Sony Week - Part Three - The Model A Test

on March 20, 2017

I regret that title. I suddenly realised that Sony - as well as Henry Ford - used to make A model cameras too. Hopefully readers will be able to separate them in their minds*. The Sony products do not have wire-spoke wheels or rumble seats. A pity in some respects...

Well, the contest between a full-frame camera and an APS-C camera in the studio will always range around two things; the out of focus appearance behind the plane of sharpness, and how wide that plane can be spread in the picture.

You can quantify it easily - just go to the DOFmaster website and specify the focal length you will be using. The figures on the calculator are minutely accurate, and infinitely depressing if you are trying to get a deep depth of field. Nothing you can do at close range will increase it markedly. But you grasp for every millimetre you can get.

An APS-C camera with a 35mm lens will have the same angular field of view as a full-frame camera sporting a 50mm lens - the pictures will have the same look and perspective. But the 35mm will have more depth of field for every equivalent f stop.

If this is important to you - it can be a big factor in what you choose.

On the other hand, if you need a shallower depth of field for portraiture or atmospheric images, the 50mm on the full-frame camera is the way to go. You will also benefit from more resolution and the ability to blow the image up to a bigger print. You'll pay for it in more memory being used and a consequent longer time for processing, but the details will be there.

In my case, I rarely blow my work up enough to justify the increased quality, and I DO need every millimetre of DOF I can get.

Some words of practical praise for the Sony FE 50mm f:2.8 macro lens:

a. It is superbly sharp.

b. It has a very positive focus feel to it. No lag, no slip.

c. It goes a true 1:1 macro.

d. It has a focus-hold button - that little round one in the middle of the control panel - that freezes the action of the AF so that you can shift the lens slightly away from the original position. This allows you to follow a slightly moving subject without having the lens hunt back and forth and become uncontrollable.

This isn't all that useful for toy cars but it saves many a " Yike Yike " moment for the bee photographers...

* Mind you - the cameras only come in Model T's...Hmmmm...