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Monday, 12 January 2015


Regarding teleconvertors, absolutely agree. I don't know of a motorsports pro that shoots with Canon gear that does not have the Canon Extender EF 1.4X II (or now, III). For racing photography, an essential tool, where you can never have enough reach. On good zooms like the 70-200/2.8 and the fast big glass, attaching it only results in a 1-stop loss of speed, but no degradation in optical quality. Us motorsports guys would be lost without it.

The Canon 2X extender, OTOH, is another beast. A number of my motorsports buddies refer to that as "the patented lens softener".

What ... no shift lenses?!

Just kidding, obviously. But I will happily order both the 28mm/f2 and 21mm converter as soon as they are available, as I'm presently using the E-mount 28mm/f2.8 pancake on my A7R in APS-C mode as my carry camera and I'd like something with a bit higher IQ and a bit wider focal length. Plus, I hate throwing away perfectly good pixels!

Sony has a history with those bayonet mount converters. I have the original 16mm E-mount lens and matched fisheye adapter. Lots of fun to use! One minor drawback is that the EXIF information is not updated to include the adapter info ... no electrical contacts between the two pieces.

I'm watching keenly what Sony's doing, since the A7II seems like the closest thing to a "full frame" camera for me. Seeing these new and seemingly not that petite lenses, I thought about the Pentax FA Limited lenses that are compact, reasonably bright and cover a full 135 sized frame. I'm just sayin'.

Anyway, I'm not getting an itch in my wallet, requisite lenses or not, until Sony gets with the program and offers variable aspect ratios. Just as long as there's a 4:3 or 5:4 alternative to the native 3:2.

I don't understand how the converters will work. Saying that they are bayonet-mount made me think that they've be rings that are mounted between the body and the 28mm lens. But in the picture, they look like complete free-standing pieces of glass. Where do they fit relative to the body and the prime 28mm lens?

[They go on to the end of the lens. --Mike]

I have to believe that whoever came up with the FE lineup was not involved with the APS-C E-mount rollout. There seemed (and still seems) to be no strategy behind the latter, while the former is pretty reasonable. Compact 35 & fast 55 along with f/4 zooms to start, then these newer lenses. I still don't see a portrait prime (same problem that plagues the APS-C lineup). Some might be happy with the 90/2.8 for that purpose.

I like the looks of the 28/2 for my newly acquired A6000. When I shot the 7D & A700, the old Minolta 28/2 was my favorite lens. I use a 35/1.8 on Nikon now, and 50ish just isn't the same as 40ish. I know Nikon also sells a full frame 28/2.8, but for some reason, I'm more interested in such a lens for the compact ILC. My biggest reservation is that the FE system is becoming pretty affordable and attractive, and I'm not sure I want to spend much more money on APS-C (I bought the A6000 to make use of lenses that have been collecting dust since I gave up on trying to enjoy my NEX-5).

Where is the f:2/50mm?

As an a7 owner I am somewhat surprised you are not more negative about the lens line. I find it pretty pathetic. Two of these (the 35 and 90) are just too large to tempt me. I would just as soon use my full frame SLR.

It's a good thing I am happy using my legacy lenses. The 40mm Summicron makes a great walk-around lens for the sort of slow paced work I do. But my working pace is pretty atypical I would guess.

Its good that Sony are filling out the lineup. The 28mm + convertor looks interesting, but really quite large compared to my little Fuji 14mm 2.8. This lens is just sublime. Optically.

It is good to see the lenses coming out. What I think it is still lacking is an affordable FE 35mm lens. The Sony ones are expensive: Zeiss Sonnar 35 f2.8, and now the new 35 f1.4. Plus the MF Zeiss Loxia 35 f2.

The logic of the sony product managers eludes me. One of the main points of a mirrorless camera is its compact size and low weight. If you do not have to build an extensive retrofocus design to make room for the mirror you can build wide angle lenses fairly small due to their short focal length. Just compare a Zeiss 21mm ZF lens for Nikon to a Zeiss Bigon 21 ZM lens.
True, the A7 sensors do not support true, non-retrofocus 21mm lenses as they cannot handle the low angle raws.
What one would wish for then are slight retrofocus lenses optimized for the mirror less design. These could be small. Yet the 28mm plus 21mm adapter is a monster! Huge, bulky, heavy. No option for me.
I guess I will have to pray that the Zeiss product managers finally come to their senses and do not launch another 35mm FE lens after the current three (!) but finally come up with excellent, compact wide-angle lenses in the loxia line.

My 20mm or 28mm Nikkors seem smaller than Sony's 28, or their adapter. I don't understand making smaller full frame bodies with large/average sized lenses.

Converters do have a mixed history, even dedicated ones. I remember that Rollei Mutars got mixed reviews. I did have some experience with a 3.5f with the 1.5x Mutar and it seemed just fine to me. Maybe I'm not picky enough.
Converters present some interesting advantages. First they preserve the main lens' maximum aperture. They also present a cost benefit.
You could buy a Fuji X100T with both converters and still be in for less than two grand. No doubt the glass would be up to snuff.
That would make a nice little vacation package.

I have good experiences with the APS-C version of bayonet-mount converters. There was a bad reputation of the aftermarket add on converters, but when I learned that sony specifically desing their ones to the 16mm lens I gave a try, so I bought first the fisheye version. The results were surprisingly good and the whole setup was small enough on my nex camera, so it has became my favorite close focus wide angle lens. Some photos with it: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fiberstrobe/sets/72157633009306722/
I expect even higher quality for the full-frame brother. It's anyway cool thing to do some experiments with such converters. I've learned recently that it fits to the 30mm macro and converts it to wide angle lens with extreme macro capabilities. I shot some photos with this set-up, and I think it would be difficult to reproduce the effect with other lenses:
So it's a very cool apprach from sony in my opinion.

This is not going to attract photographers. They are all way to big.

@Bill Mitchell: It's f1.8 and 55mm and was a launch lens for the FE line. Unless you are talking about that Zeiss 50/2 that Zeiss has delayed shipping, that's not a Sony/Zeiss lens and is due to arrive shortly.

As to the 28/2 and it's converters, Sony is copying what they did with the 16/2.8 for E mount (which had a similar pair of converters, one 0.66x and a fisheye) just with a more practical base focal length (I'd rather have a 28 than a 24mm-e)

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