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Have I made a mistake with the 55mm 1.8?!


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Hi everyone

I recently sold all my Canon gear and ordered the Sony A7iii and the 55mm 1.8 prime. From what I have seen of this lens it looks fantastic and seemed the best option for the budget I had. After placing the order it hit me... I am stuck at 55mm with no other option for now!

I mainly shoot my son out on walks as well as landscapes and cinematic videos. I also do some paid weddings and video work (nothing booked for the rest of the year). So here is my dilemma...

Do I send back the 55 and put some more money down for the 24-105 f4 OR keep hold of the 55mm and work with it for the next few months while I save for the 24-105 and have both? Would there be much point in owning both?

Hope you guys can give me some input, the camera arrives tomorrow and the excitement has turned to a little worry!

Thanks

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I have the 55mm 1.8 and the 24-70mm 2.8. The 24-70/2.8 is the lens I use most often. There are mainly three situations where I use my 55/1.8: 1) when I want ultimate sharpness; 2) when I need a faster shutter speed in low light; and 3) when I don't want such a large lens hanging around my neck.

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It depends on what’s the source of income for your next lens. If you don’t use your day job money to buy your lenses and only invest in your photography earnings, then which lens will bring in the cash?    

Also, do you need a faster lens or an f4 suffices?  You know best your own preference  

For me personally 55 is dead sharp and a joy to keep.  I would never get the 24105 because it’s too slow for the work I do. 

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I've had the 1.8/55 for a couple of years and used it way more than anything else.

I got a 4/24-105 just as it came out. Every time I tried to use it I ended up switching back to a prime. Uninspiring, boring, and in the end a bit irritating being so big and slow. Sent it back after a couple of weeks.

You say "I am stuck at 55mm with no other option for now!" but that's a good thing. It simplifies your life by removing choices and trade-off considerations, ultimately reducing stress, and it encourages you to concentrate on being creative with the focal you've got.

If you really have to have another lens, consider a  telezoom. I've been using the 70-300 a lot lately and having a wonderful time. The white telezooms are by all accounts also tremendous. (I'm not big on wide angle.)

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  • 1 month later...

Dear friend,

You have two choices. It is up to you to decide. 

1) You stick with the 55mm f/1.8 and concentrate on getting everything right with one length. I promise you, it will not be easy. So many things to learn: Where to stand, how to frame, how to focus, how to make people behave the way you get your shots as you like them. Your camera can do exposure and focus if you set it up right but do you know how to set it up right? I warn you, the Sony menu system takes some time to get used to. Now, how are you planning to post-process your pictures? For what purpose? Do you have the software already, do you know how to get the best out of your shots? Once you start getting the idea, I promise you, you will totally fall in love with your 55mm...it is a magic lens.

2) You send your 55mm back and get the zoom. Now you can use the zoom to figure out the framing of your shots but you have one more thing to learn and adapt to. At f/4.0 it is fast enough for all your purposes. You will not miss anything wider than 24mm for a while. In the long end, 105mm is just right for portraits. I have many lenses. If I am going to shoot something I cannot plan ahead, I take the zoom. (two zooms, to be exact). I have a Canon body and the two f/2.8 zooms. The 24-70 f/2.8 is always the first choice. 
Yes, I also have the 55mm Zony f/1.8 for my A7III.  What a beautiful lens it is, but for all-around use, no match for a zoom.


My advice would be: Go with the zoom. 

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If I were you I would opt for the Zeiss 24-70 f4. It is light, fits perfectly on the A7, and covers quite a large set of situations. Do not be put off by some negative reviews about edge sharpness. I have it, and I also have almost all Batis lenses, so I know there is a difference. I real life, it is however almost inconsequential. I have heaps of very good results with the zoom, and it has that Zeiss color and pop.

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After having got the 7DIII, my Canon gets less attention.
I am impressed by the way I get full-open shots on the 55mm with the DoF exactly where I want.
Loving it.

Now as my relationship with this Sony is getting serious, I started to look for an all-around zoom to go along.
No, not another f/2.8, they ruin the idea why I got  'My Little Sony' in the first place.

I was impressed by the Sigma 24-105 test results but I do not want another adapter. As I understood, it only exists for Sony A-mount?
Basically, I am left with four choices:

  • I keep my Canon stuff and get the pictures I want with a decent success rate and keep the Sony with the 55mm prime.
  • Try to make the Sigma adapter co-operate with my Canon zooms and the 7DIII. It gets clumsy.
  • Spend more money and get the 24-70mm f/4.0
  • Spend even more money and get the 24-105mm f/4.0

Where I live, I cannot get my hands on the zooms unless I buy one. What opinions do you have, is the 30mm extra length worth the extra 500 dollars?
Anybody's got the Tamron 28-75mm?
 

Edited by martti_s
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5 hours ago, martti_s said:

After having got the 7DIII, my Canon gets less attention.
I am impressed by the way I get full-open shots on the 55mm with the DoF exactly where I want.
Loving it.

Now as my relationship with this Sony is getting serious, I started to look for an all-around zoom to go along.
No, not another f/2.8, they ruin the idea why I got  'My Little Sony' in the first place.

I was impressed by the Sigma 24-105 test results but I do not want another adapter. As I understood, it only exists for Sony A-mount?
Basically, I am left with four choices:

  • I keep my Canon stuff and get the pictures I want with a decent success rate and keep the Sony with the 55mm prime.
  • Try to make the Sigma adapter co-operate with my Canon zooms and the 7DIII. It gets clumsy.
  • Spend more money and get the 24-70mm f/4.0
  • Spend even more money and get the 24-105mm f/4.0

Where I live, I cannot get my hands on the zooms unless I buy one. What opinions do you have, is the 30mm extra length worth the extra 500 dollars?
Anybody's got the Tamron 28-75mm?
 

Hi. Not sure you meant the 7RIII instead of 7DIII :)  

do share what Canon lenses you have. If you have quite a few, it’s better to stick with either the metabones IV or sigma’s MC11. It’s a cheaper option. 

Or you might consider selling your entire Canon setup to fund other purchases. 

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16 minutes ago, martti_s said:

You are right, it is an Alpha 7 III.

Canon lenses I have: 16-35 f/4.0, 24-70 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8 II, 24 f/1.4 I, 35mm f/1.4 I, 40mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.2, 85mm f/1.2, Tamron 150-600 and a Tokina 17mm.
Nothing much to add except a macro.

Wow. 

I personally have tried the 50 f1.2 on the MBIV. The af is acceptable but I wasn’t impress with the sharpness. I used the sigma mc11 on the sigma 105 f1.4 art and I had issues with the af. I had to dismount and remount whenever I face an issue with the AF. But if the AF works, it’s pretty fast. Eye AF on those 2 lenses seems to be ok too...  not blazing fast but I didn’t expect it to be anyway...  

so if your question is to either get the 24-70 or the 24-105 both f4...  I think the 105 is a better glass. In terms of its sharpness and versatility. 

But if I was in your shoes, I’d rent the mc11 and the mbiv and have a field day or days just testing every of my Canon lenses and see how comfortable I’d be before getting a new piece of glass. 

Brian Smith has an excellent write up on which Canon lenses works well for which adaptor. You might wanna check that out. 

Hope it helps. 

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I was a Nikon shooter from 1985 to 1999 when I went 100% Kodak/Canon digital with my photography business in San Francisco. In 2013, I sold all my Canon gear but by Canon EF 24-105 f4 and bought an A7R with a Sony 55mm f1.8. I was shocked and amazed at the quality of 36MP images sharp corner to corner. The Canon 24-105 just didn't cut it with A7R, especially with the added adapter. It's sold and now I use my Sony FE 24-70mm f4 on my A7R2 more than any other lens as it offers high quality images from about 35mm to 70mm with little to no issues. ALL zoom lenses suffer somewhere in their range and the wide end of the Sony 24-70 is a bit soft on the edges at 24 mm, with some CA and fringing, but not killer soft for a group portrait at a wedding or event. If you are selling large format prints of groups, then a fixed length lens is always going to be the better choice. I sold the 55mm because, though I loved the image quality and shallow DOF, I needed versatility at the time. I regret selling it every time I shoot a portrait. Keep it and save up for the 24-105 or get the 24-70 f2.8. I have also shot several corporate videos with my A7R2 and the 24-70 f4 and find the zoom range and follow focus great for interviews, b-roll and landscape action.

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No mistake at all! The FE 55 f1.8 is a very good lens for street, portrait, landscape ! Very sharp, not heavy or big. 

Just give it a try, and I bet you will love it. 

It is so much more fun with prime lenses that are relatively small and light to walk around! 

 

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I set aside my entire Nikon system and now only use Sony.

The favorite is my A7s ( first generation - smallest) and the 55mm 1.8.   It is so sharp wide open,  with great bokeh  that nearly every shot seems special, and better yet at night.

No zoom can duplicate what this lens can do.   I agree with others that it simplifies your decisions by having a fix FL.   I have added to it the 28mm 2.0  and 85mm 1.8,  and carry all three with me on trips.   The 28 and 85 are not quite as sharp, but very good - better than any zoom, and have those large apertures as well.

If you want a zoom send it all back and get the RX10M3 or new IV.   Great camera, handles perfectly, and you will never need to buy another lens.   the ultimate in flexibility.  But 2.4 is not 1.8 and it is a 1' sensor not full frame, but the results are great -- but the A7s and 55 1.8 makes the best photos.

Choices, choices.

 

 

 

 

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I'm mostly a nature photographer, and I use the 55 1.8 primarily on my A6300 and love it!  I often carry this combo inside a bino case while on my trail treks.   Keep that 55!  It's an exceptional lens when that focal length is needed.  I own several Zeiss lenses and my current favorite is the Contax Carl Zeiss 35-70 f3.4, used with a Metabones adapter and my A7R II.  

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I have had the lens you are thinking about; as everybody tells you, it is a. Great lens. BUT......

I hardly ever used it. My mid range zoom got most use on my A7R, even though it wasn’t as capable. The 35-70 was next most used.

When the A7Riii came out, and A7Rii came onto the 2nd hand market, and the new 24-105 zoom came out, I sold the A7R, the 55mm prime and the 35-70 zoom and bought a A7ii and the 24-105 zoom. It lives on my camera; it is a fabulous lens, much better than the 35-70 in image quality. I also have the 2.8 35mm when it gets dark.

I also have the 16-35 f4 zoom and the 10-18 f4 APC zoom(which covers useful range full frame). Even so, the 24-105 gets used most and I don’t miss the wide apertures 55mm lens at all.

I hope this helps.

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I have both these lenses. I got the 55 because I was very early into the system and it was one of their first lenses and remains one of the best. However I did buy the 24-105 because I wanted to reduce my travel bag to 2 lenses. Don't believe anyone that says there's anything wrong with this lens, it's absolute dynamite for a zoom and rarely off my A7R3. 

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The 55mm lens is a great lens, but it would not really be suffiicient for me if it were my only lens. I need something wider. I have just been for a 6 weeks trip to Europe and I took three lenses - my Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2, my Minolta 135mm f/2.8 and my Minolta 200mm F/2.8. Taking the 200mm was really a mistake, as I hardly used it, even though it is a great lens. I use the Batis 80% of the time and the 135mm for most of the rest of the time.

With the 25mm on my A7R2 I can obtain the equivalent of zoom by cropping.

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