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Buy a Sony a99 or not?

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leonbidon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote leonbidon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2019 at 18:02
Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:

Let me echo what QuietOC said: "I am sure the SAL70200G works better on the A99. It can track focus faster than 2.5 FPS for one."
11 cross AF points is better then the 3 of the LA-EA4. It also has the swivel screen you already know of the A77m2. So, yes, I think it is better.


Well, I am not a huge fan of that swivelling screen as I once owned an a77mm2 and it was the first thing that began to fail.
And focus-speed is not imporant to me as I never shoot things that move.

So, I still have my doubts if this is the way to go.
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bigbreakfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2019 at 21:06
Hi, I am about two months ahead of you in time! I bought an a99 and the mark 1 70-200 on eBay. They make such an amazing combo. My line up is 28-70 2.8, and the 70 - 400 g. I shot a wedding a few weeks ago and it was a joy to work with. A mount lenses are dropping in price so a great set up is really affordable now. I want an a99ii but I can wait - I can see another 5 years in this eco system - even if no a99iii arrives. An a99 in good condition will cost you £700. That's a hell of a camera for the price (I paid half that for a bargain but that was another story)

Edited by Bigbreakfast - 17 February 2019 at 21:15
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein   
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leonbidon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote leonbidon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2019 at 15:18
Thanks for you reply as well "Bigbreakfast".

In fact it kinda got me over to go for an a99. But not only because you promote it so well ;-).

I have only one SAM/SSM lens and that's my recent 70-200 f/2.8.
So I feel reluctant to buy an LA-EA3 only for the use of this lens.
And that adapter would not change the fact that I have the feeling that this '70-200/LA_EA adapter/A7II'-combo feels fragile to me.

As you state the prices of A-mount gear has plummeted beyond belief. And I think that the way you went is the right one, mostly because of this.

I payed 650 Euro for my 70-200 (mark I) and it's like brand new.
It's an amazing price if you concider the fact that the new mark II is being sold for 2499 Euro (brand new in shops)...but I really wonder who buys them.
Especially if one conciders that the price that I payed is not even exeptionally low. Even on Ebay the average selling-price for a mark I sits in between 650 and 800 Euro.

If I could find an a99 for about the same price I will have a strong combo that will still be good for many years to go (picture-quality wise).
And the more I think about it, the better the idea sounds to me.

Anyway, the lens is top-notch and it will not be significantly out-performed by new-comers in the coming years.
So by the time my future a99 will get outdated the prices of an a99II will have become very reasonable as well. If I will buy one of those at that moment I will be good for another 5 years to go.

Yes, the future looks bright :-).      
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2019 at 16:14
x-200mm F2.8 zooms just handle poorly. I have the bigger, heavier Sigma, and it feels no better on the A68 than adapted to the A7II. I felt the same about the Sony 70-400G.
Originally posted by leonbidon leonbidon wrote:

And focus-speed is not imporant to me as I never shoot things that move.

So, I still have my doubts if this is the way to go.

The LA-EA3 would improve the focus accuracy over the LA-EA4 (or A99 not using AF-D). AF-D mode on the A99 is like using the LA-EA3 on the A7II. You can input focus adjustments on the A7II when using the LA-EA4 to improve the focus accuracy with that adapter.

Other things to think about:

The A99 (and A900, A850) have very strong AA filters. The A7II's filter is weaker and only works in one direction.

The A7II seems to have some sensor performance improvements over the A7 and A99. The A7II has the new 5-axis in-body stabilization system.

Originally posted by leonbidon leonbidon wrote:

As you state the prices of A-mount gear has plummeted beyond belief. And I think that the way you went is the right one, mostly because of this.

Many A-mount lenses still seem overpriced to me. It is hard to find deals on the current 8 Sony full-frame A-mount lenses--i.e., the best ones to use on an A99/A99II/A9.

Edited by QuietOC - 19 February 2019 at 16:38
Sony A68 A6000 A7II LA-EA3 LA-EA4 MC-11
Minolta Maxxum 600si
Pentax Q7 5-15 15-45/2.8
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bigbreakfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2019 at 16:45
QuietOC the prices people ask for these lenses can seem high but what they actually get for them may be different. My mark 1 70-200 g was £540. A few weeks earlier a 300mm 2.8 g sold for about £1700. The first gen stuff is not selling at the buy it now prices being asked. I had one gap in my lens list - a big prime. This is where Nikon/canon have the edge with years and years of second hand legacy big glass. I've looked for a minolta 600 f4 but they are too rare in Europe - when they become available the cost is prohibitive for such old tech. I compromised and ordered an ancient sigma 500mm f4.5 af. I'm not sure it will be any use but will always be able to sell it for what I bought it for.
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Basil View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Basil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2019 at 16:54
Originally posted by Bigbreakfast Bigbreakfast wrote:

I compromised and ordered an ancient sigma 500mm f4.5 af. I'm not sure it will be any use but will always be able to sell it for what I bought it for.


I also have one of these. For what I use it for, it's actually not too bad. It's not the fastest to focus, but I tend to use it for stationary wildlife so it doesn't matter all that much. It' s a half-stop slower and doesn't have the newest coatings, but it was about 5% the price of a new Sony 500 f4. Until my money tree starts to produce, I will be satisfied.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bigbreakfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2019 at 16:59
Good to know Basil at £500 I figured it was worth a punt - from what I read micro focus adjustment and in body stabilisation have given some of these old lenses new life. Mine will live on a tripod too so may be just the ticket.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein   
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Post Options Post Options   Quote arrow34 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 March 2019 at 16:05
Just to chime in on an older discussion, I have been on the a99 + 70-200g and the 2470z, great combos! I am also not going to let this a-mount combo go yet, even with a7r2 prices dropping... I want an a7r2, but don't want to give up my glass, I could adapt it like was earlier discussed in this thread... but man. You would give up the af system(I only have LA-EA4). I think I am going to hold on and wait for a deal on the a99ii. I have done the whole adapt the lenses using an a6000 + LA-EA4 + Minolta, tamron and sony while on safari last year. It wasn't the best option. I jus wish sony came out with a better updated adapter, would make it easier to switch to emount from amount. I hear Nikons and Canons adpaters work pretty well with the new focal system....
Sony A99, Tokina 28-70, Sony 24-70SAL2470Z, Sony 70-200 f2.8, Minolta 17-35, 24-50 f4, 28 f2, 50 f1.4, 35-105, 28-105, 70-210, 100-200, 100-300. Samyang 35 1.4
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 March 2019 at 16:15
The Nikon adapter doesn't work with screw driven lenses, they basically only have an LA-EA3 - no LA-EA4.

Canon was right in 1987 (but wrong with the EOS M )
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Post Options Post Options   Quote arrow34 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 March 2019 at 16:27
True! I did read that with the canon adapter. I was just hoping sony thinks about it and makes a new adapter that allows screw drive, but also allows use of the camera's focus system...
Sony A99, Tokina 28-70, Sony 24-70SAL2470Z, Sony 70-200 f2.8, Minolta 17-35, 24-50 f4, 28 f2, 50 f1.4, 35-105, 28-105, 70-210, 100-200, 100-300. Samyang 35 1.4
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Post Options Post Options   Quote amrep Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 March 2019 at 17:19
There is a reason why Sony hasn't made an enhanced EA3 adapter that uses the image sensor for focusing and also supports screw drive lenses. The combined PDAF and CDAF in later E-mount cameras needs to be able to move the focusing group incrementally and "compare" the read-out results. Such incremental steps isn't really possible with screw drive lenses because there is quite some play in the drive.

An enhanced EA4 adapter ("EA6") is what you could hope for because a dedicated PDAF sensor doesn't need those multiple incremental movements. But is there a big enough marked for Sony to invest in such a minor improvement?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 March 2019 at 17:41
The A7 cameras don't use a combined PDAF/CDAF system in continuous AF if memory serves me well. Furthermore, the A99m2 does use the on sensor phase detect sensors, so, it is possible.

I am sure Sony has a reason to not develop a new screw drive adapter - either financial or technical.

The AF system of the A77m2/A68 would already be nice for an improved LA-EA4 - but I doubt there are a lot of people that will buy that....
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Post Options Post Options   Quote amrep Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 March 2019 at 18:41
I didn't say it was totally impossible. It's just that there are mechanical and other reasons it will probably not happen. This may also be the same reasons why Nikon has no screw drive support for Z-mount. People should be aware of this and not raise false hopes.

As you say, removing the A99ii mirror has proved it's kind of possible. But I guess you will have to add the A99ii AF-algortims to any E-mount system for this to work. And such a "second AF system" would not be as efficient as what is possible with native E-mount lenses.

According to Sony all the newer cameras like (A9, A7III and A6400) uses a
"Fast Hybrid AF (phase-detection AF/contrast-detection AF)".
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Post Options Post Options   Quote amrep Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 March 2019 at 20:46
Even those who have tried to investigate a bit are somewhat confused about how E-mount AF works in different scenes, camera settings and models.
https://blog.kasson.com/a7riii/sony-a7riii-autofocus-accuracy-summary/

However, Entropy512 over on the DPreview forum seems to have some knowledge after "eavesdropping" the communication between camera and lens. So I quote him:
"When the camera is in PDAF mode, it almost always sends commands that effectively say, "move by X steps as fast as possible" or "move to absolute position Y as fast as possible". (The exception being that E-mount bodies will send a CDAF hunt command if the PDAF is so far away from focus that the camera doesn't have even the slightest clue how far to move)

When in a CDAF mode, the camera will send "move away from target by X steps as fast as possible, then move toward target at reduced speed A". Once it passes the target, it will say "move the opposite direction at speed B" and eventually "stop". (Note - determining "away from target" uses PDAF for the initial directional hint - this is a key part of Sony's "fast hybrid AF" - knowing WHICH side of the target you're in to make sure the CDAF hunt cycle doesn't start by moving away from the target until the lens hits its focus stop or the CDAF system says "you're definitely getting worse")"
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62391988

If Entropy512 is correct I guess AF-C is basically done by PDAF alone (as Addy said), unless it for some reason looses focus "completely". But I suspect E-mount PDAF has algorithms that depends on more frequent readouts of PDAF-pixels and smaller lens focusing steps compared to A-mount PDAF.
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