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Batis 85 AND/OR Sony 50 macro AND/OR Sony 90 macro G OSS?
  
 
smpetty
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Batis 85 AND/OR Sony 50 macro AND/OR Sony 90 macro G OSS?


I'm trying to decide whether to get:

1) Sony 90mm f/2.8 macro G OSS

OR

2) Sony 50mm f/2.8 macro AND the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8

OR

3) The Sony 50mm f/2.8 macro only

I already own, am very happy with, and intend to keep these lenses:

Batis 18mm f/2.8
Batis 25mm f/2
Sony 35mm f/2.8 ZA
Sony 55mm f/1.8

I have an A7RII and shoot landscapes, informal portraits, horses/dogs/kids/wife, some street photography, environmental images, and I love to photograph wildflowers and small creatures when hiking.

There are many angles on the choice:

- from a lens size perspective, the Batis and the Sony 50 are significantly smaller than the 90mm macro, although both together will take up more room in my bag than the 90mm macro. So far I've kept to small prime lenses. The main reason that I switched to the A7RII was for a smaller more hike/horse trail riding friendly kit. Also when I shoot macro, I usually go out just with my macro lens and tripod... I don't typically grab macro shots while out shooting other photography styles. In short, I rarely take my whole kit on hikes or trail rides.

- I like the efficiency and lower cost of a one lens solution (the 90mm macro) that gives me the short telephoto and macro capabilities in one package

- I worry that 85/90mm is too close in focal length to my 55mm and that I wouldn't use the 85/90 very often (I love the Zony 55)

- I like the color and contrast of the Batis more than the 90mm macro for everything except macro

- Having used the Batis 85 and the 90mm macro, I like the handling, lighter weight, and faster focus of the Batis

- I've seen precious few images made with the 50mm macro. I assume that I would use the 50mm macro primarily for macro images, but it might be a good general lens as well. I'm sure that it would be no match for the 55mm f/1.8 in terms of non-macro work. Not sure how it will measure up against the 90mm for macro work.

So... as you can see I'm a bit befuddled. Any advice?

Thanks in advance,

Scott



Oct 23, 2016 at 12:02 AM
Chris_88
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Batis 85 AND/OR Sony 50 macro AND/OR Sony 90 macro G OSS?


I don't think 85/90mm is too close to 55, but that of course is a personal preference.

How often do you use a macro lens? I guess, that's the deciding factor. If you use it fairly frequently, I would go with the one-lens (90 2.8) solution.

On the other hand, the Zeiss is probably the better landscape lens. This may matter, if you shoot far more infinity shoots than macros and are serious about pixel peeping all the way into the corners. The Batis is also lighter and more compact, but pretty "fat".

Second, do you value a similar "look" across your lenses? The Sony 90 Macro is a classic G and it renders that way. I like these warmer colors and slightly gentle look (which doesn't mean soft) very much for flower shots. The "Zeiss pop" of the Batis is a different beast and more "in your face". Think of the Batis as a longer version of the 55 1.8.

Of course, those aspects can be adjusted in post to some extent, but they still matter to many folks.



Oct 23, 2016 at 01:04 AM
joelRichards
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Batis 85 AND/OR Sony 50 macro AND/OR Sony 90 macro G OSS?


I do think the Batis 85 is a little too close to the 55 but that said I don't regret owning both.

Given you "typical" usage, existing lens purchases, I think you'd be more happy with the Batis shooting portraits and keeping it in your bag. It is a tad bully but it isn't very long or heavy for the quality and focal length. I really love mine.

Regarding macro, if cost isn't a factor, I'd probably go for the 90mm since it sounds like when you shoot macro you aren't taking the rest of your kit. With either macro lens you're going to get some overlap. The 50 macro seems like a great value for the money but the 90mm macro is almost universally seen as superb.

Personally, on the rare macro shots I do take, I prefer manual focus so the Rokinon/Samyang 100mm macro might be worth considering.



Oct 23, 2016 at 01:20 AM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Batis 85 AND/OR Sony 50 macro AND/OR Sony 90 macro G OSS?


Really depends on macro usage but myself I use Vello extension tubes on my 85 1.4 GM or my ZM 85 F4 when I get in that macro mode but if you shoot macro very often than you may want a dedicated lens but looking at your kit the Batis 85 is a nice fit. Personally I would buy the Batis 85 over the 90 macro. But that's my preference.


Oct 23, 2016 at 01:59 AM
smpetty
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Batis 85 AND/OR Sony 50 macro AND/OR Sony 90 macro G OSS?


Chris_88 wrote:
I don't think 85/90mm is too close to 55, but that of course is a personal preference.

How often do you use a macro lens? I guess, that's the deciding factor. If you use it fairly frequently, I would go with the one-lens (90 2.8) solution.


I use a macro frequently, particularly when n the spring and fall...


On the other hand, the Zeiss is probably the better landscape lens. This may matter, if you shoot far more infinity shoots than macros and are serious about pixel peeping all the way into the corners. The Batis is also lighter and more compact, but pretty "fat".


I do shoot landscapes quite a bit as well, but I do well with the lenses that I already have for 90% of my landscape needs. I am hoping for a native 135mm in the near future. I used the Canon 135L often for landscapes when I was still shooting Canon gear.


Second, do you value a similar "look" across your lenses? The Sony 90 Macro is a classic G and it renders that way. I like these warmer colors and slightly gentle look (which doesn't mean soft) very much for flower shots. The "Zeiss pop" of the Batis is a different beast and more "in your face". Think of the Batis as a longer version of the 55 1.8.

Of course, those aspects can be adjusted in post to some extent, but they still matter to many folks.


This is a great point. For the wildflower images that I like vento shoot, the classic G rendering would be preferable.

Thanks Chris!




Oct 23, 2016 at 02:04 AM
smpetty
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Batis 85 AND/OR Sony 50 macro AND/OR Sony 90 macro G OSS?


joelRichards wrote:
I do think the Batis 85 is a little too close to the 55 but that said I don't regret owning both.

Given you "typical" usage, existing lens purchases, I think you'd be more happy with the Batis shooting portraits and keeping it in your bag. It is a tad bully but it isn't very long or heavy for the quality and focal length. I really love mine.

Regarding macro, if cost isn't a factor, I'd probably go for the 90mm since it sounds like when you shoot macro you aren't taking the rest of your kit. With either macro lens
...Show more

I have thought about getting the Batis 85 and the 90mm Macro. I have had a chance to shoot both and I loved them for different reasons. The macro was technically superb and I like the working distance that the 90mm affords. The Batis 85 was a fun lens to shoot and handles quite well on the A7RIi.

Thanks Joel!



Oct 23, 2016 at 02:08 AM
smpetty
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Batis 85 AND/OR Sony 50 macro AND/OR Sony 90 macro G OSS?


GMPhotography wrote:
Really depends on macro usage but myself I use Vello extension tubes on my 85 1.4 GM or my ZM 85 F4 when I get in that macro mode but if you shoot macro very often than you may want a dedicated lens but looking at your kit the Batis 85 is a nice fit. Personally I would buy the Batis 85 over the 90 macro. But that's my preference.


I love your picks and advice on focal length spacing. So do you think that the 55 that I already have and the 85 are different enough to be useful?




Oct 23, 2016 at 02:10 AM
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Batis 85 AND/OR Sony 50 macro AND/OR Sony 90 macro G OSS?


What type of macro do you shoot? In my mind there is a big difference between a 50 for macro and a 90. A 50 works fine for flowers, but if you want to shoot something like butterflies a 90 is much better. I would recommend getting the Batis for your short tele and whatever macro makes most sense for your shooting. I would think about some other macro lenses as well. If you go for a 50, then the Zeiss ZE/ZF 50 f/2 is excellent and so is the much cheaper Olympus OM 50 f/2. Having a fast (i.e., f/2) macro lens is something I really like and manual focus works very well for macro. Another excellent short macro is the Leica R 60 f/2.8. It isn't as fast as the Zeiss or Oly, but it renders very nicely and is quite inexpensive.
If you decide you want a longer macro, the a good bargain is the Tokina 90 f/2.5, which is an excellent macro and all around lens. Its nickname is the Bokina and it lives up to its name with lovely bokeh. It isn't all that expensive either. If you would spend a bit more for a macro again the Oly 90 f/2 and the Zeiss ZE/ZF 100 f/2 are excellent lenses.



Oct 23, 2016 at 02:12 AM
freaklikeme
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Batis 85 AND/OR Sony 50 macro AND/OR Sony 90 macro G OSS?


Batis 85 and make your own macro lens. The FE 55's actually not bad on tubes in the center (not so great at the edges) but I would just pick up an enlarging lens, UV filter, hood and long helicoid. There's quite a lot to select from between 50 and 135mm, depending on what you're more comfortable with, both in focal length and physical length. Stick with Rodentstock, Schneider, Nikon, or Fuji and you really can't go wrong.


Oct 23, 2016 at 02:33 AM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Batis 85 AND/OR Sony 50 macro AND/OR Sony 90 macro G OSS?


smpetty wrote:
I love your picks and advice on focal length spacing. So do you think that the 55 that I already have and the 85 are different enough to be useful?



Actually it sounds close but there is a big difference with lens compression that does offer a different look between them. Plus you get some distance and less distortion with people with a mid prime like a 85. Heck I like shooting headshots with a 200 because of the lens compression. I helps shrink someone's nose plus you get better falloff with longer lenses. Also longer lenses can give you still nice bokeh stopped down some given your background from subject so yes certainly some advantages between 55 and 85 which is nice to have both in the bag. I actually have 2 85s for different types of shooting. Your curve ball here is you sound like you shoot a lot of macro. Maybe that Tamron would be a cost effective option. For me the extension tubes work quite nice and it still will AF plus it's a cheap option like 85 dollars. But again depends on how much usage you are doing. Honestly I see many buy macros and wind up selling them at some point.



Oct 23, 2016 at 02:36 AM
 

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chiron
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Batis 85 AND/OR Sony 50 macro AND/OR Sony 90 macro G OSS?


For portraits, I don't think you can beat the Batis 85, and it would make a nice suite with the 18, 25, and the 55. These lenses are so light and balance so nicely--even their chubbiness works to make them comfortable on smaller cameras.

The Sony 90 is surprisingly different from the Batis 85. It handles very differently and it does produce a wonderful macro or up close image. I bought both, though I had misgivings that they were so similar in focal length. But I do feel that I use them very differently.

The Sony 90, other than macro, often makes we want to go in very tight on a shot. One can always crop the Batis to get tight, but for me the Sony encourages me to think that way.

You have a lot of nice glass. I would try not to compromise at this point. My hunch is that the beautiful portraits the Batis can make of your family, on the street, and of others will be the shots you value the most and attempt to make the most often. And the Batis does go well with the 55mm, which you like a lot.

So, my vote would be first the Batis, then the 90 if/when you can.

Edited on Oct 23, 2016 at 04:17 AM · View previous versions



Oct 23, 2016 at 02:39 AM
smpetty
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Batis 85 AND/OR Sony 50 macro AND/OR Sony 90 macro G OSS?


Steve Spencer wrote:
What type of macro do you shoot? In my mind there is a big difference between a 50 for macro and a 90. A 50 works fine for flowers, but if you want to shoot something like butterflies a 90 is much better. I would recommend getting the Batis for your short tele and whatever macro makes most sense for your shooting. I would think about some other macro lenses as well. If you go for a 50, then the Zeiss ZE/ZF 50 f/2 is excellent and so is the much cheaper Olympus OM 50 f/2. Having a fast
...Show more

Thanks Steve!

I shoot a lot of wildflowers, but I shoot a lot of bugs and small critters (skinks, salamanders, etc) as well. The 90 would definitely give me more distance than the 50 and be better for the moving and/or shy subjects.



Oct 23, 2016 at 02:41 AM
smpetty
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Batis 85 AND/OR Sony 50 macro AND/OR Sony 90 macro G OSS?


chiron wrote:
For portraits, I don't think you can beat the Batis 85, and it would make a nice suite with the 18, 25, and the 55. These lenses are so light and balance so nicely--even their chubbiness works to make them comfortable on smaller cameras.

The Sony 90 is surprisingly different from the Batis 85. It handles very differently and it does produce a wonderful macro or up close image. I bought both, though I had misgivings that they were so similar in focal length. But I do feel that I use them very differently.

The Sony 90, other than macro, often makes
...Show more

I like this thinking... a lot. I think that I will go for both. I have shot both before and really enjoyed them. As you said, the Batis fits well with the rest of my lenses and handles so smoothly on the A7R2. The 90mm macro is the best native option for macro, especially macro that includes moving or shy subjects.

Thanks Chiron!



Oct 23, 2016 at 02:46 AM
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Batis 85 AND/OR Sony 50 macro AND/OR Sony 90 macro G OSS?


smpetty wrote:
Thanks Steve!

I shoot a lot of wildflowers, but I shoot a lot of bugs and small critters (skinks, salamanders, etc) as well. The 90 would definitely give me more distance than the 50 and be better for the moving and/or shy subjects.


Given that you shoot some pretty diverse macro, then I would go with a longer lens. I still would recommend the Batis and another dedicated macro like the Bokina, the Oly 90 f/2 or the ZE/ZF 100 Makro Planar. If you feel you have to have an AF macro, then you might consider the Sigma 150 f/2.8 APO. It is quite well regarded and would complement the Batis quite well.



Oct 23, 2016 at 02:47 AM
smpetty
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Batis 85 AND/OR Sony 50 macro AND/OR Sony 90 macro G OSS?


Steve Spencer wrote:
Given that you shoot some pretty diverse macro, then I would go with a longer lens. I still would recommend the Batis and another dedicated macro like the Bokina, the Oly 90 f/2 or the ZE/ZF 100 Makro Planar. If you feel you have to have an AF macro, then you might consider the Sigma 150 f/2.8 APO. It is quite well regarded and would complement the Batis quite well.


Thanks Steve -- you suggest some interesting alternatives for the macro. I would like the simplicity of going native (I sold my Metabones IV and remaining Canon lenses last month) but the Bokina, Oly, Sigma, and the Makro-Planar are all great lenses. The Sigma, at 150mm, would add a medium telephoto to my bag and, from what I''ve read so far, it is a great macro.




Oct 23, 2016 at 03:05 AM
chiron
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Batis 85 AND/OR Sony 50 macro AND/OR Sony 90 macro G OSS?


smpetty wrote:
I like this thinking... a lot. I think that I will go for both. I have shot both before and really enjoyed them. As you said, the Batis fits well with the rest of my lenses and handles so smoothly on the A7R2. The 90mm macro is the best native option for macro, especially macro that includes moving or shy subjects.

Thanks Chiron!


You're welcome! Enjoy!



Oct 23, 2016 at 04:19 AM
justruss
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Batis 85 AND/OR Sony 50 macro AND/OR Sony 90 macro G OSS?


I've thought about this problem a lot too-- and never get an acceptable one-lens answer for my needs either. The major difference is that my needs are very, very on macro. But I'd like one.

For macro, MF is often preferable. The Bokina would be a cheap, great option. And it would only be a weight issue (alongside a second lens) when traveling. I'd probably only take out a dedicated macro for a job or an intention for macro.

For portraits, the Batis 85 is excellent. Having recently played with it on my A7rII, alongside the 85mm GM-- it impressed me more than I expected. The Zeiss-y bokeh was less of an issue than expected. The GM was excellent-- arguably better on the bokeh front, smoother-- but for my needs not nearly better-enough to make up for the weight, slow focus, and cost. The Batis was fast, light, assured, and renders beautifully. The GM renders more nicely... but it's a no-go for me for other reasons.

Of course, if money is no issue at all, I'd get the 90 G and the Batis 85, and probably use the 90 G only a few time a year.

Back to reality: I'll probably end up with the Batis 85mm + Vello tubes.

Side note for Guy or anyone else with the tubes: I've been close to pulling the trigger a few times, but every time I end up reading a few horror stories about FE tubes (even the Vello Deluxe w/ metal) that were too tight and ended up ripping off the pins on the body. Or I read a review that says the image quality loss is such that cropping almost makes as much sense. I don't mind wasting the cash to find out the tubes are only mediocre... but not damaging my A7rII or lenses on the way to learning such a lesson.



Oct 23, 2016 at 07:15 AM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Batis 85 AND/OR Sony 50 macro AND/OR Sony 90 macro G OSS?


My extension tubes I have no issues with the mount at all , fits just right actually not too tight or anything like that and quality has been good with them. Of course good lenses help for sure.


Oct 23, 2016 at 08:19 AM
GMPhotography
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Batis 85 AND/OR Sony 50 macro AND/OR Sony 90 macro G OSS?


I use these

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1048759-REG/vello_ext_sfed_deluxe_extension_tube_for.html



Oct 23, 2016 at 08:21 AM
philber
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Batis 85 AND/OR Sony 50 macro AND/OR Sony 90 macro G OSS?


IMHO all your options are very satisfactory indeed, and should give you opportunities and pleasure, so, whichever choice you make, you should be just fine. Don't let the amount of choice spoil your enjoyment. To think that there is too much choice for the A7 system...:-)
As for me, I see 2 "slightly better" options.
The tubes get my vote. I shoot flowers on my A7RII with my Otus 55 and tubes (one 8mm, one 14mm, which means I could go 22mm, but that is awfully close and is tripod-only). Tubes are cheap and easy to carry, and, if your lens accepts them gracefully, gives superb pics.
My second vote goes to the Sony 90 G. It is a lovely lens, with gorgeous colours and plenty of detail, and it is fine for all types of shooting, including landscapes. What it will do for you is give you a look that is quite different from your Zeiss/Zony. Now you may like having that extra diversity in your bag, as I do (Zeiss/Zeiss/Sony GM). Others can prefer having "the same look" throughout their lens range, then go for the Batis, another fine choice.
As for the Sony 50 macro, the early pics I have seen seemed not to be of the same level as the lenses mentioned above, but it is also cheaper...
Oh, and by the way, if you go for tubes on E mount, you could use them on all your lenses... just sayin'
Here is a very deep crop of a rose petal shot with my 55 and a 8mm tube, so that you get an idea of the IQ...




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Oct 23, 2016 at 08:48 AM
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