Category Archives: Guides

The best lenses below $499 for the Sony a7 series – updated

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You can easily spend a fortune on lenses for your Sony E-mount camera but you don’t have to. These lenses all cost less than $499 and give you great image quality on your a7/a7II/a7III/a7rII-series camera.

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.

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.

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 – updated

Sony FE lenses: The honest Guide for the a7/a7II/a7III/a7rII/a7rIII

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. To easily compare specs check out our Sony FE-list.

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, 4.5-5.6/10-18 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 June 2019)

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
Strengths Weaknesses
  • Widest lens available
  • Small  size
  • Good sunstars and flare resistance
  • Huge vingetting
  • Corner sharpness not great

Recommendation: if you want the widest rectilinear lens available this is it.

Length: 68.5mm | Diameter: 67mm | Weight: 375g | Filter Thread: none | Price (February 2018): 1080€/1099$
Review | Sample images | Samples in full resolution | ebay.com amazon.com (affiliate links)

Continue reading Sony FE lenses: The honest Guide for the a7/a7II/a7III/a7rII/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 and 10-20mm ultra wide angle 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.

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Guide to Macro Lenses for the Sony a7 series

In this Guide to Macro lenses David and Phillip give you all the relevant information you need to find the right macro lens for your Sony Alpha 7/9 series camera. No matter if you are just an occasional macro shooter or pretty serious about macro.

Macro lenses allow you to capture much smaller objects so you can reach outside of our normal human perception. They can be found in many camera bags because they do not only excel in capturing tiny insects but they also perform quite well in other roles like portrait and landscape photography. You couldn’t buy a more universal prime.

Sony FE 2.8/90 used as a landscape lens

So which one is right for you? At first you should decide for yourself where you want to put your focus. Do you want to capture nothing but tiny insects? Or do you want to use the lens for other purposes most of the time and only capture occasional macro images?

A macro lens used to capture something really small

Things to consider when buying a macro lens

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Best Sony FE Landscape Lenses for the poor Student

User Characterization: You are a Sony a7 series user enthusiastic about landscape photography but you work on a very limited budget. You look for lenses with a great bang for the buck ratio and good characteristics for landscape photography.

In this post I give you my top picks and a few alternatives for affordable landscape lenses. These where my criteria for this list:

  • Very good across the frame sharpness at smaller apertures like f/8 or f/11.
  • High contrast and good flare resistance.
  • Lenses should be less than $200.
  • I see manual focus lenses as preferable for landscape photography.
  • I would like to have nice sunstars but at this budget this is quite difficult if not impossible.
  • Small size is a bonus.

This is the fourth part of a series on the best landscape lenses for the Sony a7/a9 series in which we explore sets of landscape lenses for different user types.

Part 1: “Only the best is good enough”
Part 2: The light traveler and hiker
Part 3: The casual landscape photographer 

All links marked with * are affiliate links. If you buy a lens through them we will earn a small commission on your purchase without any additional cost to you. Thanks for your support 🙂

Wide

Top pick: Pentax K 3.5/28 | 261 g + adapter | $80-120

The very affordable Pentax is as sharp as good modern lenses at f/8 or f/11 and it maintains high contrast with good flare resistance which is rare for a legacy wide angle lens. Stopped down to f/14 it even draws a pleasant sunstar. But of course there is a catch: the Pentax is pretty rare and not easy to find. The best alternative I see is the more expensive Zeiss Distagon 2.8/28 which isn’t better but more easily available.

Check availability on ebay.com* | ebay.de* | KEH* | adapter guide

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