Sony where are your fast zoom lenses?

Started Jan 29, 2014 | Discussions thread
secondclaw Regular Member • Posts: 247
Re: Sony where are your fast zoom lenses?

Maybe I can offer some perspective ... I am primarily a landscape photographer, and do shoot astro on a rare occasion.

1. Use a lightweight travel tripod. It won't encumber you at all if you travel light, and folds pretty well. Useless for stability when mounting Canon 5D2 and a big lens but its perfectly adequate for Nex/A7R. You can even get a gorillapod hybrid. It easily holds A7R and Canon 24-70 f2.8 II lens.

2. Shooting landscapes at 1.8 or any other wide open aperture is not a good idea unless you have some extraordinary lens. At wide open, lenses often suffer from increased color fringing, light falloff, and overall sharpness problems in corners. You really need to shoot landscapes at f/8 and higher (I do at f/11 or f/16, depending on light), to get corner to corner pin-sharp images, which I think are important for that type of photography. Wide-open landscape stuff is for desperation when you have to choice, but that will not be good use of equipment as a rule, only as an exception. If you're not interested in corner-to-corner sharpness, I'm not sure what advice I can give you in this area ...

3. Shooting starscapes, obviously getting brightest lens is ideal. But, you will also have to be on a tripod anyway at that point, so why not get a lens suited for this and attached it via adapter. Something like Canon or Sigma 24mm f1.4 - they're perfect for astro - wide and bright enough.

4. I'm with you on ISO - I will only bump ISO when I have to - and prefer to stay at 100 whenever I can. However that's only true for landscapes, where any increase of ISO can lead to loss of fine detail.

5. When I go on walkabouts, I use basic image-stabilized lenses in E-mount (i.e. 18-55, 18-200, etc), and will bump ISO up to 6400 without any reservation. Fine detail is not absolutely critical.

As a landscaper I see little benefit from a bright wide lens in E mount, however I can see its use in street, concert, and photojournalism work, where compromise in extreme detail is well worth it, and where speed is critical. In that case another camera system may be more appropriate.

I suppose you can get yourself a relatively bright rangefinder lens, but you may not get corners good enough for true landscape work. I use some M-Mount lenses when I need small size and where corner quality and extreme vignetting is irrelevant. But, bumping ISO at that point is just fine anyway. I have shot a 15mm rangefinder lens on A7R, and after correcting for color cast, it works, but only as an emergency.

 secondclaw's gear list:secondclaw's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony Alpha a7R Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L +10 more
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