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News

February 20, 2016

New Gear for Review and Testing Arrived!

a7ii-metabones-iv-Tamron-70-200mm

I have so much Sony gear to review it’s a little bit overwhelming to be honest, but I must continue to chip away at the pile of optics and user requests. What literally just showed up as I was typing is the Sony A7 II, so I can test the firmware updates with my Canon EF lenses via the Metabone IV and latest firmware. The A7R II will obviously focus better with the latest generation full frame sensor, but the much more affordable A7 II has many more potential users and requests continue to come in for lens testing on this camera body in particular.

So what else do I have coming? Well, I have the A-Mount Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di USD Zoom Lens and the A-Mount Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G SSM II Lens which I have been wanting to test forever. I also have the Sony LA-EA3 lens adapter to insure the phase detection works at proper speeds throughout the zoom ranges. I want to test the on sensor focus performance in particular based on user requests.

Will the LA-EA3 work good enough for real would usability with these Sony and Tamron A-Mount Lenses?

We saw what happened with Sigma A-Mount lenses and LA-EA3, so clearly firmware matters on a per lenses bases. Will Sony and Tamron lenses suffer the same issues, or will they work out of the box like I hope?

Will my version 1 Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS Lens work in the 140-200mm range with the Metabones IV Lens adapter??

I’m still not sure, but time will tell. I have seen tests with the version II Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS Lens, and that lens definitely works in the 140-200mm range at f./2.8. I don’t see my version 1 on the Metabones website compatibility list though… I also wanted to test my Canon EF 135mm f/2 L lens, because this dod not work at all AF wise with the Metabones III that I own. These tests should clear up a lot of concerns for those really needing to know one way or another.

 

New Gear for Review

It is always a struggle for me to pick the next cycle of review gear, but It’s also a lot of fun! Here is what I chose for this cycle based on user requests and what I wanted to check out…

Sony A7 II

I reviewed the A7 II already (Click Here), but the new firmware has allowed for on sensor phase detection autofocus to work with non Sony lenses like the Canon EF lenses that I have and love to use for example… Via the Metabones IV with latest firmware for maximum compatibility verification with the Canon gear I have at least.

Sony Alpha a7 II Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only)

Sony Alpha a7 II Mirrorless Digital Camera Body

Sony A7 II Key Features:

  • 24.3MP Full-Frame Exmor CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ X Image Processor
  • 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization
  • Enhanced Fast Hybrid AF and 5 fps Burst
  • Support for Non Sony Lenses w/ Hybrid AF
  • Full HD XAVC S Video and S-Log2 Gamma
  • 3.0″ 1,228.8k-Dot Tilting LCD Monitor
  • XGA 2.36M-Dot OLED Electronic Viewfinder
  • Weather-Resistant Magnesium Alloy Body
  • Refined Grip & Robust Lens Mount
  • Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
  • Weight = 1.22 lb / 556 g
  • Price = ~$1698 US
 

Metabones T Smart Adapter Mark IV

The flagship Metabones T Smart Adapter Mark IV lens adapter for Canon EF lenses will be put to the test with my gear and the A7 II.

Other super affordable electronic lens adapters like the Commlite for example, are now proving to be really good as well. I could try that out also although there are good reviews on the internet already.

Metabones T Smart Adapter Mark IV for Canon EF or Canon EF-S Mount Lens to Sony E-Mount Camera

Metabones T Smart Adapter Mark IV for Canon EF or Canon EF-S Mount Lens to Sony E-Mount Camera

Metabones T Smart Adapter Mark IV for Canon EF or Canon EF-S Mount Lens to Sony E-Mount Camera

Metabones T Smart Adapter Mark IV for Canon EF or Canon EF-S Mount Lens to Sony E-Mount Camera

Metabones T Smart Adapter Mark IV Key Features:

  • Canon EF or EF-S Lens to Sony E Body
  • Third Party EF or APS-C EF to Sony E
  • Supports Electronic Communication
  • Enables Use of Lens Autofocus
  • Enables Lens Aperture and Stabilization
  • Adapter Interior Minimizes Reflections
  • Locking Mechanism to Secure Lens
  • Push-Button Lens Release
  • Brass Mounting Rings
  • Detachable Tripod Foot
  • Price = $399 US 
 

Sony LA-EA3 Lens Adapter

The Sony LA-EA3 lens adapter is designed for attaching A-Mount Lenses to the Sony E-Mount camera bodies like the Sony A7 II or the A6000 for that matter. It’s currently on sale for only $98 US @ BHPhoto.

Sony LA-EA3 Lens Adapter

Sony LA-EA3 Lens Adapter

 

A-Mount Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di USD Zoom Lens

I have had many request for the Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di USD Zoom Lens and I am really looking forward to trying it out and testing the AF performance in particular with the A7 II.

Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di USD Zoom Lens

Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di USD Zoom Lens

Key Features:

  • 70-200mm Telephoto Zoom Lens
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8-32
  • Ultrasonic Silent Drive Motor
  • Extra Low Dispersion Element
  • Moisture Resistant Construction
  • Compact Design
  • Minimum Focus Distance = 51.2″ (1.30 m)
  • 77mm Thread Size
  • Weight = 51.85 oz (1470 g)
  • Price = ~1499 US 
 

A-Mount Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G SSM II Lens

The Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G SSM II Lens has been on my must test lists for some time, and I decided to try it out as well. Testing the focus at 300mm should be a really good test for the A7 II and LA-EA3 lens adapter combination. If it works well, then you can expect all the newer Sony A-Mount lenses to perform similarly I would think and do expect!

Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G SSM II Lens

Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G SSM II Lens

Key Features: 

  • A-Mount Lens/Full Frame
  • Aperture Range: f/4.5 to 29
  • One Extra-Low Dispersion Element
  • Nano AR Coating
  • SuperSonic Motor AF System
  • Improved AF Tracking Algorithm
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 4′
  • Moisture and Dust-Resistant Design
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • Lens Hood and Carrying Case Included
  • Weight = 1.65 lb (750 g)
  • Price = ~$1148 US
 

Next Review Cycle Gear? Requests Please! 

sel2470zI have to get a copy of the Sony FE 24-70mm f/4 OSS ZA Lens to see if the copy I originally had was crap, or if I just got a lemon? I have seen several good copies of this lens from friends inline, but I have not confirmed this yet myself, and have gotten several requests for this over the past months. Sorry to those waiting (Mike Ross), and I should have it in the Lab within the month!

  1. Sony FE 24-70mm f/4 OSS ZA Lens
  2. Sony A7S or A7r II Again?
  3. Sony RX1R II? 
  4. Sony RX100 IV?
  5. Sony A6300 If possible
  6. New Sony GM Lenses if possible
  7. More Sony A-Mount Lenses?
 

Closing Remarks

I’m really looking forward to doing some testing on all this gear and I hope you come along for the ride with me!

Stay tuned on the Forums (Click Here) as I post sample photos throughout the upcoming two weeks with all the new gear. I will also post a video of the live AF testing in the Lab ASAP. Both lens adapters need to be tested and the low light lab scene is really great for this stuff. In good light I have confidence all the lenses and lens adapters will work great, but low light and moving subjects are another story entirely 😉

Please put your gear requests and thoughts below in the comments area for the next review cycle, which should be in about 2 weeks or so if all goes to plan… I really want to know what you guys think, so I can try my best to satisfy your needs.

Thanks again for checking in and lease feel free to ask questions and comment below as always,

Jay


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Thanks,
Jay

 


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Jay

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10 Comments


  1. Christian Purcell

    This looks very interesting, I am looking forward to seeing the A7 II focus ability. I am waiting to see how the A7 III will be when its released. I want to upgrade my A7 to get better focusing.

    I would also like to see a review of the Zeiss Batis 85mm F1.8 lens as I’m wondering about buying it in the future. Is it as sharp as the Sony 55mm F1.8? A comparison with this and the new Sony GM 85mm F1.4 would be awesome!


    • Jay

      Thanks for the comments and requests Christian! I also would like to test those 85mm lenses and I don’t think they will be as sharp as the 55mm f/1.8 only because that lens is sharper than any lens I have ever tested! They should be very sharp though for sure 😉

      Jay


  2. steve

    Hi Jay,

    I dont suppose you could do the same tests on an a6000 …8-)

    I hired the 70mm sony lens from the sony shop here you are going to test and was a great lens really liked it…except the price.


    • Jay

      The 70-300mm performance is pretty good on the Sony A7II but not as good as I was hoping. The sharp shot hit rate is not what it should be. With a tri-pod I get sharp shots, but hand holding is not giving me predictable results even with fast shutter speeds. So, on the A6000 I don’t think the results will be that much different. I don’t know what the exact issue is to be honest…

      Jay


  3. Gigg22

    Hi Jay,

    Would love to see how the A6300 + Metabones IV + Canon EF 70-200mm L f2.8 USM II goes – especially with moving subjects tracking side to side and front and back.

    Would also love to see A6300 + Metabones Speed Booster Ultra EF to E-Mount + Canon EF 70-200mm L f2.8 USM II

    Then compare those to the new 70-200 f2.8 G Master :)) in a shootout. I really want to know how these lenses behave with action, not portrait.

    Thanks for al your great work. Find your reviews really helpful.

    Gareth


  4. Unlo

    Loving this article, excited for results. My tests of the LA – ea3 and Tamron 70-300 were very good. AF was nearly as fast as I remember it being on my A57 before it was sold. I’m dying to get my hands on a Tamron 15-30, and 24-70 for these tests as well. Cheers!


    • Jay

      So far the Sony 70-300mm is giving me mixed results. Hand holding I am not getting consistent sharp shots. Even with fast shutter speeds and steady shot off, I am having a hard time. I have never had this issue before hand holding, so I don’t know what the problem is. Perhaps I am just shaky for some reason… My sharp shot hit rate is not as good as I would hope. With a tri-pod I get tack sharp results however…

      I would like to try those other Tamron lenses as well, and will see what I can do! I still have not tried the Tamron 70-200mm yet…

      Jay

      Jay


  5. Gabriel

    Awesome stuff. I just bought the LAEA3 with Tamron 70-200 USD for my A7ii so this article is perfect for me.
    I hope you get to test the Tamron 15-30mm as well and compare to the FE 16-35mm as I have been very tempted to get the Tamron to replace my FE one because of the faster speed and what looks to be amazing sharpness across the frame even wide open, not to mention at F4.
    Thanks!



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