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Phil Rudin

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The new issue #112 of uwpmag.com posted today with my reviews of these new products, uwpmag.com is a free PDF download.

 

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Posted (edited)

Phil,

I read your Sony A7IV reviews with great interest. In the article, quoted above, you say that you are using C-AF and it works very well with this camera.

I (and others) use similar C-AF technique (e.g. spot in the center to focus on an eye of a fish, then move the frame and the eye still remains in focus) with Oly EM1II (60mm Macro, 45mm Pana macro, 12-40mm Zuiko, 7-14mm Pana and even Canon 8-15mm FE with metabones 1x adapter) and it works very well. I remember you also were using and testing EM1II - therefore allow me a question:

How would you rate and compare C-AF on both cameras with similar lenses (e.g. EM1II with Zuiko 60mm (or Pana 45mm) compared to A7RIV (and A7RIII) with Sony 90mm (or adapted Canon or Sigma 105mm)?

I am interested to know since I consider to go to FF (not now, but I am reading here with interest and some day will do so - maybe just to find out that MFT fits me better). Some people here say that AF (and more even, C-AF) on the Sony with the 90mm macro lens does practically not work, while others, like you, say it "is the best macro and AF ever". A comparison of C-AF between A7RIV (and A7RIII) and EM1II would give me (and others) an idea how good AF is in the real world with Sony A7 cameras and help to decide whether to go for Sony A7 with superior sensor. The other choice, for me, is the Canon (mirrorless) camera body. From Canon camera body I expect superior AF (dual pixel AF in combination with native lens mount). Also the macro lens choice is far better than Sony (105mm, but also 150mm and 180mm Canon macros look very promising to me for FF). Sony just has the 90mm macro that is similar to the 45mm Panasonic Macro on EM1II - I already now prefer Zuiko 60mm that would be similar to a 120mm macro lens on FF body. Sometimes, when vis allows, I even use the 105mm Canon on EM1II for macro...

Wolfgang

Edited by Architeuthis

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Architeuthis said:

Phil,

I read your Sony A7IV reviews with great interest. In the article, quoted above, you say that you are using C-AF and it works very well with this camera.

I (and others) use similar C-AF technique (e.g. spot in the center to focus on an eye of a fish, then move the frame and the eye still remains in focus) with Oly EM1II (60mm Macro, 45mm Pana macro, 12-40mm Zuiko, 7-14mm Pana and even Canon 8-15mm FE with metabones 1x adapter) and it works very well. I remember you also were using and testing EM1II - therefore allow me a question:

 

What you describe there is tracking which is not C-AF to my understanding. 

You can use tracking combined with single AF and AFF on my GH5 without C-AF

So the camera has face/eye area tracking multi area single area spot focus ares and AFS AFF and CAF modes

The first settings tell the camera where is the focus point the second tell the camera how to deal with the engine

AFS - focus when the shutter is pressed half and expect no movement

AFF - focus when the shutter is pressed half and expect movement

CAF - focus when the shutter is pressed half and expect predictable movement

 

Edited by Interceptor121

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Posted (edited)

Hi Interceptor,

It seems the different camera models have different designations for the modes (maybe even the modes are not exactly the sames). There is e.g. no AFF mode on Olys..

With EM1II (and EM5II) there are, besides manual focusing modes:

S-AF: focus once, when shutter half pressed (better assigned to thumb than to shutter)

C-AF: focus continuosly, as long as shutter is half pressed.

C-AF + tracking: as C-AF, but when the camera is moved, the focus field remains on the subject that was focused first.

I am using C-AF + tracking on EM1II (on EM5II, that does not have PDAF, S-AF is the better choice in my hands as AF is less good). I understand that Phil is using a similar focusing technique, but maybe I took him wrong, hope he will tell...

As region to focus I always use the smallest field possible in the center of the frame...

 

Wolfgang

Edited by Architeuthis

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OK there are other 3 settings in the GH5 I imagine also in the GH5

sensitivity

area switching

prediction

I use set 1 that is default for sensitivity (focus speed) and area (subject moving in and out the focus area) and high on prediction and it works well

With tracking the area will move in the frame instead of being fixed this also works well up to a point

When you get to super macro I switch to manual with peaking

My understanding is that animal eye focus uses similar logic to face detection

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Thank you all for your interest in my article in UWPMAG.com.

Your questions for the most part address the Sony A7R IV and the Sony FE 90mm F/2.8 macro lens.

So let me start off by saying that I am Senior Reviewer for uwpmag.com and I have done over eighty equipment reviews for this magazine alone. Most of my reviews address mirrorless cameras from a number of manufactures and that I have not done much with Panasonic because the Editor is a Pana user and covers that equipment. 

Most if not all of the questions you have ask are answered in those reviews so I will highlight some of the specific issues you have ask about. First is the issue of comparing apples to apples. I am a big fan of 4/3 and M43 having moved from the Nikonos RS film camera to Olympus 43 (E-1, E-300, E330 E-3) as my first digital cameras. I later migrated to M43 with the first camera with an Olympus housing. So first I can assure you that shooting with M43 is not at all like using Full Frame or Medium Format. Both FF and MF require much more critical focus than M43 or even APS-C. The first Sony FF cameras I reviewed were the A7R II and A7 II with the Sony FE 90mm macro. At that time I said that the 90mm macro was the best macro lens I have ever used, prior to that it was the Olympus 50mm F/2 for 4/3. I have never said that the Sony 90 macro was the fastest macro lens I have ever used so let me clarify that distinction. With each new A7R the auto focus has improved and the recent firmware update for A7R III has made the camera even better but not as good as the RIV. 

As I covered extensively in both of my A7R IV reviews I have completely changed my auto focus setting preferences. With Olympus EM-5, EM-5 II, EM-1, EM1 II, Sony A7R II & III, Nikon Z-7, Canon EOS R and more I have always used AF-S with back focus because that was what worked best for me while reviewing equipment. I also had a manual focus gear for most of those reviews which I used with subjects in the 1:2 to super macro range. 

I have now gone to what Sony calls AF-C (auto focus continues) and Tracking: Flexible Spot S (also implemented in the A6400 & A6600).

This has allowed me to abandon rear focus and I have yet the use the manual focus gear. I want to make this clear, other brands like Olympus have similar focus settings but they have just not worked all that well for me. Sony is a clear leader in the area of auto focus tech and to say that all mirrorless systems have adopted EYE AF may be true but they just don't rise to the quality of the Sony EYE AF.

Sony has two native FE macro lenses the 50mm F/2.8 and the 90mm F/2.8 both of which are class leading. With the A7R IV you can toggle between 61MP FF and 26+MP APS-C which gives an equivalent 90 & 135 or 50 & 75. My personal preference is for the 90 over 100/105 because of the wider AOV, they all end up at 1:1 so you have a slightly wider range without having much closer. As a point of reference I have used the Nauticam SMC-2 with excellent results. That is more than enough magnification for me.

Regarding adapted lenses like I used for my Canon EOS R and Nikon Z-7 reviews they are just not the same. Mirrorless lens design is just different from DSLR lens design. So while adapted lenses are quite expectable (I use the Canon 8-15 Fisheye zoom with Metabones for Sony) they will never be as good as like quality lenses designed for mirrorless. When Canon and Nikon introduced DSLR's they kept the same lens mount so film users migrate film lenses. How many photographers are still using film lenses on DSLR's only those that have converted Nikonos or Nikonos RS lenses for underwater use.

 I have done 1000's of dives with Olympus gear and I can assure you that it works very well but is not up to the current Sony standard for AF.

Last I am not sponsored by anyone and while I have an opportunity to test a wide range of equipment the equipment I own I paid for just like everyone else. I was accused of being an Olympus fanboy for years and now the same is true of Sony. The truth is I buy what works best for me, I went back to Olympus after a short stint with the Sony  A7R II/A7 II productivity decreased. Since the release of A7R III I have been all in with Sony. That does not mean that I would not switch again if someone builds a better mousetrap. 

All photos with the Sony 90 macro and Backscatter MF-1 flash.

   

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