Monday, December 7, 2015

Sony SAL70400G 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM Lens With The Sony A7R2

Dale Matson

Click On Photographs To Enlarge
This Photo Was Taken With Sony A7R With Adapted Canon 50mm 1.8 Lens

In September I reported on using an adapted Canon 100-400mm lens on the A7R2. Here is the article.
The primary reason for me, a mountain landscape photographer, buying this lens was because I occasionally photograph wildlife too. My longest lens prior to this was the Sony 70-200mm f4 G lens but this proved inadequate for photographing Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep.

The Canon lens seemed to be the right choice at the time. It was lighter than an A-mount 70-400mm lens and I already had a Canon adapter. This posting is somewhat an admission that I made a poor choice buying the Canon lens. In addition to poor autofocus performance, it gradually dawned on me that the lens was not sharp. I don’t know if it was a bad copy or not. Perhaps the best test of how sharp a lens is viewing a photograph “actual size”.

I took some hand held photographs with the Canon lens of a deer in the woods last week. I used both autofocus and focus peaking. The Canon lens does have image stabilization (so does the A7R2) but when I viewed the photographs at home, I was very disappointed in the quality when each photograph was viewed at actual size in the MacBook preview program. I thought the problem might be “operator error” and took shots using the camera timer and a tripod. I got the same disappointing results.

OK, so it was time for plan “B”. I went to our local photography store and was surprised to see a used Sony 70-400mm lens available. The clerk who knows much more about cameras than me, put the Sony lens on a store A7R2 using the LAEA-3 adapter. We were both pleasantly surprised at how responsive the autofocus was. This adapter works well with the A7R2 and has dropped in price since being introduced. He took some photographs at 100, 200,300 and 400mm and we “enlarged” them in the camera. Wow! They were sharp and I traded in the Canon lens on the spot. I also bought the adapter. Because the Sony A7R2 has IBIS, it offsets the fact that the Sony lens does not have IS.

I took some hand held photographs today using autofocus only and auto mode. The outside photographs were at 200, 300 and 400mm. I took an inside shot at 70mm. I also cropped the 400mm shot to approximate “actual size” of that portion of the photograph.

 200mm f5 1/200
300mm f5.6 1/320
 400mm f5.6 1/400

 Sony 70mm f4 1/50

I have also included a photograph of the deer taken with the Canon lens and a cropped version to also approximate the “actual size” of the same photograph.

 Canon 190mm f5 1/200
Christmas Moon With Sony Lens Added December 25th
Sharp When Viewed "Actual Size"

As the saying goes, “Too soon old, too late smart.”


1 comment:

  1. I continue to use this lens with the only drawback being the weight. The photographs are sharp. It is not a backpacking lens for the mountains however.