Lens suggestion on a budget

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by puckpack, Mar 24, 2018.

  1. puckpack

    puckpack TalkEmount Regular

    32
    Sep 1, 2013
    Sean
    Hello all,

    I recently purchase an a7 with the 28-70 kit lens and am really enjoying it. I am amazed by this camera and how well it works with a few legacy lenses I have.

    We are planning a trip to Glacier park this summer and I hope to purchase one more lens for this trip. If money was not an issue, I would love a fast wide angle and something with decent reach for wildlife. Money is limited, the legacy lenses I do use are a fd canon 50mm 1.8 and an old vivitar 70-210, given that what would you get for this trip?

    Thanks!
     
  2. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    I was going to recommend adding a manual-focus 70-210mm f/4 but you already list that.
    Fast wide angle is kind of tough, as there weren't many that were good and affordable. A Canon nFD 20mm f/2.8 is highly recommended. A Nikkor 24mm f/2.8, Olympus OM Zuiko 24mm f/2.8. If you want something faster than the kit zoom at 28mm, there is the Vivitar/Kiron 28mm f/2. I recommend the Canon nFd 28mm f/2.

    Best 300mm recommendation is a Tamron SP 23A 60-300mm zoom. Best image quality I've come across, better than the Vivitar 70-210. Affordable too.
    Best 400mm f/5.6 prime value are the Vivitar 400mm f/5.6 trio...1st one by Komine, and 2nd and 3rd version by Tokina. Last one is best IQ and lightest and shortest, but lacks tripod collar. Be sure to use it with an adapt that comes with a tripod foot. These 400s can be found for under $100 on ebay. Tokina version is sold as their own RMC model.
     
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  3. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    I'm going to presume you are asking about native Sony FE autofocus lenses. If not, and you're inquiring about manual focus legacy lenses, well, that really opens up the possibilities across many different adaptable mounts. I think Will just covered a bunch, and he and others are more knowledgable on that topic than I (my legacy lens experience is limited to Nikon F and Minolta SR/MC/MD mount).

    For native autofocus lenses of the types you might want for your trip, the one that stands out would likely be the Sony FE 24-240mm. It's not exactly a "budget" lens at around US$900 (new), but it is a very good all-around travel lens covering from wide at 24mm all the way to a reasonably long telephoto at 240mm.

    For a good, truly budget wide prime, the Sony FE 28mm f/2 gets rave reviews for the most part and at US$450 (new) is not too bad. The only other "budget" native Sony FE lenses (wherein budget is arbitrarily defined by me as being under US$600) are the Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 and the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8, seeing as you already have the FE 28-70 and I've mentioned the FE 28/2. There are also the Samyang/Rokinon AF lenses, with the Samyang AF 35mm f/2.8 currently on sale for US$265 at Adorama and B&H.

    I hope that helps some.
     
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  4. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    Also... being on a budget myself, I can add that I too got the FE 28-70 kit when I picked up my A7ii and within a week also got the FE 50 f/1.8. Later I picked up a Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di USD for Sony A-mount and an LA-EA3 adapter that autofocuses well on the A7ii. I don't think it will focus as well (or at all) on the original A7 - it doesn't work very well on my A6000. I also recently picked up the FE 85mm f/1.8. All of those I would consider "budget" options in their categories. And I've been very satisfied with all of them (although the focus motor on the FE 50/1.8 can be slow and finicky at times).

    I will admit to splurging on a Sony/Zeiss 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS, but that was for "professional" purposes of sorts.
     
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  5. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    I’m too assuming you’re asking for native FE lenses since you’re posting in “Sony Alpha E-mount lenses” and for that and taking into consideration the focal lengths you cover with your existing lenses, I would recommend the 16-35 f4. It would give you a perspective you don’t have with your existing lenses and handle landscape photos nicely.

    If you’re asking for adapted manual focus lenses, then sorry I don’t really bother with them anymore but Will’s suggestions seem nice :) 
     
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  6. puckpack

    puckpack TalkEmount Regular

    32
    Sep 1, 2013
    Sean
    Thank you for all the suggestions, definitely some things I had not considered.

    I would prefer to add a native FE lens to cover either the wide angle or telephoto end, then use an adapted lens for the remaining end. I imagine I would doing mostly landscape photos with the occasional wildlife shot while on vacation. I would love to get some night sky photos too which has me leaning towards sony fe 28mm as I have read it is decent for astro shots. Additionaly, when not on vacation most of my photos are inside family events or candids.

    How difficult is it to properly focus wildlife with a telephoto adapted lens?

    Thanks again for the help!
     
  7. Tipton

    Tipton TalkEmount Veteran

    429
    Jan 30, 2016
    Rae Leggett
    The question becomes, how fast is the wildlife moving? If it's "Bird in Flight" you can basically forget it with a manual adapted lens. Otherwise you're good to go with a quality Canon FD or Minolta SR telephoto and focus peaking on.

    For a native FE wide angle I highly recommend the FE 16-35 F4. Great landscape lens, and affordable for a certain value of affordable. If you want more affordable, less versatile, I recommend the FE 28/2.
     
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  8. Biro

    Biro TalkEmount Regular

    115
    Oct 21, 2012
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  9. TedG954

    TedG954 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Nov 29, 2014
    South Florida and NE Ohio
    Ted Gersdorf
    I use the Manual FiRIN often and it's one of my favorite lenses. AF is almost unnecessary.
     
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  10. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    I assumed you wanted some suggestions for legacy lenses, given the mention of the ones you're already using. Affordable is relative of course.
    Also bear in mind... the desire for native FE mount lenses for AF may not be achieved fully due to the A7's older generation AF system.
    Adapters for Canon and Nikon AF glass may not be compatible. So, their long focal length lenses are excluded. A-mount may be the only option.
    Presently, The FE 100-400mm is the only native birding and wildlife long zoom. It's excellent but you are going to be paying for that.

    The 28-f/2 is a great, versatile faster wide angle prime. Just dipping into the range of wide angle. But a 24 or less is better for astro photography.
    Biro's suggestion of the Tokina FiRIN 20 f/2 is an excellent example.
    But if you're investing in FE, then I also vote for the 16-35 f/4 zoom for its optical performance and usability. If these lenses are considered in your affordable range, then I'd pick these up for your trip.

    As for how is it to shoot wildlife with adapted manual-focus lenses....tasking. To have a chance of an in-focus shot, it's best to select a 'kill zone' with the lens focused for it and hope the wildlife fly or run into it. I've managed to shoot planes at an airshow with the above mentioned Tamron SP 23A doing this in conjunction with the camera's 11 fps bursts. As Rae mentioned, a bird-in-flight is probably the toughest shot to get. Even with AF.
     
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  11. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
    Also even for "native" lenses, there are some good third party options available for full frame these days. Voigtlander comes to mind on the wide end - manual focus but it hardly matters for wide angle.

    And you can save a lot on any lenses if you buy used. Not just ebay, but photo sites like talkemount's Buy & Sell, fredmiranda.com, or resellers like keh.com, and the used sections of the big vendors, etc. I have purchased most of my lenses this way.
     
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  12. AlwaysOnAuto

    AlwaysOnAuto TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Feb 17, 2015
    I have a tighter budget than most on this site. I accept lenses for free and frequent the Goodwill site a lot. I've had pretty good luck so far as I've only got an FE 2/28 as my one and only native lens. With practice I'm even getting to be pretty fair at shooting manual focus. I like the oldies as they've got character.
    Good luck with your search and don't forget to post some pictures.
     
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  13. puckpack

    puckpack TalkEmount Regular

    32
    Sep 1, 2013
    Sean
    Great advice everyone, thank you!

    Fortunately or unfortunately, I do not have enough money set aside yet to make a decision. I will continue to practice with what I have and then make a purchase when I can.
     
  14. puckpack

    puckpack TalkEmount Regular

    32
    Sep 1, 2013
    Sean
    I have many reviews online and here as well about the fe24240, could that be the all in one answer? Jack of all master of none?
     
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  15. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Well the range might sound great, but the maximum aperture (low light, bokeh, astro photography) and perhaps sharpness sure isn’t :) 
     
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  16. TedG954

    TedG954 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Nov 29, 2014
    South Florida and NE Ohio
    Ted Gersdorf
    "Master of None"....... will leave you wanting more. Jus' sayin'
     
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  17. puckpack

    puckpack TalkEmount Regular

    32
    Sep 1, 2013
    Sean
    Okay, that is helpful. I would hate to spend a lot of money (for me) and still be wanting for performance. I would rather wait and get something I know I will like even if it takes longer.
     
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