Sony A7r - Full Circle - Manual Focus Nikon fit lenses.


Someone on Google+ wrote about the Sony FE cameras being the best ever for using adapted lenses and I can't argue with that. Apart from some W/A m-mount lenses, 1000's of lenses of all kinds can benefit from the 36MP and 24MP sensors of the A7 and A7r. And yesterday I took out my A7r plus Voigtlander 20mm and Nikon Series E 100mm. 

Upon my return and looking at the files two things became obvious. Firstly despite my liking for m4/3 and Fuji X cameras and lenses the A7r is significantly better in image quality. Sharpness, Dynamic range, colour depth, you name it it's better. And secondly despite the fact that it has fungus growing inside it and it's battered and years old my 100mm f/2.8 Series E Nikon lens is still sharper than the Sony 28-70mm FE zoom and you can only imagine just how much better my Voigtlander 20mm is than that pretty mediocre zoom. Not using these MF lenses on the A7r for a while made me forget just what extraordinary quality they can produce.

I am seriously considering the Sony / Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 but I'm not sure it would be any better than the Voigtlander Ultron 40mm SL II which is suddenly looking very attractive. 

It's always mystified me that A7 and A7r owners looking for high quality, old school, manual focus metal lenses with aperture rings, made to exacting standards both mechanically and optically haven't cleaned out the world stocks of these Voigtlander SLR lenses instead of continually putting up with the vignetting and colour casts of wide m-mount lenses. Just to repeat again my Voigtlander Color-Skopar 20mm f/3.5 ASPH SL-II has none of these problems and is pin sharp. 

So this is one way to use the A7r's fabulous sensor, use it with MF lenses. And when I have the time, as I did yesterday, to manually focus my images and get them right then that's what I will use. This is indeed full circle because that's what I did when I first bought the A7r and it's what I seem to be be coming back to. The Sony FE's don't work as system cameras, simply because there is no system as yet, but they do work as vehicles for high quality lenses designed for 35mm SLR film cameras lenses. And for that they work very well indeed on the FE's, with focus peaking and their excellent EVF's. 

This Sony FE three camera range may be the precursor to something different and / or better, a blind alley or the early days of an incredible system, who knows, but rather than get rid of the two I have currently it strikes me that I really should get the best of them in terms of a collection of the best quality images I have yet produced with a digital camera. And whining about what might have been instead of embracing what they are capable of, strikes me as a waste of time and from this post onwards I shall cease doing that. Well until the next time I fancy a whinge that is!! 

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