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by Brian Stirling on Fri Dec 10, 2021 5:37 pm
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I sold my Nikon gear a while back and have waited to go mirrorless until the right camera came along and for me that's the new Sony A7 IV.  I will be new to the Sony ecosystem and I have some questions.

First, what are the best memory card options?  For just stills and shooting mostly landscape and architecture I don't need super fast, but when shooting 4K video, which I'm doing a lot more these days, faster is kind of important.  The A7 IV can use CFExpress type A or SDXC UH2 and some of the reviewers indicate the better SDXC UH2 cards are fast enough even for 4K60 video so is that really true or do you need a CFExpress A card for some recording modes?  

I need to build my lenses from scratch and that's going to take a while so what would be the best lenses to get started with if landscape and architecture are the main uses?  The three brands that seem to be mentioned most often are Sony (obviously), Sigma, and, surprising to me, Samyang.  With my prior Nikon kit, which was based on the D800E body, I had the Zeiss Distagon 21mm manual focus, the newer 24-120VR lens which I used more than I expected, the 85mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.8, 35mm f/1.4 and the 105mm macro all in Nikon as well as the Sigma 150-600 sport which I used for specialty work like wildlife (Yellowstone...).

So, at the moment I'm leaning towards:  Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 DG DN Art, Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG DN Art, Sony 20mm f/1.8 G, Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG DN Art, Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA, and maybe even the Samyang 12mm f/2.0 AF.  Since I'll be acquiring these over time I think my starting kit will include the 20mm, a 24-70, and either the 55mm or the 85mm.

Lastly, anything else I need to know about the Sony ecosystem and the A7 IV in particular?


Thanks

Brian
 

by Mark L on Fri Dec 10, 2021 8:28 pm
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Take a good look at the Sony 24-105 G lens. It is not a GM lens because it is slow (f4) but many photographers (including myself) use it as a landscape mainstay and love it. To me the additional range is really valuable compared to a 24-70.

Both the Sony 55mm f1.8 and the Sony 20mm f1.8 are very nice lenses.

Personally I also own and use the Sony 16-35 f2.8 GM and the 100-400 GM.
 

by SantaFeJoe on Fri Dec 10, 2021 9:12 pm
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Brian Stirling wrote:
.......First, what are the best memory card options?  For just stills and shooting mostly landscape and architecture I don't need super fast, but when shooting 4K video, which I'm doing a lot more these days, faster is kind of important.  The A7 IV can use CFExpress type A or SDXC UH2 and some of the reviewers indicate the better SDXC UH2 cards are fast enough even for 4K60 video so is that really true or do you need a CFExpress A card for some recording modes?  .......

Thanks

Brian


One thing to keep in mind is that the read and write speeds of the CFexpress A cards are faster than sdxc UH2. When you transfer images to a computer, it makes a difference in download speed, if that is important to you.

Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

by Brian Stirling on Fri Dec 10, 2021 11:33 pm
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SantaFeJoe wrote:
Brian Stirling wrote:
.......First, what are the best memory card options?  For just stills and shooting mostly landscape and architecture I don't need super fast, but when shooting 4K video, which I'm doing a lot more these days, faster is kind of important.  The A7 IV can use CFExpress type A or SDXC UH2 and some of the reviewers indicate the better SDXC UH2 cards are fast enough even for 4K60 video so is that really true or do you need a CFExpress A card for some recording modes?  .......

Thanks

Brian


One thing to keep in mind is that the read and write speeds of the CFexpress A cards are faster than sdxc UH2. When you transfer images to a computer, it makes a difference in download speed, if that is important to you.

Joe


Thanks Joe, appreciate the reply...

Yeah, I thought about file download/transfer speed and that will make a difference.  I think I mentioned in a prior that I will be upgrading my image/video editing computers as both my high end Dell 4K 16 inch laptop and a home built higher end Windows PC are 6 going on 7 years old and neither have dedicated compressor/decompressor hardware.  After nearly 4 decades in the Intel MS world I am ordering the new MacBook M1 Max 16 inch which should be a minimum 5x faster and, for some things 10X or more faster.  When on a trip I may copy the images/video to the SSD on my laptop but I also like to make a second copy to external HD's -- with the new MacBook using Thunderbolt 4 an external NVME SSD can transfer files at over 2GB/sec, I'm looking at getting a couple 2TB external SSD's which should be more than enough for all but the most video intensive trip.  So, between the new laptop and camera I'll need to add lenses at a slower pace than I'd like -- it would be nice if money were no object but mere mortals have to live within a budget.


Brian
 

by Brian Stirling on Fri Dec 10, 2021 11:40 pm
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Mark L wrote:
Take a good look at the Sony 24-105 G lens.  It is not a GM lens because it is slow (f4) but many photographers (including myself) use it as a landscape mainstay and love it.  To me the additional range is really valuable compared to a 24-70.

Both the Sony 55mm f1.8 and the Sony 20mm f1.8 are very nice lenses.  

Personally I also own and use the Sony 16-35 f2.8 GM and the 100-400 GM.



Thanks Mark, the longer reach of the Sony 24-105 G lens is tempting but I have no experience with glass for Sony cameras which is why I'm here asking.  The price is almost the same as the Sigma 24-70 so the longer reach could be the difference, however everything I've read about the Sigma 24-70 says that's it's nearly as good and in some aspect superior to the much more expensive Sony 24-70.  Interestingly, B&H are offering the Sony 24-70 GM for $1798 ($1748 after rebate) which is $400 less than normal list.


Brian
 

by rene on Sat Dec 11, 2021 1:26 am
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I use Sony for the jast 2 years (A1/A9II) and a number of lenses I’m mainly a wildlife / bird photographer so I use the longer Sony lenses like 200-600 and 400F2.8. However i have some shorter lenses for the occasional landscape or city scape images. The Sony 20mm is a peach of a lens! Small, light and optically excellent. I also received recently the latest Samyang Sony E lens: the 24-70 and my first impressions are excellent . Worthwhile a look as an alternative for the Sigma 24-70. I don’t use 85mm but again check out the Samyang 85mm. It gets really good reviews and is excellent value for money.
Rene de Heer
 

by Mark L on Sat Dec 11, 2021 1:13 pm
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Brian Stirling wrote:
Mark L wrote:
Take a good look at the Sony 24-105 G lens.  It is not a GM lens because it is slow (f4) but many photographers (including myself) use it as a landscape mainstay and love it.  To me the additional range is really valuable compared to a 24-70.

Both the Sony 55mm f1.8 and the Sony 20mm f1.8 are very nice lenses.  

Personally I also own and use the Sony 16-35 f2.8 GM and the 100-400 GM.



Thanks Mark, the longer reach of the Sony 24-105 G lens is tempting but I have no experience with glass for Sony cameras which is why I'm here asking.  The price is almost the same as the Sigma 24-70 so the longer reach could be the difference, however everything I've read about the Sigma 24-70 says that's it's nearly as good and in some aspect superior to the much more expensive Sony 24-70.  Interestingly, B&H are offering the Sony 24-70 GM for $1798 ($1748 after rebate) which is $400 less than normal list.


Brian


They also have the 24-105 for $300 off plus a $100 rebate resulting in a final cost of $998. My suggestion is to think hard about what focal length best supports the type of photography that you intend to do.  Don't worry about cost initially; decide what is best to support your photography and then figure out a way to fund it.  The Sigma Art lenses are fantastic, but in general large and on the heavy side.  
 

by E.J. Peiker on Sat Dec 11, 2021 2:42 pm
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Tamron makes a truly outstanding f/2.8 set of lenses for Sony EF - they are very compact and light with exceptional optical quality.  They are not stabilized but since the body is stabilized, this is a non-issue.  They are the 17-28, 28-75 and 70-180mm.  Optically on par with Sony GM lenses at a much lower cost, size and weight.  I have been covering these lenses extensively since they launched several years ago in my newsletter.  See my site below on my signature line.
 

by Brian Stirling on Sat Dec 11, 2021 4:32 pm
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Thanks E.J., the Tamron's appear to be optically terrific but the focal lengths are a bit wonky for my taste and use. If I could design a zoom it would be 21-70mm f/2.8 as 24mm is sometimes just a tad too tele for scenes requiring a wider FOV. There are no lenses in this range so 24-70 or 24-105 are what you get. So, going with either a 24-70 or 24-105 the 20mm Sony f/1.8 and a 14mm Samyang should have me covered at the wider end.

The new Signa Art lenses are pretty amazing and at, usually, a 30%ish lower price than the Sony GM lenses they appear to offer a better value. I haven't ordered anything yet and am still vacillating a bit on what to get -- I think I've opted to discount the Sigma 135 as it's still the HSM DSLR version modified for mirrorless, I hope they release a true DG DN Art version but for now the 105 Sigma DG DN Macro Art should cover that FL range.

With my Nikon kit (D800E's) I had the Sigma 150-600 Sport lens and I plan to get the E-mount version which is about 25% lighter than the DSLR version I had. I don't do wildlife, bird or sports often enough to justify a true super tele as they are into the price category of a really good used car or new motorcycle.


Brian
 

by E.J. Peiker on Sat Dec 11, 2021 4:44 pm
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Brian, the Sony 200-600 is massively better than the Sigma, yes more money but worth it. It is an internal zoom so the size and balance doesn't change and the entire zoom throw is just a quarter turn. It is so much easier to use and just better in every way (except price ;) )
 

by Brian Stirling on Sat Dec 11, 2021 8:25 pm
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I don't shoot super long tele very often so it's hard to justify even the price of the Sigma 150-600. I may instead go with the Sigma 100-400 for those occasions when a longer tele is called for. One thing I've noticed is that there is a dearth of long tele's for the Sony E-mount -- only a few zooms out beyond 400mm and the only primes in that range are the Sony 600mm f/4 and Sony 400mm f/2.8 and both in the $12K range. I know Canon has owned this space for a long time but it is surprising there isn't much else out there yet. There isn't any 300mm f/2.8 glass either. Yes, DSLR lenses with adapters are an option.

Brian
 

by E.J. Peiker on Sat Dec 11, 2021 9:53 pm
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Brian Stirling wrote:
I don't shoot super long tele very often so it's hard to justify even the price of the Sigma 150-600.  I may instead go with the Sigma 100-400 for those occasions when a longer tele is called for.  One thing I've noticed is that there is a dearth of long tele's for the Sony E-mount -- only a few zooms out beyond 400mm and the only primes in that range are the Sony 600mm f/4 and Sony 400mm f/2.8 and both in the $12K range.  I know Canon has owned this space for a long time but it is surprising there isn't much else out there yet.  There isn't any 300mm f/2.8 glass either.  Yes, DSLR lenses with adapters are an option.

Brian

It seems from both the real introductions and the roadmaps that the 300 f/2.8 and 500 f/4 aren't happening for any brand in the mirrorless world :(
 

by Brian Stirling on Sun Dec 12, 2021 1:31 pm
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E.J. Peiker wrote:
Brian Stirling wrote:
I don't shoot super long tele very often so it's hard to justify even the price of the Sigma 150-600.  I may instead go with the Sigma 100-400 for those occasions when a longer tele is called for.  One thing I've noticed is that there is a dearth of long tele's for the Sony E-mount -- only a few zooms out beyond 400mm and the only primes in that range are the Sony 600mm f/4 and Sony 400mm f/2.8 and both in the $12K range.  I know Canon has owned this space for a long time but it is surprising there isn't much else out there yet.  There isn't any 300mm f/2.8 glass either.  Yes, DSLR lenses with adapters are an option.

Brian

It seems from both the real introductions and the roadmaps that the 300 f/2.8 and 500 f/4 aren't happening for any brand in the mirrorless world :(


I guess it's a matter of numbers and there just isn't that many people shelling out $10K+ for lenses and the ones that do are, mostly, Canon shooters.  So we have a very small total market owned almost entirely by Canon making the economics of building specialty lenses for the Sony E-mount a low priority.  I do think that, with time, if the Sony camera market continues to gain market share that third part lens makers like Sigma will, eventually, step in and roll the dice.  But, that's a tall ask with Sony having a 400 and 600 the best bet for Sigma et al would be 300 f/2.8 or 500 f/4 unless Sony fills that gap first.  


Brian
 

by E.J. Peiker on Sun Dec 12, 2021 6:52 pm
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Canon isn't making 300 f/2.8 and 500 f/4 lenses either for their EOS R system - not even on their roadmap. All three major vendors have 400/2.8 and 600 f/4 that are either shipping or announced. Sony's have been shipping for several years. I don't think there is enough market for the third parties although Sigma could easily adapt their 500 f/4 with minimal cost by simply incorporating their converter into the lens, similar to what they have done with many of their art lenses.
 

by Brian Stirling on Sun Dec 12, 2021 7:16 pm
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Well Canon more than anyone will fill out the super tele's for there mirrorless R cameras when there's a critical market mass that justifies it. Sony will likely add to the 400 and 600 when they reach that critical market point as well. Not sure about Nikon though. Yes, Sigma is the most likely third party lens maker to jump into this by adapting there DSLR lenses as they've done with there first generation mirrorless lenses. Sigma is onto a second generation with some of there mirrorless lenses with the lens being designed from the ground up for mirrorless. The 35mm f/1.4 DG DN Art updates there first version the 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens.

Brian
 

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