14 stops of dynamic range and super high ISO sensitivity and 5 Axis IS, they even packed in 4K recording natively!

Whenever people asked me if I was to start again, which system would I jump in to, I’d always tell them the Sony FE System but because of my current Gear Acquisition Syndrome, I was tethered to Canon and Fuji but what if there was this mythical camera that allowed me to merge these two styles of photography?

Continue reading Making the Switch from a Canon 5D Mark III to a Sony A7RII

Who are the Professional Photographers who Switched to the Sony A7 Series?

We keep on hearing a lot about the A7 series and that many pros are leaving their beloved DSLRs for this new series of cameras. Especially with the latest announcement with the A7r mark II (7 game changing features of the A7rII) which, undeniably, is a breakthrough in the aging DSLR world. Seeing the A7 mark II (A7II Field test) and now the A7rII, I can’t help thinking that, excepted for the Nikon D810 and the D750, all other DSLRs are now a huge step behind considering the new possibilities and the versatility that this new camera offers.

Canon with its brand new 5Ds and 5Dsr did not really convince anybody. DxOLab said it is Canon’s best score ever but it is still ranked at the 21st position, far behind the Nikon D810 and the Sony A7r. Let’s imagine the score of the A7rII. Phenomenal. Don’t take me wrong though, the 5DIII is still a very good camera, but it needs a major overhaul to fight against the upcoming A7rII. That being said, some professionals have already made the switch seeing the great potential in these new kind of full frame cameras, probably even more once the A7rII will be available. So I wanted to provide an example of some great professional photographers that are pleased with their new system.

“I’ve got the greatest job in the world. My worst days as a photographer might be the greatest days in the lives of many people.” — Brian Smith

sony-a7II-vs-nikon-d810-Nikon d4- iLHP size comparison

Serge Ramelli (his 2 websites here: 1 / 2), Michael Shainblum,  Brian Smith and David Mclain are among these, respectively switching from the Canon 5DIII to the A7r and from the Canon 5DII to the A7s, Brian and David, as Sony Artisans, are using several Sony cameras. Trey Ratcliff is also a fantastic pro photographer shooting with the A7r and the A6000. I’m not talking about Jason Lanier switching from Nikon to the A7s as he is really not my favorite photographer, same for Gary Fong but I put the link and you can check it out for yourself. But besides them, amateurs and enthusiasts photographers switching to the A7 series, there are also more and more “common” professional photographers making the switch like wedding photographers. Will Chao is one of them. He has just switched from the Canon 5DIII, again, to the A7 mark II. Continue reading Who are the Professional Photographers who Switched to the Sony A7 Series?

Breaking Down the A7RII Hype – Should A7/R/S Users Make the $3200 Upgrade?

Sony has released a full-frame camera about every 6 months since the launch of the A7 & A7R back in late 2013. This is fairly incredible, considering how Canon DSLR productions cycles have been as long as 4 years.

A7lineup
In less than 2 years, Sony went from 0 full frame mirrorless cameras to 5. Aggressive product launch? We think so.

Each announcement has been bigger than the last. The A7/A7R were the world’s first full-frame mirrorless cameras. The A7S could literally see in the dark. And the A7II was the world’s first full-frame with in-body image stabilization. What’s next? How about putting everything together into one body?

tom fishburn new product adoption
The Sony A7RII is trying to jump “The Chasm.” All you Sony A7, A7R, A7S, A7II shooter out there right now, you are innovators and early adopters.

Online forums, Facebook groups, and blogs erupted with excitement as Sony announced the A7R Mark II. We pointed out its “7 Game Changing Features” when we first heard about the news. Now, after we’ve had a few weeks to cool off from the initial hype, let’s really look into whether we should upgrade.

Continue reading Breaking Down the A7RII Hype – Should A7/R/S Users Make the $3200 Upgrade?