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Which mid-zoom for group portraits?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by firemist, May 24, 2018.

  1. firemist

    firemist TalkEmount Veteran

    292
    Dec 4, 2015
    Background:

    I'm a prime guy (see signature) but it looks like I'm going to be assuming the role of official photographer for our Church. Mostly, this involves indoor set-ups with one or two person head-shots (half body), or family shots, again half-body but maybe up to six people. I have a Godox 685S plus the X1-T transmitter, plan on getting a 50-60" umbrella plus maybe a Godox 350 as a second light. Plan on using my A7ii (hand-held) since it has good AF and Eye AF plus IBIS.

    Question:

    Lens choices seem to be either the new Tamron 28-75/f2.8 at $799, or a used Sony 24-70/f4 OSS at $650~$750 on Ebay. Which to get? The Sony is smaller, has OSS, is OK at center but soft edges might be an issue for family shots. Tamron not sure, but seems OK at edges especially at around 50mm. Would the Sony 28-75 be OK just for this use? The images are really only used for the Church directory, and maybe up to 8x10" size prints (unless the family requests a print size larger, not too frequent). I probably won't use this lens as EDC.

    Opinions? Suggestions? BTW not interested in adapting any Canon EF lenses, thanks.
     
  2. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    My experience with the Sony FE 4/24-70 is that it's very good between 35 and 55mm, edge-to-edge sharpness already at f/4. Corners at 24mm are unsharp even stopped down a lot and contrast at 70mm wide-open is fairly poor, stopping down to f/5.6 is advised. If you get this lens, be sure to check it out for your usage scenarios, there is quite some sample variation. I wouldn't rule out sample variation with the other lenses either.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. firemist

    firemist TalkEmount Veteran

    292
    Dec 4, 2015
    Ad, thanks, yes I'm a bit wary of the 24-70. Seems like there are quite a few now on Ebay, maybe folks are trading up to the Tamron.
     
  4. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    If it were me, I'd get the new Tamron instead the f4 Sony...
    f/2.8 might come handy
    Now, if the Sony was $500 then hmm...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    If you're shooting portraits, the Tamron is far more useful, especially indoors. The initial tests showed the Tamron to be sharper than the 24-70 f/2.8 GM.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. firemist

    firemist TalkEmount Veteran

    292
    Dec 4, 2015
    I'll be using flash, the only benefit of the 24-70 I can see is OSS. I tend to agree the Tammy wins.
     
  7. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    My only concern would be that 24 might not be wide enough for large group shots.
     
  8. firemist

    firemist TalkEmount Veteran

    292
    Dec 4, 2015
    I that case I'll use my 21mm, and DxO ViewPoint 3.
     
  9. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    24mm is actually ideal for large group shots. Anything wider and you’d get a lot of distortion that never looks good on people/faces
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  10. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Fair enough. Not ever really shot big groups before
     
  11. firemist

    firemist TalkEmount Veteran

    292
    Dec 4, 2015
    So, just to wrap this up, I chose Option C - none of the above, lol. I did (briefly) consider getting the TAP to use with my CV lenses; but reports of mechanical issues, and the fact no Eye AF is possible (at least on the A7ii) and probably slow AF indoors ruled it out.
    What I did get was a "new-other" Sony 28-70/3.5~5.6 OSS "kit" lens, which someone was selling from his [A7iii + lens] kit purchase. For $210 could not pass that up.
    I'll only be using this lens at around f5.6 for flash portraits, for the Church directory, so "good enough".
     
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