Delicious words . . .

. . . at least, after eating a few of my own.

No sooner had I posted yesterday’s entry than I came across a listing for a secondhand Sony 200-600mm at an unbeatable price. Immediately my mind went to work (see “justification”), figuring that while there was no ideal option for the a7 IV, the lens would be the least of evils.

I immediately contacted the lister, a shopkeeper (now former) friend with whom I’ve done quite a bit of trading in recent years, asking him to hold the lens for opening time pickup today. The message was seen, but I never got a reply. This morning, as I was heading up the escalator, literally ninety seconds away from the shop, I got a message informing that the item was no longer available.

Having spent considerable time deliberating the night before, even reminding myself that the internal zoom was a nice advantage over the Sigma, among other things, I was not to be outdone. One train stop away was another shop, and I was there in minutes. Minutes later, I walked out with a new copy of the lens, poorer, but not defeated.

Out in a mixture of doom, gloom, and intermittent rain showers, the lens fared monstrously better on the a7 IV than the previous copy had on the a6400. I could see plainly that the RF 100-400mm had been missing a good bit of acuity on feather detail, something I knew but had ignored because the lightweight zoom is otherwise so great and versatile. But for my critter friends, the Sony is a clear couple of notches better.

Although eye AF on the a7 IV is not quite as quick to acquire focus as on the R5/R7, it has a major saving grace: the ability to lock on a foreground subject without flying past it to the background. It was incredibly nimble on a series of fast-flitting sunbirds, not missing on any shot where I managed to frame the tiny critters.

It looks promising from a hardware standpoint. Now the only thing I need is for Apple to add raw support for it and the R7. The shot below was viewed, converted, cropped and resized in a couple of ad hoc apps that are unable to do anything else. The result obliterated some magnificent fine details.

Anyway, one step at a time, and today’s was a good one.

a7 IV/200-600mm G