As some regular readers may be aware, I have recently added to my equipment with a Sony A7r. It’s an impressive piece of equipment and is capable of resolving an amazing amount of detail with the right lenses. If you’re not aware of the specification, the sensor is 36Mpixels and it has no antialiasing filter so that you can achieve optimal sharpness. The image you see at the top of this post was captured using the Sony.
Of course, all this resolution places huge demands on your lenses so that any softness will become immediately evident. I’m sure if you are a Canon or a Nikon user you will have heard the comments that with the top of the range cameras you need top class professional lenses. I recall when I bought a Canon 5D MKII a number of years back it was deemed necessary to use L series lenses. With the Nikon D800, I read similar comments about needing the best Nikkor lenses.
Now take a look at the image below. Be sure to click the image to review it at full resolution. It’s of a section of the above image viewed at 100% magnification. There is also a second image shown, also magnified to the same location. Before reading on I would like you to decide which image has resolved the best.
Both images have been sharpened and processed similarly. The one on the left was shot using a Canon 24-70L f/4.0 at f/11 mounted onto the Sony (zoomed to 35mm). The full retail price of this lens is £1,100. The other image was shot using a Canon 35mm FD lens bought on ebay for less than £35. This isn’t even a late version of the lens. It’s an early example and it’s only single coated.
Now you might be thinking surely this is a fluke but we repeated the experiment using an old 24mm FD prime and also a 70-210 zoom. The results are all similar. Even the zoom lens matched up to the 70-200L zoom.
So, what was that line we were all being fed about needing top of the range lenses.