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November 7, 2018
Posted in reviews

EOS R vs A7III vs X-T3 vs Z7 vs Pocket 4K – Low Light Comparison by Max Yuryev

Max writes:

Today I compared 5 of the latest mirrorless cameras in regards of 4K low light high iso noise comparison. I test the Sony A7III, Blackmagic pocket cinema camera 4K, Canon EOS R, Nikon Z7, and Fujifilm X-T3. These cameras are a mix of full frame, APS-C and 4/3 sensors but the EOS R crops into a factor of 1.78 which results in decreased low light performance and the Nikon Z7 doesn’t use all the data from the sensor. Take a look at the side by side low light comparison footage between these cameras and let me know your thoughts in the description below.


November 6, 2018
Posted in reviews

Tony Northrup color science test poll: Sony beats Nikon Canon and Fuji

This post is dedicated to all trolls experts claiming Sony colors suck :)

Tony writes:

I gave 1,500 photographers a blind poll and had them pick the image with the best color in several different scenes, including portraits in different lighting and outdoor photos. Which camera was the best: Canon, Nikon, Sony, or Fuji?

Spoiler: Sony won :)
Tony only made a POLL and not a Scientific test. But still it’s interesting to note that people actually do like Sony colors.

November 6, 2018
Posted in reviews

Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM review by Fred Miranda: “Sony hit a home run”

Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM lens at Bhphoto. Adorama. Amazon. Calumet Germany. WexUK.

Fred Miranda (Click here) published his full Sony 24mm GM review. This is his conclusion:

Sony hit a home run with their FE 24/1.4 GM lens. Uniting all the attributes within this all rounder – It’s superb for nightscapes, travel, environment portraits and as a walk-around general lens. Once again Sony created a top resolution lens, without neglecting out of focus rendering. At infinity distance, it’s sharp from center to extreme corners at f/1.4 and has superb resolution starting at f/2.8. At f/4, it even competes with landscape specialists like the Loxia 25/2.4. All this with a flat-field performance.

However, I’d say flare resistance is only slightly above average for a lens in this class, and contrast never disappoints. Like I wrote in my first impressions, it’s the perfect companion to the FE 85/1.4 GM sharing a similar rendering signature.
Sony constructed all this while keeping it compact and light and offering great ergonomics that include features like custom button, aperture ring with de-clicking, AF/MF button and Linear MF by wire. The latter almost tricks you into thinking it’s a helicoid manual focus lens. It’s not better than the Loxias for landscapes but you might need a second take to see the differences. All I can say is that I hope Sony continues producing GM primes and that one day we’ll be treated to a 15/2 GM, 40/1.4 GM and 135/1.8 GM in the future!

Pros:

  1. Great resolution from wide open across the field. The best extreme corners I’ve seen at 24mm and f/1.4.
  2. Minimal Field Curvature. The lens is practically flat-field.
  3. Superb rendering with smooth bokeh at any distance.
  4. Round bokeh balls with clean inner structure. (No onion ring pattern)
  5. Superb coma performance. (The best in the business)
  6. Great MFD performance. Works great with close-up achromats for even greater magnification.
  7. Great build quality with low tolerance construction
  8. Weather sealed. This is a big advance to landscape specialists like the Loxia line.
  9. Super light and compact for a 24mm f/1.4 lens.
  10. Fast and quiet AF with great Eye AF performance.
  11. Great ergonomics with custom button, aperture ring with de-clicking, AF/MF button.
  12. Linear manual focus by wire implementation. It really feels like the real thing. :-)
  13. Low Distortion.

Cons:

  1. Flare resistance is slightly above average for a lens in its class.
  2. Some astigmatism visible towards the corners.
  3. Moderate lateral CA (LaCA).
  4. Moderate longitudinal CA (LoCA).
  5. Strong vignetting at wide apertures.
  6. Sunstar definition (Needs f/13 or smaller for well-defined sunstars). Although this is a “cons” for landscape photography, lenses with round aperture blades are preferred for all other applications since bokeh balls remain “round” when stepping the lens down.

Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM lens at Bhphoto. Adorama. Amazon. Calumet Germany. WexUK.

November 5, 2018
Posted in reviews

Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 FE review by SonyAlphaRumors

Note on SAR reviews:
Reviews posted by me (Andrea from SAR) are non-technical. They focus more on the creative aspects of the lens and what you can do with it. All lenses tested are purchased by myself. I got no discount or sponsorship by anyone and I am 100% free to share my own thoughts. All the images posted within this article are copyrighted and found in higher resolution on Flickr, 500px, Twitter and Instagram.

The summary of this review:
The new Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 FE is lens that I first hated, than loved, than hated again and that somehow accepted it :)

The first challenge of this lens:
Before I bought this lens I actually didn’t like it. 40mm is an odd focal length for someone like me used to shoot 50mm. But nevertheless I bought it because of two reasons:

1) I like Voigtlander manual focusing lenses a lot (I do own a couple of M-mount lenses)
2) I liked the challenge of finding what’s useful to shoot with a 40mm f/1.2 FE lens

The first hands-on feeling:
Super solid and heavy lens. I love the feel. It feels like owning an old car that has no electronics. Translated this mean it feels it will outlast my life. The lesser electronic something has the longer it lives :)
I love the mechanical focus ring. I dislike Sony’s focus by wire where I never have the certainty of “where I am” with my focus. And I like the nice clicking of the aperture ring although in my opinion having 1/3 stop clicks is useless. They should have given us 1/2 stop clicks. With so many click-click-click I am never 100% sure where I am with my aperture.

The first failures:
This image is just one of the many shoots I failed to nail the focus. On moving objects it is a real challenge to work at max f/1.2 aperture.


Full size image on Flickr

Tried to focus on the man but I got the focus on the front of the chair. D’oh!
Another initial failure is that I used this lens as it would be a 50mm lens. I ended up to have to crop most of my shots :)

Finding the sweet spot of this lens:
It took me 2 days to understand how to use this lens. This is an example where I nailed the use of this lens. I aligned the frame on the lights of the tram and focused on the only on person that had warm light on his face.


Full size image on Flickr

In that case I found the 40mm focal length perfect. It gives you that sense of space but thanks to the f/1.2 aperture you can select to focus a certain “space within this space”.

The repeating failure:
Than I tried once again to use this lens for street photography on moving objects:


Full size image on Flickr

Big fail again. The only way you can use this on moving objects is just to shoot 10fps on my Sony A7rIII and hoping one of the shots will get sharp. But this is really a lens where you have to give yourself TIME. Stay still, found something that stands still and frame your shot. Than this can takes some excellent images:


Full size image on Flickr

This lens is not made for quick street photography. It’s too challenging for that. This is mean for photographers who have time to think and choose. And in some sort this means it forces you to be a better photographer.

The one surprise:
This lens has proved to be an interesting choice for architectural shooting:


Full size image on Flickr


Full size image on Flickr


Full size image on Flickr

Full size image on Flickr


Full size image on Flickr

And here are some Bokeh shots:
This lens has a nice smooth focus transition.


Full size image on Flickr

But there is a but….if you have lights in the frame expect the full palette of “shit” :) Onion rings and cat eye! Of course the way I tested this was extreme:

Technical quality:
The build quality is superb but from a pure Optical performance this isn’t an impressive lens. It’s not SUPER sharp at f/1.2, it doesn’t have that nice bokeh rings, it has some moderate vignetting wide open. But none of these technical flaws was enough to not make me love this lens. And I feel confident using it at f/1.2 aperture as long as your goal isn’t to have sharp images across the frame and lovely bokeh. The lens is also clearly NOT made for that kind of photography.

Summary:

The goodies:
– this lens forces you to take time and think.
– 40mm f/1.2 allows you to choose a space within a space. Something you can’t easily do with a 50mm lens.
– Good enough at the center of the frame when shooting at f/1.2
– Great build quality and focus ring feeling

The badies:
– challenging lens to use at the beginning. Need some learning curve
– Not a stellar performer like the Voigtlander 65mm macro.

Technical rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Creativity rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Would I recommend this lens? If you seek something creative and have the guts for the challenge my answer is definitely YES!

Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 at BHphoto, Amazon and Adorama.

Next lens reviews: I am now testing the Laowa 15mm FE and the 85mm f/1.8 FE. A live testing report can be found on my Instagram channel.

November 2, 2018
Posted in reviews

Kamlan 50mm f/1.1 review at Lensip: “you won’t be disappointed”

Lenstip tested the Kamlan 50mm f/1.1 lens which you can buy at Amazon US, Amazon DE, Amazon UK, Amazon FR, Amazon IT and Amazon ES. This is an APS-C lens and Lenstip texted the X-mount version. But the performance is the same as on the E-mount:

Pros:

  • sensible build quality of the barrel,
  • good image quality in the frame centre,
  • moderate lateral chromatic aberration,
  • slight distortion,
  • nice appearance of out-of-focus areas,
  • affordable price.

Cons:

  • very weak image quality on the edge of the frame,
  • some spherical aberration problems,
  • huge coma,
  • distinct vignetting,
  • weak performance against bright light,
  • some casualness when it comes to aperture markings.

Ok., own up: who was taken in enough to believe that a lens with just 5 elements, an aperture as fast as f/1.1, and costing just $180 will produce excellent images? Realists, who don’t believe in miracles, cannot be surprised by results presented in previous chapters and they won’t be disappointed. I count myself among them so the summary is going to be positive.

November 1, 2018
Posted in reviews

Lucid Vision Labs measured the performance of the new Sony 31.4MP APS-C Global Shutter sensor

Just a short time ago Sony introduced a new range of Global Shutter sensors. We can be certain Sony will use them on their own future Alpha cameras too.

For now the biggest global shutter they announced is a 31.4 MP APS-C sensor in 4:3 format. The first company using it is Lucid Vision Labs. And they shared their preliminary Lab results:

I am not expert enough to give a correct evaluation of those numbers. Might be interesting to read the comments from some of our expert SAR readers!

via Image Sensor World.

November 1, 2018
Posted in reviews

First (and last) review of the new Meyer Optik Plasmat 105 f/2.7 E-mount lens

Marc Alhadeff from SonyAlphaBlog tested the new Meyer Optik Plasmat 105 f/2.7 lens. He had the Nikon mount version and adapted it on the Sony. This is the first and also likely the last review of this lens because Meyer Optik filed for bancrupcy and the lens can be no more preordered:

Based on the prototype I had, I can confirm that The Meyer Optik APO Makro Plasmat 105mm F2.7 has a unique signature 

  • At short distance you get this special bokeh
  • Aperture closed down, as from F5.6 you get very good sharpness and a nice color rendering that remembers me some analogue films 

So as usual, not a generalist lens , but a lens for vintage lens lover who like it’s bokeh and color rendering

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