Tag Archives: sony a7s

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.

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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

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

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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?

Top 7 Game Changing Features of the Sony A7RII

Here is all you need to know about the new Sony A7R Mark II. We breakdown the 7 key features in easy to read bullet points.

7. Fast 399 Point Phase-Detect Auto Focus

  • New image sensor features 399 focal-plane phase-detection (the faster type found in DSLRS) AF points
  • Over 60% coverage of either the horizontal or vertical directions in the frame (see video above)
  • 25 contrast-detect AF points
  • 40% faster than the Sony A7R
  • 5FPS Continuous Burst Mode
  • -2EV to 20EV AF Sensitivity Range (improvement over the 0EV – 20EV range of the A7R, which means the A7RII has better low light AF performance)

6. Full-Frame 42MP Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor

sony a7rii gapless design sensor

Continue reading Top 7 Game Changing Features of the Sony A7RII

10 Reasons To Switch From a DSLR to a Mirrorless System (With Examples: Nikon vs Sony)

Choosing photographic equipment can be both complicated for professionals and extremely difficult for beginners and amateurs. Beginners are often overwhelmed with choices. Pros make a living with their gear and talent know what they need in terms of specs, lenses and accessories. But in the face of endless choice, even they can get lost.

UPDATE: Check out our first impressions and field test of the A7II here and the 7 game changing features of the latest A7rII!

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The Sony A7s, first Full Frame mirrorless camera that can reach 409,600 ISO

Just like Jason Lanier who switched from Nikon to the Sony A7S, Serge Ramelli (by the way Serge has amazing tutorials on YouTube!) and Michael Shainblum who switched respectively from Canon to Sony A7R and A7S, many other professionals are either changing or starting to study the possibilities of switching to a mirrorless system. And for sure, for some professionals the A7rII will be a no brainer as it offers some features never proposed on a DSLR body until now like a silent shutter, BSI sensor 5 axis in-body stabilization and the possibility to use as well E-mount, A-mount and Canon lenses (and a Nikon adapter should follow).

Their decisions are interesting to study. It is important understand why this system is a game changer, not only for consumers like us, but also for professionals. Switching from a traditional DSLR to a mirrorless system like Sony’s for a pro represents a big change, not as much as switching from film cameras to digital cameras, but this new technology is reliable and represents its little revolution of its own in the photography field.

Here are 10 reasons why it makes sense to switch to a mirrorless: Continue reading 10 Reasons To Switch From a DSLR to a Mirrorless System (With Examples: Nikon vs Sony)