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Sony A7R II: Night Shooting (Coastal Optics 60mm f/4 UV-VIS-IR APO Macro)

Coastal Optics
60mm f/4 UV-VIS-IR APO macro

Get the Coastal Optics 60mm f/4 UV-VIS-IR APO MACRO from Jenoptik (please mention diglloyd.com).

I wanted to assess night-time performance of the Sony A7R II, my concern being issues with image quality in the 4-30 second range.

I also wanted perfect neutrality for out of focus areas, so I elected to use the Coastal Optics 60mm f/4 UV-VIS-IR APO MACRO, because the Coastal 60/4 is the best corrected lens for color that exists (that one can buy), consisting mostly off fluorite elements. Leica APO lenses do not even remotely approach its level of color correction, and even Zeiss Otus takes 2nd place to the Coastal (in color correction).

As it turns out, the image quality is stunning*. And the focusing experience on the Sony A7R II is second to none. It has been such a pain in the ass on Nikon and Canon that it had been a long time since I shot it, but the A7R II is so much more enjoyable and fast to use it that it it’s going back into the “always take it” bag. Moreover it is relatively small and light, albeit f/4. My main gripe is limited focus throw.

These images are cross-posted in two of my publications, because the coverage is both lens and camera review (a rare exception to the rule). So choose the appropriate link if subscribed to DAP or Mirrorless only.

Added to my review of the Sony A7R II in Guide to Mirrorless:

Sony A7R II examples: Night Shots, Artificial Lighting with Coastal 60/4 UV-VIS-IR APO macro

Added to my review of the Coastal Optics 60mm f/4 UV-VIS-IR APO macro* in DAP:

Coastal 60/4 UV-VIS-IR APO Macro Night Shots, Artificial Lighting with (Sony A7R II)

The upshot of all of it is that (a) the Coastal 60/4 is simply amazing on the Sony A7R II, and (b) I found zero image quality issues with the Sony A7R II and came away very impressed.

* WARNING: do not view these images and then whine that I made you empty your bank account! This article is best left unread for those desiring something truly special, but being in a less than special financial situation.

f8 @ 30.0 sec, ISO 100; 2015-08-29 21:15:08
Sony A7R II + Coastal Optics 60mm f/4 UV-VIS-IR APO Macro

[low-res image for bot]

Dr S writes:

BTW your images with the Coastal Optics 60mm are stunning......but it should be with a price tag of $5K+!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DIGLLOYD: well, it costs $5750. But what do you expect for a lens that is mostly fluorite and produced in low volumes, mainly for museum work (spectral bands), forensics, scientific and similar uses. It is corrected for consistent focus (no change with wavelength) from 310 nm - 1100 nm (that’s nasty deep UV all the way well into the IR band—amazing range). The human eye sees from about 390 nm to 650nm and very weakly out to 850nm.

I’d sure like a 28mm version. :)

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