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jimmy986

Street Lens for a7R II

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Hello, I'm a newbie to the Sony world. Just got a used a7r II and a 16-35 f/2.8. I got that lens for an all around wide angle for traveling but specifically for landscapes. I also do a lot of street photography both at home and when I am traveling. Do people find this lens too big for street. I am coming from fuji primes so this lens is much bigger than I am used to. I tend to want to be a little more inconspicuous. Any good recommendations?

My ultimate plan is to move completely to Sony. Right now, I still have a canon 7d mark II and long glass for wildlife. I think I will eventually move to the a9 as well. So long term plans for a good all around kit that will serve well for landscapes, street, and wildlife will be good. I am also looking to get more into portraiture within the next year or so. Any lenses that will double with multiple uses will be preferred to save cost and space.

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The 16-35 f/2.8 is pretty amazing lens! A very good start indeed, too big for the street but a marvel for (dark church) interiors.   I personally like the 55 f/1.8 zeiss, very hard to beat. Good for street, and landscape. I don't see macro on your wishlist, but a reasonable double for portraiture and macro is the fe90 f/2.8. For birding from a hide out I use the fe70-300, good enough for light days, and useful for macrowork as well. Even a portrait works well with this lens, but it cannot compete with an 85 Batis , but if you are looking for double usage... not too bad at all. Camera wise, unless you need the 20 frames/sec., I would go for the high res a7riii.  The a9 is for sports in my opinion.

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19 minutes ago, Lescatalpas said:

The 16-35 f/2.8 is pretty amazing lens! A very good start indeed, too big for the street but a marvel for (dark church) interiors.   I personally like the 55 f/1.8 zeiss, very hard to beat. Good for street, and landscape. I don't see macro on your wishlist, but a reasonable double for portraiture and macro is the fe90 f/2.8. For birding from a hide out I use the fe70-300, good enough for light days, and useful for macrowork as well. Even a portrait works well with this lens, but it cannot compete with an 85 Batis , but if you are looking for double usage... not too bad at all. Camera wise, unless you need the 20 frames/sec., I would go for the high res a7riii.  The a9 is for sports in my opinion.

I didn't mention Macro but it is definitely something I want to get into. 

As far as the 50 goes, I typically shot wit the 23mm on the Fuji so 50 on the full frame would still be a little longer than I used before. I'm not stuck to the 35mm focal length for street though.

The a9 would be for birds, which I think has similar needs to sports. The birds are far faster and less predictable in my opinion than a football player. The a7R II was purchased for the high resolution. I just bought that so I won't be trading it in any time. The sensor is the same so moving up to the a7r III wouldn't get me any better image quality.

For portraits, the the 90mm macro is an option. It just depends if I decide to get into macro. If not, the batis is certainly a good option. And stunning image quality I'm told. BUT, is it worth double the price of the Sony FE 1.8? I'm guessing the answer is yes.

Edited by jimmy986

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I agree with Lescatalpas about the 1.8/55. It's very good and versatile. I think it's also pretty good for portraits.

7RM3 does 10 fps with excellent auto-focus. Relative to that, A9 has lower resolution, 20 fps and better silent shutter. Of these differences resolution is arguably most important for birds because keeping them in frame is hard and more megapixels allows you to crop more. Hence 7RM3 may be the better camera for photographing birds.

Mark Galer has videos explaining that you can do good close-up shots with the telezooms, which Lescatalpas has also demonstrated with the 70-300. Galer explains that the telezooms may be preferable because the macros are relatively slow to focus, making them less versatile. The extra magnification of a true macro lens comes with DOF horror.

Sony 1.8/85 also has THE BUTTON, which is useful. Stuff I read suggest the Zeiss isn't much better in IQ, if at all.

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11 minutes ago, thefsb said:

I agree with Lescatalpas about the 1.8/55. It's very good and versatile. I think it's also pretty good for portraits.

7RM3 does 10 fps with excellent auto-focus. Relative to that, A9 has lower resolution, 20 fps and better silent shutter. Of these differences resolution is arguably most important for birds because keeping them in frame is hard and more megapixels allows you to crop more. Hence 7RM3 may be the better camera for photographing birds.

Mark Galer has videos explaining that you can do good close-up shots with the telezooms, which Lescatalpas has also demonstrated with the 70-300. Galer explains that the telezooms may be preferable because the macros are relatively slow to focus, making them less versatile. The extra magnification of a true macro lens comes with DOF horror.

Sony 1.8/85 also has THE BUTTON, which is useful. Stuff I read suggest the Zeiss isn't much better in IQ, if at all.

I guess that is a decision I'll have to make down the road. It's really the AF that makes me lean more towards the a9. While the a7R III is great, the a9 still seems to be better. I guess I'll have to play around and see if the resolution or the better af is more important.

In terms of the here and now, I think the street lens is my first concern. How about the 28 f/2 or the 35 f/2.8? The price on the 35 seems to be a bit high for a 2.8 35mm. If the 28 f/2 has good image quality and decent AF it might e a good fit. The price is good for something like street that isn't exactly a money maker. It is relatively small.

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I have the 2/28 and it's a good lens. IQ and focus are fine. And it's small and light, which I like. I don't use it much because I don't like wide angle. I use it when I need it.

It has its admirers but the only thing I find appealing about the 2.8/35 is its size. It's expensive for a lens with such heavy shading. And 35 mm is just not my thing. Too wide for everyday and not wide enough when you need a wide angle.

But if you like the perspective of a 28 mm for "the street lens" then get the Sony, for sure.

Edited by thefsb

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54 minutes ago, thefsb said:

I have the 2/28 and it's a good lens. IQ and focus are fine. And it's small and light, which I like. I don't use it much because I don't like wide angle. I use it when I need it.

It has its admirers but the only thing I find appealing about the 2.8/35 is its size. It's expensive for a lens with such heavy shading. And 35 mm is just not my thing. Too wide for everyday and not wide enough when you need a wide angle.

But if you like the perspective of a 28 mm for "the street lens" then get the Sony, for sure.

Maybe I will have to reconsider the 50mm. Is the image quality that much better on the 55mm versus the 50mm? For 4x the price, it's hard to see it offering much more for street shooting. But maybe going up would be worth it.

Edited by jimmy986

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Jimmy986, if you want the a9 for birding, consider this: when I spend a day in a hide-out (6 hours) I came back with over a thousand pics shooting with the a7riii at 10 fps. It took me more than 6 hours to make a selection of what is the best. When I go to a hide out now, I shoot at medium or low, or even single frame. And it still is a hell of a job choosing the keepers.  Can you imagine what kind of job you have coming home with some 2000 pics from the a9 at 20fps,  most of them nearly the same. For sports it's a different issue, as you have facial expressions, interaction etc. etc. I see the benefit there. Moreover, when you need to crop, and that is almost always the case with birds, you are far better of with the high res a7riii, or the ii , which you already have. But the a7riii has a battery that lasts you all day and the focussing has much improved over the ii. And for good measure, going for the iii instead of the a9, you got enough cash left for a decent extra lens.  Maybe the a7iii is an even better option if you don't care about the high res. Another lens in the pocket! 

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1 hour ago, Lescatalpas said:

Jimmy986, if you want the a9 for birding, consider this: when I spend a day in a hide-out (6 hours) I came back with over a thousand pics shooting with the a7riii at 10 fps. It took me more than 6 hours to make a selection of what is the best. When I go to a hide out now, I shoot at medium or low, or even single frame. And it still is a hell of a job choosing the keepers.  Can you imagine what kind of job you have coming home with some 2000 pics from the a9 at 20fps,  most of them nearly the same. For sports it's a different issue, as you have facial expressions, interaction etc. etc. I see the benefit there. Moreover, when you need to crop, and that is almost always the case with birds, you are far better of with the high res a7riii, or the ii , which you already have. But the a7riii has a battery that lasts you all day and the focussing has much improved over the ii. And for good measure, going for the iii instead of the a9, you got enough cash left for a decent extra lens.  Maybe the a7iii is an even better option if you don't care about the high res. Another lens in the pocket! 

I 100% agree with this. From what I had read previously, the a9 was out to be so far ahead in terms of AF than any other model. But that may have been outdated info with the a7r III being new. I am not worried about the 20 FPS. My current camera for birds is now the 7d mark II. It has 10 FPS and I generally am not using it at 10 FPS. It just isn't necessary if you study the birds and try and get a real sense of their habits and what not and are careful on when you click the shutter. I am a birdwatcher before I am a bird photographer so I really like to study them. I was just under the misunderstanding that the a7r III couldn't compete with the AF of the a9 but it seems like that difference is overblown now that I have looked more. Which make me very happy because I would be far happier with a camera with high resolution that can be a landscape, street, travel, wildlife camera. My set up before moving to Sony has been an X-T2 for landscapes, street, travel ,etc. The 7d mark II for wildlife, and then I have an IR converted x-pro 1. If I can could sell my canon and use that money to spend on wildlife glass for Sony that would be wonderful. Most of my bird photography is not BIF so I imagine the a7r II could work for that for now. If I build my Sony kit, I can sell my last Fuji lens that I keep just so my IR converted camera can still be used. I can sell the canon gear. And within a short period of time I can upgrade my a7r II to an R III and maybe convert the RII to IR. That would leave me with one system and 2 bodies as opposed to 2 system and 3 bodies that I had prior to a week ago. I know some people might not like the idea of converting the a7r II to IR but I really do use IR a lot and sell the prints fairly often, although there could be another option for that.

 

But I think you all may have convinced me to save the money on the a9 and go with the a7r III down the road. For now, thew street lens is my main concern.

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55/1.8 is very non threatening, and on an Rii even extreme crops are still good enough for social media resolution.

 

85mm prime might let you compose from a little further away, but its size prevents any stealth.

 

JCC  

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1 hour ago, JCC said:

55/1.8 is very non threatening, and on an Rii even extreme crops are still good enough for social media resolution.

 

85mm prime might let you compose from a little further away, but its size prevents any stealth.

 

JCC  

What do mean by "extreme crop" just to give me something to compare to? Is there something else I should consider stepping up to for street?

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I would recommend the 35mm f/2.8 for street photography. It is a small lens, so is not conspicuous, and is quite sharp. It complements the small size of the a7rii. I guess it depends on your style of shooting, but I think the FOV of the 35mm works better for street photography than the smaller FOV of the 58mm and the larger FOV of the 28mm.

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Your camera produces images roughly 8,000 pixels wide by 5300 tall, 42.5 mp.

Instagram is roughly 1080 by 1080 pixels,  1/36th the original resolution, so you can crop a photo down quite a bit depending on where it will be used.

 

JCC

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16 hours ago, jimmy986 said:

Maybe I will have to reconsider the 50mm. Is the image quality that much better on the 55mm versus the 50mm? For 4x the price, it's hard to see it offering much more for street shooting. But maybe going up would be worth it.

Agreed, the 1.8/55 is really very expensive. But it is extraordinarily sharp, at the level of Sigma Art and Zeiss Otus. Most lenses in this performance class cost more, some a lot more. Used properly on the 7RM2 or 3 it can do amazing things.

I have no experience with it but the 1.8/50 is by all accounts very good. The only consistent negative I read was that focus is a bit slow. I would probably have chosen this when I started in the Sony FF system if it were available then.

Lescatalpas has many pics that show the 55 off well. He consistently gets a nice smooth background blur, which I sometimes don't.

Edited by thefsb

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Wow, that is a lot of cropping. Definitely not an issue with that.

In terms of the 50 versus 55 it seems the question is do I want to spend $750 more. The 55 also seems to be a bit bigger than the 50 but probably not enough to make a huge difference. I suppose if I buy the 50 1.8 and find some things wrong with it I could sell it and upgrade and wouldn't really be out much money.

 

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10 minutes ago, jimmy986 said:

Wow, that is a lot of cropping. Definitely not an issue with that.

In terms of the 50 versus 55 it seems the question is do I want to spend $750 more. The 55 also seems to be a bit bigger than the 50 but probably not enough to make a huge difference. I suppose if I buy the 50 1.8 and find some things wrong with it I could sell it and upgrade and wouldn't really be out much money.

 

True, you can't lose too much on the 50 1.8. But the price difference is understandable if you consider things like sharpness (the 55 is still sharp wide open!), focussing; the 50 makes noise, the 55 is silent, focus speed, the 50 is slow, the 55 is fast; build quality. Have and feel them side by side and you will understand.  Like everything in life: you get what you pay for. 

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31 minutes ago, Lescatalpas said:

True, you can't lose too much on the 50 1.8. But the price difference is understandable if you consider things like sharpness (the 55 is still sharp wide open!), focussing; the 50 makes noise, the 55 is silent, focus speed, the 50 is slow, the 55 is fast; build quality. Have and feel them side by side and you will understand.  Like everything in life: you get what you pay for. 

It looks like I can find the 55 for just over $800 used. It sounds like you feel the 55mm is the better choice. And I am finally at a point where I don't have to sacrifice for price(within reason, the new 400mm 2.8 probably won't be coming to my house anytime soon). Do you think the 55mm is a good focal length for street? It is a little longer than I am used to using but that was mostly because my 35mm 1.4 from fuji was slower and louder to focus than the 23 f/2, which is exactly why you advise against the 500 1.8.

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1 hour ago, jimmy986 said:

It looks like I can find the 55 for just over $800 used. It sounds like you feel the 55mm is the better choice. And I am finally at a point where I don't have to sacrifice for price(within reason, the new 400mm 2.8 probably won't be coming to my house anytime soon). Do you think the 55mm is a good focal length for street? It is a little longer than I am used to using but that was mostly because my 35mm 1.4 from fuji was slower and louder to focus than the 23 f/2, which is exactly why you advise against the 500 1.8.

With your 35mm on the apsc sensor  Fuji you were about at par with the 55mm on full frame....(52.5 to be exact.) So 50 or 55 on your a7rii is similar to what you were used to on your Fuji. 

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On your camera the 55 is very interesting in another way.  

With your eye to the viewfinder, and both eyes open, the images are in near perfect size sync allowing you to shoot both eyes open easily.

 

JCC

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For street photos you would need a 25 batis or 35 2.8 zeiss, small and light. But to complete the kit a 55 and 85.
all these photos were taken 24 and 28:

 

Edited by robbot

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