All posts by The Team

The team, that are three gearheads Bastian, Jannik and Phillip from Germany who all like to use manual lenses.

Sony FE lenses: A comprehensive and independent guide

Choose the right lens for your Alpha with the help of our independent knowledge based on in-depth reviews.

We are a team of four photographers who all use the FE system and this blog is focused on lens reviews. So we have an in-depth knowledge of these lenses because we use them but also because we have reviewed most of them in detail. We are also independent from any lens manufacturer and when you check our reviews you will see that we do not hesitate to name any shortcomings of a lens.

In this article we only list lenses which have electronic contacts to communicate aperture and focal length to the camera. There are also quite a few lenses which have an E-mount but no electronic contacts. Most of these are SLR-lenses with a modified mount and  we decided against covering these because we think that most of them are not very attractive lenses. We do however cover the Laowa 2/15 and Mitakon 0.95/50 because those are attractive lenses for some photographers.

All native full frame lenses for the Sony FE mount (as of August 2017)

  • Voigtländer Heliar Hyper Wide 10mm f/5.6 (manual focus)
  • Sony G 12-24mm F4
  • Voigtländer Heliar Ultra Wide 12mm f/5.6 (manual focus)
  • Samyang AF 14mm F2.8
  • Voigtländer Heliar Super Wide 15mm f/4.5 (manual focus)
  • Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM
  • Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35 mm F4 ZA OSS
  • Zeiss Bastis 18mm F2.8
  • Tokina Firin 20mm f/2 (manual focus)
  • Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 (manual focus)
  • Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM
  • Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70 mm F4 ZA OSS
  • Sony FE 24-240 mm F3.5-6.3 OSS
  • Zeiss Batis Distagon T* 25 mm F2
  • Sony FE 28 mm F2
  • Sony FE 28-70 mm F3.5-5.6 OSS
  • Sony FE 28-135 F4 G OSS
  • Sony Distagon T* FE 35 mm F1.4 ZA
  • Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 (manual focus)
  • Sony Sonnar T* FE 35 mm F2.8 ZA
  • Samyang/Rokinon FE 35mm F2.8
  • Sony FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA
  • Samyang/Rokinon FE 50/1.4
  • Sony FE 50mm f/1.8
  • Zeiss Loxia 50mm f/2 (manual focus)
  • Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro
  • Sony Sonnar T* FE 55 mm F1.8 ZA
  • Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS
  • Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS
  • Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS
  • Sony FE 85mm F1.4 GM
  • Sony FE 85mm F1.8
  • Zeiss Batis Sonnar T* 85 mm F1.8 OSS
  • Zeiss Loxia 85mm f/2.4 (manual focus)
  • Sony FE Macro 90 mm F2.8 G OSS
  • Sony FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS
  • Zeiss Batis Sonnar T* 135 mm F2.8 OSS
  • Sony FE 100-400mm f/4-5-5.6 GM OSS

Continue reading Sony FE lenses: A comprehensive and independent guide

Adapters for Manual Lenses on the Sony a7 series: The Guide

There are many good reasons to adapt manual lenses to the Sony A7 series cameras. To do so you need an adapter and this article will help you to choose the right one.

We are three guys from Germany who have adapted manual lenses for many years now. By using several dozen adapters over the years we have learned the hard way, that not all adapters are created equal. We hope that the money we spent on bad adapters will help you to avoid annoying miss-buys we experienced.

In the following two parts we tell you why you need an adapter in the first place, and which issues can arise with adapters. If all you need is the right adapter for your lens you can simply jump to Adapter Manufacturers].

All links marked with a * are affiliate links. If you use them we will get a few percents commission on your purchase without any added cost to you. If you want to support our manufacturer independent work please consider using them.

Continue reading Adapters for Manual Lenses on the Sony a7 series: The Guide

The Team’s favorite lenses – April 2017 Edition

This is the first article of a new series in which we want to share our favorite lenses and new gear with you. There will be a new edition of it every half year.

Jannik’s favorites

I am still not able to contribute as much as I’d like to because I am very busy with my work. Nevertheless, I’m happy to share my current favorites with you:

Sony A6500 | Zeiss Touit 1.8/32 | f/4

Zeiss Loxia 2.8/21

I have used the Batis 2.8/18 for a while but something just didn’t feel right about it for me. Therefore, I have exchanged it in favor of the Loxia 2.8/21. It is still my all time favorite lens and I prefer it for it’s handling, the beautiful and contrasty rendering and it’s sun stars.

Sony A7II | Zeiss Loxia 21mm 2.8 | f/8

Continue reading The Team’s favorite lenses – April 2017 Edition

12 images from 2016

Better late than never: We wish all of our readers a great and succesful year 2017! Thank you for reading our blog and for all your contributions and comments. This is our retrospective conclusion of the favorite images that we took in the passed year.

Phillip’s 2016

2016 was a very eventful year for me. Not all of those events were pleasant but photography was always a great compensation even in stressful times.

The blog is more about gear than about photography and I view my obsessions with gear and photography as two more or less separate hobbies of mine but it is also a pleasure (most of the time at least, the G 4/70-200 review which has been in the making  for months now has been very frustrating to so far ;)) for me to discover new lenses, to share my experiences and to receive the great feedback I get here.

In early 2016 I also made the lucky decision to invite Jannik and Bastian to join the team of this blog. In them I have found two soulmates who are as crazy about lenses as I am. Behind the scenes we constantly discuss gear, photos and articles which is a great source of motivation. And of course both have since then written many well received articles and together we can bring many more lenses to your attention than I could alone.

The Creek

Continue reading 12 images from 2016

The best lenses below $499 for the Sony a7 series


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)

dancing houses prag prague praha gehry sony a7s voigtlander 12mm 5.6

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

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 | | 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