A7R III with zoom or 3 primes?

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Mark Sloe Junior Member • Posts: 39
A7R III with zoom or 3 primes?

Hi all,

I was until recently a very happy owner of Fujifilm X-H1 with 16-55mm f2.8. Very good camera, amazing lens. However, I had the full frame itch for some time and with some cash to spare I decided to upgrade to A7R III (after ruling out Pentax K-1ii and Nikon Z7).

At first I was considering to get the 24-105mm f4 with the camera - a do-it-all zoom with very good reviews to replace the Fujinon and gain me 20mm at the long end in the process. Then I paused and looked at my shooting stats. Almost 80% of my photos are shot at or around either 24mm, 35mm and 85mm. I use 24mm mostly for landscapes, sometimes it is wide enough, sometimes I wish I could go a bit wider. 35mm I am very comfortable with for all sorts of photography and I revert to it naturally. I use 85mm for portraits and for anything I cannot get close enough to. So I looked at a possible lightweight collection of primes for a reasonable price and this is what I came up with:

Voigtlander 21mm f3.5 £550 new, 230g

Sony 35mm f2.8 ca £400 used or import, 120g

Sony 85mm f1.8 ca £400 used or import, 371g

Weight is about the same, I would gain 3mm at the wide end, stop at 35mm and 2 at 85mm, but lose the long end and convenience of a zoom. Compactness of the package has an appeal though as most of the time I would take the 21mm and 35mm with me, occasionally accompanied by the 85mm.

At this point, the combined price of the primes pushes it to a region where 24-70mm f2.8 GM imported or second hand is available which is a very tempting proposition too - a bit heavier (ca 160g vs the primes) and large, but allegedly provides phenomenal image quality without the need to swap lenses. The long end of the GM though is reported to be a bit softer wide open and I assume I would get better results with 85mm f1.8 stopped down.

To stay within budget, I probably could squeeze one prime with the 24-105mm. I would appreciate your thoughts on these three options.

Many thanks.

Fujifilm X-H1 Nikon Z7 Pentax K-1 Sony a7 Sony a7R Sony a7R II Sony a7R III
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