Got an A7....wonderful camera but that kit lens...any legacy suggestions?

Started Jun 6, 2014 | Discussions thread
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jalywol
jalywol Veteran Member • Posts: 8,910
Got an A7....wonderful camera but that kit lens...any legacy suggestions?

I've been using M43s as my primary camera system for about 3 1/2 years (Nikon before that).  I've got a wonderful lineup of lenses in that format (along with a few legacies), and that was a significant factor in not going with the A7 when it came out last Fall.

M43s does many things very well, but I have been looking for better tonal gradation, dimensionality, and a less "digital" feel to the images for a while.  I had hoped the EM1 would do it, and I bought one last year, but I have really never warmed to the thing.  After going back and forth, and deciding to get a GX7 instead, I realized that might just have hit the limit of what M43 can do at this point in time, at least in terms of what I am looking for in my images.  So, I decided to give the A7 a try.

I just got the camera the day before yesterday, and I am extremely impressed with it.  The things I am looking for in terms of IQ are all here, so now I have to adapt my shooting style to work with this format, as it is a bit different than M43.

That brings me to my next question:  Lens suggestions.  I am thoroughly unimpressed with the kit 28-70mm.  Maybe my copy isn't wonderful, but it is just not a sharp lens at the long end, and seems to render fine edge detail with a bit of a haze (CA? halation?).  I was taking some shots of poppy buds (which are covered with fine white hairs), and the hairs were just a fuzzy mess....

Fortunately, today I got a couple of mounting adapters for my Yashica lenses (ML 50mm f1.7, quite a favorite of mine, and an ML 135mm f2.8), and my Nikon 55mm f3.5 macro (which I have been using as my primary macro for the past three years...it's quite a good lens).  Shots with these lenses were all hugely sharper than the kit lens, so at least I know the fuzz is not a failing of the camera .

I did get the LAEA-4 with the camera, so I am able to use A-mount lenses.  I did order a Minolta 70-210mm f3.5-4.5 for a great price from Ebay, so that should at least get me started with a little more coverage.  (I've read mixed reviews about this particular version, some say it's better than the older beer can version, some say it's worse...but for $45, I figured I could always resell it if I didn't like it).  I chose this one in part because it is quite a bit lighter than the f4.0 version....so we will see).

I don't really need a 50mm, since I have two good manual lenses in that range at this point. However, I was wondering what people would recommend for a normal zoom (or maybe a wide zoom) that would give me better results than the kit 28-70mm?  Or, a wide angle prime (24mm range?)  I do enjoy using the 12mm focal length on M43 (24mm in FF) for around-town work, so I would be interested in something in the 24 to 28mm range as a prime, or a decent zoom that starts around that focal length. I also like to be able to get in close (I do a fair bit of macro work), so shorter minimum focus distances are always preferable, all else being equal (but this is not essential).

Cost is a concern, of course, so cheap and good is preferable to expensive and good.....and I would prefer to keep the lens weight under 500 grams or so....

Thanks in advance!

-J

Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Sony Alpha a7
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