I think I just solved the telephoto problem I’ve had with my Sony system. Sony’s cameras are far ahead of their lens selection and there’s two things that I’ve missed, a large aperture extreme wideangle for night photo, and a long telephoto. When Zeiss announced the Batis 2.8/18 a couple of weeks ago, it filled the wideangle gap, but the longest lens they can offer is the brand new 4.5-5.6/70-300, which is really not an option if you want to shoot wildlife, not even on the crop sensor A6300. Or if you really want to burn a lot of money, there’s the 2.8/70-200 with a 2x teleconverter (neither of which are on the market yet).
But then I have this very practical Mega-Tamron in my bag. If only it would work on the A6300… I bought a cheap adapter last year to fit my Canon lenses on Sony, but I got exactly what I paid for – the adapter doesn’t sit tight on the camera and it makes the camera lock occasionally so you have to re-fit all the parts and restart the camera to get it working again. And autofocus sucks, so I really was only able to use the adapter with the macro lens when I was focusing manually. After reading some Sony discussion forums, I got the impression that AF should work with the Mega-Tamron, if you use a good adapter. If it really works, then I don’t need to buy a new telephoto lens and I can even solve the large aperture wideangle problem by getting the new Irix 2.4/15 lens (Canon EF version, since it’s not made for Sony), for less than half the price of the Batis 2.8/18. The pricey adapter pays itself back right there!
I had my first chance of testing the new Metabones adapter today. I started by shooting the cows and I was pleasantly surprised at how fast the AF was. I knew that the A6300 has excellent AF, but now we’re talking about a telezoom with an adapter, so I wasn’t taking anything for granted. And then of course the most important question, how accurate was it?
The cows didn’t appreciate my new adapter (or perhaps it was me) so I left them alone and decided to have a look at the golf course, I was hoping to find some birds there now that the snow has melted. Sure enough, I scared off a couple of Eurasian curlews before I had even started to look for any birds, but when I got up on the next hill… jackpot! There were lots of cranes by the lake, and now I was desperately hoping that the AF was hitting the mark, otherwise I would be very disappointed to miss this opportunity. I kept shooting until my fingers were frozen numb, but I figured that the cranes would stay here for quite a few days so I could come back with the Canon if needed, but as it turned out – it’s not needed! The 7DmkII doesn’t do this any better than the Sony A6300 does, so now I know that I can sell the 7D2 and finally say goodbye to Canon. Apart from the Canon 2.8/100 macro, obviously!
There’s only one thing I can think of right now, which is to find out how the Mega-Tamron/adapter combo works in low contrast situations. I will be (or rather, I hope I will be) photographing polar bears on Svalbard in June and if I have any doubts about the AF, then I have to hang on to the Canon camera until the trip to make sure that I will not miss any opportunity. But after that, for sure, bye bye!