As I have mentioned a few times in this space nearly all current and even many recent cameras on the market have reached a core competency so high that I can get on with nearly any brand.
Not only that within each brand there is an older body that I could get on just fine with. Not only Sony I quite enjoyed using the older Canon EOS RP. Liked it so much, I bought it twice actually.
Even invested in three affordable RF primes.
Great lenses. So what happened?
These were the only lenses that made any sense to me. They were not enough to support a second body full frame camera system.
- Another RP made no sense.
- Higher grade camera bodies were drastically more expensive.
- Higher grade lenses were drastically more expensive.
Made two attempts, but grew tired of waiting for third party RF lenses to come to the market. Then came Canon’s last move.
- No third part Canon RF lenses will be allowed.
I love third party lenses. There was a point where I ONLY owned third party Sony lenses. Tamron zooms…
And I got on just fine. More than that all of these lenses were and are still fantastic. And I saved a ton. Even now, even though I made some changes, I still own more third party Sony FE mount lenses than native ones (2). To have a company tell me that I can only buy their lenses? If I had chosen to go with Canon before I would be ticked. Especially after lenses like the Rokinon/Samyang 85mm f/1.4 has already been on the market. You can still find the reviews for it but it has been pulled from retailers. Again, what? How do you do this to your customers? Canon is free to do it of course, but this has not been the norm for any mount I am aware of. Still a great system. But a trade would be soon coming if it were me.
Ok, ok… back to the task at hand. Right. Wedding. Lenses.
Having recently gone on about the two Sony bodies used. The cameras were great. What I found mattered far more that day was the lenses. Will share them from the least used to the most useful lens of the day.
Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD
A great lens. One of those lenses where every time I use it I wonder why I do not use it more often. But I know. I have a bad habit of shooting this lens at its widest focal length. Because why not? But if I did manage to behave myself I could use this lens far more often. I will try to work on that. For the record this is a lens that is only available for Sony FE mount. The Tamron and the new, similarly spec’d SIGMA 16-28mm f/2.8 will cost $899 or less on sale. To my earlier point having no third party options if you use Canon RF bodies your least expensive wide zoom f/2.8 option costs $1,999.
Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM | Art 018
A special lens. An absolute treat to use for portraits from headshot to full body. Far more flexible than one would think. Easily worth the added weight and size. Swift AF, great colors, and best of class background blur and subject isolation.
Here Canon users are set. No native RF lens exists, but even the Sony FE mount variant is a converted DSLR lens. So the same lens is available in EF mount and can be adapted as well.
Sweet merciful Minerva. This lens is amazing. I knew this already, but I did not fully realize to what extent until this wedding. There are two areas where this lens really shined.
- Low light.
And… bokeh in low light. I will let the samples below speak to this further. But neither of those was the area where this lens really shined.
It was unwavering. Even in cave lighting situations. Rock solid. The next lens on this list is the one I would recommend most for all purposes, but if low light and AF are your aims this is the lens for you. Aim it in a direction with AF-C and burst on, wait for a box and let her rip. Nary a miss was had. This was after the light had dropped low enough to cause other lenses to struggle a bit. The 50mm GM? Nope. Fire away. At the end of the night, this was the only lens I was using…
Ok, full disclosure. That is partly down to a self own. I had underestimated how nuts I would go and was down to only one memory card at the close of proceedings. So if I had two cards available I would likely have had two cameras going until the end. That being said with no option I chose this lens without hesitation.
And subject isolation? I love medium format cameras. Had one this day. But I can say with no hesitation that this lens presents a valid alternative in my opinion. Sufficient subject isolation for certain.
And low light with Godox TTL? Flawless. This camera almost owned the dance floor.
I say almost owned because it was clear that the Groom’s grandmother owned the dance floor. She shut it down that night.
But there was another.
Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD
All that gushing over the 50mm f/1.2? Yeah. Overall this lens is better. Bold claim? Not really. This lens easily counters that amazing aperture with amazing focal length coverage along with a not too shabby aperture spec itself at the wide end. Was called Goldilens by a Twitter friend and I agree. As much as I prize the 50mm and 105mm lenses listed above this lens owned the day. If I was told I could only have one lens this would be it. It is so good that there were several shots that during editing I would say, “This must have been with the 50mm.” or “This must have been with the 105mm.”. But often times it was actually the 35-150mm. It offers prime lens performance across an impressive focal length range.
Wide angle detail shots.
50mm-ish shots. In here are a few images where I had thought a shot was taken with the 50mm f/1.2 GM but it was actually taken with the 35-150mm.
This one was taken at 85mm.
This one at 150mm.
Similar to the GM there were a few occasions where I had thought I took a shot with the SIGMA 105mm and it was actually the 35-150mm. This one was taken with the 35-150mm at 105mm.
It was the only lens I used during the wedding itself.
Grabbed some quick pics during family photos after the wedding.
Could have easily used this for portraits. Grabbed a few more detail shots as well.
Early in the evening, it was the lens I used the most. Worked quite well with Godox TTL.
Welp. There you have it. Goldilens. Thank you Keith Prime. An apt description.
So I am pleased. Pleased with the Sony cameras. Pleased that I have lenses available to me that are not offered for other mounts. There is hope for a Nikon Z 35-150mm, but until that time the 35-150mm would be justification enough to stay with Sony…
But the Groom’s grandmother still owned the night.
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