Guide to best Sony E-Mount 35mm Lenses for a7III/a7II/a7rIV/a7RIII

review sharpness 42mp high resolution sample test vergleich comparison bokeh handling build quality a7riii autofocus af close macro

35mm is a very popular focal length with a wide range of applications ranging from landscape over astrophotography to environmental portraiture and many consider it the best choice when only using one prime lens. We decided to summarize our experience with all the native E-mount and a few legacy 35mm lenses for the Sony A7 series to give you a compact and independent resource for choosing the best 35mm lens for your needs.

Unlike most other review sites we have no association with any lens manufacturer apart from occasionally loaning a lens for a review. We prefer independence over fancy trips and nice meals.

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 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.

Continue reading Guide to best Sony E-Mount 35mm Lenses for a7III/a7II/a7rIV/a7RIII

Guide to the best Portrait Lenses – Sony a7 series

We summarize our experience with all the native E-mount and a few legacy lenses in the 85-135mm bracket for the Sony a7 series to give you a compact and independent resource for choosing the best portrait lens for your needs.

We also have a guide to 21-35mm wide angle lenses, 10-20mm ultra wide angle lenses and macro lenses.

Unlike most other review sites we have no association with any lens manufacturer apart from occasionally loaning a lens for a review. No fancy trips and meals.

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 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.

Last update: October 2019

Continue reading Guide to the best Portrait Lenses – Sony a7 series

Leica: M-Summilux 75mm vs R-Summilux 80mm

Overview

This is a short comparative review that is technical in nature with no sample images. There is a tremendous amount of overlap between the 75 and 80 Lux. Read my 75 Lux review here. The major differentiators I examine in this post.

I have never seen any rigorous testing of the 75 versus 80 Lux. I have owned them both at separate times, always feeling the 80 Lux was a little softer, less corrected and with more character. I’ve spoken with several shooters who have experienced both lenses and voiced a similar opinion–descriptions like more “vintage,” “magical” and “gentler” come up. After writing the 75 Lux review and trying to save some money, my curiosity got the better of me and I picked up an 80 Lux to potentially sell my 75 Lux.

After shooting the 75 Lux for nearly 2 years solid, I was surprised when viewing my first batch of 80 Lux files. The signature is quite similar, but the distinctions are definitely there, and without pixel peeping. More than I recalled or anticipated. It was noticeable enough that I’ve decided to make this post for those curious. I figured there was a strong chance the renderings were so similar I wouldn’t bother.

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An Upgrader’s Guide to the Sony A7rIV

This isn’t a full review: if you want to check out the SNR then Bill Claff’s site Photonstophotos is where you want to go, and for technical analysis of many features of the rIV the Jim Kasson’s series is by far the best resource. Both of these sites are much to be preferred to any of the camera review sites if you have a modicum of technical knowledge.

This article, though, is more of a personal discussion of how much the differences between the A7r4 and A7rIII matter to me: and a spoiler is that while there are lots of technical differences which you can read about in the sites I mentioned, they aren’t the most important ones.

So as you can tell already, I made the plunge. Was it a good idea? that’s what this article may help you decide!

If you end up finding this useful and decide to buy one, using one of the links below will cost you nothing, and will make a small contribution to the cost of this site. None of us does this for a living, we don’t run advertising, and the small commissions just help make it possible to keep the site going.

You can buy it from B&H here

You can buy it from Amazon here

You can buy it from eBay here

Biggest Benefits

The biggest two benefits for me are the upgraded viewfinder, and the ability to make the AF/MF indicator red.

The upgraded viewfinder is great. It’s now about 5mp, and is noticeably crisper than the A7rIII. I find myself rarely or never using focus peaking, and often magnifying a little less in manual focus. This is really nice: it’s much less distracting not having focus peaking. Make sure you have the viewfinder refresh rate set on standard: the resolution drops at the high setting (the high setting is useful though – for example you might use it in  a  memory setting which uses high burst rates to follow action with autofocus. In this situation refresh rate would be more important than resolution).

The second improvement is the new, red colour available for the AF/MF target. This is wonderful! As someone who uses manual lenses maybe 2/3 of the time, my practice has been to move the focus target over what I want to focus on, then use a press of the joystick to magnify (setting initial mag to 5.9x eliminates an extra press you might otherwise need). But so often I would lose the target – it would be quite invisible. So I would have to reset it to the centre, and move it again, in the process losing the shot I wanted. The red target is really easy to see and I would personally pay big money for it. I’d also resent it big time as well, though, because it’s the kind of thing that could easily be made available on the rIII by firmware.

I think the enhanced sealing is also a big benefit. I have hated the way that I have babied the previous bodies in drizzle. Reports on the sealing of the rIV really do seem to indicate improvement – not just on the achilles heel of the riii which was the baseplate (never set an r3 down on a damp surface). The larger buttons which some people love for their ergonomics also are easier to make seals for apparently.

Image Quality

Continue reading An Upgrader’s Guide to the Sony A7rIV

Voigtlander 50mm F2 APO-Lanthar announced

Voigtlander announced a new 50mm F2 APO-Lanthar in E-mount.

Specifications

Diameter 63 mm
Length 61 mm
Filter Thread 49 mm
Weight (no hood, no caps) 364g
Max. Magnification 1:6.4
Close Focusing Distance from the sensor 0.45 m
Number of aperture blades 12
Elements/ Groups 10/8

The recommended price in Japan is ¥ 120,000 which is equal to about $1100. For comparison: The Voigtlander 1.2/50 has a recommended price of ¥ 150,000 and sells for $1099 so I would expect a price around $1000.

The official release date is December 2019.

Resources

First thoughts

Our praise for the optical performance of the 2/65 APO and 2.5/110 APO was very high indeed. The published MTF look phenomenal but we are not sure if they are comparable to Zeiss’ MTFs. The only real issue with both macros have is that their weight and size makes them less ideal as everyday lenses. And the 2/50 addresses that.

So this sounds like a really interesting lens for those who want a lens well suited for a 61MP sensor. We expect the Voigtlander to outperform any other current 50mm lens in terms of sharpness across the frame and CA-correction.  For now that is just a guess but I think it is a safe one based on the performance of the other two APO-Lanthars.

One interesting question is how the bokeh will compare to less well corrected lenses like Voigtlander’s own 1.2/50 which has excellent bokeh.

We will try get out hands on one as soon as possible which will probably be in December.