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Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 macro on A7II

sony 50mm macro A7 A7II FE

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#1 Paul Kay

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 12:35 PM

When I searched I found it difficult to find any information on this lens for use underwater before buying it. Having now bought one and tried it, I thought it worth a short post. I dived in the Menai Strait yesterday (very good vis for the Strait at ~5m and 10 degrees C), first time out with an A7II in a Seacam housing with the 50 macro lens - using a Seaflash 150 manually for illumination.

 

The lens is a 'conventional' (extending) type design which is not as convenient as an internal focus type lens but retains its focal length 'better'. This does mean that a longer port has to be used to allow for its extension during focus. Its focus speed is also quite slow but I bought it for use in UK waters and mostly for benthic stuff so this isn't too much of a worry and in practice it was less problematic than it sounds. I had concerns about battery life with the power used to drive this lens too but found that an hour long, coolish dive didn't flatten it so this was unfounded.

 

Anyway, results. Despite using the rear screen only and there being slight current at times (we went in just before slack and got out just after - as is the way with the Strait) focus was very accurate indeed, even on small subjects. I didn't push it down to 1:1 but got close. Mid range was excellent too. Here's one shot worth posting of something I've never seen here before. An incredibly slippery butterfish caught by a velvet swimming crab. Its very crisp indeed at f/14. I look forward to shooting with this lens - its surprisingly light in weight but an excellent performer.

 

D0121669  Paul Kay.jpg


Paul Kay,Canon EOS5DII SEACAM c/w S45, 8-15, 24L,35L, 60/2.8 (+Ext12II) & 100/2.8 Macros - Sony A7II SEACAM 28/2 & 50/2.8 Macro - UK/Ireland Seacam Sales -see  marinewildlife


#2 Nicool

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 01:19 PM

Nice catch (to you & to the crab :-))


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#3 bobk3333

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 11:55 AM

When I searched I found it difficult to find any information on this lens for use underwater before buying it. Having now bought one and tried it, I thought it worth a short post. I dived in the Menai Strait yesterday (very good vis for the Strait at ~5m and 10 degrees C), first time out with an A7II in a Seacam housing with the 50 macro lens - using a Seaflash 150 manually for illumination.
 
The lens is a 'conventional' (extending) type design which is not as convenient as an internal focus type lens but retains its focal length 'better'. This does mean that a longer port has to be used to allow for its extension during focus. Its focus speed is also quite slow but I bought it for use in UK waters and mostly for benthic stuff so this isn't too much of a worry and in practice it was less problematic than it sounds. I had concerns about battery life with the power used to drive this lens too but found that an hour long, coolish dive didn't flatten it so this was unfounded.
 
Anyway, results. Despite using the rear screen only and there being slight current at times (we went in just before slack and got out just after - as is the way with the Strait) focus was very accurate indeed, even on small subjects. I didn't push it down to 1:1 but got close. Mid range was excellent too. Here's one shot worth posting of something I've never seen here before. An incredibly slippery butterfish caught by a velvet swimming crab. Its very crisp indeed at f/14. I look forward to shooting with this lens - its surprisingly light in weight but an excellent performer.
 
attachicon.gifD0121669 © Paul Kay.jpg

I really like the wider perspective on that versus the 90mm. Do you find you have to get so close with the 50mm that you are practically touching the subjects?

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Edited by bobk3333, 23 April 2017 - 12:00 PM.


#4 Paul Kay

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 11:46 AM

I really like the wider perspective on that versus the 90mm. Do you find you have to get so close with the 50mm that you are practically touching the subjects?

The working distance is certainly small and a conical port will work but only at very close distances because otherwise there will be vignetting (not an ideal solution with an 'extending' lens! So yes the lens is very close and lighting is a bit of a problem and somewhat 'overhead' at closer focus. But I like shorter focal length macro lenses in lower visibilities like here where I'm based in North Wales. The Menai is full of subject matter but 2m vis is quite common and anything over 3-4m vis is good. So a 50mm macro is simply more usable than a longer lens. Its like a lot of things, I see this lens as a lower visibility, slow moving subject lens. Eventually I'll try a 90mm which should be more useful in good vis and with moving subjects such as free swimming fish, but the 50 certainly has its place.


Paul Kay,Canon EOS5DII SEACAM c/w S45, 8-15, 24L,35L, 60/2.8 (+Ext12II) & 100/2.8 Macros - Sony A7II SEACAM 28/2 & 50/2.8 Macro - UK/Ireland Seacam Sales -see  marinewildlife