Category Archives: Sony Alpha 7

Review: Leica 90mm 2.0 Summicron M

Introduction

Sony A7s with Leica 90mm 2.0 Summicron M (pre Asph) and VM-E close focus adapter (Helicoid)

The Leica Summicron-M 90mm 2.0 has been Leica’s top of the line M-mount portrait lens from 1980 to 1998. It is also one of the first lenses I reviewed for this blog, but I had to sell it to fund the Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 back in the day. Yet, I somehow missed this Leica’s high contrast look and nice bokeh, so I decided to give it another chance.
Lens is being tested on 42mp Sony A7rII and 24mp Leica M10

Sample Images

bokeh summicron 90mm 2.0 sony a7 review 42mp leica m10 24mp sharpness contrast
Leica M10 | Leica Summicron 90mm 2.0 pre-Asph | f/2.0
bokeh summicron 90mm 2.0 sony a7 review 42mp leica m10 24mp sharpness contrast
Leica M10 | Leica Summicron 90mm 2.0 pre-Asph | f/2.0
sony a7s summicron-m 90mm 2.0 a7s portrait wedding men groom husband
Sony A7s | Leica Summicron M 90mm 2.0 | f/2 | full resolution
bokeh summicron-m 90mm 2,0 f2 sony a7s leica leitz
Sony A7s | Leica Summicron M 90mm 2.0 | f/2 | full resolution
bokeh summicron 90mm 2.0 sony a7 review 42mp leica m10 24mp sharpness contrast
Sony A7III | Leica Summicron 90mm 2.0 pre-Asph | f/5.6

Continue reading Review: Leica 90mm 2.0 Summicron M

Guide to the best 50mm Lenses for full frame Sony E-mount cameras: a7III/a7II/a7rIV/a7RIII/a9/A9II

The 50mm lens is what used to be called a “standard” lens, though perhaps a very slightly shorter focal length gives the absolutely most natural perspective. For some of us here at Phillipreeve.net it’s a length we adore, and have more 50s than any other focal length. Others of us are less keen, finding it usually too short or too long. Obviously there is no right answer here, it depends on how each photographer sees the world.

But it is a very versatile focal length with a wide range of applications. It can be used for slightly formal portraits, moderately environmental portraits, landscape, architecture – most things except wildlife or sport. You can also, with a little quality loss, crop down to a more formal portrait angle of view, and you can – with a gain in both quality and hassle – stitch frames to get wider angles of view for certain kinds of landscape.

In this article we summarize our experience with all the native E-mount 50mm lenses to give you a independent resource in one place for choosing the best 50 mm lens for your needs.We will cover AF E mount, MF E mount with electronic contacts, and lenses with the E bayonet but no contacts. There will a separate article about lenses from other mounts you might adapt to E mount.

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

Before discussing each lens, we tell you which of us had or has the lens, and whether it was purchased or borrowed for review. In most cases we have bought the lenses new from retail stores or on the used market. 

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

If you purchase the lens through one of the affiliate-links in this article we get a small compensation with no additional cost to you.

Continue reading Guide to the best 50mm Lenses for full frame Sony E-mount cameras: a7III/a7II/a7rIV/a7RIII/a9/A9II

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.

Last update: November 2020

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

Beginner’s Guide to Manual Lenses on the Sony a7

Okay, everybody is talking about how manual lenses work so well on the Sony a7 series but how does it actually work? And which results can you expect? Read on if you want to know.DSC00720

Manual Lenses on the Sony a7/a7II/a7III

Zeiss Distagon 2.8/28  ~ $250
Olympus OM 2.8/100 ~ $100
 Minolta MC 1.4/50 ~ $60

Why should I use manual lenses?

    • They can be very cheap, you can get a great 1.4/50 lens for $50. For most applications such a lens will give you 90% of the performance of a $1000 Zeiss 1.8/55 FE. For the $1000 you would have to pay for that Zeiss you can buy an excellent set of five lenses from 20 to 300mm.
    • You have a huge choice between thousands of lenses ranging from exotic ones with lots of “character” to some of the very best lenses available.
    • There are 30-year-old primes with better image quality than many modern lenses. Of course progress has happened in recent years but still affordable primes are often sharper than very expensive modern zooms.
    • Old lenses are usually beautifully built from nothing but metal and glass which makes it a joy to handle them. They can last a lot longer than modern lenses which are full of electronics and very complex designs, both of which make them more likely to fail.
    • They also hold their value much better than modern lenses. With some patience you can sell most manual lenses without a loss but with new lenses you can expect to lose 30% in the first year.
    • Manual focusing can be very enjoyable. This certainly depends on application but personally I enjoy working with fully manual lenses a lot more than with any AF lens and I would choose a good manual focus lens over an AF lens (almost) any time. Check out our manual photographers series to read other photographers stories who feel similar about this.
Minolta MD 2/50 ~$25

Why shouldn’t I use manual lenses?

Continue reading Beginner’s Guide to Manual Lenses on the Sony a7

Travel report: A journey through the Balkans

Travel report: A journey through the Balkans

Last two years I already visited (by airplane) the Balkan countries Montenegro and Albania for a hiking vacation with my girlfriend and a photography trip with my photo buddy Rick. The wild nature of the Balkans attracts me a lot. As the Balkans are not well known yet, and a lot of people from West Europe think its still dangerous there (most area’s are safe nowadays), you can walk around in the mountains without seeing anyone for a whole day.
The Balkan countries also have very nice, often old cities at the Adriatic coast which are touristic, but not nearly as those in e.g. Italy.

Below you can find a few pictures from my trip last year, which convinced me to go back again this year.  Most photo’s of this year can be found in high resolution here. The timelapse video my friend Rick made is also worth checking.

a7s | Samyang 14mm t/3.1 | Montenegro 2018
a7ii | Loxia 2/50 | Montenegro 2018
a7s | Voigtländer 4.5/15 | Montenegro 2018
a7s | Samyang 14mm t/3.1 | Montenegro 2018

Continue reading Travel report: A journey through the Balkans