Thursday, October 31, 2013

Samples from Zeiss 35mm and 55mm Sonnar FE and Touit 50mm Macro

Here are some samples we were able to take at PhotoPlus Expo. We tried the three new Zeiss lenses which are the 35mm f/2.8 Sonnar FE, the 55mm f/1.8 Sonnar FE, and the 50mm f/2.8 Makro Touit. The Zeiss FE lenses were located in the Sony exhibit alongside the new Sony A7 cameras. Both the 35mm and the 55mm Sonnar FE felt at home on the Sony NEX-7. They were neither heavy nor enormous on the NEX. The Sonnar FE samples were taken using autofocus. Click on them and they are 100% crops from RAW files from the NEX-7. We didn't have enough time with the lenses but the results are excellent.

The Zeiss Touit 50mm Macro Planar was stationed at the Carl Zeiss exhibit. We were lucky enough to speak with Dr. Pollman, Zeiss Program Manager, about the new Touit 50mm Macro. He stated that this is their first 50mm macro which can provide a 1 to 1 magnification. The shots below are manually focused at minimum focus distance of the Touit 50mm. Click and find the full processed raw file (20+ mb) from the NEX-7. The shots are very revealing - we cleaned the Touit 12mm, the lens in the picture, after seeing the shots at 100%. Just like the other lenses in the Zeiss Touit lens line, the 50mm Macro will not dissapoint.

nex-7 zeiss touit 50mm macro sample

Zeiss 50mm Macro Touit NEX-7 Sample at f/2.8

nex-7 zeiss touit 50mm macro sample

Zeiss 50mm Macro Touit NEX-7 Sample at f/5.6

Dr. Michael Pollman and the Zeiss Touits

Disclaimer: The images above are from pre-production lenses.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Save 20% on Zeiss Touit Lenses

nex zeiss touit lens sale deal

Save 20% on Zeiss Touit Lenses

Zeiss is starting the holidays early. They are providing a 20% discount on their excellent Touit lenses for the NEX system. They are also compatible with the Sony A7 and A7r via the APS-C mode. The Touit lenses are fully compatible, auto-aperture and autofocus, with the NEX and A7 cameras.

Click here to get your 20% discount on the Touit 12mm f/2.8 Distagon and the 32mm f/1.8 Planar for your E-mount system.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sony A7r Eye AF in Action

sony a7r eye af autofocus

Sony A7r Eye AF in Action

Here's a new feature included in the Sony A7 cameras. It's called Eye AF and it helps one capture that perfect focus for portraits with the camera locked onto the eye of the subject. We can't wait to test this out ourselves. Will it work with manual focus cameras?

Another Sony A7 and A7r Eye AF Test

Friday, October 25, 2013

Sony A7 and A7r Hands On at PhotoPlus Expo

sony a7r lens adapter e-mount

Sony A7r with a Voigtlander 12mm Lens and Viewfinder

It was a very crowded Sony booth at PhotoPlus. The great thing was the Sony representatives were very accommodating to anyone who wanted to play with the new Sony A7 and A7r. We had our bag of lenses and was able to mount them all on the A7 and A7r - check out the 12mm viewfinder on the A7r above. The lenses include the following:

  • Voigtlander 12mm f/5.6 Leica Thread Mount on a helicoid adapter.
  • Voigtlander 35mm f/1.7 Ultron LTM.
  • Minolta 24mm f/2.8 Rokkor MD.
  • Contax G 28mm f/2.8 Biogon.
  • Contax Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 Planar with the Metabones Speedbooster and the standard C/Y adapter.
  • Zeiss 12mm f/2.8 Touit Distagon.
The cameras were pre-production and the use of memory cards to record the images was prohibited. We wanted to see if I could see immediate problems on the rear tilting lcd but none were glaring.  The only noticeable issue was color shift with the Contax G 28mm Biogon.  We're hoping that this can be remedied with the production models.

sony a7r lens adapter e-mount

Sony A7r and a Contax G Lens

Below is the Contax 85mm Planar on a Metabones Speedbooster. As you can see it cannot cover the whole sensor but with APS-C mode on the A7 cameras the Speedbooster is still useable.

sony a7r lens adapter e-mount

sony a7r lens adapter e-mount

Sony A7r and a Contax 85mm Planar Lens via Speedbooster

The Voigtlander 35mm Ultron LTM was a nice surprise.  This lens gives the NEX-7 some problems with color shift but on the A7 this was not the case.  The few snaps that we took looked great on the rear lcd.

sony a7r lens adapter e-mount

Sony A7r and a Voigtlander 35mm Ultron

The Minolta 24mm f/2.8 MD provide a nice wide angle image on the Sony A7.  It felt nice and balance on the slightly larger frame of the Sony A7.

sony a7r lens adapter e-mount

Sony A7r and a Contax 85mm Planar Lens via Speedbooster

We were very excited to mount the Zeiss 12mm f/2.8 Touit on the new Sony A7.  We had the A7's APS-C lens detection off to see how much the Touit can cover the full frame sensor.  The lens has a plastic shroud to protect the rear element and this showed up in the shot below.  The Touit works perfectly fine in APS-C mode.

sony a7r lens adapter e-mount

Sony A7r and a Zeiss 12mm Distagon Touit

The images above were from a smartphone.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sony A7r Jpeg Samples from Gustav

sony a7r jpeg samples 70-200 35mm sonnar

Jpeg from Sony A7r, 100% Crop

Gustav had a chance to play with the Sony A7r, 35mm Sonnar, and the LA-EA4 lens adapter. He posted some samples which are straight out of the camera's jpeg engine with +1 contrast and +1 sharpness via the camera menu.

From Gustav:
i have dicided to keep the camera , and not give it back to sony i`m not theoretical technical , but this camera feels superb ,build is very good , i like the sound of the shutter (its not softly)the menu is also easy , and almost the same as alpha-menu

Samples by Gustav on Dyxum using the Sony A7r and the Zeiss 35mm Sonnar lens, LA-EA4 lens adapter, and the new Sony 70-200mm SSM G lens.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dowload Sony Alpha A7 A7r Product Guide

Sony Alpha 7 and 7r Product Guide

Here's a nice brochure from Sony about the new A7 and A7r. It provides a lot of information on the technology used for the camera, the new lenses, and the compatible accessories. Download the Sony Alpha A7 and A7r via DropBox.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sony A7r and A7 Focus Speeds

sony a7r zeiss 35mm sonnar

Sony A7r with Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 Sonnar

One of the major differences between the Sony Alpha 7r (A7r) and the Alpha 7 (A7) is their focusing systems. Both cameras have contrast-detection autofocus but the Sony A7 incorporates phase-detection autofocus for a hybrid system which adds speed and accuracy to locking focus. The videos show a slight difference in locking focus for both cameras. More information below.

Sony A7 Focus Speed with Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 Sonnar

Sony A7r Focus Speed with Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 Sonnar

Sony Alpha 7rSony Alpha 7
Focus system TypeContrast-detection AFFast Hybrid AF
(phase-detection AF/contrast-detection AF)
Focus point25 points35mm full-frame:
     117 points (phase-detection AF)
     99 points (phase-detection AF)
     25 points (contrast-detection AF)

Sony A7r vs A7 Focusing System Comparison


Contrast Detect Autofocus of the Sony A7 and A7r

The Sony A7r's autofocus system as explained by Sony:
Fast Intelligent AF

Fast Intelligent AF provides extremely fast AF performance despite the employment of a full-frame sensor. In fact, it achieves top-level AF speed in the full-frame category through the support of various advances including new lightning-fast BIONZ X, high-speed full-frame image sensor output, and a newly developed Spatial Object Detection AF algorithm that conducts focusing analysis in real-time using spatial frequency information to optimally control the lens drive.


Phases Detect Autofocus of the Sony A7

The Sony A7's autofocus system as explained by Sony:
Enhanced Fast Hybrid AF

Enhanced Fast Hybrid AF combines speedy phase-detection AF with highly accurate contrast-detection AF, which has been accelerated through a new Spatial Object Detection algorithm, to achieve among the fastest autofocusing performance of any full-frame camera. First, phase-detection AF with 117 densely placed phase-detection AF points* swiftly and efficiently moves the lens to bring the subject nearly into focus. Then contrast-detection AF (Fast Intelligent AF) with wide AF coverage fine-tunes the focusing in the blink of an eye. Performance is dramatically improved beyond that of previous Fast Hybrid AF systems through a number of major advances in high-speed contrast-detection AF, including faster communication with the lens made possible by the advanced Spatial Object Detection algorithm. Other advances include optimized image-sensor data read-out, swifter processing of AF-related data by the new BIONZ X image processing engine, and a more efficient lens drive that reduces back-and-forth lens movement.

* 99 points when an APS-C lens compatible with Fast Hybrid AF is mounted.

sony a7r zeiss 35mm sonnar

Sony A7r with Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 Sonnar

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sony A7 vs Leica Zeiss Voigtlander Rangefinder Lenses

sony a7 leica rangefinder lens test

TechTalk on the Sony A7

TechTalk with Ron Scheffler is currently posting its Sony A7 torture test. The A7 was a pre-production unit so the results may differ from the final product. The number of lenses tested in 1.5 hrs is staggering. The big question for those looking to get the new full frame Sony A7 is, "Does it play well with rangefinder lenses?" Ron tested the heavyweight of the RF lens world from Leica, Carl Zeiss, Voigtlander. Here is the list of lenses tested.

  1. Voigtlander Ultra Wide-Heliar 12mm f5.6 Aspherical (LTM version which is identical to the current M mount version) (referred to as CV12)
  2. Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar 15mm f4.5 Aspherical M (referred to as CV15)
  3. Leica Summilux-M 21mm f1.4 ASPH. (referred to as 21 Lux)
  4. Zeiss Biogon T* 21mm f2.8 ZM (referred to as ZM21)
  5. Leica Super-Elmar-M 21mm f3.4 ASPH. (referred to as 21 SEM)
  6. Leica Summicron-M 28mm f2 ASPH. (referred to as 28 Cron)
  7. Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 Aspherical VM II (referred to as CV35)
  8. Canon 35mm f2.0 LTM (a lens from the late 50s-early 60s)
  9. Zeiss C Biogon T* 35mm f2.8 ZM (referred to as ZM35C)
  10. Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm f2.8 (newly announced with the a7/a7R)
  11. Voigtlander Nokton classic 40mm f1.4 (referred to as CV40)
  12. Leica Summilux-M 50mm f1.4 ASPH. (referred to as 50 Lux ASPH)
  13. Canon 50mm f1.4 LTM (a lens from the late 50s-early 60s)
  14. Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f1.5 Aspherical LTM (optically identical to the current M mount model, though apparently there may be some coating differences) (referred to as CV50)
  15. Zeiss C Sonnar T* 50mm f1.5 ZM (referred to as ZM50C)
  16. Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f2 ZM (referred to as ZM50P)
  17. Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 55mm f1.8 (newly announced with the a7/a7R)
  18. Sony 28-70mm f3.5–5.6 OSS (newly announced with the a7/a7R)
  19. Leica Summarit-M 90mm f2.5 (referred to as 90 Summarit)

Head over to TechTalk to see Ron's verdict and download sample files to play with.

Thanks Ron!

Sony A7r with Contax G 28mm Biogon

sony a7r contax zeiss  28mm biogon

Some glamour shots of the new Sony A7r with a Contax G 28mm f/2.8 Biogon lens from forum contributors dabpes, robsiqi, and 四核八线程. The Carl Zeiss Contax G lenses are mounted using an E-mount lens adapter.

sony a7r contax zeiss  28mm biogon

sony a7r contax zeiss  28mm biogon

sony a7r contax zeiss  28mm biogon

Pre-order your Sony Alpha A7r here.

Friday, October 18, 2013

How Big is the Sony A7r?

Sony A7 vs NEX-6 Size Comparison

Or should we say, how small are the new full frame mirrorless cameras from Sony?

Sony A99 vs A7 Size Comparison

Sony A7 Kit with 28-70mm lens

Sony A7R with Carl Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 Sonnar

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sony A7r Shutter Sound

Sony Alpha 7r Continuous Shooting Shutter Sound

What the Sony A7r sounds like at 4 frames per second.

Sony NEX E-mount Lens Roadmap 2013-2015

sony nex full frame lens roadmap

Sony NEX Lens Roadmap for 2013 and Beyond

Along with the introduction of the new full frame e-mount cameras, A7 and A7r, Sony updated the lens roadmap for 2013 and beyond. There are at least 15 full frame e-mount lenses coming by 2015. The first five lenses announced are
  • Sont FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS SEL2870
    • Kit Lens for the Sony A7 Bundle
    • EFOV of 42-105mm on NEX APS-C cameras
  • Carl Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 FE Sonnar ZA SEL35F28Z $798
    • EFOV of 52mm on NEX APS-C cameras
  • Carl Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 FE Sonnar ZA SEL55F18Z $998
    • EFOV of 82mm on NEX APS-C cameras
  • Carl Zeiss 24-70mm f/4 FE Vario-Tessar ZA OSS SEL2470FZ $1198
    • EFOV of 36-105mm on NEX APS-C cameras. As a NEX-7 user this is the most appealing one.
  • Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS SEL70200G
    • EFOV of 105-300mm on NEX APS-C cameras
The first four will be available this year, they are pictured below. The Sony G zoom will be the 1st of six for 2014 and at least five more lenses will be released in 2015. These lenses are compatible with all E-mount cameras include the NEX, VG Camcorders, and FS Camcorder which means Autofocus, auto-aperture, and image stabilization (lens dependent).
sony a7r zeiss 35mm sonnar

Sony A7r with the Zeiss 35mm Sonnar For Size Reference


Carl Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 Sonnar SEL35F28Z


Carl Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 Sonnar SEL55F18Z


Carl Zeiss FE 24-70mm f/4 Vario Tessar ZA OSS

sony alpha nex full frame lens roadmap

Available E-mount Lenses from Sony and Zeiss

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sony ILCE-a7R Available for Pre-order

Sony Alpha 7 and 7r Official Video Release

sony ilce a7r pre-order

Sony's new flagship camera for the E-mount system is now available for pre-order. The Sony Alpha ILCE-a7R is slated to ship on December 1st with a price tag of $2298. The a7r boasts a 24x36 mm senson able to produce 36.3 megapixel images. Similar to the Sony DSC-RX1R and the Leica M 240, the NEX-a7R lacks an anti-aliasing filter to provide a crisper image.

Follow the pre-order link and get your spot in line for the Sony ILCE-a7R.

We'll have more details to follow.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Full Frame Sony NEX-A7 and NEX-A7r?


Sony NEX-A7R with a Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 Sonnar

sony nex-a7 24-70mm FE lens

Sony NEX-A7 with a Zeiss 24-70mm FE Lens