Uncompromised Landscape Lens for A7R?

Started 9 months ago | Discussions
japa
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Uncompromised Landscape Lens for A7R?
9 months ago

Since we have bought, or will buy the A7R because it is light, full frame and has a great sensor, is there a landscape lens(24mm or less) that doesn't undermine those essential attributes?

That eliminates hefty SLR lenses on adaptors, legacy lenses that require cropping and/or software solutions for colour issues and vignetting, and mediocre optics that compromise the IQ and resolution potential of the A7R sensor.

Any first hand experience with an excellent lightweight landscape lens that brings the best out of this camera?

Sony Alpha 7R
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Lisa O
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Re: Uncompromised Landscape Lens for A7R?
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CraigArnold
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Re: Uncompromised Landscape Lens for A7R?
In reply to japa, 9 months ago

At first I'll just be stitching shots from the 35.

I imagine the 24-70 will be fine stopped down, but I really hope they put a compact (f3.5 or 4 will be fine) 20/24 on the roadmap sooner rather than later.

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Steven-T
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Re: Uncompromised Landscape Lens for A7R?
In reply to japa, 9 months ago

japa wrote:

Since we have bought, or will buy the A7R because it is light, full frame and has a great sensor, is there a landscape lens(24mm or less) that doesn't undermine those essential attributes?

That eliminates hefty SLR lenses on adaptors, legacy lenses that require cropping and/or software solutions for colour issues and vignetting, and mediocre optics that compromise the IQ and resolution potential of the A7R sensor.

Any first hand experience with an excellent lightweight landscape lens that brings the best out of this camera?

Leica M WATE (Tri-Elmar 16-18-21/4).

Unlike the Leica M MATE (Tri-Elmar 28-35-50/4) which can only focus at the three focal lengths, the WATE is actually a zoom which can focus continuously from 16 to 21.

. . . Steven

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brudy
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Re: Uncompromised Landscape Lens for A7R?
In reply to japa, 9 months ago

Looks like the cv21/1.8 and the pancake 21/f4 both seem to do well. I don't have either, but I'm considering both. The 1.8 seems to have more contrast but the f4 is smaller (obviously) and much cheaper ($1100 vs $400). I'm not sure either of these are uncompromising, but results look good online.

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Tobers
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Re: Uncompromised Landscape Lens for A7R?
In reply to brudy, 9 months ago

brudy wrote:

Looks like the cv21/1.8 and the pancake 21/f4 both seem to do well. I don't have either, but I'm considering both. The 1.8 seems to have more contrast but the f4 is smaller (obviously) and much cheaper ($1100 vs $400). I'm not sure either of these are uncompromising, but results look good online.

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I'm on the same quest - for a wide landscape lens for my A7R. I've been trawling all the web tests (and you can see my own A7R set on Flickr here: A7R test shot set )

I picked up a used Voigtlander 21 f/4 color skopar yesterday in a trade in. It has significant vignetting and colour shift on the left and right edges on the A7R.

I'm experimenting with the Lightroom flat field plugin to eliminate this which on first try seems to fix vignetting and colour, but I need to try it on more sample shots as I've only just installed it.

It's also quite soft at the corners even at f/8. It's a beautifully small, light lens though. If cropping to 4x5 as I usually do for any portrait landscapes it will be super.

I've got a Leica Lemarit-R 24mm which is bigger, and requires a much thicker adapter than the M lenses, but produces very good images indeed with no colour shift. Even though bigger than the M lenses, it's still smaller than my Canon 24 1.4 L lens by some way.

I tried the Zeiss 2.8/25 which had quite a lot of colour shift at the edges, and was not as sharp at the edges at f/8 as the Elmarit-R

Great if you can afford a WATE. The shots from the Voigtlander 21 1.8 look OK albeit with colour shift (not as bad as the f/4 version) but again it's a bigger lens.

The Canon 20mm FD 2.8 looks like a good one as well, but obviously needs an adapter, but is relatively cheap and doesn't seem to show colour shifting etc. I'm on the lookout for one of those.

So for the time being I'll probably use the Elmarit-R for serious landscaping, and the Voigtlander 21 for cityscapes and suchlike that will probably end up as monochromes.

I think the answer will be a small, wide, dedicated prime from Sony/Zeiss, probably at f/4 which obviously will be fine for landscaping.

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japa
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Re: Uncompromised Landscape Lens for A7R?
In reply to japa, 9 months ago

Thanks for the feedback. Sounds like a few limited choices, all requiring adapters, and the best of the the choices costs $6,500. My guess Sony/Zeiss have done the math and know where they have us....

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Paul Richman
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Re: Uncompromised Landscape Lens for A7R?
In reply to Lisa O, 9 months ago

I used the WATE on a Nex 7 and later on an M9.  It's a pretty good lens all right, but Leica and other primes are sharper, and I think my Nikon 14-24mm is also sharper.  So it's not quite "uncompromising".  However, the WATE is compact, light, and built like jewelry, and would be great fun on the A7r.  I may just have to buy one again myself....

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abortabort
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Re: Uncompromised Landscape Lens for A7R?
In reply to japa, 9 months ago

Since we have bought, or will buy the A7R because it is light, full frame and has a great sensor, is there a landscape lens(24mm or less) that doesn't undermine those essential attributes?

That eliminates hefty SLR lenses on adaptors, legacy lenses that require cropping and/or software solutions for colour issues and vignetting, and mediocre optics that compromise the IQ and resolution potential of the A7R sensor.

Any first hand experience with an excellent lightweight landscape lens that brings the best out of this camera?

Are you trolling? Serious question. What you are asking for doesn't exist. 'no compromise', 'not adapted' etc. You KNOW the 5 lenses that have been announced. IF you came here asking 'whats a good landscape lens until the Zeiss wide angle arrives next year' I would be inclined to help, but you are clearly just making a fuss over nothing.

For what it's worth to anyone coming here to get some actual advice for a small, decent UWA to go with their new A7 or A7R, I would suggest the Minolta or Sony 20mm f2.8. If you need wider and can deal with the bulk and want something very cheap to tide you over, the Samyang/Rokinon 14mm T3.1 should fit the bill and is available in E-Mount.

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Clayton1985
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Re: Uncompromised Landscape Lens for A7R?
In reply to japa, 9 months ago

japa wrote:

Thanks for the feedback. Sounds like a few limited choices, all requiring adapters, and the best of the the choices costs $6,500. My guess Sony/Zeiss have done the math and know where they have us....

The camera was just released and there is a roadmap that shows an UWA Zeiss zoom in the first part of next year.   But even before that you have more choices of incredible landscape lenses on this camera than any other that I know of.  Sure, it presents more of a challenge with your specific requirements but you have plenty of options and they don't cost $6500.  And you won't get what you're asking for with any other system.

My guess is that you would have gotten many more good suggestions had you not asked for an uncompromised landscape lens while also giving the impression that you didn't want adapted lenses.   Many of the Nikon primes, Olympus primes, Pentax primes, etc are reasonably compact  with an adapter and they make great landscape lenses.

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Skipper494
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Re: Uncompromised Landscape Lens for A7R?
In reply to japa, 9 months ago

I really like the 10-18 zoom on my NEX 7. Don't know how it would work on the A7R.

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japa
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Re: Uncompromised Landscape Lens for A7R?
In reply to abortabort, 9 months ago

So you think that only a troll could be searching for a wide angle lens that doesn't compromise the light weight and great sensor of the A7R and only a troll wouldn't be comfortable waiting for a proposed future lens of unknown quality and cost?

On a productive note are you suggesting that the Minolta and Sigma lenses, with adaptors, will provide the light weight and the great glass across the frame that the A7R deserves?

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abortabort
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Re: Uncompromised Landscape Lens for A7R?
In reply to japa, 9 months ago

japa wrote:

So you think that only a troll could be searching for a wide angle lens that doesn't compromise the light weight and great sensor of the A7R and only a troll wouldn't be comfortable waiting for a proposed future lens of unknown quality and cost?

On a productive note are you suggesting that the Minolta and Sigma lenses, with adaptors, will provide the light weight and the great glass across the frame that the A7R deserves?

Yes. I think that you know the answer to this very specific question and are only posing it to point out what you consider a flaw in this particular system. There will be a Zeiss zoom UWA in a couple months, that is actually pretty fast for a new system.

In the mean time the native E-Mount Samyang is about as uncompromising as they will come and hold up well to the Nikon 14-24mm on the D800e, so I don't see how it would be any different on the A7R.

And yes, I think a couple hundred gram lens on the A7 is perfectly within the size and weight of the system. Going over 500g is probably starting to stretch things a bit, certainly won't be using any of the big SLR f2.8 zooms on mine, but a Samyang (at a stretch) or Sony 20mm f2.8 will do me nicely until the Zeiss arrives. The Minolta 20mm is exactly the same as the current Sony one as well and is one of the better 20mm primes from the big three.

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parallaxproblem
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Re: Uncompromised Landscape Lens for A7R?
In reply to japa, 9 months ago

japa wrote:

Thanks for the feedback. Sounds like a few limited choices, all requiring adapters, and the best of the the choices costs $6,500. My guess Sony/Zeiss have done the math and know where they have us....

Back when the A7 was just a 'full-frame NEX' rumour and the 'what lenses would you want for such a camera' posts were appearing my main request was either a 20mm prime or a 20-35/4 zoom (I have a Pentax 20-35/4 zoom and it is both compact, practical and has rather good IQ)

I'm very surprised that Sony don't have such a lens on the roadmap as a small, light, travel camera like the A7 is crying-out for an ultrawide option. There are already plenty of compact 35-90mm alternatives but what is lacking are lenses on the wide end (this was obvious even before the system was announced). The NEX system got the 16mm (24mm equivalent) with UW adaptor straight way so why is Sony being coy about UW on the FE mount?

My guess is that the short registration distance means that it will be a challenge to produce such an FF lens which doesn't produce corner issues, without placing the rear element a long way from the sensor and so increasing the size of the lens significantly

Perhaps your best option would be a Sony/Minolta 20/2.8 via an LA-EA3 or EA4 adaptor?

Whatever, unless Sigma or another third party produce something it seems that there won't be any E-mount lenses filling this gap until at least 2015

Makes the Zeiss Touit 12mm f2.8 at $999 on a high-end APS-C E-mount body look ever more inviting... oh wait...

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CameraCarl
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Re: Uncompromised Landscape Lens for A7R?
In reply to japa, 9 months ago

If you want no compromises, then you ought to be looking at Phase One: an 80 megapixel camera and lenses that knock your socks off and at a price to match.

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DavieK
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Re: Uncompromised Landscape Lens for A7R?
In reply to Skipper494, 9 months ago

I'm getting a Canon 20mm f/2.8 FD - a slightly well-used one for only £150 off eBay - and also a Canon 17mm f/4 FD (or possibly two examples). I have done a reasonably clear review of the 10-18mm Sony OSS as used on A7R:

http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2013/12/03/using-the-10-18mm-oss-zoom-on-full-frame/

however there may be more to add, as the severe vignetting actually makes a profile difficult to create. Certainly you can get more than just an APS-C 10-15mm out of it on the A7R.

I've tried the Sigma 12-24mm and also 8-16mm. The HSM mechanisms don't work with CD, and they are surprisingly difficult to get right using peaking, and also large and heavy. I would second the Samyang 14mm recommendation, but don't buy the E-mount model; get one for Nikon, which has proper communication with the camera, use a dumb Nikon adaptor for now but there will be intelligent Nikon adaptors soon enough - and then the EXIF data including aperture reporting should be enabled. The Alpha mount version is not even focus confirm chipped and a bad buy in comparison (there's also a dumb Nikon version - you have to pay a little more for the AI compatible one).

As for the Sony/Minolta choices, I'm afraid I do not agree than the 20mm f/2.8 was one of the better lenses of its type. Used them for years but the extremely soft dark corners and moustache-form distortion on the A900 switched me over to preferring the 17-35mm f/2.8-4 D, which at 20mm is f/3.4 but better all round than the 20mm f/2.8 (at 17mm, the D is quite similar, soft corners and complex distortion). I will be using my 17-35mm on the LA-EA3, but trying the Canon FD lenses. Minolta's 1970s 21mm f/2.8 is a better lens than the 20mm f/2.8 AF, and maybe Canon's SSC 17 and 20mms are not bad (I didn't like them at the time and rated Minolta lenses much better than 1970s Canons).

Experiments to continue...

David

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abortabort
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Re: Uncompromised Landscape Lens for A7R?
In reply to parallaxproblem, 9 months ago

parallaxproblem wrote:

Whatever, unless Sigma or another third party produce something it seems that there won't be any E-mount lenses filling this gap until at least 2015

Makes the Zeiss Touit 12mm f2.8 at $999 on a high-end APS-C E-mount body look ever more inviting... oh wait...

The publicly released FE roadmap shows a Zeiss UWA early 2014.

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abortabort
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Re: Uncompromised Landscape Lens for A7R?
In reply to DavieK, 9 months ago

DavieK wrote:

I'm getting a Canon 20mm f/2.8 FD - a slightly well-used one for only £150 off eBay - and also a Canon 17mm f/4 FD (or possibly two examples). I have done a reasonably clear review of the 10-18mm Sony OSS as used on A7R:

http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2013/12/03/using-the-10-18mm-oss-zoom-on-full-frame/

however there may be more to add, as the severe vignetting actually makes a profile difficult to create. Certainly you can get more than just an APS-C 10-15mm out of it on the A7R.

I've tried the Sigma 12-24mm and also 8-16mm. The HSM mechanisms don't work with CD, and they are surprisingly difficult to get right using peaking, and also large and heavy. I would second the Samyang 14mm recommendation, but don't buy the E-mount model; get one for Nikon, which has proper communication with the camera, use a dumb Nikon adaptor for now but there will be intelligent Nikon adaptors soon enough - and then the EXIF data including aperture reporting should be enabled. The Alpha mount version is not even focus confirm chipped and a bad buy in comparison (there's also a dumb Nikon version - you have to pay a little more for the AI compatible one).

As for the Sony/Minolta choices, I'm afraid I do not agree than the 20mm f/2.8 was one of the better lenses of its type. Used them for years but the extremely soft dark corners and moustache-form distortion on the A900 switched me over to preferring the 17-35mm f/2.8-4 D, which at 20mm is f/3.4 but better all round than the 20mm f/2.8 (at 17mm, the D is quite similar, soft corners and complex distortion). I will be using my 17-35mm on the LA-EA3, but trying the Canon FD lenses. Minolta's 1970s 21mm f/2.8 is a better lens than the 20mm f/2.8 AF, and maybe Canon's SSC 17 and 20mms are not bad (I didn't like them at the time and rated Minolta lenses much better than 1970s Canons).

Experiments to continue...

David

All good points. Though I will use the 20mm because it is a fair bit smaller than the 17-35mm. Compared to the Canon 20mm f2.8 the Minolta holds up well, or better. It isn't the best UWA, but it isn't bad.

Personally if I was looking for a "no compromise" landscape lens I wouldn't be looking for something small, I would be looking at a Canon 17mm or 24mm TS/E. But I think the OP is being rather unrealistic in expecting there to be something today, the system has barely been announced for 1 month and I still dont think that ANY zoom is going to be uncompromised, especially one that is small, though I suspect the upcoming Zeiss will be very good.

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parallaxproblem
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Re: Uncompromised Landscape Lens for A7R?
In reply to abortabort, 9 months ago

abortabort wrote:

parallaxproblem wrote:

Whatever, unless Sigma or another third party produce something it seems that there won't be any E-mount lenses filling this gap until at least 2015

Makes the Zeiss Touit 12mm f2.8 at $999 on a high-end APS-C E-mount body look ever more inviting... oh wait...

The publicly released FE roadmap shows a Zeiss UWA early 2014.

Really?

This is the roadmap, can you tell me which is the UW and what the other lenses are?

Thanks

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parallaxproblem
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Re: Uncompromised Landscape Lens for A7R?
In reply to DavieK, 9 months ago

DavieK wrote:

I'm getting a Canon 20mm f/2.8 FD - a slightly well-used one for only £150 off eBay - and also a Canon 17mm f/4 FD (or possibly two examples). I have done a reasonably clear review of the 10-18mm Sony OSS as used on A7R:

http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2013/12/03/using-the-10-18mm-oss-zoom-on-full-frame/

however there may be more to add, as the severe vignetting actually makes a profile difficult to create. Certainly you can get more than just an APS-C 10-15mm out of it on the A7R.

I've tried the Sigma 12-24mm and also 8-16mm. The HSM mechanisms don't work with CD, and they are surprisingly difficult to get right using peaking, and also large and heavy. I would second the Samyang 14mm recommendation, but don't buy the E-mount model; get one for Nikon, which has proper communication with the camera, use a dumb Nikon adaptor for now but there will be intelligent Nikon adaptors soon enough - and then the EXIF data including aperture reporting should be enabled. The Alpha mount version is not even focus confirm chipped and a bad buy in comparison (there's also a dumb Nikon version - you have to pay a little more for the AI compatible one).

As for the Sony/Minolta choices, I'm afraid I do not agree than the 20mm f/2.8 was one of the better lenses of its type. Used them for years but the extremely soft dark corners and moustache-form distortion on the A900 switched me over to preferring the 17-35mm f/2.8-4 D, which at 20mm is f/3.4 but better all round than the 20mm f/2.8 (at 17mm, the D is quite similar, soft corners and complex distortion). I will be using my 17-35mm on the LA-EA3, but trying the Canon FD lenses. Minolta's 1970s 21mm f/2.8 is a better lens than the 20mm f/2.8 AF, and maybe Canon's SSC 17 and 20mms are not bad (I didn't like them at the time and rated Minolta lenses much better than 1970s Canons).

Experiments to continue...

David

I prefer my 17-35/2.8-4 to the 20/2.8 on my A900, but it is a very big lens (72mm filter)...  I can't imagine it being a good partner sizewise for the diminutive A7, but as I don't (and won't) have an A7 it's difficult to be certain

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