Friday, February 14, 2014

Using a medium format lens on the Sony A7r Part I

Mamiya 120mm macro 1/60 ISO 200
I've been following various threads on the forums on how owners/testers of the new Sony A7r have been using various lens from Canon, Nikon and Leica.  All 35mm lens.  It started me thinking.  Which as anyone who knows me well will tell you that can be a bad idea....
"B"- Shake Reduction applied

Last year Sandy converted from using her Canon 1DsIII to the new Sony and has been very pleased with not only the performance but the camera size as well.  She had tried the Sony with her Canon lenses and found the combination not to her liking.  Fast forward to now and all the Canon gear has been sold.  I liked the Sony so much that I ended up buying it as a birthday present to myself (okay that's the excuse I used).  Currently we have the 55mm and 35mm full-frame lenses and are awaiting the release of the 24-70 and 70-200.
Mamiya 120mm macro 1/60 ISO 320
My main camera I use to capture landscape has been (and will continue to be) a Cambo WRS technical body while using a Phase One DF body.  My current digital back, the IQ160 is swapped backed and forth between the two systems thus allowing for the same image quality.  Only the lenses are not capably of being swapped between the two systems.
"B"- Shake Reduction applied
Earlier this month after reading yet again about how well various lenses are working with the Sony A7r I began to wonder how medium format lens would work.  I took delivery of a Fotodiox Pro NEX adaptor F/Mamiya 645.  This adaptor advertises that I'll be able to use it to mount my Mamiya/Phase 645 medium format lenses to a Sony camera which has an E-lens mount such as either my IR converted NEX7 or the A7r.
It does.
Mamiya 120mm macro 1/60 ISO 320
The adaptor is what I'd call an dumb adaptor in that it only allows you to mount lenses of one size to the smaller Sony E mounting without any electrical interface.  I ended up being able to mount a 645 medium format lens without a problem.  You gain the use of medium format lenses.  You lose the ability to change aperture so what the lens is rated for at its maximum that's what you end up shooting.  You also must use manual focus which I quickly found is no big deal with the A7r.  I experimented last night with the limited time I had available with 2-lenses.  My 80mm and 120mm macro.  I found that by adjusting both the ISO and shutter speeds I was able to get good images.

"B" Shake Reduction applied

One note on last night and the images provided here.  I really didn't like what I got with the 80mm and plan to reshoot it.  All the images presented here are with the 120.  There is no post processing done in any other than the "b" image where as a normal work flow whenever I shoot handheld I've begun using "Shake Reduction" in CS (sometimes it works well and other times too much).
Mamiya 120mm macro 1/80 ISO 400

"B" Shake Reduction applied
This isn't the end of testing as I have a few more lenses to test so stay tuned.

Fotodiox weights 3.2 oz

Attached to my Sony A7r I'll be adding additional images that include the lens attached





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