Sony A7SII or A7RII Lenses advice needed from professionals

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florian34330 New Member • Posts: 4
Sony A7SII or A7RII Lenses advice needed from professionals

Hello,

We are a semi-professional team and we produce video clips and live concerts/events. We want to change our main camera (a 4k Panasonic HC-X1000) which is now quite old and worn. The good point of this camera was the 4K 50p/60p and the 20x Optical Zoom (it is useful in live events when you can't reach the scene), but in low light it's a pain and the colours range too (this involved a lot of post production work).

So I decided to shoot also with my Sony Nex-5 and a full manual old Nikon 50mm f/1.4 (with adapter) which give me a very good light and nice colours in HD 1080p (but no AF or stabilization and no 4k).

So we want to upgrade to Sony A7S II or A7R II. I know the main difference is the sensor but I read that the A7R II may suffer heat problem in long shoot (something that I must avoid at all cost).

My budget is around 3700€ (around $4300).

The most difficult thing is to choose the lenses, I plan to buy two lenses to cover the zoom range that I had with the Panasonic HC-X1000 (they said that the 35 mm Film Camera Equivalent is 30.8 - 626 mm in 16:9). But I need lenses with a good aperture to work in low light situations and it seems that the equivalent Zoom Lenses are a bit out of price with Sony.

So I thought about the SONY FE 28-70 mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS as a standard/generic lens (to work with good/controlled light/environment). And the SONY FE 24–105 mm F4 G OSS Lens for strong zoom (but I don't know if it will work well at f/4 in low light)

I saw also that Sigma released some good lenses (with zoom) on Sony A-mount (like 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM | A). But I don't know if with the SONY LA-EA4 Full-Frame A-Mount Adapter and Sigma Lens I will get Auto Focus and 4K movie (because of APS-C lens and crop size).

To summarize, I need two lenses that will cover (less or more) the zoom range of the Panasonic HC-X1000, for working in low light situation, shooting in 4k and Auto Focus, do you think this is feasible with my budget ?

Thanks a lot for your lights,

Florian

Sony Alpha a7R II Sony Alpha a7S II Sony Alpha NEX-5
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MILC man Senior Member • Posts: 1,124
Re: Sony A7SII or A7RII Lenses advice needed from professionals
1

the only way that you'll get 4kp60 with sony at this point in time is to get one of their latest prosumer camcorders, which could actually be a good idea... but it's not cheap.

the e-mount zooms that you listed are almost certainly not going to be parfocal.

a-mount has a lot of restrictions when it comes to shooting video, for instance I think that the aperture is locked at f/3.5 or so when using af?

if you want to use af with e-mount, i'd be evaluating the a7iii first.

OP florian34330 New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Sony A7SII or A7RII Lenses advice needed from professionals

Thanks for your answer,

I can just shoot in 4k30p if it is to keep a good quality (light/colours) and zoom. I will check their prosumer camcorders, however I prefer the flexibility to being able to change lenses (I will check the A7 III).

What do you mean by parfocal lenses, how does it affect footage ?

Thanks

MILC man Senior Member • Posts: 1,124
Re: Sony A7SII or A7RII Lenses advice needed from professionals
1

parfocal zoom is a lens that lets you zoom all the way into the scene, to the furthest object that you want to be in focus, set focus, then be able to zoom out and around in other parts of the scene with everything in relatively good focus... so no af is used.

https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2016/03/mythbusting-parfocal-photo-zooms/

IamJF Regular Member • Posts: 377
Re: Sony A7SII or A7RII Lenses advice needed from professionals

Hmmm, not an easy task. Probably have a look after RX10? Could be perfect if you need the long range.

Fast and long zooms for Fullrange are expensive and huge. A good combination would be 24-105mm and 70-300mm. If you are on a budget maybe even the 24-240mm- should be fine for 4k video.

The A7rii is in low light only good in APS-C mode! Probably just get an A6300 and get x1.5 "magnification ". A7sii is a better video cam, especially in low light. But no APS-C mode here ...

If you don't need to shoot longer than 30min have a look after A7iii - is great in FF 4k and good in APS-C mode if you need more reach.

 IamJF's gear list:IamJF's gear list
Sony Alpha a7S Sony a7 III Sony FE 35mm F2.8 Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm F4 ZA OSS +4 more
caterpillar Veteran Member • Posts: 7,501
Different Options

florian34330 wrote:

Hello,

We are a semi-professional team and we produce video clips and live concerts/events. We want to change our main camera (a 4k Panasonic HC-X1000) which is now quite old and worn. The good point of this camera was the 4K 50p/60p and the 20x Optical Zoom (it is useful in live events when you can't reach the scene), but in low light it's a pain and the colours range too (this involved a lot of post production work).

The only camera that may fit your bill there is the Panasonic GH5 and G9. But the AF-C in video is not mature on those. And the low light is not as good. I suggest you stick with 4k-30p or go 1080-60p, then go for Sony for low light. The Sony also has 1080-120p if you want to create those nice slow motion. FYI, the A7-3's 1080p is very, very good, unlike the older versions. The older versions weren't bad. But when paired with the 4k downsampled to 1080p, that one looked better. Now, it is very close.

I'd skip the A7s or A7R ii, as the AF is not as good. If you go for the A7R-3, the problem is you will exceed your budget. Hence, the A7-3. FYI, this camera has very good low light performance, almost as good as the A7s-2. It's maybe just 1-1.5 stops lesser. Also, the battery life of the A7-3 for video is very good. I've reached 2hours and I still have 38% remaining. You can also use a usb powerbank or some other power source to plug to the usb port for extra power, if you don't want to swap batteries, though I think 2-2.5 hours is already long for shooting. You would want to go to the loo by that time! And the a7-3 has no overheating issues. I was shooting at 30-32 deg C ambient then, and later tests at around 32-34 deg C.

One caveat on the newer mark 3's. They cannot be hacked (at this time) and has a 29:59 video limit. If you have a gap in proceedings, you can stop recording, and start again. That gives you a fresh 30min. If you shoot short segments, this should not be a problem.

So I decided to shoot also with my Sony Nex-5 and a full manual old Nikon 50mm f/1.4 (with adapter) which give me a very good light and nice colours in HD 1080p (but no AF or stabilization and no 4k).

So we want to upgrade to Sony A7S II or A7R II. I know the main difference is the sensor but I read that the A7R II may suffer heat problem in long shoot (something that I must avoid at all cost).

My budget is around 3700€ (around $4300).

I'd go for the Sony a7-3 (which I now own) + the tamron 28-75 f2.8 RXD. That sould be less than U$3,000 total. Get some primes or other lenses to fill you in. You are into action, so the faster the lens the better especially when there is little light.

FYI, Sony has clear image zoom. In photo you get a 2.0x extra reach. In video 1.5x. Those will work in 4k. If you shoot at aps-c, you get a 1.5x crop. Your tamron at 75mm becomes a 112.5mm in 35FF FOV. Add clear image zoom, and you have a 4k 168.5mm 35FF FOV.

And if you shoot in 4k, you can crop a lot if your final output is still 1080, you can get 2x-4x more zoom range if you want to by cropping then downsampling. If you add all of these up, you really will have more reach with hardly a loss in IQ.

Or you can get another lens, the FE 24-240 or FE 70-300 for added reach without any trickery. They are much slower lenses, and might still fit in your budget. But I'd work with the tamron first and see where to go from there. The tamron will be available about late May or early June 2018.

The most difficult thing is to choose the lenses, I plan to buy two lenses to cover the zoom range that I had with the Panasonic HC-X1000 (they said that the 35 mm Film Camera Equivalent is 30.8 - 626 mm in 16:9). But I need lenses with a good aperture to work in low light situations and it seems that the equivalent Zoom Lenses are a bit out of price with Sony.

So I thought about the SONY FE 28-70 mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS as a standard/generic lens (to work with good/controlled light/environment). And the SONY FE 24–105 mm F4 G OSS Lens for strong zoom (but I don't know if it will work well at f/4 in low light)

I'd skip the 28-70. Go for the tamron 28-75 f2.8 when it becomes available. Remember, in video, you are doing a 180 degree shutter from the frate rate. Since you are at 30p, you want a shutter speed of 1/60 at least. That means less light. To compensate, you have to get faster lenses whenever possible.

The 24-105 f4 OSS is also an option, but that is a stop slower. And that is about U$400 more expensive. If it were me, I'd still go for lens speed as I have other options to extend my range using the shorter 28-75mm. See my post above.

To summarize, I need two lenses that will cover (less or more) the zoom range of the Panasonic HC-X1000, for working in low light situation, shooting in 4k and Auto Focus, do you think this is feasible with my budget ?

Fast AF and high IQ is only with the Sony at this time. Get the A7-3 at U$2,000 + tamron 28-75 f2.8 (U$799) and maybe a 70-300 (U$1,100) or 24-240 lens (U$900). Another option is the FE 70-200 f4 OSS, though more expensive at U$1,398, but it is faster and steady at f4.0. But if you want better low light, you may have to get your 2nd lens as primes. The 85 f1.8 would be a good choice at U$548.

Remember, if you shoot in crop mode in 4k, you get more reach if you want more reach. There is hardly any IQ penalty. Add clearImage Zoom in 4k and you get another 1.5x reach to that.

Or instead of getting another lens, go for the RX10-4. No not the mark 3 or 2 or anything less. This will give you 24-600mm zoom range with f2.4-4.0 (if I am not mistaken on the high end). It's a 2nd camera too. Good AF-C, 4k-30p, etc. But this is U$1,700. This might stretch your budget a bit, but if you ask me, this is a better option. A7-3 + 28-75 + the RX10-4. U$2,800 + 1,700 = U$4,500. If you can time it on a sale, or get some special promos, I think you can know U$200-500 off this tandem. You may still have to stretch that budget a bit because you will still need to buy extra batt, maybe a charger (even 3rd party will do), and sdxc cards. That's an extra U$200-300 there.

Don't forget to get good cards. 64gb v30 uhs-1 is good enough at 60mbits/sec camera settings at 4k-30p. You will need maybe 4-8x of those. There is a 128gb but it is a bit expensive. With the A7-3, you have dual card slots. So, you can always tag tandem the two. Once slot 1 is full, it will automaticlly switch to the 2nd sdxc. I use Sandisk and have no problems.

Thanks a lot for your lights,

Florian

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- Caterpillar
'Always in the process of changing, growing, and transforming.'

 caterpillar's gear list:caterpillar's gear list
Panasonic FZ1000 Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Canon EF-S 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4 +22 more
OP florian34330 New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Different Options

Thanks you all to share your experience,

I think I will go for the SONY A7 III and Tamron 28-75 f/2.8, what do you think about the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 (XR Di LD), will it work with AF (Sony A mount version) ? What adapter do you recommend then (SONY LA-EA4/Metabones/Sigma MC-11...) ?

Caterpillar, you're right in the fact that I shoot in 4k and set my final output to 1080p, so when I can control my framing I shoot directly in 1080p.

So what do you think about this: SONY A7 III + Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 + Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 + SONY LA-EA4 ?

I can get this pack for about $4300 so i'm in my budget.

One question: What are the differences between Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 Di LD and Di VC ?

Thanks

MILC man Senior Member • Posts: 1,124
Re: Different Options
1

I have the laea4, it uses autofocus technology from at least 8 years ago, you'd be much better off with modern a7iii autofocus and the laea3 adapter, but test that adapter/lens combo first if possible.

caterpillar Veteran Member • Posts: 7,501
You should wait

florian34330 wrote:

Thanks you all to share your experience,

I think I will go for the SONY A7 III and Tamron 28-75 f/2.8, what do you think about the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 (XR Di LD), will it work with AF (Sony A mount version) ? What adapter do you recommend then (SONY LA-EA4/Metabones/Sigma MC-11...) ?

I think you should wait for the native E mount version. There are really some compromises in AF-C and some other things if you go adapted. My guess is we will have this lens in a year or 1.5 years. If you can wait a bit, it should we worth it. With the impending success of the 28-75 f2.8, I am sure, they are stoked to build the holy trinity (16-35 or 15-30 f2.8) and the 70-200/210 f2.8.

Caterpillar, you're right in the fact that I shoot in 4k and set my final output to 1080p, so when I can control my framing I shoot directly in 1080p.

That is the way to go. There's really nothing wrong with shooting in 1080p, especially if you want that 60p. But if you can get everything in, and you know how the final crop will be, 1080p is fine.

So what do you think about this: SONY A7 III + Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 + Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 + SONY LA-EA4 ?

As I said, I am not too keen on adapted lenses. I'd wait for the native lens. I know I will regret having this lens then the native E mount comes out. But if unless you really need it, I suggest to wait, at least till the end of the year, to find out what Tamron's plans are.

If you can test this combo at the store, and you really need this 70-200, give it a try. But do it in terms where you can mimic or use it the way you intend to use it. If it is good enough for you, and you simply cannot wait, then you should go for it.

Also, it's not just Tamron is the only game in town. Maybe Sigma has something there too, or some other lens makers. I heard Samyang is starting to go AF too in the E-mount. But as far as the 70-200, I think that is a bit far off. That lens is a bit tough to design and get right. Only Tamron and Sigma at this time can come out with something credible.

I can get this pack for about $4300 so i'm in my budget.

One question: What are the differences between Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 Di LD and Di VC ?

Thanks

The VC is the one with stabilization. The LD I think just describes some optics/glass used. Much the same way Tamron loves to use these letters - RXD, XR, etc. I'd put more weight on having VC. 70-200's lenses should have VC because IBIS at this iteration is not that good yet. Besides, I think on longer FL's, IS is way better than IBIS especially with 35FF sensors. Plus, if the protocols are Sony, it may be possible to have dual IS (LIS + IBIS) to make the stabilization even better.

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'Always in the process of changing, growing, and transforming.'

 caterpillar's gear list:caterpillar's gear list
Panasonic FZ1000 Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Canon EF-S 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4 +22 more
IamJF Regular Member • Posts: 377
Re: Different Options

If you need video AF go with a native lens! If manual AF is fine (e.g. filming a stage) the Tamron will be good.

I also think there will be a native 70-200f2.8 from Tamron in 1-2 years. I would go for the (used?) 70-300 or 24-240 (test before buy - mine is fine at 240) and swap if a faster lens shows up.

Filming a stage in 4k and have the ability to zoom in and still deliver 1080 is great! Makes the video more dynamic and still only one main camera.

 IamJF's gear list:IamJF's gear list
Sony Alpha a7S Sony a7 III Sony FE 35mm F2.8 Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm F4 ZA OSS +4 more
Slaginfected Regular Member • Posts: 433
Re: Sony A7SII or A7RII Lenses advice needed from professionals

Maybe a few notes from someone who just toyed around with video so far.

Firstly, most photographers don't know about it, but there is a 28-135/4 video lens available for the FE mount. That thing is pretty heavy, but geared towards video; some of these video specific features have been mentioned elsewhere already. It is also not exactly cheap. In return it comes with OSS, which works decently well as I've tried that on an A7s which has no IBIS built in.

The other thing to note: If you use FF sized readout, you want to have at least f/4 for video unless you are ok with having super-thin DoF. With Super35 it is maybe less critical; it also depends on how fast things are moving, if you use AF or focus manually etc.

And one last thing: You will never be able to get the reach of the old equip, as you'd need expensive tele lenses for that. With Super35 and 200mm you may reach around 300mm equivalent focal length; in return the stages where you need more usually have more light available, too, i.e. you can use equipment which is not that light sensitive and still get something usable in the end.

Arizona Sunset
Arizona Sunset Senior Member • Posts: 3,677
Re: Sony A7SII or A7RII Lenses advice needed from professionals
1

Slaginfected wrote:

Maybe a few notes from someone who just toyed around with video so far.

Firstly, most photographers don't know about it, but there is a 28-135/4 video lens available for the FE mount. That thing is pretty heavy, but geared towards video; some of these video specific features have been mentioned elsewhere already. It is also not exactly cheap.

For a video lens, it's cheap.

In return it comes with OSS, which works decently well as I've tried that on an A7s which has no IBIS built in.

The other thing to note: If you use FF sized readout, you want to have at least f/4 for video unless you are ok with having super-thin DoF. With Super35 it is maybe less critical; it also depends on how fast things are moving, if you use AF or focus manually etc.

And one last thing: You will never be able to get the reach of the old equip, as you'd need expensive tele lenses for that. With Super35 and 200mm you may reach around 300mm equivalent focal length; in return the stages where you need more usually have more light available, too, i.e. you can use equipment which is not that light sensitive and still get something usable in the end.

I used the 28-135 and A7S II extensively over a period of about six months and liked it. I would have preferred the R II for autofocus, but the 1080p 120fps was great on the S II. Both the camera and the lens are not bitingly sharp, but are filmic in look and stabilization, with excellent CDAF (accurate, not fast) and crash zoom. The footage felt and looked smooth, rich.

Regarding lenses (not sure on price for the OP, just posting for awareness):

What about the new Fujinon E-mount lenses? They are S35 only but have all the hooks and T2.9, split across normal zoom and telephoto ranges. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1321239-REG/fujinon_fujinon_mk18_55mm_t2_9_lens.html

Or the Sigma options? https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1324197-REG/sigma_wzq967_18_35mm_50_100mm_lenses.html

Or the new Sony SELP 18-110 G? Another S35 lens, with better reviews than the big 28-135 FE / FF f4. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1280873-REG/sony_selp18110g_e_mount_lens.html

Have you given thought to the new FS models specific to video that were released?  I have, and am skipping everything until 4k 60fps comes out on the S III.

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OP florian34330 New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Sony A7SII or A7RII Lenses advice needed from professionals

Thanks again for this valuable information,

It seems that I've got only two options to stay in my budget and needs ($4300 + f2.8 for low light + Zoom). First option is to wait until Tamron or Sigma release their 25-75 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8 lenses on Sony E-Mount, but I will have some events to shoot in 2 or 3 months, so I don't think these lenses will be ready at time.

Second option is to try the Tamron or Sigma lenses on Sony A-Mount with adapters (LA-EA3...) on Sony A7 III before buy it to see if I get basics AF and requirements in video mode to suit my needs, I just need to find a shop where I can try this combination.

Right now at the moment the perfect option would be these Sigma Cine Zoom 18-35 T2 and 50-100 T2 Lenses ( https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1324197-REG/sigma_wzq967_18_35mm_50_100mm_lenses.html ) But it's totally out of my budget.

Regards

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