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  1. Correction: I said above that the A7R III has 2 cutsom poitions on the mode dial. Really it's 3. The A7 II has 2.
  2. I own both Fuji and Sony systems. Not too long ago I invested more into the Sony and divested myself of a bunch of Fuji gear. At one point I had 3 Fuji bodies and 9 Fujinon lenses. Based on having used both Fuji and Sony on a daily basis, I wouldn't switch to Sony unless you really dislike using the Fuji system or have another compelling reason. As a full time professional my reasons for switching my emphasis to Sony were based on reliability and service. I wrote an article about it in PetaPixel. For the most peoples' purposes it would be a lateral move and can be expensive. I love the Fuji system and kept part of it but for most of my work I use the Sony system. The important differences for me are as follows: Battery life: Huge difference in favor of Sony. I've gone multiple days on one battery in my A7R III bodies versus an averag of 2-3 batteries per day on my X-Pro2 bodies Autofocus: I find the Sony more reliable and I love their eye-autofocus. Also I've programmed 2 buttons on the Sony so it's very easy to switch between AF methods without going through menus. BUT I understand that the X-T3 now also has good Eye-AF Ergonomics: This is personal but the Sony feels better in my average sized hands and I can shoot longer before my hands get tired. On the flip side of this I prefer the mechnical controls on the Fuji, especially having aperture rings. Pro Service: Fuji doesn't have one for their X-system which was problematic for me and Sony's is superb Custom setup: Sony has 2 positions on the mode dial for custom configurations that allow you to set a myriad of parameters. This is very convenient. On the Fuji it's a workaround at best and you're very limited on what you can put into their "custom" settings Other: Fuji's EVF is slightly better and I like their distance scale with DOF. Sony doesn't have that. The Sony menus are initially a bit of a pain but the camera is highly configurable. I think more so in practical ways, than Fuji. Lenses: Both systems have extensive and superb optics. I do thorough testing on every lens I buy. Overall Fujinon lenses are better but one has to look at that in context. In most real world situations they are essentially equal. I like the choice of zooms better for the Sony but Fuji has amazing primes and they are less expensive and more compact. Bear in mind if you want shallow DOF you have to get a faster lens in APS-C to equal one in FF. For example you would need Fuji's 56mm f1.2 to have about the same DOF wide open as a Sony or Zeiss Batis 85mm 1.8 on full frame...assuming this is of any consquence to you. The bottom line is all this stuff is personal preference and you need to chose a camera and lenses based on how you shoot and what you like to shoot. If you ask 2 photographers, you'll get 3 opinions so get what is right for you. I agree with others that you might want to try out Sony first by renting. Happy shooting, Joel
  3. Hey Jack, Congrats on the Batis pair- I'm sure you'll be happy with them! Cheers, Joel
  4. I've had nothing but great experiences with Sony service. I should point out that I am a full time pro and a member of Sony Imaging Pro Service so I can't speak to their service otherwise. I've had two items that needed service since I started using Sony a few years ago. The first was an A7 II body a couple years ago. They emailed me an overnight shipping label the day I called. I had the repaired body back two days after I shipped it- one day turnaround in-house at Sony and overnighted back to me. I didn't pay for shipping either direction. More recently I accidentally dropped a lens and the two rings on the front of the lens body broke off (glass and function/AF were fine). Again, overnight shipping label emailed to me within a few minutes of the phone call to them. They called me when it came in and said it would be 2 weeks for parts so they overnighted me a loaner lens until mine was repaired. In both these cases I wasn't without gear for more than a couple days. With the lens they tested everything before sending it back. I also tested it when it came back and compared it to my test shots from when I had bought it and the performance had actually improved. They must have made some adjustments. So very happy overall with Sony's service.
  5. I shoot full time and test every lens I get- that's added up to quite a few over my 30+ year career. Based on this I would test it with a solid tripod and turn off the image stabilization. If you have any doubts at all about the tripod being rock solid then try it both with and without IS. I would also use howgus's manual focusing method above using the magnification assist and the low focus peak setting can't hurt. I'd also do the series with autofocus (single shot only, don't use continuous). I can't remember if all these variations are recorded in the metadata and depending on your software you may or may not be able to see it- so might just be easiest to write it all down. Also as someone else suggested, do each test several times and if you have another camera body to try, do that. With these methods you should be able to nail down the source of the problem. Good luck and keep us posted! Cheers, Joel
  6. Hi TDoodle, Here was my thought process before I purchased the Sony 100-400 GM with 1.4X. I was coming from the 100-400mm w/1.4X on my Fuji X-system so equivalent in FF to a range of 150-840mm. I actually used it in the 600-840mm (FF equivalent) range a fair amount. However in most cases 560mm (400+1.4X) with the Sony is plenty. I don't know what body you're using but in my case, because my A7R III bodies are 42 MP vs 24 MP on the Fuji, if I crop to 24MP I still get to a 700mm equivalent. I sell large prints so maintiaing enough native resolution was an important factor for me. But everyone's needs and styles of shooting are different so ultimately you have to decide. I know it's hard to anticipate if you are embarking on something that's new for you, like wildlife. Remember that wildlife covers a broad range. If you're in a jeep on a preserve in Africa you might be shooting with a 24-105 and the 70-200 could be too long. On the other hand you'll likely want very long focal lengths for birds. FWIW, my reason for getting a 1.4X is that I only lose one stop of light which is higher priority for me than the slightly greater magnification. My premise is that I'll always lose 2 stops with a 2X but may not be making use of the extra magnification all the time. For the times I need beyond 560mm I'll just crop. You can also set your cam to super 35 and get extra magnification (but a commensurately smaller file too.) If you're not making really big enlargements, this is a viable option. You might also want to consider renting these lenses first. If it helps you make the right choice, it's well worth it. I've had good experiences with LensRentals.com but there are many places to rent out there. Important decision- let us know what you decide! Happy Shooting, Joel
  7. Hey Jack, Your choices are good and again, it's all about your personal preference and how you shoot. One advantage of sticking with the Batis lenses is their DOF readout. I say this because you said you do a lot of street photography. You can use manual focus and zone focusing. I suppose you can do this with Loxias as well but with the Batis line you have the option of auto focus. I don't know what body you have but the eye-autofocus on the A7R III works very well. I think between that and zone focus you'd be well equipped for street photography. 25/40/70-200 is a nice combination. Just to illustrate differences in personal preferences: When I was shooting Nikon I did an 8 day street photography project in Manhattan and used the Nikon 28-300. It was a perfect lens for that. I didn't need it to be razor sharp to the extreme corners and I never missed a shot changing lenses because I didn't have to. On the flip side it was a large rig and outside of New York City it might be intimidating. My favorite walkabout lens for my Sony is the FE 24-240. It's a surprisingly compact rig- probably half the size of the aforementioned Nikon kit. All that said my 85 Batis is my favorite lens, especially for people. There's a certain quality to the images I just don't get with my other lenses- except perhaps the 35 2.8 but I don't use that one nearly as much. Let us know what you end up with! Joel
  8. Being hopeful, I put in a request with Sony Pro Support requesting they do what you suggested...at least have the option for lenses to stay at maximum aperture when manual focus is invoked. This issue has been on the forums for some time so we'll see. On the other hand I know Sony does implement firmware updates if they get enough requests from pros through the Pro Support channel. Fingers crossed. -Joel
  9. As howgus says, the manual focus is quirky and IMO annoying as it's a hassle to have to open it up to focus manually every time. Of course the Loxia appears to have a real aperture ring so it will be a little faster that way. Regarding the focal lengths that is very much a personal preference and I wouldn't argue with your choices. I personally have a 35 f2.8 Zeiss/Sony and a Batis 85mm f1.8 and they are a great combination. Right now those are my only primes. I also have a bunch of Sony zooms. I've gone back and forth on zooms and primes. Photography is my full time living so I need to have a broad selection but I like to carry minimal gear when traveling. I think you're on the right track! If you still have that 16-35 you might want to keep it around for some versatility on the landsapes...but again...personal preference and how you like to shoot. Whatever you choose, have fun with it! Happy Shooting, Joel
  10. As long as we're talking firmware requests what about lossless compressed RAW? I'm thrilled Sony finally added an uncompressed RAW option but there's no reason to have every file be 80+MB for uncompressed RAW. Canon and Nikon both have lossless raw compression which saves 20-40 percent or so on file size. I'm guessing it can't be a huge deal for Sony considering they were able to add uncompressed RAW... if this has already been posted, pardon my redundancy. Cheers, Joel www.joelwolfson.com
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