Do you have a lens or lenses that really stand out and have impressed you?
There are 3 (maybe 4) lenses that have really put a smile on my face...
21mm Loxia, 35mm Loxia and 50mm Loxia are simply lovely to use, nicer than my 25mm Batis in that respect, and with results I feel are less clinical than some of the uber-sharp Sony primes (eg 90mm macro)
If I had to sell all but two lenses, as an amateur, I'd keep my
Zeiss 35mm Loxia and
Meyer-Optik-Gorlitz 100mm trioplan
It depends on what kind of day I'm in for. On a wedding day, the 24-70 GM stays on my A7RII while the A7II gets a 55 for pre, 70-200 for ceremony, and the Batis 85 for the reception. Oh yea, the 10-18 goes on the A6300 and gimbal. Love all 5 of these bad boys for what they offer me. When out doing portraits usually the Batis 85, and the 24-70GM. The Batis just rocks but the 24-70 (though big) comes in handy for everything else. I'm fixing to start a new post about showing some images that this pair helped me put together. Still in love....
A couple years ago I would have answered this as Sony 55mm Sonnar, followed by Zeiss 25 Batis, followed by Sony 70-200 f/4. Then a sad thing happened leading me to conclude that a person should not drop the 55mm on a hard floor. So I enjoyed various great legacy 50mm lenses. Then, nine days ago, a happy thing happened. I received my 65mm APO-Lanthar. It does manual focus so much better than the 55 Sonnar and it allows me some very close focus opportunities. (The 65 does not do auto focus. It is strictly a manual focus lens.). So now the the 65 APO-Lanthar goes into my list of three in first place where the 55 used to be. The order of the list is due to my use patterns, not my opinion of relative quality. (Though, come to think of it, it may be my idea of order of quality too -- not sure, don't care.).
I am surprised that I don't see the Sony FE 1.8/85 called out. It is a lens that has really impressed me, punching far out of its weight class.
For years I didn't own any E mount lenses. Shortly after I took up photography as a hobby I was reconsidering my approach as I was using my camera in auto everything and wondering why I was messing with this expensive interchangeable lens system when I could buy a good super zoom and produce the same images. Some kind people in another photography website convinced me to try shooting with older manual lenses. It took a while but eventually I began to learn to take photographs. I'm still learning, and have decided to pick up a few autofocus lenses to fill in my selection. In FE I now have the Sony 2.0/28 and Samyang 2.8/35 new acquisitions that I am liking a lot, the 1.8/50 which is a workman like lens, nothing special but adequate and the 1.8/85 that I think is an excellent performer.
I own the 16-50, 55-210 and 28-70 kit lenses as well but they don't get much play. I like primes better. I also have a set of small, cheap, Chinese manual focus E mount lenses that are really fun if you enjoy manual focus. These are a 1.8/25 by Discover, and Meike lenses in 2.8/28, 1.4/35, and 2.0/50. I can put all of these and the A6500 (or NEX-3N) in the small Sony camera bag and just go out to have fun. Still, while they perform well, I wouldn't put any of them on my Top Ten E mount lens list.
In terms of optics, I stand by my answer a couple of replies above. But after thinking about it I must admit that the majority of my images are from a different lens. So, the-one-I-use-most should at least get mentioned among my most impressive. This lens is E mount, kind of. I mean it is specifically designed for E mount but without an adapter you cannot mount it on your Sony E mount camera. It requires a M to E mount adapter with a focusing ability, like the Voigtlander Close Focus adapter or the TechArt Pro. It is the Voigtlander 40mm Heliar. On a recent Europe and transatlantic voyage, it was the lens that captured the vast majority of my images. 40mm is an amazingly useful general purpose focal length. The lens is already small, and it collapses! Normally, that does not matter much, but when traveling, I actually find that feature sometimes makes this lens the only real option.
The optics are great. If a person already has the TAP adapter, this is an excellent value. The only criticism is that the aperture ring is clickless so it can "adjust itself" while being carried. (I do not know how this happens. In Iceland I suspect trolls. But it happens outside of Iceland too.) You must learn to check where the aperture is set before you take a shot. Anyway, I think the 40mm Heliar deserves a mention and should be considered by anyone who owns the TechArt Pro adapter or the Voigtlander Close Focus Adapter.
I like all of my prime e-mount lenses (and I own several) but my favorite quite possibly is the Sony 85mm f/1.8 which I was lucky enough to purchase used for $450 in mint condition. It is a really nice portrait lens and a great general purpose short telephoto. I use mine on an A6500 which gives it about a 127.5 equivalent focal length. I love the Focus Hold button which I have programmed for Eye AF.
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For me it must be one of the Zeiss Loxias I own now and I'm going to pick the Loxia 2/35mm. Often considered the weakest in the Loxia line-up it's my favourite because it is sooo punchy and sharp at middle apertures like f/8; it is useable wider open but with restrictions, you have to know what can go wrong there. Now if only Zeiss would come up with a 40mm Loxia....