RNF Update: Not here to start anything… but it is mostly about the lens isn’t it?

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In my original post on this topic I opined:

It is mostly about the lens, isn’t it?

And I was mostly talking about the lens having a more significant impact on the resulting image than the camera once you reach a certain level of camera competence.

But I have also written about lenses having a large impact on my camera system selection. Because I will just say this again, I could get on fine with nearly any camera on the market now. So the number of lenses available becomes a deciding factor. Third party participation plays a large part in this. The length on the market has an impact on the used lenses available which also saves money. Add this to my preference for full frame mirrorless cameras and one system rises to the top.

A7iii - A7Compare

I say again if the same amount of lenses of varying price were available for another mount I would consider that also. What made me think of this older post is a recent article stating:

NO ONE MAKES A BAD CAMERA. THEY’RE ALL MOSTLY THE SAME

An excellent article that points out how similar many offerinsg on the market really are. This is one of many reasons why I do not entertain any debates regarding a person’s chosen lens mount. As I have said I am Team “Whatever Floats Your Boat”, “Whatever Is Clever”, etc.

And a recent video:

In an earlier video another brand other than Sony was chosen. A great brand actually. Canon. Have owned an RF mount camera myself.

RF 50mm f/1.8 STM 0 EOS RP

Bought and sold twice, but that is a whole other story.

There were other motives identified for a change of heart, but the part about lens choice really struck a chord with me. More specifically how the previously chosen brand has decided to not allow third party makers to sell lenses for their system. Let me be clear they are completely free to do this. But when I look across the posts on this very blog a great many lenses that I have really liked were not native Sony glass. A few notable mentions:

Rokinon/Samyang AF 75mm f/1.8

For a rational person this lens is a no-brainer. Small, light, sharp, great colors and bokeh all for a reasonable sum. It really performed wonderfully on a NYC photo walk last year.

GORDON PARKS PHOTOGRAPHERS COLLECTIVE HARLEM AND SOHO-VILLAGE PHOTO WALK
GORDON PARKS PHOTOGRAPHERS COLLECTIVE HARLEM AND SOHO-VILLAGE PHOTO WALK
GORDON PARKS PHOTOGRAPHERS COLLECTIVE HARLEM AND SOHO-VILLAGE PHOTO WALK
GORDON PARKS PHOTOGRAPHERS COLLECTIVE HARLEM AND SOHO-VILLAGE PHOTO WALK
GORDON PARKS PHOTOGRAPHERS COLLECTIVE HARLEM AND SOHO-VILLAGE PHOTO WALK
GORDON PARKS PHOTOGRAPHERS COLLECTIVE HARLEM AND SOHO-VILLAGE PHOTO WALK

And this is a lens that is not available for any other mount. The same can be said for the whole Rokinon/Samyang f/1.8 tiny lens line up. You could buy them all for the price of some high end native primes.

Rokinon/Samyang Tiny f/1.8

But then you have a lens like the Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD. A fantastic lens.

Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8
Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8
A7c - Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8
NYC

This lens is technically only available for Sony, but it appears that the Nikon NIKKOR Z 17-28mm f/2.8 is a repackaged Tamron. MFT charts, lens build cross section diagrams, and specs all seem to back this up. Great lens and otherwise harmless, but this rebranding/repackaging process adds almost $400 to the price of the Tamron. This is not a very compelling argument for me to consider a switch to Nikon.

And for my last example I choose a zoom lens with a unique focal length that is also not available for any other mount. Now I could have as easily chosen the excellent Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD.

Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8
A7c - TAMRON 70-180mm f/2.8
A7c - TAMRON 70-180mm f/2.8
NYC

A smaller and lighter lens that served as a viable option to larger, heavier, and far more expensive traditional native mount 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses. But instead I will lift up a lens with no competitor on the market right now. The one of a kind Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD.

Sony A7III - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8
Engagement Event Pics
Engagement Event Pics
Engagement Event Pics
Son's Graduation Shoot
Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD
Lens Test - Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD

I cannot heap enough praise on this lens. This lens could sell me on the Sony mount alone. It is literally a bag of primes lens for me. It replaced all of these lenses below in my lens bag:

  • Rokinon/Samyang 35mm f/1.8
  • Rokinon/Samyang 45mm f/1.8
  • Rokinon/Samyang 75mm f/1.8
  • Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8
  • Tamron 70-180mm f/2.8

So for me one lens replaced 5 lenses in my camera bag. Sold them all. And I have no regrets. Bit here is the thing:

  • Canon won’t get this lens as things stand currently.
  • Nikon likely won’t either, but if they do it might be a rebranded/repackaged variant a la the 17-28mm. But I cannot see Tamron allowing another brand to sell its star lens. Could be wrong. Hope I am for the sake of Nikon’s customers.

To me, this is all weird. I am used to the DSLR days where if you owned Canon and Nikon you could count on gaining access to the same third party glass. They even showed some love to Pentax here and there. And most of the time each native brand offered similar spec options. I wish it were still this way. Back then it really came down to the camera. But nowadays I argue that the cameras on the market are far more similar than they used to be. Brands would have DSLR features that set them apart. I chose Pentax

Pentax Normal SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4

…largely due to it being the only DSLR brand offering IBIS. Now everyone does. But for AF Canon or Nikon typically led the way over Pentax. Now all cameras have workable AF. Again, all are viable camera options. So I need to add a word to that statement at the opening as far as I am concerned.

It is mostly about the lens selection, isn’t it?

That being said I still say choose your favorite and go for it. Lens selection may not be as important to you. There are no bad choices out there.

Anyhoo.

Happy capturing.

-ELW

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