Jump to content

What is the lowest flaring wide angle AF lens for architecture for Sony aps-c?

Recommended Posts

Hello Old Friends, (I don't mean you are old, but I'm older than I was when I started reading this forum about 1999.)

One of my on-going needs over the decades has been architectural interior photography of my own work in the field of museum design. I design museum exhibits and galleries and all the structures, graphics, and media used to present content and artifacts in museum story-telling. In my Film days in this work from about 1996 to 2006, I used a Nikon 24 2.8,  20 2.8 and later the Voigtlander 15 4.5 v1 for Leica screw mount. I did good work with a tripod and those manual focus lenses on film, but it was hard and time consuming, and things have changed, and new opportunities present themselves to move a lot quicker but with their own limitations. 

So now I have learned to enjoy AF - finally but understanding it's disadvantages - and I have also come to appreciate how image stabilization can actually let me do away with the tripod in certain situations, but I admit I'm being spoiled to hope for that - but it's feasible. 

I have spent the last 5 or 6 years using the Samyang/Rokinon 12 f/2 manual focus lens on my Sony A6xxx bodies. It is sharp enough for my work, but when it flares as it does' terribly like when there are museum can lights aimed directly into the lens or a window to a bright outside world directly in the frame, the lens is unusable - You just can't take that shot that you wanted. 

So I bought the new Samyang/Rokinon 12 F/2 with Auto Focus and also with much improved coatings to help with that flare just over a year ago before some of the other aps-c wide angle options came out. Let me just say this is an amazingly handy lens at a great price. It is really compact. One common dumb criticism is that the hood can't be reversed, but the hood is so small that you would never need to do that. It's a great improvement over the manual focus lens that had a huge hood. The Zeiss Touit 12 has a similar huge hood. 

But it still flares too much in some situations, and my question is: who can speak specifically to lenses with the least flare? I have read so - so - many reviews of other lenses, and just when I think I might have an answer, somebody has a review that contradicts the others about flare. 

So here are some of my assembled assessments of other lenses I've considered, and I'd like your input. 

Sony 11 1.8: I have read much different things. It has to be wide for the blogging cameras, but it's too wide for what I do - but not so much too wide, but how is the flare?

Zeiss Touit 12 2.8: Still expensive new, but available used, but unsure if you get the newest firmware update with a used lens that required the lens to be sent back to factory. The hood is huge. I've read the lens flare is low, but then I read a review from a respected source that said the flare was high! Also, the AF motors are loud, I've read. The lens is very sharp at 2.8, but I've said the caveats. 

Samyang/Rokinon 12 f2 - I wrote about these in my post - see above please friends.

Viltrox 13 1.4: Seems too big to me, but if ya'll can say it has really low flare, I'll seriously thing about it. I prefer smaller lenses for my kit, but I'm weighing size, flare, aperture, sharpness of course. 

Sony 15 1.4: I love this kind of sexy lens, but it isn't as wide as I need all the time, but I would love this lens for private use and work when needed IF IT HAS LOW FLARE IN CRITICAL SITUATIONS, but I don' think it does - I've read it has bad flare too!

Sigma 16 1.4: I think this lens is too big for my double-duty needs, meaning I would prefer that my work architectural lens is small so I can use it on vacation too, and I think this lens is too big and heavy, but it's also not really wide enough.

I welcome any thoughts you all want to offer. 

Thank you, friends,





Link to comment
Share on other sites

No idea. Won't any lens flare if you are photographing a halogen or high intensity LED light head on? Most of us avoid taking a photo when you can see that happening in the viewfinder, by changing our position or changing the framing. I assume you can't do that for some reason. Perhaps the best plan is to rent a few and try them out, but that could work out $$$.

Robin Smith
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What kind of flare are we talking about? Well-defined streaks and blobs, or overall misting and loss of contrast? 

Streaks and blobs can be controlled by 1) a slight shift in angle 2) shading the lens better 3) flagging or using barn doors on the light source. (Any or all of the above might be useless if the light source is fully in frame.)

Overall misting and flare is a definite lens failing and needs a lens with better coatings or internal baffles. Sometimes stopping the lens down further will increase contrast considerably.

As to specific lens recommendations: Read published reviews, especially ones like 'Lenstips' that do a specific test for flaring. Individuals like us on PN rarely have enough experience of a wide range of lenses in one focal length to give a comparative recommendation.

For example, I've had excellent results from a Tokina 11-20mm f/2.8 zoom in Nikon DX fitting, but that doesn't really help with choosing an AF prime for Sony E-mount. And my current Sony gear is full-frame. Otherwise the 25mm f/2 Batis or Tamron 17-28mm zoom would get my vote for that sort of work. 


Edited by rodeo_joe1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Streaks and blobs can be controlled by 1) a slight shift in angle 2) shading the lens better 3) flagging or using barn doors on the light source. (Any or all of the above might be useless if the light source is fully in frame.)"


You might also think about removing any filters (UV filter) from the front of your lens. I also noticed that slow shutter speeds( 2seconds or less) will turn light sources such as celing lights into blobs of light. The only way to remedy this is to increase the ISO on your camera which will alow you to shorten the shutter speed. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Are not the blobs simply due to massive overexposure, not the shutter speed as such? An issue due to the imbalance of the exposure required to render the scene as a whole with the brightness of the bulbs. This can happen whatever the shutter speed.

Robin Smith
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...