The Sony FE 4/16-35 ZA T* is a high end wideangle zoom aimed at demanding landscape photographers. In this review I share my experience after using a copy loaned from Sony for about three weeks on my Sony Alpha 7.
All ratings are based on my experience with these lenses on my fullframe Sony Alpha 7.
Minolta MD FISH-EYE Rokkor 16mm 1:2.8 (3-3.5/5)
f/2.8: The center is excellent, and most of the image sharp enough, midframe sharpness is actually lower than near corner sharpness wile the far corners are unsharp. Vignetting is surprisingly low.
f/5.6: noticeably better than f/4, most of the image is very sharp, only the far corners are unsharp
f/11: very good sharpness across the frame. Flare resistance is average and CA pronounced.
A rather heavy lens with integrated filters and lens hood. Built quality is excellent
Fisheye lenses are very hard to master, I wasn’t really succesfull at it. But this is a good lens, so good in fact that it also came in Leica R-mount and the same optical design is still used by the current Sony 2.8/16 Fisheye.
There is a younger MD version which is supposedly not as good.
I have owned the Canon FD 2.8/20 for about a year now and I am mostly happy with it’s performance. Now I got the chance to test it against the smaller and lighter Minolta MD 20mm 1:2.8. So, how do they compare?
Okay, everybody is talking about how manual lenses work so well on the Sony a7 but how does it actually work? What can I expect?
Read on if you want to know.
Why should I use manual lenses?
They can be very cheap, you can get a great 1.4/50 lens for $50 .For most applications such a lens will give you 95% of the performance of a $1000 Zeiss 1.8/55 FE. For the price of that Zeiss lens you can buy an excellent set of five lenses from 24 to 300mm.
You have a huge choice between thousands of lenses ranging from exotic ones with lots of “character” to modern high performance lenses.
There are 30-year-old primes with better image quality than many modern lenses. Of course there many modern lenses which are better than the best old lenses but even cheap primes are often sharper than very expensive modern zooms.
Old lenses are usually beautifully built and more reliable than modern lenses which are full of often failing electronics and complex and easily decentered optical designs.
They also hold their value much better than modern electronic lenses. When I sell a lens I most often get at least what I payed for it, sometimes more.
Manual focusing can be very enjoyable. This certainly depends on application and personality but I for example enjoy working with fully manual lenses a lot more than with AF lenses.
After I published the Minolta List several kind people offered to lent me Minolta lenses so I had a MD 2/85 and MC 1.7/85 plus several of my own lenses and made this test to see where the strengths and weaknesses of each lens are.
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I also tested foreground bokeh but the differences here were less noticeable The reason might be that my test setup wasn#t very good. You can find it here.
Is the Novoflex adapter worth a three digit figure when I can get one from China for 10 bucks? That was the question I had in mind when I bought it.
Currently I don’t own a single lens with an E-mount for my Sony Alpha 7, so every lens I use is adapted and I use adapters all the time. Over the last three years I have gained some experience with cheap adapters but I hadn’t used one of the more expensive ones. So I decided to buy a Novoflex NEX/CAN adapter, which was made in Germany and put it to the test. Continue reading Novoflex Adapter E-Mount Review→