The Right Decision

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Andrew

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So today is the first day with the A7 iii and I can happily say that I made the right decision to switch, a few points that stand out for me compared to the Canon 5D Mark III.

  • Lightweight
  • Compact in comparison
  • Auto-Focus (breadth)
  • Eye-AF (This is a game changer for me, made my life just easier)
  • Tilting screen, made me go low on some shots which I perhaps wouldn't have made before
  • 500 Pictures and 2 Videos around 3 minutes long, 55% battery remaining!

It has raised the question on my next lens purchase (don't we all, I think the saying is you always need one more lens than you already have).

Ultrawide
Although the 24mm focal length was wide, I will need ultra wide to get shots in when close up, however probably won't be a prime and something with a range up to 24mm

Zoom
This will be hard, think from 70 or 100mm upwards to 300 or 400mm.
The problem is do I buy something compact to be able to take with me, or do I buy something that comes out only on occasions and therefore weight and size wont matter.

Portrait
I really do like Bokeh on portraits so will be looking for a prime lens. I am not keen on 24mm, 35mm or 50mm (I have many Lightroom shots around 44mm) so a 45mm is something I may buy, probably a Samyang (Good reviews on this and cheap, although no seal around the lens).

I haven't tried the "classic" 85mm and can see many options for Sony, Sigma.

Macro
Big sucker for macro photography, any of the above fit in line with this style of photography? I wouldn't want a dedicated Macro lens but something 2 for the price of 1!
 
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Andrew

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I should add context to Portrait, although 85mm is the classic lens, I am not a professional portrait photographer so I am never looking for pure isolation in the subject and actually like some context around my subjects so when I look back I get a feel for what’s going on, hence the 45mm works for me.
 

J.Duffy

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So the lenses I have for my Sony a7riii are the following:

Sigma 100-400mm
Tamron 28-200mm
Tamron 20mm- this lens cost $250 has a minimums focusing distance of 4.3 inches with 1:2 macro reproduction rate. It's a fun lens.
Sony 90mm macro 1:1 reproduction rate
Laowa 100mm 2x macro 2:1 reproduction rate

I mainly use the Tamron 28-200mm
I haven't really used the 20mm very much but when I do, it's fun. It does have very heavy distortion, but it can be fixed in lightroom.
I love macro and probably use the Loawa more than the Sony, but mainly because it can go up to 2x magnification. I've thought about selling my Sony 90 macro briefly and then swiftly smacked myself in the face!

Besides the Sony 90mm, most of my lenses are budget friendly and don't regret any of the purchases. I really want the Sony 16-35 f2.8 but I'll never have that kind of cash for just a hobby so I might try and find a good deal on the Sony 16-35 f4.
 
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J.Duffy

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Forgot to mention, I'm glad your happy with your upgrade! I love the battery life of these cameras.
 

Boojum

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Rock and roll, baby! Sony swings. I'm really glad that you are having fun with your gear. Sony has designed and built a good solution to the "how do I get a good photo?" problem.

For great bokeh portraits take a look at the old LTM RF lenses which can easily be adapted to Sony. The Russian Jupiters are good, copies of pre-WW II Zeiss lenses, and give good, soft and flattering portraits. There are a lot of really good old LTM RF lenses that can be had for ~$150. The old Canon and Pentax lenses were also very good. YouTube has a lot of videos about these lenses usually in conjunction with Leicas but the Leica > Sony adapter is only US$10 or US$20 dollars and can be used to mount them all. For sharp and crisp color use what is current, for soft and muted the old less color corrected and coated lenses are great. NB, these are all manual focus lenses. Turn on the highlighting focus feature for help on that.
 
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Clix Pix

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I am a firm believer in using lenses which are made by the same manufacturer which developed the camera body. Unfortunately for my bank account I tend not to be all that budget-minded, and tend to go for the best lens that I can afford in any category.......

This is what I have and use in the categories you mentioned:

Ultrawide: Sony 12-24 f/2.8 A really stellar lens! Also I have the small and light 20mm f/1.8 prime. It's an interesting, fun and versatile lens.

Zoom: 100-400mm: one of the two lenses that I use the most -- a very versatile lens, and while not exactly small, is manageable in terms of weight and I do use it as a walk-around lens. I also have the 200-600mm, but this is a lens that for me, really needs to be on the tripod, it's just too awkward and heavy as a carry-around lens.

Portrait: I don't really do portraits but I have the excellent 85mm f/1.8 prime lens, and it is surprisingly versatile. In a pinch the 90mm macro could also be used as a portrait lens, for that matter. The wonderful 135mm f/1.8 also would be a terrific portrait lens, too. IMHO 45mm or 50mm are really too short for formal "classic" head-and-shoulders portraiture, but I know sometimes people do use them -- especially as you mentioned, for environmental portraits with the subject placed in a setting which is visible around him or her. I have the 50mm f/1.2 -- talk about your gorgeous bokeh, this baby has it! -- but again I don't use it for portraits.

Macro: My real love, and the day I bought my A7R IV I bought the two Sony macro lenses: the 50mm f/2.8 and the absolutely wonderful 90mm f/2.8. The first year I had the camera that 90mm lens was hardly off it! Since that time I have added a couple of Voigtlander macro lenses, too, as well as the Sony 100 STF f/2.8, which although not really a macro lens per se, does really well with closeups.

In answer to the question about whether or not some lenses which are not macro would still work well, at least at a 2:1 ratio (as opposed to a true macro lens' 1:1 ratio) I have been able to focus pretty closely with my 50mm f/1.2. The 20mm f/1.8 also focuses pretty closely, too.

Of course one can always add an extension tube or two to any regular lens to make it focus more closely, or can add a closeup filter or two on the front of the lens to achieve the same goal: the "poor man's macro," so to speak.

Sony does offer options in most lens focal lengths and categories, and as has been mentioned, third-party manufacturers do as well, so there's going to be something out there for you, your needs and desires, and your budget.
 

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