Jump to content

Lens Selection for Landscape & Architecture


Recommended Posts

I have just converted from a Canon DSLR to the Sony A7 iii.  I got a Sony 24 - 105 f4 lens to start.

For my next lens I’m considering either the Sony 16 - 35 f2.8 or the 70 - 200 f4.  Any recommendations on which I should get first?

Also I hear that Sony bodies excel for low light shots.  Why would a f2.8 lens be worthwhile?

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Enthusiast said:

For my next lens I’m considering either the Sony 16 - 35 f2.8 or the 70 - 200 f4.  Any recommendations on which I should get first?

That really is a question only you can answer: they both serve entirely different purposes. Up to you to decide which end of the 24-105 mm you feel is lacking the most.

3 hours ago, Enthusiast said:

Why would a f2.8 lens be worthwhile?

For the same reason any fast lens would be worthwhile: if you like shallow depth of field photography, if you want even better low-light performance or like to use fast shutter speeds without cranking up the ISO.

That being said, the Sony 12-24 F/4 and Sony Zeiss 16-35 F/4 reportedly are quite decent optically and so is the Sigma 14-24 F/2.8. All of these lenses are a lot cheaper than the Sony 16-35 GM so worth your consideration.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I purchased a new Tokina 11-16mm/f2.8  APC lens this spring and have been quite pleased with it overall.  The reviews indicate that there appears to be some variance in image quality from focal length to focal length as well as f stop.  I did a lot of testing and mine appears pretty good across the range.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Pieter said:

Sorry but that's just really bad advise... Why would you want to buy a non-native APS-C lens to put on your fullframe camera via an adapter?

I was simply relating what I use and I use APS-C camera bodies and lenses now.  Years ago I had a Tokina 24-40mm f/2.8 lens (35mm film days) and was really pleased with it.  Relating that to full frame, something in about the same range would be quite useful.  I was a Nikon person back in those days and generally favored the advanced amateur bodies.

I would not get an APS-C lens for a full frame camera body.  I missed or ignored the A7 mention in my response, but I know it is a full frame camera.  I see no problem with non-Sony lenses however.  Personally I would be looking at that Sigma mentioned earlier.

Edited by Rimfire
Link to post
Share on other sites

Fixed f2.8?  I think it is always better to get the faster lens if you can afford it.  It provides more flexibility with picture taking at slower ISO settings.  The larger fixed f stop generally means a lens is more expensive, a bit larger, and heavier than a slower lens especially one with a variable max f stop.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I beg to disagree: if the size and weight of the faster lens makes you carry it with you less often, you may enjoy it less than if you'd have bought a slower, less bulky one. For me this is the sole reason to stick to APS-C.

But while we're at this tradeoff, the Tamron 17-28 f/2.8 should be added to the list of options: fast but not more bulky than the Sony 16-35 f/4.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It just depends on the situation, but if I really like a lens and like the results, I am willing to carry it in the woods or on the street some distance.  It is not like we're talking about 5-6 lb lens.  But everyone has different priorities.  About half of my outdoor photography is done from my vehicle and generally within sight of my vehicle. So, I can grab a lens I believe I will need and perhaps stick another one in a bag, and I am generally good to go.

I would probably really like the Tamron mentioned above (17-28mm) on a full frame camera.

 

Edited by Rimfire
Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Pieter said:

I beg to disagree: if the size and weight of the faster lens makes you carry it with you less often, you may enjoy it less than if you'd have bought a slower, less bulky one. For me this is the sole reason to stick to APS-C.

But while we're at this tradeoff, the Tamron 17-28 f/2.8 should be added to the list of options: fast but not more bulky than the Sony 16-35 f/4.

I guess you were reacting to my use of the term "always".  I guess few things are always a good option.

On the thread topic....  I look at my lens assortment and if I think something is an upgrade but similar to what I have, I am willing to spend the money for the lens assuming I can afford it.  My point is that one should look at the entire range of capabilities of the lenses you already own.  In my case, I have most focal lengths covered up to 600mm and really ponder any decision to acquire a lens that duplicates my existing capabilities unless I have a very good reason to do so.

Edited by Rimfire
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Yeah I have tried a few, I started with an adapted Canon 16-35/4 and tried out friends Sony 16-35/4 and GM 16-35/2.8 and I bought the Tamron 17-28/2.8

If you don't mind the compromised range of the Tamron it is a stellar performer, better IQ all round IMHO than the Sony 16-35/4, smaller and lighter than the adapted Canon lens and brighter of course without really losing any IQ.. It is probably a little behind the bigger heavier and much more expensive GM 16-35/2.8 IQ wise, but much lighter and a fair bit smaller.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I rented the 70 - 200  f 2.8 from Fixation, for a weekend in Brighton !

Yes the Pics were amazing ! But Jeez, the weight was just too much !

I had a camera bag slung over my shoulder, and had to lay the camera on it, as I was walking around with it !

It was  so heavy, I at 66 , would never ever  buy one ! Yes rent, if the need arizes

but I couldnt carry that around all day

The F 2.8 allows you to shoot in very low light , F 4 Not so much !   So, if Low Light is what you want, why not go, for the 35 mm f 1.4 ?   Even Ken Rockwell  declares it as the sharpest ever lens ! Outsmarting the Sigma  35 mm ART !

Do not get caught up, in a lens buying frenzy, because you wil just go paranoid, about never having the right lens, on the camera, at the time of any given event !

Rent whatever you want !  Test the lenses, over a weekend or whatever, then what ever hits your sweet spot ? 

Thats the one to buy

Good Luck , with your choice !

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Wally The Confused said:

Even Ken Rockwell  declares it as the sharpest ever lens ! Outsmarting the Sigma  35 mm ART !

Quoting Ken Rockwell and his subjective testing methods as an authority on lens sharpness isn't quite convincing... To quote Ken Rockwell:

"every lens made in the past 100 years is more than sharp enough to make super-sharp pictures if you know what you're doing. The only limitation to picture sharpness is your skill as a photographer."

Ken actually states about this lens:

"This Sony Zeiss FE 35mm f/1.4 is sharp, but as used on the full frame Sony A7R II I'm not all that excited about its edge sharpness."

More reputable testing sites like OpticalLimits considers the optical quality of this lens pretty compromised, and quite overpriced for what it offers.

https://www.opticallimits.com/sonyalphaff/1026-zeiss35f14za?start=2

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Pieter, Nothing is perfect, but for most photographers the  35 mm f 1.4  ticks most boxes.  I also read, for example that for ordinary photographers, paying three times the price, for the  50 mm f 1.4, was not worth it, since the 50mm f 1.8 gave just as good results, unless you were doing laboratory work ?  As regards  Ken Rockwell, he did, in his test of the  35 mm f 1.4 , say, it was the sharpest of the group, or whatever, outperforming the Sigma  Art 35 mm.  Subsequent reviews, of his, I have not read. I got my 35mm f 1.4 , second hand, at a good price from a reputable dealer, and so far, it  is doing a great job.

Link to post
Share on other sites

At the time of his review the Sigma 35 f/1.2 and Sony 35 f/1.8 weren't available yet though. Both of these lenses are optically superior to the Sony Distagon at a similar or cheaper price. But if you can get the Distagon second hand for a good price it may still be decent value for money.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Tamron  17-28 f2.8 is the best overall compromise in the wide end as its very light, speedy and takes filters.

The resolution easily betters the Sony 16-35 F4 and equals the F2.8 in most cases.

But neither 16 nor 17 is wide enough for architecture and since landscape requires a graduated filter and or cpols you might consider a 15 or 12mm Cosina fixed to augment. The 15mm has a filter thread and can take a filter holder if the hood petals are removed. Version 2 12mm can also take filters in the same manner.

Since you have the 105 it would be the first port of call.

The 70-200 f4 cops much flack but a good copy is just fine. The real issue is that it does'nt take the 1.4TC.

Best of breed here are the Tamron 70-180 f2.8 and the 100-400 GM but only the GM takes the TC..

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 months later...
On 6/9/2020 at 10:47 PM, Enthusiast said:

I have just converted from a Canon DSLR to the Sony A7 iii.  I got a Sony 24 - 105 f4 lens to start.

For my next lens I’m considering either the Sony 16 - 35 f2.8 or the 70 - 200 f4.  Any recommendations on which I should get first?

Also I hear that Sony bodies excel for low light shots.  Why would a f2.8 lens be worthwhile?

Returning to the question at hand, I have the A7 iii, the 24-105/f4 and a 70-300/f4.5-5.6.  All great!  You mention that you shoot landscapes.  That frequently means "go wide," but my advice is to become a seasoned user of your equipment before throwing money at a problem that may not exist.  With my old Nikon system my go-to lens was a 24-70 and I was rarely disappointed.

And, yes, you will find that your Sony does well in low light, but nothing is perfect. I am finding situations (astrophotography for example) where f/2.8 or "better" would help. 

Be patient and experiment with what you have.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...