For those of you considering purchasing a Sony A7r for Landscape photography, here are some of my experiences.
Using Other Lenses Not Made For The Sony
All the lenses I own are Canon L glass. I was a bit nervous at first about getting the Sony A7r and using my Canon lenses however, I’ve heard that the Metabones Adapter for the Sony works perfectly. First off, anyone that says it’s perfect is wrong. It’s not. It’s only good enough for landscape photography, video, or other types of photography where more manual lens control is required. It just auto-focuses too slowly. But, everything else works perfectly. Images are great, I don’t get any extra chromatic aberrations that I’ve noticed around the edges on my ultra-wide lenses. (Mine are the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II and the Samyang 14mm f2.8). So lenses work perfectly. No loss of IQ, extremely sharp because the A7r sensor is extremely sharp. Maybe a bit more chromatic aberrations on my longer lenses actually. But I’m still testing that.
Long Exposure Day Photography
Some have experienced some light leak issues where the ring connects to the camera. Hasn’t bothered me yet. Easy to fix and Canon and Nikon both have light leak issues when doing long exposure photography which is why you always should cover your camera, especially the eyepiece when doing long exposures during the day. Like 30 seconds to 1 minute with 9-10 stop ND filters. Although people said the Canon 5Dmkii had leak issues, I never experienced them and I shoot long exposure day photography all the time.
It’s a nice camera. So far it has been reliable. Batteries don’t last as long so get a few extras. I got an extra Sony and a few of those cheap Wasabi Batteries which work surprisingly perfectly. I pulled one out of my camera bag after not using it for a few weeks and it was still 100%. Just does not have quite as much power as the Sony OEM.
The Metabones Adapter is not built by Ford Tough. You’ll have to bring one of the hex wrenches with you and tighten it every few days if you’re shooting every day. If the screws on the adapter come loose you’ll start having exposure and f-stop problems. It’s really annoying when it happens when you’re all the way at Bryce Canyon and you only have that 10-minute window of awesome light.
Forget about seeing anything at night through your camera. It’s all digital. To frame for astronomy photography you have to max your ISO, and start shooting test shoots to get your framing, then set your desired ISO and shutter to actually get the shot. Reset max ISO again to reframe your shot etc. Probably not the best camera to get if you’re solely into Astronomy photography for that reason. I don’t shoot a lot of stars because I live in Los Angeles. We only have the other kind here.
HDR photography on the Sony A7r is pretty much fine in the day. But at night you have to do it manually. To shoot HDR photos you have to constantly hold the button down. No 2-second timer then pop pop pop like with Canon and Nikon. You can do a 2-second timer but only on one photo at a time. So you have to expose each shot manually.
If you’re serious about shooting HDR Photography you should take a look at my guide here.
Luckily the A7r has a really good dynamic range so you don’t need to shoot as much HDR.
Camera Shake From Shutter
The camera does shake a bit from the shutter. Make sure you have a decent tripod that can keep the thing stable. You might be thinking, the camera is light so you only need light tripods now. However, 25% of my Bryce Canyon shots came out with a camera shake motion blur, I think from the shutter. Not sure exactly. It was also a little windy though. I have a meFoto tripod which I love so far.
Conclusions And My Future Plans
It really is a great camera for landscape photography. Just take your time with each shot and all the problems above aren’t really problems. And if you start to get annoyed by those problems, go out and start shooting film for a few weeks and come back to the Sony A7r. You’ll love it even more. 🙂
I plan on eventually retiring my Canon lenses as Sony and Zeiss come out with more. I’ll go all prime on this camera as I’m tired of the lower quality from Zooms. I’m waiting for 24mm, 14mm, and 85mm. I’ll likely always keep my Canon 70-200mm f2.8L IS II since that lens is pimp.
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