Now that the announcement of the new FE lenses is behind us - and that the FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS has been unveiled to the public - I can tell you what I think of it. A few weeks back, I wrote an article about the five features it needed to have to score it’s place in my toolkit. The good news is that they were all checked and beat. As of today, I have not seen the lens for real so these are based on specs and my impressions.
It’s Got True Macro Focussing
Probably the most important characteristic that the lens needed to have was true, 1:1, macro capabilities. It does! I will be able to focus pretty much as close as I need to in order to fill the frame and, thus, not be obligated to crop and loose IQ, megapixel count and keep the noise down and sharpness up. A 1:1 lens can can focus close enough to an object that it’s size in real life and it’s size in an image that is the same physical dimensions as the sensor are the identical.
Right now, I don’t know by how many degrees the focus ring turns. I’m still hoping for at least 270° for precision’s sake. We will have to wait for the reviews to inform us about that. I know that Popular Photography always mention the turn radius for the tested lenses and I’m eager to read the article.
Again, I haven’t seen the lens and no real review were released but more and more people are saying that this lens is the sharpest FE and that they are very impressed with it. The French site LesNumériques got their hands early and will release a review of it (along with the three other lenses and two converters) very soon. The vignetting has the same story here; it should not be a concern. One thing that confirms the sharpness of this lens is the MFT (Modulation Transfer Function chart). As you can see, it is extremely sharp from the center of the sensor to it’s corner. Honestly, the line at f/8 is the closest to the theoretical “perfect” values that I’ve ever seen. The lens is sharp, for sure.
The build quality on the optic seems quite nice - given the official pictures, it’s all in metal - albeit I haven’t seen it for real. It is clean and modern looking. Another small addition that makes life easier is the focussing markings on the barrel. There are 3 units (magnification ratio, feet and meters) so that you can easily keep track of where you are focussing and save that information if you need it later. You can see sample images taken with the FE 90mm F/2.8 Macro G OSS here. Sony also announced that the optic will have weather sealing and some protection against the elements. It sure is nice but I don’t think that I’ll benefit much from it since it will be used mainly in the studio.
Now, I like geeking out on new photography gear. That doesn’t mean that I think that the gear does all the work. I still believe that 95% of what makes a great image is the photographer and his talent. However, I do want to extract the best performance out of my gear. I truly believe that this product will yield incredible performance and will bring the a7 system so much farther. If I would of designed the lens, it would have almost the same features.
The downside is that the scheduled shipping date is somewhere in July, meaning that we'll need to wait another four months before it is widely available. The flipside of that is that many reviews will be published before it is shipping. I'll just use and concentrate on what I have now make the best of it.
What do YOU think of the Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS? Let me know of the comment below.