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Garnier1981

20mm options

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You have several options, I'm going through this same decision for my A7r so I've looked at several reviews lately.

 

The Minolta 21mm (not the 20mm) looks pretty impressive:

 

http://artaphot.ch/minolta-sr/objektiv-vergleiche/341-sony-a7-and-classical-rokkors

 

Another member of the forum made a pretty extensive comparison with the Canon FD 20mm and a few others (check the other links on his website other than this one below):

 

http://phillipreeve.net/blog/wideangle-lenses-for-the-sony-alpha-7-series/

 

Going on, there is the relatively cheap Sony 20/2.8 for A mount, that with an LA-EA4 will get you AF as well (but that you can still mount with a cheap manual focus adapter, if you so wish):

 

http://kurtmunger.com/sony_20mm_f_2_8_reviewid257.html

 

Bear in mind that the old Minolta 20mm has the same optical scheme and it's even slightly cheaper, but the Sony version has been apparently re-calculated to use "greener" glass for environmental reasons and while they were at it the engineers might have made it better, I don't know.

 

Again, there is the classic Nikon 20mm AF-D (not the Ai, not the "simple" AF); this test, on an even fussier A7r, is in Italian, but the pictures speak from themselves and you can always use Google Translate:

 

Nikon AF 20mm f/2.8 D (a bit higher up he tested the Pentax 20 as well, but it frankly looks horrid)

 

Apparently (I haven't used this combo) the Nikon can also be used, on full frame, on a Kipon tilt and shift adapter with 5mm of shift in either direction without an appreciable loss in quality, once stopped down.

 

There is also the Voigtlander 20/3.5 Color Skopar II (Nikon or Canon EF mount), that's nice but it will perform not better than the Nikon, and you'll loose a bit of light and of resale value:

 

Sony A7r + Voigtlander 20mm f/3.5 Color Skopar SL II - soundimageplus

 

Staying with Nikon, there is the wonderful (according to pretty much every review) 20mm 1.8 AF-S G:

 

 

But it is not as cheap as the others; it doesn't have an aperture ring (not a big deal as long as you get a well made adapter); and, more importantly, the wider the angle, and the more modern the design (presence of floating elements) the more an adapter is likely to negatively affect performance. If you can try it in person or buy from a store with a no-questions-asked return policy it's a different story, obviously.

 

And lastly there is always the 28/2 FE Sony used in combination with the SEL075UWC wide angle adapter:

 

Sony Ultra Wide Converter SEL075UWC Review - ePHOTOzine

 

The borders don't look too good if you ask me, but then if you're not shooting landscapes but, for example, street they can be acceptable or even good. And you are left with a really nice 28/2 in any case.

 

If the lens is mostly for landscape use, another nice performer is the "old" Canon EF 17-40/4 L. Once stopped down is pretty good on the A7r according to a few samples I've seen online:

 

Sony A7R Review with Canon EF lenses - First Impressions - YouTube (this is a video, but in the videos there are links to download sample raw files shot with this combination)

 

For myself, and keeping in mind I shoot mostly landscapes, often backlit, and that I hate mushy corners, I've for now shortlisted the following lenses, in this order:

 

1) Sony 20/2.8 AF

Not the best, but quite possibly good enough at f/11 and beyond, especially considering I usually stitch from 3 to 5 files shot with the camera in vertical orientation

 

2) Nikon 20/2.8 AF-D

According to at least one review on Dyxum better than the Sony/Minolta on the A7r, but I'm worried of color inconsistencies with my other lenses, not having Nikon glass; besides, Nikon manual focus dials turn the "wrong" way

 

3) Tokina 17/3.5 AT-X 17 AF, the model with the fixed hood

Technically not a 20mm, but using the A7r I'm thinking of going wider and cutting the corners away; not so sure though

 

I guess I gave you enough stuff to read for this weekend

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Thanks for taking the time to write that excellent reply!  

 

I just received the Voigtlander 20mm today (canon EF mount) and have realised that the aperture control is in-camera only, not manual.  Gutted!

 

Like you I mostly shoot landscapes & usually backlit ones, I wold be interested to hear what lens you choose.  

 

I'm away to start researching your list.... 

 

Thanks again 

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You're welcome, jotting all down helped me clarifying my choices as well!

 

That said, tomorrow I may well be have the lenses in a complete different order of preference

I hope to pull the plug on one as soon as I can (not that many lenses from my shortlist this week on ebay...)

 

For the Voigtlander, assuming you're not going to send it back, you can find a Commlite adapter pretty cheap these days, considering everyone that needs reliable Af is moving to the Sigma MC-11.

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There is also an older full frame Vivitar that, if you don't mind using manual focus and an adapter, is actually a very good lens for an affordable price.

( There is also a 21mm version but the optics aren't as good as the 20mm)

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about the recommendation:

3) Tokina 17/3.5 AT-X 17 AF, the model with the fixed hood

 

the improved Tokina 17mm RMC ii has no fixed hood, the one with fixed hood is the first version and not as good  as the second one

 

 

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You're welcome, jotting all down helped me clarifying my choices as well!

 

That said, tomorrow I may well be have the lenses in a complete different order of preference

I hope to pull the plug on one as soon as I can (not that many lenses from my shortlist this week on ebay...)

 

For the Voigtlander, assuming you're not going to send it back, you can find a Commlite adapter pretty cheap these days, considering everyone that needs reliable Af is moving to the Sigma MC-11.

You think the commlite adapter would work?  

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about the recommendation:

 

3) Tokina 17/3.5 AT-X 17 AF, the model with the fixed hood

 

the improved Tokina 17mm RMC ii has no fixed hood, the one with fixed hood is the first version and not as good as the second one

 

Thanks, I was considering the fixed hood version because it's the only one, of the two, reviewed on Dyxum on the a7r instead that on the 24mp bodies. Nice to know that the version without the cumbersome appendage is actually better!

 

You think the commlite adapter would work?

 

From what I've read troubles with second party lenses are almost exclusively in the af department, so it should let you control the aperture just fine. And in any case one of these adapters goes for 30/40€ only at this point, so almost the price of a dumb adapter with tripod mount.

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Don't forget the Olympus Zuiko 21mm f3.5 for the OM system.

Really small and light, but IMHO optical quality is similar to the Minolta 21mm (I have both), maybe even a tad better and both are inferior only to the expensive Zeiss C/Y 21mm (among vintage glass).

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So, the Voigtlander 20mm for Canon mount.  I ordered a commlite adapter and it controls the aperture no problem.  

 

This is a decent lens, I am pleased with it.  The only problem is that it focuses a good bit past infinity and focus preview is difficult since the aperture only stops down when you press the shutter - so no 'magnify focus' button.   For landscape this isn't really a problem, but others it may irritate.  The more expensive Nikon version is fully manual.  

 

I have taken a few shots last weekend with this lens, they are the most recent shots on my Flickr page if you want a look.  

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So, the Voigtlander 20mm for Canon mount.  I ordered a commlite

adapter and it controls the aperture no problem.  

 

This is a decent lens, I am pleased with it.  The only problem is that

it focuses a good bit past infinity and focus preview is difficult since

the aperture only stops down when you press the shutter - so no

'magnify focus' button.   For landscape this isn't really a problem,

but others it may irritate.  The more expensive Nikon version is fully

manual.  

 

    

I realize there's an adapter involved and that you   
use a slightly different model camera than mine, but 
have you got Shot Preview working with native lenses 
on your camera? SP provides both stopping down and 
exposure simulation, plus other variables like WB and 
cretive styles. It's a far more comprehensive preview  
than the simple "Setting Effect" chosen via the live view 
menu. And it's only active when you press your chosen 
control button so otherwise you you get a bright view 
by NOT enabling "setting effect".   
   
Anywho, if you ARE using shot preview, and it's NOT  
working with adapted Canon but IS working with native 
lenses ... well, you really DO have the problem you 
describe in the OP :-( 
  
BUT ! ! ! If you have not yet discovered shot preview, 
then there may be relief for your problem :-) 
  
I won't lead you thru the menus cuz I use the basic 
a7-II and there may be differences. But if you don't 
yet use shot preview [forget "setting effect"], then 
find it and assign it to a custom button. Try reading 
the choices for the custom buttons. On my camera
it's one of the choices for use of each custom button.   
   
-------------------------------------------------------------------   
   
Again, I don't know how familiar you are with options 
but I notice that many users think the Focus Magnifier 
is only accessible by tweaking the focus ring. These 
users have never known that FM is also available on 
demand by push button. If you are in that group, then 
more good news: Just cuz an adapter denies you the 
automatic activation of FM doesn't mean you have no 
access to it. Perznally, I find the automatic activation 
to be a royal PITA. I want FM only on demand. One 
of my lenses enforces automatic FM activation. I use 
that lens ONLY where I can trust AF an not feel any 
need to manually focus.  
    
-------------------------------------------------------------------   
  
FWIW, a bit late in the thread, my fave 20 is an AiS 
Nikkor 20/4. It's just an average 40 year old Nikkor .... 
not a starlet of the Lab Test chart geeks, just a good 
lens with which users made a good living. But it does 
score well ... subjectively ... in flare resistance and for 
minimal distortion, if those are your priorities. It's very 
compact for an ancient retrofocus .... half the size of 
the 21/3.5 that preceded it [which was kinda like the
giant Vivitar seen in post #5 above]. 

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On 9/29/2016 at 4:45 AM, Garnier1981 said:

I'm looking for a prime around 20mm for my A7, what are my options?  

 

I like the native zeiss 21mm but it's out of my price range.  Flare resistance is the top priority for this lens

 

Thanks

Minolta af 20mm f2.8 is very good, but look for a late model like the RS version. Brilliant Minolta colour.

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Having come over from the Pentax camp, I have been using the coveted Pentax Takumar-K 20mm f4 that dates from the 1970s. Of course it can be used only manually on a Pentax-to-Sony adapter, but if you set infinity focus on the distance scale to f8 or f11, the result will be sharp from infinity to 6 feet and you won't have to rely on manual or autofocus. (This is true of any legacy 20mm, I believe.) 

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