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by E.J. Peiker on Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:14 am
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E.J. Peiker
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Those that follow my newsletter know that every quarter I publish what the best lenses are for Canon and Nikon DSLRs as well as Sony full frame mirrorless (there just aren't enough lenses yet for EOS-R and Nikon Z to do this for those mounts).  As we all know, the more megapixels we cram onto our 36x24mm sensors, the higher the resolving power of the lens needs to be to actually utilize and get the most out of those megapixels.  Today the highest megapixel full frame camera is the Sony a7r IV at 61 megapixels.  Marc Alhadeff of Sony Alpha Blog (not associated with Sony, the company) has done an excellent job in rounding up most of the lenses available with the full frame Sony E-mount (FE) and has published a very good piece that includes an excellent graphic that gives you a good guide for which lenses work best with such a high pixel density camera.  I agree almost 100% with his findings from my own testing of many of the lenses.  I can easily recommend any of the lenses rated Very Good or higher on his graphic (scroll down a bit in the link).  In many cases the difference between outstanding, excellent, and very good, will not be visible in your photos unless you shoot wide open or really dig into the extreme corners of the image.  Here's the link and I thank Marc for putting this excellent piece together:
https://sonyalpha.blog/2019/11/10/which-lenses-to-maximise-the-potential-of-the-sony-a7riv/

A few additional lenses that I have extensive experience with that are not in his database and how I would rate them (note that I agree almost 100% with his findings):
Voigtlander 10mm f/5.6 - Good
Voigtlander 12mm f/5.6 - Very Good
Voigtlander 15mm f/4.5 - Very Good
Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art - Excellent
Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art - Very Good
Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 - Excellent
Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 - Excellent
Zeiss Loxia 50mm f/2 - Excellent
 

by Scott Fairbairn on Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:54 am
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Thanks for posting this list.
 

by Scott Fairbairn on Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:06 am
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E.J. Peiker wrote:
Those that follow my newsletter know that every quarter I publish what the best lenses are for Canon and Nikon DSLRs as well as Sony full frame mirrorless (there just aren't enough lenses yet for EOS-R and Nikon Z to do this for those mounts).  As we all know, the more megapixels we cram onto our 36x24mm sensors, the higher the resolving power of the lens needs to be to actually utilize and get the most out of those megapixels.  Today the highest megapixel full frame camera is the Sony a7r IV at 61 megapixels.  Marc Alhadeff of Sony Alpha Blog (not associated with Sony, the company) has done an excellent job in rounding up most of the lenses available with the full frame Sony E-mount (FE) and has published a very good piece that includes an excellent graphic that gives you a good guide for which lenses work best with such a high pixel density camera.  I agree almost 100% with his findings from my own testing of many of the lenses.  I can easily recommend any of the lenses rated Very Good or higher on his graphic (scroll down a bit in the link).  In many cases the difference between outstanding, excellent, and very good, will not be visible in your photos unless you shoot wide open or really dig into the extreme corners of the image.  Here's the link and I thank Marc for putting this excellent piece together:
https://sonyalpha.blog/2019/11/10/which-lenses-to-maximise-the-potential-of-the-sony-a7riv/

A few additional lenses that I have extensive experience with that are not in his database and how I would rate them (note that I agree almost 100% with his findings):
Voigtlander 10mm f/5.6 - Good
Voigtlander 12mm f/5.6 - Very Good
Voigtlander 15mm f/4.5 - Very Good
Sigma 18mm f/1.8 Art - Excellent
Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art - Very Good
Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 - Excellent
Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 - Excellent
Zeiss Loxia 50mm f/2 - Excellent

You have sigma 18mm f1.8, is that supposed to be the 14mm f1.8? I don’t see an 18mm Sigma art lens.
 

by AForns on Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:10 am
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Thanks E.J. Much appreciated.

I have used the 12mm f/5.6 Voigtlander and can also recommend ... btw using the Voigtlander adapter VM-E Close Focus Adapter cuts the minimum focusing distance by half. Its worth not having a Sony mount Voigtlander just for this capability.
Alfred Forns
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In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.
Yogi Berra
 

by E.J. Peiker on Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:28 am
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Scott Fairbairn wrote:
You have sigma 18mm f1.8, is that supposed to be the 14mm f1.8? I don’t see an 18mm Sigma art lens.


Typing too fast at 5:00AM ;)  I've corrected it.
 

by sdaconsulting on Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:41 pm
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I'd add the following to the list:

Loxia 25 outstanding (my favorite landscape lens!)
Reviews of Voigtlander 50/2 - outstanding, although I do not yet own it
Reviews of Sigma 35/1.2 Art - outstanding, although I do not yet own it
Matthew Cromer
 

by signgrap on Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:15 pm
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E.J. a question.
If I understood the article and lens ratings Which Lens to Use to Maxinize the Potenial of the Sony a7R IV you linked above, they have rated the Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 (Excellent) much higher than the Sony/Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA (only Good)  is that correct?  The reason I ask is that I own the 35mm f1.4 lens and I'm thinking of tradeing it in on the 35mm f1.8 lens.  Why?
The f1.4 lens is a beast to carry especially when a flash is mounted on the camera, Sony a7R IV, which it is fully 3/4's of the time when shooting people indoors (do a lot of club and event shooting for my Rotary).  The f/1.8 lens appears to have noticeably better sharpness while only giving up 2/3's of a stop, it is also less than 1/2 the weight 280g vs 630g and almost 1/2 its bulk.  The only thing that gives me pause is that you still rate the f/1.4 lens as the recommended 35mm lens for Sony full frame cameras in the Winter 2019/2020 issue of Quack.  
Quotes from the referrenced article:
"The Sony FE 35mm F1.8 has excellent sharpness performance in the centre , better than the Sony Distagon FE 35mm F1.4 Zeiss, but corners are a little bit less good than the Sigma. Moreover background blur and contrast is a little bit too harsh for portraits".
"The Sony Distagon FE 35mm F1.4 Zeiss was during a long time one of my favorite lens. It was still vey good on the A7RIII if you had a good copy of it, but it simply can’t fully resolve the 61Mpix of the A7RIV and you need to close down to F4 to reach excellence."

Does this trade make sense to you as I frequently use the 35mm lens for my landscape photography?  What do you see as the Pros vs Cons?
Dick Ludwig
 

by AForns on Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:07 am
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signgrap wrote:
E.J. a question.
If I understood the article and lens ratings Which Lens to Use to Maxinize the Potenial of the Sony a7R IV you linked above, they have rated the Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 (Excellent) much higher than the Sony/Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA (only Good)  is that correct?  The reason I ask is that I own the 35mm f1.4 lens and I'm thinking of tradeing it in on the 35mm f1.8 lens.  Why?
The f1.4 lens is a beast to carry especially when a flash is mounted on the camera, Sony a7R IV, which it is fully 3/4's of the time when shooting people indoors (do a lot of club and event shooting for my Rotary).  The f/1.8 lens appears to have noticeably better sharpness while only giving up 2/3's of a stop, it is also less than 1/2 the weight 280g vs 630g and almost 1/2 its bulk.  The only thing that gives me pause is that you still rate the f/1.4 lens as the recommended 35mm lens for Sony full frame cameras in the Winter 2019/2020 issue of Quack.  
Quotes from the referrenced article:
"The Sony FE 35mm F1.8 has excellent sharpness performance in the centre , better than the Sony Distagon FE 35mm F1.4 Zeiss, but corners are a little bit less good than the Sigma. Moreover background blur and contrast is a little bit too harsh for portraits".
"The Sony Distagon FE 35mm F1.4 Zeiss was during a long time one of my favorite lens. It was still vey good on the A7RIII if you had a good copy of it, but it simply can’t fully resolve the 61Mpix of the A7RIV and you need to close down to F4 to reach excellence."

Does this trade make sense to you as I frequently use the 35mm lens for my landscape photography?  What do you see as the Pros vs Cons?



Hi Dick

If it helps any, I already have done just what you said !  Love the 1.4 but can not justify the size/weight for the small difference.  I am very happy with the 1.8 and haven't looked back !!
Alfred Forns
NSN 0233

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.
Yogi Berra
 

by E.J. Peiker on Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:04 pm
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In general, Sony G lenses are approximately on par with Sony-Zeiss lenses (which only means they use the Zeiss T* coating, they are still Sony lenses) and any lens labeled GM is superior to any lens marketed as Sony-Zeiss.
 

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