Sony's 90mm macro with a6000

Started Mar 27, 2017 | User reviews
csintexas
csintexas Senior Member • Posts: 1,184
Sony's 90mm macro with a6000
7

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?

Yes,

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: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cspics/albums/72157681769497466

 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
csintexas's score
4.5
Average community score
4.6
Sony a6000 Sony FE 90mm F2.8 macro
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snapa
snapa Veteran Member • Posts: 5,089
Re: Sony's 90mm macro with a6000

csintexas wrote:

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

That is what really matters.

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

I ready some of your post, they were very informative and had some very nice pictures in them, thanks.

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

That does seem like a very nice feature to have.

I've not really gotten too involved in true macro photography, but I do like taking close up pictures with my 55-210. To me (from all I've seen and read), those that want to really get into serious true macro photography use specialized photo stacking software. I think using that kind of software and techniques needed is very important and rewarding. Why, because I really dislike seeing such thin DOF in macro pictures when only 5-10% of the entire images is 'In Focus'. Here is a DPR article which I found quite interesting, in case you did not see it.

That being said, I hope you really enjoy your new lens and continue posting some great pictures in the near with it.

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Life is short, make the best of it while you can!
http://grob.smugmug.com/

 snapa's gear list:snapa's gear list
Sony a6300 Sigma 30mm F2.8 EX DN Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS Sony E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Phase One Capture One Pro +1 more
William Curtindale
William Curtindale Veteran Member • Posts: 9,238
Re: Sony's 90mm macro with a6000

Congratulation on your new lens. I love the FE 90mm f/2.8 G Macro OSS.

When I first got mine I tried some portraits with it (lens is great but my images would have been much better with a wider aperture):

-- hide signature --

A6300, A99, A900, A55, A700, R1, w/Zeiss + Sony G + Minolta Maxxum Glass

 William Curtindale's gear list:William Curtindale's gear list
Sony a6500 Sony a7C Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM Sony FE 90mm F2.8 macro +9 more
techjedi
techjedi Veteran Member • Posts: 4,036
Re: Sony's 90mm macro with a6000

I really enjoyed your review and accompanying images. Thank you for sharing!

I also own this lens and agree that the focus ring that snaps forward and backward for AF/MF switch is very pleasing. The focus throw is also nice and responsive for electronic manual focus.

I look forward to reading more of your reviews!

 techjedi's gear list:techjedi's gear list
Sony a7R III Sony FE 70-200 F4 Sony FE 90mm F2.8 macro Sony RX100 Sony RX100 VA +21 more
csintexas
OP csintexas Senior Member • Posts: 1,184
Re: Sony's 90mm macro with a6000
1

Yes I agree with these comments, Thanks.

For portraiture it would be nice to get down to f/1.8 or even 1.4

I downloaded Zerene Stacker last year but did not work with it much as I was waiting for a better macro lens. Although I think that a limited DoF can be effective also. I had not seen that article thanks snapa

Yes forgot to mention the manual focus throw is just right. One thing I really disliked about using the 5018 is the number of turns required to get through the full range.

I see that there is a lot of focus breathing but I do not know how it compares to other dedicated macro lens's or how it will effect stacked images.

Here is a quickly stacked image taken from a tripod outside.

 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
William Curtindale
William Curtindale Veteran Member • Posts: 9,238
Re: Sony's 90mm macro with a6000

csintexas wrote:

Yes I agree with these comments, Thanks.

For portraiture it would be nice to get down to f/1.8 or even 1.4

I downloaded Zerene Stacker last year but did not work with it much as I was waiting for a better macro lens. Although I think that a limited DoF can be effective also. I had not seen that article thanks snapa

Yes forgot to mention the manual focus throw is just right. One thing I really disliked about using the 5018 is the number of turns required to get through the full range.

I see that there is a lot of focus breathing but I do not know how it compares to other dedicated macro lens's or how it will effect stacked images.

Here is a quickly stacked image taken from a tripod outside.

Very nice.  It will be great to see more on your efforts stacked images.

Thanks gorgeous sharing.

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A6300, A99, A900, A55, A700, R1, w/Zeiss + Sony G + Minolta Maxxum Glass

 William Curtindale's gear list:William Curtindale's gear list
Sony a6500 Sony a7C Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM Sony FE 90mm F2.8 macro +9 more
csintexas
OP csintexas Senior Member • Posts: 1,184
Re: Sony's 90mm macro with a6000
2

Here is another effort at a stacked image:

Spiderwort 4 -f/10 ISO 100 images stacked

 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
davect01
davect01 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,264
Re: Sony's 90mm macro with a6000

It does seem like a great lens  

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Novice photobug. Former NEX-3, F3, and 6 owner. Now a proud A6000 owner.
http://davesnex-3photos.blogspot.com/

 davect01's gear list:davect01's gear list
Sony a6400 Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sony E 20mm F2.8 Sony E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS
csintexas
OP csintexas Senior Member • Posts: 1,184
Re: Sony's 90mm macro with a6000

I finally took the time to do a more direct (unscientific not exact) sharpness comparison between the 55-210 the E 5018 and the 90

The 90 is just a hair sharper than the 50 and noticeably sharper than the 55-210 when viewed on my 4k 32" monitor from normal distances

 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
csintexas
OP csintexas Senior Member • Posts: 1,184
Re: Sony's 90mm macro with a6000
1

Here are a few more examples

 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
North of 46 New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Sony's 90mm macro with a6000

Thank you for sharing this informative and honest review. I have some of the same equipment as you do, but I've not yet achieved the level of skill your pictures demonstrate. Very well done.

Here is a photograph I took recently in my back garden. I'm not quite sure how to add the EXIF info as you have done (I use Capture One--Version Nine, but can't quite figure out how to embed such data in the photos as displayed).

Flowers in Ottawa (2017-04-14 12.02.38). Camera: Sony ILCE-6000. Lens: Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS (SEL50F18). Aperture Setting: F3.5. Shutter Speed: 1/50th of a second. ISO: 100

 North of 46's gear list:North of 46's gear list
Sony a7R II Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 28mm F2 Zeiss Batis 135mm F2.8 +1 more
csintexas
OP csintexas Senior Member • Posts: 1,184
Re: Sony's 90mm macro with a6000

Thanks, I have been practicing the flower shots for about a year now.

The Exif data is automatic as long as some editing or phone software does not strip it out

(your pic shows it also)

I would say your photo is good and shows a creative point of view and focus.

 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
RaghavBaijal
RaghavBaijal Regular Member • Posts: 462
Re: Sony's 90mm macro with a6000

Thanks for your review. I enjoyed reading it.

 RaghavBaijal's gear list:RaghavBaijal's gear list
Fujifilm X-T20 Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R Fujifilm 16-55mm F2.8R LM WR +1 more
North of 46 New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Sony's 90mm macro with a6000

csintexas wrote:

Thanks, I have been practicing the flower shots for about a year now.

The Exif data is automatic as long as some editing or phone software does not strip it out

(your pic shows it also)

I would say your photo is good and shows a creative point of view and focus.

Re: EXIF data, ha! How about that? I didn't even know it.

WRT to your kind remarks about my photo, thank you. But I think I have some ways to go to match the wonderful work you and the many other talented DP Review contributors have posted here.

 North of 46's gear list:North of 46's gear list
Sony a7R II Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 28mm F2 Zeiss Batis 135mm F2.8 +1 more
Clint009 Regular Member • Posts: 177
Re: Sony's 90mm macro with a6000

You answer to my interrogation when you say ”The working distance is much better than to 50mm on tubes."

Thanks! Well done your exposé!

 Clint009's gear list:Clint009's gear list
Sony a6000 Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN Art Sigma 30mm F1.4 (E/EF-M mounts) Sony E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Tamron AF 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO +2 more
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