Thoughts on Sony A7R Mark III Prime Lense Sets

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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:

  1. More detailed landscape where you want to catch some detail. There was an amazing rainbow for instance that would have benefited from this.
  2. Portraits. While the 50mm is good, an 85mm would be a better range for portraits without being super close.
  3. 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:

  1. 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!).
  2. 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.
  3. 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 🙂
  4. 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.

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