My report that the Sony A7r and 55mm f1.8 Zeiss combo is capable to focus faster -in good light- then my Nikon D800e/Nikkor 50mm 1.4 caused quite a stirr Let me say it again, in good light, the A7r/55mm combo is faster then the D800e/50mm 1.4 combo, I have used the Nikon d800e/50mm 1.4 on enough professional shoots to assure you I wasn’t drunk when I wrote that. This of course doesn’t mean that the A7r has better af then the Nikon D800e. More after the break
All it means is just that with this particular body/lens combo the Sony focuses faster, in good light.
Possible reasons why this is happening:
A) the Nikkor 50mm 1.4 has a fairly long focus throw when compared to the Zeiss 55mm f1.8 and is known for slow af performance
Additionally, the f1.8 calls for smaller diameter glass elements, which move faster during af acquisition then the much larger and heavier glass elements in the f1.4. (Even the much cheaper Nikkor 50mm f1.8 focuses much faster then the 1.4 version)
A smart move on Sony’s part to go with 1.8 rather then 1.4. The same strategy being appied to the 35mm 2.8 and the upcoming 24-70mm f4. Keeps size and weight down, allows for shorter focus throw and puts less strain on the af motor.
What kind of AF can we realistically expect from the A7r? As of this writing we only have the 35mm 2.8 and 55mm 1.8 (I will test them as soon as I get my hands on productions models) from what I have seen at the Expo it will be fast enough as long as there is enough light. I certainly won’t complain about af speed. My prediction for low light performance isn’t as bright, we will have to wait and see. Remember, I am talking about the A7r, the high mp monster with contrast detection af. Let’s be realistic here.
This is not a low light but a landscape monster. The medium format genie in a tiny bottle.
Will I replace my Nikon D800e with the Sony A7r? Of course not, I don’t think this first generation mini monster is ready to take on something as proven and versatile as the D800 or 5Dmk3, perhaps the next generation
However, the reasons I am hoping the A7r will find a spot in my camera pack are: very small body, same, or improved sensor/image quality? as the D800e
will work well with my Nikkor portrait lenses – the 2.4M EVF should make mf easy
will work well with my super wide angle lenses, particularly with the Rokinon 14mm 2.8 – very curious about that
will produce stunning videos and serve as a very capable B camera, possibly even as a main camera on certain shoots
As you can see from my list, I don’t expect it to be a top all round performer, great resolution for hyper realistic portraits, landscapes and a great video camera. I really don’t expect it to perform miracles in low light and the shutter sound disqualifies it as a street camera.
This is a very capable camera, provided there won’t be major gotcha’s once we start shooting with it. I sure hope it will do what I expect it to do – very well. A front runner that will eventually win the race, exciting times! I am curious to hear from you guys, your take on the A7r. Will it fit in with what you shoot? Concerns?
You can preorder the Sony A7r here at BH and here at Adorama.
The Zeiss 55 f1.8 here at BH and here at Adorama.
The Zeiss 35mm f2.8 here at BH and here at Adorama.
The Zeiss 24-70mm f4 OSS here at BH and here at Adorama.
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