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Migrating from MFT to FE: lens recommendations?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by dav1dz, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. dav1dz

    dav1dz New to TalkEmount

    3
    Apr 27, 2014
    I currently shoot with an Olympus E-M5 with the 9-18 mm, 17 mm and 45 mm lenses. I know what focal lengths I like to shoot with so I'm settled on the combination of f/4 UWA + 35 + 85. There are quite a few choices in the 35 and 85 mm ranges (which I like about e-mount), however how are the more budget conscience lenses in practical use?

    How is the 35 mm f/2.8 compared to the 35 mm f/1.4, and 85 mm f/1.8 to the 85 mm f/1.4? I realize the FE 85 mm f/1.4 GM is a fairly new lens and most people haven't had the chance to give it a full rundown, but any early insights would be appreciated.

    Projected kit: Sony a7 II with 16-35 mm f/4, 35 mm f/1.4, 85 mm f/1.4. Then I'll likely get the 55 mm f/1.8 to pair with the 16-35 mm f/4 when I travel light in a 2-lens combo.
     
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  2. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount Top Veteran

    The Batis 85mm f/1.8 compares extremely well to the FE 85mm f/1.4 GM for everything I've read. Choosing one over the other seems to come down to personal preference for things like bokeh, size, weight, etc., again, at least from what I've read--I haven't used either.

    Both 35mm's are brilliant lenses. You can't go wrong with either.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
  3. mattia

    mattia TalkEmount Regular

    143
    Dec 13, 2013
    I have the 35/2.8, but the only real selling point for that lens is that it's small. It's not super exciting to me, and I find that the 35mm on the 16-35 is more than good enough. The Sony/Zeiss 35/1.4 is undoubtedly excellent, but large and manufacturing tolerances appear to be slightly inconsistent, plus pricey. There's always a Sigma 35/1.4 with MC-11 adapter to consider as an alternative, albeit a heavier/larger one. My personal 35 preference is my CV Nokton 35/1.2 II, which is excellent and FAST, but can be a pain to focus under some circumstances, particularly wide open due to the very shallow DOF.

    My 2-lens kit (which was my travel kit for my recent 3 week holiday in Indonesia) was the 16-35 and the 55/1.8, which is my favourite 50-ish lens I've ever owned.

    I don't have any of the 85s, but I would go with the Batis at this stage.
     
  4. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    I enjoy the 35/2.8 for its tiny size and would probably lean towards the Batis 85mm for the sake of portability (and I like having optical stabilization in a telephoto).
    Of course, if maxxing out on BOKEH (or certain subjective nuances of the faster lenses) was an overriding priority, that would change things.
     
  5. ggibson

    ggibson TalkEmount Regular

    154
    Sep 1, 2011
    I came from m4/3 also with a similar kit: 9-18, 20/1.7, 45/1.8, 45-175 power zoom.

    I decided on the 16-35/4 + 55/1.8 to start. I then added a 24-240 which I've used quite often and been very happy with, actually. It's a great lens for travel purposes. These 3 lenses are my "core" kit and fully replaced my m4/3 gear. I feel like this lineup is really flexible for almost any situation and I can pair it down to just the 16-35 + 55 or 24-240 + 55 for a travel 2-lens kit, depending on what/where I am shooting. Although I came from using a 40mm equivalent prime, the 55/1.8 still works for me as my "normal" prime and can also be cropped to take decent portraits.

    Recently I picked up the 28/2 and the Batis 85, which to me are more specialized use lenses. I really like the Batis 85, and the performance of that lens makes me want to use it more and more. It is just incredibly sharp, even from f1.8. For half the size and price of the GM 85, I'd pick the Batis any time. As for the 28/2, it probably gets the least amount of use for me. I mainly have it for a small size lens that can also do some astrophotography (and not break the bank).
     
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  6. Blueshound

    Blueshound TalkEmount Rookie

    24
    Jan 27, 2016
    Brian
    I also came from m43, Panasonic GH3, Panasonic lenses @ 7-14, 12-35/2.8 & 14-140. Still have the lenses.

    If travelling with your camera kit is an important consideration, you may think about leaning toward the lighter native lens options. How much do you want the subject isolation of the f1.4 lenses? I find that the bag gets heavy quickly, so I'd absolutely pick the Batis 85. But I don't care much about portraits wide open, or typical street photography with people as the subjects.

    I like 35mm, but I find that my 16-35mm is more than good enough at 35, and even better below that in focal lengths. And it gives me heaps of versatility at the wide end of things. So a 2-lens kit for me could easily be the 16-35/f4 paired with the Batis 85. Substitute the FE55 if you prefer that focal length, I probably wouldn't use it much.

    It would probably help if you clarified your preferences a bit more. Do you intend to shoot a lot at f1.4 - f2.8?

    Brian
     
  7. dav1dz

    dav1dz New to TalkEmount

    3
    Apr 27, 2014
    I don't shoot at f1.4 often but I do prefer primes with apertures larger than f2.8 to keep the ISO down. I know these Sony sensors have great high ISO, but I still try to minimize it as much as possible. I wish Sony or Zeiss had a 35 mm f/2 or f/1.8 auto focus lens.
     
  8. darrellc

    darrellc TalkEmount Rookie

    20
    Aug 15, 2015
    I ran m4/3 for number of years, finally consolidated on FE with the release of the A7RII...

    Another suggestion... against common guidance, but perhaps buy the better body (A7RII) and buy cheaper but perfectly good glass and wait for the prices on the FE 35/1.4 and 85/1.4 (or even the Batis) to come down and/or alternatives (e.g. 35/2) to come to market.

    The A7RII is much better than the A7II (I had both). Better IQ (high ISO, color, etc.) and you can crop with abandon. Much, much better video if that's a consideration.

    Buy the FE 35/2.8 used, wait for a good 35/1.8 or 35/2 native option (and save a bunch over the FE 35/1.4). As soon as one comes out, a bunch of FE 35/1.4's will be available on the used market at discount. You'll be happy enough with the bokeh of the 35/2.8 if you're accustomed to the 17/1.8 on MFT and the A7RII high ISO performance and DR is leagues beyond the EM5. And the total package isn't much bigger than EM5+17/1.8. That blows me away. I used to have that MFT combo.

    Buy the FE 16-35, great lens and sounds like you know you want an UWA zoom.

    Buy the Batis 85/1.8 used, or even consider getting the FE 55/1.8 and shooting in crop mode on the A7RII - gives you 82.5mm equivalent at 17.8MP and you lose maybe a stop or whatever of DOF. Or buy a SAM 85/2.8 with the LA-EA3 adapter used and wait for the 85/1.4 to drop in price and make sure the mechanical QA issues are resolved.
     
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  9. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul TalkEmount Veteran

    343
    Feb 14, 2016
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    Paul
    I also came from m43 and had a variety of lenses, I still do although will be selling my m43 kit soon.
    I've got an A7R2 and lenses... Voigtlander 12mm prime, (I had the 15mm prime but sold it once I got the 12), 28 f2 prime, 55 f1.8, Sony-Ziess 24-70 and Canon 70-200 f4 L lens used via an adapter.

    My usual kit to use is the A7R2 + 12, 24-70 and 70-200, they all fit into a surprisingly compact bag and offer a great focal range with good quality lenses.
    If you like super or ultra wide the Voigtlander 12 or 15mm lenses are an option, the IQ is excellent and they are very compact and good quality, although manual everything. The 24-70 has had bad press but I have no issues with mine, I think it's a great lens. The Canon 70-200 works perfectly with the A7R2, has excellent IQ and is a llot cheaper than the Sony E mount 70-200.

    Paul
     
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  10. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Veteran

    255
    Aug 16, 2014
    I think I'll be going all Sony pretty soon. My A7 files are just a step up nicer than my M43 files. It's a very close match to my Nikon FF kit, but in a smaller form factor. Works well for both work and personal shooting. Too bad Sony doesn't do an RF style ILC body with an FF sensor though!
     
  11. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul TalkEmount Veteran

    343
    Feb 14, 2016
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    Paul
    Yes I find the same, it's subtle in a lot of the photos but in others more obvious, I find the shadow detail is better with the Sony and highlight recovery better too, I guess what I'm saying is the dynamic range is better.
    It is possible to recover shadow detail from m43 but it's just not as clean as the Sony.

    Paul
     
  12. Blueshound

    Blueshound TalkEmount Rookie

    24
    Jan 27, 2016
    Brian
    I'm bery happy with my A7rII, and I couldn't agree more with the above statement, but just to add - I typically did a lot of exposure bracketing with my m43 cameras, including hand-held, which the format and Panasonic's operating system made relatively easy. When you have 5-7 brackets, and are comfortable with various blending techniques, dynamic range and clean shadows are available. I do appreciate that this doesn't help those who are Jpeg or single-frame shooters.

    Having said that, with the A7rII, it's a nice option to be able to do post-processing and get similar results from only one or two files. I attended a workshop with a talented landscape pro who swore by the ability to expose for the highlights and then pull up the shadow areas in post.

    Sorry for the digression.

    Brian
     
  13. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount Top Veteran

    To that end, you might be interested in this FM post: Easy ETTR technique using the Zebra pattern
     
  14. Blueshound

    Blueshound TalkEmount Rookie

    24
    Jan 27, 2016
    Brian
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  15. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Veteran

    255
    Aug 16, 2014
    The highlights and blown white areas are much easier to recover with A7 files. I've been shooting both side-by-side and it's getting to the point I'm not enjoying my M43 files as much. Though I much prefer the handling, EVF and features of my EM5II. It's a very well rounded camera.
     
  16. Lucille

    Lucille TalkEmount Veteran

    351
    May 22, 2013
    the 85mm f/1.4 G Master is simply a masterpiece! This is World Class GLASS.

    Find a way to get this GEM of a lens. I am a big fan of micro 4/3rds, I still have a OMD and a collection of nice lenses, but it just doesn't compare to the A7R II and the 85mm when it comes to pure IQ.

    that 85mm makes magic with ease, best optic I have EVER shot with hands down.


    m-480.
     
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  17. WT21

    WT21 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    611
    Aug 7, 2011
    With m43, you can rebuild a lot, but I find it takes a lot to rebuild! (recover the DR, clean up the noise, etc.). I find the RAW in Sony is just much closer to what I want/need. The DOF transitions are closer to what I want, too. But the jpg engine on Sony is weak, and I like to shoot jpg a lot, to reduce my time on a screen.

    There's always something, but I'm done moving systems. They've all got tradoffs. The ONLY vendors who might get another look from me would be if Canon or Nikon ever got serious in mirrorless.
     
  18. Lucille

    Lucille TalkEmount Veteran

    351
    May 22, 2013
    I disagree 100%, the Sony JPEG is one of the best my eyes have seen, every image I have posted here has been a JPEG.
     
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  19. WT21

    WT21 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    611
    Aug 7, 2011
    You cant be using an a7 classic then.
     
  20. Lucille

    Lucille TalkEmount Veteran

    351
    May 22, 2013
    I use the A7, A7S, A7R II, Rx1, Rx1R II, Rx100 MIII, Nex 3N. I like the Sony JPEGs very much.