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Thread: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

  1. #1
    richard.L
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    A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    thinking that the A's may be no more, and having found an excellent deal on some A900s, I have bought 3 of the beasties... after testing each for few hundred clicks, I plan on mothballing the two that are in lesser condition..

    What set of lenses should I have... meaning to those of you that have gone through several lenses for the Sonys.. what are your favorites..

    My Nikon set is heavy on macro ... low on wide.


    thanks much.
    richard.

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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    I have quite an extensive list but for starting a Sony, I at least need 50/1.4, 50/2.8 macro, 100/2.8macro, 16-35, 24-70, 70-200, 135,

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    I think most Sony glass is really good, minus a few exceptions. Zooms are mostly excellent: I have owned the 16-35, 24-70 and 70-300. The 70-200 and 70-400 are both top performers. If you prefer primes, look at my signature.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

  4. #4
    richard.L
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    so a good first pass (prime is my favorite mode)

    35/1.4
    50/1.4 50/2.8 macro
    100/2.8 macro
    135/1.8

    this would be close to my Nik kit...

    thanks much. richard...

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    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    My Sony lens kit in my sig.

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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Not a huge selection really available in this system. After the Zeiss 24-70, 85mm, 135mm, and 24mm, I acquired a Minolta 200mm/2.8. A Konica-Minolta (ex Tamron) 28-75mm/2.8 (great for light travelling), a Minolta 50mm/1.4 and a Minolta 100mm macro round out my A850 kit. My sharpest zoom is a converted Leica R Vario-Elmar Asph 28-90mm (Leitax). Slower to use but about as good as it gets in 35mm format.
    Last edited by engel001; 7th June 2011 at 17:48.

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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    To to OP, what type of shooting do you expect to do? Knowing this is the only real way to answer the question.

    My PERSONAL kit which works for ME includes the CZ 16-35 f/2.8, the CZ 24-70 F/2.8, Sigma 70-200 F/2.8, minolta 50 f/1.7, and a minolta 28-105 F/3.5-4.5 (which is quite underrated on FF as a walk around street photography lens). I also have a set of extension tubes for macro work, which I don't really use very often. Most of what I do is landscape photography, with some pics of the wife, kid and dog thrown in for good measure....
    SONY A900
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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by richard.L View Post
    so a good first pass (prime is my favorite mode)

    35/1.4
    50/1.4 50/2.8 macro
    100/2.8 macro
    135/1.8

    this would be close to my Nik kit...

    thanks much. richard...
    If you do not shoot too close the ZA 135 goes to 1:4 (around 72 cm) and is sharper than the 100 macro.

    The reason why I have it is that I shoot often at 1:1.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

  9. #9
    richard.L
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    If you do not shoot too close the ZA 135 goes to 1:4 (around 72 cm) and is sharper than the 100 macro.
    Good to know. I have them both in the cart.

    What I shoot is whatever is around. I tend to use a lens until it gets in my way, then switch to a different one for awhile. Then....

    In my Nik world, my 700 lives with a 60macro. I like the 60 so much I have 3

    On a recent trip I lived with a Zeiss 100 mounted on a F3. Since it was macro I was able to do snaps of people ... from way too close ... but then, this is for me, not them , nor the restaurant, hotel, gas company...

    It is retirees prerogative. Back to my art school days, but now with supplies.

    richard.l
    // on a 2 year tour of texas

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    Senior Member pegelli's Avatar
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Somehow I like heritage Minolta glass.

    I have and really like the following primes:
    20/2.8, 24/2.8, 35/2, 50/1.4, 85/1.4, 100/2.8, CZ135/1.8 and 200/2.8

    My prime zooms (no pun intended) are 28-70G and 80-200HS G
    Also have a simple 17-35/2.8-4D, very good performer for the price, but not fully up to the quality of the G's above (especially the corners)

    For simple "walk around" the 24-105/3.5-4.5 D isn't bad either and lots smaller/lighter than the CZ 24-70

  11. #11
    Kirby Krieger
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    I don't think anyone has mentioned the Sony 135 STF. Very much worth a look. If you like sharpness, the Sony 100/2.8 Macro is a bargain (with these bonuses: comparatively light, and magnifies to 1:1), and the Zeiss 135/1.8 is probably unbeatable.

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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    I have mostly Minolta lenses. Of them, I really like the 20/2.8, 28/2, 85/1.4. I also find the Konica Minolta 28-75/2.8 a really nice lens. Mine is a little sharper at the long end than the wide end, but usably sharp even wide open. The Sony 70-300 G is also very sharp and fast focusing. I only got it a few months ago and wish I had gotten it sooner. It's usable even wide open and the best zoom lens I've ever used.

    The Sigma 70/2.8 Macro is a very sharp lens. I use it quite often, but it does have some focusing issues. Unlike the Minolta or Sony lenses I've used, it auto-focuses at a different position if the lens is focused from infinity or from the close focus direction. It's not a big deal at longer distances or smaller stops, but at close distances I've had some focusing problems.

    The 35/1.4 is good stopped down and reasonably sharp in the center wide open (sharper than the 50/1.4 wide open but not as sharp as the 85/1.4 wide open), but it's rather big and heavy for what I consider a f/5.6 lens. I don't think it is ever as sharp as the 28/2, but the 35mm does have better bokeh. I have also had some focusing issues with it that I'm trying to work out with AF adjustment settings, but I don't really have a handle on it yet (maybe it needs different settings for different focus distances). I did find that I couldn't use the same setting for f/1.4 and f/2, the focus shift between these 2 stops was enough that when the f/1.4 shot is sharp, the f/2. shot is out of focus. I've sometimes had great results from this lens, but often feel that the results are not what they should be. I've read that there are some tweeks to the design for the Sony version and it may well be a much better performer.

    I'm not completely happy with the 50/1.4 I have (old version with 49mm filter ring). It is not bad at f/2.8, but I find it unusable at wider settings. Like the 35mm, I also have had focusing issues with mine and I don't know if the AF adjustments are constant with focus distance. I've had some out of focus shots with this lens that should have been simple and worked find with other lenses. I really hope that Sony comes out with a Zeiss replacement for this lens. I like using 50mm a lot, but I'm not really happy with this one. I do sometimes wonder how it compares with the current Sony lens. I also wonder about the Sigma 50/1.4, but I've read that it has focus issues and based on my Sigma 70mm experience, I believe it.

    The Minolta 135/2.8 is a decent lens and a nice small longer lens to stick in the bag. It focuses quickly and accurately. It is sharp, but has rather low contrast. I don't use 135mm all that much and don't want to spend the money or carry the weight of the Zeiss 135 although I'm sure it would be a much better lens.

    Unlike other reports I've read, I've never been very happy with my 24-105. It is a little sharper at the wide end than the 28-75, but I find it rather soft at the long end. Maybe part of my problem is that I like working hand held in low light where I'm not using it at f/11 where it seems to work best. I would like Sony to make a G version of this lens that works as well as the 70-300.

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    I have absolutely no sharpness issues with my 35/1.4 and 50/1.4 (both Sony). They are both quite sharp wide open (obviously not at landscape distances) and very sharp stopped down. I've had no focusing issues with any of my current primes, they are all very accurate.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    I just acquired a Sony 35/1.4 G. Since I already had a Minolta 35/2, I plan to do some back-to-back testing to see how they both stack up against each other.

    The 35/2 is of course far smaller/lighter than the 35/1.4 but want to look at the other characteristics to see which would suit me better.
    A900 with a few lenses, flashes etc.

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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    I.M.O. the 35/2 is sharper at 2 than the 35/1.4 if you are looking at clinical sharpness, however the 35/1.4 does have a lovely dreamy quality when wide open. This may be due to the lower resolution it has at wide apertures.

    Both are excellent lenses and having had both I kept the 35/2 partly due to it's smaller size and that suiting my needs.

    As to my list for the A900; M20/2.8, CZ24/2, M35/2, CZ85/1.4, CZ135/1.8 and M200/2.8. I am a primaholic, so zooms are good for work (where necessary) and primes rule supreme otherwise. If I had to cut it down to two lenses only it would have to be the 35/2 and the 135/1.8.

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    I'm not sure about this, but my understanding is that the 35/1.4 is better than the 35/2 in other important aspects of wide open shooting like coma and CA, even though the 35/2 may be sharper. So the 35/1.4 may be better suited for wide open shooting for these reasons. Stopped down they seem to be very similar. This is not 1st hand experience because I have never owned the 35/2 just the impression I have from distilling a lot of info from the web.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    There is an informative review here http://kurtmunger.com/minolta_af_35m...viewid204.html, which I would agree; with based on my experience of this lens.

    When both lenses are stopped down, say to 5.6, I would say that they were both equally superb. For clinical wide open sharpness the 35/2 is a winned IMO, but when that extra stop is required the 35/1.4 is more than acceptably sharp and will save the day.

    As an observation, in my experience, wide aperture wide-angle lenses perform worse than their telephoto counterparts, so whereas the 85/1.4 is great at 1.4, I wouldn't expect the same level of performance from a 35/1.4. Perhaps this is why Zeiss made the 24mm a f2 and not a f1.4 ...?

    I wouldn't let my comments put anyone off the 35/1.4. I would be more than happy to own one. Facing the ultimate challenge of choosing between them (I had both), I chose the 35/2 because I thought the wide open performance was closer to my Zeiss lenses (we're talking tiny amounts here) and also just because it fitted into my kit-bag more comfortably. Ultimately, it's down to personal preferences.

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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    I have both the 35/1.4 and the 35/2....the 35/1.4 was acquired just a couple of weeks back and I had the 35/2 for several months now. I agree that the 35/2 (weighing a featherweight 240gms !) is sharper than the 35/1.4, when both are shot at f/2. However, I shot with the 35/1.4 and found, like alphaman above, that it is "acceptably sharp" at f/1.4 and I truly valued that extra light that was available, over the f/2......both shot on the A900.

    I have now listed my Minolta 35/2 (in absolutely mint condition) on sale here in the Gear for sale forum. Would have liked to keep both, but just want to keep the gear acquisition in balance.

    For Sale link here
    A900 with a few lenses, flashes etc.

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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    35/1.4
    50/1.4 50/2.8 macro
    100/2.8 macro
    135/1.8

    I'd look into a Contax 35mm f1.4 (M42 fit from memory), a Pentax 50mm f1.4, a Leica 60mm f2.8 Makro, Leica 100/f2.8 APO Makro, via Leitax mounts. The ZF Zeiss range is also an easy remount to Sony. I doubt you would find better.

    Now since you ask, my go is currrently: Contax 21mm f2.8, Contax 28mm f2.8, Contax 35-70mm f3.4, Contax 100mm f3.5 and 100-300mm f4.5-f5.6. I think there is something to the idea that AF lenses have more play in the AF focusing mechanism, and that manual focus lenses can be made to very high tolerances, leading to better images.

    Maybe see if you can try the OEM lenses before buying, see what you like for your subject matter and style. I bought the 24Mp body to put alt lenses in front of, for landscapes.

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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    The 100/2.8 macro is a direct Minolta port without any updates, its a bit wooped by the Nikon 105mm VR and even the Canon 100mm Macro F2.8.

    Personally I think the best in class lenses for the Sony A900 are:

    85mm ZA F1.4
    135mm ZA F1.8
    16-35mm ZA F2.8
    135mm STF F2.8/4

    You're not going to find better lenses in that range for any platform. The only lens that beats the 85mm ZA F1.4 is the Canon L F1.2 85mm.

    The 24-70mm F2.8 while being a good lens has much poor corners than other lenses of its class.

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Jae, have you tried the mentioned lenses, apart from the ZA 85?

    I'm a bit confused by statements like yours especially that they involve different platforms with different sensor characteristics.

    The 85L is better (I don't like the word beats) than the ZA between 2.8 and 5.6. The ZA has the best performance of any 85 from WO to just below 2.8.

    The 24-70 has the best performance of any equivalent zoom at all apertures except in the very extreme corners which is a very very small part of the frame. At 35mm it is sharper than any prime I have ever used.

    In any case, no other brand will give you the Zeiss characteristics, so if you're after the Zeiss look, 3D and high micro contrast, as well as the sharpest look at normal printing sizes (due to high micro contrast at the right frequencies), the choice is obvious.

    Quote Originally Posted by FlypenFly View Post
    The 100/2.8 macro is a direct Minolta port without any updates, its a bit wooped by the Nikon 105mm VR and even the Canon 100mm Macro F2.8.

    Personally I think the best in class lenses for the Sony A900 are:

    85mm ZA F1.4
    135mm ZA F1.8
    16-35mm ZA F2.8
    135mm STF F2.8/4

    You're not going to find better lenses in that range for any platform. The only lens that beats the 85mm ZA F1.4 is the Canon L F1.2 85mm.

    The 24-70mm F2.8 while being a good lens has much poor corners than other lenses of its class.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Senior Member dhsimmonds's Avatar
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by FlypenFly View Post
    The 100/2.8 macro is a direct Minolta port without any updates, its a bit wooped by the Nikon 105mm VR and even the Canon 100mm Macro F2.8.

    Personally I think the best in class lenses for the Sony A900 are:

    85mm ZA F1.4
    135mm ZA F1.8
    16-35mm ZA F2.8
    135mm STF F2.8/4

    You're not going to find better lenses in that range for any platform. The only lens that beats the 85mm ZA F1.4 is the Canon L F1.2 85mm.

    The 24-70mm F2.8 while being a good lens has much poor corners than other lenses of its class.
    i would pretty much agree with this list but would add the ZA 24-70 as away from the 24mm end it is still a super lens. Also if you should ever need a lens longer than 135mm the Sony 70-400G produces a great image just a pity about it's silver colour!
    Cheers, Dave
    www.simmondsphotography.com

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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    The 24-70 has the best performance of any equivalent zoom at all apertures except in the very extreme corners which is a very very small part of the frame. At 35mm it is sharper than any prime I have ever used.
    I was shooting with this lens tonight and good lord, I agree with all of this. This lens is just superb.
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by FlypenFly View Post
    The 24-70mm F2.8 while being a good lens has much poor corners than other lenses of its class.
    I disagree. I have all of the lenses you listed above, including the 16-35ZA and the 24-70ZA. I have also had the Canon 24-70L.

    The Zeiss 24-70 will whoop the Canon to kingdom come, for sheer quality....on Full-frame. Not very familiar with the Nikon version however (shot on the D3X, and not on low resolution products like the D700/D3/D3s).

    In fact,the Zeiss 24-70 is one of my most used lenses on the A900 and I use it for its sheer excellence. It is true that at 24mm, the extreme corners don't become razor sharp unless you stop down to f/11, but that is about the only weakness I know of, of this lens. In all other respects it is an exceptional performer.
    A900 with a few lenses, flashes etc.

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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by richard.L View Post
    Good to know. I have them both in the cart.

    What I shoot is whatever is around. I tend to use a lens until it gets in my way, then switch to a different one for awhile. Then....

    In my Nik world, my 700 lives with a 60macro. I like the 60 so much I have 3

    On a recent trip I lived with a Zeiss 100 mounted on a F3. Since it was macro I was able to do snaps of people ... from way too close ... but then, this is for me, not them , nor the restaurant, hotel, gas company...

    It is retirees prerogative. Back to my art school days, but now with supplies.

    richard.l
    // on a 2 year tour of texas
    You are the only other person I know to shoot everything using macro lens. I keep 50/2.8 macro on my camera for far to long

  26. #26
    richard.L
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark K View Post
    You are the only other person I know to shoot everything using macro lens. I keep 50/2.8 macro on my camera for far to long
    Just returned last evening from shooting in the "lower left" corner of TX... what looks like "fire country" right now, because of the ash and such from the fires.

    Anyhow, my main camera was a Hassy, but my sidekick was my F3 with the Zeiss 100 Macro... it would come out of the truck first and get the ridgeline shot, then discover at my feet new growth... some with buds..
    having the macro on it was like carrying an extra camera...

    then I'd get out the blad, tripod, backs and get the "real" shot, still, those setup shots often turn out capturing more of the situation...

    now to the very slow part of film..... soup.

    richard.L // back from the remote mountains of Texas.

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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by roweraay View Post
    It is true that at 24mm, the extreme corners don't become razor sharp unless you stop down to f/11, but that is about the only weakness I know of, of this lens. In all other respects it is an exceptional performer.
    If I'm shooting in that range exclusively, I'm putting on the 16-35 anyway....
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Yup in fact I have except for the 24-70 and only because every review I've read of this lens seems to reflect the same opinion of great center performance let down by corner performance.

    Hmm I have tried the 85L and from both my experience and reviews, it does seem to be sharper and has less CA wide open. Above F4, I honestly can't tell the difference anymore but just about any decent lens is sharp enough at F5.6 so the whole point of these fast lenses are its characteristics at its fastest apertures.

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    Jae, have you tried the mentioned lenses, apart from the ZA 85?

    I'm a bit confused by statements like yours especially that they involve different platforms with different sensor characteristics.

    The 85L is better (I don't like the word beats) than the ZA between 2.8 and 5.6. The ZA has the best performance of any 85 from WO to just below 2.8.

    The 24-70 has the best performance of any equivalent zoom at all apertures except in the very extreme corners which is a very very small part of the frame. At 35mm it is sharper than any prime I have ever used.

    In any case, no other brand will give you the Zeiss characteristics, so if you're after the Zeiss look, 3D and high micro contrast, as well as the sharpest look at normal printing sizes (due to high micro contrast at the right frequencies), the choice is obvious.

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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Test

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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    For some reason the board ate my post?

    The only lens I haven't tried of the ones Italked about is the 24-70 and mostly because the reviews I've read of it all seem to be unanimous in that its great central performance is really let down by its corner performance when compared to the Canikon and Tamron alternatives.

    This is no big deal for a fast portrait prime but I think for a general purpose lens, it should be better.

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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by FlypenFly View Post
    For some reason the board ate my post?

    The only lens I haven't tried of the ones I talked about is the 24-70 and mostly because the reviews I've read of it all seem to be unanimous in that its great central performance is really let down by its corner performance when compared to the Canikon and Tamron alternatives.

    This is no big deal for a fast portrait prime but I think for a general purpose lens, it should be better.
    What's wrong with this picture??? You malign a lens you haven't tired, while all those that have this lens disagree with your assertions.
    SONY A900
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    I'm sure its a wonderful lens and takes great pictures.

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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by FlypenFly View Post
    I'm sure its a wonderful lens and takes great pictures.
    You're avoiding the point. The point is that you are basing you comments off 2nd hand knowledge (reports), while everyone here with 1st hand knowledge disagrees with you. Do you think that you might be incorrect?
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Do you ever feel you might be incorrect? It might fit your needs but it seems some people who go through hundreds of lenses and who compare them might have a different perspective?

    At the end of the day, I'm sure it's a wonderful lens that takes great pictures.

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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by FlypenFly View Post
    Do you ever feel you might be incorrect? It might fit your needs but it seems some people who go through hundreds of lenses and who compare them might have a different perspective?
    And do you believe everything you read or do you go out in the world and see for yourself?
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Yes, I go out and try every possible lens and camera combination in the world.

    It's taking a while though...

  37. #37
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    I started using Zeiss ZA 24-70/2,8 (with A900) very recently and I really like the way Zeiss renders the images throughout the zoom range. While it’s not a perfect lens for the far corners, the center sharpness, contrast, and colors are excellent for all aperture. I also have an Nikon 24-70/2.8 G (with Nikon D700). Technically, the Nikon may be a better lens, but I prefer the Zeiss ZA zoom for its center renditions.

    I recently purchased a lens from Guy, a Minolta 200/2.8 APO G HS. It’s an extremely sharp lens, has beautiful bokeh and color rendition, yet very compact in size. Highly recommended!

    Cheers,

  38. #38
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by FlypenFly View Post
    I'm sure its a wonderful lens and takes great pictures.
    It certainly is

    Every time I look at my archives, I realize that my best photos were taken with this lens. The Zeissness is so amazing. Now I very much regret having sold my ZA zooms in favor of an all prime line up.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    IMO, the best zoom currently available to Sony shooters is an adapted C/Y Zeiss 35-70mm F3.4 MM model. The Zeisness of it is outstanding.

    It is of course the opposite of SSM in that it's manual focus but man, the quality of the samples people are posting look like they exceed the performance of most Canikon primes from a zoom!

    Of course you have to consider it doesn't reach that performance until F5.6 or F8 but jeez, definitely near the top of my list as my next lens.

  40. #40
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    It certainly is

    Every time I look at my archives, I realize that my best photos were taken with this lens. The Zeissness is so amazing. Now I very much regret having sold my ZA zooms in favor of an all prime line up.

    Edward, I could not agree more about the 24-70, and I must admit I felt a pang of your coming pain when you told us you sold the zooms. Oh well, it's just money, go get them again

  41. #41
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by picman View Post
    Edward, I could not agree more about the 24-70, and I must admit I felt a pang of your coming pain when you told us you sold the zooms. Oh well, it's just money, go get them again
    I was planning to, but SAR came with this new rumor about ZA 14/2.8, 28/2, 35/1.4 and 200/2, so I decided to wait for a while to see if this rumor has some truth in it.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

  42. #42
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Jae, I used to have the 35-70 used on a 1Ds2. While the resolution and micro contrast are as you would expect from Zeiss and even more, the 3D isn't that great. It is also very difficult to focus, even with the split image screen. I did a comparison with the ZA 24-70 before I sold my Canon and Contax gear, and at close range, the ZA smoked the Contax at all FL and apertures. At infinity, as you can guess, the Contax was better only in the corners. The resolution of the ZA is simply unbelievable on 80% of the frame. I know the resolution of the sensors is not the same, but the 16.7 mp of the canon are kinder on the lenses than the a900.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Hmm, that's an interesting observation. Perhaps I'll make the purchase for the 35-70 then do an evaluation with a rental 24-70.

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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by FlypenFly View Post
    At the end of the day, I'm sure it's a wonderful lens that takes great pictures.
    No, you are missing the point. It is one of the best lenses there is, of its type. The Canon version in particular, is something I have shot with a lot (a "good copy" mind you) on the 1DS, 1DSMKII and 5DI and I can state that it does not hold a candle to the ZA.

    Just to reiterate, I have all of these lenses and have absolutely no hesitation to point out a dog, if it is a dog. But the 24-70ZA, on the A900, is a absolutely the best of its kind that I know of. It may not be overwhelmingly superior to the Nikon version (don't have any direct experience with the Nikon version shot with the D3X), but it is the best of its kind currently available.
    A900 with a few lenses, flashes etc.

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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie Utah View Post
    If I'm shooting in that range exclusively, I'm putting on the 16-35 anyway....
    I went back and looked at some of the pictures when I was doing back-to-back testing between the 24/2, the 24-70ZA and the 16-35ZA and seems like the 24-70ZA and the 16-35ZA are pretty much the same at f/2.8.....extreme corners being soft.

    The 24-70ZA starts beating the 16-35ZA at f/4 and f/5.6. The 24-70ZA is near blameless at around f/5.6 (corner-to-corner, edge-to-edge) and perfect at f/8.

    So for the overlapping range between the 16-35ZA and the 24-70ZA, I would give the edge to the 24-70ZA. Either I have a super 24-70ZA or I have a sub-par 16-35ZA or I have a fairly representative sample of both.

    I will try and post some of these images, so you all can judge it yourselves...
    A900 with a few lenses, flashes etc.

  46. #46
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by roweraay View Post
    I went back and looked at some of the pictures when I was doing back-to-back testing between the 24/2, the 24-70ZA and the 16-35ZA and seems like the 24-70ZA and the 16-35ZA are pretty much the same at f/2.8.....extreme corners being soft.

    The 24-70ZA starts beating the 16-35ZA at f/4 and f/5.6. The 24-70ZA is near blameless at around f/5.6 (corner-to-corner, edge-to-edge) and perfect at f/8.

    So for the overlapping range between the 16-35ZA and the 24-70ZA, I would give the edge to the 24-70ZA. Either I have a super 24-70ZA or I have a sub-par 16-35ZA or I have a fairly representative sample of both.

    I will try and post some of these images, so you all can judge it yourselves...
    I can confirm your observations as I had reached the same conclusions.

    One thing about the extreme corners. The 24-70 at 24 has the most distortion in it's entire range while the 16-35 at 24 has almost none. I can notice the rectilinear stretching of the 16-35 in the corners which reduces resolution, almost what software distortion correction does to the image. The 24-70 has more distortion but clearly better corners.

    As for 28-35, they are very strong with the 24-70, 35mm being actually the sweet spot of the lens. To be fair, this FL range on the 16-35 is excellent at infinity. The weaknesses shown by online reviews are due to strong field curvature at close range, which coincidentally helps produce the incredible 3D especially at the 35mm FL.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    The 24-70 at 24 has the most distortion in it's entire range while the 16-35 at 24 has almost none.
    This is what I was getting at with my original post.

    Of course, being a landscape type person, the times when I shoot at F/2.8-F/5.6 are very limited. So if the (any) lens is soft at those apertures, it's not a problem because that's the effect I'm looking for when shooting wide open...
    SONY A900
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  48. #48
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    The weaknesses shown by online reviews are due to strong field curvature at close range,
    Which is part of why I don't give much weight to online reviews. Unless they explicitly state they refocus for each area tested, like when a lens is actually used for real-world photography. Results that don't predict real-world behavior are rather pointless IMO. If a subject is along the left side that's where you focus...

  49. #49
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Here is an old post of mine that shows the pretty strong field curvature situation with the ZA 24-70 at 24mm on the A900. I think that many people's opinions on the corner sharpness of this lens is tied to how dead on their center focus is. Slightly moving the center focus point sharpens the corners right up (at least on my copy.)

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=34571577

  50. #50
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: A900. Your Best Set Of Lenses

    Yes, of course Douglas. I used to achieve this by manually focusing at around halfway between the center and one of the lower corners, in landscape situations of course. Either that or just choosing one of the peripheral AF points. This is of course when shooting the kind of landscapes where the entire frame is at infinity, similar to a flat reproduction shot. In my experience when the subject is somewhat three dimensional, like landscapes with a foreground, the FC will allow some extraordinary DOF effects not possible with a fully corrected lens. I was so happy to read the latest article by dr. Nasse at Zeiss about the planar design, because all my non educated theories that used to be faced with skepticism turned out to be correct.

    http://blogs.zeiss.com/photo/en/wp-c...mes_Planar.pdf
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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