Sony's 90mm macro with a6000

Started Mar 27, 2017 | User reviews thread
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csintexas Senior Member • Posts: 1,184
Sony's 90mm macro with a6000

I just received this used lens which I found on Ebay for about $750.00 last Saturday and I am happy with it.

This is my first and only dedicated macro lens. Previously I have used extension tubes primarily on my Sony5018 but also on my 55-210

The lens is fairly long and wide but not so heavy that I had problems carrying it or holding my a6000 by the cameras smallish grip. It is also easy to give additional support by holding the lens barrel.

My favorite feature was the focus ring push pull to toggle between auto and manual focus.

It has a focus lock button but I did not really have a situation where I needed it. (Maybe when the camera is set to Continues AF it would be useful?)

It has a focus limiter switch but that did not seem to help the style I was shooting -probably more for studio and very close macro shooting.

It has an OSS toggle but I kept that on. I would say that it works very well to 1/30s

It is much more convenient to not have to put tubes on and off in the field and also have a lens that can focus from 1:1 to infinity. The extra FL also allows you to be further from the subject which for me is often wild flowers but for things like butterflies extra focal length may be useful. The working distance is much better than to 50mm on tubes.

IQ wise I do not care much about pixel peeping and there is no obvious difference in casual use between this and the 50 or even the 55-210. I have no doubt that the professional evaluations of this lens are correct and it is about the sharpest around -it's just that in practical terms (outside of looking at flat test charts at 100%) there is very little difference between a DxO sharpness of 8 and 18. -I find that other factors like focus, DoF and the quality of available light have much greater impact on the perceived IQ of any lens.

That being said it is still superior to the 55-210 on tubes because of the convenience and the wide aperture. The Bokeh is also very nice but the 90mm fixed length make the lens limited in subject matter.

Here are two comparisons between the 55-210 and 90:

IMO there is no use in taking pictures of brick walls or test charts because that is not how we actually use a lens. (Maybe there would be an exception for people who are doing some sort of very specialized photography.) You can see in this example that other things are more important than total possible resolution. But I am sure this lens will produce a bit more detail then the 55-210 on average.

Here is a comparison on Bokeh in a portrait:

I used the max FL of the 55-210 because that produces it's best Bokeh but you can see that the 90 is a bit smoother.

So would I still buy this lens?


I do not think you can find a significantly sharper lens in any system. I find the autofocus to work very well the ability to do 1:1 macro as well as reasonably low light and low DoF is handy.

If you are expecting a miracle then you might be disappointed -the quality of pictures will still be up to the quality of the photographer.

As you can see I still have plenty of room to grow.

You can see the rest of my initial photos here:

 csintexas's gear list:csintexas's gear list
Sony a6400 Sony FE 90mm F2.8 macro Sony E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS +3 more
Sony FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS
Telephoto macro prime lens • Sony FE • SEL90M28G
Announced: Mar 4, 2015
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Sony a6000 Sony FE 90mm F2.8 macro
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