Considering the highly innovative features the α7R II model from Sony possesses, the 'R' in its name could as well be said to stand for a designing idea revolving around the revolution in resolution as well as in response and refinement!
In practice, this conglomeration of R's amounts to a pretty impressive performance of this high-tech gadget, pushing the borders of what is considered to be the top-notch digital camera further and further. To help you understand this better, and make a sort of an introduction to the various types of lenses compatible with this camera, let's take a look at some of the characteristics of the Sony α7R II.
Why the Sony A7RII camera?
Enjoy in newly developed sensor, and explore the world you already know in a new way!
The fact that makes this sensor so phenomenal is that it's the first-ever such a sensor in the world! It is based on the back-illuminated full-frame CMOS sensor, and it operates with the help of the jaw-dropping 42.4 megapixels.
This impressive configuration creates some high-resolution images and the sensitivity also follows suit when it comes to its effectiveness. ( which goes to ISO 102,400 )
More precisely, the new sensor improves significantly collection efficiency and it expands the circuitry scale. Also, the data output is up to 3.5 times faster than with the older models, thanks to the quick transmission copper layer.
The so-called 'image noise' has been brought to the minimum as well as a part of this new system, and the result is the greater number of fine details, now clearly discernable in the pictures.
Images with a distinguished, vibrant feel and clarity!
Since this α7R II model does not come equipped with an optical low-pass filter that tends to putter about with the image clarity (often ruining it for good measure), the brute force of the newly-developed image sensor is fully unleashed, enabling you to produce sharp and clear images in high-resolution.
If a shaky hand is your number one enemy in your photographic adventures, worry not, for this Sony's model comes equipped with a redesigned shutter ensuring that any unwanted vibrations are cut by approximately 50%.
For even better vibration and noise reduction, you can also employ the electronic front curtain. This newly-developed technology provides you with a movement-free hold so that you can concentrate on making the best of the great optics and other interesting features, without worrying about the shaky hand all the time.
Taking tracking performance to a completely new level
Working hand in hand with the aforementioned newly-developed sensor is the special AF algorithm responsible for the precise recording of the fast movements. Namely, the 399 AF installed in this camera is able to cover 45% of the image area, which pretty much places this model high above the majority of similar cameras currently on the market. (at least in this aspect)
The speed of the AF has also been significantly increased thanks to the accelerated data readout, which makes this model up to 40% faster than the previous one in this respect.
The shooting process itself was also improved in a way, as it has been made to be more continuous. In practice, when you go out to shoot some high-pace sports event, for example, you'll notice that the subject tracking is extra precise. ( this goes for 5fps shooting )
The adaptable 5-axis image stabilization!
The incredibly high resolution that we described earlier can sometimes prove to be a double-edged sword as far as taking photos in the unsteady environments go. This is often paired up with some awful weather conditions making up a proper unholy alliance!
In such circumstances, the problem that often arises is that it gets difficult to make camera 'stand still' in a way, and the resulting shakiness and vibrations may cause your image quality to suffer from blurriness, thus negating all the positive effects of having a camera with a high-resolution.
To prevent this, the new 5-axis image stabilization system has been developed to enable you to shoot various close-ups, faraway objects and even night scenes with little or no vibration and blur. This can be particularly handy for the people who prefer handheld shooting to using a tripod.
The 4K movie shooting is now at your fingertips!
If you're venturing to make some high-profile 4K-worthy video material, you'll notice straight away that the new, enhanced 4K style offers a clearer, sharper, and altogether fine video quality than the usual 4K experience does.
Furthermore, shooting in 4K enables you to choose either full-frame or the 35 mm format, depending on your personal preference.
Also a shooting option you can decide yourself to, is the high-bitrate XAVC S format, allowing for the recording of footage at a maximum of 100 Mbps, or if you prefer to do it in HD, 50 Mbps.
Now that we've seen some of the important characteristics of this camera, let's take a look at a couple of lenses compatible with it.
Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8
This bulky all-metal lens features a sturdy build with an additional blue rubber band for ensuring that no moisture or dust comes through the tiny gap where the camera and the lens meet.
The focus on this model is manual, but if you plan to use it for landscape photography (which we would warmly advise) this will not represent a problem for you. Also, architecture photography is another area where this lens excels.
The components responsible for its brilliant performance with these types of photos include the electronic contacts for EXIF data and the MF, with its assistance with the turning of the focus ring.
Otherwise, the usual negative aspects of the high-tech lenses such as distortion, flare, and chromatic aberration are brought to the minimum with this model. Altogether, a great choice for an enthusiastic landscape photographer!
FE 16-35mm f/4
Another great landscape solution coming complete with the dust and moisture protection is this FE 16-35 mm lens. Since it ranges from 16 to 35 mm, the sharpness will not be optimal at every length, and you may experience decreased performance at lengths above 24 mm while staying at that precise length, or going below it will result in an acceptable level of sharpness.
The negative side effects like vignetting and chromatic aberration is practically absent from with lens, while the distortion is more or less well-contained.
The autofocus feature works like a charm with this model, as it is fast and silent. The optical stabilization is also a great addition to the overall configuration of this model.
Sony FE 55mm f/1.8
Sporting a curious angle of view, this 55 mm model is often mistaken for a standard type lens, but considering its rather interesting characteristics, it can be safely categorized as a portrait lens.
Its build is fairly compact and lightweight making it a joy to operate, as it can be easily mounted and carried about.
A minor downside might be its somewhat short focal length, putting it at a disadvantage compared to some strictly portrait-oriented lenses. (this is especially evident if you try to take a shot too close to your subject, as their face may get slightly distorted)
Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8
Representing the second Zeiss entry on this list, the 85 mm is one of the first portrait lenses designed for the A7 type cameras. Thanks to its bulky build housing some pretty powerful optics, this model is still widely used among the Sony camera connoisseurs.
One of the strong points of this lens is its brilliant management of the background blur, and this quality is especially evident in rounded, out-of-focus areas.
As for the distortions and imperfections, about the only issue you might encounter is a small amount of vignetting, but that is fairly easily removable, so no worries.
Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM
Having entered the lens market recently, this 85 mm lens has been reaping almost exclusively positive reviews. The resolution capabilities of this model are definitely its prominent strength, enabling you to make clear and sharp images.
Another feature worth mentioning is its impressive 11-blade aperture, providing a great blur management and producing an almost perfect bokeh.
To help eliminate the infamous 'onion ring' effect that tends to perch its ugly head in out-of-focus places, the newly developed XA element with enhanced surface precision has been installed. (the 'XA' stands for extreme aspherical)
Sony 90mm f/2.8 macro
Since a certain number of lenses on this list isn't necessarily affiliated strictly to just one photographing style, it is important to mention what are the shortcomings of these 'borderline' models.
The 90mm macro would definitely be one of these models, and if you plan to purchase a lens specifically for portrait shooting, then you may want to check out some of the other three models on this list. The downsides in question include its weight and size, which may put off some of the users.
Also, a slow aperture isn't exactly a perfect feature for this type of lens. However, if you plan to use your lens for portrait and macro photography parallelly, then this model isn't a bad solution at all since it boasts a great sharpness combined with an impressive bokeh.
FE 35mm f/2.8
If you're planning to hit the streets with your beloved Sony A7, getting yourself an appropriate prime lens can improve your experience dramatically. The features to look for in a typical street lens should be compactness, speed, and light weight.
Having said that, this lens possesses all of those traits with a couple of more aces up its high-tech sleeve. Namely, the autofocus is like a phantom with this lens, as it is incredibly swift and silent. You'll forget it's there in the first place. Also, the sharpness is at an enviable level, and it works beautifully across the frame.
On the flipside, the aperture can feel a bit slow at times, but many would argue that the small size of this lens is more important than the ideally-timed aperture.
FE 28mm f/2.8
If you don't mind carrying about a bulkier lens during your street photography excursions, then this particular model might be perfect for you.
It sports some attractive characteristics such as the pronounced sharpness across the entire frame, especially from f/8 and beyond.
Additionally, this 28 mm lens can be upgraded by two different conversion lenses designed to give you an impression of a 21 mm or 16 mm fisheye field of view. The autofocus is pretty solid and performs well even in low light conditions.
Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2
Featuring a somewhat old-fashioned manual focus mechanics, this Zeiss lens is a great solution for a person appreciating the joy of calibrating the focus with your bare hands. The design of this model includes mechanical rings and electronic contacts responsible for the transmission of the EXIF data.
The build is also fairly retro-looking, and it is made of metal, and the calibrating features you will first notice is the sizeable focus ring, as well as the distance scale for zone focusing. Also, an aperture ring is included to help you with magnification if you choose to turn off the focus ring.
FE 70-200mm f/4
Having an appearance of a space shuttle, this bulky high-tech lens offers great optical stabilization, as well as some fine tuning features such as a focus limiter switch and an AF/MF switch.
The aperture may be a bit slower than with some similar models, like the G master version, but this should represent too big of an issue since all the Sony full-frame cameras tend to perform well in the low light conditions. All in all, a great choice for a professional action-oriented photographer.
FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM
This upcoming G master zoom lens is a rather promising entry in the long line of the Sony A7 compatible lenses, and its very appearance makes a strong first impression. The build is big and sturdy, featuring a number of different buttons and switches to the side.
The bulky housing is there for a good reason, as the optics installed in this lens is powerful and speedy, enabling you to enjoy shooting your footage with a quick constantly working aperture, as well as with a fast autofocus feature.
As a part of this future offer, two teleconverters will be available as additional equipment, which will be a great add-on if you'd like to extend your reach even further.
All in all, each of these lenses carries a distinctly personal touch, and since they are not exactly cheap, picking the right one for your style of shooting is often not an easy task. Hopefully, this article will help you orient yourself in the vast world of lenses and high-tech optics.