Honest talk here: Sony’s FE lens lineup sucks. It just does. As of February 7th, there is 7 first-party FE (full-frame E-mount) lenses. Canon, on the other hand, offers 79 EF lenses for their DSLRs. However, I do see Sony making real efforts to bring some more and they have the on-going collaboration with ZEISS that produces the Loxias. In a few days, at CP+ 2015, Sony will announce 4 new FE lenses (+ 2 wide-angle adapters). One of them is the long awaited 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS. A commercial product photographer needs a macro. I am really looking forward to buying it so here are the features it must sports in order to be in my toolkit. In no particular order.
1. True Macro
To me, a macro is a macro. We should stop saying that X lens is macro if it doesn’t even offer 1:1 reproduction. So, I want true 1x or greater macro reproduction on this lens. With that, I can fill the frame with the subject. It happens too often that I’m at the minimum focussing distance of a lens and that 75% of the image is negative space. I then need to crop and I lose Image Quality (IQ) and megapixel count. Not optimal.
2. Build Quality
Build quality is also important to me. As all Sony G lenses are made of really nice polished metal, I expect this one to be, too. In addition, I want it to be heavy and feel amazing. I do need to give to Sony that they make - along with ZEISS - some of the most beautiful lenses available (design-wise). Based on the product photos I saw, all the boxes will be checked.
3. Focus Ring
As a product photographer, I need/want the images to have the highest possible IQ. I highlighted the settings I set my a7 at to achieve it. But, what does all of this effort is worth if the image isn’t even in focus? So, I’d like a big, nice and smooth focus ring to facilitate MF. Additionally, it should turn at least 270° so that it is more precise. Again, given the images, that should be obtained.
4. Image Quality
D’uh. Given that this lens is a prime, a macro, a G and made specifically for the a7/II/R/S, it should yield to some exceptionally sharp photos. However, I’ll wait for the reviews to come out and for DxO to mark it. I’ve used a FE G lens (the 70-200 f/4) in the past and really found it sharp. So, that 90mm should surpass it with no problems.
5. No Vignette
I hope that this product from Sony will not vignette too much. Again, given its characteristics, it shouldn’t and if it does vignette, it will probably be gone by 1 stop. It should be noted that this is not so much important since I mostly always shoot at f/8. At f/8, the vignette is gone on almost all lenses. Nonetheless, a lens that vignettes only a little is a lens that usually is of a very good quality.
Since I’m a commercial product and still life photographer - spending 95% of my time in the studio - I really don’t mind the weight/size of the lens. It’s nearly identical to the Canon 100mm Macro L and that means it will range between 125mm to 130mm. Perfectly fine with me. Not much for the weight is known yet, we’ll have to wait to the 13th of February to know the exact specifications. To continue, this lens has a focus limiter and OSS (Optical Steady Shot, Sony’s optical image stabilization) switch. They don’t make the deal for me but it sure is nice to have those two features included. Finally, Sony says that the target shipment date is in March 2015 (pretty surprised by how close it is).
What are some of your favourite characteristics of the Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS? Are you planning on buying one? Let me know in the comments below!
P.S.: I will update the images of this blog once the official photos are released (Done!)