User guide to Ultra Wideangle lenses for the Sony Alpha 7 series

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We summarize our experience with all the native E-mount and a few (manual) legacy lenses in the 10-20mm bracket to give you a compact resource for choosing the right super- to ultra-wide-angle lens for your Sony a7 cameras. In this summary we also included some adaptable AF lenses we think are worth mentioning.

We also have a guide to 21-35mm lenses.

We have no association with any lens manufacturer apart from occasionally loaning a lens for a review. Before any short introduction we tell you how long we have used a lens and if we have borrowed it from a manufacturer. But in most cases we have bought the lenses new from retail stores or on on the used market. If you want to support our independent reviews please consider using one of the affiliate links. It doesn’t cost you anything and helps us a lot.

If we have left any question unanswered please leave a comment and we will do our best to answer it.

Voigtlander 5.6/10 E

Status: Sample provided by the manufacturer reviewed by Bastian, who bought one for himself at retail after that. Still often in use.

voigtlander_10mm_5.6

  • At f/5.6 most of the frame is pretty sharp, only the extreme corners are somewhat soft. Contrast is always high.
  • You have to use f/11 for best across frame sharpness, the corners never reach excellent values.
  • Almost no distortion, quite good flare resistance, beautiful 10-stroke sunstars.
  • Small and lightweight, decently priced.
  • Widest rectilinear lens there is in a small package. Downsides are huge vignetting throughout the aperture range and maximum aperture of only f/5.6.

375g | $1300 | full Review | aperture seriessample images

buy from ebay (affiliate link)

voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 stuttgart sony e a7 distortion stuttgart mercedes benz museum

Continue reading User guide to Ultra Wideangle lenses for the Sony Alpha 7 series

The Manual Photographers Series Part 0.3: Jannik Peters

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 Hi Jannik,
can you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you use manual Lenses?

Jannik: I am an automotive engineer from Wolfsburg, Germany. I started out with an Sony Alpha 200 in 2008 but I discovered photography as my passion when the first Sony A7 came out. I preordered it and was fascinated by the ability to revive all the legacy lenses, that were “dead” for a long time. My first manual lens was a Canon nFD 1.4/50 which was an eye opener for me. At this time, I only owned the Sony FE 3.5-5.6/28-70 kit lens and I was never really satisfied by it. The sharpness and the creative potential of the fast aperture combined with the bargain price (50€) were amazing. I added lots of Canon FD lenses soon and started to discover other systems like Olympus OM and especially Contax/Yashica as well. With some experience, I found the different rendering styles of specific lenses and I am happy that I can choose between several lenses depending on the look that I want to create.

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Sony A7 | Canon nFD 2.8/24mm | Na Pali Coast, Kauai
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Sony A7 | Samyang 2.8/14mm | San Francisco

Continue reading The Manual Photographers Series Part 0.3: Jannik Peters

User-Guide to wide-angle lenses for Sony a7 a7ii a7rii

Wide-angle lenses Sony a7 ii

We summarize our experience with all the native Sony E-mount wideangle lenses and a few manualones in the 20-35mm bracket to give you a compact resource for choosing the right lens for your Sony a7.

We have no association with any manufacturer apart from occasionally loaning a lens for a review. Before any short introduction we tell you how long we have used a lens and if we have borrowed it from a manufacturer. But in most cases we have bought the lenses on the market. If you want to support our independent reviews please consider using one of the affiliate links. It doesn’t cost you anything and helps us a lot.

For lenses below 21mm check out our guide to ultra-wideangle lenses for the Sony a7.

If we have left any question unanswered please leave a comment and we will do our best to answer it.

Sony FE 4/16-35 ZA OSSZeiss 4/16-35

Status: Phillip reviewed a loaner from Sony and bought his own copy more than a year ago. He uses it regularly. Jannik owned but sold it in favor of the Loxia 2.8/21.

Jannik: A lovely lens with decent image quality and effective image stabilization. Personally, I tend to shoot always too wide with such a zoom lens although I miss it’s great versatility.

  • At f/4 the center is excellent across the zoom range, for best corners I would stop down at least to f/5.6, better f/8 where they are quite good.
  • Pronounced distortion at the ends, average vignetting and annoying ghosting for some scenes but fine most of the time.
  • This is neither a light nor a small lens but it isn’t huge either. Build quality is good.
  • A very versatile lens: It covers a very wide focal range with good optical quality and thanks to the stabilizer even on the a7 one can shoot before sunrise without a tripod. The price is significant but justified.

518g | $1348 | full review |  sample images

buy from Amazon.com | Amazon.de | B&H photo  (affiliate links)

Sample Image Sony 4/16-35 OSS

Continue reading User-Guide to wide-angle lenses for Sony a7 a7ii a7rii

The Manual Photographers Series Part 0.2: BastianK

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Hi Bastian,
can you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you use manual Lenses?

Bastian: I am a bridge engineer from Germany and my lovestory with manual lenses began with the 50mm 0.95 Mitakon and the 12mm 5.6 Voigtlander used with the Sony A7. I couldn’t believe it being possible to get consistently sharp results with a lens like the 50mm 0.95 after I have so badly failed using an Ai-s Nikkor 50mm 1.2 on my D800 (which was even equipped with an EG-s focusing screen).  The 12mm 5.6 on the other hand was a total relief in terms of size and weight and so I was hooked. Right now I have sold almost all of my Nikon gear. If you are curious you can read the whole story here: my transition from Nikon to Sony.
It is also a matter of fact that by the time I was using manual lenses I realised I don’t need AF for most of what I am doing and so today I am confident enough to even shoot weddings without AF lenses.

bastian kratzke sony a7rii a7s photography aspects important introduction manual lenses
Sony A7s | Nikon AF-S 20mm 1.8G | f/11.0 | higher resolution
bastian kratzke sony a7rii a7s photography aspects important introduction manual lenses
Sony A7s | Leica Summicron-M 90mm 2.0 pre Asph | f/11.0 | higher resolution
bastian kratzke sony a7rii a7s photography aspects important introduction manual lenses
Sony A7s | Loxia 21mm 2.8 | f/10.0 | higher resolution

Continue reading The Manual Photographers Series Part 0.2: BastianK

Review: Laowa 12mm 2.8 Zero-D

Introduction

Sony A7rII with Laowa 12mm 2.8 Zero-D and Sigma MC-11 adapter
Sony A7rII with Laowa 12mm 2.8 Zero-D and Sigma MC-11 adapter

It is a very interesting time for wide angle junkies like me: after the smallish Voigtlander 10mm 5.6 and 15mm 4.5 I now get the chance to review the fast Laowa 12mm 2.8 Zero-D. It is the fastest rectilinear lens wider than 14mm and the widest rectilinear lens as fast as f/2.8 and I am very curious to find out about the optical qualities!
Last Update:
Review finalized, Longitudinal CA, Bokeh, Alternatives, preliminary conclusion added (08/09/16)

Sample Images

sony a7 a7rii a7rm2 laowa venus optics zero distortion wide angle 12mm 2.8 fast coma bokeh mercedes museum stuttgart
Sony A7rII | Laowa 12mm 2.8 Zero-D | f/8.0 | full resolution
sony a7 a7rii a7rm2 laowa venus optics zero distortion wide angle 12mm 2.8 fast coma astro astrophotography
Sony A7s | Laowa 12mm 2.8 | f/2.8 | ISO6400 | 25s | full resolution
sony a7 a7rii a7rm2 laowa venus optics zero distortion wide angle 12mm 2.8 fast coma bokeh
Sony A7rII | Laowa 12mm 2.8 Zero-D | f/11 | full resolution

Continue reading Review: Laowa 12mm 2.8 Zero-D

Comparison: Minolta MC 1.2/58 vs Canon FD 1.2/55

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In todays post I compare two super fast lenses from the late 60’s. The Minolta MC 1.2/58 is a legend and priced as such while the Canon isn’t to popular and one of the most affordable f/1.2 lenses out there.

Sample Images

The following three images are processed with identical settings.


Full resolution: Minolta | Canon


Full resolution: Minolta | Canon


Full resolution: Minolta | Canon

Continue reading Comparison: Minolta MC 1.2/58 vs Canon FD 1.2/55