If you own any of the E-series Sony digital cameras, stop looking around: this is your ultra-wide zoom. It''s got the Zeiss pop, the tack sharpness, and great bokeh. Stopped down, and pushed to the super-wide portion of the zoom the depth of field goes on forever. On the...
If you own any of the E-series Sony digital cameras, stop looking around: this is your ultra-wide zoom. It''s got the Zeiss pop, the tack sharpness, and great bokeh. Stopped down, and pushed to the super-wide portion of the zoom the depth of field goes on forever. On the full frame it covers every wide angle option, if with the normal amount of distortion typical of a ultra-wide zoom. No pain, no gain gentle reader.
If you own the APSC series of Sony cameras, this is still a worthy walk about lens that goes from normal to fairly wide with the penalty of a one stop over the competition. Over a prime 1.4 it gets a whole lot more painful, at F 4 this is nobodies idea of a night shooter. The compromise here is that the lens is rather slow, and you quickly run out of options in the dark because the APSC series cameras get noisier quicker than their full-frame stablemates. Pumping up the ISO on the 6000 / Nex series cameras (or any of the SLTs series other than the full frame A99) is just not the same as doing the same on the full frames. Sorry kiddies, physics is physics and photons are photons, there''s no way around this. One stop can be the difference between a usable photo and something less so. Two stops, even more so.
Placed on a solid Tripod and used for its designed purpose, sweeping landscapes and architectural shots, this lens is just awesome. Jammed into a tight spot, you can zoom out and get shots that more "normal" wides just are unable to supply. You can get up close and personal with this lens and there hangs a tale. This means that cropping a marginal photo in post is not necessary, you can get it right in camera and without having to put life and limb in danger. This is a real world problem when things like barbwire and twisty roads power packed with motorcycles and zooming cars get in your way. It is also a real issue when working is super-tight environments where you subject is is in one place and a big honking obstruction like a wall or building is right next to it. I can not tell you how many images were possible only because of the reach of the lens.
This lens is one of my go-to lenses in my goody bag, there are almost no shoot where this little gem does not get placed on my full frame and the whole business get placed on a tripod. This is my weapon of choice when shooting landscapes and architectural shots, it gets more work than my 24-70 and spends more time on the camera than it''s bigger brother. Because it almost always is on a camera, on a tripod it creates more considered and well composed shots. Your mileage may vary from mine but if you have a full frame this lens not only belongs in your bag or backpack but deserves pride of place. On a APSC shooter it''s very worthy, if more limited, walk about option than the G series 2.8. It''s sharper, has better pop, and all that deliciousness that Zeiss brings to the table but it is a full stop slower and has no telephoto reach to speak of. As a "normal" lens for the APSC cameras, it''s a bust, get it''s purpose-built brother the 35mm 1.4 or 35mm 2.8 if you are looking for a "normal" in APSC format. For the smaller format the lens is a sold four stars, maybe even four and half, but there are too many compromises here to give it five stars on the NEX / 6000 series cameras, that is a bridge too far; it''s too slow, and lacks too little reach, any discussion of bokeh is a very mixed bag as the F 4 brings a bit too much depth of field to the game in even in full format. the bokeh is great, don''t get me wrong it''s typical Zeiss buttery, creamy goodness with just a touch of nervousness, but forget trying to erase either your foreground or background to nothingness, that is a job for the prime 1.4. This lens is in it''s element stopped down to an 8 or 11, even 5.8 is more than decent. Opened up, meh, it''s a little soft in the corners and still provides more depth of field than you probably want in most situations. In that it is a very standard super-wide with all the baggage that entails, the distortion that has to be fixed in post, the softness when fully open, serious weirdness in your shots when not absolutely level when at the widest part of the zoom. If you know about super-wides, you know the drill. If you love this type of lens this particular example is one of the best, and for Sony Full Frame Cameras-- it is the best, full stop; until Sony gets around to making a G Master 16-35 that clocks in at a 2.8.