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Saturday, September 5, 2015

The New Sony A7R2 In The Mountains


Dale Matson

Although I am primarily a mountain landscape photographer, I was in the high Sierra Nevada Mountains to photograph Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep. My “Long” wildlife lens was my Sony G 70-200 f4 lens, which should have been at least a 400mm lens for the sheep. Needless to say, I will be looking for a lens with a longer reach in the future.

Having got this mea culpa out of the way, I want to talk about the performance of my new camera and the lenses I used for the mountain landscape. A camera is only as good as the lenses attached to it. I left my Canon 17-40mm f4 lens at home for the sake of the backpacking weight and opted for an adapted Nikon 24mm f2.8 lens for wide angle.[ I have some photographs taken with my adapted Canon 17-40mm f4 and the A7R2 here: http://midsierramusing.blogspot.com/2015/08/yosemite-day-hike-to-ostrander-lake.html.]
The Metabones Nikon to NEX adapter did not allow my camera to communicate with this lens. I set the lens aperture to 11 and kept the camera on “Auto”. The camera determined the exposure time of 1/160. The exposure time was available in the file data. I was pleased with the one shot I took with this lens and it certainly was a good pairing with the A7R2. It could have been used more often but at the altitude I was working, I left it out of my daypack and back at basecamp to keep the weight down. All of my shots were with the camera mode dial set on “Auto”.

I used my Sony Zeiss 55mm f1.8 lens for most of my “walking around” shots and was pleased with what a great pairing it was with the camera. I cannot say enough good about how crisp this lens is with this camera including instant autofocus and the fact that it is stabilized when paired with the A7R2. I used to get an occasional out of focus shot with this lens on the A7R.

This was the most often I have used the Sony G 70-200 f4 lens in the mountains. I don’t know if the lens OSS (which I kept “on”) works in conjunction with the camera IBIS but all my shots were handheld and I had no out of focus/blurry shots even at 200mm. This lens worked well as a mountain landscape lens.

I like the locking feature on the mode dial and have had it inadvertently change settings on my A7R. Although the camera is a tad heavier than the A7R I had no need for a tripod and the additional weight. It also feels better in the hands and is better balanced with the 70-200 lens.

I carried my camera in a Digital Holster 10 V2.0. which allowed me quick access and kept my hands free to scramble on boulders. It accommodates the camera and 55mm lens nicely and expands via a zipper at the bottom to accommodate the camera with the 70-200 mm lens on it.

The files were huge but large enough to crop to show the sheep at a distance of a half-mile. They literally could not be seen with the unaided eye. I have included several shots at full resolution. Feel free to comment or ask questions. I am an amateur photographer so it is better that I let the photographs speak for themselves. The "View Actual Size" on Mac preview were crisp and clear. I could read the name "Katadyn" on my green filter water bottle in front of my tent easily. The cropped sheep files are in the previous article.

Click On Photographs To Enlarge
 Mt. Whitney 200mm F5.6 1/250 
 Olancha Peak 
 Red Rock Canyon 55mm F8 1/125
 Mt. Whitney 55mm F10 1/160
 55mm F4 1/160


 70mm f4.5 1/100



 55mm f4 1/160 6:40am

 200mm f4 1/200


 200mm f4 1/200
 24mm Nikon Lens
 Olancha Peak 55mm f4 1/160
 Cottonwood Lakes Basin From Basecamp Above
Mt Whitney From Horseshoe Meadows Road 55mm F5.6 1/125 6:45pm



      

7 comments:

  1. Make certain you have the optimum speed memory card for 4k video recording such as a Sandisk Extreme Pro. My Transcend memory card @ 30mb/s HC I would not allow me to record video at the two highest settings.

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  2. Further it should be a class 10 SDXC card

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  3. The latest (3.0) firmware update is available from Sony.com for the A7R2 as of December 18th.

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  4. Sony is about to announce a new lens lineup that may include a longer range e mount full frame lens. I want one but only if it is relatively compact and lightweight. This is the biggest hole in the Sony full frame e mount lens lineup. If you want a wildlife lens, an adapted lens is currently the only option. Additionally, Sony needs to have a shorter wait time between lens announcement and lens availability. The "coming soon" at retailers for the Zeiss Batis lenses is getting old fast. If Sony goes to heavier f2.8 zooms, it will defeat the purpose of a lightweight camera. They need to stay with top quality lightweight and compact lenses to justify and remain competitive in their market niche.

    ReplyDelete

  5. Sony is about to announce a new lens lineup that may include a longer range e mount full frame lens. I want one but only if it is relatively compact and lightweight. This is the biggest hole in the Sony full frame e mount lens lineup. If you want a wildlife lens, an adapted lens is currently the only option. Additionally, Sony needs to have a shorter wait time between lens announcement and lens availability. The "coming soon" at retailers for the Zeiss Batis lenses is getting old fast. If Sony goes to heavier f2.8 zooms, it will defeat the purpose of a lightweight camera. They need to stay with top quality lightweight and compact lenses to justify and remain competitive in their market niche.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Some of your images seem to have a exessive amount of blue (shade and mountains) which I'm not used to.Is this a characteristic of the A7rII sensor or can you explain?

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  7. It might be the smoke from a fire in the Sierra National Forest. You can see the smoke over Whitney in the final afternoon photograph. Looking North from Lone Pine, the air was terrible.

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