OK, so Vlad was wonderful and recommended a nice beginner set of lenses, so shooting with DxoMark database as a first cut, here is a quick review:
- Sony Zeiss Planar T* FE 50mm 1.4 ZA. This is the classic prime Lense. It is big heavy but boy is it every so sharp. Having such a sharp and fast lens is really wonderful. It’s my goto for street shooting.
- Carl Zeiss Batis 24mm F2 Sony FE. Vlad recommended wider than the traditional 35mm and I think he is right, in some ways I wish I had gotten the Karl Zeiss Loxia F2.8/21, but that’s really super wide and a little slower Lens, but that’s not that a big deal for big landscapes.
The conundrum now is what to do at the longer end and fill out a three lens set (short, medium and long), there are really see a few uses for a longer lens including:
- More detailed landscape where you want to catch some detail. There was an amazing rainbow for instance that would have benefited from this.
- Portraits. While the 50mm is good, an 85mm would be a better range for portraits without being super close.
- Macro. I haven’t done a lot of macro shooting, but have always wanted to try.
Here are some choices to get this done again as a first mark going through DxoMark sorted by their sharpness rating:
- Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS. This isn’t a fast lens, but fine for portraits and of course it is a good Macro length. And at least on DxOMark is the sharpest (42MP/42MP is their rating!).
- Sony FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS. This uses a filter so it is slower by a full stop, but you get really adjustable bokeh as a result. Great for portraits or for capturing individual plants. This is a GM or Grand Master lens, so expensive but hopefully durable Note that although it says F/2.8, because of the filter, it is really more like a F/3.2 Lense so quite bit slower so mainly for well lit scenes.
- Sony FE 85mm F/1.8. This is a really fast and longish lens, doesn’t have the Macro or the STF of the two above, but is faster. Life is always about tradeoffs 🙂
- Sony FE 70-200 f/2.8 GM OSS. It is pretty incredible that a zoom lens has reached this quality, it is big and huge, but does get you all the way to 200mm for those big zooms. The main reservation I have is that it is heavy and that I’m not sure how often I will go to 200mm. On the other hand, with a 1.4x teleconverter, this gets me to 300mm if I need to do some long distance shooting. Although in that case, renting a dedicated Sony FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS might make way more sense.