All posts by The Team

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

The best lenses below $499 for the Sony a7 series v1.1

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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)

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

Continue reading The best lenses below $499 for the Sony a7 series v1.1

The Team’s favorite lenses – October 2017 Edition

Half a year has passed and much has changed, not only in our camera bags. With David from Australia we have a new author (as you may have noticed already), who will support us, so that we can cover more lenses and other interesting topics.

David’s favorites

Hard to know what a favourite lens is. Is it the workhorse that gets use all the time? Is it that exotic piece that just occasionally gets used, but is thrilling and irreplaceable when it is? I guess any of these. My list will just contain three optics that I find to be very special in different ways.  Of course that’s not the same thing as three I’d necessarily recommend together as a kit.

Voigtländer Macro Apo-Lanthar 2/65

This is not a lens I’ve reviewed: Phillip reviewed it here, and that was one of the reasons I purchased it. A manual focus lens, fast but not that fast, an unusual focal length, and macro but, well, not all that macro – it focuses only to 1:2. So why is it on my list?

Simply it’s the finest production lens for the 135 format that I’ve ever used, and possibly the finest ever. It’s incredibly sharp wide open – enough so I can see aliasing at f2 on a 42 MP sensor! One stop down and it’s even better, and the corners have gone from being great to being super great. This brings with it creative possibilities: when f2 is so sharp, you can create images with a remarkably sharp subject set against a nicely blurred backdrop.

But sharpness is not even its big party trick. That’s colour correction. It has less LoCA and spherochromatism than any optic I’ve used. Those nice backgrounds seem to be full of light and space because they are so clean: the white highlights are, well, white, and it’s surprising what that can add to the image. Add to that lovely sunstars and excellent performance against the light.

It’s not even absurdly expensive. A definite pick!

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

Sony FE lenses: A comprehensive and independent guide v1.2

Choose the right lens for your Sony Alpha with the help of our independent knowledge gained by writing many 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 not only because we use them all the time 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 Octorber 2017)

10-15mm

Voigtländer 5.6/10 (manual focus)

voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 review sample
Sony A7rII | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/16

One year after release this 10mm lens is still unique as it is the only non-fisheye lens offering this enormous field of view. You might need to up your composition skills to get the best out of it though. The corners show significant vignetting even stopped down and the resolution in the corners isn’t that great. Apart from that the optics are very fine, especially considering the small size of the lens. On top of that you get great build quality, very good flare resistance and beautiful sunstars.
Length: 68.5mm |  Diameter: 67mm | Weight: 375g | Filter Thread: none | Price (August 2017): 1080€/1099$
Review | Sample images | Samples in full resolution | ebay.com (affiliate link) | amazon.com (affiliate link)

Continue reading Sony FE lenses: A comprehensive and independent guide v1.2

Guide to Adapters for Manual Lenses on the Sony a7 series

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.

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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