May 23, 2016
Posted in deals

(SR4) New rumors about the Sony launch product event in June

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This one is a complex rumor: Different sources told me Sony invited people on special meetings in June. Usually that kind of “invitation” happens when there are new products to be alunched. So far so good. But the complexity comes from the recent unexpected events: It’s yet unclear if after the Komamoto desaster Sony will confirm or reduce or even postpone the launch of the new cameras. As you know just recently the A68 got a 2.5 month release delay. Last year Sony announce the a7rII, RX100m4 and RX100 in June.

Now I don’t know exactly what’s coming in June and what’s coming at Photokina. All I know from trusted sources is that a new A9 camera is one the way and also at least one A-mount camera (at last). But of course there is also a chance to see the new A7III and RX100m5. And highly unlikely to happen….the medium format camera.

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May 23, 2016
Posted in reviews

24-70mm f/2.8 GM review by Enrico Heller

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amb1.big

This is a guest post from Enrico Heller (eh-photo.de). He reviewed the new 24-70mm GM lens (Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay).

——

Introduction
Sony finally released the long awaited, brand new Sony FE 24-70 GM F2.8 lens. I placed my preorder in Februar this year, but the demand is so high, that I needed to wait until last week to get my lens. I spend the last days with this lens and collected a lot of sample images. In my full review I want to share my impressions and results with you.
I have tested the lens with my Sony A7RM2 and as usually I started to analyse and compare the lens in my little studio. As competitor I have used the
Sony Vario-Tessar® T* FE 24–70 mm F4 ZA OSS.

Build Quality and Handling
amb2.big

As it can be expected from such a high price tag lens the build quality is very well. The case is made of metal and feels good. The lens hood has a button to release the hood. I don’t like it much, because I hadn’t need it before and would not need this in future. But I have to learn to handle this. The lens is very heavy and bulky. The weight is 886g. In comparison the Sony FE24-70 F4 (426g) feels like a tiny toy. But before we complain about this, the
Nikon AF-S 24-70mm 1:2,8G ED is 900g and the Canon EF24-70 f/2.8L II USM is 805g. So the Sony is equal to the others.
The focus and focal length ring works very well with a nice resistance. Manual focusing works, but not far as good like on a Zeiss manual focus lens.
You get a focus lock button which is really great and a focal lenght lock button, which locks the focal lenght at 24mm.
You also get the new lens case like all new G-Master lenses have.

Autofocus
The autofocus is very fast and accurate and in contrast to the Sony FE 85 GM F1.4 (see my test HERE) nearly noiceless. I havn’t messured it but I’m sure it’s my fastest Sony lens I have ever had and I have had most of them. I don’t now how fast a adaptered Nikon or Canon lens works but I can’t imagine that they are faster. The focus nailes even in low light condition.
The Eye AF works also very well. You can nail the focus on moving people exactly in the eye.
In terms of autofocus you can use the lens for sports and event photography without hesitiation.

ehp-50.big

Sharpness
As usually 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 helps me to find strength and weak points of my lenses. I have tested three zones with 24mm and 70mm:
A – Center
B – Edge
C – Corner
To get a feeling for the results I compared this with the Sony Vario-Tessar® T* FE 24–70 mm F4 ZA OSS

overview

Zone A – the Center
The results are really great. The G-Master is sharp like a prime in the center at 24mm even wide open. The Sony-Zeiss is not as sharp as the GM and has less contrast but the results aren’t that bad.

Sharpness_24_A.big

With 70mm the results are on the same level like with 24mm. The GM has also more contrast and it is sharper. At F2.8 the sharpness is a bit weaker than with 24mm at the same aperture.

Sharpness_70_A.big

Zone B – the Edge
In the edge the results are on another level. The GM is sharp over the full F-Stop range an just a bit softer at F2.8. The Sony FE24-70 F4 is very weak even with F8 it doesn’t reach the sharpness of the GM @F2.8

Sharpness_24_B.big

At 70mm the Sony-Zeiss is much better than with 24mm but still not as good as the GM. The GM is @F2.8 a bit softer in the edge. All in all the results from the Sony FE24-70GM F2.8 are better at 24mm but still nice at 70mm.

Sharpness_70_B.big

Zone C – the Corner
The last zone shows similar results like the edge. On GM side at 24mm it is better than with 70mm but really good. The Sony-Zeiss is weak at 24mm and at 70m better than I have expected it and equal to the GM.

Sharpness_24_C.big

Sharpness_70_C.big

The sharpness results are all in all very impressive. But this I have expected. LensRentals.com tested also this lens and draw MTF charts of the lens. The results are very similar to mine.

Vignetting
The Vignetting of the lens is very moderate. You can see below, that there is a sightly vignetting at 24mm over the full F-Stop range. The vignetting at 70mm is less and almost gone at F5.6. With applyed correction profile in the camera you won’t see any vignetting in the final image.

vignette

Distortion
There is a sightly barrel distortion visible at 24mm

dist24

At 70mm you will get a minor pincushion distortion.

dist70

It’s almost the same like the vignetting. If you enable the camera inbuild correction profile which is also applyed to the RAW file you will get a clean Image without any distortion.

ehp-58.big

Chromatic Aberrations
Longitudinal Chormatic Aberrations (LoCA | Bokeh Fringing) sadly are hart to correct, the most efficent way to avoid them is to stop down. But let’s take a look into the chart. The shots are taken at F2.8. At 24mm you can see very minor Longitudinal Chormatic Aberrations. It will be hart to find them in a real live picture.

lat_ca_24
(Sony FE24-70 GM F2.8 @F2.8 24mm)

The same shot at 70mm you can see a noticeable amount of Longitudinal Chromatic Aberrations.

lat_ca_70
(Sony FE24-70 GM F2.8 @F2.8 70mm)

Lateral Chromatic Aberrations are visible in the edge and corner, but I don’t care about them, because they can be easily correced in post-processing.

loCA24
(Sony FE24-70 GM F2.8 @F2.8 24mm)

With active inbuild lens correction profile you will get a clean RAW|JPG out of the camera.

loCA24_after
(Sony FE24-70 GM F2.8 @F2.8 24mm)

At 70mm there are no lateral chromatic aberrations even without lens correction profile

loCA70
(Sony FE24-70 GM F2.8 @F2.8 70mm)

Flares
In extreme situations it is possible to create some lens flares, in normal conditions I had no problems.

flare1

flare2

Rendering and Bokeh
If you remember right the Sony marketing says that the lens strengths should be sharpness and bokeh. So lets see what the lens can deliver.
At first I have tested the Bokeh Balls. They should be round and without of onion rings. The results below are very, very good. The bokeh balls are round even at F8 and I also can’t find any problems with onion rings. On focusing the lights I can produce nice sunstars. That looks really good.

bb.big

The rendering of the out of focus areas is very smooth and soft and nothing is getting nervous. The colors are rich and punchy.

ehp-65.big

Conclusions
Till now I really like the lens and I’m happy to own it. It’s crisp sharp over the full range and produce nice and wonderful images. The build quality is very well and the AF is really fast. The weight and size is huge, but not more than other F2.8 zoom lenses. The price tag is very high, but I think you get the best standard zoom lens on market. The existing lens errors are almost not relevant, the only downside is the amount of LoCa at 70mm.
I could help you? Thats great! You want to help me? Please check the link below the blow. *cheers*

Check out the example images at eh-photo.de.

——

Get the the 24-70mm GM lens at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay.

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May 23, 2016
Posted in news

Sony Tidbits…

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REVIEW: Sigma 30mm f/1.4 “Contemporary” Lens (Sony E-Mount & Micro 4/3)

Full list of todays Gold Box deals at Amazon.de, Amazon.co.uk, Bhphoto, eBay and Amazon.com.
2016 Roundup: Consumer Long Zoom Compacts (Dpreview).
Hands-on Review: The GigaPan EPIC Robotic Camera Mount (Explora).
Zeiss Batis & A7RmkII pt 2 (Dario Cannone).
Portraits with the Lensbaby Twist 60 Optic (Youtube).
Tiger sharks with the A7s & Atomos Shogun (SonyAlphaForum).
The Sony FE85mm G Master. Answered prayers? (DearSusans).

John:BMX FS7 + a7sii video 1,000 likes in a day johnhicksfilm: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVFZK-slHos

Juan:I run a photography meet-up group in Southern California region and we have a large community of Sony shooters. This interview by Matt Mangham (www.landoflightandshadow.com) for his latest Analog Stories series. I think the Sony community will enjoy! We mix our love of photography with our love for beer and get together bi-weekly at local breweries to discuss camera gear, projects, network and meet like-minded creatives!
Our IG: www.instagram.com/beersandcameras
The Video:
https://vimeo.com/166273533

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May 22, 2016
Posted in deals

New ART Lens & Adapter Kits for Sony E-Mount

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MC11

Sigma launched new MC-111 with ART lens bundle deals and you can get those at BHphoto (Click here).

Another good deal is the refurbished RX100m2 superpackage for $379 at Amazon US and eBay US. It does come with 90 day Sony US warranty.

 

 

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May 22, 2016
Posted in reviews

Street Portraits With The Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM

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The following review is a guest post from Shawn Reynold (tlpserendipity.wordpress.com). To write a guest post follow the instructions on that page. Thanks!

———————-

Finally, the warm weather is here.
The Sun is shining, the birds are singing, and The Hills are alive with the sound of lawn mowers! I really should get out and enjoy the nice weather. But what to do??  Hmmm….
I know! How about hanging out at ‘Times Square North’

above: a beautiful smile

above: a beautiful smile

in Toronto) with some friends and playing around with the new Sony FE 85mm f1.4 GM lens? That could be fun.

 

A word of disclaimer – I am not a street photographer.  And I do not… usually… take street portraits (that was the point of the outing that day – to “work on a weakness”)

Read the rest of this entry →

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