Since the introduction of the Sony A7-series cameras, many people asked for well performing f/2.8 zooms. Although it negates the approach of the small bodies, Sony listened to their customers and developed the no-compromise GM(aster) lens lineup. The FE 2.8/24-70 GM is the first lens of this new series in our hands. In this review I will check the performance of my own copy which I have used for the last three months.
Classic rangefinder lenses focus much less close than their SLR-counterparts because of how the focusing with rangefinder cameras works. With the Voigtländer VM-E adapter you can focus these lenses much closer when using them on an E-mount camera. The adapter is not only a Leica-M to Sony E adapter but also a variable extension tube. It has its own helicoid by which you can focus your lenses much closer than with a conventional adapter. I have been using the Voigtlander VM-E close focus adapter for more than a year now and it has become a valuable addition to my kit.
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: 12/28/16: review finished, conclusion updated, new sample images added
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.
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.
The Zeiss ZM 35mm 1.4 T* Distagon is is often referred to as being one of the best 35mm lenses available, combining high sharpness as well as microcontrast and smooth bokeh in a small yet very pricey package. But is it really worth the asking price when used on the A7 series cameras? Let us find out! Update 12/11/16:bokeh section updated
The Tokina 35mm 2.8 Macro is an APS-C (DX) lens and actually quite old already (introduced around 2008). As I am using two cameras from the A7 series I am rarely interested in APS-C lenses, but this one caught my attention for several reasons: I was looking for a moderate wide angle macro lens, it features 9 rounded aperture blades, it is quite small and cheap and I got word that it covers the whole full frame sensor at larger magnifications. Read on to find out whether my expectations were met!
The Nikon AI-s 180mm 2.8 ED is one of the most famous manual focus Nikkors and reknown for it’s beautiful bokeh, great CA correction and build quality. It was also one of the first “consumer” lenses featuring ED glass. I paired it with the A7rII and A7s to find out if it is still a viable option today.