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Looking to build up two lens kits - recommendations?

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Dear Forum Members,


I would like to build up two lens kits for an A7 II I recently purchased. Each kit would ideally consist of three, maybe four lenses. Like many newcomers to the E-mount ecosystem I am looking for recommendations from seasoned users. I am a long time Pentax K-mount user and I'm also a fan of u4/3.


The first kit would be my kit of primes. I would use ths kit for walk-arounds, landscapes, portraits, and street photography. There would be a wide, a normal, and a telephoto focal length. I don't need super fast f/0.5 monsters that are bigger than soup kettles. I value center sharpness, "nice" bokeh, and focus accuracy over focusing speed and subject tracking. Edge and border sharpness is desired but I understand it will never be as good as center sharpness. As an example, my Pentax K-mounts equivilants are the three FA Limited lenses which have focal lengths of 31mm, 43mm, and 77mm.


The second kit would be my kit of zooms. This is what I would take to airshows and school events for my kids where I need fast focusing and excellent subject tracking. I'm willing to give up a little lens resolution and my "nice" bokeh. My Pentax K-mount equivalents are a 24-70mm f/2.8, a 70-200mm f/2.8, and 150-450mm f/4.5-5.6. These are wonderful lenses but the AF system in Pentax bodies is a huge handicap. I don't need low light monsters so f/2.8 is not a necessity - unless the faster aperture improves focus speed.


Unfortunately, I don't have access to a bottomless bag of money :) but I have no problem saving up over time and building up the kits. It took me several years to build up my K-mount kits. So, I would like to leave my budget open for now.


-=- Boris


(P. S. I purchased my A7 II this past summer from Adorama's Used Equipment department to use with my manual focus lenses. The body has worked out great for me and I am encouraged by this positive experience to explore the E-mount ecosystem.)

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You've built up outfits before, so no point in my   

recommending FLs, prime or zoom, etc. But I'm 

following up on your comment that you won't be

needing f/2.8 lenses. Thaz great for you. Easier 

on the wallet and acoarst more compact/lighter 

gear. My advice is more of a headzup: You will 

read a lotta schidt from the brainwashed but not 

well-rinsed, that various f/4 lenses are inferior to 

their f/2.8 counterparts. This might be true, or it 

might not. Either way ignore it and get whatever 

your experience tells you that you need. All the 

f/4 lenses are far better than they need to be so 

if the 2.8s are actually even better, it's pointless 

to worry about [and pay for] the difference. 


A suggestion: Get an adapter for your existing 

K lenses, and use those for a while. You'll quite 

likely find that some FLs should be replaced by 

more convenient quicker operating Sonys, but

some FLs are just as well retained as-is. I tried 

this with my Nikon MF lenses and my a7-II, and 

for my needs I only needed one Sony lens, the 

midrange f/4 zoom. It covers all the hectic uses 

where advanced robotics are a blessing. YMMV

but thaz my advice :-)   


An observation, about something that did not at 

first occur to me, concerning adapted lenses. If 

you use zoom lenses the manual inputting of FL 

[to inform the IBIS] becomes a royal PITA, but 

with primes it's pretty painless. So, since I use

primes mostly for slower pace shooting anyway, 

I felt need of a Sony zoom, but still feel no need 

of any Sony primes. Again YMMV but thaz my 


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I picked up on one of your requirements, namely fast focusing and excellent tracking. I'm afraid that won't be an option for the A7II. If you have that with your other gear, you're better off keeping it.


Regarding the f4 lenses, they have optical defects that are not common in lenses at that price point. That goes especially for the Zeiss-branded lenses, which perform like kitlenses at pro prices. Whether you're happy with that is a matter of personal preference.

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