Hiya folks at LL -
I've been loving the intelligent reviews and banter on this site for years, and am finally faced with a tough question. I'm definitely getting a Sony a900, but need to plan my lens line-up. I've read the the LL articles on the a900, which include some very useful info - but there's really a wide range of lenses available for the alpha mount (older Minolta lenses, Tamron, Sigma, etc). I'm a big Zeiss fan and use them on my Contax 645. However, I've heard that SONY is actually producing/manufacturing the alpha mount Zeiss series, and Zeiss is only participating in the lens design.
Anyhow, without further preamble, I suggest we try to achieve a 'best-of-class' list for alpha mount lenses - in terms of resolution and sharpness - include both MF and AF lenses - with a stress on real tests and comparisons rather than general brand favorites (dyxum does well, but the ratings are perhaps a bit overzealous and not 'best-of'). So, by general category (with some possibilities listed):
Best 50mm-70mm macro? (Sony / Minolta - AF 50 F2.8 Macro? Minolta - AF 50 F3.5 Macro?)
Best 90+mm macro? (Minolta AF 3x-1x 1.7-2.8 Macro? Minolta AF 100mm F2.8 Macro RS or D? Minolta 200mm F4 AF apo macro? Sony 100mm F2.8 Macro?
Best wide prime? (Minolta - AF 20 F2.8 RS? Sony 35mm F1.4 G? Minolta - AF 28mm F2 RS? Sigma 24 F1.8 EX Aspherical?)
Best standard prime? (Minolta - AF 35 F1.4 G RS? Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM? Sony 50mm F1.4?)
Best mid-tele prime? (Zeiss-Sonnar T* 135mm F1.8 ZA? Zeiss-Planar T* 85mm F1.4 ZA? Sony 135mm F2.8 [T4.5] STF? Minolta AF 85 F1.4 G?)
Best long-tele prime? (Sony 300mm F2.8 G Telephoto? Minolta AF 200mm F2.8 G APO HS?
Best wide-to-mid zoom? (Zeiss-Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35 F2.8 ZA SSM Zoom? Minolta - AF 17-35 F3.5 G?)
Best mid-to-tele zoom? (Zeiss-Vario-Sonnar f2.8 24-70mm Zoom? Minolta AF 28-70mm F2.8 G?)
Best tele zoom? (Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G-Series SSM Zoom? ? Sony 70-300mm G SSM Zoom? Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8? Minolta AF 70-200mm F2.8 APO G D SSM?)
Hope this is a hot topic, and hope the above research helps get us started!
Kyle at AVA Creative