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Robert Crawford

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  1. Since my original post, I've gone ahead and purchased the Zeiss Otus 1.4/85 mm and the new Zeiss Otus 1.4/28 mm. I love both lenses. Manual focus is a snap with the a7R ii's focus magnification and focus peaking. ​ ​I've also switched from Lightroom 6.4 to DxO Optics Pro 10 for my post processing. DxO produces fabulous JPG's from Sony's 83-84 bit uncompressed RAW images. ​The lenses and DxO, coupled with the Sony a7R ii, are winners. ​Go here for NBA images shot from my seat yesterday using my Sony a7R ii with a Zeiss Sonnar APO T* 2.0/135: https://www.facebook.com/robertcrawfordwis/media_set?set=a.993020270733291.1073742083.100000759819582&type=3
  2. Gary Fong explains auto eye focusing. Go here: Sony Alpha a7Rii Amazing Eyeball Focusing In Continuous Mode https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7_Nwq5o9-s
  3. Jim Kasson posted data on the a7R ii and the silent shutter in one of several blogs from August 6, 2015. Go to: http://blog.kasson.com/
  4. I like fast primes. I'll order the 35/1.4 if it tests well on Lens Score and DXMark.
  5. Turtle, I just bought the Zeiss Distagon T* 2.0/25. It's a beautiful lens. Highest rated FF super wide angle lens by LenScore. http://www.lenscore.org/
  6. Turtle, I just bought the Zeiss Distagon T* 2.0/25. It's a beautiful lens. Highest rated FF super wide angle lens by LenScore. http://www.lenscore.org/
  7. The manual focus Leica APO Summicron-M 2.0/90 is a great lens for shooting NBA basketball when paired with my Sony a7R. At the game tonight between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Philadelphia 76ers, I shot 818 raw images with the Leica 2.0/90. I had 18% remaining on my battery. To view the images, go here: https://www.facebook.com/robertcrawfordwis/media_set?set=a.830448763657110.1073742016.100000759819582&type=1&pnref=story Image stabilization will be nice -- a9 or a7R II. I'd like five axis stabilization when using non-native lenses. I'll buy the Leica 2.0/90 for sports and music concerts. It's small and the small size coupled with the diminutive a7R gets you post the ushers at the turn style.
  8. I shot my a7R with my FE 55/1.8 today at an NBA game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Atlanta Hawks. Same images are posted on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/robertcrawfordwis/media_set?set=a.829235340445119.1073742014.100000759819582&type=1&pnref=story I shot 1,033 RAW images on a single battery. I still had an 8% charge remaining on the battery when I shut down. I shot in APS-C crop mode with the FE 55, giving me an effective reach of 82 mm. I left the aperture wide open all day at f1.8. I experimented with AF-C and AF-S. The focus in both modes was acceptable. Most of my shots were in bursts using the "speed priority continuous" drive mode. My shutter was 1/200th with an ISO of 320. I used an FE 55/1.8 because the NBA allows "small cameras" with lenses shorter than 3.0 inches (as measured at the turn style by using a credit card or a state driver's license). The FE 55 is 2.8 inches in length and therefore passes muster. In Milwaukee, the same 3" rule applies for rock concerts. In three days I'll attend another NBA game and I'll use a rented Leica 90/2.0. This lens is 3.07" in length, but I hope no one will call me on the extra 0.07". This 90mm Leica is FF and I'll shot it in APS-C crop mode for an effective reach of 135 mm. For the past two years I've shot NBA games using my Olympus OM-D E-M1 and an Olympus m4/3 75 mm/1.8. The Olympus 75mm/1.8 is a beautiful lens. The micro four thirds format gives me a 2x crop over FF. Further, Olympus includes a 2x digital magnification in the menu. Thus, when I'm shooting with the E-M1 and 75mm, my effective reach is 150 mm/f1.8 (or 300 mm FF equivalent). I shoot nice in-camera JPG's with this set up, and I generate a 16 MB RAW image for editing, too. I'm fond of my little Olympus kit for sports. Today was the first time I tried my a7R at an NBA game. I was happy with my images. I generally set a custom white balance. During my post processing of my a7R images I noticed that the custom white balance was too warm and Lightroom's auto white balance setting gave a cooler, more pleasing image. At the next NBA game, I'll use the AWB setting in the a7R and see how the images turn out. The Milwaukee arena has one end which is brighter than the other end. I have to account for that when following the action from one end of the court to the other end. Both my a7R and my E-M1 are easily used in an arena seat without offending other fans. The bodies and the lenses are small. I hold the camera so that I don't bother fans sitting around me. (I occasionally lean on my wife when following a shot, but I stay off the stranger sitting on my other side.) The Milwaukee Brewers baseball teams allows any camera and lens into games. For major league baseball, I buy a ticket in the front row and have a good time taking photos with my Olympus gear, including the Olympus 150 mm/ 2.0 and a 1.4x teleconverter (212 mm m4/3 and 424 mm FF equivalent).
  9. Sony Artisan of Imagery Jason Lanier reviewed the Metabones IV adapter with Canon lenses and concluded that the Metabones IV does not work. Go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oFDK9j6sbQ
  10. The Zeiss Otus 85/1.4 calls me. The reviews are impressive. I plan to buy the 85/1.4 for my Sony a7R (and maybe eventually use it on the a9). But before I buy a 85/1.4 for my a7R, I rented the Zeiss's Canon EF mount with a Metabones IV and the Nikon F mount with a new Novoflex adapter. The Metabones IV was junk. Both connections between the EF mount and the Sony E mount were loose. I was unable to control the aperture with a dial on my a7R. Without aperture control I was forced to shoot with the aperture stopped down fully to f/16. My four-day rental was a bust. I rented the Canon EF mount before the Nikon F mount because I hoped to have electronic control of the aperture and aperture data with my EXIF data. Despite a failure with the Metabones IV, the Zeiss Otus 85/1.4 looked great at f/16. In response to my written complaint after I returned the rented gear the lens rental company told me the Metabones IV was 30 days old when shipped to me. At the start of the rental period, when I saw the problem with no aperture control, I e-mailed the rental company's support staff. A candid conversation with one service tech revealed that 5 out of 30 Metabones IV adapters malfunction when he checks each adapter for quality control. I was left wondering why the rental company didn't test the 85/1.4 with the Metabones IV on a Sony a7R before shipping to me for my four-day rental period. When I submitted my rental order, I specified that I intended to mount the 85/1.4 on a Sony a7R. Next I rented Zeiss's ZF.2 mount with a Novoflex adapter. I spent $292 with B&H for a new Novoflex adapter. It arrived last week. The rented Zeiss Otus 85/1.4 ZF.2 arrived today. I can report the fit between the ZF.2 mount, the Novoflex adapter, and my Sony E mount are tight as a rock. (I use adapters with my Olympus 4/3 and m4/3 kit, and Olympus makes quality adapters and magnifying lenses.) My preliminary shots with natural light, inside the house at night, stopped open to f/1.4 are great. Everyone should have a lens as good as the Zeiss Otus 85/1.4. I know that I'll own the 85/1.4 soon. Now, if Sony would offer five-axis stabilization with non-native lenses in a new a7R II or a9 . . .
  11. Phillip, Thanks for your insight on Novoflex adapters. I ordered a Novoflex adapter for a Nikon ZF.2 to Sony E mount. I'm renting a Zeiss Otus 85/1.4 for my Sony a7R. I used a Metabones IV adapter for a Canon EF to Sony E mount . With this combination I did not get any aperture data and I was unable to adjust my aperture. I was forced to shot a Zeiss Otus 85/1.4 stopped down to f16. I understood that the Metabones IV would transmit aperture data and allow adjustment of the aperture with a camera dial. Am I incorrect? One footnote. I rented the Metabones IV adapter. The rental company's shipping documents specified that I was sent a Metabones IV. But after I was unable to read aperture data or change the aperture, I compared my rented adapter to the images on Metabones' web site. I concluded that the rental company shipped a Metabones III rather than a Metabones IV. Given the problems that I had using a Canon EF mount on my Sony a7R, I'm looking at the Nikon F mount offered by Zeiss for the Zeiss Otus 85/1.4. The Nikon offering from Zeiss has an aperture ring on the lens. I understand that my aperture reading will not show up in my EVF or as EXIF data, but at least I will be able to adjust the aperture. Your thoughts? Robert Crawford
  12. Buy the FE lenses. Take advantage of the latest engineering. I enjoy my FE 55 f/1.8. I'm looking forward to the FE 35 f/1.4. Rent the lenses if you want to experiment.
  13. I own the A7R. I want IBIS, but I will wait for the a9. My Olympus m43 and 4/3 cameras have IBIS. It's great. Because the Sony lacked IBIS in the A7R, I almost did not buy the A7R. However, a FF 36 megapixel mirrorless sensor was more than I could resist. As Sony rounds out it lens offerings in the FE mount, I hope Sony will contract with Zeiss for FE mounts on the Zeiss OTUS 85 mm f/1.4 and future Zeiss OTUS offerings. I already own a Zeiss FE 55 f/1.8 and am happy with the lens on my A7R.
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