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Steen Nissen

Midrange lens For Sony full frame

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Hi all.

I am very close to upgrade to Sony A7R IV, comming from Nikon D7200. This will be my first full frame camera.

Lenses I have used on my Nikon is Tokina 10-17, and 105 mm macro. I am quite sure I will be using Canon 8-15, and Sony 90 mm macro on the A7.

I have an Orca trip to Norway coming up next fall ( by then I will have upgraded), and I think the 8-15 will be too wide for that.

I think the Sony 16-35 will be good for the Orcas ( and other stuff). I also considered using a 28mm and WWL, but I am very good at scratching my domeport, and would hate to scratch the WWL.

If I choose to go with the 16-35, should I choose the f2.8 over the less expensive f4 ? 

Any suggestions?

 

 

 

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My suggestions are general as I only have experience with Nikon FF and not Sony.  I have used D810 and D850 underwater for about 5 years now.   My comments are about the focal lengths and related accessories and should be applicable to Sony as much as Nikon.

On the D810 or D850, I have tried the 60 and 105mm macro lenses and the 16-35 vr wide angle.  Each macro lens has a dedicated port.  The 16-35 goes behind a big (230mm -it's perhaps larger than you think) dome port and a 90mm extension.   Some comments on each:

1. 60 macro - on FX it is simply too short.  Do not bother with a macro in this focal range as you will be right on top of any subjects to the extent you can hardly light it.

2. 105 macro - on FX it's near ideal, though I find myself cropping a lot because I can't always get close enough.  I tried it with a 1.4 teleconverter, and while I was finally satisfied with the working distance, I thought the TC robbed a bit too much sharpness.   I would be dissatisfied shooting a 90mm with the reduced working distance.

3. 16-35 vr - it needs two things to be good.  A big dome, and a Sea and Sea Internal Correction (ICL) lens to 'fix the corners'.  By big dome I mean 230mm, or even 240mm.  The S&S ICL is designed to work with 230/240mm domes and comes in 77 and 82 mm sizes.  It costs $400.   I shot the 16-35 for 4 years without the ICL, and I was always disappoint with the corners - until I got the ICL.  HUGE difference, and I will not shoot the wide angle without it anymore.   Note: I use a 90mm extension, but I've seen older recommendations for a 70mm extension.  I cannot say which is better, but the 70mm recommendation was earlier than the 90, so I assume an improvement.

I don't have an F2.8 choice, but I can't say I miss it any.   I always stop down for decent corners on wide angle (DOF on macro, edge quality on wide), and a typical setting is 1/160th at F8.   Used to be F11 or more until I got the ICL, and now I can shoot at F5.6 in most cases and still have decent corners.

I am not much of a wide angle photographer, though I'm learning.  The 16-35 is very often too wide for me, and I find myself setting it t 35mm and getting right on top of a small subject, then cropping a lot.  Going even wider would generally just cause me more issues, but then I'm not much of a wide angle guy, and it may be partly the type of dive locations I favor.

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Hi Steen

Like Craig, I've no experience for the Sony but have used both the Nikon DX and FX.

I agree with Craig's points 1-3. Don't bother with the 60mm on FX; 105mm is the way to go. 16-35 definitely needs a BIG dome (and Craig is being conservative in saying the 230 is perhaps bigger than you think. It's huge). I can't comment on the S&S ICL but all I read is that is the way to go with the 16-35.

f2.8 or f4? I can't see any advantage in having the faster lens underwater. You're going to be stopping it down anyway for the soft edges issue. If you need the speed topside, that's something else.

Enjoy the new gear! And the orca trip. Very cool. In all senses :rolleyes:

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Thank you for your fast reply. I didn't know about the S&S ICL, but having read in to it, it seems like the way to go.

 

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I just stepped up to the a7r4 (from m43).

 

 I got the 28mm lens and WWL-1 for wide angle. I think the WWL is smaller than the dome you’d need for a 16-35. The kit lens with the WACP is the ultimate solution, but I’m not ready to spend that much money yet, and I already had the WWL.

 

Also, 90mm may not be long enough for other cameras, but the a7r4 gives you so many MP that you can crop a lot more than you could with, for example, a D850. And, you can shoot it in crop mode to turn that 90mm lens into a 135 and still get 26MP images.

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Similar to you I just upgraded to my first FF.  I went with the Panasonic S1 rather than the sony though.  I just did my first dive using the Cannon 8-15 fisheye (using an adaptor).  I thought it was great for stills, but it was too wide for video as it requires you to be extremely close to the subject which is tough for moving ones.  I am similarly thinking of going with a 16-35 lens for video though I am not happy that it requires a different dome from my fisheye.  Interested to hear how you fare if you go with one.

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On 12/21/2019 at 11:44 AM, TimG said:

f2.8 or f4? I can't see any advantage in having the faster lens underwater. You're going to be stopping it down anyway for the soft edges issue. If you need the speed topside, that's something else.

 

I had one other thought on this. As Tim alluded to, if you would also use the lens out of the water, then the 2.8 is likely to be a better choice (if it's in your budget). But, even if you are going to only use it in the water, the 16-35 2.8 G Master is meant to be better quality glass than the f/4 ZA version. So, you might see SOME improvement in image quality using the GM, even though it's likely to be stopped down.

 

I was shooting m43 before and I never invested in good lenses because I knew that long-term I would eventually change to full frame. Now that I'm into a FF camera, my philosophy is to not spend money on anything except the best of whatever I'm buying. I.e. in this case, I would get the G Master over the ZA. Now that I'm on my long-term platform, I consider the lenses to be a long-term investment, so it makes sense (to me, for me) to not spend on something that is less than the best just to save some bucks.

 

@phxazcraig: Do we know each other? LOL I just noticed your Interests tag line. I am also (<-- a presumption there) an IBA member (and a self-employed IT consultant). Though I sold my BMW a few years back and use a KTM 1290 SA for long distance now.

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23 minutes ago, stuartv said:

@phxazcraig: Do we know each other? LOL I just noticed your Interests tag line. I am also (<-- a presumption there) an IBA member (and a self-employed IT consultant). Though I sold my BMW a few years back and use a KTM 1290 SA for long distance now.

I've had my own IT consulting business for 20 years now.  Amazing it's lasted that long as I'm primarily Novell/Micro Focus oriented.  I've not had a non-BMW motorcycle since my Kawasaki Z1 got stolen in 1975.   I went through several beemers before ending with a 1985 K100rs purchased new in Germany and shipped back.  Had that bike until sold in 2015.  Bought the K1300s in 2014, and I have 24,000 miles on it now.  Don't get to tour on it like the old days, partly due to new girlfriend not so into it.   Nowadays my focus is on underwater photography.  Wish I could ride to dive sites on the bike!

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On 12/26/2019 at 12:37 AM, Steen Nissen said:

Thank you for your fast reply. I didn't know about the S&S ICL, but having read in to it, it seems like the way to go.

It's a must.   Night and day improvement, and it seems a LOT better than '2 stops better'.   I'll never shoot the 16-35 underwater without it again.

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