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Thread: Sony SAL 24-70/2.8 SSM II Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* on A7(RII)

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    Member Massimo's Avatar
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    Sony SAL 24-70/2.8 SSM II Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* on A7(RII)

    I am currently using an A7 but plan to get an A7RII when the price goes down some, and want to find a solid alternative to the upper range of my Sony 16-35mm Vario-Tessar T FE F4 ZA OSS and my Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* f/3.4 35-70mm, that is, a lens that can match the high resolution of the A7RII sensor down to the very corners of the frame (I shoot landscapes).

    What are the pros and cons of this (expensive) lens when used on an A7-class camera? (Image samples are very welcome).
    If I get the Sony LA-EA3 adapter in order to take advantage of A7RIIís 399 Phase Detection and 25 Contrast AF points, will it work well on my A7?

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    Re: Sony SAL 24-70/2.8 SSM II Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* on A7(RII)

    I use the first version of this lens on the r2 (with the la-ea3). it works very well. there is the 'problem' of extreme corner performance of this lens @24mm, as it has on all full frame bodies. the AF is very reasonable, although in low light it becomes somewhat less (less accurate, slower). the resolution over most of the image is great. this lens has plenty of resolution for a 42Mp sensor. contrast is great, colors are great. and with the mark II, probably ghosting will also be better (can be a bit weak the first version). it is a heavy lens, but when using both hands it is just fine. IBIS works great as well.

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    Senior Member Eoin's Avatar
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    Re: Sony SAL 24-70/2.8 SSM II Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* on A7(RII)

    IMO comparing the older C/Y 35-70 or even the C/Y 28-85 to modern Zeiss (sony) lenses is perhaps a little unfair.
    These old C/Y lenses from my understanding cost multiples more than the current ZA lens price, relatively speaking.
    They are regarded by many to have excellent performance almost on par with primes.

    I used the ZA 24-70 Mk1 on the A900 for a few years and to be honest it was nothing special. However the C/Y 28-85 I use on the A7II is a completely different animal and constantly provides images I am delighted with.

    If I was in your position, I'd be keeping the C/Y 35-70 until a native 2.8 E-mount solution was available. Those ZA Zeiss zooms were very big and extremely heavy, add the LA-EA3 adapter into the mix and IMO that make for a package that is too large for the A7 Body.
    A7II, FE 35, 55 C/Y 18, 28, 85, 100, 28-85

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    Re: Sony SAL 24-70/2.8 SSM II Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* on A7(RII)

    Agree with Eoin: The C/Y 3.4 35-70 renders beautifully. For landscapes, autofocus isn't important. So if/when an improved fe 24-70 is available, you might still end up preferring the older lens.

    Kirk

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    Member Massimo's Avatar
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    Re: Sony SAL 24-70/2.8 SSM II Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* on A7(RII)

    @Eoin & @Kirk: you're both right, I love the rendering and performance of my 35-70 on the A7, only am not sure it will (still) be a good match for the high-density sensor of the A7RII.

    Moreover, I discovered a problem with it: my copy has been adapted for Nikon by Leitax and I can mount it on the A7 with a Novoflex adapter and, via a Kipon Nikon-Canon adapter, with the Hcam Master I bought from Stefan Steib, but in both instances when I shoot long exposures it leaks somewhat, ruining the image unless I wrap it in dark cloth (I use a black tennis wristband to that purpose).

    This in itself would not be a great deal, but as the focus ring is quite sensitive and because of the push-pull design of the lens the operation tends to screw up my fine focusing and composition.

    Hence my desire to explore quality alternatives, and extend the range to 24mm in order to "cure" the underwhelming performance of the 16-35 in the upper zoom range.

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    Re: Sony SAL 24-70/2.8 SSM II Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* on A7(RII)

    I/we assumed you were using one solid C/Y to FE adapter, so your concerns are special.

    On the more general issue, I wonder how much difference in resolution you'll encounter in practice. Landscape work often (almost always?) requires stopping down beyond the point where diffraction sets in, usually around f6.3; so perhaps the real question is "how much difference will more pixels make when either lens is stopped down to F11 or f16?"

    My thought is that when the lenses in question are fairly modern primes, or exceptional midrange zooms like the Leica 35-70 f4 and C/Y 35-70 f3.4 (or Leica WATE and MATE), then I'll tip in favor of rendering over DxO ratings.

    Just my two cents, with a bias in favor of the lower contrast of my favorite older lenses.

    Kirk

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    Senior Member Eoin's Avatar
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    Re: Sony SAL 24-70/2.8 SSM II Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* on A7(RII)

    FWIW, if the copy you have is not suitable because of the mount complication, I would simply purchase a native C/Y mount again and continue to use a lens you already enjoy. Your old one could easily be sold for close to the cost of the replacement. IMO the ZA with the LA-EA3 would simply be a move in the wrong direction.
    If a new lens is truly where you wish to go for landscape, strong consideration for the cheap and strong performing 28 sony or from what I've seen the Batis 25 looks so so promising. I wouldn't be overly concerned about the lens capability with the higher rez sensor, the C/Y or other primes I've mentioned are up to the task,
    A7II, FE 35, 55 C/Y 18, 28, 85, 100, 28-85

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