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Sony 90mm macro comparison question
  
 
coase
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Sony 90mm macro comparison question


I tried searching for this on this forum and the web but couldn't find anything definitive.

I know that the 90mm FE macro is one of the sharpest lenses in any system, but could anyone provide consistent close focus comparisons (things like flowers or bugs) between this lens and legacy macros like the Bokina or Tamron or one of the cheaper Sigma/Tamron current macros? I've always been curious to see how different the "real world differences" are between a great lens and a good old macro? Perhaps both wide open and closed down a stop or two.



Sep 13, 2017 at 02:59 PM
n210s
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Sony 90mm macro comparison question


Of most of the macro lens I have tried(m4/3, canon, nikon, fuji and sony), this is the one I enjoy the most. Very sharp wide open and extremely dampened manual focus feel.





a6500







a7s




Sep 13, 2017 at 03:13 PM
coase
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Sony 90mm macro comparison question


Beautiful but not necessarily pics that I would consider unattainable with a Tamron or Bokina. At least not without a direct comparison.


Sep 14, 2017 at 12:16 AM
drjs
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Sony 90mm macro comparison question


FE 90 2.8 is one sharp, nicely built lens with beautiful brokeh.

I have 49 photos currently in my FE 90 2.8 album here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimxshen/albums/72157683180814901

as a comparison, here are two other macro lens I have used extensively:

Minolta 100 2.8 macro: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimxshen/albums/72157663571080253

Lester a dine 100 2.8 macro: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimxshen/sets/72157650818129186

In my opinion, most good macro lenses (including tokina, tamron) between 90-100mm range exceeds most operator's ability to use it fully. Beautiful macro pictures have much more to do with appreciations of light, composition, steadiness, perseverance, and luck than sharpness of the lens. So I wouldn't judge the lenses based on the picture presented here. With that said, operationally FE 90 2.8 is a very forgiving macro lens and easier to use (due to weight, focus, and stabilization) than most.


macro-08076.jpg by Jim Shen, on Flickr



Sep 14, 2017 at 12:41 AM
drjs
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Sony 90mm macro comparison question


coase wrote:
Beautiful but not necessarily pics that I would consider unattainable with a Tamron or Bokina. At least not without a direct comparison.


True that.

With that said, for most part, I find FE 90 2.8 has a much higher hit rate than manual focused lens and adapted lens simply because it is a native E mount lens. Probably it is a combination of the right balance on the camera, faster focus, larger focus area, and build in image stabilization. I think you could achieve similarly sharp pictures from most macro lens. The question becomes how much effort do you expectant before you get the shot you want. When I used my Lester A dine, I often get a keeper every 10-20 shots I take but with FE 90 2.8, my hit rate can be as high as 50%.



Sep 14, 2017 at 12:56 AM
Parariss
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Sony 90mm macro comparison question


Manufacturing variance?


Sep 14, 2017 at 03:26 AM
phuviano
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Sony 90mm macro comparison question


coase wrote:
I tried searching for this on this forum and the web but couldn't find anything definitive.

I know that the 90mm FE macro is one of the sharpest lenses in any system, but could anyone provide consistent close focus comparisons (things like flowers or bugs) between this lens and legacy macros like the Bokina or Tamron or one of the cheaper Sigma/Tamron current macros? I've always been curious to see how different the "real world differences" are between a great lens and a good old macro? Perhaps both wide open and closed down a stop or two.


One thing I've noticed when shooting with macro lenses, or at macro distances. Never had i once said, this isn't sharp. I've used kenko tubes with multiple different lenses, nikon 105vr, a raynox dcr-250 close up filter, and the fe 90. I've never used any legacy macros though.

Reason why i keep the fe 90, is because its practical. Extension tubes, takes too much time to add/remove tubes. Plus on the A7 series, you need a e-mount adapter as well. Also with extension tubes, you lose a bit of light. I think i was close to losing 2/3rds to a full stop of light. Not practical with if you're shooting at f16, because 1;1 requires you stop down quite a bit to have any sort of decent focused areas, otherwise almost everything is out of focus, because the small are of DOF. In reality, if its just sharpness you're after, I'm sure most macro lenses would suffice.

Here's an example of a nikon 85 1.8g (not a macro lens or even close to it), with kenko extension tubes on a sony A7. This following image is also cropped quite a bit.

Also shooting flowers vs bugs/insects is a different ball game imo. insects, you need 1:1 plus a bit of cropping. flowers, you could probably get away with 1:2.

Thirsty fly by Phu Vong, on Flickr

Here's an example of what the fe90 is capable of. Shot with the Sony A7ii (not Rii).

I believe I can fly by Phu Vong, on Flickr



Sep 14, 2017 at 04:57 AM
coase
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Sony 90mm macro comparison question


The reason I'm asking is that I already used the Vivitar 105mm macro (Kiron made) for 1:1 with a manual adapter for A7rii. My guess is for photos like this I would need to MF the Sony anyway. And I have gotten good shots very closeup of insects and butterflies with both the Viv macro as well as a Sigma 180/f5.6. Both were cheap and MF. Same with an old Tamron SP 90/2.5 which is fine even at long distances and for portrait.

So I want to know how the FE compares to the Viv as I might be able to get the FE at a good price. Will I be disappointed relative to the Vivitar (i.e. I won't see a difference that is worth much)?

An example of disappointment to put this in perspective is when I compared the FE 35/2.8 to an old Canon nFD 35 and thought the Canon was at least as good and sometimes better at f8 and smaller and close enough at the wider apertures. In some spots even better at f5.6. So I didn't buy the FE. Is the difference here bigger as I shoot closeup bugs a lot?



Sep 14, 2017 at 02:57 PM
 

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coase
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Sony 90mm macro comparison question


drjs wrote:
True that.

With that said, for most part, I find FE 90 2.8 has a much higher hit rate than manual focused lens and adapted lens simply because it is a native E mount lens. Probably it is a combination of the right balance on the camera, faster focus, larger focus area, and build in image stabilization. I think you could achieve similarly sharp pictures from most macro lens. The question becomes how much effort do you expectant before you get the shot you want. When I used my Lester A dine, I often get a keeper every 10-20 shots
...Show more

When you focus, are you able to AF and reliably get -- for example -- something as small as the moth's eye or head as the center of focus? My guess is that for precise focusing, you'd have to use MF anyway for these pics as I've shot many pics like the ones you posted in your FE 90 album. Even when I use the FE 85/1.8 (for non macro) I have to second guess the AF when I'm not shooting humans with eye AF. I would expect macro would be the same.



Sep 14, 2017 at 03:06 PM
phuviano
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Sony 90mm macro comparison question




coase wrote:
The reason I'm asking is that I already used the Vivitar 105mm macro (Kiron made) for 1:1 with a manual adapter for A7rii. My guess is for photos like this I would need to MF the Sony anyway. And I have gotten good shots very closeup of insects and butterflies with both the Viv macro as well as a Sigma 180/f5.6. Both were cheap and MF. Same with an old Tamron SP 90/2.5 which is fine even at long distances and for portrait.

So I want to know how the FE compares to the Viv as I might be able to
...Show more

With the fe90, i still shoot manually 90% of the time. In terms of image quality, i doubt there will be much of a difference at macro distances. AF imo, is not useful when you shoot close to or at 1:1. The fe90 will not be reliable in terms of AF at really close distances.



Sep 14, 2017 at 06:39 PM
jlehet
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Sony 90mm macro comparison question


I don't have time to post any comparisons, but personally I prefer the Bokina or Olympus OM 90/2 to the Sony 90 for Macro. For landscape I prefer the Contax G90. I own all four but am going to get around to selling the Sony 90 sometime.

Advantages of Bokina:

low-ish price, sharp, great bokeh, great manual focusing, smaller than the Sony and lighter

Disadvantages: Funky aperture shape at f4

Advantages of Olympus OM 90/2:

Best bokeh ever at any aperture, my favorite lens for the last year, smaller than the Sony, maybe not as sharp as the Sony but nice rendering overall.

Disadvantages: expensive

Advantages of the Contax 90 2.8 G: Very very sharp and contrasty, very small and light, inexpensive. A great little lens to fit into the bag when going out and about, very nice bokeh wide open.

Disadvantages: Since focusing is by adapter, you've got to deal with that. Not macro.

Advantages of the Sony 90:

OSS gives more stability
Closer focus
very sharp
AF when you want it

Disadvantages: Onion ring bokeh (can be horrible), bokeh balls only round in the range from about f3.2 to f5 or so, sometimes weird aberrations with highlights in bokeh, MF not as good as real MF lenses but not as bad as it might be, really big for a 90mm, and pretty heavy, expensive.

I stopped using it for all of the above reasons. If I'm going to keep an expensive lens, it needs to be a lot better than less expensive lenses for my purposes. If it weren't valuable I'd be happy to hold onto it and use it for its strengths.

Certainly it is a good, sharp 90 for general landscape or portrait work, but If I'm going to carry a 90 out and about with me I'd prefer a smaller one. If I'm going to use a lens as a bokeh lens, I'd rather it not have weird surprises.

I did get many good images out of the Sony 90, but then I fell in love with those other three.



Sep 14, 2017 at 07:12 PM
coase
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Sony 90mm macro comparison question


Ok. You've decided me. I'll stick with manual lenses for macro and use a separate portrait lens for people and landscapes.


Sep 14, 2017 at 09:23 PM
drjs
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Sony 90mm macro comparison question


coase wrote:
When you focus, are you able to AF and reliably get -- for example -- something as small as the moth's eye or head as the center of focus? My guess is that for precise focusing, you'd have to use MF anyway for these pics as I've shot many pics like the ones you posted in your FE 90 album. Even when I use the FE 85/1.8 (for non macro) I have to second guess the AF when I'm not shooting humans with eye AF. I would expect macro would be the same.


For precise focusing, I will still use MF on FE 90. Still, two areas will make FE 90 vastly superior to MF vintage lens. 1). When you turn the focus ring on FE 90, magnification automatically turns on and off which helps you see the detail. 2). FE 90 is stop focused which means you will get more light to compose for small aperture. When I am on my Lester A dine at F11 to F16, view finder become very dim.



Sep 14, 2017 at 11:40 PM
jlehet
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Sony 90mm macro comparison question


It's true, another advantage of native lenses is the viewfinder is brighter.

As for the automatic magnification, I never could get used to that. I dedicated a function button right up top to magnify, one press magnifies, two presses zooms in even more. I think among manual focus users it might be a pretty even split between ring-magnifies and button-magnifies. I wonder if anyone has done a survey...



Sep 14, 2017 at 11:55 PM
coase
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Sony 90mm macro comparison question


Yup. I'm with you jlehet. I prefer to use C1 to magnify. Never had issues with it for MF.

Here's a test I did with the Sigma 180 f5.6 macro on my old A7ii. Good enough for government work I think.

https://flic.kr/p/Y86aSL



Sep 15, 2017 at 02:41 AM
DannyBurkPhoto
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Sony 90mm macro comparison question


I also use C1 for magnify, since I use it with every shot; convenient placement for this. I disabled the auto-magnify feature, since I found that it gets in the way more than helps.


Sep 15, 2017 at 03:23 AM







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