A7 rii- Only want 2-3 lenses for my kit.

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by gary_d|1, Aug 30, 2020.

  1. So I am deciding on lenses for my new Sony A7rii. I currently have the sony kit lens... 28-70 f3.5-5.6.

    I'd really like to *buy* only 2 lenses, and keep the cost to around $2K 'ish.

    What would you do.

    Option 1: Buy the Tamron 17-28 f2.8, and Sigma 100-400 f5.0: keeping my Sony 28-70 kit lens, albeit not the greatest lens, but to fill my "only buy 2 lenses /$2K max spend" mantra: use the kit lens for my middle focal length needs.

    Or option 2. Buy the sony FE 24-105 f4.0 and Sigma 100-400 f5.0.
    I'll loose a bit in the super wide department by not having the Tamron 17-28, but will have a better walk around lens with the sony 24-105, vs the 28-70 Sony kit lens. (I can always sell the kit lens for $150.00 or so).

    Factoring in getting $150.00 (ish) for my kit lens, the cost for both options are similar.... maybe $100.00 or so more for option 2.. that's fine...

    I'm an intermediate amature, and mostly shoot landscapes, but would like to get into city scapes as well. Not interested in portraits.
    Tamron seems better for close up shots (Marco? ) vs any of the others, but Sony 24-105 may be good enough. (Somewhat of a consideration)

    Any thoughts or alternative choices on these 2 options are appreciated.

    I'm sure there are much better options, but I don't want to spend much more than $2K, nor start to collect Sony lenses.

    Thanks... Gary...
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2020
  2. If I were spending your money, Zeiss 50mm!
  3. It depends on whether or not you use the middle focal lengths a lot. I have tried the approach of not having a "middle" at or a a "stop-gap" (that was 16-35 and 70-200/80-400 with nothing in between or a 50mm thrown in, respectively) - and eventually went back to having a decent middle-range zoom with as wide a range as possible as it turns out to be used most of the time. So my vote is for the 24-105/100-400 route. IMHO, the two lens 17-28/100-400 approach only works with two cameras - otherwise you'll encounter that the wrong lens is on the camera most of the time. Same with a "stop-gap" middle-zoom - you have it on and will be replacing it with one of the other two all the time.
    Jochen likes this.

  4. Thanks Dieter.

    I like the idea of sticking with a "good" Sony native lens for my walk around lens (the 24-105 vs my kit sony lens vs the tamron 28-75).

    I did not mention option "x"... going with all Tamron - two lenses... the 17-28 and the 28-200. That would work better at the wide focal lengths, and most of the time the 200mm would be fine, but feel I would miss the extra 200-400 mm of the sigma. (My OCD.... I'd always be thinking I need more than 200mm). And again, I like the idea of native sony glass as my walk around lens.
  5. I thought about the Tamron 28-75 (thought about getting it at some point) - but to me the drawback of their trifecta (17-28, 28-75, 70-180, all f/2.8) is the limited range on both ends and also of the 28-75 at both ends; I need my midrange to start at 24 and offer longer than 70/75. The Tamron is certainly better than the Sony kit lens (quite a low bar to clear). I would have trouble with a two-lens solution; mine requires three: Sony 12-24/4, Sony 24-105 and Sony 100-400. I can restrict myself to two (Tamron 15-30 and Nikon 80-400) - but then I need two camera bodies to avoid constant swapping of lenses. Did that with film for years; two FM2 with 24-50 on one and 70-210 on the other.
  6. A 24 mm lens is considered "very-wide", whereas 28 mm is more "barely wide". 24 mm is quite adequate for interiors and narrow streets, and perhaps too wide for general landscapes. I concentrate on landscapes when I travel, and statistically find that nearly half of my imates were shot at 50 mm. The 24-105/4 is not a cheap lens, but by most reviews a very good lens, and half the price of a 24-70/2.8. With your photographic goals in mind, your second lens should be longer rather than wider, such as a Sony 70-200/4.
  7. I think for my initial lens I'll purchase will be the Sony 24-104/4. I like the idea of a native Sony lens, with OSS, as the lens that I'll leave on the camera most of the time. And yes, 24mm should work for my needs the majority of times at the WA fl.

    Once the piggy bank gets replenished, I'll most likely go with the Sigma 100-400/5.0.0.
  8. 28mm is the first true wide angle (it looks demonstrably different from a 50mm "normal" lens) and 21mm used to be considered "super-wide", but lenses have drifted to shorter focal lengths and now 24mm seems to be the de facto wide angle. I rarely need <24mm, but when you need it you need it, even if it is for only 5% of shots.
  9. Even though I'm shooting Fuji, I find my adjusted for crop sensor focal lengths I use the most are 35 and a 75 short tele. But sometimes an equivalent 21 is nice, but I use the first 2 90% of the time, with the 35 as my favorite. But you have that zoom, what focal length do you find yourself shooting at? Do you tend to have it at one end or the other? More in the middle? It might help if you track how you use what you have and then figure out what you want to buy.

    Its an age old discussion on fixed focal length vs. zooms, and of course the individual lens factors in. Having that zoom is really good in figuring out what you like in terms of length.
  10. Given proper metadata collection, Lightroom can tabulate the lenses used for a specified block of images, including the zoom setting, and the frequency of use. This is a very useful tool when packing for a trip or seeking to purchase equipment.
  11. I have done that analysis a few times - and my take-home message was that no matter what I packed, the end focal-lengths of each zoom were used the most - by far. With pretty much an even distribution of focal lengths in between. Which is why I have trouble selecting fixed-focal-length lenses - whatever I choose is bound to be right for a few shots and be wrong for a whole slew of others. My mid-range zoom ends at 24mm - but packing a 24mm prime instead would not nearly give me the same result of images shot at that focal length. I think the dilemma is that having only a hammer everything either starts looking like a nail or one is restricted to look for proper nails; not sure which category I fall into.
  12. I carried over my lenses I used on my 35mm film cameras...so I am only using vintage manual focus glass (which is not everybody's first choice). But, for my 2 lens set i have a 28-85 and an 80-200 which covers about the same range as you are considering.
  13. The "first" lens to buy for a new camera system is arguably a "normal" zoom lens. Traditionally, that is a 24-70/2.8 for the best optical and build quality. It is also a budget buster. The Sony 24-105 f/4 gets 5 stars at B&H, and is highly regarded elsewhere. The Sony/Zeiss 24-70 f/4 is not one of their best.

    As time goes on you can add to your collection, but in my experience a lens in this focal range covers over 80% of my usage. For a second (or third) lens, I recommend a Sony/Zeiss 16-35 f/4 or a Sony 70-200 f/4, depending on your style, long or wide. With a modern digital camera you don't need f/2.8 for speed, and you don't have to settle for mediocre results with f/4 lenses in this class. They're also a lot easier on your back, and pocketbook.

    A set of 4 or 5 primes of this quality will set you back $5k. They are faster, smaller, and lighter, with better optical quality and (!!!) flare resistance. The entire set is easier to carry than a second zoom, if you want to travel light. (At my age, anything further than 200 yards from the car calls for traveling light.)
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2020
    Dieter Schaefer likes this.

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