Working with the SONY A7r and manual lenses

I have now done the first couple of jobs with the SONY A7r, and must say I am starting to like the camera a lot!

So far I have only two lenses, the Voigtländer 35/1.4 and 75/2.5, plus a Kipon Leica M to NEX adapter that works nicely.

I shot portratis of 9 people outside on a very dark day with the 75/2.5 wide open, and was suprised to find I nailed the focus almost all of the time! Also this lens is really sharp even at f2.5, generating amazing images files with the SONY A7r.

Tonight I did an event job (mingling and big dinner) using both the 35 and the 75mm in extremely low light conditions (f1.4 1/60 ISO 3200-12800, mostly around 3200-6400). I have not had a look at the files on a big screen yet, but I did check every now and then in the camera, and was again surprised at how many shots I managet to get the sharpness right, and I already now felt that I dont really need autofucus, using eyeballing and focus peeking (no zoom om this job either, as the controlls are now on the A7 I feel its to slow to use with people) I still managed to get focus right, and felt it was perhaps even easier to use then AF under these conditions.

Here is some battery and storage data, manual focus, airplane mode:
The battery lasted for 3.5h more or less continous shooting and some image reviewing too, totaling 836 images (RAW+jpg)
A 32Gb card held 707 images (RAW + jpg)



  1. Thanks for the mini review. I’m curious how you felt about the shutter sound. That’s the one thing keeping me interested in getting the A7 versus the A7r since I like shooting discreetly.

    • Hi, the shutter on the A7r is a complicated issue. The sound is much different from the A7 as she shutter goes 2 sweeps on the A7r. I have not got a change to compare them much, but the A7 is louder, you really have to test and listen for yourself.

      However, for me I must say I really like the shutter sound on the A7r, it is exactly like an old analog DSLR because of the technology is the same as for analog cameras. For shooting discretely people that are aware of you and approve it is quiet enough. For shooting without people knowing at all, they will hear you probably, even the A7.

  2. Thanks. You wrote the A7 is louder but I assume you mean the A7r is louder. I’m also concerned about the delay of the double shutter sound. With the A7 I can prefocus and wait. When I click the shutter with the electronic curtain on, the photograph will snap almost instantaneous with the first click indicating the exposure is over. With the A7r, you have to wait for the shutter to do one round of up and down and the third click would be when the exposure is over. I slightly worry how this will effect response time from when the shutter is pressed and when the photo is taken.

  3. Juha Lindström Says: januari 29, 2014 at 12:01 f m

    Just out of curiosity, a couple things that could help you.. wonder if you’ve tried these:

    1) for manual focus, the dmf setting. Gives you instant manual override to AF and automatically zooms in for focus AND focus peaking at the same time. Should work with manual lenses also.

    2) for the auto-iso: shooting in manual mode with auto iso. That way you set the shutter speed + aperture and auto exposure is done with changing iso. And you can ”help” the iso choice with the exposure compensation wheel.

    These could help with couple of your findings?


    • Hi!
      1) Well no, that only works with the SONY lenses, not old manual ones.
      2) Yes, I do just that and its OK, but even better would be like on other cameras where you can use the A-mode and the shutter speed and iso will vary inside predefined limits, much more flexible.


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