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Lens Quality Control as Revealed by Demanding Sony A7R IV 60MP Sensor

In Demands on Lens Performance with the Sony A7R IV are More Pronounced than I had Anticipated I expressed some disappointment with a few lenses.

The Sony A7R IV sensor reveals weakness more than any 35mm digital camera yet. The slightest asymmetry can look pretty bad. Of course, there is no easy way to rule out the camera itself as being off slightly (even if “in spec”)—if it’s off 3 micron left/right, that will definitely show up. Sony won’t say what the tolerances are—I asked after sending in my Sony A7R III and being told it was “in spec”.

Chris M writes:

Got a Sony A7R IV last Thursday and ordered the Voigtlander 21mm f/1.4. Heading to Europe on Monday for several weeks. Concerned about your comments testing the 21 on the new Sony. Sounds like a bad sample?

I plan to test the one I get later today, but do you think that the sample you praised so highly would’ve fared well or are there other issues? I plan on taking the Zeiss Batis 40mm f/2, Voigtlander 65mm f/2 APO, and the Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 APO-Sonnar. If the 21mm is not up to snuff, I can take the Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 and/or the Zeiss Loxia 25mm f/2.4. Trying to keep the kit “small.”

DIGLLOYD: the good news is that I received another copy of the Voigtlander Nokton 21mm f/1.4 Aspherical and shooting it last night on the mosaic, it looks to be as good as any I’ve yet tried (best of three so far), with excellent symmetry and edge sharpness—no small feat at 21mm on a 60MP sensor. Actually, upon further review, it does show some asymmetry, with the left side being weaker than than the right side, just like the first copy and the 2nd (first copy evaluated on the Sony A7R III). It looks like a perfectly symmetric copy is going to be very hard to obtain—since two different camera bodies are involved, it does not look like a camera body issue.

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