Review: Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4

Introduction

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Sony A7rII with Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 Sonnar

Before the newest entry of the Loxia line was introduced we were guessing what combination of focal length and maximum aperture it might feature: 90mm 2.0? 100mm 2.0? 85mm 2.8? 100mm 3.5? We were all wrong as none of us had an 85mm 2.4 on his list. When the first pictures and the technical data appeared many were put down by the maximum aperture and especially size and weight. The mtf-graphs on the other hand look very promising with hardly any sharpness falloff towards the borders, putting this lens in the territory of the Leica APO-Summicron 90mm 2.0 or even the Zeiss Otus 85mm 1.4 on paper, which both cost two to three times as much. So let’s find out what Zeiss’ newest lens has to offer!
Last Update: 09/25/17: long time experiences after ~1 year of usage added

Sample Images

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Sony A7rII | Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 | f/2.4 | panorama from 4 shots | higher resolution
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Sony A7rII | Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 | f/2.4 | full resolution
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Sony A7s | Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 | f/2.4 | full resolution

Continue reading Review: Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4

Short Review: Olympus OM Zuiko MC 100mm 1:2.8

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The Olympus OM 100mm 1:2.8 is a tiny lens and yet a solid performer. In this shorter review I give you my impressions.

Specifications

Diameter 60 mm
Length 50 mm
Filter Thread 49 mm
Weight 230 g
Max. Magnification 0.12
Close Focusing Distance from the sensor 1 m
Number of aperture blades 6
Elements/ Groups 5/5
The Olympus OM 2.8/100 usually sells for around $90 used at ebay.com (affiliate link). 
In Germany you can buy it used for around 90 at ebay.de (affiliate link). 

Image Samples

Just click on any image to get to the full resolution version.

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Rangefinder wide angle lenses on A7 cameras: problems and solutions

Introduction

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Close up lenses of different strength

In case you have read some of our reviews covering rangefinder wide angle lenses on this very blog you already know there are some limitations to be aware of and you might have also heard of the “Kolari”thin filter mod as a solution. But now, thanks to Fred Miranda forum member HaruhikoT, there is another way to use rangefinder wide angle lenses up to their full potential on A7 series cameras.
Update 10/02/17: non tested lenses removed, another option for ZM25mm 2.8 added

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The best lenses below $499 for the Sony a7 series

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You can easily spend a fortune on lenses for your Sony a7 but you don’t have to. These 34 lenses all cost less than $499 and give you great image quality on your Alpha.

There are certainly other lenses which would deserve a spot in this list but we only include lenses we have used ourselves, so please don’t take it personal if we haven’t included your favorite lens.

We changed the format a bit from our other guides: For each lens we have summarized the defining strengths and weaknesses. We hope this will make it easier to decide for yourself, if the lens could fit your needs.  Please make sure to check out our in-depth reviews for a much more detailed discussion of each lens.

Voigtlander 5.6/12 M39

Compared to the DSLR lenses (like the Samyang 14mm 2.8) this lens is ridiculously small. This is a lens that will always easily fit into your bag, which is great if you not intend to shoot this wide on a regular basis. With the filter adapter it is even possible to use standard 77mm filters.

You should be aware of: The corners never reach excellent levels, huge vignetting, slow, not a good match for A7r.

175g + adapter | ~$450 | full Review | aperture seriessample images

buy from ebay | Sony E-mount adapters (affiliate links)

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Continue reading The best lenses below $499 for the Sony a7 series

The Team’s Christmas Gift Guide for photographers

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We decided to give you some inspiration for christmas gifts related to photography we have also used ourselves. So in case you need a gift for a friend who is also interested in photography or something for your fiance who spends way too much time on our blog you might find this article helpful :-).

All links marked with * are affiliate links. Using them won’t cost you anything extra but we get a small percentage of your purchase which keeps this blog running and free from obstrusive ads. Thanks for the support :).

Under 25$

L-bracket – $20

Phillip: An L-bracket is just a lump of metal which does three things:

  • It provides you with a super solid connection between the camera and your Arca-Swiss tripod head in landscape orientation as well as in portrait orientation.
  • It offers you a better grip which made quite a difference with my a7. With the a7II’s deeper grip it is less necessary but this is of course highly subjective
  • It offers some protection for your camera

The L-bracket for my a7 was one of the best 20 bucks I ever spent on camera gear and I can only recommend to try one.

I bought this one for the a7II at Amazon.de*, in the US you can buy the same at Amazon.com*.

Continue reading The Team’s Christmas Gift Guide for photographers