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Talk to me about the Sony A850 / A900
Old 07-20-2015   #1
ferider
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Talk to me about the Sony A850 / A900

After my wife presented me with an M for Christmas, 2015 became my first digital year ....

I've been missing a digital SLR, and just pushed the button on a used A850. Given the Minolta lenses that I already have (28/2, 35/2, 50/1.4, 85/1.4, 100/2.8, 200/2.8 and 500/8), seemed to be the lowest entry point without much loss in quality (no sports, <= ASA 800 will do just fine, etc.).

While I'm waiting for the post-man, and knowing this forum is heavily Nikon/Canon dSLR biased, anybody out there who wants to share experience, tips and tricks, etc. ? From what I read the use model /feeling is similar to the (film) alpha-9, this true ?

Thanks !

Roland.
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Old 07-20-2015   #2
Maiku
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I had an A900. I loved the image quality. I loved the viewfinder. The only significant difference between the the A900 and A850 is the viewfinder. The A900 has 100% coverage. The A850 has 95% coverage, I think. The sensors are the same.

My one pet peeve was there was no low-pass filter on my A900. The sensor can get quite dirty.

I had to return it to the used dealer for a refund because my metering system failed.

Other than that I was over the moon with the A900.

I am not saving for an A99 to replace my A700 body.

I wish my Minolta lens line-up is a good as yours. Lovely set-up. Your A850 will really bring out the Minolta colors.

Enjoy!
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http://www.ipernity.com/doc/1573670/album

Camera: Sony a7. Minolta Lenses: 28/2.8, 35/2, 50/1.7, 50/3.5, 85/1.4, 100/2.8, 75/210/4. Tokina Lenses: 28-70/2.8
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Old 07-20-2015   #3
ferider
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Thank you, Maiku !

I remember Joe's portrait of yours - and I thought you were carrying a Maxxum back then. Now I'm thinking maybe your A900 ?

Hope you are well,

Roland.
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Old 07-20-2015   #4
Maiku
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Roland,

Joe's protrait was with my Ricoh GXR.

Here is my A900 portfolio.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/rffg....php?cid=10204

I now have to start a A700 portfolio. My A700 just arrived to replace my A900.

BTW your welcome.

Mike
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"If I could tell a story in words, I won't need to lug around a camera." -- Lewis Hine

http://www.ipernity.com/doc/1573670/album

Camera: Sony a7. Minolta Lenses: 28/2.8, 35/2, 50/1.7, 50/3.5, 85/1.4, 100/2.8, 75/210/4. Tokina Lenses: 28-70/2.8
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Old 07-20-2015   #5
Kate-the-Great
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Am curious also to hear thoughts on the a850 / a900. Prices are plummeting and I think one of the two may be my next body purchase.
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Old 07-20-2015   #6
Iestrada
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Besides the view finder difference already mentioned, the A850 also has a slower frames per second capability. The 900 can shot in bursts of 5 fps and the 850 can only do 3 fps.

Love my 850 and will probably shoot it til is dies. It's my landscape camera.
The ergonomics are a true joy. Very similar to the 700 if you are familiar with it.
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Old 07-20-2015   #7
Iestrada
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Here a link that may be useful.

http://www.dyxum.com/gear/camera/a85..._Alpha_850.asp
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Old 07-20-2015   #8
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Iestrada beat me to it. The Dyxum forum will really help. That 35/2 of yours goes for very large money these days. That's a very nice arsenal of primes! Here's an a850 shooter I follow:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/x
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Old 07-20-2015   #9
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I'm also waiting for an A850 to cross path with me.
I have the 35/2, 24-85 and 70-300 big beer can that I currently use with a Maxxum 9
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Old 07-21-2015   #10
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Thanks guys. So a technical question for the experts:

The A850 has 98% VF coverage compared to the A900 (100%). This was implemented for cost savings, it appears, to come out with a FF dSLR for US 2k MSRP in 2009.

Doesn't make sense to me, unless the missing 2% somehow make the SSS easier to implement. A couple of mm sensor movement for stabilization (2% of the image dimensions) does seem to be the right order of magnitude.

Which makes me wonder: how does the A900's 100% VF coverage work with SSS ? Does the mirror box of the A900 move when doing image stabilization, while it doesn't for the A850 ?

Thanks !
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Old 07-21-2015   #11
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Good question, I wouldn't know how they make sure the OVF is 100% with IBIS.
I love my A900, as good as the Dynax 9 - a good, rugged picture taking machine.

I own(ed) four of the lenses you have - so, here are four pictures with A900:

28/2

Sony A900 | Minolta 28/2 | f/2 | 1/8000s | 160iso

50/1.4

Sony A900 | Minolta 50/1.4 | f/5.6 | 1/500s | 100iso

85/1.4

Sony A900 | Minolta 85G | f/2 | 1/250s | 100iso

200/2.8

Sony A900 | Minolta 200G | f/3.5 | 1/320s | 160iso

Enjoy your camera
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Old 07-21-2015   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addy101 View Post
85/1.4

Sony A900 | Minolta 85G | f/2 | 1/250s | 100iso

Enjoy your camera
Thanks Addy, and outstanding photo ! Wanting to use the 85/1.4 on digital pushed me over the edge to buy the 850 in the first place. What a wonderful piece of glass - cann't wait.

Roland.
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Here she is ....
Old 07-24-2015   #13
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Here she is ....

... from B+H for 850 bucks, condition 9 out of 10 (B+H is typically very conservative), 6900 shutter actuations,everything seems to work.



I'm amazed at the value for the money. Love the clean and bright optical VF, cann't wait to take her out

Roland.
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Old 07-24-2015   #14
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Looks goooooooooood! Enjoy the new toy
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Stress testing classic Minolta glass
Old 08-10-2015   #15
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Stress testing classic Minolta glass

Thanks, Addy !

Was "stress testing" the new to me camera with some of my classic Minolta glass, around the house.

Our two puppies with the 85/1.4 (at f2)

Frya, sun in face:



Baldr in strong back light:



The 35/2 in tricky light. With pol filter:



And "naked" flare test:



Full crop, that lens is sharp (at f5.6) !



The 500/8 hand-held. Sharp and flare resistant, but - of course - donut bokeh ...





And finally, one of my favorite 50s across all brands, the 50/1.4 (today is wifey's birthday):



I feel me and the 850 will get along fine, also for more serious stuff than the above. Cheers,

Roland.
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Old 08-10-2015   #16
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Best wishes to your wife! And I like both the sunset/sunrise pictures.
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Old 09-27-2015   #17
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Today's Blood Moon with the Minolta AF 500/8 (8:27pm PST = end of Total Eclipse):



Roland.
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Old 09-27-2015   #18
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I had the a850 for about 2 years before I dumped digital all together in favor of film.
Had all the primes up to 200 and always felt I was missing nothing else in terms of quality.

Then I got the Rokkor 58mm 1.2 lens and had a custom mount made for it and when started using it (no Auto Focus / classing look etc) it just pushed me towards film which is where I am currently.

I think the camera is great value for money, the Minolta glass is superb and the fact you have an optical VF (as opposed to the electronic ones), it's the last true Sony FF camera (along with the 900 of course).

Ben
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Old 09-27-2015   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferider View Post
knowing this forum is heavily Nikon/Canon dSLR biased
It's the world, not just the forum. I haven't seen many Sony DSLR bodies outside stores.
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Old 09-27-2015   #20
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No, it isn't. I still see plenty entry level Sony DSLR's around and I think Sony made a mistake abandoning that market.
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Old 09-28-2015   #21
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After using the camera for a couple of months, I really like it, Addy. Doesn't feel like old technology at all to me. I'm picky about viewfinders, and the A850 finder is outstanding. The other thing I like is that it feels so similar to the Maxxum 9.

I used it on a recent camping trip, see more photos here: http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...d.php?t=151077. Some cross-posted photos from the above thread here, if you guys don't mind.

I love the 85/1.4:





And, after > 10 years not shooting anything wider than 28mm, I'm shooting ultra-wide again (20/2.8)





On a side note, I don't understand why A7* users don't use Minolta AF lenses, since an AF enabling adapter exists ... the retrofocal 35/2, the 85/1.4 and the 200/2.8 APO should be very successful optics on the A7*.

Roland.
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Old 09-28-2015   #22
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There are A7 users that use Minolta glass on it - just not that many around here. Glad you enjoy it. My A900 still is going strong also. Just for the fun of it, here are two birds I photographed with it back in May during a trip to Iceland (with a Sony lens however):

Sony A900 | Sony 70-400G | 400mm | f/8 | 1/1000s | 160iso


Sony A900 | Sony 70-400G | 400mm | f/5.6 | 1/2000s | 160iso
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Old 09-28-2015   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addy101 View Post
There are A7 users that use Minolta glass on it - just not that many around here. Glad you enjoy it. My A900 still is going strong also. Just for the fun of it, here are two birds I photographed with it back in May during a trip to Iceland (with a Sony lens however): ...
Very nice, Addy.
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