Jump to content
Phil Rudin

Macro with the A7R II & Sony FE 90mm macro

Recommended Posts

From my Tuesday dive at the Blue Heron Bridge, Florida. A7R II with the FE 90mm macro and the Nauticam NA-A7II housing, lighting two Inon strobes.

post-2618-0-43893800-1441561418_thumb.jpg

post-2618-0-98669600-1441561428_thumb.jpg

post-2618-0-10771900-1441561445_thumb.jpg

post-2618-0-44215900-1441561457_thumb.jpg

post-2618-0-41274300-1441561470_thumb.jpg

Edited by Phil Rudin
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Phil,
so this lens is really good?
If you compare it with the 60mm Oly,
just lens not camera ;-))

I changed my Nex5n because the lack of a real macro lens.
So i came to the Oly mil system...

The sensors from Sony are great, but the lens selection is slowly walking afterwards.....

Regards,
Wolfgang

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First let me say that I have used Olympus DSLR's and mirrorless cameras for years including the E-M1 with the Olympus 60mm macro lens. This is an excellent system for the money but the Sony 90mm macro is a definite improvement over the 60 macro when used with the A7 II, R and S cameras. Others that have used the 90mm with A6000 and other APS-C bodies will need to chime in because I have not used those cameras.

 

The A7 systems also now have an excellent wide angle lens with the 28mm F/2 Nauticam WWL-1 lens. I have been using the 16-35mm F/4 with the Nauticam 180mm optical glass port with great results also.

 

A native FE fisheye would be a welcome addition to the A7 systems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi phil,

 

could you provide more information about how you took the pictures? Aperture and method of focusing (af/mf and continuous af or single shot?)? The lens seems to be tack sharp, although in some pictures focus seems a bit misplaced to me (fore example in the first picture the focus is slightly before the eye).

 

You mentioned the availability of a fisheye lens. As there is already the SEL057FEC which converts the FE 28/2 into a fisheye lens, have you ever considered using this combination (assuming that a port is available)? I highly doubt that there will be a native (in the sense that it is not an adpater solution) any time soon as the SEL057FEC is available.

 

Regards!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mark, Regarding A fisheye lens for the Sony E mount A7 series what I said is that a fisheye would be a welcome addition not that one exists.

 

Regarding the A7R II with the Sony FE 28mm F/2 lens, Nauticam has now released the WWL-1 conversion lens which makes the 28mm a 130 degree AOV lens without the barrel distortion of a fisheye lens, see this thread for more information, http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=56866&do=findComment&comment=367586

 

I would not recommend the Sony fisheye converter for the 28mm F/2 over the WWL-1 or at all for that mater on a high MP camera like A7R II.

 

All of the FE 90mm macro photos were taken using S-AF, ISO-200, F/ 11 to 14 at 1/250th and yes full frame is quite unforgiving when it comes to sharp focus. I am beginning to learn how to move the focus points around within the frame and hope to have greater success with pinpoint focus going forward, may also need to shoot at F/16 and above to increase DOF still learning this system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Phil,
thanks for your explaination!

The Sony system is getting better in sum, hope that a lot of lenses we need underwater is comeing soon.
They have the best sensors at the moment, a nice macro lens, so lets look in the future ;-))

Regards,
Wolfgang

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mark, Regarding A fisheye lens for the Sony E mount A7 series what I said is that a fisheye would be a welcome addition not that one exists.

 

Regarding the A7R II with the Sony FE 28mm F/2 lens, Nauticam has now released the WWL-1 conversion lens which makes the 28mm a 130 degree AOV lens without the barrel distortion of a fisheye lens, see this thread for more information, http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=56866&do=findComment&comment=367586

 

I would not recommend the Sony fisheye converter for the 28mm F/2 over the WWL-1 or at all for that mater on a high MP camera like A7R II.

 

Hi,

 

sorry that was a misinterpretation for my part. The WWL-1 seems to be significantly cheaper than the 16-35 with a suitable Dome (but at the cost of less versatility). A 180° fisheye would be great nevertheless - just as you said ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I purchased the S90M for my NEX7 set-up. Before investing in the port system for my NA-NEX7 housing, I tested the lens on the surface w and w/o close-up wet lens. Using the S90 by itself, it accurately locked onto focus every time. However, when used with a wet close-up lens, it would hunt past the focal point repeatedly in both directions and seldom lock. This was using a F.I.T +5, an Aquatica+10 and SMC-1. I was very disappointed comparing these results to my Nauticam Canon60 macro set-up with the Metabones adapter, which like the Sony, would pass the focal point, but then quickly change directions and slowly return to lock focus perfectly. It was very consistent and with different lighting. I was hoping for better performance and AF speed with the S90, since it's a 135mm macro on the APS-C platform, great for increased working distance and lighting. Unfortunately, in my surface testing, it was unusable for SM, which is what I wanted it for, at least without MF control. Fortunately, an option Sony FF users have with the S90, but not APS-C.

 

I tried different focus range settings on the S90 and this didn't help. Also experimented with different distant placement of the wet lens to the S90, this didn't make a difference either. Occasionally under very high contrast situations, the lens would lock, but the majority of the time it failed, it just continued to hunt back and forth past the focal point. Remove the close-up lens and it worked perfectly. I have no explanation for this? Perhaps I have a bad lens copy or the results would have been better underwater, but the C60 with Metabones was just as fast in AF (still slow...LOL) BUT dead-on focus every time in the same tests.

 

Given that the APS-C Nauticam port system for the S90 doesn't have MF control, I would be hesitant to go the S90 route with Sony APS-C for those who want to shoot SM with a wet lens. Perhaps I just have a bad copy of the lens and plan to send it in to Sony for testing when I get home. Or for some reason, it doesn't like the NEX7's contrast only focus system and would work better with the A6000's PS+C focus? Be great to hear from other Sony APS-C shooters who have consistent success in AF with diopters on other Sony APS-C cameras. I'm hoping someone can shed some light on this focus issue with the S90 since I'd love to use the lens underwater.

 

Until then, I'm sticking with my Nauticam C60 macro set-up for the NEX7 because it works reliably in both MF and AF.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update: Good news: Nauticam now makes a MF set-up for the S90 and APS-C. I've been told by Bluewater Photo that there are others who are having trouble with the S90 and NEX7 (no word on other APS-C like the A6000, etc), so MF is a must. It's also the preferred method when working with long macro lens. I mentioned in my above post that I have no explanation why the S90 focuses accurately and fast on my NEX7 when used by itself, but not with a diopter. Given that the NEX7 uses contrast focusing, I'm starting to think the S90's optics are not well suited to diopters and thus never reach the contrast level to lock focus. Just a logical hunch and nothing to back it up (I don't have test equipment). Reef Photo more or less said the same thing in regard to lesser optimized and simpler diopters, thus recommending the SMC-1 for it's superior glass. Unfortunately after buying the SMC-1, it didn't fare any better. Since it's supposedly designed to work underwater, perhaps the S90's focusing will respond better to it there, since all of my testing was on the surface. Still I'm suspect that this will fix the hunting problem. More divers are beginning to use the S90, so in time we'll hear more from others. I was hoping for better after waiting so long for a true long e-mount macro. On the surface, it's a gem and rated higher than the Canon 100L.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Marshall. We're probably not in the right forum for this discussion, but I'll reply here anyway as I can answer some of your questions.

I can confirm that Nauticam now support a manual focus port option for APS-C Sony cameras and the Sony 90mm FE Macro lens. This is a new N85-N100 focus knob adapter with matching focus gear and N100 70mm Macro port. My daughter and I had the first example to leave the factory at the end of October courtesy of great support from UK Nauticam guru, Alex Tattersall. This worked very well using an A6000 on ~ 3 Red Sea macro dives last month. As you know the Sony 90mm Macro is a first class lens optically. I think my daughter used back button autofocus set on continuous most if not all of the time. As this wasn't primarily a macro trip and the first underwater outing for this lens, we didn't experiment with super macro underwater. In general, the autofocus appears accurate and usually successful, but slower and more inclined to hunt than say the Nikkor 105mm Macro on a Nikon D7200 DSLR. I think it will be more challenging for rapidly moving subjects on the A6000.

 

I have just been testing the setup out with wet lenses used in the dry in the comfort of my home. I have no reason to believe that the conclusions will be markedly different underwater at least when using a focus light.

With a SubSee +5, autofocus performance appears only a little worse than without a wet lens. Once the lens is in the focus zone, repeat pressing of the back button focus accurately and quickly fine tunes the focus point. Getting the lens into the zone is slower and occasionally misses and gives up, requiring a second or third button press attempt.

With a SubSee +10, autofocus is quite problematic. More often than not focus fails, although with perseverance lock may be achieved. Even if lock is achieved, it is usually lost with the next focus button push even though the lens is then in the zone. I wouldn't be happy using this combination on autofocus.

With a SMC-1, autofocus performance is quite similar to that with the SubSee +5 although of course depth of field is much less due to the far higher magnification.

It is interesting that the weakest and most powerful of these three autofocus fairly adequately whereas the intermediate +10 doesn't.

It should be a comfort having the manual focus option to get focus approximately correct under difficult conditions, but I suspect that the rocking method will be most effective for accurate focus with super macro using this lens and an A6000.

As for the NEX7, I have no experience but the A6000 phase detect autofocus is certainly much better than the contrast detect NEX5N that we previously used.

Hope this helps, Mark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Phil - How do you find the focusing speed of the 90mm macro lens? Does it take a while to hunt in low light? Curious as I've heard different reports. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Brent, The Sony FE 90mm macro is an incredibly sharp lens. Like most Zeiss lenses it is heavy glass. My conclusions have been that the AF works quite well above and that below water sharpest focus is achieved when going manual focus from about 1:3(2.5) to 1:1. This can be accomplished with rear focus by AF and then rocking the camera or by using a manual focus gear. Keep in mind that full frame apples to apples with sub full frame has shallower DOF at any given F/stop so smaller focus range. I used the same technique with M43 cameras below about 1:2 so not much difference in that regard. For video I would be going full manual. I hope this helps.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark,

 

Thanks for the info on the manual focus for the S90 on the APS-C platform. I recently discussed this subject of equipment with Kevin at Reef Photo and he completely gave me different product descriptions than what you described using the Port 55 with a centering ring. I will research what you have shared to make sure i get the latest and best working system for the S90 on APS-C. As we and others have found out, the S90 works fine with +5 diopters, but has difficulty with +10. Unlike you, I really didn't see much improvement with the SMC-1, but I did with a CMC-1+15 !

 

I recently I purchased one to experimented on my modified 4.33 port where I can shoot WA and M on the same dive (67mm swing grafted on to the ports shade) for both my Sony 18-55 (w/20mm extension) and my Sony/Ziess 16-70 (w/17 & 30mm extensions combined) using a custom focus gear I made (thank you for heading me in that design direction with tubing and timing belt :-) The CMC-1 worked best with the S18-55-really sharp and fast focus. The Z16-70 optics just don't work with large diopters so I gave up on trying to use it as a single dive lens for both WA and M. Too bad, as the added wider FOV and increased magnification from the 70mm would have been nice, but performance just wasn't there on the macro side and it didn't focus as closely as the S18-55. I've finally abandoned using the Z16-70 for this reason. I will be putting the custom designed gear and Z16-70 up for sale soon for someone who wants to use the Z1-70 for video, as it works great with the custom zoom gear in the 4.33 compact port.

 

Okay, back to the S90 Macro. The surprise I came across in working with the CMC-1, was in reversing it with a 67mm M/M ring on the Sony 90 macro. The S90 focused sharply for the first time and would lock on fairly easily especially when I set the limiter for short travel. While reversing it lowered the magnification by a hair, It increased the working distance which was an added bonus. These were the same results for my Canon 60 macro. Despite reports the CMC-1 doesn't focus optimally with the C60, it works beautifully reversed, but focuses much slower with the Metabones. I've decided I want to use the native Sony 90 macro (effective 135mm on APS-C) for super-macro now since I now have a +15 diopter that works successfully with it. Auto-focus is handy in current so I hope to get decent response with the S90 and CMC-1on my NEX7, as it works good on the surface. I'll supplement focusing with Phil's method above, which is what I use on most occasions.I will soon be selling the Canon set-up.

 

My final APS-C system will now be the modified Z12 and S18-55 in the Port 4.33, with the S90 for SM. Should I keep the Z16-70, it will work fine for video in the 4.33 port. A nice compact system.

 

Best,

 

Marshall

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sponsors

Advertisements



×
×
  • Create New...