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Thread: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

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    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    All

    I am now musing about adding a prime which is longer than the 55m 1.8 to my A7. Not quite sure what though.

    I was thinking of possibly a last generation Leica Elmarit 90/2.8 - which is reasonably sized (I did see a nice reasonably priced 90 Summicron APO but realistically I think it is too heavy).

    But am I missing alternatives which would be cheaper and just as good?

    Autofocus would be nice but I am not sure how that would be achieved. As I am already using a CV 21 with an adapter I am not averse to adapted lenses.

    Any advice gratefully received.

    LouisB

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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Louis,

    I'm using a 90mm Apo-Summicron-M with some success. I find that it balances well with the A7R and is razor sharp, just as it is on the M 240. At 135mm, I'm trying a 135mm Apo-Telyt-M. No conclusion yet, but I expect it will do well. Again, the relatively small size complements the Sony. I'm also experimenting with a Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS + Metabones III combo. Large-ish, but retains the AF, IS, aperture and EXIF. Hope this helps.

    Joe
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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    I also use a Leica 90mm Apo Summicron with spectacular results. Very nice balance on my A7r..... I doubt you would ever be disappointed with this lens. I have not tried the Leica 135 but am very tempted. Joe..... please post your experiences with the 135.

    Victor
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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Tele-Elmarit 90/2.8 small, light-weight.
    Tele-Elmar 1354/4 typically around $500, my favorite.
    With best regards, K-H.
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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    I use a Leica Summicron Pre-AA. Great results. Crisp edges and subject separation. Sharp without being too harsh or unflattering for portraits. It does have a long focus throw.
    Sony Visible Light & IR Photographer
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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Any chance you could you post a photo of what the a7r with a Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS + Metabones III looks like? Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Colson View Post
    Louis,

    I'm using a 90mm Apo-Summicron-M with some success. I find that it balances well with the A7R and is razor sharp, just as it is on the M 240. At 135mm, I'm trying a 135mm Apo-Telyt-M. No conclusion yet, but I expect it will do well. Again, the relatively small size complements the Sony. I'm also experimenting with a Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS + Metabones III combo. Large-ish, but retains the AF, IS, aperture and EXIF. Hope this helps.

    Joe

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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    I would highly recommend Contax G 90/2.8 and Konica-M 90/2.8. Both of them have similar performance of the latest Leica Elmarit-M 90/2.8 but at about 1/3 of the Leica price.
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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    I have tried the following
    Leica M 90mm/2.8 Elmarit
    Voigtlander 75mm/2.5
    Voigtlander 90mm/2.5 Apo-Lanthar SLII (Nikon mount)
    Zeiss 135mm/2 (Nikon Mount)
    Nikon 70-200/4

    In terms of size the Leica 90mm and Voigtlander 75mm cannot be beat. Both give great images. The Leica is a bit sharper wide open but at f4 hard to distinguish. The voigt 75mm is just so small and light… I do not see a big problem in terms of fringing, glare with either of them.

    The voigt 90mm mentioned above optically is also fantastic but it is a bit larger and weighs more. On the used market relatively inexpensive.

    The Zeiss 135mm is the king sharp corner to corner wide open. It is big and heavy though.

    I have not tested the Nikon 70-200/4 that much at this point but at 150-200mm wide open-- the images were not great. These were handheld so i would want to try again before i made any conclusions.

    All of the other choices are great. Each has their trade-off. The reach of the 75 vs 90 vs 135mm. The cost of the voigt 75mm 2.5 vs leica 90mm/2.8 … etc …

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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    I was looking for same for the A7... bought a used Canadian Elmarit 90/2.8 "Fat" at my local pro shop, didn't like it wide open, so traded it back in a for a used Summarit 90/2.5, which I like much better wide open. The 90/2 seems pretty spectacular, but I didn't want to spend that much for a focal length I don't use a lot.

    I've always liked Contax G 90/2.8 images, and the lens costs much less than the Summarit, but I don't think I'd care for the fiddly focusing adapter situation.

    I also tried my Nikon 85/1.8G on the A7, which delivers great results and is light, but I don't like the volume, focusing mechanism and funky aperture control with the adapter.

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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    ..olympus om 90 f2 macro..its not small, but one of the best lenses i ever had the pleasure to..btw its not cheap either, but it really is worth its price..
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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Quote Originally Posted by losta View Post
    Any chance you could you post a photo of what the a7r with a Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS + Metabones III looks like? Thanks.
    Here's the A7R with the Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS (and RRS L-bracket):



    And here are a couple of handheld tests from late this afternoon:





    I've found the combination easy to hold and well balanced, with my left hand holding the lens zoom ring and my right hand around the camera grip. The IS on this lens functions very well on the A7R. The only downside I've found is AF focus hunting. AF with this lens takes patience. I likely will resort to manual focus when landscape shooting anyway.

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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Thanks, all for the input - especially Joe with the exemplar of the 70-200 and the shots.

    Ahem... don't know if I have made the right choice here but I just bought a good example Leica Elmar C 90 off of ebay. I figured I would give it a try and if I don't like it I can probably pass it on.

    I used one quite a lot on my old M8 and got good results. Not sure if there will be any compatibility issues.

    If it works, great, if not then I'll probably go for a 90 Elmarit. I just could not resist the throw away price of the C-90. Also made me think of whether or not a c-40 Summicron would be worth trying.

    Thanks again for all the responses

    LouisB

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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Great choice.
    That ought to work if it's a newer version.
    I have an old one with soft corners on my M9.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    I have the 135 mm Apo Telyt M and tried it for the first time today. This was a test, not a work of art! Processed with C1 defaults only. Wide open.



    Bill CB

    www.billcaulfeild-browne.ca
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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    I have the Minolta M 90/4. Tiny and works great.
    David
    Auckland, NZ.

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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Hausen View Post
    I have the Minolta M 90/4. Tiny and works great.
    +1 super little 90
    Carl
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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    I tried the Leica Elmar 90 at a local shop that had one for sale. Really tiny lens. I only tested indoors and not optimal random shots. It was decent. I did not have anything to try side by side. Corners seemed good.

    Quote Originally Posted by biglouis View Post
    Thanks, all for the input - especially Joe with the exemplar of the 70-200 and the shots.

    Ahem... don't know if I have made the right choice here but I just bought a good example Leica Elmar C 90 off of ebay. I figured I would give it a try and if I don't like it I can probably pass it on.

    I used one quite a lot on my old M8 and got good results. Not sure if there will be any compatibility issues.

    If it works, great, if not then I'll probably go for a 90 Elmarit. I just could not resist the throw away price of the C-90. Also made me think of whether or not a c-40 Summicron would be worth trying.

    Thanks again for all the responses

    LouisB

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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    For 135mm, I use a Tele Elmar M 135/4, with a calibrated Metabones M to E adapter.
    www.JimBuchananSpace.com
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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    A good copy of the Leitz Elmar 135/4 (silver body, introduced in 1960) can be had for around $300. It's a bit long since it's not a telephoto design, but still fairly small/light on the grand scheme of things. And very good to great image quality.

    The G90 is great and Zeiss would do well to make an E-mount version of it this year.

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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Thanks so much for the photo Joe! I actually have the 70-200 F 4 L IS, though I don't have a Canon camera anymore. I am wondering if it would be worth getting the metabones III adapter just for that.

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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Great to see all these choices, and images, thanks. I have a Contax Yashica 100/3.5, very happy with it. Have my eye on a 135/4 TE at some stage.

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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    I had a really nice old 135 TE in the past but I always found the low contrast characteristics of the lens difficult. I'd like to be able to afford to try the newer 135 APO version.

    Anyone got any samples?

    Louis

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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    The later Leica M90/2.8 is simply the best for the money IMO. A vastly under-rated lens that fits the A7/A7R perfectly nice balance and well dampened manual focus as one would expect of Leica.

    I also use the M75/2AA which is spectacular wide open a nice balance of modern acuity and old school dreamy.

    If you want AF, then the A mount lenses using the LAEA4 SLT adapter with built-in Phase Detection AF motor gives you the fastest AF possible with these A7 cameras. Adapted Canon or Nikon lenses are snail slow in comparison. Not a small or inexpensive solution if you do not already own A mount lenses like I do.

    - Marc
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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Although my comments don't specifically relate to these lenses when used in conjunction with a A7 or A7r, I couldn't agree more with Marc in his recommendation of the Leica 90mm f2.8 Elmarit-M (last version of Leica's 90mm f2.8). Small, relatively light, nice built in hood (although a bit short with a filter attached), always balances nicely and although an extremely sharp lens from the get go at f22.8, has just the right amount of smoothness at this wide open aperture for close up portrait work.

    Another slight departure from the highly recommended Leica 135mm f3.4 APO is it's immediate predisessor, the 135mm f4 Tele Elmar-M. This was the very final and last version of this lens just prior to the f3.4 APO version and cosmetically looks so similar, some confuse it with the APO lens.

    Although it's been reported that all the 135mm f4 lenses have similar optics, I personally have not found they all perform the same. Maybe the glass had improved coatings or Leica used a higher quailty glass in key elements in later years. The last version seemed to have taken it up a notch and it's often been reported to either have APO glass too but at the time, it wasn't in vogue for Leica to announce such formulations for their lenses or simply near APO performance. On every occasion I have a chance to test either my current or previous 135mm f4 Tele Elmar-M against the current 135mm f3.4 APO ( which I've done with a number of 135mm f3.4 APO copies), I've yet to find any of the APO's outperform in terms of resolution my 135mm f4 when both shot at f4.5 or stopped down. When both used at f4, I sometimes but not always have observed the slightest edge in sharpnes from the f3.4 lens....but it was very small. Of course the f3.4 lens can be shot at f3.4!

    So the recommendation for the APO lens is a no brainer, due to it's relatively compact size and weight, but often the last version of the 135mm f4 can be found for a fraction of it's price. I can imagine combined with the A7(r), it would make a nice 135mm focal length package.

    Dave (D&A)
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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    Although my comments don't specifically relate to these lenses when used in conjunction with a A7 or A7r...
    So Dave, when are going to make the leap and join us in "A7/A7R Land"?

    Joe
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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Nikkor 2.5/105 ais and 2/85mm ais are my choices. The latter is compact and 310 gram light.
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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Re: 90mm M
    This is what i am using as well as mentioned above and I agree with Marc. The voigtlander 90mm/3.5 II (i have a nikon mount) is also really stellar. As I mentioned it is a bit bigger but it is also about 1/3 the price.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    The later Leica M90/2.8 is simply the best for the money IMO. A vastly under-rated lens that fits the A7/A7R perfectly … nice balance and well dampened manual focus as one would expect of Leica.

    I also use the M75/2AA which is spectacular wide open … a nice balance of modern acuity and old school dreamy.

    If you want AF, then the A mount lenses using the LAEA4 SLT adapter with built-in Phase Detection AF motor gives you the fastest AF possible with these A7 cameras. Adapted Canon or Nikon lenses are snail slow in comparison. Not a small or inexpensive solution if you do not already own A mount lenses like I do.

    - Marc

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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    I have the 135 mm Apo Telyt M and tried it for the first time today. This was a test, not a work of art! Processed with C1 defaults only. Wide open.
    Well Bill you talked me into it..... I just have to see if the Leica 135 is as good as your image shows. Ordered one and should have it on Friday.
    Victor
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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Colson View Post
    So Dave, when are going to make the leap and join us in "A7/A7R Land"?

    Joe
    Just as soon as some unknown benefactor comes along and tells me my photography must reach the next level, and so I am bequeathed both a A7 and A7r along with the 35mm f2.8 and 55mm f1.8, in order for my artistic talents to grow . Next to that, it's simply a matter of saving my pennies as I no longer need convincing how impressive this system is so far. In the meantime I will have to live vicariously thorough yours and many others here on Getdpi, posting their superb imagery.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 16th January 2014 at 05:55.
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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Just a coda to the original message for anyone interested, here are two shots using the C-90 Elmar I eventually purchased. I think they pass muster.

    Crops out of the centre of the image - the 24mpx sensor of the A7 certainly gives you enough scope to crop.

    Camden Lock, London



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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    I love my G90, it's stunning starting from wide open.

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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Zeiss 135 F2 Apo. Sort of the end of story. I found nothing better yet
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Zeiss 135 F2 Apo. Sort of the end of story. I found nothing better yet
    Guy, isn't that lens kinda large when mounted on the A7/A7R, especially with an adapter? I had one in my Nikon days and it seemed large even on the D800E.

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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    It is large but wonderful in terms of optics. I just wonder how it directly compares to the leica 135mm Apo Telyt. The leica is half the weight

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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    I wonder too Mark and it is heavy, big but man is the IQ worth it.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    I think we've all come to realize, there's usually tradeoffs when it comes to the choices we're confronted with in photographic equipment.

    Dave (D&A)
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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    I must say, I am still interested in something longer. I hope that Sony/Carl Zeiss will give us a 135 or even better a 180 prime - even f4 would do it to keep it small, for these remarkable cameras.

    LouisB

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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Leica APO 180/3.4 comes to mind.
    I shot it yesterday on my A7R handheld.
    With IBIS one could focus manually much better though.
    Images seem fine. Will try on tripod next.
    With best regards, K-H.
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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Quote Originally Posted by k-hawinkler View Post
    Leica APO 180/3.4 comes to mind.
    I shot it yesterday on my A7R handheld.
    With IBIS one could focus manually much better though.
    Images seem fine. Will try on tripod next.
    I have the older Leica Elmarit-R 180/2.8 (series VIII filter, 2.9lbs) that I'll be working with. I don't bother to try to hand-hold it in general: it's just too darn heavy. Luckily, it has a tripod mount built in.

    I've used it, briefly, with the E-M1 hand-held where the format makes it 360mm EFoV. The IBIS is a godsend and allows for very nice photos, but this lens is heavy enough to tire your hands and forearms quickly. A monopod even with the E-M1 makes it far more useable.

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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    True, your lens is way too heavy for hand holding for me as well.
    But I still can handhold the APO 180/3.4 and the Vario 80-200/4.
    Certainly on my E-M1 that works very well.
    On the A7R it is more of a challenge but fine on a tripod.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    I love A7r with Leica 90mm elmarit last version, just the right size, balance, looks nice too.



    Sample picture:

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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Another vote for Contax G 90. Ridiculously good value for money.

    DSC09845-1 par philippeberend, sur Flickr
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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Quote Originally Posted by philber View Post
    Another vote for Contax G 90. Ridiculously good value for money.
    I expect it's prices to start climbing once A7R owners realize how good it is.

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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Isn't the MF damping less than ideal on the Contax G90? Optically, all the reviews I have read say great things. Only 90 I have us the Leica 99/2 apo, and I could not be more pleased. Got a mint copy off the Bay for a good price....

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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Luvwine View Post
    Isn't the MF damping less than ideal on the Contax G90?
    I am not having any issues focusing mine.

  46. #46
    Senior Member Annna T's Avatar
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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Luvwine View Post
    Isn't the MF damping less than ideal on the Contax G90? Optically, all the reviews I have read say great things. Only 90 I have us the Leica 99/2 apo, and I could not be more pleased. Got a mint copy off the Bay for a good price....
    I have both a Zeiss Contax G 90mm F2.8 and a Leica M 90mm F2. The former is way lighter and tack sharp. From what i have read, there is an adapter allowing AF for the Contax G lenses : these lenses were made for AF and you are right, they are not as nice to focus manually (but on my E-M5 i still prefer to use them over the M lenses i have, which are too heavy).

  47. #47
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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    My biggest pleasure - so far - with the a7r has been the 135 Apo-Telyt M. I found it difficult to use with the M9. It was hard to frame and focus accurately, even with the viewfinder magnifier.

    On the a7r it's an absolute gem. Easy to focus, crisp right across the frame. I'm now seeing what an extraordinarily sharp lens it is, even wide open. I'm having to put Bandaids on my eyeballs.

    When our icy weather would moderates enough I'll post some images.
    Bill CB

    www.billcaulfeild-browne.ca
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  48. #48
    Senior Member Joe Colson's Avatar
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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    My biggest pleasure - so far - with the a7r has been the 135 Apo-Telyt M. I found it difficult to use with the M9. It was hard to frame and focus accurately, even with the viewfinder magnifier.

    On the a7r it's an absolute gem. Easy to focus, crisp right across the frame. I'm now seeing what an extraordinarily sharp lens it is, even wide open. I'm having to put Bandaids on my eyeballs.
    +1

    I agree Bill. A real pleasure to use with Sony's focus system.

    Joe
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    Joe Colson Photography

  49. #49
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Wanted to report on the Zeiss 135 F2 Nikon mount. I know this lens is big and heavy . Certainly not as travel friendly as I would like myself. But I need this lens at least for a lot of client work and need the F2 speed. Now when in Yosemite I rigged up Jacks Sigma 1.4 converter to it and have to say I was floored that even at F4 there was simply no loss of quality at ALL. It became a 180 f 2.8 laser beam. I have a Kenko that I did not even try yet but I'm ordering the Sigma 1.4 almost immediately. You need the length I could not recommend this enough. Yea big, heavy and a solid brick but the focus throw on it I found much better on it over the Leica 135 3.4 which I would not use on people with that lens the focus throw is very short and hard to nail a human face over the Zeiss which is far easier. Obviously this depends on what your shooting but landscape only type work the Leica is very good but people and tough focusing requirements the Zeiss is better at it.just thought I would pass that on. If I had the money I might even consider the Leica just for travel.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  50. #50
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A7/r lens recommendations 90-135mm

    Btw on the 85mm side of things again a big lens but I get Decent AF with it which I need for models the Sony 85 1.4 ZA with Sony adapter is brilliant at 1.6 on. Really like this lens plus you get AF which is nice if you have that need.. Obviously both the Zeiss 135 and Zeiss Sony 85ZA are bigger lenses it's really going to depend on need. Sure love to have 5 Leica M lenses for travel but that would not solve client needs.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com
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