So this is a bit of a joke. The FE 55mm is in no way a macro lens. Its closest focus is about a foot away and so with a 55mm focal length it’s basically a normal size image. The twist is that because the A9 allows autofocus in a magnified view you can get incredibly exact focus on small things like insects from that 12 inches away and then you can crop the image to look like a macro shot. What follows is a series of images followed by a crop of the focal point. I found it pretty easy to get even hyperactive bugs like the bees and wasps to end up in focus. This was my first day with the camera. These photos are just jpgs. I don’t have the latest Lightroom rev that works with A9 files so these are rough pictures and won’t be reworked to their fullest potential. Tomorrow I’ll see if I can do anything more sensible with it.
So Camera Girl found two interesting subjects in the yard. These are all shot with the Sony A7S and the Minolta 200mm F\4 Macro. This is using the manual focus ring because this is a screw drive AF lens and the adapter only autofocuses motor driven lenses. But for caterpillars and plants that not such a problem.
To paraphrase George Costanza, “Spring, renewal, rebirth, all that crap.” Stuff is coming up all over the place. Some pretty, some scary. Here’s a little cross-section from my neck of the woods (southern New England). Most are with the Minolta 200mm Macro on the A7S but the first one is with the Loxia 21mm. Several of these are similar. I was trying to decide which were better, so feel free to leave your opinions in the comments.
There is no surer sign of cabin fever than the late winter indoor macro session. I look out the window at blinding sunshine. I run outside to enjoy the beautiful weather and crash into ten degrees F.
Back inside and break out the macro set up. These were shot with a Sony A7S, Minolta 200mm F4 macro lens, and the LAEA3 adapter and sometimes some A-mount macro extensions. Take them for what they are, a desperate cry for help(i.e., spring).
With the 200mm you get a totally different emphasis (not to mention some detail on the birds). I always loved using this lens for landscape stuff. Extremely sharp and excellent colors. But maximum aperture is only f\4 so in low light like this situation a tripod comes in handy to handle the longer exposure times.
So, this post is also about the Minolta 200mm f\4 macro lens. Honestly it’s one of my favorite lenses. It is incredibly sharp and I love the colors and rendering. It’s excellent for macro, close-up, portrait, landscape and wildlife. What else could you ask? An interesting thing I find is because it’s a macro lens and also a 200mm I can get some respectable isolation even at f\8. Now I’m sure the folks very savvy about optics aren’t surprised by that but I was. Anyway it’s another bonus of this Minolta “golden oldie.”
I’ll be writing a series of posts on lenses that I use with the A7 cameras (and other Sony mirrorless cameras as they appear). In addition to e-mount lenses, there are a-mount lense that can be used with the Sony adapters (LA-EA3 and LA-EA4). And as everyone is aware almost any other lens that can be found has some kind of an adapter to put it on the A7 cameras.
The first lens I’ll look at is the Minolta 200mm f\4 Macro.
One of the things that the Sony a-mount (and also of course the e-mount) lacks is a native 200mm macro lens. When I was shooting a-mount cameras I found the out of production Minolta 200mm f\4 macro available on ebay for what I thought at the time was a ridiculous price of $1,500. Of course I bought it and it was one of the best lenses I’ve ever used on the Sony cameras. I use it for both typical macro shots and also to chase butterflies and dragonflies. The lens is a screw-drive type so back when I was using the A-850 dslr I could autofocus it but on the A7 cameras the LA-EA-3 provides only manual focus. The LA-EA-4 will autofocus but interposes a “translucent” mirror into the light path. Well life is full of compromises. I don’t think Sony will be releasing an LA-EA-* adapter that autofocuses screw-drive lenses without a translucent mirror (although I’d really love that option). But even with the restrictions on its use, I feel the 200 macro is one of the best lenses available on the Sony system. Of course there are probably Nikon and Canon equivalents (which in some cases could be used as autofocus lenses) and the Sigma 180mm for Canon could be used with a metabones adapter on an A7 (I think). But I intend to keep the Minolta. I find it excellent and I love the photos it produces. I’ve used it for macro, portraits, landscapes, short telephoto, wildlife and general interest. It never lets me down.