Category Archives: Sony E-mount

Review: Sony FE 2.8/24-70 GM

Introduction

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.

Sample Images

Sony A7II | Sony FE 24-70mm 2.8 GM | 24mm f/10 | full resolution
Sony A7II | Sony FE 24-70mm 2.8 GM | 31mm f/16 | full resolution
Sony A7II | Sony FE 24-70mm 2.8 GM | 70mm f/2.8 | full resolution

Continue reading Review: Sony FE 2.8/24-70 GM

Review: Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4

Introduction

carl zeiss loxia 85mm 2.0 sonnar sony a7 a7r a7r2 a7rm2 alpha alpha7 review
Sony A7rII with Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 Sonnar

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

Sample Images

carl zeiss loxia 85mm 2.0 sonnar sony a7 a7r a7r2 a7rm2 alpha alpha7 review venice italy bokeh panorama
Sony A7rII | Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 | f/2.4 | panorama from 4 shots | higher resolution
carl zeiss loxia 85mm 2.0 sonnar sony a7 a7r a7r2 a7rm2 alpha alpha7 review portrait head shot black white
Sony A7rII | Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 | f/2.4 | full resolution
carl zeiss loxia 85mm 2.0 sonnar sony a7 a7r a7r2 a7rm2 alpha alpha7 review portrait head shot concert big band
Sony A7s | Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4 | f/2.4 | full resolution

Continue reading Review: Zeiss Loxia 85mm 2.4

Review: Zeiss ZM 35mm 1.4 T* Distagon

Introduction

zeiss distagon 35mm 1.5 zm t* adapter leica m a7rII a7r a7s a7 sony review
Sony A7rII with Voigtlander VM-E close focus adapter and Zeiss ZM 35mm 1.4 T* Distagon

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

Sample Images

zeiss distagon 35mm 1.5 zm t* adapter leica m a7rII a7r a7s a7 sony review
Sony A7s | Zeiss ZM 35mm 1.4 T* Distagon | f/1.4 | full resolution
zeiss distagon 35mm 1.5 zm t* adapter leica m a7rII a7r a7s a7 sony review
Sony A7rII | Zeiss ZM 35mm 1.4 T* Distagon | f/1.4 | full resolution
zeiss distagon 35mm 1.5 zm t* adapter leica m a7rII a7r a7s a7 sony review sunset sunrise contralit contra light gegenlicht work against bright light
Sony A7rII | Zeiss ZM 35mm 1.4 T* Distagon | f/11 | full resolution

Continue reading Review: Zeiss ZM 35mm 1.4 T* Distagon

Review: Zhong Yi Mitakon 50mm 0.95 Dark Knight

Introduction

mitakon 50mm 0.95 zhong yi optical dark knight speedmaster a7 series a7rii a7r2 a7rm2 a7s sony e-mount fe
Sony A7s with Mitakon 50mm 0.95 “Dark Knight”

The Zhong Yi Mitakon 50mm 0.95 Speedmaster “Dark Knight” is a very fast 50mm lens with the staggering maximum aperture of 0.95. Compared to the Leica Noctilux this lens is very cheap, on absolute terms it isn’t, so find out whether this lens is worth the asking price!

Sample Images

mitakon 50mm 0.95 zhong yi optical dark knight speedmaster a7 series a7rii a7r2 a7rm2 a7s sony e-mount fe
Sony A7s |Zhong Yi Mitakon 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95 | higher resolution
mitakon 50mm 0.95 zhong yi optical dark knight speedmaster a7 series a7rii a7r2 a7rm2 a7s sony e-mount fe
Sony A7s |Zhong Yi Mitakon 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95 | higher resolution
mitakon 50mm 0.95 zhong yi optical dark knight speedmaster a7 series a7rii a7r2 a7rm2 a7s sony e-mount fe
Sony A7 |Zhong Yi Mitakon 50mm 0.95 | f/0.95 | full resolution

Continue reading Review: Zhong Yi Mitakon 50mm 0.95 Dark Knight

User-Guide to wide-angle lenses for Sony a7 a7ii a7rii

Wide-angle lenses Sony a7 ii

We summarize our experience with all the native E-mount and a few manual lenses in the 20-35mm bracket to give you a compact resource for choosing the right wide-angle lens for your Sony a7.

We have no association with any 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 on the 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.

For lenses below 21mm check out our guide to ultra-wideangle lenses for the Sony a7.

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

Sony FE 4/16-35 ZA OSSZeiss 4/16-35

Status: Phillip reviewed a loaner from Sony and bought his own copy more than a year ago. He uses it regularly. Jannik owned but sold it in favor of the Loxia 2.8/21.

Jannik: A lovely lens with decent image quality and effective image stabilization. Personally, I tend to shoot always too wide with such a zoom lens although I miss it’s great versatility.

  • At f/4 the center is excellent across the zoom range, for best corners I would stop down at least to f/5.6, better f/8 where they are quite good.
  • Pronounced distortion at the ends, average vignetting and annoying ghosting for some scenes but fine most of the time.
  • This is neither a light nor a small lens but it isn’t huge either. Build quality is good.
  • A very versatile lens: It covers a very wide focal range with good optical quality and thanks to the stabilizer even on the a7 one can shoot before sunrise without a tripod. The price is significant but justified.

518g | $1348 | full review |  sample images

buy from Amazon.com | Amazon.de | B&H photo  (affiliate links)

Sample Image Sony 4/16-35 OSS

Continue reading User-Guide to wide-angle lenses for Sony a7 a7ii a7rii

Review: Laowa STF 105mm F2.0 (T3.2)

Laowa_STF_105mmf2_Sony_a7-2

Venus Optics is a new player in the field of high performance manual lenses. Their new Laowa Smooth Trans Focus 105mm F 2.0(T3.2) has a special apodization element which should give this lens extraordinary bokeh. That’s the theory, in this review I will put it to the test.

Sample images

Most images in this review are linked to the full resolution, just click on them. There is also a Laowa STF 105mm F 2.0 flickr album.

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Continue reading Review: Laowa STF 105mm F2.0 (T3.2)

The STF Duel: Laowa 2/105 vs Sony 2.8/135

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There is only a hand full of lenses which incorporate an apodization element which improves bokeh at the cost of light transmission. Today I will compare two of them. The Sony STF 2.8/135 was released 1999 by Minolta and is known for it’s uniquely smooth bokeh. The Laowa STF 2/105 is a new lens released this year by Chinese newcomer Venus Optics. In this post I will see where their strengths and weaknesses lie.

Continue reading The STF Duel: Laowa 2/105 vs Sony 2.8/135

Review: Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 E Hyper Wide Heliar

Introduction

Sony A7s with Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E
Sony A7s with Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E

The Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 Hyper Wide Heliar E aspherical is the second native E-Mount lens by Voigtlander and it is also the widest rectilinear lens ever produced. I am a wide angle junkie so I was eagerly awaiting this lens. Read on to find out what one can do with such a wide lens!
Update
(08/28/16): Info on Use for Astrophotography and Use with Filters added

Sample Images

voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 stuttgart sony e a7 hallstatt austria blue hour reflection church
Sony A7s | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/9.0 | full resolution
voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 stuttgart sony e a7 distortion stuttgart library stadtbibliothek
Sony A7s | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/11 | full resolution
voigtlander hyper wide heliar 10mm 5.6 stuttgart sony e a7 italy reflection gosau see lake dolomites
Sony A7s | Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 HWH E | f/9.0 | full resolution

Continue reading Review: Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 E Hyper Wide Heliar

Review: Zeiss Batis 18mm 2.8

Introduction

Sony A7s with Zeiss 18mm 2.8 E Batis
Sony A7s with Zeiss 18mm 2.8 E Batis

The Zeiss Batis 18mm 2.8 is the latest addition to Zeiss’ line up of modern autofocus lenses and also the widest AF prime lens to date for Sony E-Mount. As many people (include me here) are now engaged in landscape astrophotography I am especially interested how the new Batis fares in this regard.
Last Update: Review finised, conclusion added, sample images added  (05/30/16)

Sample Images

carl zeiss batis 18mm 2.8 sony a7s astro astrophotography astroscape coma milkyway milky way star stars
Sony A7s | Batis 18mm 2.8 | f/2.8 | ISO6400 | 20s | panorama from 4 shots | higher resolution
santa cruz tenerife canary island zeiss batis 18mm 2.8 e mount sony a7s panorama blue hour sunstars reflection
Sony A7s | Batis 18mm 2.8 | f/8.0 | panorama from 4 shots
batis 18mm 2.8 sony e zeiss a7 distortion stuttgart ludwigsburg castle monrepos favorite barock
Sony A7s | Batis 18mm 2.8 | f/11 | full resolution

Continue reading Review: Zeiss Batis 18mm 2.8