Sony FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS E-mount lens review by Paul07

reviewer#28622 date: Jul-6-2016
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 100 macro
FE 70-200/4
Minolta 85/1.4 original
price paid:
missing
positive:Image quality
Build quality
No moving external parts (all internal focussing mechanism)
AF speed (could be faster, but is OK, considering it is a macro lens)
AF limiter is a big plus.
SSM is accurate and silent
Stabilized

negative:Not really cheap (although normal price for what you get)
comment:I did not have a lot of time yet to take this lens out for a challenge, but I already know this is one of the best lenses I have ever had, if not the best, full stop.

Image quality is superb, beating the Sony 100 macro easily. Sharpness, detail, contrast and colour all are excellent, there is no distortion. It surely is doing as good as the 70-200/4, and sharpness wide open accross the frame is even better.
Bokeh is really nice. I have only one lens that is doing better from bokeh perspective: the 85/1.4, but the difference is not big. If I recall well, also my former 400G was doing slightly better still from bokeh perspective.
But again, the difference is limited and occurs not in all circumstances. Mainly if there are very outspoken bright highlights, the Minolta G's picture them in a little softer, smoother way. )

Build quality of the lens is very good as well. The only part feeling like "plastic" is the hood. The lens itself feels as solid and reliable as can be. Same as the FE 70-200 or 85/1.4, and far better built than the Sony 100.

Another big plus, especially over other a- and e-mount macro alternatives, is the internal focussing mechanism. The lens keeps its size at all times, while e.g. the Sony 100 doubles its length when going thru the focussing range (can be pretty annoying when focus distance is really short).

Also the focus limiter is more than nice to have. Since macro lenses traditionally are not fast focussing, the focus limiter on this lens is very welcome. I think I will be making use of it quite often, either setting it to really close-by (macro), or choosing all but close-by. When putting it at full range, AF may become really slow (at last on my A7-II).

SSM is working just as good as with the 70-200/4, 28/2 or 28-70: accurately, silently (and sufficiently fast when using the focus limiter).

Stabilization is doing a good job when combining the lens with the A6000 :-)

As a conclusion, I must say this is a remarkable lens, top of the line, and one I believe other lens producers will be envious of. The price is not cheap, but the lens is worth it in my opinion, considering what it all offers.
Price of the Canon alternative is not a lot lower, and that one is quite a bit older and is not a match when it comes to IQ.

I believe it will be hard for Sony to ever release an improved version of this lens.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 14
  • sharpness: 4.96
  • color: 4.93
  • build: 4.86
  • distortion: 5.00
  • flare control: 4.86
  • overall: 4.92
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