Everyone knows Sony has dropped the ball with respect to wide angle lenses for the Sony A7/A7R in terms of rollout. We knew it would take time, but everyone hoped the Sony Zeiss 24-70 f4 OSS would be strong at 24mm – after all, if you own the 35 Sonnar FE, a 24mm is its perfect companion. Canon produced the sharpest 24mm lens they have ever made in the 24-70 f2.8 L II (mine is sharper than my 24 TS-E II), so I was rather hoping Sony would pull of the same magic with their lens.
Sadly, the Sony Zeiss 24-70 f4 OSS looks to be rather weak in the corners at 24mm and although there are some owners claiming their copies are good, the majority appear to be confirming the various test site verdicts.
So, I did my homework and concluded that the best bet for a range of legacy lenses from, say 21mm upwards was either Canon FDn or Olympus Zuiko OM. Without wanting to waste time faffing, I ordered a bunch of each. I figured I could reach my conclusions and sell on whatever does not work for me:
Zuiko OMs: 24 2.8 MC, 28 2.8 MC, 28 3.5 SC, 50 3.5 Macro (with 85mm f2 on the way).
FDn: 20mm f2.8, 24mm f2.8, 28mm f2.8, 35mm f2.8, 50mm 3.5 Macro.
I also ordered Novoflex adaptors.
The aim here was to build a kit of primarily wide angle lenses, that are light and compact, for landscape/scenic use, with perhaps one long lens thrown in to compare to my Leica M 75 and 90mm lenses. While I have not completed formal testing, I have reached some ‘quick’n dirty conclusions. At this stage, I will just say that I am both thrilled and disappointed, with a large dose of ‘surprised’ thrown in there too. There are some seriously good lenses in the above list that are going to take some beating. My total outlay (for the Canon FDns, for example) is much lower than the 24-70mm FE f4 OSS once I have sold the lenses I am not keeping, the total outlay will be peanuts compared to native lenses.
Yes, there are brilliant lenses in the above list. Yes, they are a genuine stop-gap alternative to the forthcoming Sony/Zeiss options. But no, not all lenses live up to their hype. I will let you know my findings very soon! The forthcoming Zeiss FE manual focus lenses will likely be better, but I know I have found some good options right off the bat. What’s interesting is that I have heard various verdicts being thrown about on the internet and have been suspicious of some. There are those who comment without letting the reader know that they have not actually used the equipment being discussed. Anyway, this was a chance to find out first hand and let you all know!
PS this photo is the view from my apartment balcony, in the UK not Afghanistan!!!
The full review has commenced here.