Sony A7r and the two best lenses I've ever used.
All images - Sony A7r Nikon 28mm and 85mm f/1.8 lenses.
Metabones Nikon G to Sony e-mount adapter.

If Zeiss had made these lenses the internet Zeiss worshippers would have been writing 100 verse love poems to them. If Sony had made them people would be celebrating some kind of miracle, instead of putting up with the mediocre output from those Minolta has beens who couldn't make anything anybody wanted to buy, but unfortunately have been designing Sony lenses ever since. However, an internet pundit and would be guru who I've taken a swipe at recently (what else is new!) has declared all 'electronic' lenses and the Nikon G series in particular to be the 'work of the devil' and those who use them to be 'disciples of the devil' who deserve little more than to be soundly beaten with rolled up back copies of Rangefinder Monthly. (And people wonder why I have a pop at these guys!)

So there you go. This weeks Ken Rockwell moment. Strong opening? I thought so.

I've used these two lenses on five different camera systems. Nikon 'Full-Frame' (D800E), Nikon APS-C (Nikon D7100), m4/3, Fuji X and now on My Sony A7 / A7r. They have performed impeccably on all and I've never used anything better. So the above pictures are taken with the best camera and the best lenses I've ever used and owned. Not really much of a surprise that my other gear isn't getting much of a look in these days.

Another day of wonderful warm winter light and already this month we have had more sun than in the whole of the 2012-2013 winter. More to come as well in the next few days apparently. The location is Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds.

So why do I rate these lenses so highly? Well, lets take their performance on the A7 and A7r. Once you've stopped down a little from the f/1.8 aperture, which is however still very decent, they are virtually flawless. No vignetting, no colour casts, sharp across the frame so no soft corners or edges, very sharp, minimal CA and fringing and minimal distortion. And in fact virtually none at all when the lens profile is used in ACR. (Lens profiles - more work of the devil! - Incidentally, I will be linking the images I post to Google+ albums in the future, which will allow you to see them slightly larger and shows the exif data). And that's pretty much the case whenever I've used them. And yes I do go on and on and on about them, but it's worth doing that because other less capable lenses (and lens makers) get talked up continually when these lenses, which are relatively light and inexpensive seem to get ignored. They aren't the fastest, they aren't the 'sexiest' and they don't have that 'German Optical so it must be good' badge on the barrel, which is seemingly de rigueur in certain photographic circles, but in my opinion they are just well-made optically superb gems. 

The word is that Metabones are working on making AF adapters for cameras other than Canon, so that's an exciting thought. I would think that they could take full advantage of Sony's slow roll out of lenses for the FE system by doing that. If I could AF these lenses at a reasonable speed on my Sony's then I really wouldn't want much else. Though it has to be said I don't really have that much problem using them with manual focus. Sitting at home I think I really should get some more AF lenses for the cameras, but when I'm out using them I'm perfectly happy using them as they are. The focus peaking on the cameras is excellent and I'm now able to do it quickly and easily.

A final word on the A7r, I'm still not discovering any operating problems and I would normally have discovered any layout problems by now. I'm actually getting used to the wonders of the sensors dynamic range as well and starting to take it for granted. I love the complete lack of any luminance noise whatsoever in the sky areas at low ISO's and the colour depth is a thing of beauty. I described this camera in a previous post as combining the best from the Nikon D800E, Leica M9 and Sigma DP Merrills I used and that's pretty much how I feel about it. Same image quality as the Nikon but less weight and bulk and all the mirrorless live view and EVF advantages, same sharpness and colour depth as the Leica but much better at high ISO's, no moire, no dust spots as yet (touch wood) and of course a lot cheaper and the same sharpness and overall 'pop' of the Sigmas but without the strange colours, lousy high ISO and fixed lenses of those cameras. So all in all these days, going out to shoot pictures and coming home to view them on my screen is a very pleasurable experience.

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