Tough decision

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by NickCyprus, Nov 26, 2017.

  1. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    As some of you good folks here know, I do quite a few weddings now (2nd shooter going for my third year) and I'm trying to prepare (gear wise) for the next wedding season which starts in January 2018 here.
    I'm also a hobbyist landscape photographer (but which does not bring any income)

    I currently own/use the MK1 A7 with the 55 1.8 and 70-200 4 (sold all my MF lenses already) and want something wider. I have saved a budget of 1500$ (or 1200euro) at the moment.

    My dilemma is the following:

    1) GM 24-70 2.8:
    I can get this lens for about $2000 new. Do I save up and just buy this one lens?
    Pros:
    -perfect FL for my situation (versatility) and good aperture range (f/2.8 is plenty)
    -can use this lens for work (weddings) AND hobby (landscapes) so twin usage lens

    Cons:
    -expensive! I'd have to save up more to just get this one lens and not get anything else for a year
    -heavy to the point that I'm worried that the weak mk1 a7 plastic mount won't hold up with it. Its about the same weight as the 70-200 4, which gave me some issues before with my A7 (lens connection lost). I could "upgrade" to the fotodiox tough brass signature mount but that one also has its problems from the research I've done


    2) Zeiss 35 1.4:
    I can get this lens for about $1500 new.
    Pros:
    -it would provide a wider FL than my current widest lens for group shots (but maybe not wide enough)
    -not extremely heavy (tolerable)

    Cons:
    -the main photographer also primarily shoots with a 35mm so our images would not be too differentiated
    -rather expensive and won't be able to get anything else for a year
    -I'm afraid that 35mm would not be too much different in FL that the 55mm...
    -not wide enough
    -not really ideal/perfect for landscapes


    3) New Samyang AF 35 1.4
    I can get this lens for about $800 new
    Pros:
    -not expensive
    -I could potentially get this one and perhaps sell my 55mm ($600) and fund a 2nd body which would be very convenient for weddings (A7ii which I can get new for about $1200) and perhaps save another $500 and also get the 85 1.8
    -it would provide a wider FL than my current widest lens for group shots (but maybe not wide enough)
    -not extremely heavy (tolerable)

    Cons:
    -the main photographer also primarily shoots with a 35mm so our images would not be too differentiated
    -I'm afraid that 35mm would not be too much different in FL that the 55mm...
    -not wide enough
    -not really ideal/perfect for landscape


    From the video reviews/comparisons I've seen between the Samyang and Zeiss, AF and low light af are comparable (quite fast) which was my main concern.
    Having said that, the Zeiss 35mm based on the upon, makes the least sense to me.
     
  2. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Can't really offer you solid advice, just a few remarks. In terms of versatility the FE 2.8/24-70 looks like a no-brainer. On another note, I think your A7 is getting a little long in the tooth for you, maybe it's time to start thinking about an A7 Mark II, used ones shouldn't be too expensive when Sony comes up with a Mark III (which is quite likely IMHO). If you need something wider in the meantime, you could think about a used Samyang 2.8/35, cheap and cheerful and still f/2.8.
    In my experience they are far apart; I often go out with a 35mm and a 50mm lens. I find it remarkable in fact that you've been able to get by with 55mm as your shortest focal length!
     
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  3. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Thanks Ad!

    Yeah, what draws me to the GM 24-70 is the versatility. But 1) its expensive and 2) I'm scared with the old A7 plastic mount :(

    An addition of a 2nd body (an A7ii) makes perfect sense to me and my needs now. And at 1000euro currently its a no brainer! That's why the logic person inside me thinks that the Samyang af 35 is the wiser choice here, cause I can also get an A7ii too (and probably swap the 55 with the 85)
    I don't think the A7iii would bring the II's price lower that the current. 1000euro is pretty low for a FF camera

    As far as the Samyang 35 2.8, that option is not an option for me for personal preferences :D

    I understand that 35mm vs 55mm is quite different but for the scenarios I'm dealing with specifically, they are not too different I think :)


    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: Yeah, me too!!! :laugh1:
     
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  4. mstphoto

    mstphoto TalkEmount Top Veteran

    565
    Feb 26, 2016
    Aberdeen, NE Scotland
    Mike Stephen
    Back in my Wedding shooting days I opted for the Canon 24-105L (I was a Canon shooter back then)
    I never found f4 to be a problem - even in lowish light.
    This lens covered most shots from head and shoulders, mid length and full length and also group shots.
    At one wedding I was a second shooter to a photographer who shot mainly with primes.
    He missed a lot of candid type shots due to swapping lenses.
    Also he accumulated quite a bit of sensor dust.
    Not sure about "Non Scottish" wedding protocol but here the official photographer has a short time slot to capture the main images for the album so, again the 24-105 proved its worth.
     
  5. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Thanks Mike!
    Yeah, the 24-105 is probably the most versatile FF lens but I'm trying to avoid f4 zooms.
    I already have an f/4 lens (70-200) and in low light I find it to be a problem :)
     
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  6. chalkdust

    chalkdust TalkEmount Veteran

    445
    Sep 25, 2015
    Bert Cheney
    I do not shoot weddings. But since you are looking in the over $1000 range at prime wide angle lenses, and you would consider primes, I will suggest the Batis 25mm f/2. It is my widest lens. It has never failed me and often amazes me. it is quite light weight. It might serve you well. But I am not selling mine, so it will not hurt my feeling if you pass it by. :)
     
  7. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
    NYC
    I didn't shoot weddings, but did some event photography. I used a 24-60mm f2.8 on a crop camera with a flash or 2 primes (long tele and normal/wide) with 2 cameras so I didn't have to change lenses all the time. Zoom will give you flexibility and primes are good for focus shots with less dof. It depends on what you want to shoot and achieve.

    Samyang 35mm 1.4 has a good review but as you say it might be too close to 55:
    Samyang AF 35mm f/1.4 FE Review

    You can check the back issues of the below magazine, mostly covers wedding shooters:
    Rangefinder - Photo Gift Guide 2017 - 1
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
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  8. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    After thinking all day about this, I think I’ve to the conclusion that 35mm is probably going to be wide enough for the shots I have in mind.

    And it makes more sense to buy that lens and use the rest of my budget for a 2nd body and maybe an 85mm

    But reading more reviews on the new Samyang 35 1.4 has me a little worrying:
    Samyang 35mm 1.4 AF vs MF - any test?: Sony Alpha Full Frame E-mount Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

    I don’t assume anyone here has actually ever tried the Samyang af 35 1.4 with either the A7 or the A7ii ?
     
  9. fractal

    fractal TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 17, 2014
    Southeastern PA
    Chris
    Buy the Zeiss 35mm 1.4 (or perhaps wait for the Sigma 35mm FE due out early next year), sell the 55mm and the 70-200f/4 and use the proceeds for the FE 85mm 1.8 and an A7rII. The extra resolution of the A7rii will in essence give you 4 lenses for the price of 2. Then you'll be set, especially if you plan to go solo at some point. jmho.
     
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  10. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    Hey Nick I think the A7 mount should be the least of your worry. I would like to know what issues you had with the 70-200 F4. Most I have seen are people posting really long exposures in a really dark room or with the cap on to show a little light leak or proving there is wiggle by pulling and pushing the lens on camera. None of these things are really "real" issues for event photography. They are really not an issue for any photography. As for the Tough E-mount brass LT. For piece of mind and for my long exposures, I use one on all my cameras. @izTheViz@izTheViz uses it too. The only issue you will find is infinity with cheap manual lens adapters. Sony lenses actually fit better as they are more snug. (note: the A7s also had issues with cheap adapters when it came out because it was the first to use a metal mount)

    So my advice is get the lens you want and forget about the mount.

    BTW - You didn't have this as a con and it is since you use the A7. The GM does not have stabilization, so 2.8 may not be as great as you think. Especially at longer focal lengths.
     
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  11. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
    NYC
    One poster from your link has this af comparison:



     
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  12. Mus Aziz

    Mus Aziz TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 3, 2015
    Mus
    Nick, if it was me, I'd probably go with the 24-70/2.8 or 24-105 (read versatility) paired with a A7II or A7RII for IBIS. I'm sure you'll recoup your investment in no time.
     
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  13. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    The issue I have with the 70-200 is that sometimes it disconnects electronically from the camera due to its weight. The camera then become unresponsive (doesn’t focus, aperture turns to “- - -“ , etc) its a known issue with the A7 and heavy lenses
     
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  14. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Yeah, that was what I was talking about. check out test no.9 and the comments below :(
     
  15. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    After some serious thought, I decided to go with the new Samyang AF 35 1.4....


    ....and I just ordered it from a uk shop which says it has it in stock!

    And now the waiting begins :D

    I'll share my thoughts on it as soon as I have it in my hands
     
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  16. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Veteran

    415
    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    For $2000 USD, I'd rather buy another camera body and get the 28mm f/2 and 85mm 1.8 FE lenses. You'd get a backup camera and high quality fast primes.
     
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  17. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Yeah, exactly my thought in the end and that’s why I decided to go with the samyang :)
    Next up is an A7ii and the fe 85 1.8
     
  18. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Veteran

    415
    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    You'll love the 85mm 1.8 FE. If I shot native glass, I would totally buy one! :D
     
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