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Sony 135 STF has arrived :)

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Cekari View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cekari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 January 2007 at 16:09
Or send me a STF and I will try it out with extension tubes ;)

Images https://www.flickr.com/photos/cekari/sets/ ,

English is a funny language, seldom it spells the words like I do
 



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brettania View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote brettania Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 January 2007 at 04:52
This is probably the most thorough review of a lens I have ever read -- done with the same vigour, enthusiasm and attention to detail that Phil Askey has at his best.

Congratulations and curses -- I still get lens lust!
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kiklop View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kiklop Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 January 2007 at 17:18
Originally posted by brettania brettania wrote:

This is probably the most thorough review of a lens I have ever read -- done with the same vigour, enthusiasm and attention to detail that Phil Askey has at his best.

Oh .. thanks Cam .. you are just too kind but i'm really appreciate your opinion !
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BrianSayler View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote BrianSayler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2007 at 19:28
OK, I need some help in deciding if investing in the 135 STF would a smart move for me.

I am a novice photographer. I bought a Sony A100 last summer when it came out. This is the first SLR I've ever owned; prior to that, I was basically a point-and-shoot type. I'm self-trained from about a dozen books on photography.

My abilities are just starting to emerge, and I still have a very long way to go. I know more than the average person who buys an SLR and leaves it on 'auto' all the time, but I don't know nearly as much as a pro or semi-pro. I know the basics about controlling depth of field, but there are other concepts mentioned in the review of the 135 STF (such as the bit about split-screen focusing) that I don't understand.

I own the Sony 18-200mm lens and the Sony 11-18mm wide angle. I anticipate owning the Sigma 175-500mm soon. I am trying to settle on a good lens for portraits and other situations where I would want nice bokeh, and the sample images of the 135mm STF really impress me. I can't decide, though, if the technical difficulty of using it might make the 85mm Zeiss or 135mm Zeiss a better choice for me. True, the bokeh won't be as nice, but I might get alot more functionality out of one of those autofocus lenses given my skill level.

Given all that background, can someone tell me if the 135mm STF would frustrate me more than help me? I really like some of the sample images, but I am also really put-off by exceedingly technical nature of what I've read about it. I've also read that it will be very difficult to focus accurately in my A100. Apparently that can be remedied with a split-focusing screen, but I don't know how to use one (and the linked article about split-screens really confused me).

Would I just be happier with the Zeiss 85mm or Zeiss 135mm for now? Help, I need clarity!

Edited by BrianSayler - 11 February 2007 at 19:31
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kiklop View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kiklop Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2007 at 19:57
Welcome to dyxum Brian !

IMHO, the answer to your question is pretty simple; while 135 STF being a fantastic lens, you are advised to look for other lenses for portraiture.
As mentioned in my review, focusing is quite challenging on my 7D; and since you have a100 with even smaller and dimmer viewfinder you may not be satisfied enough to justify this purchase.

In your case from the lenses mentioned i would go for zeiss lenses.
85mm or 135mm one will depend on the focal range you may find most comfortable with (if you didn't used prime lenses before but you have experiences only with zoom lenses you may need some time in getting used to lost versatility that make zoom lenses so popular).
From all i have seen so far Zeiss 135mm lens does look just fantastic, but that's only my opinion without actually used it.

Good luck !
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Turerkan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Turerkan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2007 at 20:04
i would begin with a 50mm in your position. Its a more 'tame' focal length.. also 50mm primes are cheap, so you won't lose much even if its not the right decision. If you get the 50/1.4 you'll get good bokeh, narrow DOF, good portrait ability, low light shooting ability and so..

a 135mm has a much more narrow use, having a 18-200 as a walk around lens, its not sensible to get a CZ135.. you can get a full well balanced line up for that price, and million times more bang for the bucks.. the STF or the CZ are very very speciality lenses. Imo you should get a regular good line up for yourself first, before going into speciality lenses.

my suggestion is to get a 50mm, may be a wide prime, or a better walk around zoom. then a 85 or 100 macro would be great..
 



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fastshot View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote fastshot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2007 at 14:01
Brian,
The STF135 is a strange lens. I had the chance to use it on trial for a week some time ago. I went out and shot a lot of pictures in the streets as well as in the botanical gardens. The bokeh is extremely nice, but many of my people pics were mis-focussed because this lens is MF and therefore difficult to keep fidgeting subjects in focus. At the end of the week I thought the lens too difficult for people pictures.

For outright portrait use, I would strongly recommend the 85F1.4. This is THE portrait lens for the KM/Sony system. The KM85/F1.4 performance measures up to any other brands. I'm sure the CZ one is every bit as good.

After using the 7D/5D for 2+ years and fitting the M screen on the 7D, I'm now familiar enough with the camera's characteristics to keep subjects in focus (also by using DMF), watching the moment and firing off the shutter smoothly. With this confidence, I recently bought a used STF135 and enjoying it much more now than I did previously.

Among the 9 prime and 3 zoom lenses I have, the 85F1.4 remained the best/easiest for portraits. The STF135 get used more for nature & still life and less often for portraits.

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