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Kids - 50 and 85...105 options (E-Mount)

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nixnutz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nixnutz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Kids - 50 and 85...105 options (E-Mount)
    Posted: 07 December 2020 at 21:54
Dear Dyxum community,

The year of the pandemic is about to end and I hope you have not been affected too badly. At times, I forgot how wonderful, relaxing and magic it is to take photos of your kids as they grow up. But christmas is coming up and the grandparents can't wait to hold their 2020/21 grandchildren calendar in their hands. I'm scanning this years photos, selecting candidates and I notice:

- A7III still performs great, feeling no pressure to upgrade
- Sigma 1.4/50 Art (E-Mount) gets some crops and rendering could be better
- Sigma 1.4/35 Art (A-Mount) gets lots of love but aging
- Sigma 1.4/85 HSM (A-Mount) hardly used due to AF
- 135 STF (A-Mount) in love depending on the light and conditions - but broke it

As an always-on lens no matter if dark winter or bright sun the 35mm and 50mm are quite nice yet not perfect (35 - AF and bokeh, 50 - bokeh). As the kids grow up I'm not always as close to them to before, yet I still have a tendency to hunt for close shots. The 85mm HSM is usually good enough for my needs but AF of the LA-EA3 cannot cope with fast moving kids. Not to speak of my manual focus abilities when using the 135mm.

Long story short: I'm in the market for a f1.4 80..100mm-ish lens. Requirements:

- reasonable fast AF
- nice rendering / bokeh
- sharp wide open (indoors, winter times)

I'm considering to buy either of:

- Sony 1.4/85 GM - seems to have great rendering, maybe not fastest AF
- Sigma 1.4/85 Art (new one, DG DN?) - tiny bit less perfect bokeh but GM
- Sigma 1.4/105 Art - bulky, flare, otherwise stunning

Can't really make a call and won't make one for christmas - need to save some money before I can purchase a new toy. However, if there is someone out there who takes family pictures and, maybe, who is a daddy and as such involved in the action, maybe you have a hint ... :-) ?

Why I want more than 50mm - crop on A7III when using 50mm instead of 85/135/70-200 because of AF. What I dislike about the 50mm - trees, leaves in the background in the summer. Love the 50mm but would like to have something with more reach.

Thanks
Ulf
 



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Wētāpunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 December 2020 at 00:01
Have you also considered the Zeiss Batis 85mm?
https://phillipreeve.net/blog/zeiss-batis-sonnar-t-85mm-f1-8-a-review/

It comes in a more convenient size and seems to be suited to your goal
a7riii, a9- Voigtländer 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Zeiss Loxia- 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2 & 85/2.4, Zeiss Batis- 85/1.8 & 135/2.8; Sony 24-105/4 G; Sigma 70/2.8 M; Tamron 150-500 f5-6.7; Sony SAL 135/2.8 STF
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 December 2020 at 00:19
If you're considering the Batis 85/1.8, I would also look at the Sony 85/1.8. I live mine.

One question: why not 135/1.8 GM? As your STF broke down.
The difference between 105mm and 85mm is personal and more about focallength then anyhing else. I have the Minolta 100/2 but I prefer 85mm by a long shot. If you like 85mm and 135mm, 105mm might be here nor there.
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Hezu View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hezu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 December 2020 at 07:26
And while we are listing various alternatives to the ones proposed, let me mention also Sony FE 2.8/100 STF GM OSS. Sure, it is quite expensive and T5.6 can be hindrance in certain conditions, but you will get the lovely STF effect and with autofocus! And in many situations the focal length is much more useful than the 135 mm of the old Minolta(/Sony) STF lens.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote onsplekkie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 December 2020 at 07:46
If you are looking for more reach the 135GM is the best glass out there for Sony users, if you can handle its longer focal lenght & bulk.
I like the 1.8/85FE for its size & fast AF. Images needs some tendering in Lightroom.
"take life as it is, not as you want it to be"
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nixnutz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nixnutz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 December 2020 at 08:46
Thank you everybody!

Regarding my 135 STF - the housing is a little wobbly around the aperture ring. Neither the mount nor the lenses itself shows some obvious wobble/breakage. I would expect that it can be repaired. For now I put some tape around and give it a rest until I send it in for repair.

Since I find the T4.5 of the 135 STF already limiting, the FE 2.8/100 STF with its T5.6 is out. Kids inside is the territory of f1.4 - even the f2.8 ones I find not perfect for all times of the day.

Yes, 85mm ... 135mm does give a different perspective. For a full body shot I have not made up my mind which I like best. Or in other word: I guess my skills are too limited to utilize the different perspective to its best. For head shots the 135mm is a tad too long for my taste.

That's why I didn't have the 135GM on my initial list and I still hesitate to put it on:

- a tad too long
- I expect the 135 STF can be fixed

The Batis I forgot about, indeed!

The AF speed kind 1.8/85FE, need to have a look at samples. From what I recall AF is great, sharpness is plenty good for all practical matters, but rendering/bokeh?

Sounds like I have a complete list and its up to me to do my homework :-)

Thanks for completing it and stay safe!
Ulf
 



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nandbytes View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nandbytes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 December 2020 at 09:01
I have used a lot of 85mm lenses and my thoughts are on the sigma 85mm f/1.4 DN review - https://www.dyxum.com/reviews/lenses/Sigma-85mm-F1.4-DG-DN-Art-lens-review45616.html

the batis renders pretty much the same way as FE85/1.8, its larger and more expensive. It does have OSS unlike other lenses but I never personally felt the need for it. I am not a big fan of batis lineup in general.

As per the conclusion in my review I'd say sigma 85mm f1.4 DN is best option of the lot.
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Barrin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Barrin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 December 2020 at 15:17
I recently acquired a samyang 75/1.8 I find really sharp and pleasant on a6000. I would suggest it to you being slightly wider than a 85mm dor indoor shots. I always used apsc, but never managed to shoot my kids indoors with more than 50mm.

Btw, a 35 is a must for shooting at more than 1 kid
Sony A6000|Zony 24/1.8|Sigma 60/2.8

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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 December 2020 at 16:47
Is the Batis as wide as the Sony FE 1.8/85?

I may do a portrait test with some lenses. Right now I would choose the A-mount Tamron SP 85mm F1.8 USD over the Sony FE 1.8/85 or Samyang 75/1.8. AF rarely matches what people claim. The adapted Tamron is certainly not fast, but native Fast Hybrid AF can be less responsive. The Tamron makes much nicer images.

There are some interesting 45-65 mm options.



Sony A7RIV NEX-5T HVL-F45RM LA-EA5 Metabones-IV Sigma MC-11 Yongnuo EF-E II TLT ROKR MD-NEX KR-NEX DA-NEX
Minolta Maxxum 600si
Pentax Q7 5-15 15-45/2.8 8.5/1.9 11.5/9 AF-P/Q
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nixnutz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nixnutz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 December 2020 at 22:27
Yes, I noticed your review, very insightful. And, I'm almost sold...

I don't need the said to be blazing fast AF of the 135GM nor am I convinced of 135mm. They are still young (3 and 5 years) and I'm still somewhat close to the action.

It sounds like the 85GM is king of "smooth bokeh" but not king of AF. The Sigma 85 f/1.4 DN has more focus on "bite" with good AF and lacks the very last bit of "smooth". With both of them offering an image quality that is stunning and AF that is great as long as your subject does not move/jump at a frequency of 10Hz :-).

Between the the 85GM and the Sigma I'm leaning towards the better AF argument. The only questionmark to me is the 105mm ART.

As a next step I might want to try to get my hands on either Sigma lens. But, as I said, only after saving some money to fund them.

Stay safe!
Ulf





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Barrin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Barrin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 December 2020 at 22:42
My kids are 3 and 6. I am a poor APSC shooter, but I got finally comfortable 2 years ago when I sold all my gear and bought the Zeiss 24/1.8.

The only shots I can't have with this lens are close-ups, only for perspective.
I used to have them with a Sigma 60/2.8 that was the only lens I was able to afford that had comparable sharpness and long enough to have me a step back (I felt the difference with Sony 50 OSS).
This summer I swapped the Sigma for the Samyang 75 for 2 main reasons:better AF and longer focal length. I usually shoot in AF-S mode, but sometimes AF-C is nice. This was not possibile with the Sigma, and on the grand total some (30%) shots were not perfectly in focus.

Given how we are as a family and how we move, I would have never swapped the Sigma for a bulk, heavy lens like some of the ones you are speaking of. My bag is less than 1 kg alltogether. Moreover, I'm getting used to walk with the camera on my neck..but with a light lens :). Surely it's me being obsessed with weight, but when I'm not thinking to have shots, I carry a nex3n (full spectrum) with the E 16/2.8 and a IR/UV cut filter to use it as a nomral camera that rests in a pocket.
Sony A6000|Zony 24/1.8|Sigma 60/2.8

3xi|M35-70/4|M100-200/4.5

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nixnutz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nixnutz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 December 2020 at 22:54
@Barrin

Oh, yes, love my 35mm. Old A-Mount Sigma 1.4/35mm doing a great job. AF can be at the edge but its good enough for 90% of the cases and so I feel no urge to replace it. Of course, if my budget was unlimited, ...

I take some 10-15k shots of the kids per year. After browsing all of the 2020 ones I started dreaming of a 85..105 alternative. Because:

- outside I'm cropping the 50mm, inside I'm sold to f1.4 35mm/50mm
- cropped 50mm could have better OOF/bokeh at times
- Sigma 85HSM adapted on LA-EA3 loosing shots due to AF, thus the 50mm
- for 135mm and kids not running I admire my 135STF
- after many, many years I start to dislike 135mm for head shots, thus 85...105
- second year in row camera was stunning: all missed shots my fault. Never change a running system!

It is not often that I use the f1.4/85mm indoors. But I do when the kids have calmed down and the winter light forbids f2.8. Say they watch TV and you want their facial expression when doing head shots. My kids are young and you can really tell a difference between early 2020 and end of 2020 - you can see how their ability to follow movies changes. However, both 35/50/70 and 85 work almost as well.

As they grow up the main use case for the desired long portrait lens is outdoors (all weather conditions), full body shot, maximum subject isolation, kids moving.

Stay safe!

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nixnutz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nixnutz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 December 2020 at 23:19
@Barrin

I missed this reply of yours. We are in the same boat: 3.5 and 5.5 years old over here.

I did not buy my camera gear over night. It's been 20+ years journey with somewhat acceptable spendings one the way. You should not consider your setup as poor! It is fantastic for many, many shots. What full frame added was crazy high ISO. Which plays not a big role if I consider the annual kids calendar my main deliverable...

As for the weight. When I take the kids out I love to take a stroller with me for the "stuff", use a little back pack or bite the bullet and go "light" with a bag. But even if I go "light" all to often the following ends up in the bag:

- a bottle of water
- some snacks and ifs only a banana and an apple
- assorted soft toys
- clothes as needed
- camera and lens

While the camera and lens can add bulk and weight I got somewhat used to it. I also have a tiny NEX and the f2.8/16 but don't use it. I simply got used to the bulk and weight...

Sure, Sigma 105mm would be crazy heavy but the 85mm options - hmm, weight, hmm, hmm, hmm, guess I'm fine with any of them.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote nandbytes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 December 2020 at 06:23
I am not a fan of 135mm for everything even though the 135GM is an awesome lens. And when I need 135mm I just crop from 85mm.
Having said that I'd like to own another 135GM

Yes the new sigma 85mm/1.4 DN is bitingly sharp and I also understand when people say it's not necessarily attractive for portraits. But you can always soften the images really easily but you can't make to details you didn't capture in the first place.

Sigma 105mm/1.4 it's too large to be useful for me. The 135GM is barely ok and anything larger/heavier just gets in the way. I am sure it's nice in a studio or a preplanned shoot type environment but for candids and impromptu shooting like I do with my child it's practically useless for me. I'd almost never use it so I never tried it.

My son is 3 years and I can still get good use of my 85mm indoors and can almost cover his entire body sometimes with a wee bit of distance.

My litmus test for rendering is my missus. She could tell the difference between FE85/1.8 and 85GM. She can't tell the difference between sigma and GM. So unless you go looking for it like reviewers do I don't think you'll notice the difference. Also on a 24mp sensor you won't notice the difference in sharpness between the 85GM, sigma and also FE85. They are all plenty sharp.
The main noticeable differences are the size, weight and AF.

My other favourite lens indoors for my son is the 24GM.

Edited by nandbytes - 09 December 2020 at 06:30
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