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03-28-2015, 06:50 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
?...For some folks - its going to make more sense for their shooting to use their old manual lenses on an A7 costing less than $1200 vice a Pentax FF costing about $2500 i'm guessing.
Although I was skeptical of the EVF and no auto diaphragm with my old Pentax-M lenses, I am very satisfied using the A7 as my "digital LX". I've shot all manual (Leica, Pentax, etc.) since the 1960s, and although I've tried a K-5 and X100S I just don't like autofocus, and they just don't work well with manual focus. The A7 works very well with all my old manual lenses, which also work amazingly well on digital. Instead of getting a new set of lenses, finding a body that works well with my collection made more sense to me. And the FF A7 lets my SMC-M 20 mm be the ultra-wide it was intended to be.

If the new Pentax FF had a mechanical aperture linkage (un-crippled) so it would meter my old lenses wide open I might check it out. Otherwise I'll stick with the A7.

My other requirement would be a good viewfinder that makes manual focusing easy because it gives a good view of the sharpness of the image instead of relying on gimmicks like peaking, etc. I always preferred a plain matte screen in a film MX or LX for that reason - easy to see when the image is sharpest with no distractions. I find the EVF of the A7 quite good in this regard - so I leave peaking off.


Last edited by TomB_tx; 03-28-2015 at 10:09 AM.
03-28-2015, 08:58 AM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
I'm curious about this.

What are the parameters that define good focus peaking?
As long as the camera and lens can find good contrasty features, any focus peaking will work fine.
I'll stick to bare basics. This is just my opinion.

Strength and accuracy. Being able to adjust the sensitivity of focus peaking to suit the lighting conditions, or to narrow it's response to finer details is
very, very important. Sony has low, mid, and high settings, (Actually, I'd like it if they had more, say 5 levels.) I generally leave it on low because it's finer
and more accurate,but with some subjects, and in certain lighting situations I have to raise it to get a more visible response.

Color.Try using focus peaking that's limited only to white with a scene like like bright sparkles on water or any subject with bright white highlights. It
gets really hard, if not impossible, to tell where the highlights end and the focus peaking begins. Sony has three color settings, red, yellow, and white
and having more than one color choice is crucial for good focus peaking. Of course I would not use red while photographing a fire engine, or yellow
photographing a dandelion. Again, I wish there were more options like blue and green.

Not all lenses are the same. Some of my lenses seem more sensitive and more accurate using focus peaking than others. FP is not a total magic bullet. You
have to practice at it.The technology is fairly new and is bound to improve in coming years. Something I look forward to.

If Pentax could find a way to use FP in some kind of overlay to a prism setup (I think ) they would have something no one else has.

Last edited by jeff knight; 03-28-2015 at 12:27 PM.
03-28-2015, 01:49 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
I'm curious about this.

What are the parameters that define good focus peaking?
As long as the camera and lens can find good contrasty features, any focus peaking will work fine.

Sony does however make the focus peaking display well, and with my NEX-F3, for example, you do get to choose:

Peaking Level
Enhances the outline of in-focus ranges with a specific color.
(High/Mid/Low/Off)

Peaking Color
Sets the color used for the peaking function.
(White/Red/Yellow)

But with the K-3 or K-S2, for example, you only get:

Focus Peaking
Emphasizes the outline of the subject in focus and makes it easier to check the focus.
(On/Off)

But in shooting terms, I find the K-3's focus peaking works really well. The only problem with it is that it is happening down there on the rear screen, not in the viewfinder.
Its a good question and a good list you have. I just tried my K3's focus peaking again. in the right lighting conditions, it works fine, but when the focus peaking is too enhanced, it's hard to determine where the precise focused condition is. Thats why Sony has done it better with their 3 levels of focus peaking enhancement.

Your last statement is key with regard to LV. One can't hold a live-view screen up to your eye for that extra stability connection with the body. At arms length, there is more shake to contend with, sometimes that important, other times not - depending on the light.

I especially like using focus peaking when using the tilt LCD screen with a Pentax macro lens on my Nex cameras. Continuous creative fun.

BTW, the contentious debate between OVF fans and EVF fans is not unique to Pentax forums. I was on the dpreview site in the open news and rumors forum, and the Nikon guys were going after each other as to whether a new model should be EVF or OVF. Sony engineers must be smiling these days. Its like the Model T Ford - you could have any color you liked, as long as its black. With EVF/mirrorless FF, you can buy any brand you like as long as its a Sony

Last edited by philbaum; 03-28-2015 at 02:08 PM.
03-28-2015, 02:49 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeff knight Quote
If Pentax could find a way to use FP in some kind of overlay to a prism setup (I think ) they would have something no one else has.
Yes, that's rather what I am hoping for. It's a bit wasted in LV which is a kludgy thing to begin with. A hybrid VF of some kind could be very interesting.

03-28-2015, 06:43 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by mecrox Quote
Yes, that's rather what I am hoping for. It's a bit wasted in LV which is a kludgy thing to begin with. A hybrid VF of some kind could be very interesting.
Kludgy is a good word for it.

I wonder if any of the tech-head geniuses here who keep up with Ricoh/Pentax patent applications could tell us if a hybrid VF is even in the cards?
03-29-2015, 04:16 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeff knight Quote
if a hybrid VF is even in the cards
Ricoh do indeed have some patents for such a thing. So they might have something up their sleeve for the FF.

We discussed this a bit recently. The short summary was (I think) that technically it's all doable to combine a fancy EVF with an OVF, but there may be some undesirable tradeoffs, like a darker viewfinder than a regular OVF.
03-30-2015, 07:29 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
like a darker viewfinder than a regular OVF
Shhhh! I hear the brandishing of pitchforks in the darkness...
03-30-2015, 08:49 PM   #53
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Everyone should rent a Sony A7II and a Loxia 35 or 50 for a few days. Its an awesome little package to walk around with and manual focus is very easy. I think it is faster than the AF on my old K-7 simply because I don't hunt back and forth in manual focus. With the auto-zoom feature as soon as you start turning the focus ring I can hit focus manually very quickly and very accurately.

03-31-2015, 05:26 AM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
BTW, the contentious debate between OVF fans and EVF fans is not unique to Pentax forums. I was on the dpreview site in the open news and rumors forum, and the Nikon guys were going after each other as to whether a new model should be EVF or OVF.
On those sections there's always a thread or two on subjects like "DSLRs will die", "Mirrorless are the best", "All new cameras should be mirrorless", "Are DSLRs dead yet" or "I hate mirrors!".
But I'm sure they're not opened by "Nikon guys" The user who opened the "Nikon D5 must be MILC because I say so" topic is currently using Olympus (he was a Nikon user, switched to MILCs and now wants for the entire brand to follow him - an often seen pattern...). The one with "MILC rising, DSLRs falling" thing is a Samsung NX user. And I wonder where Mirrorless Crusader is, he really took it seriously.
Don't forget - those are "Open Talk" sections, they don't dare doing that on Nikon FX forums for example.
03-31-2015, 06:37 AM - 1 Like   #55
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I wouldn't buy a Sony A7 for use with Pentax glass. You will in the long run break down and buy Sony glass that works natively with the camera. I think you'd b lying to yourself if you told yourself you can avoid this. Plan on it from the start and save yourself the agony. If you buy an A7 series camera, you are changing systems, with a little bit of compatibility between the two. But as yusuf points out. Even a 77 ltd isn't worth keeping if there' something close from Sony.

At one point I looked at an A7r as a landscape alternative form Pentax glass. When I looked at the Sony lenses I'd want the day I walked in the door with it, I realized it was a very expensive option.
03-31-2015, 12:40 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I wouldn't buy a Sony A7 for use with Pentax glass. You will in the long run break down and buy Sony glass that works natively with the camera. I think you'd b lying to yourself if you told yourself you can avoid this. Plan on it from the start and save yourself the agony. If you buy an A7 series camera, you are changing systems, with a little bit of compatibility between the two. But as yusuf points out. Even a 77 ltd isn't worth keeping if there' something close from Sony.

At one point I looked at an A7r as a landscape alternative form Pentax glass. When I looked at the Sony lenses I'd want the day I walked in the door with it, I realized it was a very expensive option.
Yes - good post. I see posts on the Sony forum from guys that have sold out their FF Canons and Nikons, then ask lens questions that obviously indicate they didn't plan ahead of time. As Norm suggests - don't do that with Sony. Plan your lenses ahead of time. Some lenses are very expensive - like $1000 and over, esp for the FE variety. A friend bought the new Tamron 150-600 in A mount, which requires a $400 adapter to use on FE - but it works very well on his A7II.

In my Nex 6 crop camera bag, i carry 2 AF Sigma primes (19-30) which are very sharp and focus well (total $250 for both), a Pentax DA35 Macro (my most expensive lens in the bag), 2 manual Pentax M macros - 50 and 100, the AF Sony Kit lens, and finally a recent e-mount AF 50 f1.8(excellent lens) that cost me about $300 or so). My plan for my Nex kit was to keep costs within bounds - and i've done that. Much harder to do that with the FF lenses.

An experienced photographer, like Norm, has a much better chance of predicting what his kit will cost and what he will use it for. There are some manual lens providers like Rokinon. There was a report that Sigma is gearing up to support the FE mount - which is excellent news because it will flesh out the lens choices. If you can feather out your kit with selected manual and AF lenses, you can keep your costs lower. I use my K3 for theater work where zooms and fast response are needed. I use my e-mount camera for slower compositional work and manual macros which i enjoy a lot. What i like to do may not work for you - we each have to find our own way

By the way, don't overlook renting an A7 camera for a coupla days before buying. I plan on doing that. You won't find some of the nice features that our Pentax DSLRs have. That way you can make an informed choice before buying Sony.

Last edited by philbaum; 03-31-2015 at 12:45 PM.
03-31-2015, 01:54 PM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
In my Nex 6 crop camera bag, i carry 2 AF Sigma primes (19-30)
I really like those lenses on NEX. It's good to see from flickr that the little Sigma E-mount 19, 30 and 60mm perform surprisingly OK on the A7.
04-02-2015, 08:38 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
Some lenses are very expensive - like $1000 and over, esp for the FE variety. A friend bought the new Tamron 150-600 in A mount, which requires a $400 adapter to use on FE - but it works very well on his A7II.
my guess is that $1417 for that level of performance can't be matched with any ff k-mount lens... not even close.

so $1417 is actually an amazing bargain

---------- Post added 04-02-2015 at 08:45 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I wouldn't buy a Sony A7 for use with Pentax glass. You will in the long run break down and buy Sony glass that works natively with the camera. I think you'd b lying to yourself if you told yourself you can avoid this.
i got my a7r in 2013, and i don't own a sony lens, and i don't have any e-mount autofocus lens for it, from any manufacturer.
04-05-2015, 08:09 AM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by osv Quote
my guess is that $1417 for that level of performance can't be matched with any ff k-mount lens... not even close.

so $1417 is actually an amazing bargain

---------- Post added 04-02-2015 at 08:45 PM ----------



i got my a7r in 2013, and i don't own a sony lens, and i don't have any e-mount autofocus lens for it, from any manufacturer.
Don brought a 12"x18" print from the 600mm end of the tele, and it was gorgeous. Because it was a "slow" tele, and probably had several lightweight optics inside (as in plastic), it was surprisingly easy to carry and handhold, at least with his A7II. Sigma had the same kind of lens, but in 150X500 mm, now they are off building a direct competitor to the Tamron model. When mfr compete - customers win :-)

I'm glad you wrote in to describe how you use the A7 series. Especially in optical companies that have lots of legacy lenses - a FF sensor in a small box, i.e. A7 series, can be done with high IQ and low lens cost.
04-05-2015, 05:24 PM   #60
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Size is way down on my list for important things for me with a FF camera. A K10d sized camera would be great. If it can be small great, but if that compromises functionality/features in any way, I don't want it to be small. If you want small go 4/3 or APS-C. Again, small is a nice to have, but I don't want to pay for it to be small. A large fully featured camera for $2000, great. The same camera, smaller for $2500, no. Features and value are important to me, size not so much. If I don't want big, there are good APS-C choices. We all have different priorities.
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