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Sony A7R IV In For Repair: With Praise and Mild Criticism for Sony (and why does a new New Camera Needs Parts?)

Update: Just got a phone call mid-day today... Sony determined that my Sony A7R IV discussed below did indeed have a sensor/lens mount flange parallelism issue. The “parts” that delayed the repair were for an entire subsystem to replace the shutter/sensor/etc. I will have the repaired camera back on Monday in time for my trip.

Update March 4: back from repair, I am shooting in the Eastern Sierra. I will verify the fix shortly. The entire shutter/sensor assembly was replaced, according to Sony.

...

Last week I noted a potential concern about sensor/flange alignment of my Sony A7R IV, which I purchased in Nov 2019, but didn’t actually use until February. In other words, my concern arose with a brand-new camera shot out of the box shot for the first time.

The issue is that a deviation in sensor-to-lens-mount flange parallelism of as little as 5 microns shows up as asymmetric sharpness. This is not important for many kinds of shooting, but it is critically important for planar subjects, which includes things like landscape shooting and even group portraiture. More subtly, it shows up and an unintended visual impact on the wrong stuff. Plus with diffraction already subtly degrading micro contrast at f/5.6 and obviously degrading it at f/8 on the Sony A7R IV, stopping down past f/5.6 is undesirable when not otherwise needed.

Sony A7R IV

I sent the Sony A7R IV into Sony Pro Services, which is a valuable and responsive service for which I mainly have high praise. I sent it in after documenting a left/right lens skew issue which might be the lens and might be the camera, or both, asking that the camera be checked out.

I was disappointed to learn yesterday that my Sony A7R IV was delayed due to parts being on order. That is, I was disappointed that I had not been notified of the delay, as I was expecting the camera to be back by now. The Sony Pro Services representative said he would look into this process failure.

...your repair has been delayed due to waiting for parts.

I am heading out on a trip next Tuesday starting with an early appointment in Reno NV, and I was expecting to have the A7R IV as my primary camera for shooting, so this could have been a disaster.

But Sony picked up the ball and got me a loaner Sony A7R IV today, a process which is handled by LensRentals.com (highly recommended). Of course I don’t know if this loaner is any better than my own camera or if either/both actually has a flange/sensor alignment issue.

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