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Thread: What is the best compact lens for A7x in 24-28mm focal range?

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    What is the best compact lens for A7x in 24-28mm focal range?

    I'm trying to build a compact E mount system with both native and adapted lenses. However I'm struggling a little bit to decide what is the best lens in the 24-28mm focal range.

    Of course the 25mm Batis is the quality benchmark, however it's still a little big and heavy. Do we have an smaller alternative that's comparable? I have not used the Sony 28mm however I have heard mixed report about it.

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    Re: What is the best compact lens for A7x in 24-28mm focal range?

    The FE 28mm F2 is the cheapest native lens for the system and the second lightest after the 35mm F2.8. It is a very good value for its price : It is really sharp, but for me its drawback is distorsion : a bit too much for shooting architecture, but certainly not a problem for landscapes. Since it is light, I keep it in the bag, but don't use it that much. Especially when I have the 24-70mm zoom with me.

    The Batis is almost impossible to find here, so I can't say anything about it. Looking at the specifications, it is big, especially with the hood, but it is quite light.

    Here a link to DXOmark lens comparator for wide angle lenses :
    Camera Lens Database - DxOMark

    Here the score of the 28mm at DXO :

    Sony FE 28mm F2 mounted on Sony A7R : Tests and Reviews

    and here that of the Batis 25mm :

    Carl Zeiss Batis 25mm F2 Sony FE mounted on Sony A7R : Tests and Reviews

    I plan to get either the Loxia 21mm or the Batis 25mm when they become available here and I can compare them in person. I'm actually leaning for the Loxia : there are so many pixels on the A7r2 that I can crop it if needed. I can also use it to substitute a shift lens : buildings aren't so high here, so keep the body parallel to their faces and crop the bottom. The 21mm field of view should be large enough to allow for that.

    Here the review of the 21mm F2.8

    Carl Zeiss Loxia 2.8/21 mounted on Sony A7R : Tests and Reviews
    Last edited by Annna T; 26th February 2016 at 00:31.

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    Re: What is the best compact lens for A7x in 24-28mm focal range?

    Quote Originally Posted by Annna T View Post
    I plan to get either the Loxia 21mm
    I bought mine at light and byte. It's a very serious photography store and it's the official partner of Zeiss in Switzerland. If you want a loxia or batis as fast as possible from a good seller, it's the best adress.

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    Re: What is the best compact lens for A7x in 24-28mm focal range?

    Quote Originally Posted by seb View Post
    I bought mine at light and byte. It's a very serious photography store and it's the official partner of Zeiss in Switzerland. If you want a loxia or batis as fast as possible from a good seller, it's the best adress.
    Thank you for your information, I was just going to ask. Were you able to see and hold both lenses together or did you order online ?

    I have deposited two Leica lenses for selling second hand at a brick and mortar shop here. They have sold one (50mm F1.4) but the 90mm F2 seems harder to sell. When they are both sold, I will have to spend the money there, if they will take 30% of the amount they sold it for. I dropped in that shop a while ago and they didn't have any of those lenses available. The Loxia may be easier to get, bug I have to wait that they sell my second lens first.

    But thanks for the tip, it may be useful another time.

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    Re: What is the best compact lens for A7x in 24-28mm focal range?

    The "best" native would be the 25 Batis. It's not as large as it looks in some pictures. The 28 is the most compact and a better overall performer than the 35/2.8 IMO when it comes to character and look. For architectural purposes it may not be the best choice but for street and general photography it's fine... If you like 28mm lenses (which I personally don't.)
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    Re: What is the best compact lens for A7x in 24-28mm focal range?

    Quote Originally Posted by Annna T View Post
    Thank you for your information, I was just going to ask. Were you able to see and hold both lenses together or did you order online ?
    The store is on my way to work. They have an a7SII with the loxia 21 in their showroom since a while, so I could test it a little. A batis was not available until now, but I never asked. The batis looks great, but as I use my 16-35 at 16/21/30 only, the decision was made before testing the batis: I prefer 21 over 24/25 and the performance (mainly sharpness, distortion, color and coma) of the loxia is exceptional. I feared the MF could be an issue, but it works very smooth and well for me. If I would prefer 24/25, I would go with the batis.

    On the longer run, I wanted to get rid of my 16-35/4. It's a great lens, but I have issues to find the character on zooms. So, I decided a compact setup for my favorite wide angle FLs: native Voigtländer 15/4.5 (available in summer16), loxia 21/2.8, FE 28/2

    To the OP: Sorry for beeing OT.
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    Re: What is the best compact lens for A7x in 24-28mm focal range?

    Depends on how you define "best" ?
    The Loxia is the resolution King according to DxO but the Batis is a superior lens too and is a bit faster and has AF.
    As far as the size of the Batis goes I agree w some of the comments already made, i.e. that is it not as big as you would think and is really quite light though not as light as the Loxia.
    W/o the hood attached it is wide but compact.
    The Batis is less expensive but the Loxia is wider.
    So there you have it. Kind of a toss up that might be determined by a number of factors involving personal preferences.
    Why not rent both and then decide which you prefer ?

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    Re: What is the best compact lens for A7x in 24-28mm focal range?

    I have the Batis 25 and I love it. Small enough and incredibly sharp.

    I am not a fan of DXO data, don't like how they score the lenses. Another good site for lens data (and sensor) is Lenscore

    There is always going to be some compromise between size and performance, especially if you are looking for AF. The Leica M glass is great but only MF (and terribly expensive) and you need an adapter for the A7X - by that time it is bulky again. I have the 28 Elmarit but hate putting the adapter on it, seems to defeat the entire gestalt. The Loxia is very promising from what I hear and may be Zeiss/Sony's answer to M glass, but I prefer AF.

    So, the choice is probably between the Batis 25 and the Loxia 21 for native format in this range.

    The Lenscore website also has all the physical dimensions of all lenses in a table, very useful.
    Too much to list, let's just say I have a bad case of GAS.........
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    Re: What is the best compact lens for A7x in 24-28mm focal range?

    Thanks everybody. Yes I'm aware of options for native lenses. What about lenses from other systems that can be adapted onto E mount?

    I guess the ideal candidate would come from Leica, as SLR need quite a bulky adapter already. Contax G also has short flange distance however wide lenses from Contax G are disappointing on digital sensor.

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    Re: What is the best compact lens for A7x in 24-28mm focal range?

    Quote Originally Posted by yashima View Post
    Thanks everybody. Yes I'm aware of options for native lenses. What about lenses from other systems that can be adapted onto E mount?

    I guess the ideal candidate would come from Leica, as SLR need quite a bulky adapter already. Contax G also has short flange distance however wide lenses from Contax G are disappointing on digital sensor.
    It is more or less the same for other rangefinder lenses (aka all that have a symmetrical design); there are a few exceptions, but not many. Look at the top of the index page of the forum. There are "stickies" concerning the use of adapted lenses, those who works and those who don't. There is a sticky for Leica M lenses.

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    Re: What is the best compact lens for A7x in 24-28mm focal range?

    Quote Originally Posted by Annna T View Post
    It is more or less the same for other rangefinder lenses (aka all that have a symmetrical design); there are a few exceptions, but not many. Look at the top of the index page of the forum. There are "stickies" concerning the use of adapted lenses, those who works and those who don't. There is a sticky for Leica M lenses.


    Thank you, but the stickies are quite overwhelming atm, I'm trying to ask a specific question (compact lens, 24-28mm) but I will go through those stickies at one point.

    Sony and Zeiss really need to sit down and work it out two road maps. One is for compact, high performance BUT slow lenses (I can live with slow, I'm not a bokeh addict) and another for fast, no compromises in quality heavy glasses.
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    Re: What is the best compact lens for A7x in 24-28mm focal range?

    Quote Originally Posted by yashima View Post
    Thank you, but the stickies are quite overwhelming atm, I'm trying to ask a specific question (compact lens, 24-28mm) but I will go through those stickies at one point.

    Sony and Zeiss really need to sit down and work it out two road maps. One is for compact, high performance BUT slow lenses (I can live with slow, I'm not a bokeh addict) and another for fast, no compromises in quality heavy glasses.
    I think you have two options, outside the great 25/2, which BTW is not really so heavy, but it is a bit big. 1) is the Sony 28/2. 2) is to mod your sensor with a Kolari v2 thin sensor cover, and then you can shoot many small RF wides with probably even better results than the 25/2 Zeiss, e.g SEM 24, Elmarit 24, ZM25/2.8, 28 Cron, 28 Ultron, or numerous other small RF 28s.

    Here is the 28 Cron on A7 Kolari:


    art shed by unoh7, on Flickr


    Doors by unoh7, on Flickr


    Rapunzel Lived Here by unoh7, on Flickr


    crony by unoh7, on Flickr

    The Sony 28/2 is not at this level on the stock A7, but it's good. But carefully check your copy as some are decentered.
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