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Wide-angle test festival on the A7

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by addieleman, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Spent half a day on testing lenses on the A7. It's dark now :(, so tomorrow's another day and then I will turn to the standard and telephoto lenses.

    All my tests are in this gallery, also containing tests on other cameras.

    Canon FD 35mm 1:2 S.S.C.

    Minolta MD W.Rokkor 17mm 1:4

    Minolta MD W.Rokkor 20mm 1:2.8

    Minolta MD W.Rokkor 24mm 1:2.8

    Minolta MD Zoom 24-35mm 1:3.5

    Minolta MD 35mm 1:1.8

    Minolta MD W.Rokkor 35mm 1:2.8

    Olympus OM Zuiko 21mm 1:3.5

    Olympus OM Zuiko 24mm 1:2.8

    Enjoy! My biggest concern was the performance of wide-angle lenses on the A7: would these old lenses do well enough on a modern high-resolution sensor? For me the answer is yes, even surprisingly well in some cases. I don't have rangefinder lenses, so no issues here with color shifts and excessive smearing.
     
    • Like Like x 19
  2. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
    NYC
    Thanks for the detailed tests. I was wondering about OM 21mm. I will check the others also to see which ones might be the best performer. So what is your best to worst picks from this selection of lenses?
     
  3. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    The Minolta 17/4 is very good. It's sharp at f/8 though not extremely so, but sharpness extends gracefully across almost all of the frame except the extreme corners. It's fairly big and heavy though.

    I think the Olympus 21/3.5 is quite good and better than the Minolta 20/2.8 which is plagued by a complex form of curvature of field: there's a ring of unsharpness between center and corners. The Olympus' micro-contrast also looks better. But there's something about the color and tonal scale of the Minolta 20/2.8 that is almost enchanting to my eyes. Time will tell which one I'm going to use. As I love this focal length, there's bound to be one in my bag. The Olympus 21mm is tiny while the Minolta 20mm isn't too big either.

    The Olympus 24/2.8 is a real gem, sharp across the frame, beautiful contrast and even useable wide-open. It's just a little bit better than the Minolta 24/2.8 but that one's good too, much better than it is on the NEX-6. The Minolta 24-35/3.5 holds up pretty well, but is a step back from the 24mm primes; in the extreme corners at 24mm there's hardly any detail left and general contrast is lower.

    The Canon FD 35/2 is excellent. Useable wide-open, contrasty and very sharp across almost the entire frame. Only the extreme corners degrade abruptly and need stopping down to f/11 to get adequately sharp. This would be my available-light lens, but I like the color and tonality of the Minolta 35's better. The Minolta 35/2.8 is also very good and well useable wide-open, so there's hardly a reason to go for its more expensive 35/1.8 sibling.

    I must say I have hardly made any real pictures yet and I know from experience that it will take me months to really find out which lenses I like under what circumstances. These are just some very limited tests to separate the wheat from the chaff and decide what will be in my bag initially. The biggest surprise is that I didn't find real duds. For instance, I have tested the Minolta 20/2.8 on the NEX-6 and that was a major disappointment: really unsharp corners caused by a seemingly horrendous curvature of field, so I feared the worst for its use on an A7. However, it turned out to be acceptable if only just: it looks like the curvature of field "bends back" so that the corners become acceptably sharp and there's a ring with decreased sharpness in between, but that decreased sharpness isn't as bad as on the NEX-6, probably because of the A7's larger pixels. This 20mm lens probably won't cut it on the A7R, but again only testing will really tell.

    One important lesson here is that lens performance can be very different on different cameras.
     
    • Like Like x 7
  4. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
    NYC
    Thanks for the detailed summary. A7 might be better on old lenses w/ bigger pixels... The pixel density and sensor toppings change from camera to camera which changes the performance of each lens esp they were designed so many years ago for film cameras.
     
  5. Nate_Dogg

    Nate_Dogg TalkEmount Regular

    88
    Feb 6, 2013
    Eugene, OR
    Nate Pfeifer
    Awesome work, thanks for posting!
     
  6. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Yes, thanks a lot for all that work, Ad. I may have at least one of those lenses on my wish list.
     
  7. lquang2410

    lquang2410 New to TalkEmount

    1
    Dec 1, 2013
    Many thanks. That's good info for me!
     
  8. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    I'm beginning to drool a bit when I see results like this. It would be a long while before I'd get an A7, if ever, because I made a promise to myself not to put one on my CC, and I'm saving ever so slowly for a new camera. Maybe when the A8 or A9 comes out, the price on the A7 will fall out of the stratosphere. :)

    Tony
     
  9. Snowy

    Snowy TalkEmount Veteran

    218
    Nov 18, 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    Barry
    Thank you for this Ad, I must also thank you for your many reference photos I came across on SmugMug, which I have studied when seeking out the small sample of Rokkors I have acquired to date.
     
  10. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Snowy

    Snowy TalkEmount Veteran

    218
    Nov 18, 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    Barry
    I will do just that. Thank you.
     
  12. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Sony SEL-1018 on A7 in FE mode

    For all those who are eager to see what the Sony 10-18mm is like on an A7 in FE mode ("full frame"), here are some test shots. They are made at f/8 and processed in Lightroom 5.3 without any profile corrections. Lots of distortion, but surprisingly good (IMHO) corner sharpness considering the lens is used outside its specification. The vignetting at 12mm is caused by the thin Nikon L37c filter.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  13. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Strange distortion pattern. Almost like a reverse fisheye. ;)
     
  14. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount Top Veteran

    This is superbly helpful! Thank you for this.
     
  15. Snowy

    Snowy TalkEmount Veteran

    218
    Nov 18, 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    Barry
    Of those you tested I only have the Minolta 24-35mm 1:3.5 and am most impressed with it on the A7. It is such a compact lens. I look forward to your further lens tests Ad. Thank you very much