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55 f/1.8 and 16-35 f/4

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by mesmerized, Aug 31, 2018.

  1. mesmerized

    mesmerized TalkEmount Regular

    68
    Mar 26, 2014
    Hello there,

    1) What do you mostly use your 55 for? What is it best for? I already have the 35mm Samyang, and I'm wondering if getting the 55 Zeiss is a good idea. Is it good for portraits?

    2) I need something wide and flexible. Ideally, something that covers 16-24mm... The only Sony lens available is the 16-35 f/4 but I've seen tons of reviews and the lens is pretty horribly unsharp... It's also quite pricey. Are there any alternatives? Or... will there be?

    Thank you!
     
  2. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 22, 2012
    Congratulations, these are two of my most used lenses ever!
    Yes, it's great for portraits, or rather, the "environmental" portrait where you want to capture a bit of background but still blur it nicely. It's not so good for a head and shoulders crop, where you'd have to get too close to the subject and distort the face. But for half-body and larger, it is wonderful. My favorite lens ever (also partly to do with how compact it is), and perfect for shooting people casually.
    You must be reading the wrong reviews because the 16-35 is excellent. It is not great at 35mm, but for 16-28mm it is really unmatchable for its size and price (barring primes). If you need to go cheaper, unfortunately you'll have to go the adapted route or primes.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  3. TedG954

    TedG954 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Nov 29, 2014
    South Florida and NE Ohio
    Ted Gersdorf
    I think you're getting bad information about the 16-35/4. Check out these photos.

    Domegge di Cadore & Verona: Journey Part 5 & 5.5

    As for the 55/1.8.........I bought one before I had a camera to put it on. Great lens for almost anything.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  4. mattia

    mattia TalkEmount Veteran

    206
    Dec 13, 2013
    These two are my 'two lens travel set'.

    He 55/1.8 is a wonderful people lens, lovely rendering, and I like a fast fifty.

    The 16-35 is very good even wide open, with slightly weak edges wide open at 35mm that improve when stopped down. And when I shoot landscapes, I'm almost always at f8 or higher. It is a very good time excellent lens, better than my Canon L (17-40) was by a decent bit.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. mesmerized

    mesmerized TalkEmount Regular

    68
    Mar 26, 2014
    Thanks guys! Appreciate it!

    If you don't mind, one or two more questions.

    Sony FE system doesn't offer tilt lenses. Would you say that 16-35 is a good lens for architecture? I'm in Singapore right now (where I'll be getting the lens) and I wonder if that lens will be good for taking pictures of skyscrapers.
     
  6. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 22, 2012
    I think you want shift, not tilt, lenses for architecture. If you really want that, you might consider getting a Canon FD Tilt-Shift 35/2.8 and adapting. There are some shift adapters you can get off Ebay to adapt normal old lenses, but they are likely to vignette unless you are shooting a crop camera.

    I know Singapore, so if you are going to buy go to the specific photography shops that can sometimes offer you discounts off the outrageous Sony list prices.

    MS Color in Ang Mo Kio is good.
    SLR Revolution has gone a bit upmarket and used to be good but don't bother trying to get good prices from their stores in the posh malls.
    There was a bunch with the best prices in Funan Centre (including SLR) but I heard the place closed and don't know where they all went.

    Even better is to get used lenses off their local photography forum. You can inspect them thoroughly and it's very active so there's no shortage of lenses if you are there for more than a few days. Chances are the FE lenses you'll find are "like new".
     
  7. mesmerized

    mesmerized TalkEmount Regular

    68
    Mar 26, 2014
    One store offered me a decent deal on the 55mm. Not sure about the 16-35. What would you say are good deals for those lenses? Brand new, I mean.

    I'm just wondering if the wide-angle 16-35 will be a good choice for architecture.
     
  8. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 22, 2012
    It would be a great lens for architecture, but you always seem to need an extra few mm when it comes to architecture. Hence 10mm and 12mm primes. ;) 

    Find out the official Sony price then deduct 10-15% to get the dealer prices. And deduct another 10-20% if you get aftermarket used.
     
  9. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Agree. Concluding that the "FE 4/16-35 is horribly unsharp" is totally beside the truth. It's an excellent lens, plain and simple. Only thing (with my sample) is that I have to stop down to f/8 at 35mm to get optimal contrast.

    Ughh, all these pixel-peeping internet pundits (no, I don't mean the OP or anyone else here) can scare the heck out of you, often for no good reason. If you want to check for yourself, go to pixel peeper and download some full-resolution samples.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018
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  10. Biro

    Biro TalkEmount Regular

    125
    Oct 21, 2012
    I think many of those complaining about the 16-35 f/4 have probably never even used the lens. This is the crowd that reviews via spec sheet and then uses the Internet echo chamber to relay the opinions of one or two people - depending on what they want to believe.

    To the OP: If you're interested in the 16-35, then buy with confidence. The 12-24 f/4 is also nice and very pleasant to use. But it costs more money, has more distortion and has a focal range that may be less useful - unless you just want the widest lens possible.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. msullivan

    msullivan TalkEmount Regular Subscribing Member

    178
    Jan 11, 2013
    Phoenix AZ
    Biro, Good analysis of internet FUD.
     
  12. mesmerized

    mesmerized TalkEmount Regular

    68
    Mar 26, 2014
  13. izTheViz

    izTheViz TalkEmount Top Veteran

    616
    May 10, 2013
    Paris
    Yannis Marigo
    I have and love both of them. Check my flickr yannis marigo and you'll see by yourself what to expect from the 16-35 in terms of architecture although I agree with the above comments, something like a zero D 10 or 12 mm would be more accurate...but less flexible.
     
  14. mesmerized

    mesmerized TalkEmount Regular

    68
    Mar 26, 2014
    Fantastic work, Yannis. Something worth envying! I was wondering... what kind of filters do you put on you 16-35? I assume you use ND filters?
     
  15. izTheViz

    izTheViz TalkEmount Top Veteran

    616
    May 10, 2013
    Paris
    Yannis Marigo
    Thank you. Well sometimes, a CPL mostly. Not a big fan of GNDs. As for longer exposures I use the Sony app more than filters nowadays.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  16. mesmerized

    mesmerized TalkEmount Regular

    68
    Mar 26, 2014
    Hi folks.

    I got the 16-35 f/4 (cost me an arm and a leg) and having walked around Singapore for a few days with it, I realized one thing, which kinda made me wonder. The widest I go is... 20-22mm. 95% of the time I was between 24-35mm! Now, this begs a question... if I keep doing that, do I really need a lens that wide? Which leads to yet another question - is there or will there be anything that covers those focal lengths without going crazy wide? If not, are primes the way to go? 24 and 28?
     
  17. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    I'd give it some more time than a few days before you decide. It took me quite a while before I started using focal lengths below 20mm but as soon as I did, I realized I wouldn't want to miss the option to go down to 16mm.
     
  18. mattia

    mattia TalkEmount Veteran

    206
    Dec 13, 2013
    Agreed.

    Ultrawides are not easy to use. My tip? Get closer to your subject. Think you're too close? Get even closer. If you find you don't go wider than 20-22, and don't mind manual focus, you can always choose to 'upgrade' to the Loxia 21/2.8...
     
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