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Need help camera body selection for my MF lenses
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:49 pm    Post subject: Need help camera body selection for my MF lenses Reply with quote

I am researching this on my own, but you guys know a whole lot more about this than I do and, this being a very high cost purchase, I do not want to risk missing something.

It is Christmas time and a FF digital camera body (only) could be in my immediate future. "Only" there means I will be buying the camera body solely to use with my couple of hundred MF lenses. I will not be buying any AF lenses.

Two "know I needs":

*Need mirrorless camera body because I own a wide variety of GREAT Konica Hexanon MF lenses which are figuring heavily into my plans.

*Need image stabilization in the camera body because I'm old and . . well . . I just need it and it certainly will not be in the MF lenses I will be using.

The above two needs are non-negotiable.

Can anyone offer me suggestions? Question


PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's very easy: Only the newer Sony A7 or A9 models are able to fulfill your criteria like FF, image stabilisation and short register distance for lens compatibility. The entry level would be the A7 II and the "high end" the A7R III. Your choice. Wink


PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A7rII, A7rIII, and A9, also the A7II, it's the cheapest option, A7sII might be a better option if you don't care about resolution and do like to shoot low light.
These are the only FF with IBIS and a short enough register to mount Canon FD, Konica AR, Minolta SR, LTM, M mount.
I'm still shooting my A7r, It's a solid option for adapting, it has a few issues that the 2 & 3 have mostly addressed
Canon and Nikon might join the FF mirrorless party next year, but I'm not holding my breath.


PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My choice, a used A7RII as they are cheaper now. Or A7II if you are tight on budget.



PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, 'nuff said about that.


PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You fellows are the greatest! Thank you so much!

Yes, the Sony camera bodies seemed like the best choice to me as well. Leica camera bodies are WAY out of my price range!!

I was just afraid there could be something else I might be overlooking because I am very new to this.

MF lenses on a FF camera body should be a kick. Wink

And ready availability of affordable adapters is pretty amazing, too.


PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We do have a sub-forum about digital bodies you know, including threads about A9?

Never owned one, cannot tell you what came out of the Rockwell "curved sensor" issue...

There are also the old Amount FF DSLR but I suppose they wont be suitable for you cause, flange distance (Minolta SR already fail).


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have three Sony mirrorless cameras, an NEX-3N and A6500 APS-C sensor bodies and an A7II full frame. I shoot almost 95% with manual lenses, these days Zeiss Contax and LTM rangefinder lenses and Minolta Rokkor SLR lenses. I used to have a large Konica Hexanon collection but I got tired of messing with their clunky aperture control and sold them off, replacing them with the Rokkors.

The Full Frame Sony mirrorless cameras with IBIS started with the A7II, progressed through the A7RII and A7SII then the A( and now the A7RIII.

The A7II is your basic full frame body with a 24mp sensor.
The A7RII is essentially the A7II with a 42mp sensor and some autofocus improvements.
The A7SII is essentially the A7II with a 12(?) mp sensor, big assed pixels that soak up the light, allowing for better video and God-awful high ISO performance.

Unless you plan on shooting video in low light with your manual lenses I don't see where the A7RII or A7SII bodies will justify their additional expense for your usage model.

The Sony A9 has an incredibly fast focus/shot per second capability. It is intended for sports/action photography with performance increases that are basically tied into the Sony FE lens range. An excellent camera but offering no advantage to the manual lens user that will justify the cost.

The A7RIII is essentially the A7RII camera that incorporates most of the autofocus improvements released with the A9. Again, no advantage to the manual lens user.

Back to my recommendation, the A7II. This camera offers full frame performance with good high ISO/low noise capability. Not insanely good as with the A7SII but good enough for most purposes. It produces 24mp RAW files (good enough for my needs) and fine jpg files.

It offers Focus Peaking that really only identifies high contrast areas. Depending on the lens you are using this focus peaking can just be in the ball park or be spot on. You really need to get familiar with each lens's performance. However, the camera also provides focus magnification which is capable of allowing you to lock in your focus. For example:



A7II and Zeiss Sonnar 2.0/85




A7II and Minolta MD Tele Rokkor 2.8/200


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:23 am    Post subject: Re: Need help camera body selection for my MF lenses Reply with quote

guardian wrote:
I am researching this on my own, but you guys know a whole lot more about this than I do and, this being a very high cost purchase, I do not want to risk missing something.

It is Christmas time and a FF digital camera body (only) could be in my immediate future. "Only" there means I will be buying the camera body solely to use with my couple of hundred MF lenses. I will not be buying any AF lenses.

Two "know I needs":

*Need mirrorless camera body because I own a wide variety of GREAT Konica Hexanon MF lenses which are figuring heavily into my plans.

*Need image stabilization in the camera body because I'm old and . . well . . I just need it and it certainly will not be in the MF lenses I will be using.

The above two needs are non-negotiable.

Can anyone offer me suggestions? Question


If you are not in a hurry, there are rumours that Fuji is coming out with a mirrorless camera with built-in image stabilisation
I have the X-t2 and before the X-t10, cameras without such a thing. By smartly using the Auto-ISO feature however you are not going to miss it that much.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The difference of A7II and A7RII is huge IMHO even for using MF lenses only. If you have some excellent lenses, R is your choice. If not, then non-R may be fine.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the Sony series there is also the option of getting the filter stack swapped out for a much thinner one. They are down to 0.2mm nowadays.

I'm hoping Olympus will come out with a full frame mirrorless at some point.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

newst wrote:
The A7RIII is essentially the A7RII camera that incorporates most of the autofocus improvements released with the A9. Again, no advantage to the manual lens user.

David from phillipreeve.net disagrees: https://phillipreeve.net/blog/upgraders-notes-new-sony-a7riii-pt-1/


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

miran wrote:
newst wrote:
The A7RIII is essentially the A7RII camera that incorporates most of the autofocus improvements released with the A9. Again, no advantage to the manual lens user.

David from phillipreeve.net disagrees: https://phillipreeve.net/blog/upgraders-notes-new-sony-a7riii-pt-1/


Let's see what David has to say, shall we?

"I didn’t expect this to be what I most love about the camera, but it is. The manual focus experience is hugely improved. Batis lenses, and some of the Zony lenses, which used to be a little hard to manually focus, are now vastly easier. I’m not 100% sure why: I plan to follow up. Part of it is that the viewfinder is so much crisper you can see the image pop in and out of focus. My suspicion is that the effectively very long travel these focus-by-wire lenses have means that the changes in focus were too subtle to see on the old finder. As a result, in frustration, we twisted the ring quickly and then got the image too far out of focus. But with the new higher resolution finder the long travel becomes an advantage and you can nail focus with probably greater accuracy (but maybe less pleasure) than a standard damped helicoid. That’s my best guess. But I do wonder if in fact the camera is overriding the lens firmware and making the travel a little different, or changing the speed difference at which it goes faster. That’s something to look into. Of course true manual lenses are easier to focus as well, and that can only be the new viewfinder and magnification. So for whatever reason this is my No 1 favourite thing about this all singing and dancing autofocus camera. Better manual focus."

David expresses the opinion that with the Mark III it is somewhat easier to manually focus modern, 'focus by wire' lenses than it was with the Mark II. So what, that 'quality' doesn't apply to the OP's situation since the OP doesn't intend to be mounting modern, 'focus by wire' lenses. Hardly a valid reason to recommend purchasing a $3,200 A7RIII body over a $1,300 A7II body.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

newst wrote:

David expresses the opinion that with the Mark III it is somewhat easier to manually focus modern, 'focus by wire' lenses than it was with the Mark II. So what, that 'quality' doesn't apply to the OP's situation since the OP doesn't intend to be mounting modern, 'focus by wire' lenses. Hardly a valid reason to recommend purchasing a $3,200 A7RIII body over a $1,300 A7II body.


Let's focus on the parts of his comments that actually apply to us before, shall we?

"I didn’t expect this to be what I most love about the camera, but it is. The manual focus experience is hugely improved. Batis lenses, and some of the Zony lenses, which used to be a little hard to manually focus, are now vastly easier. I’m not 100% sure why: I plan to follow up. Part of it is that the viewfinder is so much crisper you can see the image pop in and out of focus. My suspicion is that the effectively very long travel these focus-by-wire lenses have means that the changes in focus were too subtle to see on the old finder. As a result, in frustration, we twisted the ring quickly and then got the image too far out of focus. But with the new higher resolution finder the long travel becomes an advantage and you can nail focus with probably greater accuracy (but maybe less pleasure) than a standard damped helicoid. That’s my best guess. But I do wonder if in fact the camera is overriding the lens firmware and making the travel a little different, or changing the speed difference at which it goes faster. That’s something to look into. Of course true manual lenses are easier to focus as well, and that can only be the new viewfinder and magnification. So for whatever reason this is my No 1 favourite thing about this all singing and dancing autofocus camera. Better manual focus."

I do agree the price difference is so huge at the moment it's difficult to justify the extra expense just to get a better viewfinder, regardless of how much better it actually is.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did find these references to improved peaking, but I still haven't found out what exactly they changed/improved.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1369441-REG/sony_ilce7rm2_b_alpha_a7r_iii_mirrorless.html
Body Design and Built-In Wi-Fi/Bluetooth

An updated Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF is featured, and has a 3.69m-dot resolution for bright, clear viewing in high detail. Both Standard and High quality settings can be used, depending on the shooting situation, in order to optimize the viewing experience. This updated viewfinder design also affords the use of autofocus in the Focus Magnifier mode as well as improved focusing peaking to benefit manual focus operation.

http://www.glazerscamera.com/sony-a7r-iii-body

Versatile viewing
- 3.69 million dot Quad-VGA OLED Tru-FinderTM
- High quality mode
- AF in Focus Magnifier
- Improved peaking

https://www.vistek.ca/store/DigitalSLRs/420183/sony-alpha-a7riii-body.aspx

Improved Peaking

The evolved BIONZ X processing engine improves the accuracy of “peaking” display that highlights in-focus areas when focusing manually, making it easier to achieve precise focus.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guys, once again, I am absolutely overwhelmed by the number and helpfulness of the responses to my inquiry in the OP. Thanks so much to everyone.

Thank you!

While I did not mention cost in the OP, obviously it is a huge factor. But rather than focus on cost, I prefer to focus on value . . . which means obtaining the most I'm able for the fewest purchase dollars possible.

What has struck me about the Sony A7 II is the age of the camera body. Far from new, Sony brought their A7 II out way back in 2015. The firmware in now up to rev. 4.0!

I'm not a "bleeding edge" sort of person. It is fine with me to allow others to iron out the "wrinkles" in a product, any product. Boring and unimaginative? Yup, that's me.

Anyway, taking the age of the A7 II into account, and also Sony's experience with design and manufacture of these sorts of camera bodies in general, the A7 II appears to me to represent the best value out there for now.

I'm confident if I waited, if I delayed my purchase, I could do better. But if I wait very much longer I will be dead for sure.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not only Philip Reeve but also Fred Miranda (Sony thread) noted a great improvement for manual focusing with the A7Riii with the EVF bringing easier/quicker focusing and less wasted pictures.
I was hesitating between A7ii and A7Rii (now much cheaper) but after these reviews, I will wait to see A7iii which should have same EVF (manufacturing costs are the same once the development and investment have been spent so why should they put old technology).
I was blaming my difficulties focusing with the A6000 on old age but curiously, it does not apply to film camera. I now realise this was linked (at least partially) to limited EVF pixels


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

guardian wrote:
Anyway, taking the age of the A7 II into account, and also Sony's experience with design and manufacture of these sorts of camera bodies in general, the A7 II appears to me to represent the best value out there for now.

I'm confident if I waited, if I delayed my purchase, I could do better. But if I wait very much longer I will be dead for sure.


Being about one month away from official retirement age, I tend to resemble that remark. And I'll admit that time has become a more pressing factor for me than it used to be. I find myself in a similar situation as you and I also have been looking seriously at the A7 II. I have a Sony NEX 7 and I have found that its 24.3mp sensor is usually plenty for my needs. Really it wasn't all that long ago that 24mp was considered to be huge. My, how quickly we become jaded due to the rapid improvement of technology. But this attitude results in a person wondering when they should jump in, knowing full well that, just around the corner, improvements are coming. Often an unfortunate result is the person getting stalled out and becoming indecisive.

I learned this with computer upgrades because I build my own PCs. You just gotta hold your nose and jump in, and make the best of the tech that you've bought into -- hoping it will last a good while before you're faced with unavoidable upgrades.

Really, I think one can put upgrades off indefinitely with 24 mp. Unless one is into printing out mural size images at very high resolutions. Which I'm not.

And while I consider the improvements to the A7R III to be very compelling, I can't get around that price! I have too many other priorities that have to be met before I can justify such a huge outlay for a camera that will probably only rarely get used in a professional capacity. Thus the chance of having it pay for itself is rather slim for me.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cooltouch, thanks. But you're just a sprout from where I'm sitting. I retired long ago and my best friends since grade school are already dead.

But I have all these MF lenses now and, at some point, if a decision is not made it never will be made . . . if you know what I mean. I probably should. But I don't regret waiting. Still, the time for waiting now is over.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Went from canon eos 60d to a7ii. Ibis greatly improved my keeper rate and I can crop or enlarge further. Added the nex 5n as backup. I love my a7ii. But if money came in the mail or I win the lottery (fat chance, I don't buy tickets!) I would go for the a7rii or a7riii. I would get the newest system your budget allows.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you shop wisely, you'll get many years of value out of what ever you choose to get, I'm still shooting my A7r and occasionally my NEX-7, I may upgrade to the A7rIII at some point, not for any improvement in IQ, but in the improvement of the EVF and Peaking, but I'm not in any rush to drain my bank account, plus I would much prefer a FF NEX-7.


PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here with the "curved" sensor

kenrockwell.com/sony/a9.htm#leica

Executive summary: MF lenses acquire curvature of field they didnt have before when shot on A9. Ken demonstrating by using Leica lens


Is it true? I dont know. Ken is an Apple user but certainly he can figure out how not to mess up such a simple test.

Perhaps it's the angle from retrofocus design nodal points bla blah blah combined with a sensor that is picky about what angle the light is coming from. If so it should perhaps not be as bad with normal lenses.

Dont know if A7 has same problem if any.


Sorry to be a spoilsport and spamming that Ken link; however i am being motivated by preventing pain and suffering for original poster


PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My APS-C NEX 7 has trouble handling ultra wide lenses. Corners are soft and even the centers aren't that great. The received wisdom seems to be the problem has to do with the way the light rays are bent by these UW lenses, and that the sensor's receptors are not designed to capture detail efficiently from those angles of incidence. Or something like that.

So, after reading through KR's rather rambling diatribe on the subject, it occurred to me that, if what KR is alleging is true, that is, that the A9's sensor's receptors are designed for a certain optimum range of field curvatures, then perhaps the reason why Sony has done this has to do with the lenses that it is currently offering for its FF mirrorless cameras. Sony is offering 12-24 f/4 and 16-35 f/2.8 zooms for these cameras. The 12-24 especially will be taxing that sensor's abilities, methinks, so perhaps a bit of curvature added to the sensor's design was necessary. I dunno, I'm not an optical engineer and it's been too many years since I studied optics in my physics class, so I'm just doing a fair amount of wild-ass guessing here. But might it be plausible at least that Sony saw the necessity of building in this bias in the sensor so as to optimize the a9 for its super-ultra-wides?


PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEX-7 sensor is know to have problem on old ultra wide lenses. The later NEX-C3 has upgraded sensor which improve the performance on the corners. There is a discussion on dpreview about the design on the sensor https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52351544 .

The native E mount lenses are designed with taking consideration of the thickness of the glass in front of the sensor.


PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sony A7ii: 909£
Sony A7rii:1579 £
Sony A7riii: 2900-3000 £ on order
Hard to justify the A7 riii