Which is you? – 5 Great 50mm Prime Lenses for Sony Alpha Cameras

January 5th, 2017
Which is you? - 5 Great 50mm Prime Lenses for Sony Alpha Cameras

Kicking off the New Year, we look at 5 nifty-50mm prime lenses for 5 different types of shooters. Which one are you?

which-50mm-prime-lens_2

The 50mm prime is a great focal length for both the super35mm and full-frame 35mm formats. Fortunately for Sony Alpha users, with the ability to select crop mode in camera, you get the option of both.

Although this article takes into consideration the small form factor and usually budget-conscious aspects of a typical Sony Alpha shooter, this list could apply to anyone with an E mount camera, such as the FS5 and FS7.

I’ve categorized each lens choice into a stereotype (I’m fun like that). Do any of these resonate with you?

The Stream Crosser
Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA

sony-55mm-fe-mtf_2

Starting us off is the good old Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Lens (let’s just ignore the fact that this is 5mm longer than 50mm, shall we?).

It’s not the smallest lens in this list, but as far as lenses go it’s fairly compact, suiting your A7S or A7R quite nicely in both size and aesthetic.

sony-55mm-fe_1

The stream-crosser is both a video and photo shooter, and a choice that benefits from good auto focus. Some Alpha shooters may want auto focus for video-only use also.

We can see that this lens was mainly intended for stills in its incorporation of a fly-by-wire system, where the focus wheel has a dynamic action. The faster you turn the focus, the faster it focuses (the slower you turn… you get the picture). I find fly-by-wire very hard to use for video as you never quite know where you’re gonna land, making it difficult to execute precise focus changes.

However, if you cross the stream between photo and video often and perhaps don’t rack focus too much when operating, for example if you shoot a lot of talking heads, then this could be a good choice.

Honorable Mention

The Rokinon AF 50mm f/1.4 FE is the brand’s first venture into auto focus lensing. Known for their cost-effective manual-only optics, this fly-by-wire FE lens offers a cheaper alternative for those seeking a photo/video-friendly option.

The All-Manual-Man or Woman
ZEISS Loxia 50mm f/2 Planar T* Lens

zeiss-loxia-50mm_1-copy

The ZEISS Loxia is just such a fantastic pairing to the Sony Alpha cameras. I own the 35mm version and it never leaves my Sony A7R II body for casual photos.

Perfect in size for the Sony Alpha platform, it’s a completely manual lens, offering manual aperture and a nice big-action manual focus wheel.

The latter means you can get nice and precise focus racks for video, and the aperture wheel is de-clickable so you can live aperture-adjust if you wish and maintain smooth exposure transitions.

zeiss-loxia-50mm_3

Although slower than most on this list at F/2, it makes up for it in every other department. The 50mm Loxia lens is very well built and is also weather sealed, sporting the trademark blue gasket around the mount.

Honorable Mention

Rokinon 50mm T1.5 AS UMC Cine (not the APS-C version). Loads of people will already have this lens, as it offers a good, much more affordable alternative to the ZEISS Loxia. The Rokinon also has geared focus and iris wheel and is apparently T-stopped.

It misses the top spot for a few reasons, though, the biggest for me being that the E mount versions of these Cine lenses aren’t actually any smaller than the Canon/Nikon versions – Rokinon simply bolt on a permanent adaptor-sized end. You therefore may as well get the Canon version and use an adaptor to keep your future options open.

The Future Proofer
ZEISS Milvus 50mm f/1.4 EF (with Metabones or similar Adaptor)

zeiss-milvus-50mm_2

Speaking of keeping your options open, here is a non-native E mount lens making the list. It considerably bends the rules of this article, yes, but offers a very reasonable path to take when building your lens collection.

Your lens investment will always outgrow your camera body. That’s a fact. It’s natural, then, to consider lenses that offer you a whole host of options with future purchases, not just the camera you own at any given point.

zeiss-milvus-50mm_3

E mount by design is both utterly flexible and restrictive. Flexible in the fact that the flange distance is so short, that you can attach almost any lens onto your camera body with the right adapter. And restrictive from the point of view of the lens in that there’s very little (if no) other format an E mount lens will adapt with.

With this in mind, an adapted lens makes the list. And what better than one of the highest-performing lenses in its category. The ZEISS Milvus 50mm needs no introduction, with a premium build quality, manual focus, weather-sealing and stellar image performance. Shame there’s no manual aperture on the EF version.

Honorable Mention

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art with MC-11 adaptor. The Sigma Global Vision Line has taken the industry by storm, offering fantastic performance and affordability.

With the Sigma MC-11 adapter, it apparently makes Auto focus tolerable on Sony Alpha systems with their non-native lenses.

It will probably get nods from many over the ZEISS Milvus for its price, but it misses the mark for me on the basis of one feature – its short focus throw.

Primarily a stills lens, all ART primes have a much shorter focus throw than full manual alternatives, making it harder to operate for video.

The Premium User
Sony Planar T* FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA

sony-planar-t-50mm_2

Since we’ve already opened the door to non-native lenses, maybe the Otus should sit here too. But attempting to claw back some article integrity, let’s rein it back in to E-mount.

The Sony Planar T* FE 50mm f/1.4 ZA is Sony’s flagship E mount 50mm. Although considerably bigger (and a little faster) than the 55mm f/1.8, it comes with increased image performance and makes for a better video/photo hybrid.

sony-planar-t-50mm_3

A plus for video shooters is the manual aperture that can be de-clicked. It also has auto focus, so will work well as a premium option to a stream-crosser also.

The ring drive SSM focus system is supposedly improved for video, and “provides quick, quiet, and precise autofocus performance and also contributes to more natural, intuitive manual focus control”.

Honorable Mention

Either of the aforementioned ZEISS could sit here, but to save repeating I’ve pulled up a wild card. The Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Nocturnus 50mm f/0.95 II is as interesting as it is a mouthful. Exceptionally fast at f/0.95, you really only see this sort of max aperture on M4/3 systems where the sensor size and crop whittle it down to something average. This at Full Frame with the high ISO performance of the Alpha system could be the real deal.

The Nostalgic One
SLR Magic Cine 50mm f/1.1

slr-magic-50mm_2

There’s many a project where the clinical look where everything is sharp and straight just goes out of the window, and for those it’s great to have some vintage-look options.
This type of shooter could also be quite a budget-conscious one, as many of the lenses that sit in this category are considerably cheaper in price.

The SLR Magic Cine 50mm f/1.1 is fast, cheap and small. We reviewed it here, and after a few concerns about edge sharpness, SLR Magic tweaked the design prior to full release – receptive.

slr-magic_3

A little soft wide open and susceptible to flare, this lens fits the nostalgic bill nicely. The fact that it’s a native E mount also keeps it very small, much smaller in fact than any older vintage lens as those were designed for a mount that accommodates a mirror box, therefore requiring a large flange distance.

The SLR Magic Cine 50mm is fully manual, with geared focus and aperture rings. The latter is clickless.

Honorable Mention

There’s a plethora of suitable vintage lenses here. Again we break the native E mount rule to accommodate a larger range. As mentioned, all older lenses will be designed for 35mm film cameras that have a mirror box, so larger adapter are required to make up for the flange distance in Sony’s Alpha system.

Speaking from experience, the ZEISS 50mm f/1.7 Contax is a fantastic reliable vintage option. I picked up a version of one of these on eBay years ago for about $180. Great image performance for such an old lens, but has all those great quirky characteristics of a vintage prime.

So that’s my list of 50mm prime lenses for the Sony Alpha system. Of course it’s all subjective, so I’d love to know your thoughts and maybe your go-tos in either category. Let us know in the comments below!

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 Florian Lostix
Florian Lostix
MemberJanuary 5th, 2017

I’m the save at least 700 bucks and buy a Minolta 1.4 guy

 Ari Kirschenbaum
Ari Kirschenbaum
MemberJanuary 6th, 2017

I second Florian’s post. Get a minolta or how about a Takamura 50 for $50-100. None of the above is as thrifty and give nothing approaching the price difference in image quality bump. Lens snobbery needs to end. I’m over Zeiss. We have CP2s at work and after numerous tests against Canon, $500 Sony 18-105, Rokinon Cine DS…I concluded the zeiss pop is total myth. IN fact the Rokinon 85m beats the Zeiss in sharpness alone. The Sony cheapo 18-105 beat the Zeiss too.

Oscar Stegland
MemberJanuary 6th, 2017

Lol… CP.2’s are the worst glass you can get from zeiss, ever since they replaced the ZF.2 series with the Milvus lenses.

A lot of those original lenses don’t cost a whole lot more than $500 and they’re usually cheaper than Canon’s equivalent. I don’t know why you’re expecting them to outperform competing lenses that cost similarly?

The simple fact of the matter is that Zeiss have consistently for over 70 years put out some of the best lenses in the world. With the exception of Leica’s Summilux-C lenses, the Master Primes still reign supreme. You can be over Zeiss all you want, but that won’t negate that they quite possibly are the most important optics company throughout the ages.

Also, if you want to find the Zeiss pop, look up the video where Shane Hurlbut compares Zeiss/Arri Ultra Primes with Leica cine lenses. It’s there.

Steve Oakley
MemberJanuary 6th, 2017

depends on what level you are shooting at. oookes are very popular in their several flavors including the new vintage look series. I don’t know if I’d say zeiss “pops”… except your budget :( if you like their look, thats fine. personally I find them over rated in comparison to other glass because sharpness isn’t everything. Contrast, flare : how much or how little and it what shape and color, ergonomics, durability are al factors too. Keep in mind 4K exceeds S35 film ( except for maybe the very slowest ISO films shot perfectly exposed and processed ) so even those “great film lenses” can and will show up to not be as sharp as esteemed once paired to a 4K+ digital sensor. Having actually shot 35mm, ISO 200 was about 1920 / 2K res and 500 just a little bit less, although I never shot the last series of vision emulsions so they are probably right around the same 2K mark.

Oscar Stegland
MemberJanuary 6th, 2017

Pretty much everyone except you agrees that 35mm film usually resolves around 3.5k-4k and that’s the reason it’s scanned at 6k for the most part. S16 has about the same resolving power as 2k. A big part of why the Alexa sensor is 3.4k is for this very reason; to as closely resemble 35mm film as possible.

Sharpness isn’t super important to me. But looking at modern glass from most manufacturers, they all have the same problem as modern zeiss glass: they lack character. Most glass today is designed to be as optically perfect as possible which generally tends to mean neutral colors, little to no flare, crazy contrast levels, etc. When I mentioned master primes it isn’t because I think they’re the most fun to shoot with. It’s because they are as close as we can currently get, along with Summilux-C, to optical perfection. Doesn’t matter how long you look, not even Otus (designed for high resolution 30+ megapixel sensors) really beat them, and the master primes came around before the digital revolution.

Regarding the pop, I wouldn’t say it’s something that’s unique to zeiss. Leica R exhibited the same kind of 3d effect and so do many others. It’s just becoming more usual with flatter rendering in modern lenses. If you want to see Zeiss without those boring traits, look into vintage Zeiss Jena (more than a few classic Russian lenses are straight up stolen Zeiss designs) or my favorites, Zeiss Contax. Like their film cousins (super/standard speeds) they strike the perfect balance between superb and sharp optical quality combined with a very pleasing and flattering vintage character.

 Ari Kirschenbaum
Ari Kirschenbaum
MemberJanuary 7th, 2017

And it continues.

2k is what the industry decided was the resolution to stick by because the human eye and projection/distance do not yield a big enough benefit to go higher rez….which is why 90+% of features and even all the latest blockbusters are finished as a 2k DI.

4k is to sell new tech.

The 6k scans are for Lawrence of Arabia oversampling/future proofing.

Look up studies on the viewable distance/difference of 4k projection.

Alexa is NOT 3.4k because it is what looks most like film. It’s a data rate vs rez reward issue. If that were true then Red would give up the their rez climb to Everest.

You keep touting Leica like some Fincher fan-boy. So what a set of Leica lenses cost over 100k…and they are super sharp. BFD. I’d rather have a set of JDC lenses, but I don’t, and will never have the money to buy them and they are Soft like Sunday Morning.

The most gorgeous films in film history were not shot on Leica lenses. Does that make them worthy or unworthy?

Fincher hates anamorphic lenses? So anamorphic sucks?

I love Fincher and I love Anamorphic. I’m so conflicted.

Tis what you do with it. I think most optics now are up to snuff. So why pay an arm and a leg for a brand badge, when you can get something 99% the same for 1/6 the price.

Oscar Stegland
MemberJanuary 7th, 2017

According to whom? The industry generally tends to scan at 6k. I’ve got statements from ASC members who will back 3.5k up, and those numbers are modest next to what Kodak states. Which part of the industry decided this exactly? Last time I shot S16, they still finished at 2k, and film is nearly dead here.

The reason most films are finished at 2k is because the VFX costs are astronomical at higher resolutions than that, and most theaters haven’t migrated to 4k.

So, if that was the reason why have they added internal UHD upscaling? If they hit the peak at 3.4k, there’s no reason to add higher resolution especially if it’s just upscaling. Red certainly have a different philosophy than Arri, but with CMOS sensors you need higher resolution than what you’re finishing at, to reach full color depth.

Before I started working in film, I worked in home cinema for 10 years. I’m well versed I’m how, when, and why 4k gives a noticeable difference. Projection in large theaters is one of the few areas where it actually does make a difference. If I had a nickel for every time I saw pixels or the structure of the screen in a 2k theater.

I keep touting Leica, because objectively they have the best performing cinema glass in the world at the moment, along with Zeiss. My point was that there’s a reason these names live on. I’m not a fan of modern glass in general, which is why I tend to shoot vintage when I can. But again, this started because you put down one of the 2-3 best glass companies in the world.

Fincher has used Leica on one film. Don’t know why you bring him up. He’s shot Zeiss far more. One of the main reasons the most beautiful films haven’t been shot on Leica is that they’re new to the world of cinema glass. The master primes have been around longer than Leica cinema glass.

Look, I’m a huge fan of optical flaws (read character) but holding zeiss in high regard is not lens snobbery. That’s practically my only point, and I’ve given you a metric fuck ton of reasons why. I love anamorphic, I love Fincher, and I love getting great glass for less money. But if s certain project calls for a certain look, you need the right tool for the job. Sometimes that is a master prime, sometimes it’s a Helios. Luckily we can rent.

Oscar Stegland
MemberJanuary 7th, 2017

BTW, Lawrence of Arabia was filmed in 65mm and scanned at 8k for a 4k finish. I saw it, theatrically in 2014,and have seen it through Kaleidescape a few times after that. Looks fantastic!

Steve Oakley
MemberJanuary 7th, 2017

Oscar, if you read my post carefully… 35mm isn’t a sensor, its film. depending on your ISO alone its resolution can greatly vary. almost all features shoot on ISO 500 stock for everything , and some are using the latest 800 ISO stock. its around 2K / 1920 in res. possible you may resolve a few more pixels of res beyond that with ISO 200 = maybe 2.5K, but not by much.

Sure you can scan it at 6K. it just means you have really sharp grain where a couple pixels of the scan = 1 film grain. To get to 4K on film, especially for S35 you’d have to shoot ISO 50, and as I said, have everything perfect from lens / exposure / film itself / processing. There are many variables and if any are off so is your magic res.

Even which format of 35mm : 4:3 academy ( for anamorphic which is actually 2:1 compressed images ), S35 or 3 perf 35mm common in TV. Those factors alone can significantly change your res and grain size.

S16 is not 2K or 1920 despite what Kodak was saying 15 years ago in trying to save their film biz. in fact the networks won’t accept S16 for HD origination because the res isn’t there. Not me making that one up. I can easily show you S16 where its basically SD res – Vision 500 or 200 that was a little under exposed, that got very grainy.

Film is NOT instant magic perfect res like a digital sensor. A lot of things have to go right for it to approach its theoretical / test lab best results when shooting in the real world.

As Ari says below, most 35mm was DI’d and scanned for VFX work at around 2K ( sometimes less 1800 something ) for good reason : its all there really is most days. this is especially true once you got in to the typical series of masters, printing masters and release prints.

Oscar Stegland
MemberJanuary 7th, 2017

I’m well aware, never stated they were one and the same. As I’m sure you know, having shot film as well, ISO only applies to digital sensors. The idea with iso was to create a standard for digital that was recognizably for those coming from film.

I’m sure you also know that no features are shot at a certain ASA value. Generally, different stocks are mixed for different environments. No one shoots 500 ASA (the highest film stocks for cinema go, still; 800 only exists for stills) when shooting exteriors unless they’re after a particularly grainy look. All of the films shot on 35mm in 2016 mixed stocks heavily.

Film is neither instant magic, nor constant in any way. As you say 500t will definitely have larger grain/less resolving power than 50d. I’ve never heard the numbers you’ve toted though. The general consensus for a fresh S35 negative is that it resolves around 3-4k depending on stock. You claim close to half that. I’m wondering where you got it from.

I was the one who claimed modern films are mastered at 2k because of VFX. Ari said it was because 35mm doesn’t resolve more. Doesn’t matter much, I feel like we’ve derailed this thread enough as it is. I don’t think either one of us will convince the other so perhaps it’s time to call it quits. With that, I wish you a nice evening.

Steve Oakley
MemberJanuary 7th, 2017

ISO = ASA. ASA was American Standard ( something ) and at some point the in the 1980’s the ISO standards body had to pick between DIN and ASA, they choose ASA, renamed it. so it is indeed the same thing.

yes many folks shoots 500 ISO outside. there are several reasons. the main reason is matching color, grain, look to interiors. you can also ND it 1.2 or 1.5 which is what is done. you can also stop down more if you need deeper focus. used on spots all the time as well. You can also over expose it a stop @ 250 picking up some extra saturation and contrast while tightening up the grain a bit.

you can mix stocks because of DI. its easy to remove differences between ISO’s and even kodak vs fuji… but not so long ago before DI was common and it was mechanical lab color printing, or maybe HD / 2K timing the tendency was to shoot a single stock, ideally from the same batch if possible for most consistent color.

800 most certainly exists as a MP film stock. Kodak PDF here http://motion.kodak.com/KodakGCG/uploadedfiles/motion/5289_ti2396.pdf and its even ( or at least was ) available as 16mm

where do I get my numbers from ? … experience at having actually shot and transfered / scanned ( cineon ) / graded film to both SD back in the 80’s and HD in the 90’s. I’ve taken 35 up in optical enlargements and learned very fast how much res 200T didn’t have when pulling a couple CU’s from medium shots. you very quickly ran out of res and realistically you could go in 2X in SD = where an SD frame = 1/4 HD frame before grain became obvious. So while you might get more lines on the film as technical res, you don’t get it w/o it becoming so grainy its objectionable and being obvious. FWIW also spotted the same things on some big name features when they didn’t have a CU, but needed a cut and went to a blow up to edit around something and glue the takes together. that used to be pretty common so see grain jump around in size on some shots.

Oscar Stegland
MemberJanuary 7th, 2017

Also, both AMC and FX seem to be fine with S16 for 1080p delivery, seeing as how Walking Dead has been shot completely on S16 and American Horror Story has relied heavily on it.

Steve Oakley
MemberJanuary 7th, 2017

yes you can always find some exception to the general rule if you look. I’m sure there is something shot on super8mm too if you look. I’m sure there was some discussion about look over meeting basic resolution specs.

I actually googled up some user group stuff from ’97 by CBS engineers basically saying S16 was iffy to use for 1080 programming – ISO 50, 100 were ok, 200 if you have to, don’t go past it unless its like for a shot or two where you have to because it got to grainy and “looked like home movies”. shooting at those ISO’s the lighting gets very big very fast and defeats the entire savings of S16. at that point might as well save the lighting, crew, etc and go 35.

however the major networks will not normally accept S16, and I quote from Discovery’s delivery specs
“ Super16mm Material – High definition datacine transfers of this material do not currently produce results that are acceptable for usage in Discovery HD programs. Usage of this material is limited to non-HD footage guidelines.

so basically if you have a shot or two you can use it, but its not the primary shooting format for a show.

 Ari Kirschenbaum
Ari Kirschenbaum
MemberJanuary 6th, 2017

Huh? Zeiss Cp2s for $3-4K shouldn’t be expected to compare to a $400 Rokinon? By your reasoning they should kick Rokinon’s out of the water, but as I said in the post the Rokinon beats the CP2 it in sharpness and CA and almost everything except distortion.

So Zeiss f-d up on CP2s but everything before and after is irreproachable?
What a clever marketing paradigm. Make a crappy entry level cinema lens, that doesn’t live up to the Zeiss name.

And I’ve seen that video, and the gist is that the Leica DOES NOT measure up to the Cookes…because they are flat and unflattering to faces.

Who cares how long a company has been around, companies get bought and DBs are put in charge and a company changes their goals and products suffer.
The point of my post, which you didn’t get, was that lens snobbery – brand blind faith, doesn’t equal better product or better production.

Oscar Stegland
MemberJanuary 7th, 2017

Not at all what I said. The CP.2’s are rehoused stills lenses, most of which originally cost between $400 and $1200. I don’t know why you’d expect universal front diameters and better witness marks would improve the optical performance?

I haven’t done the shootout myself but AFAIK most of Rokinon’s lenses are far from impressive wide open, and in my experience most of the CP.2’s beat them handily in most regards when shooting wide open.

That’s not to say that Zeiss haven’t put put bad lenses. Of course they have, but they have a better track record than most and currently hold the royal crown quite easily in the stills world with the Otus series, and along with Leica they’re the best you can get in cinema glass as well.

I’m personally not a huge fan of the CP.2’s or the ZF.2’s they’re based on. The 50mm 1.4 is a downright bad lens and possibly the worst 50mm they’ve ever released. From their modern lens series I really like the Ultra Primes. Lightweight, great optical performance, but still has character. Truly great all-around lenses. Prefer their vintage stuff though like Contax. A lot of CP.2 glass is the same optical design as their Contax predecessors except Contax has a much more pleasing coating, they’re warmer, flare both more and better, etc. Cousins to the Super/standard speeds and vintage Hasselblad lenses.

No, that’s an entirely different video. I’d agree that the Leicas aren’t as flattering as the Cookes, but the video in talking about is a comparison between zeiss and Leica, which I stated in my post. Shane is very clear about the fact that he prefers a more 3d rendering but he never says one is better than the other.

I got exactly what you meant by your post but I can’t really take it seriously when you base the reputation of an optics company that has been around for more than 100 years from having used what is arguably the worst and most character-lacking glass they’ve put out. Anyone who could possibly be accused of lens snobbery towards zeiss, certainly don’t base that off the CP.2’s.

Once again, you’re entitled to whatever opinion you want, but Zeiss have earned their reputation fair and square. Since before world War 2, they’ve been pioneers of great optics. A lot of the modern glass companies wouldn’t put out the kind of glass that they do for the money that it costs, if it weren’t for the groundwork laid by companies like Zeiss. And unlike most others, they’re still Zeiss and have upheld the same quality standards.

Again, the master primes came out over 10 years ago and still today there’s only one series of lenses that have reached the same level (better in some regards, worse in others): Leica Summilux-C. They cost between $12k and $15k more, each! Nothing in the stills world currently competes with Otus. They’re objectively the best performing lenses in the stills world.

If you want more character, I’ve suggested a few. The super speeds wipe the floor with most modern glass in center performance even though they’re nearly 4 decades old, and still they ooze character. I have no stake in Zeiss, but there’s a reason 4 out of 5 lenses on this list is Zeiss glass. Call it lens snobbery or whatever you want, but the simple truth is they’re at the pinnacle of optical design.

Steve Oakley
MemberJanuary 6th, 2017

Olympus OM vintage 50 1.4’s are cheap and have great optical performance once stopped down to 2.8 or 4. Even wide open they are still pretty clean and not too soft. They are also super easy to DIY declick.

personally zeiss glass isn’t very interesting unless all you care about is sharpness. its bokeh is mush, colors kinda of cool. rokinon’s for a LOT less are nice pleasing lenses, as are many others. sharpness isn’t the only game unless you are shooting 8K sensor for an 8K display…

Mux Neumeier
Mux Neumeier
GuestJanuary 6th, 2017

My 50mm of choice is the Helios 44-2. Great lens sold for about 40 bucks on eBay.

KC Bassett
MemberJanuary 6th, 2017

Bunch of haters in these comments lol. I like that you brought up the BIG CON about e-mount lenses. They can’t adapt to other mounts at all. So if you buy a $3000 sony FE lens you better be sticking with sony for at least 5 years to make it worthwhile. For someone like me that is considering switching to something like an ursa 4.6k in the future. It’s a hard pill to swallow when purchasing top glass for sony camera’s.

 Ari Kirschenbaum
Ari Kirschenbaum
MemberJanuary 6th, 2017

Yup, just we’re all a bunch of haters. PS – Make sure you get your Ursa from a non-return fee vendor because I “hated” it and returned it for a Sony Fs5. And speaking of mounts, Sony vs EF (Ursa) you cannot utilize speed boosters on a ef mount camera, which I think is something great about the e-mount despite Sony’s glass being a one way street.

Steve Oakley
MemberJanuary 6th, 2017

EF is pretty much the standard mount in terms of how much glass and how many cameras use it. its a highly adaptable mount, but no where near as strong as PL. thats EF’s legacy as a still camera mount that is now on the back of ENG lenses like the canon 17-120 :(

However as KC says, unless you plan to stay with sony E mount cameras for a long while, or can pay for the stuff fast enough you don’t care in a year if you are using it or not… E mount isn’t a great choice for expensive long term glass.

Speed boosters only matter on cameras that have poor low light performance. If you can shoot at 3200-6400 and have good results from your native ISO, trying to add a stop with a booster doesn’t matter… and of course the glass in there does take away a little sharpness as part of the price.

 Ari Kirschenbaum
Ari Kirschenbaum
MemberJanuary 6th, 2017

Speedboosters also restore FOV, so basically you can get two focal lengths out of one lens.

I’m on a Sony, so the lowlight isn’t that important. But for me compensating for crop factor is.

 Ari Kirschenbaum
Ari Kirschenbaum
MemberJanuary 6th, 2017

BTW the article is about Sony lenses for Sony cameras. Not the utility of an ef mount.

Oscar Stegland
MemberJanuary 6th, 2017

An extra stop of light never hurts. Don’t know why you’d say it doesn’t matter. Less essential perhaps, but definitely matters. Also, speed boosters use very high quality glass that is widely known to IMPROVE performance on most lenses it’s attached to.

 Clermond Ferrand
Clermond Ferrand
MemberJanuary 6th, 2017

Zeiss Contax CY 50/1.7. One of the best deals ever.

PiDicus Rex
MemberJanuary 7th, 2017

A7s + Pentax KM-SMC 50mm f1.7 on K-to-E adapter.

Just do it, you’ll love it.

Demetris
MemberJanuary 9th, 2017

I’ve been using Carl Zeiss Ultron 50mm 1.8, the one with the concave front element, long time now both with Sony and Canon cameras and I wouldn’t change it. So much character and surprisingly sharp for such a vintage lens. Clickless aperture is really the icing on the cake. Fantastic option for interviews/portrait work, highly recommended!

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