Sony FE PZ 28-135 lens field test and review
Maarten | On 26, Oct 2015
I’d briefly handled the Sony FE PZ 28-135 F4 G OSS (SELP28135G) lens at a Sony MeetUp in the spring, and been interested in its ability for cinematic video. So when a review sample became available, I didn’t hesitate.
Luckily the timing coincided with Meagan Delima’s EP launch at The Piston, which Thom Varey had asked me to assist with a second camera. The ability to shoot with an A7S, the 28-135 and record in 4K on an Atomos Shogun – all loaned to me by Sony – had us both anticipating an excellent shoot.
The video is output to Youtube in 4K – please watch in that format if you can. I haven’t included my observations on quality in the video, I trust you to make your own conclusions from the footage.
It’s a substantial size and weight, so to shoot we mounted the lens on a Shape Paparazzi bracket on a Manfrotto 504/546b tripod, and let the camera hang off the lens. I’d read a few stories about the lens mount being damaged by heavy lenses or rough handling, so wanted to be super careful. I don’t think I’d ever want to handhold this lens/camera combination. The Shape supported the Shogun mounted on top, again, not wanting to put extra weight on the camera/lens combination by attaching the Shogun to the camera. Thom did take some handheld shots holding the Shape bracket – and zooming with the remote control mounted on the bracket. We didn’t use the remote control at The Piston.
A musician by education and a sound engineer by profession, Thom has been shooting music videos with the A7S for a while, and I respect his experience. It’s his Picture Profile settings that we used. He shot a second angle with an A7S with the 24-70, with identical settings. He’s still busy with the mix and video editing, but I’ll update this post with a link when the video(s) are available.
Behind the scenes, the HD shots are taken with a Sony A6000, the 4K shots of the lens with the A7S/Shogun combination (that’s why there’s no camera on the lens in those shots). The screens are recorded on the Shogun – the A7S does not provide an overlay (dirty) feed on the HDMI out in 4K. Screen captures are edited, and sometimes speeded up or slowed down, so don’t reflect the time it may take for some events. On camera audio with a Sony ECM 44 recorded on a Tascam DR-70D, voice over with a Rode NT USB. Edited in Final Cut 10.2.2 on a 5K iMac.
Although the equipment was loaned by Sony, I’m not employed by nor compensated by Sony. Nor do they have the opportunity to review the video before it’s posted. I have no sponsorship, financial or other obligations to any of the manufacturers mentioned above.
My thanks to Ved, Elaine, Rob and Karol at Sony – they were very helpful in this project. My thanks also to Meagan and her band – If you’re looking for more information about her, I recommend a Google search, as she doesn’t yet have a dedicated web site. You’ll find her on Facebook, Bandcamp, etc.
I hope I’ve provided all of the information you’d like, if there’s something I’ve missed, I welcome and reply to all questions and comments.