Sunday, October 2, 2011

A few images with the Sony NEX7 and Zeiss Sonnar

I tried a couple other lens combos while I was paying this model. One thing that interested me was the manual focus process on the NEX7 with various lenses including the Zeiss Sonnar 50mm f1.5 which I find hard to get in focus wide open on the Leica M9.

With the NEX7 you come up with a rough composition, hit the front button that takes you into manual focus, quickly move the "enlargement square" to the subjects face and the camera zooms in. Now you're looking at one small section of the frame, enlarged. Focus the lens, tap the shutter button and you're back to the whole composition. Shoot the picture.

With the Sonnar wide open I was getting more in focus shots with the Sony than the M9. No question the M9 was quicker to focus, just not as accurate.

This is with the Sony NEX7 wide open on the Zeiss Sonnar 50mm f1.5. I'm not saying it's a good photo, but this is the classic look of the Sonnar lens. Subject is sharp, but not as sharp as they would be with a Planar lens, but the depth of field and sharpness drop of quickly and some people like the resulting bokeh. I'm not sure it would really look that different with another lens design I'll have to try it. One thing for sure.... people like the Sonnar lenses even with their finicky issues.

When you stop down to f5.6 you get more sharpness but less of a signature look, which is why people buy the Sonnar.

Again, this one is wide open on the NEX7.

Rob Skeoch
I sell the Zeiss Sonnar 50mm f1.5 at my retail store for rangefinder gear.


  1. Hello Bob,
    I am enjoying reading your reviews of the various SONY offerings, and find them very informative. I am considering upgrading from my KM Maxxum 7D, as it is starting to give me the "black frame" gears!
    I am thinking of going up to a 16MP SONY a55, but have read other reports of the viewfinder going very dark or black when using studio flash for portraiture. I was wondering if you had encountered this while using the a55, or should I think more of going to the a580? Thank you for you reply in advance. Dave

  2. Yes, the A55 does go dark in the studio because it's showing the accurate exposure which at f4 and 1/125 in the studio would be black. It doesn't realize you have the studio flashes turned on.

    Right now there is no fix for this, unless you step up to the A65 or A77 which are in a different price range, but then you already have the lenses.

  3. Thank you Rob for you reply. I think I will be holding off until I see what the FF offerings are going to be. BTW, my apologies for calling you Bob earlier...I was having a senior moment. Dave

  4. Great reviews Rob. I've been trying to decide between the Zeiss 24mm 1.8 Emount vs. Voigtlander Nokton 35mm 1.4 MF. What would you choice be in this case assuming AF was not an issue?