August 22, 2016
Posted in news

Sony Tidbits…

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Backcountry Snowboarding in 4K | Jeremy Jones | Sony

Full list of todays Gold Box deals at Amazon.de, Amazon.co.uk, Bhphoto, eBay and Amazon.com.
Podcast: Why Is 4K Video in a Point-and-Shoot Camera? (Explora).
Back to School Buying Guide 2016 (Adorama Learning Center)
Indie rock music video shot with the A7SII and an anamorphic lens (SonyAlphaForum).
Film photography makes a stunning comeback (EuropeanCeo)
switched from a Canon-Nikon system to the Sony Alpha 7 series (Emin Kuliyev).
Samyang AF 1.4/50 samples and review at swedish Cyberphoto
Zeiss Planar 50mm FE review (Focus Numerique)
To write a guest post on SAR follow the instruction on that page.

Xabier:Let me send you a little video I´ve made with the incredible Sony A7SII. I´ve tested the SLOG 2 & 3 capabilities, as well as it´s 100 fps technology. https://vimeo.com/178734761
The downsides I´ve seen with the A7SII are its poor CDAF and the poor results of the SLOG3 when shooting the skyes, due to it´s 8 bit codec.
Apart from that, it´s an awesome camera: The Lowlight sensitivity is amazing, as well as the superb Dinamic Range and the On-sensor stabilizing system.

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August 21, 2016
Posted in deals

Up to $280 off on Sony E-mount cameras and lenses at BestBuy

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SonyBestBUy

BestBuy added a new Stock of Open Box Sony E-mount cameras and lenses on their eBay page (Click here). A few direct links:

$285 off on the Sony A7rII
$200 off on the Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS Lens
$240 off on the Sony FE 24-200mm lens
$225 off on the Zeiss 24-7mm FE lens
$200 off on the Zeiss 55mm FE lens
$160 off on the Sony A6300 with kit lens
$130 off on the Sony 90mm FE macro lens
$75 off on the Black 55-210mm E-mount lens
$75 off on the Silver 55-210mm E-mount lens

Reminder:
The brand new Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Full Frame E-mount autofocus lens can be preordered bow at BHphoto (Click here). It costs $849 and it will ship on October 4.
For a limited time and quantity you can buy the fast Lexar SD dual pack card for $34.95 at BHphoto (Click here).
$100 off on the Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 Lens for Sony E-Mount at BHphoto (Click here).
The Easycover for the Sony A63000 is in Stock at BHphoto and Amazon.
The new Sony Water/Dust/Shock/Bend Proof SD cards are now in Stock at BHphoto (Click here) and Adorama (Click here).
The new Rokinon 50mm FE f/1.4 autofocus lens is in Stock at Amazon US (Click here) and at BHphoto (Click here).

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August 21, 2016
Posted in reviews

Best tripod for A7 Series under 1.3kg (2.8lb) and over 130cm height (Guest Post by Steve Lawlors)

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The following article is a Guest Post by Steve Lawlors. To write a guest post on SAR follow the instruction on that page.
——

I have done a study of travel tripods in search of a suitable yet lighter one than the Promaster X525 at 1.25kg that I currently use.

I want to hear from anyone who knows of a lightweight tripod thats not a tabletop low height model, or over 1.3kg (2.8lb), there are tens of good travel tripods between 1.3kg and 2kg (Read discussion at SonyAlphaForum).

Background:
I am religious about weight and compact size, why I never bought a DSLR in the past and waited a painful two years when I had the money to buy my first full frame dslr, for the A7r to come out.
My Lowepro Protactic 450AW backpack is about 8.5kg fully packed with A7r, 24-70, 16/35, F20m, F60m, lotsa batteries and other lightweight accessories. Although I usually put my batteries and tripod in my suitcase, I want to get the whole kit closer to 7kg or at least under 8 so I can go cabin baggage with the lot when flying.

Tripods:
I can’t find a better tripod than the Promaster X525 that I currently use, believe me I want to find one lighter with minimal compromise but I cant, if anyone else can beat its specs for the A7r with a strong focus on lower weight without losing reasonable height please reply.

Let me summarize features of the top contenders that I found in order of importance to me……all weights include the head.

Must have features in bold, Nice to haves in italic underlined

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Promaster X525 V

Website: Promaster.com
Store Links: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay
Weight: 1.25kg (2.7lb)
Height: 160cm
Folded Length 40cm (with Head)
Weight Hook: Yes
Spirit levels: Yes 2
Monopod: Yes
Cost US$170
Cons: plate too big, can’t tilt A7r screen when attached, not a big deal but an annoyance.

Promaster also have a carbon version, X525c that has identical features to the X525 at $300 it is 960g, thats 290g less for 80% more in cost, the X525 is on par with the T-024x below but $60 more and 20cm more on height.

Bildschirmfoto 2016-08-15 um 10.04.51

Manfrotto befree Carbon

Store Links: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay
Weight: 1.1kg (2.4lb)
Height: 144cm
Folded Length 40cm (with Head)
Clip legs (I recon this is much better and faster than the screw in types but have not used yet)
Weight Hook: No
Spirit levels: No
Monopod: No
Cost US$350
Cons: Price and items missing above, height is low, not much gain in weight loss 150g.

 

t-024x_01_89712_a

Sirui T-024x

Store Links: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay
successor of the T-025x, its updated with an adjustable centre column which I hear was a big stability weakness of the T-025x but unfortunately it adds 120g of weight making it 920g
Weight: 920g (2lb)
Height: 139cm
Folded Length 40cm (with Head)
Weight Hook: Yes
Spirit levels: No
Monopod: No
Cost US$269
Cons: low height
You could add the E or KX series ball head which have spirit levels but they add 80g for the E and 150g in weight for the KX, but I believe the T-024 comes with the C-10 head so you would have to buy two heads in total making it expensive.

A426_1_20140130444072462

Sirui T-025x

Store Links: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, eBay
Weight: 800g (1.76lb) (various websites from Sirui’s to Adorama to BH photo give different weights for this tripod, showing the tripod as 700g with the head listed separately at 200g etc, but I think these are errrors and with head its 800G.
Height: 139cm
Folded Length 34cm (30 without head)
Weight Hook: Yes
Spirit levels: No
Monopod: No
Cost US$239
Cons: low height, stability issue described here http://www.dpreview…./thread/3235300

You can remove the fixed central column to resolve the stability issue but height goes to 95cm
Mark Galer reviews tye T025x briefly and other tripods here http://www.markgaler…he-tiny-tripods

My Conclusion:
1) The Befree is too expensive for just 150g less than the x525 and looses a lot of its nice to have features,
2) The Sirui T-024x is 330g less than the x525, its tempting but not enough weight loss to justify buying a new one
3) I would love the T-025x at 800g but the stability issue is stopping me currently
4) I struggle to justify the 80% more ($130) for the X525c compared to the X525, however at just 160g over the Sirui T025x and not loosing on height that looks like my best choice for my next tripod.

Currently I am tied between,
i) Sirui T025x (Unstable, 20cm less, 160g less and 6 cm less packed down) and
ii) Promaster X525c ($130 more, 20cm more and more stable)

But I am very strict on weight, so for anyone reading this I would recommend the X525 at $170 as the stand out winner here, after all I will keep that and buy a lighter model so I will have both, therefore maybe the lure of the 800g Sirui will take me before year end as my second tripod:)

Cheers, Steve
Lawlors Landscapes
www.lawlor.me

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August 21, 2016
Posted in news

This week SAR readers photos selection

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René Gamper‎
I took this shoot with the A6300 and the Samyang 12mm F2.0
You can find this and more Pictures from me on 500px
https://500px.com/rene1_gamper

1) Submit your picture with a message and picture here: facebook.com/sonyalpharumors or on the SonyAlphaForum image section.
2) Like and comment the pictures from other readers here: facebook.com/sonyalpharumors/photos_stream?tab=photos and on SonyAlphaForum.
3) A selection of most liked pictures by the community and by me SAR admin will be posted weekly on SAR.

Note: When sending a pic feel free to also add a link to your site to promote yourself!

Read the rest of this entry →

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August 20, 2016
Posted in news

Tamron announces the launch of the SP 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 USD A-mount lens!

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Tamron90mm

Tamron announced the new 90mm f/2.8 SP Sony A-mount lens. You can preorder it for $649 at BHphoto (Click here). This is the full press text:

Product Highlights

    • Built upon the outstanding optical performance of the legendary Tamron 90mm Macro
  • Inheriting the optical design of the previous 90mm Macro lens (Model F004), the new Model F017 delivers the same excellent resolving power and remarkably soft background blur effects (bokeh). The advanced construction includes one LD (Low Dispersion) glass element that maximally limits the dispersion properties of light and two XLD (eXtra Low Dispersion) glass elements that correct dispersion properties to an even greater extent. The special elements optimally compensate for on-axis and lateral chromatic aberrations from macro shooting range to infinity. Furthermore, the design ensures the best imaging performance at any range by adopting the Floating System which shifts the location of a group of elements to the best possible position as the focusing group travels relative to shooting distances. From 1:1, life-size close-ups to the most distant horizon, this new 90mm Macro lens achieves outstanding image quality.
    • Optimized for spectacular background blur effects (bokeh)
  • Earlier models of Tamron’s 90mm macro lens received high acclaim for their spectacular blur effects, and the new 90mm macro builds upon this legacy. To continue this commitment, thorough optical simulations were conducted. Careful examinations were performed to minimize any blurring with a doubled image appearing for a single line because that phenomenon has a considerably negative impact on background image quality. As a result, the lens achieves both sharp, vivid images and spectacular background blur effects. This combination is highly prized by portrait photographers.
    • Moisture-Proof and Dust-Resistant Construction
  • Areas of possible ingress surrounding switches and the boundary between the focus ring and the lens barrel are protected by special seals. These provide stronger protection against the intrusion of dirt, dust and moisture compared to the Moisture-Resistant Construction used previously. This additional protection assures even more wide-ranging opportunities for using this lens.
    • A durable Fluorine Coating on the front element repels water and fingerprints
  • The water and oil repellant coating applied to the front element surface allows instant removal of dirt or smudges with ease. The coating also provides a reasonable level of durability, and will sustain its effectiveness for years. The Fluorine Coating technology that Tamron developed for use in industrial optics applications was first used on the SP 15-30mm which was introduced in 2014.
    • USD actuator maximized for macro photography is fast, accurate and quiet
  • The control software program for the USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) actuator has been revised to provide substantially improved focusing speed and accuracy when using AF. The USD quickly addresses any out-of-focus condition caused by back-and-forth camera movement (which commonly occurs during macro photography) ensuring better results when shooting at close range.
    • Advanced coating technology reduces flare and ghosting
  • Two advanced coating technologies, both providing outstanding anti-reflection performance, are applied to critical element surfaces for maximum light transmission. eBAND (Extended Bandwidth & Angular-Dependency) Coating boasts outstanding anti-reflection performance across nearly the entire range of visible rays, and BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) Coating utilizes traditional multi-layered, anti-reflection technology. This combination virtually eliminates extraneous reflections and substantially reduces ghosting and flare which enables the lens to achieve flawless, crystal clear images.
    • Use of circular aperture to achieve beautiful, rounded blur effects (bokeh)
  • When shooting a scene that includes a point-source of light in the subject background, marvelously tuned blur (bokeh) can be obtained without generating undesirable polygonal shapes of aperture patterns thanks to the circular aperture. The 9-blade diaphragm retains a nearly perfect circular opening even when stopped down by two stops.
    • Focusing options perfectly suited to a macro lens
  • The new 90mm macro has a focus limiter that makes it possible to shorten the time for accurately focusing on a subject when the working range is known. The lens also features an Internal Focusing system, so the overall length of the lens never changes, not even when focusing. As a result, the user is assured of a comfortable working distance of at least 139mm (5.5 in) from the front of the lens. In addition, the lens is equipped with a Full-time Manual Focus override mechanism which makes it possible to flexibly choose focal points. Even with the AF driving system in action, it is possible to instantaneously override it to make manual fine focusing adjustments without switching the AF-MF mode back and forth.
    • Compatibility with TAMRON TAP-in Console™
  • Always as new as tomorrow: You can update firmware, customize autofocus positions and adjust the mechanical setup and preferences of the 90mm lens by simply attaching it to the TAMRON TAP-in Console and connecting it via USB to a personal computer. (The TAP-in Console is an optional accessory.)

Tamron and the history of its macro lenses

The history of Tamron’s macro lenses began with the SP AF90mm F/2.5 (Model 52B) in 1979. The general impression of a macro lens in those days was that it was mainly useful for academic purposes—such as reproducing documentary records and scientific minutiae—and not suitable for photographing ordinary subjects. Against this backdrop, Tamron’s first-generation 90mm macro lens succeeded in creating new value for the modern macro lens that has both refined image quality worthy of recording photographic scenes and remarkably beautiful background blur effects (bokeh). As a result, the lens was highly valued by professional and amateur photographers alike as a lens with wide-ranging uses. It created new categories of applications that previously had been unimaginable because of the common uses of macro lenses at the time. The lens became popular among nature photographers to shoot close-ups of flowers. Furthermore, using Tamron’s 90mm macro lens for portrait photography gained particular popularity, with the expression “portrait macro lens” coming to be widely recognized over time. With the model renewal in this latest generation achieving further performance improvements, SP 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 USD (Model F017) is opening a new chapter in the history of Tamron’s 90mm macro lenses.

Design Concept

Beginning with the SP 35mm F/1.8 Di VC USD (Model F012) and SP 45mm F/1.8 Di VC USD (Model F013), Tamron has utilized a new design concept to enhance the outstanding performance provided by the SP Series. Our attention to every engineering detail has resulted in the most advanced optical and electro-mechanical designs being incorporated in SP Series, creating a new benchmark for high performance and visual elegance. The design philosophy embraces the importance of comfortable, ergonomic operation and positive tactile feedback, crucial factors in all types of photography. The newly designed all-metallic barrel features an embedded concave ring at the base of the lens—for a firm hold and comfort necessary for a steady shot. Switches are larger and reconfigured for smoother function and the typeface has been redesigned for intuitive legibility. The Tamron SP Series is the superlative example of the Lensmaker’s art.

Specifications

Model F017
Focal Length 90mm
Maximum Aperture F/2.8
Angle of View (diagonal) 27°2′ (for full-frame format)
17°37′ (for APS-C format)
Optical Construction 14 elements in 11 groups
Minimum Object Distance 0.3m (11.8 in)
Maximum Magnification Ratio 1:1
Filter Size Φ62mm
Maximum Diameter Φ79mm
Length* for Sony 116.6mm (4.6 in)
Weight for Sony 585g (20.6 oz)
Aperture Blades 9 (circular diaphragm)
Minimum Aperture F/32
Standard Accessories Lens hood, Lens caps
  • Specifications, appearance, functionality, etc. are subject to change without prior notice.
  • The Sony mount version does not include VC since Sony digital SLR bodies incorporate built-in image stabilization functionality.
  • * Length is the distance from the front tip of the lens to the lens mount face.
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