Category Archives: Sony E-mount

Rolling-Review: Sony FE 24mm 1.4 GM

sony gm 24mm 1.4 fe wide angle review sharpness bokeh astro coma astrophotography sony a7rii a7riii 42mp
Sony FE 24mm 1.4 GM on Sony A7rII

The FE 24mm 1.4 GM – also known as the first Sony lens I ever preordered. At Photokina we could have a look at this lens and Jannik and Bastian decided to buy it. As they have now received it we are starting our rolling-review that will be steadily updated as we get to know the lens better.
Last Update: Rolling-Review started 10/17/18

Continue reading Rolling-Review: Sony FE 24mm 1.4 GM

Rolling-Review: Laowa 10-18mm 4.5-5.6 FE C-Dreamer

Introduction

laowa 10-18mm zoom c-dreamer 4.5-5.6 ultra wide 42mp a7 a7rII a7rIII review sharpness
Laowa FE 10-18mm 4.5-5.6 C-Dreamer on Sony A7rII

It seems every two years we see an interesting ultra wide angle FE lens by Laowa. First the Laowa 15mm 2.0 Zero-D FE at Photokina in 2016 and now 2 years later the Laowa 10-18mm 4.5-5.6 C-Dreamer FE at Photokina 2018.
The Voigtländer 10mm 5.6 E held the crown for being the widest rectilinear lens, now we have a zoom lens starting at 10mm but going all the way up to 18mm by Laowa. Is the image quality good enough to get this over the Voigtlander?
This is a Rolling-Review, bits and pieces will be added as we get to know the lens better.
Last Update: More samples added, distortion correction profiles added, chapter use with filters added (10/14/18)

Sample Images

laowa 10-18mm zoom c-dreamer 4.5-5.6 ultra wide 42mp a7 a7rII a7rIII review sharpness
Sony A7rII | Laowa FE 10-18mm 4.5-5.6 | 10mm | f/5.6
laowa 10-18mm zoom c-dreamer 4.5-5.6 ultra wide 42mp a7 a7rII a7rIII review sharpness
Sony A7rII | Laowa FE 10-18mm 4.5-5.6 | 10mm | f/8.0
laowa 10-18mm zoom c-dreamer 4.5-5.6 ultra wide 42mp a7 a7rII a7rIII review sharpness
Sony A7rII | Laowa FE 10-18mm 4.5-5.6 | 10mm | f/8.0

Continue reading Rolling-Review: Laowa 10-18mm 4.5-5.6 FE C-Dreamer

Voigtlander 110mm F2.5 APO Macro Hands-On: Photokina Recap Part 5

Specifications

Diameter 78 mm
Length 100 mm
Filter Thread 58 mm
Weight 771 g
Max. Magnification 1:1
Close Focusing Distance from the sensor 0.35 m
Number of aperture blades 10
Elements/ Groups 14/12

$1099 at B&H (affiliate link)

I think it came across from my review that I was quite impressed by the Voigtländer 2/65‘s performance. So when Cosina announced the 2.5/110 they had my attention and I made my interest in a review copy known immediately. For some reason though the release date has been postponed from August. I hope we don’t have to wait much longer.

Features

The Voigtlander 110mm F2.5 APO-Lanthar Macro focuses down to a magnification ratio of 1:1. Unlike the Sony FE 2.8/90 it does not focus internally so it extends a lot when focused at smaller objects. I couldn’t test the working distance at PK but it will be interesting to see how it compares to the Sony macro.

Another key-feature is the APO-correction. While other companies have used this term rather generously the 2/65 APO offers a really high degree of correction for any kind of CA so the expectation is quite high here. Conditions at PK didn’t allow for much testing of the CA-correction.

Another “feature” is that this is the longest native manual focus lens in E-mount. I think together with my 1.2/40 and the new 3.5/21 it could form a really nice three prime set which covers almost any application I would have for it from landscape over macro to portrait. If your focus is on portraits you will almost certainly be better served by the mighty GM 1.4/85 and eye-AF. But if you like to take an occasional portrait while your focus is on other applications and you enjoy manual focus this lens might work very well for you. At least that is what I am hoping for.

Handling

Voigtlander 2/65 besides 2.5/110

At Photokina I could handle a copy and take some images. I was positively surprised to note that the 110mm Macro is just 9mm longer than the 65mm. This is possible because while the 65’s front element is deeply recessed the 110mm’s is not. Another advantage is a more reasonable filter size of 58mm. This is shared by most other Voigtlanders.

I can’t say that much about the handling: The focus ring felt nice. I didn’t use it enough to notice how it balances. The aperture ring has moved from the front to the back which one will get used to. So it most likely will be what one has come to expect from a modern Voigtlander lens which is a very pleasant to use lens.

both lenses fully extended

Optical performance

Again I didn’t learn a lot from the short usage at PK. An exhausting fair where you are constantly bombarded by information and sounds isn’t a good testing ground. You can find my test images in this set. They were handheld and didn’t show anything unexpected.

One aspect I looked at was bokeh and cat-eyes. This is the full image and out of focus highlights look pretty smooth and not defined. Cat-eyes are pronounced though.

I also don’t see any onion rings which is good news.

Conclusion

I didn’t learn much about the CV 2.5/110 APO at Pk but I didn’t learn anything negative either. I look forward to either reviewing it myself or reading David’s review, depending who gets one first. I think it could find a constant place in my kit.

Voigtlander 21mm F3.5 E-mount Hands-on: Photokina Recap Part 3

Specifications

Diameter 63 mm
Length 40 mm
Filter Thread 52 mm
Weight 230 g
Max. Magnification
Close Focusing Distance from the sensor 0.2 m
Number of aperture blades 10
Elements/ Groups 9/8

Despite my appreciation for Voigtländer lenses which usually balance performance, size, handling and price in a way that suits my needs like few others I initially couldn’t find a reason to buy their new 3.5/21 since I have been eying the Zeiss Loxia 2.8/21 for quite some time and Jannik, Bastian and David all vouch for it’s excellence.

And just when I had the funds together and was waiting for a good offer on a used Loxia the specs and price for the CV 3.5/21 were announced. These made me preorder it.

The Voigtlander 3.5/21 weights 230g which is a little more than half as much as the Loxia which comes in at 394g. At 40mm it is also significantly shorter than the 73mm Loxia. I paid about 650€ for my preorder at Robert White which is less than half as much as the Loxia. It also focuses a little closer (20cm vs 25cm).

So I will get a truly small lens which I expect to take with me more often. I think there will be a few situations when the Loxias faster speed would have been handy. For astro photography for example but that is not where my focus is so it is not a significant compromise for me. This is nothing but speculation but at that size and price I don’t quite expect the CV 3.5/21 to reach the Loxia’s performance. I hope it will be close enough that it won’t matter for my photography. So I think that the CV could be a really interesting lens because of the very compact size and competetive pricing aswell as the good flare resistance and contrast I have come to expect from a Voigtlander lens.

I could take a few test shots at PK which you can find here. They don’t reveal much because the conditions were pretty bad but at least they tell me that the Voigtlander has decent enough corners from wide open. Anything more detailed will have to wait until I have my own copy. We will also compare it to the Loxia.

I got an estimated shipping date of November while other places talked of October. So check back in a month or so for my rolling review.

NiSi 75mm f/0.95 FE prototype and Cine lenses: Photokina Recap Part 2

Most people know NiSi as a manufacturer of high quality optical filters for cameras and cine lenses. In 2017 they introduced a whole line of professional cine lenses and now we can have an exclusive first look at their first camera lens, a 75mm f/0.95.

75mm f/0.95 FE prototype

Disclaimer: this lens is an early stage prototype. Housing, coatings and polishing of the elements are not comparable to the final production model. Nevertheless we are allowed to show a few pictures to give you an opinion on the bokeh rendering of this lens. Since I am a NiSi ambassador we got an exclusive sneak peak at this lens.

Continue reading NiSi 75mm f/0.95 FE prototype and Cine lenses: Photokina Recap Part 2