Using Sony A7R with Nikon Lenses

I got up early to walk along Christianshavns Canal in Copenhagen. There are some of the very nice spots, and some of the best restaurants in Copenhagen there. It may look like smoke from the chimney, but in reality it is a hole in the sky, that just fits the chimney.  Photo by: Jacob Surland,

Christianshavn Canal in Copenhagen shot using Sony A7R and Nikon 16-35mm VR and the Metabones adaptor.

I really have a love and hate relationship with my Sony A7R. I love the size of the camera, and the sensor is fantastic. What I am missing is proper lenses. I have the 24-70mm lens, which I am pretty happy with, and then I have the Sony 10-18mm. The 10-18mm is designed for APS-C sensor cameras, but I can use it as a full frame lens, from 14-16mm or so. However, I do find it so bad used as a full frame lens, that I don’t use it like that. It’s terrible soft in the corners, and it gives me mustache distortion, which is next to impossible to get a decent result from. I use it ‘cropped’, which leaves me with 15.3-megapixel images, which I, of course, can use, but I really want to use the 36 megapixels I have in my camera.

Since I don’t have a money tree in my garden, I haven’t bought the Sony 16-35mm, but it is on my wish list. Instead, I end up using a Metabones adapter and my Nikon lenses if I want to go really wide. In theory, this works very nicely, but it is not perfect. I have no auto focus, this I can live with in most cases. What’s worse, is that I don’t get the EXIF information transferred from the lens to the camera. While this may seem less important, at first, it still is very frustrating.

A photo like this one from Christianshavns Canal in Copenhagen, I shot in November, but I don’t recall the focal length or the f-stop anymore. I do remember that I used my Nikon 16-35mm VR lens. This lens has a pretty strong barrel distortion, which I have to fix on photos like this. But I can’t use automatic lens correction, neither, instead I have to do it manually. What I have done to make things easier for me, is to make this a Preset in Lightroom, with a manual lens correction. This is a good start, but at different f-stops and focal lengths, I have to change the settings slightly.

I always carry the A7R and the 24-70mm and the 10-18mm lens in my bag, because it’s so small that I can have it in a very small bag. But when I go out shooting for real, I have not used it a lot. This particular morning I only brought the Sony A7R and the Nikon 16-35mm, to force me to use it. But I really prefer to use my Nikon D800 for serious shooting.

But there has been a turn lately. I found a super clamp from Manfrotto, which I can screw on my tripod, and that allows me to use TWO cameras at the same time. And that is something. I now have my Nikon D800 mounted on the primary ball head and on the Manfrotto Super Clamp I have the Sony A7R, and then I have two different lenses and different compositions. This is awesome:



I got my Manfrotto Super Clamp at B&H, and it’s really not that expensive. It’s called a Manfrotto Super Clamp 035 with a stud.


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