The Sony a7s has become my main camera both for photos and video. For video, is a truly amazing camera. For photos, is not on par with my Nikon D800E for landscape work, but for everything else it is my tool of choice, unless there are specific projects like architecture or portrait work for example.
One distinct advantage of the Sony is size and weight. I always was very sensitive concerning these factors, but recently due a hernia surgery, my weight restrictions became very specific for the following months, so I am trying to keep my camera bag quite light these days.
I wanted to make some long exposures last weekend, so instead of my usual choice for this kind of work (Nikon D800E with 24-70mm lens) I chose the a7s (with the battery grip) with two lenses, the Voigtlander 21mm f/4 and Leica Summarit 35mm f/2.5. This combo is just 1kg weight, which means I can carry it along with my tripod without any problems.
Back to long exposures now, I used my B+W 110ND filters (10 stops) to be able to shoot long exposures during daylight. This was the first image I shot.
Well, it’s obvious that there is a light leak issue here !
I’ve heard about this issue on both A7 and A7r models, I don’t know if it’s the same issue, or the fact that I had an adapter for my Voigtlander 21mm made worse this leak (I use a Novoflex adapter, so no quality issues with it). The Summarit 35mm exhibited a much smaller problem (almost absent). The solution was simple. I put a black stripe around the part that was leaking (top right and bottom left corner) and problem solved. This leak occurs at 30 seconds and longer exposures, and is nothing that really worries me, since I rarely shoot daily long exposures, and based on the results I got, I will return to my beloved Nikon D800E for this kind of photography !
With the Voigtlander 21mm and the filter attached, the sky didn’t look as good as I wanted to (its a rangefinder wide angle, wide angle lenses behave better on the A7s than the a7 and a7, but I suppose with filters attached you may have issues in the corners), with the Summarit 35mm results were better.
Camera operation was very easy, the live view made it a breeze to calculate exposure. No complaints here.
In conclusion, I was happy with the results I got, the A7s despite being aimed at videographers, is also a very good stills camera. But for long exposures during daylight, I will definately rely on the Nikon 800E in the future. It’s image quality and resolution is really spectacular and is the right tool for this kind of photography.
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