A few thoughts on Sony’s lens announcements at Photokina 2014

A few thoughts on Sony’s lens announcements at Photokina 2014

Lets take a closer look at Sony’s lens announcements and what it means to photographers, videographers and phodeographer’s
more after the break

Unlike most companies who are more specific in their target audience, Sony aspires to reach the broadest spectrum of photographers and videographers, from the enthusiast, who wants the most compact full frame system, to the professional videographer, who needs the full frame look and shoots in extreme low light.

Somewhere in between is the daring pro photographer who, hesitantly, takes the A7(r,s) along with his regular gear. Is he ready to dump his trusted DSLR? Most of them probably not. And I am not sure I would have switched if it weren’t for video and the fantastic 55mm which happens to be close enough to my favorite focal length.

What I find most interesting when looking at the lens line up is the cross over appeal:

Let’s start with the zooms:
16-35mm f4 OSS, probably the most anticipated and needed focal length in the current line up, everybody wants it, the photographer, the videographer and the guy who shoot stills and videos.

Personally, I think the 16 35mm, the 24 70mm and 70 200mm make a great kit for both, stills and video when shooting with the A7s. As someone who shoots both, sometimes more video then stills, I have nothing to complain about (for now :).
However, when mounted on the A7r, the 70-200mm impresses, the 24 70mm not so much and I don’t expect the 16 35mm to perform much better, lets hope I am wrong.

Looking ahead, I find the 24 240mm very interesting as a video shooter, especially for run & gun situations when you don’t know how close you can get and changing lenses isn’t an option.

One can assume the 90mm macro will be excellent, most high end macro lenses are, no complaints there, except that I find 90mm too short for serious macro work.

The 35mm 1.4 will be a very interesting lens, especially for the photographer, personally I would prefer a 35mm f2 with OSS. More useful for both groups, since wide angle lenses aren’t particularly great for bokeh to begin with.

The 28mm 2.0 and the 21mm converter and fish eye screw on. Very interesting, I don’t expect miracles in optical performance, however, on the a7s body, it should be fine.
Imagine the possibilities with the f2 lens on the A7s, in three variants, 28mm, 21mm and fish eye. Grab the 55mm and you get a low light full frame kit you can stuff into a small belt pack!

And then we get the ultimate cine lens, the 28 135mm, a monster, yes, but if it lives up to the promise of eliminating focus breathing, focus shift and no movement of the optical axis during zooming, it might become my standard pro lens for everything, I would gladly give up 24mm to gain 135mm on the long end,
for video and stills alike and since I don’t have any problems shooting with the 70 200mm handheld, I can’t imagine shooting with the 28-135mm to be much different. But I could be wrong.

Lets not forget the Zeiss mf primes for they guys who like to set up rigs with focus pull options, what a relief to change lenses in an instant without having to fiddle adjusting the focus pull mechanism to adapt to the larger or smaller lens.

For still shooters the depth of field scale and instant magnification should make mf shooting fun again.

Since I don’t need extreme tele lenses I am quite satisfied with Sony’s offerings. A 85mm 1.4 would have been nice, but like with the 90mm, it is not my cup of tea, I like them a little longer, 100mm 1.8 or 135mm 1.8 would get my heart rate going.

And then we have the 28mm 2.0 and the ultra wide and fish eye attachments, barring disastrous image quality, I will get that little set for street shooting, adventure biking, hiking and incognito pro shooting.

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2 thoughts on “A few thoughts on Sony’s lens announcements at Photokina 2014

  1. mike.kobal Post author

    Yes, we will just have to wait and see what happens, it appears Sony is quite a bit ahead for now and once they release the next generation A7r and A7s with alpha 6000 af speed or faster, that will place them right below Canon’s and Nikon’s top pro bodies. As a wedding photographer I wouldn’t drop the DSLR’s yet either, too many red carpet situations where you only get one chance to nail the shot.

  2. Dmitri Tsitelauri - wedding videographer

    “Somewhere in between is the daring pro photographer who, hesitantly, takes the A7(r,s) along with his regular gear. Is he ready to dump his trusted DSLR? Most of them probably not.”
    You nailed it Mike! I am loving the new Sony a7s but still not ready to dump my Canon gear. I dont have a reasonable explanation to why not. If it was not for ML, maybe I would but switching could be very costly for most of us. I guess we all just sitting and hopping that Canon will eventually catch up with 2014:) or not!

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