Sony A7 - Sigma 35mm f/1.4 - Sony 85mm f/2.8

All images - Sony A7 Sigma 35mm f/1.4  and Sony 85mm f/2.8 lenses

For all the deficiencies of the newly introduced Sony FE native lens system, the A7 and A7r are spectacular cameras in terms of image quality. I've bought (and sold) a selection of S/H Minolta lenses which were OK and seriously good value, but for the moment I've settled on a selection of AF prime lenses + the 28-70mm zoom. And my Nikon and Voigtlander f-mount primes used with a Metabones adapter for manual focus. Ultimately I've decided that to do these superb sensors justice the Minoltas were not quite good enough. After using them for a while, they really aren't that much better, if at all than the 28-70mm zoom, which in the light of what I've seen from the 24-70mm Zeiss, is actually a decent lens which I see no reason to get rid of. 

The 55mm f/1.8 is a truly great lens and the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 a-mount which I used yesterday isn't far behind. And somewhat surprisingly the plastic mount, inexpensive Sony 85mm f/2.8 a-mount lens is also a terrific performer. So in the end I've got a set of lenses for the cameras which I like. Now it's not a particularly wide selection of focal lengths, with my Sigma and Voigtlander 20mm's at the wide end and the longest lens I have is my Nikon Series E 100mm f/2.8, but this is the range I work in most of the time, so it's not really a problem.

Though things do move quite quickly in the digital photography world, I also think that what I have is reasonably future proof. I can't see anything better than the 36MP A7r sensor emerging anytime soon and of all the 24MP sensors I've used and seen samples from the A7 is easily the best. My Fuji X and m4/3 cameras have their attractions but ever since I bought them I continually keep coming back to the A7 and A7r. Simply because for what I do and what I shoot, nothing else I have beats them for image quality. I don't need great high ISO performance much and I don't really need ultra-fast handling either. The vast majority of my work is slow and considered and shot outdoors in sunlight in a mostly rural environment. 

Though I enjoy attempting it from time to time, I'm not out on the streets looking for the 'decisive moment' and in terms of what I sell that style of photography is a very small part of my income stream. And I have to say that I'm happiest when I'm working in good light with the time to think about my framing and exposure. I've shot pretty much everything apart from press and news pictures, but I've always loved landscape and location work most of all. Being outdoors in an attractive and photogenic environment is where I want to be for the majority of my photographic life. And the Sony A7 and A7r are by far the best cameras I have and have ever used for this.  

35mm / 'full frame' is maybe not the best format ideally for me, APS-C, 4/3 and 1" sensors give me a lot more depth of field, but after years of using 35mm and MF film I'm used to it and by now I know how to get the best results from it. What is ideal however is the quality of the files I'm able to produce with these cameras. It is expected that this kind of work will be produced to the highest possible standards in terms of IQ and previously I've only been able to get that by using some pretty bulky camera / lens combinations. The A7 and A7r have changed all that and though the Sigma 35mm I used yesterday is big and heavy I have lighter and smaller alternatives for when I want that. 

For me this is why the Sony FE system is so special. And I'd much rather have it at my disposal with a less than satisfactory range of lens options than not have it at all. Because my gear comes and goes but I'll have to live with the images I produce for the rest of my life and it seems crazy not to produce those with the best gear I can afford. And no matter how much I enjoy using them, my other options just can't compete with what these Sony's produce.

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