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Fast Telephoto Advice

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by MAubrey, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount All-Pro

    So, I'm finally working on getting a few AF lenses for my A7rII's. I don't really care about size and weight in this context. I have the small & light lenses covered with my Contax G set.

    For short/medium telephotos, I'm considering:

    Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM
    Sigma Art 85mm f/1.4 (either EF or E-- I have the MC-11)
    Sigma Art 135mm f/1.8

    Sony 85mmstrengths:
    • Least cats eye vignetting
    • Best balanced
    Sony 85mm weaknesses:
    • Very sharp, but not as sharp
    • Most expensive, even used
    Sigma 85mm strengths:
    • Stupidly sharp across the field wide open
    • Cheaper used in EF
    Sigma 85mm weaknesses:
    • Cats eye bokeh
    • Stupidly long
    • Focusing on MC-11 is only Single Shot AF
    Sigma 135mm strengths:
    • Stupidly sharp
    • Better cats eye bokeh than the Sigma 85, but not as good as the Sony GM
    • Cheaper used in EF
    Sigma 135mm weaknesses:
    • Ever so slightly slower
    • Requires more distance to subject for portraits
    • Focusing on MC-11 is only Single Shot AF
    Did I miss anything?
    Any other opinions (again, don't care about size/weight here)?
  2. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
    Why do you say that Sigma lenses are single shot af with mc-11? I thought it is similar to native lenses.

    I had Canon 85mm 1.8/135mm 2 combo with Canon. At the end I made a compromise and got 100mm, now it is similar with Sony...

    I like 135mm lenses with shorter mfd but bigger lenses, so stays at home more. 85mm will give 127.5 with crop and 135mm with give you 202.5mm with a crop. 85mm is too close to 55mm which gives you 82.5mm cropped...

    If you don't want the cat eye go to Sony 85mm 1.4, which is a great lens. It is a personal choice and it also depends on your working distance, etc... I like CV 125mm 2.5 macro a lot due to mfd but mf only. I think new CV 110mm will be a great lens.

    There is also Sony 135mm 1.8 cheap but needs the adapter with only center af:
    USED SONY 135/1.8 SONNAR (A-MOUNT) (EX) [625587602]

    Here are Canon 135mm f2 shots show that cat eye may not be always be there:

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    Also there is Sigma 100mm 1.4
    First Look of the “Bokeh Master” Sigma 105mm f/1.4 Art Series Lens
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    Size comparison from Left to Right – Sigma 135mm f/1.8, Sigma 105mm f/1.4, Sigma 85mm f/1.4, Nikon 105mm f/1.4

    More tests at LR comparing 85 & 135mm lenses:
    MTF Testing the Canon 85mm f/1.4 L IS
    Sigma 135mm f/1.8 Art MTF Charts (and a Look Behind the Curtain)
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
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  3. SamSS

    SamSS TalkEmount Veteran

    Oct 11, 2014
    Go for the 135mm. A tiny bit smaller grid using 82mm filter vs 86mm. IMO, 135mm has better control of color fringing than the 85mm. (both have very little)
    I have both Sigma 85 and 135mm. Both perform well and no such con as single shot AF.
    I just bought a dock just to update all to their latest firmware.
    I'm happy with my Sigma lenses eventhough have heard a lot of rants about them. Lucky, I guess.
    24mm Art Canon mount
    35mm Art A-mount
    50mm Art A-mount
    85mm Art Canon mount
    135mm Art Canon mount
    200mm Art f2...I wish :) 
    Now that you have a choice to opt for an E mount. I think they should perform even better.

    135mm is crazy sharp at the edge as well.
    f1.8, 1/400, ISO-100
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  4. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto TalkEmount Regular Subscribing Member

    Sep 1, 2018
    So Cal Desert
    With both my Nikon FF and M4/3 kits I shoot mostly with my Nikkor 85mm f1.4 and 135mm f2 for FF and FL equivalent Leica 42.5mm f1.2 and Oly 75mm f1.8 for M4/3. Now that I am changing out my M4/3 for SonyFF, I too am looking at a 135mm telephoto. My priorities are a bit different than yours, I want a smaller/lighter size for my Sony kit (it's my travel/overseas kit) and would be happy with the Batis 135mm, due to it being 67mm filter size and not too big/heavy. However I am waiting for the upcoming Sony 135 f1.8 to be announced, as in the short time I have had the FE 85mm f1.8 I am really impressed with it (and the 55mm f1.8 too) and maybe the new Sony 135 will resemble this in design. Look at the excellent job Sony did with the new 24mm f1.4, hopefully the new Sony 135mm will follow this and be an excellent optic but slightly smaller than the Sigma and just as sharp. It may be announced later this month, so I suggest you wait a few weeks. As far as the Sigma 135mm, it seems good, here is a link for a new vid by Manny Ortiz on the Sigma you might find interesting, note that even though you don't want to hear it, he too mentions the weight a few times:

    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
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  5. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount All-Pro

    There's no C-AF with the MC-11. But other than that, yeah, just like a native lens.
  6. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
    I don't have the Sigma primes but I tried Sigma 100-400 on A7R III and afc af was better then sf indoors... Here is a video showing afc on A7R II with Sigma 35mm 1.4:
  7. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount All-Pro

    Yeah, I already have a small/light set of lenses for travel established with Contax G & M mount lenses, so for AF I'm prioritizing larger apertures.

    This is good advice. The filter threads are worth considering. And I already have 82mm filters for the 24-35mm f/2.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
  8. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount All-Pro

    Huh. That's fascinating. AF-C is just terrible with the 24-35mm.

    It isn't officially supported according to Sigma: MOUNT CONVERTER | Accessories | Lenses | SIGMA GLOBAL VISION
  9. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
    Maybe the specs are not updated with the firmware updates. Here is Gabriel's video shows eye af w/ 135mm on A7R II:
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  10. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount All-Pro

    Well, we'll see. I just ordered a used 135mm a few moments ago from the 'bay.

    Now I could use someone to buy my Nikon 200mm f/2 from me!
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