Sony A7r - 10-18mm f/4 zoom, Some 'real-world' shots.












Now I'm not going to go into how and why this works. There are plenty of articles around on that. Here's three.

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Sony_Alpha_A7r/ 
(By Gordon Laing. About 1/3rd. of the way down the page)

http://briansmith.com/sony-a7r-10-18-e-mount-lens/ 
(By Brian Smith)

http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2013/12/03/using-the-10-18mm-oss-zoom-on-full-frame/ 
(By David Kilpatrick) 
N.B. David did send me this on Facebook however. 
'As I found out last year - http://www.photoclubalpha.com/.../using-the-10-18mm-oss.../. Don't bother trying to create an Adobe Lens Profile, I did, and the process can't handle the 10-18mm, it's off the chart - I have eventually given up using the profile I made. What's interesting is that applying the APS lens profile does not spoil the outer zone of the full frame image (the way is does with the Zeiss 12mm Touit for example). I also have a Sigma 8-16mm and this does a rather better job technically, but it is huge and heavy and needs an adaptor and also can't autofocus with the LA-EA3.'

Now I can't think of another instance where an APS-C lens works so well on a 35mm / 'full-frame' sensor. And it does work well. Around about 13-14mm the images need virtually no adjustment. And if you are prepared to do a bit of corner cloning you can just about squeeze 11mm out of the lens. In the past I've used the Sigma 12-24mm on this sized sensor (my Nikon D800E) and it's an amazing lens. However it's big and heavy. It does have better corners, though not by much and very well controlled distortion, but the Sony is sharper in the centre, lighter and smaller. 

The reason that it gets so much attention is obvious. This is a seriously wide option for the Sony FE cameras. It's not all plain sailing however. The more you know how to use the transform tools in Photoshop (Warp, Distort etc.) the better you can control the distortions and I'm seeing a slight magenta cast on one side of the frame. Having said all that however, I got some pretty remarkable results. Because of nature of the lens and the fact that it obviously was never designed for this kind of a sensor I do have to do some work. And years of correcting converging verticals and other lens distortions and failings stand me in good stead for that. Here are the the above shots showing the OOC jpgs. plus my finished file. You'll notice that I left the vignetting for the grave / flowers shot because I felt it worked and contributed to the atmosphere of the shot.









Now while I doubt I'll use this for any of my property shoots, for my stock landscape work it should be incredibly useful. I'll have to test it on some architecture as well to see just how much correction I need to do. The results are undeniably dramatic though and it has to be remembered that unlike most lenses we use, this is beyond what we can see with our eyes without moving our head. So realistic it certainly isn't and I very much see it as a creative rather than a representational tool. 

Stock photography is all about creating images that grab peoples attention. I do have to get people to look at my work from initially viewing a very small thumbnail and this lens will certainly help that with it's dramatic and unusual perspective. I think I'm going to get a lot of use from this lens, particularly as I said because it's so light and small. 

There weren't that many occasions when I felt like walking around with my D800E and Sigma 12-24mm, because that outfit had a combined weight of 1600g and that's before I even thought about carrying another lens. The Sony A7r + 10-18mm has a combined weight of 690g, so the attractions are obvious. This is getting down towards Panasonic 7-14mm size and weight and the Lumix is indeed a fine lens. But the Sony combination gives me 36MP of super wide-angleness and that's why I'm so interested in it. And you can certainly expect to see more pictures taken with this combination.

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