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      05-15-2019, 02:51 AM   #1
Ghosn
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Sony A7 III, lens choices?

Gday,

So after my recent M3 purchase, I'm looking to expand my photography knowledge and skills which as it stands is at a novice level. I want to start by equipping myself with the right gear.

I'm looking towards the Sony A7 III at the present time, but I'm not sure which lens I should go with first.

There are so many lens choices, it's hard to know the right one to pick, would love some guidance on what would best suit my needs going forward.

Now my main focus is to expand and grow my instagram page, it gives me an opportunity to combine two hobbies, one is my car and the other which I'm trying to get better at is photography.

So I guess my main source of pictures for my instagram will be the car with a scenic backdrop(day and night shots), throw in some rolling shots and some close ups.

At the moment, I've only posted a handful of pictures using only my smartphone and brief photoshopping. Once I get my hands on some proper gear, I'll start travelling a bit further out and finding much better locations to take a lot more pics.

With that in mind, is there one lens which can do it all or would I need to buy multiple lenses to get the most of what I want? What len/s do you guys recommend?

Cheers.
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      05-15-2019, 12:02 PM   #2
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Ghosn, welcome.

The a7III would be an excellent choice. In 2017 I moved from Canon full-frame to Sony full-frame and I've completed my set-up.

I'm a wildlife specialist, but also do a lot of travel and scenic photography. I sell through Getty images, with decent success. (I need to upload way more pictures).

Anyway, my full kit is a9, a7RIII, FE 12-24mm f/4 G (a fantastic "big sky" lens), the FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS (if you only get one lens, this is it), the FE 85mm f/1.4 GM OSS (my go-to portrait lens), the FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS (a super duper lens for wildlife and bird photography) and the FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS (an incredible lens, but only for very serious sports or wildlife photographers).

Start with the 24-105mm and don't be tempted by the 24-70mm f/2.8 GM (I've got one for sale if you want it ;-) or foolishness, such as 24mm, 35mm 50mm primes. I came up when primes were the only choice and the image quality of zooms sucked. That is not the case any more. The dynamic range of the a7III is so great that f/4 is plenty fast. Really, you can shoot at ISO 40,000, if need be. See below:

Big Buck After Sundown by David Stephens, on Flickr

So, if I could have only one lens, it'd be the FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, with Optical Lens Stabilization and In Body Image Stabilization, hand holding the 24-105 at 1/15th second is a breeze.

An f/4 70-200mm is an option for those that don't need the reach of the 100-400mm. A 70-200mm makes for an excellent portrait lens, as well as outdoor sports from the sideline and even macro, with a 1.4x or 2.0x teleconverter.

When you buy any lens beyond the 24-105mm, I recommend both the 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters. On Sony's bodies, they AF with almost no deterioration in AF speed, tracking and image quality. My FE 2.0x teleconverter is on my 400/2.8 almost all of the time.

If at all possible, go with native Sony lenses. Sony is constantly updating the firmware on their bodies and all updates take into account the native lenses. The bodies have many AF modes. When I tried adapting Canon lenses, many of the modes were not available. Also, the AF performance speed and tracking was not as good with the non-Sony lenses. Try to find a way to afford the Sony lenses. You will not regret it.

See my Flickr link below to see lots of examples.
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      05-17-2019, 03:34 AM   #3
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Thank you for the detailed response dcstep.

Been very helpful and informative.

I think this is the one you are referring too?
https://www.amazon.com.au/Sony-FE-24...srs=5875664051

If so, I'll order one of those with my a7 III.

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      05-17-2019, 09:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghosn View Post
Thank you for the detailed response dcstep.

Been very helpful and informative.

I think this is the one you are referring too?
https://www.amazon.com.au/Sony-FE-24...srs=5875664051

If so, I'll order one of those with my a7 III.

Exactly what I suggested. Good luck.

Dave
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      05-31-2019, 09:57 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ghosn View Post
Thank you for the detailed response dcstep.

Been very helpful and informative.

I think this is the one you are referring too?
https://www.amazon.com.au/Sony-FE-24...srs=5875664051

If so, I'll order one of those with my a7 III.

Well, what do you think?
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      06-03-2019, 01:54 AM   #6
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Well, what do you think?


Camera and lens are solid, couldn't be happier with them! Thanks again

Only problem is, it's winter here and it's been cold and raining for most days so I haven't had the chance to take the car out and really test the camera. I've only been able to play around and test it around the house.

I've watched a heap of youtube vids to learn more about the camera and photography in general and it seems I'll have to watch a heap more . There is so much to learn and understand in photography.

I'm absorbing most of it but a lot of it will come from real world usage and trial and error.

I think we might get a couple of nice days this weekend so I'll give the car a clean and go for a drive and find some nice spots. I'll post up some pics when I get a chance.
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      06-03-2019, 09:52 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ghosn View Post


Camera and lens are solid, couldn't be happier with them! Thanks again

Only problem is, it's winter here and it's been cold and raining for most days so I haven't had the chance to take the car out and really test the camera. I've only been able to play around and test it around the house.

...


I think we might get a couple of nice days this weekend so I'll give the car a clean and go for a drive and find some nice spots. I'll post up some pics when I get a chance.
Winter!!! Time to get out:
Snow-storm Workout by David Stephens, on Flickr

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      07-02-2019, 08:21 PM   #8
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I've a Sony 16-35mm Vario-Tessar for wide-angle/landscape photography, for more closeup and street/portrait stuff I've Sony 55mm F1.8. These two lenses are pretty small as compared to G master lenses and much cheaper. I had Batis 25mm f2 which I sold for 16-35mm, I always shoot landscape with a tripod at around f8 to f11 so a faster and bigger+heavier lens didn't serve any purpose. The quality would be better with a G master but only necessary and noticeable in a professional setting.

24-105 G lens is a great choice though, I'd have opted for that if I didn't require something more compact/lighter and wider angle of view.

I'd highly recommend the prime 55mm f1.8, light weight and small in size(you'll click more when it's easier to carry around), very sharp, excellent autofocus, beautiful bokeh, great for portraits and street photography (which would also include clicking cars ) and also good in low light situations. Set up your 24-105 at 55mm and see if you like the field of view and if it serves your purpose.
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      07-02-2019, 09:01 PM   #9
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If you want small size, then DON'T buy a full-frame camera. The one-inch sensor and AF system in the RX-100 will serve most people.

Buying a professional full-frame body and then limiting yourself to a relic from the 1960's, a 50mm f/1.8, just seems crazy to me. I was there in the 1960s, when zooms sucked and most of us had a 50mm, a 35mm and a 135mm or 200mm. Today, the image quality of my FE 12-24mm f/4 G, FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS, FE 100-400mm is a COMPLETE solution for 99% of us. I also own the FE 400/2.8 and FE 85/1.4 for birds, wildlife and portraits, in the the case of the 85. I could do without the 85mm, but not the 400mm, but they are both special purpose.

I understand the need for some to keep weight down. One of my students is a 110-lb, 64-year old woman that could carry part of my rig for even a few minutes. For budget reasons, she's still with a Rebel DSLR, with one good lens, the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS. She's got an EF-S zoom for everything else and can manage the weight easily. If she can afford it in the future, I'll probably recommend a Sony RX-10, because she shoots wildlife and really needs the focal length.

Would I recommend a 50/1.8? What for???? It doesn't do anything particularly well. It's too short for most portraits and it's too long for most landscapes. I don't think it's a good street focal length.

I looked through an Album of 60+ "street" and "candid" shots and only a hand full were shot within 10mm of 50mm. I see no reason to tie one arm behind your back, particularly now that the image quality of the better zooms is excellent and you can apply digital lens optimization in RAW conversion.
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      07-02-2019, 10:25 PM   #10
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If you want small size, then DON'T buy a full-frame camera. The one-inch sensor and AF system in the RX-100 will serve most people.

Buying a professional full-frame body and then limiting yourself to a relic from the 1960's, a 50mm f/1.8, just seems crazy to me. I was there in the 1960s, when zooms sucked and most of us had a 50mm, a 35mm and a 135mm or 200mm. Today, the image quality of my FE 12-24mm f/4 G, FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS, FE 100-400mm is a COMPLETE solution for 99% of us. I also own the FE 400/2.8 and FE 85/1.4 for birds, wildlife and portraits, in the the case of the 85. I could do without the 85mm, but not the 400mm, but they are both special purpose.

I understand the need for some to keep weight down. One of my students is a 110-lb, 64-year old woman that could carry part of my rig for even a few minutes. For budget reasons, she's still with a Rebel DSLR, with one good lens, the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS. She's got an EF-S zoom for everything else and can manage the weight easily. If she can afford it in the future, I'll probably recommend a Sony RX-10, because she shoots wildlife and really needs the focal length.

Would I recommend a 50/1.8? What for???? It doesn't do anything particularly well. It's too short for most portraits and it's too long for most landscapes. I don't think it's a good street focal length.

I looked through an Album of 60+ "street" and "candid" shots and only a hand full were shot within 10mm of 50mm. I see no reason to tie one arm behind your back, particularly now that the image quality of the better zooms is excellent and you can apply digital lens optimization in RAW conversion.
It's a mirrorless full frame, much smaller than the conventional full frame DSLRs. One of the main advantages is its size. If there is a smaller size lens available with exceptional quality then why not pair it?

50mm f1.8? A relic from 1960? Where did I mention 50mm 1.8? You might want to read my post again. I mentioned Sony 55mm f1.8, again, Sony 55mm f1.8. Not to be confused with Sony 50mm f1.8 which is a totally different lens. Maybe look it up first before jumping to conclusions. It's one of the best full frame lenses available for Sony mirrorless lineup right now, pretty modern in tech, not a relic.

It is short for landscapes but if it's challenging to use it for portraits or street photography then that's just limited/bad composition.

Again, I merely suggested to try the field of view at 55mm and see if it works for the OP, if so then using a smaller prime lens with great picture quality, a smaller f stop and a shallower depth of field as compared to f4 would be a better option in a lot of scenarios.
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      07-02-2019, 10:56 PM   #11
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Budget? That might lead us to help you nail down what would be best. As noted above a more budget might fill the need BUT if the budget is there the 24-70 2.8 is amazing. I used that lens and an a7r exclusively while in Japan. Now that Canon released their Mirrorless I sold it and have EOS R.

AND... if a full frame is in your budget. Get it. dSLR or mirrorless. It is wonderful.

My current kit for work:

Canon 1Dx x2, EOS R, 400 2.8L IS, 70-200 2.8L IS mk2, 24-70 f/4L IS, Sigma 135 1.8, Sigma 35mm 1.4 and 17-40 f/4L.
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      07-02-2019, 11:05 PM   #12
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It's a mirrorless full frame, much smaller than the conventional full frame DSLRs. One of the main advantages is its size. If there is a smaller size lens available with exceptional quality then why not pair it?

50mm f1.8? A relic from 1960? Where did I mention 50mm 1.8? You might want to read my post again. I mentioned Sony 55mm f1.8, again, Sony 55mm f1.8. Not to be confused with Sony 50mm f1.8 which is a totally different lens. Maybe look it up first before jumping to conclusions. It's one of the best full frame lenses available for Sony mirrorless lineup right now, pretty modern in tech, not a relic.

It is short for landscapes but if it's challenging to use it for portraits or street photography then that's just limited/bad composition.

Again, I merely suggested to try the field of view at 55mm and see if it works for the OP, if so then using a smaller prime lens with great picture quality, a smaller f stop and a shallower depth of field as compared to f4 would be a better option in a lot of scenarios.
50 or 55, either is an out of date lens choice for most photographers. The IQ is no better than the top zooms.

I own a Sony a7RIII and an a9. Put a full-frame lens on either and they're a seriously big rig. Don't go Sony full-frame to go small. An RX-10, RX-100, or a 6400 is a better choice if small is what you need.

When did shallower depth of field become an objective? If you want bokeh, a quality lens, at f/4, will give nice, smooth bokeh, if that's what floats your boat. With my 85/f1.4, I can shoot the left eye of a model in focus and the bridge of the nose and the right eye will be OOF. That's why I mainly shoot at f/8 and f/11. That very expensive lens is only in my kit because of its incredible IQ and it's my favorite focal length for portrait. Still, I sometimes think that I made a bad decision. I bought it a weak moment of GAS, but I need to work with it more to justify the investment.

Anyway, if you're serious, these days, I don't think that you limit your flexibility with a prime 50 or 55. It's a tweener focal length that's only of limited use, When you need 24mm, 55mm just won't do. When you need 105mm, 55mm just want do. If you can't handle the weight, then get an RX-100 or RX-10.

I know that the hipsters are out there using film and shooting 50-55mm primes. That's all good, but that's about nostalgia and a desire to learn lost crafts. Just realize that's not about better photography, but simply about learning something old. It's like why some guys/gals drive Porsche 356's, rather than a modern car. It's all good, but not to be confused with modern technology that frees us from the restrictions of the 1960s.

Sorry if I'm over reacting a bit. I know that the 50-55mm advice was given in good faith. I just want people to think deeper before investing in something that will not further their photography.
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      07-02-2019, 11:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
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50 or 55, either is an out of date lens choice for most photographers. The IQ is no better than the top zooms.

I own a Sony a7RIII and an a9. Put a full-frame lens on either and they're a seriously big rig. Don't go Sony full-frame to go small. An RX-10, RX-100, or a 6400 is a better choice if small is what you need.

When did shallower depth of field become an objective? If you want bokeh, a quality lens, at f/4, will give nice, smooth bokeh, if that's what floats your boat. With my 85/f1.4, I can shoot the left eye of a model in focus and the bridge of the nose and the right eye will be OOF. That's why I mainly shoot at f/8 and f/11. That very expensive lens is only in my kit because of its incredible IQ and it's my favorite focal length for portrait. Still, I sometimes think that I made a bad decision. I bought it a weak moment of GAS, but I need to work with it more to justify the investment.

Anyway, if you're serious, these days, I don't think that you limit your flexibility with a prime 50 or 55. It's a tweener focal length that's only of limited use, When you need 24mm, 55mm just won't do. When you need 105mm, 55mm just want do. If you can't handle the weight, then get an RX-100 or RX-10.

I know that the hipsters are out there using film and shooting 50-55mm primes. That's all good, but that's about nostalgia and a desire to learn lost crafts. Just realize that's not about better photography, but simply about learning something old. It's like why some guys/gals drive Porsche 356's, rather than a modern car. It's all good, but not to be confused with modern technology that frees us from the restrictions of the 1960s.

Sorry if I'm over reacting a bit. I know that the 50-55mm advice was given in good faith. I just want people to think deeper before investing in something that will not further their photography.
On the contrary, doesn't a prime lens help you improve and further your photography much more as compared to a zoom lens, especially for a beginner or someone still trying to improve? Makes you think and get creative as the focal length is fixed, makes you move around and you get more confident as you can't get away with clicking from far away, you need to get close to the people/subject.

I understand zoom lenses are great now but only at the higher end, however, a lot of times you require a compact setup, travel, etc, and there are a lot of small size full frame lenses out there which when paired with a full frame mirrorless camera can make a solid setup without the added bulk. My Batis 25mm f2 was really compact with exceptional IQ but I needed something wider, for some people 25mm is enough. For some people there is only one requirement, some only shoot at 50mm, some only like 24 or even 16/18, what I'm saying is if there's a particular focal length that serves the purpose then one can achieve the results with a smaller compact setup without sacrificing the IQ. Also, Sony 24-105mm f4 isn't huge either, for such a wide range it's somewhat compact, as I mentioned earlier, it's a great choice.
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      07-03-2019, 08:56 AM   #14
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On the contrary, doesn't a prime lens help you improve and further your photography much more as compared to a zoom lens, especially for a beginner or someone still trying to improve? Makes you think and get creative as the focal length is fixed, makes you move around and you get more confident as you can't get away with clicking from far away, you need to get close to the people/subject.

I understand zoom lenses are great now but only at the higher end, however, a lot of times you require a compact setup, travel, etc, and there are a lot of small size full frame lenses out there which when paired with a full frame mirrorless camera can make a solid setup without the added bulk. My Batis 25mm f2 was really compact with exceptional IQ but I needed something wider, for some people 25mm is enough. For some people there is only one requirement, some only shoot at 50mm, some only like 24 or even 16/18, what I'm saying is if there's a particular focal length that serves the purpose then one can achieve the results with a smaller compact setup without sacrificing the IQ. Also, Sony 24-105mm f4 isn't huge either, for such a wide range it's somewhat compact, as I mentioned earlier, it's a great choice.
Good points.

I agree that shooting a fixed focal length can be a good learning exercise, but only for a few days. Borrow or rent a lens if you want to understand how your system works better. Better yet, tape your zoom ring at 24mm for a couple of days, then 50mm and then 105mm. Then you'll really learn to see how the perspective changes. Distance is part of the equation, but perspective and compression also change the feel of an image.

I too "need" something wider than 24 or 25mm. I love my FE 12-24mm f/4 G on a full-frame body. Nothing else will do for "big sky" shots. The 24-105mm is my walk-around lens, but I very seldom go anywhere without the 12-24mm in a sling bag, on my back. It's a little hard for many people to use, but when you need wide, this is a great lens. It's another in the category of "force yourself to use it" for a few days and then you'll get better at using it in a wide variety of situations.

I think that it could be informative to some to look at my Album of "Street and Candid", including looking at the EXIF information, particularly the focal lengths of the shots. I do shoot a few close to 50mm, but the distribution is quite wide, ranging from 24mm to 700mm:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/dcstep...th/5694735762/

For many of us, the 24-105mm isn't huge, but for a few, it's too much. For those people, if they can do without full-frame, then I suggest looking toward a 1" sensor, with a built in, scaled down lens. The Sony RX-100 and RX-10 are powerful examples of very compact cameras that have very sophisticated AF and processing systems.

As I travel around the world, I will sometimes go out with only my 24-105mm on my a7RIII; however, most of the time, I've got a bag with the 12-24mm and the 100-400mm inside. I hate seeing a shot in my head and then not having the right focal length for the situation.
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      07-03-2019, 12:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Good points.

I agree that shooting a fixed focal length can be a good learning exercise, but only for a few days. Borrow or rent a lens if you want to understand how your system works better. Better yet, tape your zoom ring at 24mm for a couple of days, then 50mm and then 105mm. Then you'll really learn to see how the perspective changes. Distance is part of the equation, but perspective and compression also change the feel of an image.

I too "need" something wider than 24 or 25mm. I love my FE 12-24mm f/4 G on a full-frame body. Nothing else will do for "big sky" shots. The 24-105mm is my walk-around lens, but I very seldom go anywhere without the 12-24mm in a sling bag, on my back. It's a little hard for many people to use, but when you need wide, this is a great lens. It's another in the category of "force yourself to use it" for a few days and then you'll get better at using it in a wide variety of situations.

I think that it could be informative to some to look at my Album of "Street and Candid", including looking at the EXIF information, particularly the focal lengths of the shots. I do shoot a few close to 50mm, but the distribution is quite wide, ranging from 24mm to 700mm:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/dcstep...th/5694735762/

For many of us, the 24-105mm isn't huge, but for a few, it's too much. For those people, if they can do without full-frame, then I suggest looking toward a 1" sensor, with a built in, scaled down lens. The Sony RX-100 and RX-10 are powerful examples of very compact cameras that have very sophisticated AF and processing systems.

As I travel around the world, I will sometimes go out with only my 24-105mm on my a7RIII; however, most of the time, I've got a bag with the 12-24mm and the 100-400mm inside. I hate seeing a shot in my head and then not having the right focal length for the situation.
I completely agree, all comes down to individual style and preferences though. I strongly believe I can get a compact setup even with a full frame, however, if the subject is far away and I need to zoom then yeah there's no way I'll get the click without a bigger zoom lens. For me personally, 24-105mm isn't huge at all, I was seriously considering it but then I got a combined deal on 16-35 and 55mm so I swayed that way.
Great pictures by the way, across all focal lengths. I see you switched from Canon full frame to Sony, I was using a crop sensor Nikon before moving to A7ii, A7Riii is a beast, definitely my next camera. I wonder if you even use a9 after having A7Riii?
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... I see you switched from Canon full frame to Sony, I was using a crop sensor Nikon before moving to A7ii, A7Riii is a beast, definitely my next camera. I wonder if you even use a9 after having A7Riii?
I shoot tons of birds in flight, so Tracking (used to be called Lock-on) AF is huge for me. I started with the a9, after trying one on a puffin workshop. It literally felt like cheating. Added the a7RIII as soon as it came out.

The a9 is still the body that I use, if I'm expecting fast flying birds. For almost everything else, I use the a7RIII, for it's higher dynamic range and resolution. A major negative to the a7RIII is rolling shutter distortion, which requires me to use the mechanical shutter, which, of course, is not silent. When shooting mammals and many bird, silent shutter is much preferred. For most people, I think that the a7RIII or the a7III is the way to go.

Installing a firmware update to my a9, later today, further improving the already amazing AF system.
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      09-23-2019, 11:55 AM   #17
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I know this thread is old, but I recommend the follwowing:

24MM G Master
85MM G Master
70-200 G Master
90mm Macro

In that order.

Any of the G series 35 and 50 are great lenses. The 55mm 1.8 is one of the sharpest lenses ever. I always try to recommend great glass to people first. Since youre going to run an A7III, I say just make the investment in the good stuff now. Theres a great buy/sell/trade group for sony gear on FB too.

Also, if you dont know about greentoe, try that too to save huge dollars.
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