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Lens Options For the Sony A7S

Johnathan Paul

Before you buy any camera, you want to get a lay of the land in terms of what glass (lenses) the camera can use. Luckily with today’s adaptable technology you can pretty much use whatever lenses you want. Since this is the case, we need to change the types of questions we ask ourselves before committing to a lens purchase.

The main questions that come to mind are… what am I going to shoot with this camera? How much money do I have budgeted for lenses? Do I have to use the Sony E-Mount lenses, or can I use EF and PL lenses?

We’ll break our lens options into sections and try to address the questions above in each breakdown.

Out of the Box

Let’s get started with our options straight from the box. The Sony A7S comes with the standard E-Mount. You may be thinking that the E-Mount will severely limit you, but as Brian Smith pointed out in his ultimate guide to Sony E-Mount lenses — there’s no such limitation.

What we do see in this first section on E-Mount-only lenses is that we need to budget for, at the very least, a couple thousand on lenses. And depending on what you’re shooting, you’ll want to get the lenses that work for you. For most of your shoots you’ll want a high-quality zoom lens and a solid prime. Let’s look at examples of both in E-Mount form.

  Rokinon   35mm   f/1.4   $479.00 USD
  Rokinon   24mm   f/1.4   $549.00 USD
  Sony Sonnar   55mm   f/1.8   $998.00 USD
  Zeiss Batis   85mm   f/1.8   $1199.00 USD
  Sony FE Zoom   70-200mm   f/4.0   $1498.00 USD

Here is an example of what can be shot using the Sony A7S and a Rokinon 35mm. This short reel was filmed by James John.

EF Mount Lens Options

Remember the question posed up top that asked if we can replace a Sony E-Mount with EF and PL lenses? Well if you can’t tell, you absolutely can use EF mount lenses. The Canon standard line of lenses are probably the most widely used by both prosumers and professionals alike.

The only hitch with EF mounts is the fact that the Sony A7S doesn’t allow you to mount these natively to the camera. However, fret not… there are ways to get around this problem, most notably the use of lens adapters. Here’s another great article from Brian Smith that gives you all the info you need to know about using EF lens adapters for the A7S.

Just be sure to budget around three thousand if you want to grab at least two lenses in EF mount form from the lenses listed.

  Rokinon   50mm   T1.5   $530.00 USD
 Canon   50mm   f/1.2   $1449.00 USD
  Zeiss Compact Prime   50mm   f/1.5   $4500.00 USD
  Canon EF Zoom   17-40mm   f/4.0   $799.00 USD
  Canon EF Zoom   24-105mm   f/4.0   $999.00 USD

For an example of what one can do with an A7S, EF Lens Mount, and a Canon 24-105mm zoom lens, check out Gateway to the Ganges by Brandon Li.

PL Mount Lens Options

So now that we know that we can adapt the Sony A7S to EF mount lenses, can we do the same with PL mounts? Well if this Wooden Camera Lens Adapter is any indication, the answer is yes. The larger question you should be asking at this point is why am I getting a PL mount lens for the A7S? And do I really need this lens?

I will admit the 4K footage from the A7S will look amazing with any of these lenses, but I’m not going to lie to you… PL mount lenses are not the cheapest of the bunch. In fact, the PL mount is the standard ARRI mount, which is used throughout Hollywood. But if you have your heart set on using these lenses, then let’s see what your options are.

Again, be sure to budget here, because you’ll need it. As I said, PL mount lenses will have you budgeting around 30 grand for two lenses. Unless you’re bank rolled by a major studio, I would suggest that you just rent these lenses if you have your heart set on using them.

  Zeiss Compact Prime   50mm   T1.5   $4500.00 USD
  Cooke Mini S4/i   50mm   T2.8   $7300.00 USD
  Schneider Xenon   50mm   T2.0   $7750.00 USD
  Canon CN-E   30-105mm   T2.8   $19275.00 USD
  Zeiss Compact Zoom   70-200mm   T2.9   $19900.00 USD

Since we couldn’t find any examples of anyone using the A7S with PL mount lenses, we decided to show you another EF mount short film. In this video, Carbon Studios used Zeiss Primes along with the A7S to capture a film called Moonlight, which is a low light project where the only source of illumination is the moon itself.

Want more content on the Sony A7S? Then check out these articles from PremiumBeat.

Do you own a Sony A7S? What lenses are you using? Did this article help you get a better understanding of what the costs are for each group of lens options? Let us know in the comments below.