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Changing my lens line-up... Advice needed (A7iii)

mesmerized

TalkEmount Regular
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Messages
149
Hi all,

So here's my current line-up:

Tammy 28-75
Sony/Zeiss 55mm
Viltrox 85mm

I'm thinking of getting rid of the 55, as I just don't use it very often (even though, it's a great lens). Now... with tons of lenses available these days, I'm having a hard time deciding which of these would be best for my amateur landscape/people/street photography. Here are the contenders:

Samyang 24mm f/1.8
Sony G 20mm f/1.8
Tamron 17-28 f/2.8
Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8
Sony GM 100-400

On the wide angle, I know that the Tammy is the most versatile one, but do I kinda feel that I'd be happy with 20-24mm focal lengths. I guess it doesn't hurt to have all the others (17mm for instance), but for some strange reason this doesn't feel like such a great choice. I may be wrong, though. I know some people say "go as wide as possible" with something like a 14-18mm for landscapes.

Now, on the telephoto end, I did some hiking/trekking with my friend's Tamron 70-300 and I often found myself using everything from 135 to 300 when I was up there in the mountains trying to take photos of some peaks. Money isn't such a big issue and I'm willing to buy a 2nd hand GM 100-400, but it is a big lens, and the weight might be an issue (I guess). I also wonder if this lens could work as a portrait lens...

Would be great to hear your thoughts

Cheers
 

Biro

TalkEmount Veteran
Joined
Oct 21, 2012
Messages
282
While I have a number of primes for my A7III, I have just as many zooms. I have the full Tamron set: 17-28, 28-75, 70-180 and even the 70-300. I am more than satisfied with the results I get from all of them. Another thing I will say for the Tamrons is that they are smaller and lighter than most alternatives.

Since you already have the Tammy 28-75, it seems to me that you're set for a "normal" zoom. And since you hike, I would think that lighter weight and smaller size would be a priority. The 70-180 is great but it sounds like you enjoy longer glass. So why not try Tamron's 70-300? Unless you need faster glass it should get the job done. It's on sale at B&H right now for $499 so the risk is fairly low.

Now... for true wide angle I will recommend my only Sony zoom: The 12-24 f/4. This is smaller, lighter and less expensive than the f/2.8 version and gives great results. But it is still more money than any of the Tamrons.

Another wide angle alternative would be the Sony G 20mm f/1.8. I purchased this prime because I was planning to pick up the A7rIV. I never bought the camera but the 20mm will handle higher much higher resolutions and a number of professionals use it for landscapes with the A7rIV.

And, finally, just a suggestion about your next camera body. As good as the A7III is, why not wait for the A7IV before making any decisions? Rumors indicate it will be announced this month or next.

Let us know how it goes.
 

bdbits

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Bob

Brownie

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Joined
Jun 22, 2021
Messages
274
Location
SE Michigan
Real Name
Tim
Have you considered the Sony 24-240? Relatively light and compact, and one of the best walking around lens ranges in E mount. It's not a particularly fast lens but you don't need one for your described subject. After reading a lot of reviews, I think this lens may be under appreciated. I'll know shortly.

Check out the photo called "singer in the park at night", kind of astounding considering the conditions and settings. Ken Rockwell is all over this lens.

https://www.kenrockwell.com/sony/lenses/24-240mm.htm#spex

Some of the best landscapes I've ever seen were shot with longer FLs, it all depends on the setup and subject. Distance and atmosphere will always degrade the image to some degree. The best landscapes I've ever seen were made with longer focal lengths and the camera in the vertical position making multiple shots, then stitched together in post. This allows you to get closer for less interference with excellent detail but still have a panoramic look.
 

Clix Pix

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8 miles from the Tysons (Virginia) Apple Store
I have both the 20mm f/1.8 and the Sony100-400mm GM. Excellent lenses! I use the 100-400mm frequently and, although somewhat heavy, still works as a "walk around" lens for me and I'm a smallish woman "of a certain age" at around 5'2. The 100-400mm actually is one of my favorite lenses. I don't usually shoot portraits but I often use it as a "pseudo macro" / closeup lens and it does really well with that, providing a lovely creamy bokeh background.

Haven't used the 20mm f/1.8 all that much yet, just got it a few weeks ago, but am planning to use it quite a bit this month as I participate in an Octoberfest photo project on another forum. Both lenses are used with either the Sony A7R IV or the Sony A1.
 

saledolce

TalkEmount Regular
Joined
Nov 22, 2018
Messages
75
Are you suggesting to replace the Tamron 28-75 or would you keep them both?
 

mesmerized

TalkEmount Regular
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Messages
149
Hey all, I've been gone for a while. Thanks for all your input.

I definitely don't want any of the "do it all" zoom lenses. 24-105 isn't for me. I do feel, however, that in some scenarios I can't use my legs to get closer to what I'd like to photograph.

I had the 70-300 from Tamron for a while and I didn't like the way it felt in my hands. It's light and compact but somehow it just didn't appeal to me. Not sure why.

As for the 28-75, I will be selling it and replacing it with the g2 version.

Now... here's where I'm really undecided:

Wide-angle: Sony 20mm f/1.8 or the Tamron 17-28 (I had it briefly (5 days) and usually used 20-24mm) I'm really not sure if I want to go wider than 20mm, but of course having the flexibility isn't unwelcome. By the way, isn't distortion an issue once you go below 20mm?

Tele-photo: A friend of mine is selling his 100-400 GM, but even 2nd hand, I kinda find it pricey. Sigma 100-400 is cheaper and lighter, albeit slower. And it's still 1140 grams in my backpack. Sony's 70-300 isn't a bad choice, but it's more expensive than the Sigma, so... it kinda feels like I'm paying more for less reach in a way.

How I wish there was a 100-300 f/4 or f/4.5 ;) Guess nobody ever made a lens like that.
 

mesmerized

TalkEmount Regular
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Messages
149
Would you say that there are any serious advantages of the 20mm Sony over the 17-28 from Tamron? (aside from build quality and wider aperture).

Also... I keep wondering... when and if Sony is going to upgrade their 70-200 f/4. I envy Canon users so much that they got such a compact 70-200 lens.

EDIT: Aslo... what do you guys think of the 70-200 GM mk2 + 2x teleconverter as an alternative to the 100-400 type of lens?
 
Last edited:

bdbits

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I think the 20 vs 17-28 would largely be along the lines of traditional prime vs zoom arguments, i.e. the prime might have an edge in IQ at the expense of convenience. What I have read on both is very positive.

Given the recent release of the 70-200/2.8 GM OSS II lens, I am not sure Sony has any plans to make another 70-200 lens. I understand what you want, but I just do not see that happening any time soon.

As far as TCs, it is another piece of glass with the potential to affect IQ. However reviewers I respect have said the Sony TCs do not degrade the image even on a 100% crop. It is more expensive to go the 70-200+tc route, but you do gain on the aperture. But the 100-400mm means you reach 400 without messing with a TC. And of course you can use a TC to get 800mm if you want that much reach (which has its own issues) with the 100-400. I think it comes down to what FL and apertures work for you. Both are likely to produce great images. And just to complicate matters, don't forget the 200-600, assuming size does not matter. ;)
 

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