So, if you'd have said to me a year or so back that I'd be happily shooting a manual focus Zeiss 50mm Planar on a full frame Sony mirrorless camera, I'd have laughed in your face and stolen your chips (assuming you were eating chips at the time). Not least because a year ago (at the time of writing) the Sony A7 didn't exist, but also because hey, I was a happy Canon man, duelling up the Canon 6D with the 5DII.
But then Sony went and did it didn't they. They made the Sony A7, they tempted people like me (those whose heads are easily turned by things of a shiny nature) and the rest would appear to be history....
And why the Zeiss 50mm Planar? Well I saw it on eBay, checked the super review on Steve Huff's website and I was impressed enough to make purchase.
Anyway, back to Saturday. It wasn't the first time I've shot my Sony at a wedding. But it was the first time I shot the A7 with a manual focus M mount Zeiss 50mm Planar. I guess the first question to answer is:
"But Gav, your images with the E mount 55mm 1.8 Ziess "baby Otus" are soooo good (just go with it), why didn't you just buy that?" And the honest answer? £700 v £450. Perhaps I also prefer 50mm to 55, but really had the 55mm been £500 I'd have bought that. But unlike most full time photographers, I'm not a rich man (many full time photographers reading this will be chuckling...)
Which then leads us to question no.2:
"Gav, how did you get on with manual focussing at a wedding?" Well, I got on just fine thank you very much. Check the 2 images above. These were taken seconds apart!
So you see, the A7 comes with a rather awesome EVF. I mean seriously, I have NO issues with it being an EVF. It's great. Plus focus peaking is superb! Hopefully the proof is in the pudding below. All these shots were taken with the Sony A7 + Zeiss 50mm Planar. All shot at f2. And I hardly missed focus on any shots all day. I dare say my Canon 6D + 35mm 1.4 misses as many as I did. As for lens performance, as you might expect, it's a thing of beauty to shoot with. These lenses are of course purely manual focus, and you can tell. I'm probably teaching some of you how to suck eggs but hey, I'm new to this 'manual focus Leica mount lens' game! There's something speedy about shooting with this combo. It's hard to put my finger on but I'm sure a lot of you will understand. I think the camera is suited to shooting with these lenses too, the 3 dial system means it's easy for a manual shooter like me to adjust the ISO and shutter speed very easily (aperture changed on the lens of course). And that is my report from my first wedding with a manual focus Zeiss. Now, where's that spare cash, because I see a used Leica Summarit 75mm f2.5 with my name on it...