Zeiss ZM 18mm f/4.0 on NEX cameras

[shoplink 11326 ebay][/shoplink]

One of the lenses I am considering to buy right now is the [shoplink 11326 ebay]Zeiss ZM 18mm f/4.0 lens (here on eBay)[/shoplink]. Our reader Pascal tested the lens and posted his findings at DearSusans (Click here): “Contrary to my (FABULOUS) Zeiss ZM Biogon 25mm/2.8, this is not a symmetrical lens and should work much better on the NEX-7. The NEX-7′s smaller pixels make it much more adverse to symmetrical designs such as the Biogons and some early Leicas. But no such problem with this lens“. He tested the lens on the NEX-5n and these are his findings:
– warm colors
– It has the classic Zeiss 3D look
– damn sharp!
– not the best bokeh but as the tester said, bokeh doesn’t matter with that lens.
– focus ring not tight enough
– it’s a bit too big for such a slow lens.

Read the full test and watch the images samples at DearSusans (Click here)! To see some image samples of the lens on the NEX-7 check out Rob Skeoch (Click here) website. Reviews on M-mount cameras have been made by Ken Rockwell and SLRlensreview.

There are a few good reasons why I would buy the lens:
1) Versatility: I will be able to use this lens on a future fullframe Sony mirrorless system or any other mirrorless system. It’s an investment for the future.
2) Build quality and manual focusing and aperture ring.
3) You can have it in Silver or Black (perfect for my NEX-7!).
4) Image quality is top

I am looking forward to find a good deal on used lenses on eBay :)
The Silver Zeiss 18mm ZM lens is in Stock at Adorama (Click here), [shoplink 11326 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink].
The Black Zeiss 18mm ZM lens is in Stock at Amazon UK (Click here), [shoplink 11326 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink].


Sony NEX-7 reviews roundup and firmware update suggestions by Björn Utpott (in/out of Stock status)


Digital Photography School (Click here) posted a final NEX-7 review: “A significant camera that could shoot right up there with most DSLRs, but is as easy to use as a snapshot camera.

Old School photography with Pentax 645 and NEX-7 at Soundimagesplus (Click here).

How to setup a lens adapter for the NEX-7 at SonyAlphaLab (Click here).

Nex-7 and the fotodiox lens adapter with aperture tested at SonyAlphaLab (Click here).

Our reader Kenter made that new NEX-7 case: http://www.etsy.com/shop/VKworkshop?ref=ss_profile

Our reader Björn Utpott (Click here) wrote a long list of NEX-7 firmware update suggestions. Read the list carefully, I completely agree with him :)

NEX-7 In/out of Stock status:
I have been told that NEX-7 bodies will arrive in stores next week in Europe and USA. Here are the links to the stores that will have them in Stock soon: BHphoto (Click here), Sonystore Germany (Click here), Sonystore France (Click here), Sonystore Netherland (Click here), Sonystore Italy (Click here), Sonystore Sweden (Click here), Sonystore Switzerland (Click here).
And the auction rpice on eBay for new NEX-7 is dramatically lower. A good sign that now many stores are shipping the NEX-7 bodies. The current lowest price is [shoplink 11315 ebay]$1750 (Click here to see the auction)[/shoplink]. That’s $400 less compared to the price four days ago!


Sony A77 firmware coming as soon as A77 production problem have been solved. (A77 into top 20 at Amazon)

[shoplink 8461][/shoplink] Many are waiting the new 2.0 firmware update for their A77 camera. When asked about this Paul Genge answered on Sony UK facbook site that “we have had many other problems with making the actual cameras to resolve first, but hopefully we will have some further positive news to bring you in due course. No timescale can be hinted at though.

meanwhile the kit version is still in Stock at Amazon USA (Click here). And the camera sells so well that it made into the top twenty of the Amazon Ranking (Click here to see the full list).

More A77 search links: [shopcountry 8461].


First Rokinon 8mm for NEX hands-on.


ThePhoBlographer (Click here) is the first website posting a hands-on of the new lens. In short this is what they think about the lens:

– it’s super light and small and very well balanced with the Sony NEX 5n.
– you won’t be able to put a filter on it
– manual focusing works fairly well but still not the best from my initial tests.
– wide open at f2.8, the lens offers hexagonal bokeh balls.
– distortion levels are also relatively acceptable.
– it tends to render all images more towards the blue side

I like Rokinon/Samyang lenses a lot and I recommend you the following two lenses for Alpha mount:
1) The 35mm f/1.4: In US you can find it as Rokinon at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), BHphoto (Click here) and on [shoplink 7453 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink]. In Europe the name is Samyang and you can find it on [shoplink 7380 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink] and with the name Wallimex again on [shoplink 7831 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink].
2) The 85mm f/1.4: You can get for $274 on Amazon (Click here), branded with the name Rokinon on [shoplink 7456 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink] and branded with the name Samyang on [shoplink 7454 ebay]eBay (Click here)[/shoplink].


New A77 review at CNET. In Stock at Amazon and Bhphoto and Europe.


CNET US (Click here) tested the A77 camera: “The Sony Alpha SLT-A77V is an excellent, well-designed camera for deep-pocketed amateurs; it nevertheless has a few limitations that may make it impractical for professionals.“. The camera got the “Excellent” value.

Also Flutterphotography (Click here) tested it: “These cameras have shown the potential that with a better sensor and some improvements in the processor, there could be a very different way of taking pictures in the near future as indicated by the packages like the RED Scarlett camera.

Thoughts on the A77 video quality by Iriger.net (Click here): “As expected the video quality of the A77 is in general comparable to the NEX-5n. But the handling isn’t. The NEX is a bit fiddly with only the one control dial for aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc. but when you get used to it, it’s no big problem. The A77 has direct dials for shutter speed and aperture + dedicated buttons for ISO and other stuff, but there is one big deal: You have to go to video mode on the program dial to shoot video with manual controlled apterture and shutter speed.

For the first time after three months the A77+16-50mm kit is in Stock and sold by Amazon itself (Click here). BHphoto (Click here) has it in Stock for a few days now. Also the A65 is back in Stock at Amazon (Click here). In Europe I found it in Stock at Amazon Germany (Click here).



Detailed Sony sales analysis for the japanese market in 2011.


Japan is the only market of the world offering super detailed info about camera sales. And this week BCNranking made a nice overview of the percentage sales in 2011. As you can see from the screenshot on top Sony is doing well in the compact camera market where it jumped on the second place with 15,1%. it was on position 4th in 2010. It’s not going well in the DSLR market but this has probably to do with the Thai flood consequences that made the A65 and A77 not available in reasonable numbers within 2011. Compared to 2010 Sony also lost 5% market share in the mirrorless market probably for the same reasons.

I think 2012 numbers will be more important because it will really show what’s the strength of the company in a “normal” year (a year without Tsunamis and Floods I hope!).

There is no such nice detailed market report in European and American countries. So I have to rely on the very general and “unscientific” Amazon rankings to see if a camera is popular or not. I give you here the links to check the current most sold cameras:

Amazon US:
DSLR ranking (Click here): No Sony camera in top 20 :(
Mirrorless ranking (Click here): NEX-5n rules!
Compact ranking (Click here): Canon dominates.
Lens ranking (Click here): No Sony in sight.

Amazon Germany:
DSLR ranking (Click here): No SLT camera in top 20 :(
Mirrorless ranking (Click here): Again the NEX-5n on top!
Compact ranking (Click here): The HX100V is doing pretty well.

Amazon UK:
DSLR ranking (Click here): Again no Sony on top.
Mirrorless ranking (Click here): Sony NEX-5n on position two.
Compact ranking (Click here): Cnaon-Nikon domination.
Lens ranking (Click here): It’s a Canon world.

Amazon France:
DSLR ranking (Click here): Canon as usual…
Mirrorless ranking (Click here): NEX-5n and NEX-7 domination!
Compact ranking (Click here): Again Canon…