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Thread: Lens for A7s

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    Senior Member sjg284's Avatar
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    Lens for A7s

    Apologies in advance for the self-indulgent "which __ should I buy" type thread.
    I hope others will find it useful, as I suspect I'm not the only one scratching my head from the Leica owner side.

    Planning to buy A7s in next month or so.
    * Currently a Leica M240 owner, long time Leica shooter, with Leica primes I like (35/50 lux asph), plus a ZM25/2.8.
    * Purchase of A7s is predicated on the ultra-high ISO ability, and video.

    Not normally a zoom shooter, but am considering the Sony zooms for the IS and focal range coverage as a second-camera to my M240+prime.

    It seems odd to buy the Sony 35/55 lenses with my existing Leica 35/50s, it seems like they will out resolve the 12MP sensor anyhow.

    Options - purchase any one of following, and use my existing Leica glass for rest of range
    * 35 - AF, native, super light, very sharp
    * 55 - AF, native, very very sharp
    * 28-70zoom - AF, IS
    * 24-70zoom - AF, IS, sharper than 28-70
    * Or don't buy a lens, Just use my primes?

    Instinct was maybe the 35, as the A7s+35 is 10% lighter than my M240 body alone, and 40% light than M240+35lux!
    Puts A7s kit into one-hand-shooting weight class for me.
    In-store it already felt a bit nose-heavy when I tried the 28-70.

    And lastly, given Sony's rapid iteration cycle, I hesitate to buy the A7s a bit, wondering how many months until A7sII w/ IBIS and/or internal 4K..
    Then again, Sony iterates their mass-market mainline (RX100/A7) faster than their more niche products (RX1 / RX10 / A7r / A7s).. maybe it's more than mere months away.
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    Re: Lens for A7s

    I would assume that yes an A7sII will be released within the next 6-9 months but who wants to live forever waiting on the next great thing!?! I would stick with the primes you own and maybe supplement them with the 16-35 and 70-200 if needed.
    Last edited by iiiNelson; 13th December 2014 at 03:16.
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    Re: Lens for A7s

    Quote Originally Posted by sjg284 View Post

    And lastly, given Sony's rapid iteration cycle, I hesitate to buy the A7s a bit, wondering how many months until A7sII w/ IBIS and/or internal 4K..
    I agree with Tre and am looking forward to that A7sIII.

    If you want to resolve this dilemma, contact Paratom who has severe buyer's remorse (plus he is upset that more and more liking a Sony camera). It is a Sony!
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    Re: Lens for A7s

    Was thinking of used, then B&H's 15% off trade-in deal makes it about as cheap as used.. plus can grab a lens at same time to save on that as well.

    May go body now and get a lens (or two) when in Japan in April (~30% savings with JPY moves as of late).

    Probably the 35 when the time comes for weight, price and performance.

    A7s+35 would pair well for a day shooting with my M240+50..
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    Re: Lens for A7s

    Quote Originally Posted by sjg284 View Post
    Was thinking of used, then B&H's 15% off trade-in deal makes it about as cheap as used.. plus can grab a lens at same time to save on that as well.

    May go body now and get a lens (or two) when in Japan in April (~30% savings with JPY moves as of late).

    Probably the 35 when the time comes for weight, price and performance.

    A7s+35 would pair well for a day shooting with my M240+50..
    To be honest if you're used to Leica 35 Cron or Lux you may find the 35 FE a bit subpar by comparison unless you just want AF. It's not a bad lens by any account but you won't be as wowed with it as some other lenses. From early reviews the 35 Loxia outperforms it as well.
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    Re: Lens for A7s

    I'm considering the A7s with 16-35 instead of WATE so I get a second body, low light sensor, and wide angle!
    David Young
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    Re: Lens for A7s

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    To be honest if you're used to Leica 35 Cron or Lux you may find the 35 FE a bit subpar by comparison unless you just want AF. It's not a bad lens by any account but you won't be as wowed with it as some other lenses. From early reviews the 35 Loxia outperforms it as well.
    This was my worry, and if M glass works well enough on A7s (not so much A7r)..
    Then not sure I need slower, non-IS primes in focal lengths I already have.
    Primary attraction of the 35 is really just the weight at this point.

    I keep going back to wondering if I want a zoom for the IS, at the very least for video.. and then read the tepid reviews on the 28-70 and even 24-70.
    I'm not enough of a video guy to know how much OIS helps with video.
    Post processing in Premiere can clean up a lot of motion shake, but starting with less might not hurt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hosermage View Post
    I'm considering the A7s with 16-35 instead of WATE so I get a second body, low light sensor, and wide angle!
    An interesting thought, but then I worry about front heaviness, overall weight & size of package again!
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    Re: Lens for A7s

    I'm a twenty five year Leica shooter, and started a video company this past summer with the A7, followed closely by an A7s. I have all the lenses you name, and for stills and video find the Leica 35 Asph and 50 Summicron IV are good, and the Zeiss 35 and 55 are sharper with the advantage of auto-focus. Leica 24 2.8 and 28 2.0 also are great on the A7s.

    That being said, I use the Zeiss 24-70 on my A7s with ND's on the front for 90% of my video currently. The lens IS is great, and being able to reframe with the zoom, and quickly focus (with the back button) between clips is easy. Video quality is excellent. Although I can remove camera jitter in my NLE (Final Cut Pro X), I don't have to if I use the 24-70, which speeds up editing. One can also obtain more reach with the lens by filming with the APS-C crop on at 70mm which is still HD and has an equivalent FOV of about 100mm.

    There is no question the A7s will work with any of the combinations you are considering, but the 24-70 zoom gives the most flexibility. I can always put the 50 Summicron on at F2.0 if I want shallow DOF for a particular shot, and I am never going to sell my Leica glass. The M8 and M9 are in boxes, however.....

    Michael

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    Re: Lens for A7s

    I can't speak to video usage but from all reports the 16-35 and 70-200 seem to be superior to the 24-70 in every way photographic uses. I owned the 24-70 and got rid of it after a month. Wasn't a horrible lens (wasn't great either to me) but I prefer primes in the 35-100 range for most purposes.
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    Re: Lens for A7s

    I also vote for the 2470 and like it quite a bit.
    I just took some quick snaps with the 2470 and 1635 on the A7 ( and also with the 35/2.8, 35 Leica Summarit and 21/3.4 Leica.
    The 16-35 seems sharper in the edges at 24mm but the 2470 catches up when you get closer to35mm focal lengths (all at f4.0).
    Both the Leica 21 and 35 are considerable worse/smear when you look in the corners compared to the Sony lenses.
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    Re: Lens for A7s

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    I also vote for the 2470 and like it quite a bit.
    I just took some quick snaps with the 2470 and 1635 on the A7 ( and also with the 35/2.8, 35 Leica Summarit and 21/3.4 Leica.
    The 16-35 seems sharper in the edges at 24mm but the 2470 catches up when you get closer to35mm focal lengths (all at f4.0).
    Both the Leica 21 and 35 are considerable worse/smear when you look in the corners compared to the Sony lenses.
    That was my issue with the 24-70... It didn't get decent until about 27mm and began performing worse again around 65mm which defeats the purpose of having a lens that gets as wide/long as 24/70mm. For wide angle applications the 16-35 should be better and for telephoto the 70-200 should be better. There's plenty of good options in the 35-70 range the OP would need to cover but I'd try the lenses I owned to assess if they were acceptable for their personal purposes.
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    Re: Lens for A7s

    The main question you need to answer is: what do I shoot?

    For example, I mainly shoot urban landscapes (because that is where I live and work) so for me primes are more useful (compact, low weight) than zooms.

    I've just gone the other way and sold my FE 35/2.8 which was a sharp, well made piece of glass with no character and purchased a v3 Summicron 35/2 which is much more to my liking.

    Incidentally, I'd get the new A7II if I were you. You can shoot up to iso6400 and use the fast apertures on your Leica glass and/or the slow speeds that appear to be supported by the IBIS to capture images in low light. Plus you have the immense cropping power of a 24mpx sensor.

    Just my two cents.

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    Re: Lens for A7s

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    That was my issue with the 24-70... It didn't get decent until about 27mm and began performing worse again around 65mm which defeats the purpose of having a lens that gets as wide/long as 24/70mm. For wide angle applications the 16-35 should be better and for telephoto the 70-200 should be better. There's plenty of good options in the 35-70 range the OP would need to cover but I'd try the lenses I owned to assess if they were acceptable for their personal purposes.
    it also seems to me that the 2470 performs quite good at 24mm at shorter distances, so maybe its not the supersharp wide landscape lens but very good for allround things. I like it anyways.

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    Re: Lens for A7s

    Quote Originally Posted by sjg284 View Post
    .....
    * Or don't buy a lens, Just use my primes?
    ...
    I don't see the need to buy any lens when you get the body. So use them, then decide, ie ask yourself "what capability am I missing"?
    Zoom, wide, tele, OSS, AF?
    The answer should then become pretty apparent (and may not be one of the above)...
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    Re: Lens for A7s

    If you want a small sharp prime with some character that won't be nose heavy, pick up an M-rokkor 40/2 or the 40 Summicron. They mate exceptionally well with the A7 bodies, and the Rokkor can be had for peanuts relative to Leica glass.

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    Re: Lens for A7s

    http://youtu.be/p2gwPnPiRzE?list=UUi...yvJJ8sUpYUTpPA

    This video was shot mostly with the Zeiss 24-70 handheld at F 5.6 on the Sony A7s. The microscope footage was shot 4K through the adaptor, and the fixed shot from above was locked down and through the Leica 24mm 2.8 at 5.6.

    All the other video was used straight from the camera. No post processing video stabilization was used.

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    Re: Lens for A7s

    Thanks all for all the responses, and I hope it's started a conversation useful to more than just me :-)

    For me the A7s is a second camera / second system.
    I am intrigued by the light weight, video, and extended ISO abilities (I can already shoot good enough @ 3200 w/ M240).. more or less in that order.

    A7ii is interesting, but 15% heavier, loses a few stops high ISO, is not as video centric, and I don't think A7/A7r sensors handle Leica M glass nearly as well as the A7s...
    So I suspect I'd give up a lot to gain IBIS there.

    I don't particularly need AF, but thought IS would help with video.
    The high ISO abilities + fast shutter make IS less important for me for stills.

    I shoot primarily urban, a bit indoor travel stuff, and a little landscape work. All handheld, walk around type stuff.
    Weight matters because I might walk 5-10 miles on a Saturday at home, with camera, out doing all my errands/shopping. On vacation I might walk 10-20 miles a day, doing the same.
    I'm usually only shooting in the 35-50mm focal range, I own a great 25mm I almost never use, and I've had various longer lenses gather dust.
    I do have a very nice.. and fairly heavy Contax C/Y 35-70mm I can adapt to the A7s as well.

    To give you an idea.. my last trips to Japan and to Italy and home in NYC

    Played with the camera again in store today.. with multiple lenses, and my M240 side by side.
    A few observations - WOW is it light next to the M240.
    To the point that I can "one hand shoot" the camera with the 35 or 55.
    For me, as soon as I put a zoom on it, I lost that ability.
    One handed shooting is interesting because when on my feet and out of the house for 10 hours at a time, as soon as I have to hold something.. I'm done shooting.

    I will likely go with no lens, shoot a few months in NYC, and decide what lens to add by April when I travel to Japan. If I'm lucky they'll have some new glass out by then to make my decision easier...!
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    Re: Lens for A7s

    I believe the new 28, converters for the 28, 35, 90 Macro, and 24-240 superzoom should be out in March.
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    Re: Lens for A7s

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    I believe the new 28, converters for the 28, 35, 90 Macro, and 24-240 superzoom should be out in March.
    The 24-240 zoom should be out one month earlier, at least that is what was announced during Photokina.
    Last edited by JorisV; 14th December 2014 at 18:53.
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    Re: Lens for A7s

    So I got the A7s + (cue groans) FE35.

    #1 WOW for me is the lack of banding.
    Completely blown away by the High ISO. Was only 18 months ago I was shooting the M8. A7s @ ISO 16000 reminds me of M8 @ ISO 640.. if not better.
    No banding means I can crank up the ISO and just trade-off resolution/detail/DR vs noise.

    Very happy with the combo, especially the total weight.
    Metabones+35 lux is easily 3-4x the lens weight, and 50% heavier total package (body+lens).
    I unfortunately severely sprained both my wrists this summer, and while 95% recovered... A few hours shooting my M, or any body with front-heavy lens torque bothers me.

    Of course reminded how much IS helps in video by the current lack thereof...
    Probably will be the next purchase if I'm going to do much of this video thing.

    A few from my (almost) week - https://www.flickr.com/photos/xx573v3xx/tags/sonya7s/
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    Re: Lens for A7s

    Maybe a bit late but I find the 24-70 to be almost a different lens on the A7s where for me it performs excellently at all focal lengths and even wide open. Most of it's testing and reviews were done on the A7 & A7r and I can only presume that the lower pxel count doesn't show up it's weaknesses.
    Anyway congrats on the purchase it is indeed an amazing camera and I feel the FE35 is an underrated lens.

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    Re: Lens for A7s

    Your pictures on Flickr look great. The weight of the A7s and 35mm 2.8 really is light and makes it easy to carry everywhere. Enjoy!
    Michael Rivers
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    Re: Lens for A7s

    Quote Originally Posted by sjg284 View Post
    So I got the A7s + (cue groans) FE35.

    A few from my (almost) week - https://www.flickr.com/photos/xx573v3xx/tags/sonya7s/
    In the immortal words of Lord de Bauvis, seigneur of St. Gobain and Folembray. Castellan de Cambri, Viscount of Savoy... known far and wide as William the Lion, Duke of Brittany:

    "You chose wisely."

    I like the street shots in Manhattan you have up in the other thread.

    Congrats. I also think that camera and lens are a good take everywhere combination.

    Regards,
    John

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