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06-28-2015, 01:48 PM   #1
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Swap from Pentax to Sony A7(II/s)

Hello together,

it has been a while since I posted on this forum, mostly due to my high workload and little time for photography.
Anyhow, I am currently preparing for a wedding shoot next week, so I am going through my equipment and setting everything up.

While I am currently satisfied with my K-5IIs and my K-3 as well as the lenses, in my mind I am currently thinking about making a swap to the Sony A7 or A7II or A7S. This is not about FF, this is not about any features I am missing in Pentax. I am, if I am perfectly honest, really just ready for a change, because I want a new toy
And the A7 series seems to be fresh/new enough for me to be interesting. It's small, it's got good sensors, and should deliver at least the image quality I have in Pentax.

Why am I posting here?
Basically, I would like to get your thoughts on a lens setup and other tips/suggestions from A7 (or II or S) users.

What i currently have (and will try to sell here) is:
Pentax SMC DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 WR
Pentax SMC DA 55-300mm F4-5.8
Sigma AF 15/2.8 EX DG FISHEYE
Pentax SMC FA 31 F1.8 Limited
Pentax SMC M-50 F1.4
Pentax SMC DA 50mm F/1.8
Pentax SMC FA* 85mm F1.4

Pentax K-5IIs (plus grip, some batteries)
Pentax K-3

I think I should get 3500~4000 € for all that.

With this budget, here is what I am thinking about as a starter set:

Sony A7 / A7II / A7S
Vario-Tessar® T* FE 24–70 mm F4 ZA OSS
FE 70–200 mm F4 G OSS
Sigma 85mm F1,4 EX DG HSM

It's a little bit more expensive than what I will get for my set, unless I really get a good deal somewhere.
Any thoughts on the lenses I selected?

Cheers
René

06-28-2015, 02:20 PM   #2
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I don't know much about this, but I believe you can get a converter for the Sony that will enable you to use your current FF-compatible lenses (though may be in manual focus mode). So you might not need to replace your *FA85....but if you do, my guess is there are a few eager prospects on the forum.
06-28-2015, 02:35 PM - 1 Like   #3
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You have a pretty good Pentax setup. Outside of getting "a new toy", I really do not understand the reasoning for this. It will certainly cost you money, then you will have to learn the "new toy" before a wedding shoot in one week? If you want/need a FF camera OK I can see that, but to just change systems because you want something new makes no sense to me.

I do not think you are really going to get much better results than with the system you already have.

Completely up to you of course don't take this post as criticism, I am just struggling to understand the reasoning.
06-28-2015, 02:44 PM   #4
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If you are pretty happy with your current lens line up, then there are cheaper ways to "get a new toy." I guess I would save my funds and look at full frame in the fall or, just get a used A7 with a k mount adapter.

Personally, I have a nice lens line up right now and, while I know other brands have plenty of good and great lenses, it would be discouraging to start over collecting lenses to make a full line up again. Even if I could sell my current lenses and pay for the whole thing without losing a penny.

06-28-2015, 03:15 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by wullemaha Quote
if I am perfectly honest, really just ready for a change, because I want a new toy
I added Sony Alpha system to my camera bag mainly for their size, fast fps and Zeiss lenses. Their menu layout was and still hard to navigate, but I find myself using them way more than my other DX & FX systems now.

2 major shortcomings of the Alpha system you definitely want to consider, especially for wedding or event photographers. Very short battery life - I need 3 batteries just to do a day work, cannot image how many more battery will be needed to cover the evening. No optical viewfinder - hard to follow fast action or speedy close up shot.
06-28-2015, 03:25 PM   #6
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Have you tried working without an optical viewfinder?
Personally I think that would be my biggest issue after being a Pentax user.
All of the EVF cameras I have tried have been unsatisfactory in that respect.
06-28-2015, 03:32 PM   #7
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...better stick to the equipment you know inside out rather than chancing a big FU with shiny new ones just because you feel like it anyhow that new FF Pentax is rumoured to have that same Sony sensor and be out this year, updating/upgrading the body only, should save you a lot in the pocketbook.
06-28-2015, 06:54 PM   #8
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I use Pentax lenses a lot on my A7 with good results. But my Pentax lenses are all Pentax-M manual from the 80s or so, so the A7 gives me a digital solution that lets my 20mm give the field of view it was designed for. I have no interest in autofocus and other modern tech, but the A7 has become my Digital LX.
It does show the "soft zones" across the field in the 50 f1.4 (and f1.2) at larger apertures, but overall the lenses are very nice on FF digital.

06-28-2015, 10:28 PM   #9
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First of all thanks for all the answers.
To make one thing perfectly clear before we keep on discussing: I am not completely mad, so of course any potential gear swap will happen AFTER the wedding shot

One thing I keep thinking about, is my current setup of mostly primes vs. a "professional" setup of good zooms.
My posted "plan" would be to go the smart way and get some good zooms, which I currently don't have.
Anyhow, I don't much use the current zooms I have.
So, maybe I will also just sell my Pentax bodies and zooms and get a FF Sony or wait for the Pentax body.
Hmmm... so much to think about ^^

p.s.: no one here has any thoughts on PROS of the A7 / A7II or A7S (especially the A7S sounds really good....)
06-29-2015, 01:48 AM   #10
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It seems to me that you'd be trading off a lot for much less and that FE 24-70/4 is questionable imo for a lens its costs and namesake (ie. 'Zeiss')
Seems that your 2 choices of the zooms are to me the weakest link in the FE lineup.
Not cheap wrt like options (any brand), not small, not outstanding optically.
Add to that, AF that is only at best on par with current higher end DSLRs (K3, KS-2 included) for stills.


The other thing is that you are moving to something smaller?
Because it does not seem to from the lenses you have chosen.


IMO, from my own usage and playing around with friend's/store lenses, the strongest lenses in the system are :
FE16-35; FE28; FE55
Smallish; light; good optical performance from wide open (but needs software correction for distortion which is the 'modern' way these things are done)


Arguably the FE35 depending on what one values for the price paid for one and its compromises (f2.8; vignetting; distortion that is less common on a 35mm ) ; Nice o/p though in most real world use, I just did not feel justified to keep it at that price (and a cheap Sigma 30/2.8 with baffle removed was so darn close to it in almost every way)


As for the camera, I'd say A7II or A7.
A7s is only if you can accept 12mp and will benefit from the better high ISO performance esp in video.
If not, the A7/II/r downsampled is generally comparable for stills at high ISO.
The other advantage of the A7s is less corner cast issues with RF wides. (if you are going in this direction)

A7II - can't do a thin filter mod (not as important if you don't use RF lenses); Less sensor reflection issues
A7 - Sensor reflection issues (can really mess up cityscape shots if light sources are near); Can be modded with a thin filter (~USD450) (which also removes the AA filter and solves the sensor reflection issue)


So imo, for what you described moving to, I'd say its not a very good choice.
The other thing to consider is how Sony has more of less pulled the plug on its older mount (ie. A mount) and neglected the E mount quite a bit, choosing to focus on the FE mount.
So I distrust putting too much money with their lenses (at least not for the long run or need to watch with caution).
I only have the FE55/1.8 and a Sigma 30/2.8 now and will not buy into the system further.


That said, the FE16-35/4 is optically good and the smallest of the lot out there (vs Canikon and 3rd party options)
The FE28/2 is a good small size for a AF 28mm that is f2 and optically sharp from f2. (not too expensive too)
FE55/1.8 is already well reviewed as a nice lens the match of the Otus in most respects.
Expensive, yes, but imo, commensurate for what they are (Zeiss; optically sharp with AF )



Here is a review that I think summarizes the system/cameras well :
https://www.google.com.sg/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&u...96783405,d.c2E

Last edited by pinholecam; 06-29-2015 at 01:54 AM.
06-29-2015, 03:31 AM   #11
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Thanks a lot for that extensive answer, Pinholecam.
Lots of stuff to consider. I might still just end up buying an A7 as addition to my Pentax gear and stick with my lenses ^^
06-29-2015, 08:03 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by wullemaha Quote
I might still just end up buying an A7 as addition to my Pentax gear and stick with my lenses ^^
that's what i would do... if you like to use manual focus, the evf will take your photography to another level, places that you can't get to with any ovf camera... make sure that "setting effect ON" is selected in the menu, and you can see the exposure of the shot before you take it.

do you use a flash? the flagship sony flash is the f60m, and it has a bad rep for overheating when pushed really hard... it's a flamethrower, but there isn't any hss capability when it's pointed straight up to the ceiling.

what i like about the f60m is that it allows for hss triggering, at a manually selectable power setting, which i could never seem to do with pentax, the system controlled the flash output level no matter what it was set at.
06-29-2015, 09:42 AM   #13
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When I shoot events I often use 2 cameras. My K5 and my A7 Usually with a prime on each of them with a long neoprene camera strap over each shoulder, camera resting at my sides. Having 2 cameras is invaluable and each has their merits and downfalls which compliment each other.
06-29-2015, 10:09 AM   #14
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Hi again. Yes I shoot with flash sometimes but only with cactus stuff in manual settings so no problem there.

For the wedding i will take my trusted k3 and k5iis so the 2-camera-setup is a given. Dont know the lens setup yet but thinking about the 31 & 85 ... should i be able to pull the whole wedding off without having to change lenses that would be my Dreams ...
06-29-2015, 11:05 AM   #15
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#With this budget, here is what I am thinking about as a starter set:
#
#Sony A7 / A7II / A7S
#Vario-Tessar® T* FE 24–70 mm F4 ZA OSS (430 g)
#FE 70–200 mm F4 G OSS (840 g)
#Sigma 85mm F1,4 EX DG HSM (725 g?)
------

Have you considered:
DA* 16-50mm F2.8 (565 g) or Sigma 17-70mm (465 g) if weather sealing is not important
DA* 50-135mm F2.8 (685 g)
DA* 55mm F1.4 (375 g)

All three primary recommendations are roughly equivalent in terms of focal length to the Sony FFs you have mentioned and first two are 1 stop faster which makes up for the roughly 1 stop advantage of the Sony A7 / A7ii setup.

So unless you want to go really low light (A7s) or really high res (A7r) then I don't see the advantage of the Sony system?
In terms of weight these lenses are generally also lighter.

I only have the DA* 55mm which is really sharp and nice btw

Last edited by mln83; 06-29-2015 at 11:17 AM.
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