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New metabones or new lenses??


MLWolfe
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Any experience with the A7riii and Metabones V?

 

I've shot a lot of landscapes with the A7rii, Canon 16-35, and metabones IV. MANY times, the adapter has failed to connect just at that crucial moment, requiring me to quickly remove and reattach it as the light is lost. I found the autofocus to be slow and unreliable when trying to shoot portraits using Canon glass, so bought Sony lenses for shooting people.

 

I just bought the A7riii, and am trying to decide if I should sell my Canon glass and go Sony (at huge expense), or if it might be worth it to try the new metabones. It's not a small investment, either, though, and it kind of galls me to buy another metabones after my frustrating experience so far.

 

I'm considering the Sony 16-35 2.8, 24-105, an 85, and 70-200 2.8, although it would take me a couple of years.

 

Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this. Thanks!

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@ MLW:   

  

If you buy the newer body and the updated Metabones, 

you should expect a repeat of your experience with your 

current body and adapter. 

   

Like you, I have a midrange Sony lens for people snaps 

etc. My adapters never get fussy such as you described,

but they have their compromises ... OK with some lenses  

less OK with others ... and "OK" NEVER means features  

working same native lenses. Works for me, others won't 

be happy with my gear.  

   

I've returned as many adapters as I've kept and even the 

keepers ... as mentioned ... perform at a lesser level than 

any native lens. IOW I'm not shopping for perfection, not 

even near-perfection, but half the adapters I've received 

don't even meet my modest expectations. 

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Guest Jaf-Photo

In general, it's more valuable to have one really good lens that you know how to work, than having several lesser lenses that you aren't fully familiar with.

 

Study your shots to see which focal length you use the most and then get a really good prime for that length. That will unlock your photography like nothing else will.

 

In your case, I'd say a rectilinear wide-angle lens would go really far for your landscapes. Check out the Batis line, if something fits.

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`   

   

   

@ MLW:   

  

If you buy the newer body and the updated Metabones, 

you should expect a repeat of your experience with your 

current body and adapter. 

   

Like you, I have a midrange Sony lens for people snaps 

etc. My adapters never get fussy such as you described,

but they have their compromises ... OK with some lenses  

less OK with others ... and "OK" NEVER means features  

working same native lenses. Works for me, others won't 

be happy with my gear.  

   

I've returned as many adapters as I've kept and even the 

keepers ... as mentioned ... perform at a lesser level than 

any native lens. IOW I'm not shopping for perfection, not 

even near-perfection, but half the adapters I've received 

don't even meet my modest expectations.

 

Thanks! That's exactly what I'm afraid of! I think I won't waste my money!

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In general, it's more valuable to have one really good lens that you know how to work, than having several lesser lenses that you aren't fully familiar with.

Study your shots to see which focal length you use the most and then get a really good prime for that length. That will unlock your photography like nothing else will.

In your case, I'd say a rectilinear wide-angle lens would go really far for your landscapes. Check out the Batis line, if something fits.

Thanks! I agree that it's better to have proper lenses! I keep asking myself the focal length questions... I'm using the 55 1.8 for studio work, but could really use something wider so am thinking a 35. I have the 24-70 GM and have just really disliked it. I try to love it, but at 24 I seem to get a lot of distortion if I'm not completely parallel, and at 70 I'm usually wishing for more reach. I have no idea if the distortion is normal or a flaw. That lens had to be sent in for an $1800 warranty repair, and as I had no prior experience with a 24-70 it took me awhile to start questioning things. But I digress!! My problem is that I'm doing portraits, both indoors and out, and I'm also doing landscapes. I only manually focus the landscapes. When I made the Sony leap it was with the belief that I'd be able to rely on the metabones. I bought both in the first flush of rave reviews when the A7rii was released. It's difficult to choose what to buy next!

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Guest Jaf-Photo

Distortion at the wide end is a common feature of 24-70mm lenses. I think they're great for shooting fluid situations where shooting distances and lighting will vary. For set piece photography like landscape and portrait, primes give you that extra quality.

 

For studio portraits, I always prefer 85/1.4 because you get the right look and a good working distance. For mobile portraiture, I think a 70-200/2.8 is best because you can adapt to the situation and control the backgrounds more. The 55/1.8 is a nice lens but I never took to it as a portrait lens. You had to be too close to get nice portraits.

 

For landscape, I like 24mm primes because they're the widest rectilinear lenses.

 

With the announced adaptations of Sigma Art primes to Sony FE, there's suddenly a much better choice. They're really good performers and come in at a better price point. So that may be worth waiting for to check out.

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....... I try to love it, but at 24 I seem to get a

lot of distortion if I'm not completely parallel,  

.........

   

What you're clearly describing is NOT distortion. 

It's not anything wrong or inferior concerning the 

lens you use. It's just an exagerated perspective 

due to distance ... due to being close to subjects. 

   

OTOH if your lens, or any lens, DOES have any 

actual optical distortion, getting parallel to your 

subject will bring out ... make more obvious ... 

whatever optical distortion is present cuz you've 

eliminated the exagerated perspective which in 

itself can somewhat mask over a lens's optical 

distortion. 

   

Changing to a greater zoom ratio will not solve 

anything. You are letting the lens govern your 

vision of the scene. To emancipate yourself

from optical tyranny, never view thru a camera 

to assess the scene or composition. Do it only 

with the naked eye. Once you settle on a shot 

by eyes alone, then frame it with the camera.   

    

If the zoom range occasionally causes you to 

walk a few steps to get the shot you saw by 

eyes alone, no big deal. But if the few steps is 

more like a hike, and-or if it's happening all the 

time, then you need a different lens for sure. 

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Guest Jaf-Photo

User, the 2470GM has about 3% barrel distortion at 24mm. This is typical of this zoom range. It will also be more visible the more off center lines and objects are placed.

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User, the 2470GM has about 3% barrel distortion at 24mm. This is typical

of this zoom range. It will also be more visible the more off center lines and

objects are placed.

     

  

Optical distortion is not reduced by getting "completely parallel", 

which the OP states is the non-distorting condition. Thaz how I 

know he is describing a perspective effect.  

   

As I mentioned above, getting "completely parallel" is likely to 

increase the visibility of any actual optical distortion cuz without 

the perspective "distortion" confusing the eye, the real distortion 

is nakedly apparent. Sooooo ... if getting "completely parallel" is 

where his "distortion" clears up, then it's perspective, not optics.   

  

Apparently, 3% real distortion doesn't bother the thread author,   

since he sees "distortion" only when NOT "completely parallel". 

   

OTOH, since 24mm perspective effects annoy MLW, I doubt he 

will find happiness in ANY lens that shoots at 24mm ... except 

maybe a shift lens ;-) 

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Guest Jaf-Photo

I know what he's talking about, how distortion and field curvature in a wide lens affects the photo. It is in fact more evident if you shoot at an angle rather than straight.

 

If you shoot straight, at say a brick wall, you will see the exact nature of these phenomena, but they will be just as evident, if not more if you are shooting up from the side.

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I know what he's talking about, how distortion and field curvature in a

wide lens affects the photo. It is in fact more evident if you shoot at an

angle rather than straight.

 

If you shoot straight, at say a brick wall, you will see the exact nature

of these phenomena, but they will be just as evident, if not more if you

are shooting up from the side.

    

What you say is quite true ... IF he is inspecting for lens defects, 

it will be exactly as you describe. And mebbe thaz what MLW is 

meaning to say. But I credited him with an "opposite" meaning.  

   

I was crediting MLW with taking the view of the ordinary viewer 

of an image ... not an IQ checker, just an "audience". Thaz the 

aesthetic viewer, who is not judging lens performance but sees 

content, color, meaning [if any] etc etc. In my experience, such 

viewers may remark [pos or neg] about crazy perspective, wild 

lighting, etc, but you'd hafta a rather severe case before they'd  

really sense optical distortions ... except acoarst architecture or 

similar images, and even then only if perspective effect is fully 

corrected or at least quite minimal.  

   

And yes, it might've been my error to credit MLH with seeing in 

a more aesthetic context than in an optically judgmental context. 

Context IS everything and only MLW can specify how he meant 

what he described. Mebbe he will ?     

    

   

------------------------------------------------------------------------    

    

P.S.  

    

Speaking of context, what did you mean about field curvature ?  

    

Thaz not a shape shift or distortion. It's just a focus shift as you 

move away from the optical axis, and it is reduced by stopping 

down ... and is often hidden by wide apertures cuz not much in 

frame actually falls close to the focused plane at minimal DoF,   

in most shooting conditions anywho. Ironically, flatness of field

is compromised by the same design efforts that are deployed 

for minimizing actual optical curvlinear distortions :-(  

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Username and Jaf, this is really constructive discussion on the distortion issue. I don't know why it didn't occur to me that distance to subject could be the major issue here. My studio is really small, so an 85 isn't practical for anything other than head shots or outdoor work. Every time I put on the 24-70, though, I quickly end up switching back to the 55. Jaf, sorry you haven't loved the 55 1.8 for portraits. I've been really happy with that lens, both indoors and out. I've been thinking of a 35, though, just to be able to do groups and full-length shots. My room is less than 12 feet wide.

 

If I try shooting at 35mm in that space with my 24-70 or Canon 24-105, will it give me a close approximation of what I might experience with the 35 prime? Of course, I know the prime will be a lot better. (PS.. I'm a "she"!)

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`    

    

   

Examples of angled view "hiding" curvlinear

distortion from easy notice. One is a kit-level 

cheapo 10-18 at the 10mm end. The other is 

a Nikkor 10X FF at its 28mm max wide end. 

IOW, optically verrrry distortion prone shots. 

    

  

Yes, the effect is there, IF you inspect for it. 

But the perspective from a very angled point   

of view leads it to go unnoticed if viewed by 

a "non-inspector". Even if they linger over an 

image, it's just not evident to them, not in my 

experience of 50 yrs, anywho.    

   

   

 

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here ‚Äď We are always happy to welcome new members!

    

    

  

     

    

   

 

Re-shoot such scenes with their straight edged 

structures squared up, and toward the frame's

edges, and you'll notice verrrrry evident optical

distortions, even without looking to find it. Thaz

what I'm try to explain: seeking it vs noticing it. 

  

   

  

  

`

   

   

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My issues looked more like lollipop heads on tiny bodies, or bodies just very distorted. Not the kind of deliberate minor angling you do to flatter a fuller figure. There was no way I could have presented such images to a client. I'd like to share a couple but think I've deleted them. My subject was about 2 inches taller than me, maybe 5 feet away.

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My issues looked more like lollipop heads on tiny bodies, or bodies

just very distorted. Not the kind of deliberate minor angling you do to

flatter a fuller figure. There was no way I could have presented such

images to a client. I'd like to share a couple but think I've deleted them.

My subject was about 2 inches taller than me, maybe 5 feet away.

    

People shots, no straight line [architecture etc] problems. OK, 

this is definitely not optical distortion as thoroughly described 

in posts above. Your lens might actually also have real optical 

distortion but it will nearly never show up in the type of images

you describe.   

  

So, any lens at 24mm, zoom or prime, will do the same thing 

to your subjects, the degree will vary somewhat with shooting 

angles, but it IS perspective and so it depends mainly on your 

subject distance. And it will look even more obvious at certain 

shooting angles. IOW, don't spend any money on some other

24mm in hope of curing your problem. BTW I'm thinking your 

estimate of "maybe 5 feet away" is more likely 4 feet, or less.  

Maybe the lens has a footage scale, but those have not been

accurate at all for the last few decades [pretty much since AF

proliferated in the late 1980s].    

 

   

There's plenty of tutorials, videos, books, articles, etc, about 

portraiture, both technique and hardware. All for you :-) One 

thing prolly never mentioned in such material concerns your 

estimate that the subject was 2 inches taller than you. Just 

for "conversation", I'll figger he's really 3 inches taller. Add to 

the 3 inches that most shooters don't stand "at attention" as 

they peer thru the viewfinder. Now the difference is 5 inches. 

Now add in that the lens axis is not at your eye level, but is 

about 2 inches lower. Now you're at 7 inches "shorter" than

the subject. 

 

Okaaaaay ..... you should never shoot upwards at a portrait 

subject. And exact eye level can look confrontational. So you 

should shoot downwards, from a few inches higher than the 

subject. IOW, in total, you are shooting from a vantage point 

about ONE FOOT too LOW. And you are standing too close.   

So, it's no sooprize that you're having perspective issues :-(   

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Guest Jaf-Photo

Alright, thanks for the illustrations, User.

 

In a 12 foot studio, an 85mm does half length shots, which is often useful. The classic head and shoulders always works. I normally have people sit for those types of shots and shoot from a tripod. It allows for fine-tuning of the light and angles; important when you shoot close. It's also fast to set up, once you have a favourite lighting scheme.

 

For wider shots a 35mm should work. The problem, though, is that the FE 35/2.8 has quite a bit of distortion. The 35/1.4 is over-priced in my opinion. So my solution was to get the Sigma 35/1.4 Art in A-mount. I use it both on A-mount cameras and adapted to E-mount with the LA-EA4. It works great on both. It has a bit of distortion, naturally, but I think it works well for people shots.

 

I liked the 55/1.8 but not for portraits. I found the backgrund and focus transitions were a bit busy unless you were close to the subject with the background much further away.

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