Sony A7r and 28-70mm on the streets

All images - Sony A7r - 28-70mm zoom

Another day on the 'mean streets' of Stratford-upon-Avon, amongst the tourists on a warm sunny spring day. And another day with the Sony conundrum, great sensor, shame about the lens. The 28-70mm is OK. Seriously OK. In fact it's so OK that it almost defines OKness. It's not the worst lens I've ever used, it's certainly not the best. It's..............OK. 

Sony may have just completed one of the most useful 'set' of cameras ever. The A7r with it's peerless resolution, the A7, one of the great all rounders and the A7s, if what seems to be the case with that camera, probably the best low-light picture-taking and video-creating machine ever. And what do they turn out to fit on the front of these? The Zeiss 24-70mm with it's vignetting and softness, this 28-70mm with its soft corners and edges, the Zeiss 35mm with it's excellent sharpness somewhat sabotaged by vignetting again, a decent but hardly spectacular 70-200mm and one lens that actually shows  what this sensor is fully capable of, the 55mm f/1.8. So three great cameras, one great lens and four others which could certainly be better. 

And no matter how exciting and innovative the A7s is, my initial enthusiasm is qualified with the question I have to ask myself, 'What lenses would I use on it?' I don't want to use manual focused lenses all the time and excellent though the LA-EA4 adapter is, I don't want to be using a-mount lenses all the time either. Plus there is this small thing that I mostly keep to myself but is actually quite important. I actually don't like Sony cameras very much. 

There is something seriously soul less about them for me. Not sure whether it's that smooth polycarbonate industrialised finish or the fact that they all look like they were designed by a corporate committee and everybody compromised. A bit like US sitcoms. Bland, safe, boring. Try as I might I just can't love Sony cameras and to be honest I don't even like them very much. Now don't get me wrong, I love what they produce in terms of image files and with the A7r sensor behind it, even the 28-70mm zoom (did I mention it's OK?) is capable of producing some great pictures that will print the size of a house.

But I did spend most of yesterday cursing the fact that I haven't bought a spare battery for my Fuji X-100s and forgot to put the one I have on charge. And late yesterday I shot a video test with my Fuji X-T1 + 16-50mm plastic mount zoom lens and the smile arrived back on my face immediately I picked it up. And yes I went out with the A7r + 28-70mm because it was sitting on my shelf and I hadn't used either for a while and I thought I should. In fact I've only ever been out with the 28-70mm on the A7r once before. And yes, it worked fine and I got some interesting pictures, but as I indicated I was constantly thinking, I wish I'd brought something else. In complete contrast to the previous day with my X100s, when I just kept thinking 'I'm selling everything else and just owning two of these.'

So what does this prove or say about me? Well that there are more important things in my photographic life than image quality and when am I actually going to put my mouth where my money is and do what I've threatened to do for years, which is use cameras I actually like.

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Please note that opinions expressed in this blog are just that, opinions. What is written here is at no time intended as a recommendation or otherwise of photographic gear or practice. This is a personal blog written 'in the moment' and is primarily intended as an entertainment. I would also point out that this is not a review site and not intended to be so and the Google+ groups where you can post comments are not forums. I am the sole moderator and I will remove any post (and poster) if I think fit. 
N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) at the bottom of this post.


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