Out with the a6500/70-350mm combo under good light in the morning and light rain in the afternoon, I was able to formulate a good impression of what I can count on with the setup.
First hard lesson was that Topaz just plain doesn’t work with a6500 files, no matter what its makers claim. Whole sections of details were obliterated, and all of the results had hideous color shifts, except for the ones that were rendered in near-monochrome! Fortunately, C1’s import presets make files useable well into four-digit ISO.
Sony’s noise signature was the main thing that drove me away from the brand back in those days. And I always found it both curious and interesting that other manufacturers like Leica and Nikon could take the same sensors and get great images as well as manageable noise signatures in raw files.
Another takeaway, disappointing in a way, was that the 70-350mm, with about 536mm of relative reach on the a6500, resolves more fine detail than the 100-400mm GM with teleconverter at about 858mm of relative reach. Yeah, looks like I got a MIC dog this time around with the much-vaunted “G-Master” lens. But as long as it’ll work ok on FF, no point in changing. At least the current copy of the 70-350mm is better than the previous one.
Anyway, for a backup setup that’s not much bigger than a bridge camera, I’m happy with it. Hopefully I won’t need it for shooting long, and the a6500’s main use will be landscape shots with the Sigma zoom. Tomorrow: back to one of the first-team options!