Author Topic: What fast FE 50mm / 85mm  (Read 2628 times)

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Offline Simon [aka springtide]

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What fast FE 50mm / 85mm
« on: December 14, 2016, 07:19:27 PM »
Haven't posted in years, but here goes..

So after selling up my a900 and moving to a NEX7, I find myself with an a7

Now I don't need a lot.of glass, but would like a decent fast 50 and 85.

The cheap FE 50f1.8 seems to get poor reviews, mostly with AF.
The FE 55f1.8 seems ideal, and is still affordable.
The FE 50f1.4 would be my choice, but the Sony is too expensive!

So it's got me thinking, EA4 route, or maybe better the Sigma adapter.

85mm is more problematic, unless you have the sigma adapter.

Anyone with any views?
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Offline AScot

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Re: What fast FE 50mm / 85mm
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2016, 09:50:15 PM »
I have the A7 and it is very good. I went with the LA-EA4 and find it is great with most of my Minolta and Sony lenses. The only problem I encountered was with my Minolta x1.4 and x2 TCs on the 200mm and 300mm lenses (both white G lenses). I lost AF with the TCs and had manual only. The lenses themselves were fine. On the A7 all my A mount lenses AF a little faster, I think!, but cannot prove. Using DMF (Direct Manual Focus) and focus peaking, they work great. The A7II or A7RII are, I am sure, even better, but I cannot justify the high prices.

For the A7 I only have the Sony T* FE 24-70mm f4 ZA OSS and the redundant Sony FE 28-70 OSS kit lens which I got for free and is surprisingly good. I have read that the FE 55 f1.8 is very sharp. The FE 50mm f1.4 is Great, but more than double the price of the 55mm. I would buy the 55mm. Here is a review of both lenses compared. Here. I am more than happy using the Sony 50mm f1.4 A Mount with the LA-EA4. I cannot comment on the Sigma adapter other than to say that I would never buy Sigma.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2016, 09:52:48 PM by AScot »
Sony A7, A850, A77, A700 || Sony>> 70-300G, 28-75 f2.8 SAM, 16-80CZ, 50 f1.4, FE 28-70 OSS, FE 24-70CZ f4 OSS, LA-EA4 || Minolta>> 300 f4 G HS, 200 f2.8 G HS, 100 f2.8 (D) Macro, 50 f1.7, 28 f2.8, 28-135 f4-4.5, 70-210 f4, 500 f8 Reflex, TC x 1.4 HS, TC x 2 HS. || Sigma 21-35 f3.5-4.2. || Tamron SP 24-135.

Offline Simon [aka springtide]

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Re: What fast FE 50mm / 85mm
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2016, 10:34:39 PM »
Thanks AScot.

I guess the pull towards the Sigma 50/1.4 is how good it was in A mount.. it was much better than the same Sony, and comparable to the Zeiss in sharpness wide open (although colour not as neutral)
There are two things that make me pause:-
* AF Speed and Noise (noise an issue for video)
* Size (filter was 77mm, so maybe a bit going on the tiny A7)

Hmmm.. but cost between Zeiss 50/1.8 and Sigma 50/1.4 + Sigma adapter are similar.

And there is the fact Canon lenses are very much easier to get hold of.. hmmmm
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Offline chappo1

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Re: What fast FE 50mm / 85mm
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2016, 09:45:43 PM »
Since you mention Canon Simon,
I have a friend who is a long time Canon shooter (mostly landscapes/seascapes) who has moved to an A7RII and bought the e mount Zeiss 35mm and 85 and uses in manual mode.
Probably not relevant if you want for video but you may want to look at the Zeiss offerings...john
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Offline Simon [aka springtide]

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Re: What fast FE 50mm / 85mm
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2016, 01:21:02 PM »

Thanks Jon.

Well I have been around various loops in trying to come to a decision...  I think the biggest thing is the price of affordable FE Glass that are not compromised in some way.

I shall share what I have read as might be helpful to others in a similar situation.

Sigma Adaptor
Regarding the Sigma adaptor; there are mixed feelings on the Web about this.  I think generally for supported Sigma lenses it works well, but there are some issues. The lenses apparently changes the aperture to focus, so you can here the aperture clicking noises if shooting video. AF speed is OK, but slower than native lenses.  Some unsupported Canon lenses work well, others not at all.  A bit of a hit and miss.

Sony EA3/EA4 Adaptor
It occurred to me that most of the Sigma lenses that the Sigma adaptor supports, also come in A Mount. The EA3/EA4 adaptor supports all Sigma lenses, all Sony lenses, most Minolta lenses, all Tamron lenses, all Tokina lenses....
AF Speed on the EA3 is similar or a bit slower than native lenses, which sounds similar to the Sigma.  With the EA4 adaptor, you get improved PDAF so focusing is actually faster (more like a traditional DSLR).  The downside is that there are less A Mount lenses than Canon, but not all are supported anyway.  EA4 is a bit bulky on the A7, but if tht was an issue you could get the EA3.

I looked at the Zeiss branded FE glass (not Sony branded Zeiss), which although are cheaper in many cases compared to the Sony, they are still expensive.  They are also not as fast.
The cheapest I could get a 50/1.8 and 85/1.8 secondhand was £500 + £900 (£1400), and I really wanted 1.4s.

In looking at the various glass out there, there are no small 85/1.4s due to physics.  I also want to start using the camera more, meaning I want to carry it around more.

So I have come to a temporary solution until such a time I either win the lottery or FE lenses come down in price.  Seems like a backwards step, but I have bought.

*  LA-EA4 Adaptor £195
* Sony 50/1.4 £150
* Minolta 85/1.4 G £490

Total of £835 for f1.4 glass, considerably cheaper than FE 1.8.

And for when I want a point and shoot, I have bought a 16-50 APS-C pancake lens. I get it it's a FF camera and I'm attaching a cheapish kit lens, and I'm back down to 10MP when using it, but the point is, it's small and manageable... so hopefully will carry it more.

But I do find it funny how a few years ago I had an a900 with Sony Zeiss 85/1.4 glass, where as now the body has moved forward to Mirrorless, but the glass backwards to legacy Minolta glass :-)



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Offline Faldrax

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Re: What fast FE 50mm / 85mm
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2016, 01:39:17 PM »
The Minolta 84 f/1,4 G is a very nice lens - the only (minor) issue with it is that it is a screw drive lens, rather than SSM.

The Sony 50 f/1.4  I'm not so wowed by, but that may be because I find the 85 to be better FL for shots of my daughters and nieces at birthday parties, etc (when I need the fast aperture)- long enough that I am not too close, and it's those unposed shots that work so well as family memories.

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Offline AScot

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Re: What fast FE 50mm / 85mm
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2016, 10:24:05 PM »
So I have come to a temporary solution until such a time I either win the lottery or FE lenses come down in price.  Seems like a backwards step, but I have bought.

*  LA-EA4 Adaptor £195
* Sony 50/1.4 £150
* Minolta 85/1.4 G £490

Total of £835 for f1.4 glass, considerably cheaper than FE 1.8.

And for when I want a point and shoot, I have bought a 16-50 APS-C pancake lens. I get it it's a FF camera and I'm attaching a cheapish kit lens, and I'm back down to 10MP when using it, but the point is, it's small and manageable... so hopefully will carry it more.

But I do find it funny how a few years ago I had an a900 with Sony Zeiss 85/1.4 glass, where as now the body has moved forward to Mirrorless, but the glass backwards to legacy Minolta glass :-)

I think you have made the correct decision Simon, money wise at least. It was also my compromise as I could find no compelling reason to spend a lot of money for the latest and greatest technology. The LA-AE4 more or less turns the A7 into an advanced Full frame A77 or A99, complete with translucent mirrors. (No problems there, as far as I am concerned). The Sony 50mm f1.4 is a very sharp lens with few downsides, although I also have the Minolta 50mm f1.7, which is almost as good.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2016, 10:25:48 PM by AScot »
Sony A7, A850, A77, A700 || Sony>> 70-300G, 28-75 f2.8 SAM, 16-80CZ, 50 f1.4, FE 28-70 OSS, FE 24-70CZ f4 OSS, LA-EA4 || Minolta>> 300 f4 G HS, 200 f2.8 G HS, 100 f2.8 (D) Macro, 50 f1.7, 28 f2.8, 28-135 f4-4.5, 70-210 f4, 500 f8 Reflex, TC x 1.4 HS, TC x 2 HS. || Sigma 21-35 f3.5-4.2. || Tamron SP 24-135.

Offline chappo1

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Re: What fast FE 50mm / 85mm
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2016, 03:03:15 AM »
Simon, I was finding carrying the A99 with the 24-70 Zeiss (as a street scene camera) challenging so have an A6300 with the FE18200 for this purpose.
I have a Sony 50mm F1.4 (for the A99) when needed but have not used it much since the 24-70mm Zeiss is F2.8.

I will be interested to hear of your findings with your chosen combination as I was thinking along the lines of and A7 type with adaptor but ended up with the two body solution.....john
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Offline Frank [aka Wires]

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Re: What fast FE 50mm / 85mm
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2016, 04:42:23 PM »
Hi Simon

I have the A7Rii and use the Sigma MC-11 in Canon mount. I also have the Sigma 50 1.4 Art, Sigma 24-105 4 Art, Sigma 150-600 5-6.3 Sport and a Canon 17-40 4 along with a couple of FE lenses (28 f2 + adapter to make it a 21 2.8 & the 55 1.8 ) and the LA-EA4 for the couple of "A" mount lenses I kept back - because my son still has a 77ii.

You've obviously come across the 'issues' regarding focus with the MC-11 and the Sigma 50 1.4 Art - 'hunting' and the clicking of the opening/closing of the blades. This seems to only happen when the camera is in 'Manual' setting BUT doesn't happen if set fully open at 1.4 nor in A, S or P or Auto and the 'F' stop other than f1.4... It's the same with the 24-105 when using the camera set in Manual. However... this doesn't happen with the Canon lens in any of the settings. Can't say about this with the 150-600 as I've been using it wide open and manual focus with a 'cheap' gimbal head on a tripod most of the time.

You are probably as well to keep going with the glass you have and the adapter until Sigma bring out their range of FE glass... I think sometime in 2017. I myself am still dithering over whether to try a Canon (apologies to members) SLR body but can't decide which to go for... or to wait and see what the rumoured a9 FE will be like - although most likely well out of my price bracket - purportedly around the same price range of the DX 1 Mkii or the Nikon D5 - $6000 US/£5000 GBP :(
Frank (aka Wires)
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