On 9th of June 2015, I made a trip to Roma, Napoli and Amalfi Coast, and decided to take my Nikon D800E with 24-120mm f4, 16-35mm f4 and 58/1.4, along my V3 with CX70-300VR, and my inseparable Ricoh GR. I had in my mind to give the D800E its last chance … as it was on the shelves since a long time: I had been using the Nikon Dƒ, Leica M240 extensively last year, and recently the Fuji X-T1 …
My setup for the trip was almost complete, but i felt it a bit heavy if i want to carry all the stuff with me at the same time.
Why the A7II ?
I have previously owned the Sony NEX-7 and NEX-6 for several months; although i liked the handling and features of these cams, IQ was not as goos as Fuji X … Later, I tried the excellent A6000 and realised the improvements Sony was going through: but my eye was on the A7 system, as it’s the only Mirrorless Full Frame system with AF in the market today. I have previously tried the A7, and I wasn’t much impressed with it: lousy loud shutter noise, AF was a bit slow, and finishing was not up to what I look in a camera. But seeing what Sony have done later, with the A7s, A7II and the lately introduced A7IIr, It was clear that Sony were heading in the right direction. By the way, I still have a Novoflex M to E mount adapter and a Fotodiox F to E mount adapter.
When I arrived to Rome (my trip started in Napoli), The first thing I did is to check on the Sony A7II. I had in mind to add it to my gear with one lens (I wanted the 24-240mm walk-around lens instead of the 28-70 kit lens) , and to use my M and F primes on it for the time being . When I tried the A7II, I felt that this cam can be more than an addition to my gear: the handling was awesome, The Shutter sound was smooth unlike that of the previous A7, AF speed was very good, as fast as my X-T1 or maybe even faster. It has the exact same size of the X-T1: A7II with FE55/1.8 has about same size than XT1 with XF35/1.4, a bit heavier though.
To cut it short, I ended up by replacing my D800E with Nikkor 16-35/4 with this setup: A7II, Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA, Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS and FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS, with 4 extra batteries. The 3 lenses felt very good on the A7II, in my hands.
Main Reasons for the switch
- my D800E was staying on the shelves for the last 15 months.
- 36MP were too much for my needs
- D800E weights about 1kg body only against 710g for the Dƒ or 550g for the A7II
- Sony were working very hard lately with the A7 system, and made lots of improvements I thought it was worth to switch.
- my new A7II setup: 16-35/4, 24-240/3.5-6.3, and 55/1.8, is very light and compact compared to Nikon similar setup. and I can finally travel light with a Full Frame AF system.
Mind you that I still have an almost complete Nikon system with Dƒ, D3s, D200IR, and many F lenses. Time will tell how long I will keep them… It depends on Sony’s evolution and Nikon (mirrorless) respond in the (near) future.
I won’t make a final judgment on the A7II, yet; as I have it since one week only. So It is too early to come up with a final assessment. I just want to say that I am so far impressed with what Sony came out with, and will share with you some photos taken with the A7II HERE.
A very quick ISO test with A7II, Dƒ, and X-T1
I was playing with A7II with 55/1.8, Dƒ with 58/1.4 and X-T1 with 56/1.2. A very quick and unscientific test at ISO 3200 and 12800 resulted in these shots. Try to guess which is which ?
- results coming later on this blog