Sony 90mm G Macro vs Voigtlander 110mm Macro APO

Started Apr 13, 2019 | Discussions thread
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sanosai Regular Member • Posts: 207
Sony 90mm G Macro vs Voigtlander 110mm Macro APO

So, within next few weeks, I ll be buying my first lens for my a6300. I m over 70% macro (remaining 30% is mostly landscape during travel). Some little night sky/star photography at times, which I always found fascinating to explore (still trying to get a glimpse of the Northern Lights!)

Anyhow, although my pockets are usually empty, I ve decided that something 'just good' isn't good enough for me - so I m looking to acquire a top lens for the job. I ve done some extensive research over the subject - or should I say - not too extensive, as I ve missed the fairly recent Voigtlander 110mm Macro APO from my list of candidates. Up until yesterday, I was almost certain that I m gonna go for the Sony G, having already eliminated Voigtlander's little brother (2/65 APO), as I wanted something that would at least achieve 1:1 magnification (as a proper macro lens should do in my opinion!)

Now though, I m having a dilemma as to which I should pick - the Sony or the Voigtlander?

Spec-wise, major prons/cons are easily distinguished, even by a novice such as myself i.e:

Sony 90mm G Macro: AF, OSS, internal focusing

Voigtlander 110mm APO Macro: tad sharper (but how much?), better build quality, 3yr warranty

In practice, and for someone like me who's primarily interested in macro (e.g. insects and other small animals), I ll have to consider that if I was to go with the Voigtlander, I ll almost certainly have to use a tripod, as my hands don't tend to be very steady (at best!). Lack of in-lens stabilization, plus the lack of IBIS for the a6300 (hence the need for using a tripod), means that I would miss a number of shot opportunities (vs going hand-held with the Sony).

Another thing to take into account is that I am a total novice. Just to give you an estimation 'how much', is that I am currently learning (with a help of a book), what 'aperture' is and how that, in conjunction with the shutter speed and ISO affects the final result...Hence my concern - how well someone like me would be able to work and exploit the full potential of a manual lens (Voigtlander). Would I be able to even get close to producing photos that match the level that I would otherwise achieve if I picked the 'easy' path (AF/Sony)?

As you see, I might not have a clue about photography concepts (yet!), but I can do some decent research. Although the 110mm Voigtlander is relatively new yet, statistically, it would live up to its reputation and be at least as good as the 2/65APO. If that's the case in the end, I strongly believe that the 110mm would be the ideal solution for someone getting serious with macro. Both the Sony and the Voigtlander are superb lenses, there's no single thread of doubt in my head about that - it's just that I think that if utilized to it's full potential (i.e. in the hands of an expert), the Voigtlander is a click above the Sony. You get Zeiss-level quality glass at half the price.

Many of you would argue that I won't be disappointed by picking either of the two. It's just that I only get to pick one - besides I don't really believe that anyone would be willing to pay another 1K at a later stage for owning both. The difference between them doesn't justify paying that much in my opinion. Also, 'inevitably' whichever of the two I decide to go for, it's 2nd use will be landscapes. But from what I read, I think both are capable of at least average/good in shooting landscapes.

One thing I don't like about either of the two is the lack of proper weather sealing. How on earth a macro lens is released without at least some basic weather-proofing (e.g. a gasket)? Sony claims 'dust and moisture resistance for the 90mm Macro G. On the other hand, Voigtlander (being more honest?) claims none. Shooting macro means inevitably spending time outside e.g. in a forest. This lack of confidence somewhat puts me off. Obviously I wouldn't go out in pouring rain even if both body and lens claimed to be water-tight, but there are cases some accidental water splash is unavoidable. Had plenty of that whilst taking waterfall shots in Iceland. I borrowed a friend's a5000 (which doesn't claim any weather proofing), but still didn't have any issues. Do any of you had any issues with any of your (not sealed) lenses taking a mild punishment (humidity, mild rain etc)? Or am I being paranoid thinking that the lack of weather proofing is almost certainly a disaster? I d be particularly interested to hear more from people who own the particular Sony 90mm G Macro or any recent prime from the Voigtlander APO lineup.

One final though/consideration. I am reading that Sony lenses have among the largest fluctuation as far as copy quality is concerned. All of my above considerations assume a 'perfect' (or at least - an 'above average') copy both of the Sony/Voigtlander. But if statistics are correct, then I m having less chances of picking a decent copy of the Sony (if I decided to go with the Sony). And that is also an issue in my case, as I am in no position to check upon the quality of my copy, in order to request for a replacement if needed be....heck, even if I picked an awfully de-centered Sony, it would still blow me away with it's image quality, as so far I ve only shot with the 16-50mm kit lens (and before that, with a Galaxy S7..!). Do you see my point?

I think I ve covered everything - so what do you reckon? Which one should I go for (and why)?

 sanosai's gear list:sanosai's gear list
Sony a6300 Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS Sony FE 90mm F2.8 macro Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN +2 more
Sony a5000 Sony a6300
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