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April 9, 2016
Posted in reviews

85mm GM lens seems to have (temporary?) autofocus noise issues

Crispyphotos on SonyAlphaForum shared that video where you can hear the autofocus ring noise. The noise is heard by all lens owners and is reported on other forums too (Fredmiranda and Dpreview).

Few readers reported that after a couple of hundred shots the noise seems to become less worse. So maybe that’s just a temporary issue that goes away after some use. SAR readers are free to comment thsi post to share their experience!

GM lens store links:
85mm f/1.4 GM FE at BHphoto, Amazon, Adorama, BestBuyAmazon Germany. Calumetphoto.de. WexUK. Jessops.
24-70mm f/2.8 GM FE at BHphoto, Amazon, Adorama, BestBuyAmazon Germany. Calumetphoto.de. WexUK. Jessops.

April 7, 2016
Posted in reviews

Sony a6300 earns the Gold Award at Dpreview

Bildschirmfoto 2016-04-07 um 08.15.33

Dpreview posted the full A6300 review. The camera earned the full Gold Award with the following conclusions:

“The a6300 an exceptionally strong all-round camera. Its still images are a match for the best in its class, its autofocus is similarly strong and its video features and quality are unsurpassed at this price point. I’ve previously found myself admiring Sony cameras more than I enjoyed them, but that video capability and features such as Eye-AF have meant I enjoyed the a6300 in spite of the slightly clumsy user interface.
There are only two other things that risk taking the gloss off the a6300’s all-around excellence: a relatively small and often expensive selection of lenses, and the continued availability of the less expensive and very capable a6000. While the a6300 is a better camera in every possible respect, the a6000 is still a tempting option just because it’s so keenly priced. However, the a6300 outperforms its similarly-priced peers and I think I’d miss the myriad of improvements that the a6300 offers if I went for the cheaper sister model.
Overall, then, the a6300 is a camera where you benefit from putting in the work required to get the best out of it. It’s worth it, though, since it’s probably the most capable stills/video camera I’ve ever used. If the lenses you want are available, unless you really need a specific feature of one of its rivals, it should be at or very near the top of your list.”

GM lens and A6300 store links:
85mm f/1.4 GM FE at BHphoto, Amazon, Adorama, BestBuyAmazon Germany. Calumetphoto.de. WexUK. Jessops.
24-70mm f/2.8 GM FE at BHphoto, Amazon, Adorama, BestBuyAmazon Germany. Calumetphoto.de. WexUK. Jessops.
A6300 body at BHphoto, Amazon, Adorama, BestBuy. Calumetphoto.de. Amazon.de. WexUK. Jessops. Amazon.fr.
A6300 with kit lens at BHphoto, Amazon, Adorama, BestBuy. Calumetphoto.de. Amazon.de. WexUK. Jessops.

You can now place your preorder on the newly announced Sony FE lenses and the RX10m3:
FE 50mm f/1.8 at BHphoto. Amazon. Adorama. FocusCamera. Calumet Germany. WexUK. Jessops.
FE 70-300mm at BHphoto. Amazon. AdoramaFocusCamera. Calumet Germany. WexUK. Jessops.
RX10m3 at BHphoto. Amazon. AdoramaFocusCamera. Calumet Germany. WexUK. Jessops.

April 6, 2016
Posted in reviews

(Guest post) Full 85mm f/1.4 GM lens review by German Photographer Enrico Heller

ehp-21

The following is a guest post from Enrico Heller (http://eh-photo.de/blog/80). He reviewed the brand new 85mm f/1.4 GM lens that will start shipping the coming days at BHphoto, Amazon, Adorama, BestBuyAmazon Germany. Calumetphoto.de. WexUK. Jessops.

——

I recently received my Sony G-Master FE85mm F1.4 and want to share my impressions and testing results with you. I tested the lens on a Sony A7RM2. My mainscope is on rendering and bokeh quality, but I do always begin with checkout the optical quality of a lens. I hope my results will help you.

A 85mm lens is my prefered lens for studio work and on location shoots. I also use it on weddings.

One weak point in the Sony E-Mount system was the missing of a 85mm F1.4. I hope the new G-Master lens will solve this point. I used a Zeiss Batis 1.8/85 on location and the Sony G OSS 90mm F2.8 in studio before. The Batis was a very good lens, but no F1.4 so I sold my Batis. If you interesstet in the Zeiss Batis 1.8/85 you can checkout my comparision with the Sony G OSS 90mm F2.8 (click HERE).

Build Quality and AF

The Sony FE85 F1.4 GM is a very heavy and bulky lens like most other 85mm F1.4 lenses out there. It’s made very solid and feels like a professional lens what it is. There is a very useful focus hold button and aperture ring. For filmer there is also a declick button to make the aperture clickless.

As I unboxed the lens the focus ring sounds a bit scratchy. Like if metal scratches on metal. I read in several forums that there are scratches inside lens so I was a bit afraid. After 500 shots the scratching sound is gone. And there are no scratches inside the lense.  I’m sure that is something like oil or lubricant and this wasn’t all over the contact area. Puhh…

The autofocus was the next challenge. The AF was very loud and was bumping all the time. Continuous AF wasn’t useable for me. The solution and a very IMPORTEND point is to update you camera to the latest firmware! After I updated to v3.1 the AF worked very well. In normal working conditions it nails the focus in AF-S / AF-C and Eye-AF very preceise.
The AF isn’t that fast but fast enough for portrait work. I would not expect more for this kind of lens.

Image Quality

Sharpness

As usally I test new lenses on my testing wall. It is very helpful to find quality issues like with my Sony Distagon T* FE 35 mm F1,4 ZA (check out my test HERE). It also help me to find strength and weak points of my lenses. I always test three zones.

  • A – Center
  • B – Edge
  • C – Corner

The focus distance for the Sony FE85mm F1.4 GM is 2.69m (8.82 ft).

It is always helpful if there is a compentitor to compare and rank the results. I used my Sony G OSS 90mm F2.8 to compare the lenes. The focus distance of the G 90 was 2.99m (9.8ft) to compensate the different focal lenght. The macro lens is the sharpest native lens in the Sony E-Mount, so it is a strong compentitor in this kind of testing.

overview

Zone A – the Center

The results are really good. The G-Master is razor sharp even at F1.4. The lens is sightly better than the Sony G OSS 90mm F2.8 over the full range.

za

Zone B – the Edge

The good results are shown in the edge again. Even at F1.4 is the edge crisp an clear. The macro lens loses over the full F-Stop range.

zb

Zone C – the Corner

As I have seen the corner I was a bit flashed. This lens is at F1.4 razor sharp even in the Corner. Thats are really amazing results. Sony did a very good job!

The lens is sharper over the full frame than the Sony G OSS 90mm F2.8

zc

Shooting charts worth nothing at the end of the day if you can’t confirm them in real live shots. My cat is a very good vitim to check the lens sharpness in studio.

ehp-19ehp-20

Both lenses are tak sharp and I’m sure you won’t see a different even at large prints. But you can see the Sony G-Master FE85mm F1.4 is sightly sharper than the macro lens.

sidebyside

You can see one Shot of the same szene at F1.4 in Example Images

As usual I get asked for focus at infinity shots. So I made a landscape comparision shot. I need to say it was a bit windy at this day but I think this shot is good enough to show the performance.

I see more details in the shot from the Sony FE85mm F1.4 GM. It has also more punshy colors.

ehp-28ehp-29

sidebyside (1)

Vignetting

With disabling the light falloff correction in the A7RM2 there is a noticeable vignetting at F1.4. At F2.8 it is mostly gone. I expected this vignetting wide open like other 85mm F1.4 lenses. Per default I correct this in the camera.

vig

Distorsion

Its mostly the same like vignetting. There is a very sigtly distorsion if you disable the correction inside the camera. But its so minor that you wont see this in a real live picture even if you have the correction disabled. This was one weakness of my Zeiss Batis 1.8/85. Ok this is a portrait lens and distorsion isn’t a problem there but so it’s possible to use the lense for other kind of work too.

8

Flares and Chromatic Aberrations

In test chart environment you can find well controlled Longitudinal Chormatic Aberrations (LoCA) chromatic aberration.

ca

Here you can see a real live shot with minor LoCa.

loca_ex

I couldn’t found lateral chromatic aberrations on my test charts.

latCA

And I also couldn’t see lateral CA on real live images.

ca_ex

Till now I couldn’t see any flares. So I think the lens has no problem with it. But if I get any problems with it, I will update it later.

Rendering and Bokeh

The Bokeh can be rated very various. What one person likes do another person hates. So rank my results for your self. As usally a creamy, smooth bokeh with decent pointed lights is more often prefered.

 

Sony 85 F1.4 GM Bokeh Balls

The bokeh balls are importend for the rendering because it can redirect the viewers focus from the motive to the out of focus (OOF) area, if the bokeh balls are asymmetric or have markings (onion rings). It also can makes the OOF area more nervous.

Many modern lenes suffering by onion rings as a result of the usage of aspherical elements. For my self I dislike onion rings more than cat eyes (unround bokeh balls). For example the Zeiss Batis 1.8/85 shows a lot of cat eyes but it has no or rarely onion rings. The Sony G OSS 90mm F2.8 shows visible onion rings. That was one reason why I used the G 90mm just in studio.

To test the bokeh balls of the Sony 85 1.4 GM I shot some LED lights with differen apertures. The used focus distance was the minimal focus distance of the lens (0.8m | 2,6 ft), the distance to the lights was 1.5m (4,92ft).

Here you can see the overview:

Here you can see the results:

bubbles

The Sony G-Master 85 F1.4 produce circular bokeh balls, even diagonally light getting’s almost round bokeh balls. In bright big lights you can see slightly onion rings. I think this amout of onion rings you could not see in real images. Thats a very good result in my eyes. Smaller lights are mostly circular without marking. Stopped down and focus to the LED’s, the lights getting nice sun stars.


Bokeh

I used a difficult szene with leafs and a lot of highlights and shot images from F1.4 until F8

I really like the background blur of the Sony FE85mm F1.4 GM it is very soft, smooth and silky. Pointed lights are not getting a nervous bokeh.

I was a bit afraid to get another “clinical” modern lens, but now I think that lens has it own character. It renders very pleasant and I feel it has a nice three-dimensional look.

Conclusions

I can’t offer final conclusions in that short testing period, but I’m very impressed how good the optical performance of this lens is. There is literaly no real downside for this lens at the moment. The weight and size is what physical can be expected and the AF is fast enough for the task. Sure if I should improve something on this lens it would be the AF speed but I see there no issue.

I will update my conclusions when my testing for rendering and bokeh are done.

———

Original article and images can be read at http://eh-photo.de/blog/80

Gm lens store links:
85mm f/1.4 GM FE at BHphoto, Amazon, Adorama, BestBuyAmazon Germany. Calumetphoto.de. WexUK. Jessops.
24-70mm f/2.8 GM FE at BHphoto, Amazon, Adorama, BestBuyAmazon Germany. Calumetphoto.de. WexUK. Jessops.

April 6, 2016
Posted in reviews

Ken Rockwell likes the A6300. And 3Dkraft posts first A6300 aerial work.

a6300_FE2470GM_image_white

The usually not so Sony friendly reviewer Ken Rockwell seems to likk the A6300 a lot:

The A6300 is a fantastic little camera. If you think you want one, get one. I love its EVF, speed, tiny size, tough build and great looking pictures in any light — as well as its completely silent operation. It just shoots and shoots and shoots in any light, even with the tiny kit lens.

And 3DKraft posted that first A6300 aerial video:

Some wannabe” tech-gurus” say, the A6300 suffers from strong moiré as it has no 4K optimised low pass filter. I can not confirm this as long as you use the Super35mm 4K mode which downscales the 4K from approx. 6K.

Sony A6300 on DJI Matrice 100 – Aerial Test 4K UHD from Hacky on Vimeo.

Gm lens and A6300 store links:
85mm f/1.4 GM FE at BHphoto, Amazon, Adorama, BestBuyAmazon Germany. Calumetphoto.de. WexUK. Jessops.
24-70mm f/2.8 GM FE at BHphoto, Amazon, Adorama, BestBuyAmazon Germany. Calumetphoto.de. WexUK. Jessops.
A6300 body at BHphoto, Amazon, Adorama, BestBuy. Calumetphoto.de. Amazon.de. WexUK. Jessops. Amazon.fr.
A6300 with kit lens at BHphoto, Amazon, Adorama, BestBuy. Calumetphoto.de. Amazon.de. WexUK. Jessops.

You can now place your preorder on the newly announced Sony FE lenses and the RX10m3:
FE 50mm f/1.8 at BHphoto. Amazon. Adorama. FocusCamera. Calumet Germany. WexUK. Jessops.
FE 70-300mm at BHphoto. Amazon. AdoramaFocusCamera. Calumet Germany. WexUK. Jessops.
RX10m3 at BHphoto. Amazon. AdoramaFocusCamera. Calumet Germany. WexUK. Jessops.

April 6, 2016
Posted in reviews

Lensrentals reviews the new 24-70mm GM lens: “impressive MTF curves with excellent resolution”

Lensrentals tested the new 24-70mm Sony GM lens and there are two good news:

  1. World Class Optical Quality:
    LR writes that it has “impressive MTF curves with excellent resolution“. Compared with the Canon and Nikon 24-70mm lenses “the Sony is at least as good as the other two lenses. It actually has the best center resolution, particularly at higher frequencies, which backs up Sony’s statement that this lens was designed with high-resolution sensors in mind.
  2. Low Copy-to-Copy Variation:
    To my surprise and pleasure, the variation of the Sony G Master lenses at 24mm is at least as low as, and perhaps a bit better than, the Canon and Nikon zooms, both of which we consider good for zooms.

Finally Sony is catching up (and maybe surpassing) with the big guys!

GM lens store links:
85mm f/1.4 GM FE at BHphoto, Amazon, Adorama, BestBuyAmazon Germany. Calumetphoto.de. WexUK. Jessops.
24-70mm f/2.8 GM FE at BHphoto, Amazon, Adorama, BestBuyAmazon Germany. Calumetphoto.de. WexUK. Jessops.

 

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