It’s the first dedicated macro lens for Sony’s full- frame E-mount cameras, but just how good is the new Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS lens? Richard Sibley has a closer look.
Until now, for anyone interested in macro photography, Sony’s own LA-EA adapters for Alpha-mount lenses or third-party adapters were the only way they could shoot macro images. Now that Sony has released the FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS lens all that has changed, with this premium optic providing Alpha 7 users a dedicated macro lens.
Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS review – Features
The 90-105mm focal length is a sweet spot for macro photographers. It offers a good working distance between the subject and the end of the lens, and has a narrow enough field of view so that backgrounds can be fairly concentrated and blown nicely out of focus. In this context, the Sony 90mm Macro lens follows in the footsteps of the highly regarded Tamron 90mm, Tokina 100mm and Sigma 105mm macro lenses – quite an illustrious group to be part of.
Sony’s lens has an f/2.8 maximum aperture, with a minimum setting of f/22. Combined with the 90mm focal length, this means that the optic could double up as a portrait lens. However, with a Sony 85mm FE lens rumoured to be among the next batch of lenses, Alpha 7 users wanting a specialist portrait lens might prefer to wait a little longer.
Optical image stabilisation is featured in the lens, allowing me to shoot as slow as 1/15sec when taking images of distant objects. I even managed to shoot some macro images at this speed, although more through luck, careful technique and firing a short burst than through the image stabilisation itself. At very close distances the problem is the back-and-forth movement that stabilisation can’t correct. The shallow depth of field means that just a slight shift back or forth can change the focus plane.
Overall, the OSS (Optical Steady Shot) built in to the lens works well, adding a touch of reassurance when shooting handheld street or landscape images, and it can also help with macro shots.