Why I would not buy the Sony Ultra Wide Angle FE mount Lenses

Started Jul 16, 2017 | Discussions
Thomas KP Lee
Thomas KP Lee Contributing Member • Posts: 553
Why I would not buy the Sony Ultra Wide Angle FE mount Lenses
7

The two ultra wide angle lenses, SEL 12-24 f4 and SEL16-35 f2.8, from Sony for FE mount are great from reviews so far, however, after different consideration, I would think that it is better to use DSLR ultra wide angle lenses than to use FE mount lenses, because of "ADAPTERs" can provide two other benefits :

1. Perspective Control : The ultra wide angle lenses are more use for landscape, when there are buildings in front, it would be much better to have perspective control. There are no FE mount lenses for P control and so far, the best will be the Canon TSE 17/4, which I sometime fell it is not wide enough. So I decide to use the Laowa 12mm f2.8 and Irix 11mm f4 and use the KIPON shift adapter ( Nikon to E) to do some shift. Following are two photos using the Laowa 12/2.8 without and with 8mm shift.

A7r + KIPON Adapter + Laowa 12mm f2.8 at f8 without shift

A7r + KIPON Adapter + Laowa 12mm f2.8 at f8 with 8mm up shift

Although there are some dark corners at the 16:9 ratio, I would say it is usable. Especially for doing video and time-lapse. To help minimize the dark corners, I had to cut lower the hood of these two lenses, please see photos below.

Laowa 12/2.8 on A7r with KIPON shift adapter, with hood cut lower

Irix 11mm f4 on A7r with KIPON shift adapter, with hood cut lower

BTW, the Irix 11 is slight wider, but IQ is slight not as good as the Laowa 12, especially for night scenery, star lines are not as long and good as the Laowa 12.

2. Filters : A lot of landscape will need to use CPL and ND filters, for putting large size glass and dedicated mounting frames on ultra wide angle lenses are difficult to carry, I broke a 150mm size CPL glass last year when travelling and which using on the Canon EF 11-24/4 lens cost me $300. Bigger problem is to prepare so many different size of filters and mounting frames. Now that KIPON ( declaration: I have no relationship with KIPON, it just that they have two good products for the using the DSLR lenses on E mount that's all) have the variable ND on the EOS to E Adapter ( in fact the adapter have AF contacts, so good to control Canon mount lenses for aperture control) and provide a mean to change filter on the adapter, please see photo below:

EF 11-24/4 on A7rII with the KIPON AF Adapter with slide in filter

Before I bought this ND Filter Adapter, I tried to raise the question of whether this placing of the filter behind the lens for ultra wide angle lenses, will it affects the IQ, here in this forum, as well as in the Landscape forum and video forum ( as someone suggested), but did not get really material answers, some suggest that it may affect the corner IQ because of the incline of light transmission ( for long tele lenses, putting filter behind the lenses are common, so for vertical transmission light, it seems no concerns). In any case, I bought this adapter, and then did a test with the EF 11-24/4 at the 11mm and f8 for with and without any filters in between and found I cannot tell there is any difference on the corners IQ on the A7rII (42M pixel sensor) in my computer large screen. Therefore, I think this could be a good solution for have one set of filters for all lenses ( Nikon and Canon DSLR mounts lenses only, as I can use a Nikon-Canon adapter ( with aperture control knob) to put Nikon lens on the above EOS-E adapter).

However, KIPON only produce two type of filters, one is the variable ND ( 1.5 to 7 steps) and a clear ( perhaps MCUV coated) glass filters. So I have to made other filters by myself. For CPL is quite easy, as the variable ND filter is in fact two CPL put together and then rotate one of them. So I bought an extra Vario ND filter from KIPON ( about $ 35 ), change the fixed CPL glass with a clear MCUV ( 1mm) glass, and also take away the stopper pin underneath the red knob such that the knob can rotate 360 degree, then a good CPL is there. On top of these I worry about the variable ND is not as good, so I bought extra empty fixed filter frame from KIPON, and make myself ND 64 and ND 1000 filters. I am planning to make more such as the UHC ( Ultra High Contrast) filter for shooting the galaxy when near city ( reduce city light pollution), as well as Ha, OIII, SII filters etc for later on trying to shoot deep space.

Different Filters ( one is empty, waiting for filter glass to arrive)

FYI, I buy 39mm ( 2mm thick) filter, and take out the glass, which can barely fit into the fixed mounting frame. Or alternatively, buy 37mm framed filter, but will need to cut down the edge a bit before it is completely sit in the frame. There is a 37mm filter casing on the frame.

So for the above two advantages, I think it is better to use DSLR lenses on Sony mirrorless for wide angle lenses, as the native FE mount cannot do things similar. So far, for pure mechanical lenses, I will buy Nikon mount version, as it is easier to control the aperture outside but for AF lenses, I would prefer to buy Canon mount version such that there can be AF.

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Astrophotographer 10 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,883
Re: Why I would not buy the Sony Ultra Wide Angle FE mount Lenses

Thanks for posting this.

Have you taken a starry night shot with the Laowa and adapter? What do stars in the corners look like?

I am in the process of deciding on a wide angle lens and I had thought the Irix 15mm F2.4 to be the best overall. The Sigma Art14mm F1.8 sounds good but a bit of coma and for $2000 perhaps not good enough given it still has some coma. But F1.8 is appealing.

Greg.

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Thomas KP Lee
OP Thomas KP Lee Contributing Member • Posts: 553
Re: Why I would not buy the Sony Ultra Wide Angle FE mount Lenses

Astrophotographer 10 wrote:

Thanks for posting this.

Have you taken a starry night shot with the Laowa and adapter? What do stars in the corners look like?

I am in the process of deciding on a wide angle lens and I had thought the Irix 15mm F2.4 to be the best overall. The Sigma Art14mm F1.8 sounds good but a bit of coma and for $2000 perhaps not good enough given it still has some coma. But F1.8 is appealing.

Greg.

I have not been able to do starry night shot with the Laowa 12 f2.8, as there has been cloudy nights so far. I may have to go some other cities before I can do so, it will has to be a long while before I can do it.

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Tristimulus Veteran Member • Posts: 7,728
Re: Why I would not buy the Sony Ultra Wide Angle FE mount Lenses
1

Fine example shown!

Some alternatives:

- Post process (keystone or whatever)...

- Stitch and post process...

- Use even wider, keep the optical axis horizonthal, and crop...

If not wanting to use a shift lens that is...

Still admitting that going shift lens is the better solution image quality wise.

randomguy Contributing Member • Posts: 523
Re: Why I would not buy the Sony Ultra Wide Angle FE mount Lenses
3

Trollmannx wrote:

Fine example shown!

Some alternatives:

- Post process (keystone or whatever)...

- Stitch and post process...

- Use even wider, keep the optical axis horizonthal, and crop...

If not wanting to use a shift lens that is...

Still admitting that going shift lens is the better solution image quality wise.

Stitching with a longer lens then applying horizon corrections in post has the potential for best image quality. There are IQ penalties when shifting, particularly with lenses not designed for it.

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PaulR Contributing Member • Posts: 914
Re: Why I would not buy the Sony Ultra Wide Angle FE mount Lenses

I have never tried a head to head comparison but I would be shocked if you didn't get better results easier using the Lightroom guided upright tool to correct for perspective distortions.  That would be especially true using the A7RII where you have more pixels to play with.  Results with the guided upright tool are astonishingly good and a lot easier than playing with Tilt/Shift on a lens adapter.

Filters are a different matter.  I don't use them but if you have to have that smooth flowing water look nothing will beat a ND filter.  Post processing really won't meet that need.

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Thomas KP Lee
OP Thomas KP Lee Contributing Member • Posts: 553
Re: Why I would not buy the Sony Ultra Wide Angle FE mount Lenses
2

PaulR wrote:

I have never tried a head to head comparison but I would be shocked if you didn't get better results easier using the Lightroom guided upright tool to correct for perspective distortions. That would be especially true using the A7RII where you have more pixels to play with. Results with the guided upright tool are astonishingly good and a lot easier than playing with Tilt/Shift on a lens adapter.

Filters are a different matter. I don't use them but if you have to have that smooth flowing water look nothing will beat a ND filter. Post processing really won't meet that need.

Using Lightroom or Photoshop to change the perspective is possible, I did that even with fisheye, but if you look into the above photos taken with and without P-control by shift, the contents are slightly different, i.e.  if you correct the perspectives from  the unshifted photo you will get less contents of the landscape. This is why Canon still have to launch the rather expensive TSE 17/4 just few years ago and Nikon also having the new wide angle Tilt/shift lens last year(?)

Using stacking in photoshop can provide a long exposure look for water flow in day light without any ND filter, in fact even handheld, but you will find no texture on the water flow, and cannot control different water flow textures result too. So not using ND filter is the backup method only in case one did not carry ND filter, or sometime, cannot using tripod ( for water fall, 1/30, 1/20, 1/10 can have quite good water flow textures that may not need tripod if the camera/lens have good IS system). In another case, when shooting near water and need to include objects underneath water such at Semporna, Malaysia one need to have CPL to filter out the sunlight reflections on surface of water.

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Astrophotographer 10 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,883
Re: Why I would not buy the Sony Ultra Wide Angle FE mount Lenses

Thomas KP Lee wrote:

Astrophotographer 10 wrote:

Thanks for posting this.

Have you taken a starry night shot with the Laowa and adapter? What do stars in the corners look like?

I am in the process of deciding on a wide angle lens and I had thought the Irix 15mm F2.4 to be the best overall. The Sigma Art14mm F1.8 sounds good but a bit of coma and for $2000 perhaps not good enough given it still has some coma. But F1.8 is appealing.

Greg.

I have not been able to do starry night shot with the Laowa 12 f2.8, as there has been cloudy nights so far. I may have to go some other cities before I can do so, it will has to be a long while before I can do it.

OK thanks. If you can at some point post an example it would be appreciated.

Greg

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Steve W Veteran Member • Posts: 5,482
Re: Why I would not buy the Sony Ultra Wide Angle FE mount Lenses

PaulR wrote:

I have never tried a head to head comparison but I would be shocked if you didn't get better results easier using the Lightroom guided upright tool to correct for perspective distortions. That would be especially true using the A7RII where you have more pixels to play with. Results with the guided upright tool are astonishingly good and a lot easier than playing with Tilt/Shift on a lens adapter.

Filters are a different matter. I don't use them but if you have to have that smooth flowing water look nothing will beat a ND filter. Post processing really won't meet that need.

I'm not sure I agree with you. I happen to own the Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L and the 24mm f/3.5L II and use them both on my A7RII. While not as wide as the 12mm have a true Tilt-Shift gives you a cleaner image than using any of the prospective correction tools. There not bad but nor really the equivalent IMHO. Of course using software correction is cheaper so I guess its worth the effort.

Steve W

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PaulR Contributing Member • Posts: 914
Re: Why I would not buy the Sony Ultra Wide Angle FE mount Lenses

Steve W wrote:

PaulR wrote:

I have never tried a head to head comparison but I would be shocked if you didn't get better results easier using the Lightroom guided upright tool to correct for perspective distortions. That would be especially true using the A7RII where you have more pixels to play with. Results with the guided upright tool are astonishingly good and a lot easier than playing with Tilt/Shift on a lens adapter.

Filters are a different matter. I don't use them but if you have to have that smooth flowing water look nothing will beat a ND filter. Post processing really won't meet that need.

I'm not sure I agree with you. I happen to own the Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L and the 24mm f/3.5L II and use them both on my A7RII. While not as wide as the 12mm have a true Tilt-Shift gives you a cleaner image than using any of the prospective correction tools. There not bad but nor really the equivalent IMHO. Of course using software correction is cheaper so I guess its worth the effort.

Steve W

I don't own those lenses but I do have the Mamiya 645 PRO 50mm f4 PC Shift Lens and an adapter for the e-Mount cameras and I think the quality I get with software correction in Lightroom and the very high quality Sony lenses exceeds what I can achieve with that once much esteemed lens.

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Dan_168 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,763
Re: Why I would not buy the Sony Ultra Wide Angle FE mount Lenses

Steve W wrote:

PaulR wrote:

I have never tried a head to head comparison but I would be shocked if you didn't get better results easier using the Lightroom guided upright tool to correct for perspective distortions. That would be especially true using the A7RII where you have more pixels to play with. Results with the guided upright tool are astonishingly good and a lot easier than playing with Tilt/Shift on a lens adapter.

Filters are a different matter. I don't use them but if you have to have that smooth flowing water look nothing will beat a ND filter. Post processing really won't meet that need.

I'm not sure I agree with you. I happen to own the Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L and the 24mm f/3.5L II and use them both on my A7RII. While not as wide as the 12mm have a true Tilt-Shift gives you a cleaner image than using any of the prospective correction tools. There not bad but nor really the equivalent IMHO. Of course using software correction is cheaper so I guess its worth the effort.

I own and regularly use the TSE 17 and TSE 24 II on both my Canon and Sony A7R II, to me it's much better using the TSE lens and do the work on the spot instead of in PP. so to me that price and Size and weight is easily justified.

sportyaccordy Forum Pro • Posts: 18,480
Re: Why I would not buy the Sony Ultra Wide Angle FE mount Lenses

I heard CPL is worthless on UWA lenses. That was a concern I had when I was shopping for a UWA. I landed on the Samyang 14 and love it. I may grab that Kipon perspective control adapter for it though, that would be pretty cool to use.

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Thomas KP Lee
OP Thomas KP Lee Contributing Member • Posts: 553
Example of using the shift adapter on Laowa 12mm ultra wide angle lens

I did a few time-lapse using the Laowa 12mm UWA lens with Kipon shift adapter, here is on that I did yesterday. in such an example, post process will be difficult to correct the perspective.

https://youtu.be/TRic63VZ-9Q

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Thomas KP Lee
OP Thomas KP Lee Contributing Member • Posts: 553
Re: Why I would not buy the Sony Ultra Wide Angle FE mount Lenses

sportyaccordy wrote:

I heard CPL is worthless on UWA lenses. That was a concern I had when I was shopping for a UWA. I landed on the Samyang 14 and love it. I may grab that Kipon perspective control adapter for it though, that would be pretty cool to use.

CPL is not just for UWA lens, but for any lenses and focal length. Following are examples of how the CPL able to filter out the water reflection or reflective light on the leaves.

Without CPL

With CPL and proper tuning of CPL angle

WIthout CPL

With CPL and proper tuning

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(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 8,068
Very interesting info !!! Thanks for sharing this

Have you compared use of shift adapter versus doing perspective correction in Capture One or Photoshop? Which gives better results?

Dan_168 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,763
Re: Why I would not buy the Sony Ultra Wide Angle FE mount Lenses

Thomas KP Lee wrote:

So for the above two advantages, I think it is better to use DSLR lenses on Sony mirrorless for wide angle lenses, as the native FE mount cannot do things similar. So far, for pure mechanical lenses, I will buy Nikon mount version, as it is easier to control the aperture outside but for AF lenses, I would prefer to buy Canon mount version such that there can be AF.

I am also about to get some Tilt/Shift adapter to play with them. this way I can turn all my SLR lenses into Tilt/Shift lens.

At the mean while, I am using my TSE 17 and TSE 24 II regularly on both my Canon and Sony system, I am also seriously considering the new Nikon PC-19mm for my Nikon system to, I use those T/S a lot for landscape and buildings, and I hate perspectie correction in LR or Photoshop and prefer to do it optically on the spot.

(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 8,068
Re: Why I would not buy the Sony Ultra Wide Angle FE mount Lenses

Dan_168 wrote: ... and I hate perspectie correction in LR or Photoshop and prefer to do it optically on the spot.

With a dedicated TSE lens that has the image circle, no doubt.

For "regular lenses" that don't have the image circle and are somewhat soft in the corners unshifted and untilted already, the choice is not as clear cut. Would you agree?

blue_skies
blue_skies Forum Pro • Posts: 12,051
Re: Why I would not buy the Sony Ultra Wide Angle FE mount Lenses

Although the polarizing and ND filters are very nice-to-have options, the spacer ring (taking the place of the mirror box) forces UWA lenses to become more retroactive and are usually a lot larger than mirrorless lenses which can push the exit pupil back.

Or, you have to tolerate larger lenses, especially if you want fast ones too.

As much as I like the (Tilt&)Shift operation on the lens, it is a tedious and slow method, and often vignettes if a non-TS (=oversized) lens is used. I have both tilt and shift adapters, and have found it to work well with some lenses, less so with others.

Shooting UWA in native mode and straightening in post is surprisingly easy, especially if you keep the horizon level and somewhat near the center. You do lose resolution, which may or may not be a hindrance.

Sony native lenses offer AF, which may not be critical for UWA, but if you are pushing higher resolution, you will need precise focusing more than you may think. This coming from using the CV10 on the A7riI.

Seeing the final composition in the EVF/LCD is a plus, but getting it 'right' again is tedious, and easier to do in PP. Perhaps a combination of both is best>

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Dan_168 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,763
Re: Why I would not buy the Sony Ultra Wide Angle FE mount Lenses

BBQue wrote:

Dan_168 wrote: ... and I hate perspectie correction in LR or Photoshop and prefer to do it optically on the spot.

With a dedicated TSE lens that has the image circle, no doubt.

For "regular lenses" that don't have the image circle and are somewhat soft in the corners unshifted and untilted already, the choice is not as clear cut. Would you agree?

Sure, that's expected. so you always need to get lenses that has really sharp edges if you are planning to use adapter such as the new 16-35 F4 IS or 11-24 or 16-35 F2.8 III..... exactly the reason I prefer to use the "real" Tilt/Shift lenses. I have the Canon TS-E 17 and 24 II and waiting on them to update the TS-E465 and TS-E 90 as well, I think I will still get an adapter just to play with it for fun. I mean there is no Tilt/Shift 11mm available in the market but there is very cool Canon 11-24 ot there.

Dmitry Ostroglyadov New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Why I would not buy the Sony Ultra Wide Angle FE mount Lenses

Hello Thomas! Thank you for your experience!

I plan to buy the same Kipon adapter with plug-in filters to use with 17 and 24 ts.

And want to make same experiments with using custom filters in it. But - I cannot find plug-in insert for this adapter sold separately. Only 2 that comes with standard package. Can u advise a way to get extra of them?

Is it tricky to rebuild there original vary nd into cpl?

Thank you!

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