Category Archives: Guides

Sony FE lenses: The honest Guide for the a7 series

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 March 2018)

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 link)s

Continue reading Sony FE lenses: The honest Guide for the a7 series

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

Continue reading Best Sony FE Landscape Lenses for the poor Student

Sony FE Landscape Lenses – Part 3: The casual landscape photographer

User Characterization: You like landscape photography but you need a kit that can do more than just that. You look for the best jack of all trades with an eye on the budget and you appreciate autofocus. 

The typical casual landscape phographers are people who shoot landscapes as well as portraits, parents on vacation (me for example 😉 ) or people who just don’t like to different lens kits for different use cases.

Sony A6500 | Sony FE 1.8/55 ZA |  f/5.6 – captured out of a driving car, probably the epitome of the casual landscape photographer

Continue reading Sony FE Landscape Lenses – Part 3: The casual landscape photographer

Guide to Ultra Wideangle lenses for the Sony a7 series v1.1

super wide angle ultra uwa swa

We summarize our experience with all the native E-mount and a few (manual) legacy lenses in the 10-20mm bracket to give you a compact and independent resource for choosing the right super- to ultra-wide-angle lens for your Sony a7 cameras. In this summary we also included some adapted lenses we think are worth mentioning.

We also have a guide to 21-35mm lenses.

We have no association with any lens 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 new from retail stores or on 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.

Voigtlander 5.6/10 E

Status: Sample loaned by the manufacturer reviewed by Bastian, who bought one for himself at retail after that. Still often in use.

voigtlander_10mm_5.6

  • At f/5.6 most of the frame is pretty sharp, only the extreme corners are somewhat soft. Contrast is always high.
  • You have to use f/11 for best across frame sharpness, the corners never reach excellent values.
  • Almost no distortion, quite good flare resistance, beautiful 10-stroke sunstars.
  • Small and lightweight, decently priced.
  • Widest rectilinear lens there is in a small package. Downsides are huge vignetting throughout the aperture range and maximum aperture of only f/5.6.

375g | $1300 | full Review | aperture seriessample images

buy from ebay | buy from amazon.com (affiliate link)

voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 stuttgart sony e a7 distortion stuttgart mercedes benz museum

Continue reading Guide to Ultra Wideangle lenses for the Sony a7 series v1.1

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.

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