Get Sony mirrorless digital camera and Lexar 2000X 64GB and Lexar 256GB 1000X at B&H Photo.
I wrote about the Sony A7S II and Lexar SDXC a few weeks ago and there was definitely interest in the topic of SDXC cards for 4K video. So I’m posting again with a title to that effect, and with an update.
On my recent trip I used two cards to record 4K video on the Sony A7S II and A7R II. Both worked flawlessly.
First, I filled the Lexar 64GB 2000X card to capacity, then continued using the Lexar 256GB 1000X card. But I lost some video because I was doing a selfie “how to” and the A7S II did not warn me (I kept on talking for another 8 minutes or so!). So from now on it’s 256GB cards only when shooting video.
I prefer the 64GB card because it is hyper fast at downloads. But 64GB is a bad idea for 30P/100M 4K video; it’s too easy to run out of space at the wrong time. And Sony mirrorless sucks in using card speed; it doesn’t matter between the two (the camera is not a fast responder for saving or reviewing images). So the smart move is just to use 256GB cards if shooting video at all.
So I now use the about $142 Lexar 256GB SDXC cards in Sony mirrorless. The price is very reasonable, and the about $275 2-pack Lexar 256GB SDXC is even a little better deal. (Prices as this was written).
Get Canon 5DS R and Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon at B&H Photo.
To the lab rats who claim that the Sigma 50/1.4 Art is an Otus: enjoy that six pack while shooting the test chart.
An Otus shot at f/1.4 doesn’t make you think “wide open”; it womps you on the head with “that lens looks darn good at f/5.6—I want one—wait! It’s f/1.4—OMG”.
So go get one.
And yet—do not expect perfection, even with perfect technical execution. The nuanced flaws are plain to see, particularly on the Canon 5DS R. It is why I wish for better-than-Otus f/2.8 designs, even if the price were the same.
See my in-depth reviews of all the Otus lenses.
Frosted Peak #1
Frosted Peak #2
If I could shoot only one lens on a DSLR, it would probably be the Otus 55/1.4. Outstanding imaging, and a reasonable size and weight. Nikon mount can be shot on Nikon or Canon or Sony mirrorless.
Fresh Snow on Aspen Sapling, Forlorn Yellow Leaves
Clinging Yellow Leaves
Camping in the cold. No Virginia, there is no Santa Claus and the Sigma 50/1.4 Art is an excellent lens but it is not an Otus, even at f/8. But enjoy your lab-test results by the fireside.
Professional product photographer John G writes:
I fully agree with your post on the Otus today. When you have the Otus in your bag, it’s hard to shoot with anything else. As you know, after a loyal run with Nikon/Zeiss/Nikkor, most recently with the D810 and D4S, I sold that gear to purchase a Pentax 645Z. As you also know, I’m contemplating a move back to Nikon/Zeiss.
I’ve included two shots, one from my studio of Wilson Audio's wall-mount speaker, the Alida. This is interesting because the background is a big softbox with a studio flash blasting right into the front element of the lens. But with the Otus, there is no flare, not weird color artifacts, just the image as I hoped it would be when I shot it. This one was shot at F/5.6. with Nikon D810. [image omitted]
Here is a crop showing the detail right up to the edge where the studio strobe is blasting the front element. [image omitted]
This shot is a landscape shot at F/1.4. With the Otus, I never hesitated or second guessed shooting it wide-open. I had fear of CA, or of softness, or other aberrations other lenses routinely exhibit at their widest apertures—just a calm sense that all would be as I expected it to be. In other words, because Zeiss has created a technical masterpiece in the Otus, it is a tool that truly creates artistic freedom. It’s a tool that helps the photographer realize his vision, without having to think about or compensate for the tool’s flaws or limitations. Here, I was going for selective focus, and the effect was just what I had hoped for. D810/Otus 55 @/f1.4.
DIGLLOYD: With stopping down, lenses like the Sigma 50/1.4 may approach the Otus, but in my view still lack a certain something. But it is from f/1.4 - f/4 in particular that one pays for Otus.
Jef M writes
A strong 2nd on the Otus 55mm. No other lens* in the world reveals itself to be better and better time and time again as you challenge it against any composition. The lens doesn't get in the way for what I am wanting to capture. It just does what I want it to, what I need it to, every time.
* The 85mm Otus might but it's just too big to carry everyday.
DIGLLOYD: well, except when it cannot be focused fast enough. It will be sickening if Nikon and Canon release their next DSLRs with no EVF support; the rear LCD works but this means that it is awkward except on a tripod. Optical viewfinders (OVF) are worthless for critical focus.
For me, half the utility of Otus (or any manual focus lens) is lost on a DSLR without an EVF. As for mirrorless, that is at least half the appeal of the Sony A7R II. If and when I get a 50+ megapixel Nikon D900 with EVF, much of the allure of the Sony evaporates , particularly if Nikon is smart enough to shrink the camera by eliminating the OVF.