Night Photography with Sony A7RIV and Singh-Ray Astro-Vision Filter

In ND Filters by Don Smith2 Comments

Pinnacles High Peaks and Starry Sky, Pinnacles National Park, West, California. Sonya7RIV, Sonya7RIV Vertical Battery Grip, Sony 24mm, f/1.4, 10 sec., ISO 800, No Filter

Greetings from beautiful Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I was here teaching a couple of workshops over10 days with beautiful fall color in the aspens and cottonwoods and fresh snow in the Teton Range – doesn’t get any better than this. My wife Beri and my good friend and co-instructor Ron Modra are also with me.

Monday Beri and I tried a night shoot with my new Sony a7RIV and Singh-Ray Astro-Vision Filter at the West side of Pinnacles National Park with the Sony a7RIV, Sony 24mm f/1.4 lens and the Singh-Ray Astro-Vision Filter.

According to Singh-Ray, the new Astro-Vision Filter is specially formulated to help deal with the unwanted light pollution caused by the yellowish-orangish glow from most city lights.

The common use of sodium vapor and mercury streetlights through-out the world, causes light pollution during your night cityscapes and Astro-photography shooting. With less than a ½ stop of light reduction, it will give your night-scene a more realistic image of what you see with your eyes. Using the same high quality of glass as other Singh-Ray filters, there will be absolutely no loss in sharpness or image quality, no matter what lens you use.

After testing, I can say the filter does exactly as advertised. I was shooting towards the west looking at the High Peaks. Behind those peaks is the Salinas Valley and the cities of Soledad and King City. That was creating a lot of ambient warm light just above the peaks and the Astro-Vision filter cleaned it up very impressively.

Hopefully the accompanying images will demonstrate. These were synced settings in Lightroom – any variance in exposure was more-than-likely a miscalculation by yours truly.

You will also get a chance to see how the Sony a7RIV handled noise at high ISO’s. I did have High ISO Noise Reduction turned-on in-camera.  I shot AWB in RAW mode and set my White Balance to 4000K in Lightroom (this is just a personal choice).

NOTE: I did not test for any star-eating by this new sensor. I’ve heard the rumors and I know that I will be asked but rest-assured that if there are any issues, the Sony engineers will be on it and send a fix via a firmware upgrade.

Sony a7RIV + Singh-Ray Astro-Filter 1600 ISO

Sony A7RIV + Singh-Ray Astro-Filter 1600 ISO

Sony a7RIV + Singh-Ray Astro-Filter 3200 ISO

Sony A7RIV + Singh-Ray Astro-Filter 3200 ISO

Sony A7RIV + Singh-Ray Astro-Filter 3200 ISO

Sony A7RIV + Singh-Ray Astro-Filter 12800 ISO

Sony A7RIV + Singh-Ray Astro-Filter 25600 ISO

Sony A7RIV + Singh-Ray Astro-Filter 51200 ISO (note sensor heating artifact)

Sony A7RIV + Singh-Ray Astro-Filter 102400 ISO (note sensor heating artifact)

As for the a7RIV, I felt the files were extremely clean up through 1600 ISO. At 3200 – 6400 ISO, noise was evident but was cleaned-up nicely with Topaz DeNoise AI and/or DxOPhotoLab 2’s Prime Noise Reduction. ISO’s were usable all the way to 12,800 ISO and I went three stops more beyond that. Let’s say those are fun ISO’s but not really something I would put out there or hang on a wall.

Overall, I am extremely happy both with how the camera and filter performed.

Comments

  1. I have been reading a lot of reviews about the Sony A7RIV a the A7RIII and have found that many people say the A7RIII is just as good as the IV. Thoughts?

    1. Hey John, the Sony a7RIV is a major update from the a7RIII. I worked with the a7RIII for two years and yes, it is an awesome camera, but the a7RIV will give you an overall cleaner file as the sensor utilizes the new “Backside Illumination” technology. It also has more bit-depth in the capture than the a7RIII. Moreover, the a7RIV is 42MP, has about 1.5 stops more dynamic range and better high ISO response. All components inside the camera have been updated to allow for a better analogue-to-digital conversion of the signal and there is also a new processor.

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