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Thread: Alternative to Zeiss 16-70?

  1. #1

    Alternative to Zeiss 16-70?

    Hi all,

    I have got to get rid of this 16-50 kit lens. I've been spoiled by the mindblowing greatness of the 70-200 f/4, but last night I was out trying to shoot the stars and got quite frustrated with the little "power zoom." My dream is to someday end up with the Zeiss 16-70 f/4, but after cleaning out the coffers for the aforementioned 70-200, I'm not particularly in the mood to drop another $700-800 (especially with rumors of an A6000 big-brother around the corner and hopes of grabbing a 50mm soon as well). That brings me to something of a fork in my road: adapt an old Nikon 28mm or something of the sort (cheap, but very manual and very zoom-less), or find some middle ground in the autofocusing, metering, newfangled midrange zooms that stand somewhere between the 16-50 and the Zeiss. While the Nikon would solve my astrophotography problem, it wouldn't solve much else, and so I'd love to find something more usable, but don't really know what that would be.

    What am I really looking for? I only really know that I want a constant aperture and hopefully something that will take advantage of the fast AF (i.e. not something adapted). Does this really exist anywhere except for in the Zeiss? Will I just have to save up and bite the bullet?

    Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    ~Jonas

  2. #2
    Hardcore Member Tikcus's Avatar
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    Do you need the full zoom range?

    Both Sony and sigma offer decent APS-C primes within that range all at sub £400
    Jay has reviewed them all

    Sony offer APS-C Lenses at ;
    16mm F2.8 (Wide angle and fish eye adapters available),
    20mm F2.8 (Wide angle and fish eye adapters available),
    30mm F3.5 (Macro 1 to 1)
    35mm F1.8 (Stabilised)
    50mm F1.8 (Stabilised)

    Sigma offer:
    19mm, 30mm, 60mm F2.8 lenses

    Personally the Sony 50mm F1.8 (SEL50F18) is my go to lens, but out of all the glass listed above it is only one I own. I'm hoping to pick up the 30mm macro before the start of September when the cash back offer ends
    I used to own stuff

  3. #3
    For astrophotography, primes are a way to go. You need something much faster than f4.

    For zoom there is the sony 18-105 F4 PZ, not too expensive and nice range at f4. The IQ I think its better than the 16-50 PZ, but not sharp as the Zeiss.

  4. #4
    Thanks guys! Really helpful information. I would really like to have a full zoom range - much better for sports and such in my experience that way. That 18-105 looks to be just about what I need.

    I suppose I could probably swing a prime as well, given that the 18-105 will be saving me a little. In the astro-realm, the wider the aperture the better is my understanding; is this correct? However, where does that leave optimal focus? Should I be focusing on the landscape and thus perhaps allowing the stars to become little bokeh points, or should I be focusing on the stars and leaving the landscape soft? I know that it would all be pretty wide so I'd have the benefit of a deeper DoF, but still. Any tips?

  5. #5
    Woop, just stumbled across LonelySpeck, which has solved basically all my astrophotography questions that I have and that I didn't know I have. Now looking at a Rokinon 16mm f/2.0 for the stars and still the 18-105 for everything else. We'll see how the money works out but I like this direction.

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