The best native E/FE lens as of today?

Started May 11, 2014 | Discussions
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Tone Row Regular Member • Posts: 334
The best native E/FE lens as of today?
1

Hi All,

Long story is that I am giving up my ZA 16-70. After having it for a few weeks I just couldn't shake the feeling that I wasn't getting the performance I would have expected and finally got around to doing some deeper tests that uncovered decentering. I didn't notice it at first because I mostly shoot wide open and don't worry about the edges. It only became apparent when some stopped-down architectural shots I took were consistently blurry along the left edge. No biggie, I can take it back and swap it out with another and call it a day.

That got me thinking about lenses in general though and wondering which Sony E/FE lens is considered to be the best these days. Is it still the 24/1.8?

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Sony SLT-A55 NEX5R
ZTJ Regular Member • Posts: 278
Re: The best native E/FE lens as of today?
2

Tone Row wrote:

Hi All,

Long story is that I am giving up my ZA 16-70. After having it for a few weeks I just couldn't shake the feeling that I wasn't getting the performance I would have expected and finally got around to doing some deeper tests that uncovered decentering. I didn't notice it at first because I mostly shoot wide open and don't worry about the edges. It only became apparent when some stopped-down architectural shots I took were consistently blurry along the left edge. No biggie, I can take it back and swap it out with another and call it a day.

That got me thinking about lenses in general though and wondering which Sony E/FE lens is considered to be the best these days. Is it still the 24/1.8?

The 24/1.8 is awful wide open and always has been. How are you defining best? The "best" lens is a silly question though. Best at what? The 24/1.8 is terrible at headshot/top third portraits where the 50/1.8 is far superior. The 55-210 is easily the best APS-C E mount telephoto lens for maximum focal length. There is no competition.

What do you even mean by best? Best at what?

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Joachim Wulfers
Joachim Wulfers Senior Member • Posts: 1,572
Re: The best native E/FE lens as of today?
2

ZTJ wrote:

Tone Row wrote:

Hi All,

Long story is that I am giving up my ZA 16-70. After having it for a few weeks I just couldn't shake the feeling that I wasn't getting the performance I would have expected and finally got around to doing some deeper tests that uncovered decentering. I didn't notice it at first because I mostly shoot wide open and don't worry about the edges. It only became apparent when some stopped-down architectural shots I took were consistently blurry along the left edge. No biggie, I can take it back and swap it out with another and call it a day.

That got me thinking about lenses in general though and wondering which Sony E/FE lens is considered to be the best these days. Is it still the 24/1.8?

The 24/1.8 is awful wide open and always has been. How are you defining best? The "best" lens is a silly question though. Best at what? The 24/1.8 is terrible at headshot/top third portraits where the 50/1.8 is far superior. The 55-210 is easily the best APS-C E mount telephoto lens for maximum focal length. There is no competition.

What do you even mean by best? Best at what?

Most versatile by far, for me, is the SEL 18200.

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Joachim

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Tone Row OP Regular Member • Posts: 334
Re: The best native E/FE lens as of today?
1

ZTJ wrote:

Tone Row wrote:

Hi All,

Long story is that I am giving up my ZA 16-70. After having it for a few weeks I just couldn't shake the feeling that I wasn't getting the performance I would have expected and finally got around to doing some deeper tests that uncovered decentering. I didn't notice it at first because I mostly shoot wide open and don't worry about the edges. It only became apparent when some stopped-down architectural shots I took were consistently blurry along the left edge. No biggie, I can take it back and swap it out with another and call it a day.

That got me thinking about lenses in general though and wondering which Sony E/FE lens is considered to be the best these days. Is it still the 24/1.8?

The 24/1.8 is awful wide open and always has been. How are you defining best? The "best" lens is a silly question though. Best at what? The 24/1.8 is terrible at headshot/top third portraits where the 50/1.8 is far superior. The 55-210 is easily the best APS-C E mount telephoto lens for maximum focal length. There is no competition.

What do you even mean by best? Best at what?

Best at whatever it is trying to be. A bit broad of course, but there has to be a "best" lens out there. There isn't a separate oscar for best western and best sci-fi, there's an oscar for best movie.

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MarsObserver
MarsObserver Senior Member • Posts: 1,307
Re: The best native E/FE lens as of today?
1

Tone Row wrote:

Hi All,

Long story is that I am giving up my ZA 16-70. After having it for a few weeks I just couldn't shake the feeling that I wasn't getting the performance I would have expected and finally got around to doing some deeper tests that uncovered decentering. I didn't notice it at first because I mostly shoot wide open and don't worry about the edges. It only became apparent when some stopped-down architectural shots I took were consistently blurry along the left edge. No biggie, I can take it back and swap it out with another and call it a day.

That got me thinking about lenses in general though and wondering which Sony E/FE lens is considered to be the best these days. Is it still the 24/1.8?

Optically, I believe it's the Zeiss 55mm f1.8.

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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 9,509
Re: The best native E/FE lens as of today?

Tone Row wrote:

Hi All,

Long story is that I am giving up my ZA 16-70. After having it for a few weeks I just couldn't shake the feeling that I wasn't getting the performance I would have expected and finally got around to doing some deeper tests that uncovered decentering. I didn't notice it at first because I mostly shoot wide open and don't worry about the edges. It only became apparent when some stopped-down architectural shots I took were consistently blurry along the left edge. No biggie, I can take it back and swap it out with another and call it a day.

That got me thinking about lenses in general though and wondering which Sony E/FE lens is considered to be the best these days. Is it still the 24/1.8?

Obviously the "best" is the FE 55 1.8 ZA on the A7R (DXOmark score of 42 is far above the next best which is the FE 35 2.8 ZA on the A7R with a score of 33).

"Best" on APSC is the FE 55 1.8 ZA again but on the A3000...with a score of 26 this combination rates fourth overall.

No lenses have yet been tested on the A7 (though I saw in a post on DXOmark that tests will be posted this month).

While I think there is no such thing as best overall as they all have different uses/strengths/weaknesses.

Maybe the FE 55 1.8 ZA would "win" at its focal length for lenses 1.8 or slower with price not considered.

http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Ratings

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MrT-Man Senior Member • Posts: 1,085
Re: The best native E/FE lens as of today?
4

Sorry, I very strongly disagree with "the 24/1.8 is awful wide open". Just go to flickr and look at example of how "awful" it supposedly is. It's prone to chromatic abberations wide open, but that's easily fixable with a tick box in Lightroom.

Going back to the OP's question, and as others have said, it depends on what you're trying to accomplish. Though I'd say the 24/1.8, Touit 32/1.8 and FE 55/1.8 are all spectacularly good lenses. The 24 and 55 have similar rendering, color/contrast and character, though the 55 is probably sharper (it's known to be the sharpest e-mount lens for full frame).

The Touit 32 is slower to focus than the other two and has some optical distortion (although it's very easy to correct for), though it's got maybe the best color/contrast of the three. On APS-C, it's comparable in sharpness to the FE 55. The rendering is more hyper-realistic, while the 24 and 55 have the Sonnar character (which is hard to describe, but you'll see it if you look at enough Sonnar pics).

The 55 is my go-to portrait lens. For a walking-around lens, I'd be hard pressed to choose between the 24/1.8 and the Touit 32 as I love them both. The 24mm is probably a little more flexible if you're only going to have one prime.

Many will say that the Sigma 30 and Sony SEL50 are very sharp lenses for the price. But if we're talking "best", the Touit 32 is a better lens than the Sigma 30, and the Sony FE 55 is better than the Sony SEL50.

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Ynos Regular Member • Posts: 182
Re: The best native E/FE lens as of today?

Tone Row wrote:

Hi All,

Long story is that I am giving up my ZA 16-70. After having it for a few weeks I just couldn't shake the feeling that I wasn't getting the performance I would have expected and finally got around to doing some deeper tests that uncovered decentering. I didn't notice it at first because I mostly shoot wide open and don't worry about the edges. It only became apparent when some stopped-down architectural shots I took were consistently blurry along the left edge. No biggie, I can take it back and swap it out with another and call it a day.

That got me thinking about lenses in general though and wondering which Sony E/FE lens is considered to be the best these days. Is it still the 24/1.8?

And the Oscar goes to:

a Sonnar split ladies and gentlemen: E24Z for most versatile lens for APS-C and FE55 for best optical lens on FF. E24Z is most all-around lens if one have to chose just 1 lens to live with (except zooms of course) since it is a most suited for casual, street, family, group portraits, snaps, social events etc photography. In addition it basically is a semi-macro lens with it's 6'' minimal focus distance. Sharp, contrasty, fast AF, hard to beat, thus pricey.  FE55 on the other hand is simply best optically and fast (f1.8 on FF). Best score from native E-mount lenses (there are some other E-mount lenses that can challenge FE55, but they are way more expensive, like CINE prime lenses from Zeiss). Interestingly, both lenses E24Z and FE55 are of legendary Sonanr design.

If we can have an India Bollywood Oscar (a cheaper version), then Oscar would go for Sigma 60mm best optically after FE55.

Edmond Dantes Regular Member • Posts: 331
Re: The best native E/FE lens as of today?

neil holmes wrote:

Tone Row wrote:

Hi All,

Long story is that I am giving up my ZA 16-70. After having it for a few weeks I just couldn't shake the feeling that I wasn't getting the performance I would have expected and finally got around to doing some deeper tests that uncovered decentering. I didn't notice it at first because I mostly shoot wide open and don't worry about the edges. It only became apparent when some stopped-down architectural shots I took were consistently blurry along the left edge. No biggie, I can take it back and swap it out with another and call it a day.

That got me thinking about lenses in general though and wondering which Sony E/FE lens is considered to be the best these days. Is it still the 24/1.8?

Obviously the "best" is the FE 55 1.8 ZA on the A7R (DXOmark score of 42 is far above the next best which is the FE 35 2.8 ZA on the A7R with a score of 33).

"Best" on APSC is the FE 55 1.8 ZA again but on the A3000...with a score of 26 this combination rates fourth overall.

No lenses have yet been tested on the A7 (though I saw in a post on DXOmark that tests will be posted this month).

While I think there is no such thing as best overall as they all have different uses/strengths/weaknesses.

Maybe the FE 55 1.8 ZA would "win" at its focal length for lenses 1.8 or slower with price not considered.

http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Ratings

Another vote for the 55 1.8.  I actually prefer the focal length of the 35 2.8 for how I shoot and think that is a phenomenal lens, but the 55 is SOOOOO good that it hardly ever leaves my camera.

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martindesu
martindesu Senior Member • Posts: 1,245
Re: The best native E/FE lens as of today?
2

Tone Row wrote:

ZTJ wrote:

Tone Row wrote:

Hi All,

Long story is that I am giving up my ZA 16-70. After having it for a few weeks I just couldn't shake the feeling that I wasn't getting the performance I would have expected and finally got around to doing some deeper tests that uncovered decentering. I didn't notice it at first because I mostly shoot wide open and don't worry about the edges. It only became apparent when some stopped-down architectural shots I took were consistently blurry along the left edge. No biggie, I can take it back and swap it out with another and call it a day.

That got me thinking about lenses in general though and wondering which Sony E/FE lens is considered to be the best these days. Is it still the 24/1.8?

The 24/1.8 is awful wide open and always has been. How are you defining best? The "best" lens is a silly question though. Best at what? The 24/1.8 is terrible at headshot/top third portraits where the 50/1.8 is far superior. The 55-210 is easily the best APS-C E mount telephoto lens for maximum focal length. There is no competition.

What do you even mean by best? Best at what?

Best at whatever it is trying to be. A bit broad of course, but there has to be a "best" lens out there. There isn't a separate oscar for best western and best sci-fi, there's an oscar for best movie.

Yes, but the Oscars are not a good metric from which to judge a film.

Subjectively, anything can be "best".

Best in terms of size? Speed? Optics? Resolution? Bokeh? Paperweight?

Objectively, the "best" lens in terms of optics is probably the 55/1.8.

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José B
José B Forum Pro • Posts: 18,338
Mr.T-Man, re: Touit 32 circles of confusion wide open
2

MrT-Man wrote:

Sorry, I very strongly disagree with "the 24/1.8 is awful wide open". Just go to flickr and look at example of how "awful" it supposedly is. It's prone to chromatic abberations wide open, but that's easily fixable with a tick box in Lightroom.

Going back to the OP's question, and as others have said, it depends on what you're trying to accomplish. Though I'd say the 24/1.8, Touit 32/1.8 and FE 55/1.8 are all spectacularly good lenses. The 24 and 55 have similar rendering, color/contrast and character, though the 55 is probably sharper (it's known to be the sharpest e-mount lens for full frame).

The Touit 32 is slower to focus than the other two and has some optical distortion (although it's very easy to correct for), though it's got maybe the best color/contrast of the three. On APS-C, it's comparable in sharpness to the FE 55. The rendering is more hyper-realistic, while the 24 and 55 have the Sonnar character (which is hard to describe, but you'll see it if you look at enough Sonnar pics).

The 55 is my go-to portrait lens. For a walking-around lens, I'd be hard pressed to choose between the 24/1.8 and the Touit 32 as I love them both. The 24mm is probably a little more flexible if you're only going to have one prime.

Many will say that the Sigma 30 and Sony SEL50 are very sharp lenses for the price. But if we're talking "best", the Touit 32 is a better lens than the Sigma 30, and the Sony FE 55 is better than the Sony SEL50.

I've checked out flickr photos as well, the Touit 32 has unique characteristics to it. Have you taken some night shots with this lens? It already looks interesting during the day. Check out the circles of confusion in this background from the shoot I did the other day. Pretty cool huh?

And here's the full scene

http://www.zeiss.com/camera-lenses/en_de/camera_lenses/touit/touit1832.html

And I love the cropping power of this lens!

cheers,

José

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José B
José B Forum Pro • Posts: 18,338
ditto (nt)

MrT-Man wrote:

Sorry, I very strongly disagree with "the 24/1.8 is awful wide open". Just go to flickr and look at example of how "awful" it supposedly is. It's prone to chromatic abberations wide open, but that's easily fixable with a tick box in Lightroom.

Going back to the OP's question, and as others have said, it depends on what you're trying to accomplish. Though I'd say the 24/1.8, Touit 32/1.8 and FE 55/1.8 are all spectacularly good lenses. The 24 and 55 have similar rendering, color/contrast and character, though the 55 is probably sharper (it's known to be the sharpest e-mount lens for full frame).

The Touit 32 is slower to focus than the other two and has some optical distortion (although it's very easy to correct for), though it's got maybe the best color/contrast of the three. On APS-C, it's comparable in sharpness to the FE 55. The rendering is more hyper-realistic, while the 24 and 55 have the Sonnar character (which is hard to describe, but you'll see it if you look at enough Sonnar pics).

The 55 is my go-to portrait lens. For a walking-around lens, I'd be hard pressed to choose between the 24/1.8 and the Touit 32 as I love them both. The 24mm is probably a little more flexible if you're only going to have one prime.

Many will say that the Sigma 30 and Sony SEL50 are very sharp lenses for the price. But if we're talking "best", the Touit 32 is a better lens than the Sigma 30, and the Sony FE 55 is better than the Sony SEL50.

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MrT-Man Senior Member • Posts: 1,085
Re: Mr.T-Man, re: Touit 32 circles of confusion wide open

Great pics as always, Jose! (as well as the other ones you've posted from that shoot).

I find the Touit 32 is an under-appreciated lens. Not a lot of people seem to have it, likely because of the competition from the Sony 35mm and Sigma 30mm. I look forward to getting faster focusing from it, whenever I decide to upgrade from my NEX-7.

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José B
José B Forum Pro • Posts: 18,338
Re: Mr.T-Man, re: Touit 32 circles of confusion wide open

MrT-Man wrote:

Great pics as always, Jose! (as well as the other ones you've posted from that shoot).

I find the Touit 32 is an under-appreciated lens. Not a lot of people seem to have it, likely because of the competition from the Sony 35mm and Sigma 30mm. I look forward to getting faster focusing from it, whenever I decide to upgrade from my NEX-7.

thanks Mr. T-Man. Yes I agree that the Touit is not so popular with Sony e-mount owners. Ironically, the Touit family is the one heavily promoted by Zeiss if you look at their Facebook page.

The Sonnar 55 is silky smooth! Like you I find the colors very attractive (warmer) and contrast than the SEL50. The latter is still an excellent lens, it is very sharp. Some people here are saying that having an APS-C lens, the Sonnar 55 is just a waste. But heck, Canon APS-C users have been purchasing L lens (which are full-frame) since the intro of 10D. They buy it for the same reason why we bought the Sonnar over the value lens.

cheers,

José

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captura Forum Pro • Posts: 21,866
Re: The best native E/FE lens as of today?

Tone Row wrote:

Hi All,

Long story is that I am giving up my ZA 16-70. After having it for a few weeks I just couldn't shake the feeling that I wasn't getting the performance I would have expected and finally got around to doing some deeper tests that uncovered decentering. I didn't notice it at first because I mostly shoot wide open and don't worry about the edges. It only became apparent when some stopped-down architectural shots I took were consistently blurry along the left edge. No biggie, I can take it back and swap it out with another and call it a day.

That got me thinking about lenses in general though and wondering which Sony E/FE lens is considered to be the best these days. Is it still the 24/1.8?

There must be a reason why DxO won't publish the results of their tests on the 16-70. Is it because the 16-70 has been over-rated so far and DxO's results, if published, might slow down the sales of that lens?

spacemn Senior Member • Posts: 1,624
Re: Mr.T-Man, re: Touit 32 circles of confusion wide open
1

José B wrote:

MrT-Man wrote:

Sorry, I very strongly disagree with "the 24/1.8 is awful wide open". Just go to flickr and look at example of how "awful" it supposedly is. It's prone to chromatic abberations wide open, but that's easily fixable with a tick box in Lightroom.

Going back to the OP's question, and as others have said, it depends on what you're trying to accomplish. Though I'd say the 24/1.8, Touit 32/1.8 and FE 55/1.8 are all spectacularly good lenses. The 24 and 55 have similar rendering, color/contrast and character, though the 55 is probably sharper (it's known to be the sharpest e-mount lens for full frame).

The Touit 32 is slower to focus than the other two and has some optical distortion (although it's very easy to correct for), though it's got maybe the best color/contrast of the three. On APS-C, it's comparable in sharpness to the FE 55. The rendering is more hyper-realistic, while the 24 and 55 have the Sonnar character (which is hard to describe, but you'll see it if you look at enough Sonnar pics).

The 55 is my go-to portrait lens. For a walking-around lens, I'd be hard pressed to choose between the 24/1.8 and the Touit 32 as I love them both. The 24mm is probably a little more flexible if you're only going to have one prime.

Many will say that the Sigma 30 and Sony SEL50 are very sharp lenses for the price. But if we're talking "best", the Touit 32 is a better lens than the Sigma 30, and the Sony FE 55 is better than the Sony SEL50.

I've checked out flickr photos as well, the Touit 32 has unique characteristics to it. Have you taken some night shots with this lens? It already looks interesting during the day. Check out the circles of confusion in this background from the shoot I did the other day. Pretty cool huh?

And here's the full scene

http://www.zeiss.com/camera-lenses/en_de/camera_lenses/touit/touit1832.html

And I love the cropping power of this lens!

cheers,

José

Really cool shots Jose and nice model

I don't dig the 32mm Planar bokeh. Far too busy for my taste, but this can also give it some nice character in some shots. I definitely prefer the smoothness of the Sonnar bokeh, and the FE 55mm is SO sweet, my best lens ever. I have the 24mm f/1.8 as well which I am selling, but the bokeh of this lens is very nice as well, although it hasn't got the subject isolation power as long focal length lenses.

In summary, the FE 55mm is a beast and provides very useful fl's on both APS-C and FF bodies. Top lens.

dave
dave Senior Member • Posts: 1,318
Re: The best native E/FE lens as of today?

My vote would for the FE1.8/55

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José B
José B Forum Pro • Posts: 18,338
Re: Mr.T-Man, re: Touit 32 circles of confusion wide open

spacemn wrote:

José B wrote:

MrT-Man wrote:

Sorry, I very strongly disagree with "the 24/1.8 is awful wide open". Just go to flickr and look at example of how "awful" it supposedly is. It's prone to chromatic abberations wide open, but that's easily fixable with a tick box in Lightroom.

Going back to the OP's question, and as others have said, it depends on what you're trying to accomplish. Though I'd say the 24/1.8, Touit 32/1.8 and FE 55/1.8 are all spectacularly good lenses. The 24 and 55 have similar rendering, color/contrast and character, though the 55 is probably sharper (it's known to be the sharpest e-mount lens for full frame).

The Touit 32 is slower to focus than the other two and has some optical distortion (although it's very easy to correct for), though it's got maybe the best color/contrast of the three. On APS-C, it's comparable in sharpness to the FE 55. The rendering is more hyper-realistic, while the 24 and 55 have the Sonnar character (which is hard to describe, but you'll see it if you look at enough Sonnar pics).

The 55 is my go-to portrait lens. For a walking-around lens, I'd be hard pressed to choose between the 24/1.8 and the Touit 32 as I love them both. The 24mm is probably a little more flexible if you're only going to have one prime.

Many will say that the Sigma 30 and Sony SEL50 are very sharp lenses for the price. But if we're talking "best", the Touit 32 is a better lens than the Sigma 30, and the Sony FE 55 is better than the Sony SEL50.

I've checked out flickr photos as well, the Touit 32 has unique characteristics to it. Have you taken some night shots with this lens? It already looks interesting during the day. Check out the circles of confusion in this background from the shoot I did the other day. Pretty cool huh?

And here's the full scene

http://www.zeiss.com/camera-lenses/en_de/camera_lenses/touit/touit1832.html

And I love the cropping power of this lens!

cheers,

José

Really cool shots Jose and nice model

I don't dig the 32mm Planar bokeh. Far too busy for my taste, but this can also give it some nice character in some shots. I definitely prefer the smoothness of the Sonnar bokeh, and the FE 55mm is SO sweet, my best lens ever. I have the 24mm f/1.8 as well which I am selling, but the bokeh of this lens is very nice as well, although it hasn't got the subject isolation power as long focal length lenses.

In summary, the FE 55mm is a beast and provides very useful fl's on both APS-C and FF bodies. Top lens.

Ditto, love the silky smooth bokeh of the Sonnar, right now my favorite lens.

Thanks for the kind words.

Jose

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nandbytes Senior Member • Posts: 5,591
Re: The best native E/FE lens as of today?

Best at what exactly?

Just pure IQ? I'd vote for FE55.

But size, usability (i.e. focal length), travel etc. I prefer FE35. A7+FE35 fits in my coat pocket.

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nidri Regular Member • Posts: 129
Re: The best native E/FE lens as of today?

The best VALUE native lens, imho, is the Sigma 60/2.8. With the Nex7 it's exceptional, and I believe it works well with the newer A3/5/6000s too.

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