1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

Looking for a Sony 35mm flat field lens

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by Jerry Pruce, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. Jerry Pruce

    Jerry Pruce New to TalkEmount

    4
    Apr 28, 2015
    Jerry Pruce
    I purchased a A6000 and the kit lenses a few months ago before a trip to Kauai. I have a Nikon D7100 with the 18-140 kit, Tokina 12-24 and the nikon 60mm. The 7100 is a really nice camera but got tired of lugging it around and being conspicuous. While on Kauai I ended up using the A6000 about 90% of the time. I really love the camera. So much so, I’ve decided to sell my Nikon gear and get some really good lenses for the A6000. I’m an artist doing mostly 2-dimensional work…..drawings and paintings. Some of the paintings are very large. I bought the 60mm Nikkor because it is a flat field lenses and very sharp. The problem I have with it is, it’s 85mm lens on the D7100. With some of my larger work, I can’t get back far enough in my studio to get it all in the frame and I don’t want to stitch. At 50mm, no problem. Also i want to use the lens for other types of photography besides taking pictures of my artwork.



    The lenses I’m considering are:



    Zeiss 32mm Touit



    Sony 35mm



    Zeiss 16-35mm FE



    Sony/Zeiss 35 1.4 Distagon FE



    Sony/Zeiss 35 2.8 FE



    Which on of these lenses would you recommend for photographing my art work? Which one would render the flattest field? Most of my other photography is either normal to wide. That is why I put the 16-35 on the list. For now I’ll keep the 16-50 kit lenses for general walk around stuff. I love it’s compact size. I’m prepared to spend some money for the right lens (within reason).



    Your thoughts an recommendations would be greatly appreciated…….



    jerry
     
  2. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    Sony has a 30mm macro that might be well worth a look for your art reproduction needs.

    With a decent tripod, you should be able to stop down some, which should help a lot.

    I would also investigate which lens has the least distortion (or the best correction profile).
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. Jerry Pruce

    Jerry Pruce New to TalkEmount

    4
    Apr 28, 2015
    Jerry Pruce
    Thanks, but that's not what I'm looking for......
     
  4. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria

    So you just disqualified the only real option because ... why? Macro lenses are designed to produce images with low field curvatore and next to no distortion. You won't be able to get that with any standard lens. The Sony 30mm, stopped down, is quite a nice lens for studio reproduction work. And the 50mm Zeiss Touit offers exceptional image quality - although, reading from your post, that one might already be too long for your needs.

    You won't be able to get what you look for with the lenses on your list. Although any of them will give you acceptable quality when photographing paintings, the resulting images will not be as perfect as when shooting them with a macro lens. From your list, the Sony Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 probably gives you the best results - due to the APS-C sweet spot advantage, field curvature should be minimized by a fair bit, the lens shows next to no distortion or vignetting either on APS-C sized sensors, and it's very sharp.
     
  5. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    For copy work macro lenses work best. Legacy 50mm macros may be one option. Lots of copy work is done with enlarger lenses too as they are optimized for high resolution and flat field.

    Designing a flat field zoom is difficult. Zooms have problems with distortions too. The Sony 30mm macro may be your best choice.

    Touit 32mm has got 2% of pincushion distortion and its field isn't completely flat so I wouldn't choose it for copy work. Sigma 30mm/2.8 otherwise a great lens but it suffers from color aberration (that can probably be removed in post production).

    There are lots of reviews of E-mount lenses here:
    http://www.photozone.de/
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. mnhoj

    mnhoj TalkEmount Regular

    123
    Aug 19, 2013
    I would pick from your list the one you will want to shoot everything else besides the artwork.
    Then pick up the 30mm macro or the Sigma 30 for that.

    Except the FE 3.8/35. It doesn't have the aperture speed advantage or the ultra wide end and the Sigma 30 compares quite well for far less $$ imo.
     
  7. VLReviews

    VLReviews TalkEmount Regular

    33
    Mar 16, 2015
    Germany
    Benjamin
    Looking at the DxOMark tests and specifially at the sharpness field map at f/5.6, the Sony 35 mm f/1.8 will have the highest corner sharpness of the tested 30-ish E mount lenses. The 35 mm f/2.8 Sonnar and the 32 mm Touit are close, the 30 mm f/3.5 macro is far off. They didn't review the Loxia and Distagon, yet.
     
  8. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    I don't want to start an argument about the controversial testing and rating method DxO uses to score lenses. Just let me say, NEVER buy a lens based off a DxO rating. The qualities a lens can provide for your personal style of work are, in most cases, vastly different from what DxO implies. Also, the sharpness rating does NOT, as far as I know, correct for distortion and field curvature, which makes it useless for this particular use case anyway.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  9. VLReviews

    VLReviews TalkEmount Regular

    33
    Mar 16, 2015
    Germany
    Benjamin
    Yes, ratings can be debated. But I'm just talking about the sharpness field map, which is an "unrated" measurement. If you look at the field maps, you can also directly see field curvature, as it leads to the loss of sharpness in the corners. That's why it would deem this specific result a good indication of whether the lens is what the OP is looking for (based on what he wrote - I don't read minds ;) )
     
  10. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    My recommendation is to rent the lenses you're interested in using and test in your environment.
    My $0.02... I'd try the Sony 35mm, with it's concave front element. Even though touted as a portrait lens, real world results show it to be superbly sharp edge to edge. Bear in mind, my opinion is just that... probably worth $0.02. ;)

    I am a bit at a lost though, it has been my understanding that flat field lenses are made specifically for macro work. Where depth of field is a problem. So, I agree with the recommendation to try macro lenses. Some of the sharpest lenses are macro models. And you can still use them for shooting in other situations.

    Another option is to use adapters and legacy lenses. A Micro Nikkor Ai 50mm f/3.5 is still one of the sharpest lenses Nikon ever released. Manual focus isn't an issue for shooting artwork in a studio.
     
  11. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Both are good tips, and I agree that scores can be a good help to sort out the worst lenses (although I definitely wouldn't rule out the 30mm f/3.5 just based on that score), and renting lenses always is helpful. Although it seems like the OP should give some feedback again, as we won't be able to give more specific recommendations simply based off the few details you gave us (and especially since you didn't give us a reason why you don't want to try the Sony 30mm).
     
  12. Jerry Pruce

    Jerry Pruce New to TalkEmount

    4
    Apr 28, 2015
    Jerry Pruce
    Thanks you all for getting back to me.

    In the sweet spot 5.6 to 8 are the Zeiss 32mm Touit and the Sony 35mm 1.8 equally sharp? The No. 1 purpose of the lens is to shoot my 2-demensional artwork. 35mm is perfect for my studio. Some of my paintings are large. Anything longer than 35mm on my A6000 doesn't give me enough room to shoot big pieces. I always shoot at f8 with really good lighting on a tripod with a remote. A sharp lens in this sweet spot is my top priority. If the Sony 35 1.8 is about the same sharpness at f8 as the Touit, I would get it so I could do more than dedicate it to talking pictures of artwork.
    The Dxo scores for sharpness of the Sony FE Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm F2.8 ZA on the A6000 falls off sharply. The same goes for the Sony/Zeiss 35 1.4 Distagon FE mounted on an NEX7. Are FE lenses designed to perform better on FF cameras?

    Then there's the X factor......the magic. If one of these native e-mount lenses mounted on an A6000 has some special magic it to it, that might way heavily on my decision. For now I'm not interested mounting other lenses via an adapter. I've heard that Zeiss lens have something special as well as Leica. What about Sigma? The 30mm is not very expensive I could get it as well for my "other" shooting if it has some magic. A very special lens around 24mm I would be interested in as well.........
     
  13. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    I still don't get why you don't consider the Sony 30mm - it's like perfect for your needs.

    As for the Sony 35mm 1.8, Zeiss 32mm 1.8 and Sigma 30mm 2.8 -- yes, at f/8, there won't be much of a difference sharpness wise. Although I personally prefer the color rendering of the Zeiss (just look at images shot with these lenses to compare for yourself what you prefer), I wouldn't say it's worth the higher price for that particular use case.

    As for 24mm - the only option for a very good performing 24mm APS-C E-mount lens is the 24mm f/1.8 Sony Zeiss Sonnar. Although you could go with the 25mm f/2 Zeiss Loxia, which is a great performer as well, but it doesn't offer AF.
     
  14. josema

    josema TalkEmount Regular

    55
    Mar 31, 2013
    Spain
    Jose M. Alonso
    I had this three, kept the Touit. The Sigma is unbeatable at its cost. I wanted the extra stop though. The Sony is lighter, smaller, auto focuses much faster (on my Nex6 at least), has some CA but easily removable. But, yes, there something special with the Zeiss. I'm not an expert but the color rendering and subject separation is amazing, so even with the slow auto focus I kept it. I actually use it in manual focus mood most of the time as it's the focusing ring is a pleasure to use.