We recently asked Sony if we could borrow some lenses to create some content around going native with Sony, shooting with Sony lenses on Sony bodies.
It wasn’t so long ago that some people would complain that there was a lack of native lenses for the Sony mirrorless cameras and that a Converter was all but essential.
Well, Sony over delivered and sent us 27 lenses along with three camera bodies, the A7 III, the A7R III and the A9. We set out to use as many as possible and to try as many different types of photography as we could think of using the lenses.
We started out shooting macro photography. Sony had sent us two macro lenses, the Sony FE 50mm f2.8 Macro Lens and the Sony FE 90mm f2.8 Macro Lens. Both of these offer great performance but we opted to go with the 90mm to shoot some roses and a macro shot of my dogs nose.
Outside with the roses, it was pretty bright so were able to use an aperture of f/8 and f/11 without much trouble but heading inside to shoot a photo of my dogs nose meant cranking the ISO up on the camera.
I was shooting with the Sony A7R III but one of the nice things about the Sony cameras is their lowlight ability and the way they can handle higher ISO values. It meant capturing a picture of my dogs nose was no trouble at all.
Heading out to shoot some wildlife, we had a few options. Most notably we had the Sony FE 100-400 f4-5.6 GM Lens and the 70-200mm f2.8 GM Lens. We also had the 1.4x Converter and we decided to go for the 100-400mm Lens with the 1.4x Converter making it a 140-560mm attached to the front of the Sony A9.
The main thing that surprised me about the setup was how easy it was to shoot handheld. The lens is surprisingly light and the optical stabilisation in the lens coupled with the 5-axis stabilisation in the camera meant it was incredibly easy to shoot and track handheld.
The A9 was spot on and made focusing on fast moving birds particularly easy and it meant I could rely on it for my shots.
We had an absolute treasure trove of great portrait lenses to choose from. From the Sony 50mm f1.8 Lens through to the Sony FE 135mm f1.8 GM Lens and everything in between.
We decided to stick with the Sony 50mm f1.8, the Sony 50mm f1.4 and the Sony 85mm f1.4 GM. Starting out with the 50mm f1.4 that I’ve used many times for portraits I was impressed with how well it was able to deal with sun flare and glare. Shooting against the sun didn’t seem to cause me any issues.
Similarly, the Sony 50mm 1.8, which is essentially the nifty fifty of the Sony range, was surprisingly nice for the cheaper lens. The bokeh was nice and clean and it was nice and sharp.
Switching to the Sony 85mm f1.4 GM Lens, the sharpness, the colours and the bokeh were beautiful. I’ve used this lens a lot for shooting portraits and I’ve got to say, it’s my absolute favourite lens for shooting portraits. The images are always stunning and that maximum aperture combined with the compression of the focal length gives you beautiful bokeh.
Moving on to landscape photography, we found ourselves with a wide range of options for lenses.
We had the Sony 24mm f1.4 GM Lens, the Sony 35mm f1.4 G Lens, the Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GM Lens and the 24-70mm f2.8 GM Lens.
I wanted to save the 24mm for shooting stars later in the day so I mostly shot with the Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GM lens for the versatility it brings with the zoom range. That makes it easier to compose your shots exactly as you’d like but as a GM lens, you don’t compromise on optical quality. It’s a truly fantastic landscape lens.
I also shot with the 35mm f1.4 lens which is a beautiful lens for a wide range of photography while the 24-70mm f2.8 GM lens allowed me to punch in for some tighter landscape shots.
The 24-70mm 2.8 GM lens is one of my favourite lenses. It’s a great all rounder and an absolute workhorse whether you’re shooting landscape, portrait, video or anything else.
The Sony cameras are some of the best options when it comes to shooting low light. They are able to handle higher ISO values with no issues and combined with some of these lenses, you can easily create an impressive low light setup.
Shooting with the 16-35mm 2.8 GM lens and the 35mm f1.4, we were able to capture some beautiful sunset shots before heading up onto Beachy Head for some night sky shots.
This is what I was saving the Sony 24mm f1.4 GM lens for. It’s absolutely perfect for shooting the stars and I was excited to use it with the Sony A7 III to shoot some astrophotography.
We waited until a couple of hours after the sun had gone down but even so, using an exposure time of 10 and 15 seconds, we were capturing some beautiful colours in the sky. It looked completely black standing out there in the middle of the night but as the pictures popped up on the back of the camera, I was really impressed with the colours we were able to capture.
Part of the appeal of the Sony system is not only how good they are for photography; they also excel at shooting video. We took the Sony A7 III along with the Sony 35mm f1.4 lens, the Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GM lens and the Sony 24-70mm f2.8 GM lens to shoot a full video sequence which you can see in our YouTube video below.
The 24-70mm f2.8 GM lens is my favourite lens for shooting video. The focal range gives you a lot of versatility while the fast aperture helps for lowlight and for isolating your subject.
It has been an absolute pleasure trying out all of these Sony lenses and cameras. I think it’s probably safe to say there’s something here for everyone and we’ve come a long way from the days when you might be worried about how many lenses there are for the Sony mirrorless system.
You can watch more of our impressions with the Sony lenses, together with more photo samples and video samples, in our YouTube video below. Everything in the video was shot on a Sony camera with a Sony lens:
By Park Cameras on 12/06/2019
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