Thinking about new lenses for the FX9?

DSC_0421-2-1024x576 Thinking about new lenses for the FX9?
Sony 28-135mm f4 zoom on the PXW-FX9

If you are starting to think about lenses to take advantage of the FX9’s amazing autofocus capabilities then you should know that I have tested quite a few different lenses on the FX9 now. I have yet to find a Sony lens where the AF hasn’t worked really well. Even the low cost Sony 50mm f1.8 and 28mm f2 lenses worked very well. Infact I actually quite like both of these lenses and they represent great value for the money.

But what I have found is that non Sony lenses have not worked well. I have been testing a range of lenses on various pre-production cameras. Maybe this situation will improve through firmware updates, I would hope so, but I honestly don’t know. The E-mount Sigma 18-35 and 20mm art lenses I tried were not at all satisfactory. The AF worked, but in what appears to be a contrast only mode. The autofocus was much slower and hunted compared to the fast, hunt free AF with the Sony lenses. You would not want to use this which is a great shame as these lenses are optically very nice.

It’s the same story when using Canon EF lenses via both Metabones and Viltrox adapters (I have not tested the Sigma MC11). Phase AF does not appear to work, only contrast and it’s slow.

So if you are thinking about buying lenses for the FX9 the only lenses I can recommend right now are Sony lenses. Don’t (at this stage at least) buy other brand E-mount lenses or expect lenses to be used via adapters unless you can find a way to test them on an FX9 first.

11 thoughts on “Thinking about new lenses for the FX9?”

  1. Interesting ..exactly what I was wondering.. I have PL Sigma 18-35/50-100 and like them alot..was wondering how the E mount would work with the AF.. also have the stills 85 f1.8 and 55 F1.8.. for my A7iii… presumed they would work.. and would be handy for interviews ..but how do you control the aperture on the fx9 with these lenses.. presumably its some switch setting and the large multi knob thing at the front.. but then you cant use it for anything else either I guess.. at the same time.. I wonder if its ever feasible to use stills lenses in anything like a hand held doc style.. any news on the Sony cine line .. would seem the obvious choice .. 16-35 only T3.1.. but I guess in FF mode you are “gaining” a stop of bokeh .. compared to s35.. if that makes sense ..

    1. The multifunction knobs primary function is for navigating the menu system. When not in the menus it can be set to control the iris. It switches between menu control and iris control seamlessly. In addition most users will probably assign iris control to the dial on the handgrip. This means you can control the aperture without having to take a hand from a the focus ring or from the hand grip andis how most FS7 users control the iris on those cameras.

      Sure you can use stills lenses for news and doc style shooting, lots of people already do. The new AF makes it even easier. For example the Sony 24-240mm E-mount lens is not parfocal, but if you use the FX9’s AF you can zoom in and out without the focus shifting.

      1. ok thanks .. right forgot about the grip..Ive not used it before.. any idea what the other Sony cine lenses will be.. presume they will be zooms like the 16-35mm to begin with anyway.. Im getting this camera for sure.. using the stills 85/55 f1.8 will make interviews a dream.. Im not 100% sold on AF for handheld doc /B roll stuff.. but the Sony cine lenses should provide the best of both worlds .. or I,ll go down to s35 mode with the sigma cine zooms in E mount.. weirdly if you have PL in the first place sigma cant change the mount.. but can go from E to PL.. ?

  2. Hi Alister, thank you for this interesting post! I‘m planning to do an upgrade from our FS7 to this FX9. We have the 18-110 lens, that works great with the AF. We also now have the new Tamron 28-75, 2.8, as the Selp18110g has only F4.0. This lens works very well in every way with the FS 7, focus- and exposure wise. Would you have the chance to test this one on the Fx9? It is a very good zoom lens. Would’ve very interested, what you would think if it!

    1. I can only test the lenses I have access to and I don’t have the Tamron 28-75, it was too soft in the corners and away from the very center for me.

      1. It is a very good lens, all testers say, but anyhow: thank you for your answer! I very much appreciate your blogs.

  3. Hi Alister, really appreciate your generosity in sharing your time and insights in all things tech. Have you a good go with the FX-9 and the Sony FE 24-135mm F4? I’m thinking this may be a good option to transition fro my F5/Nikon system. I’d be interested in how effective the autofocus (and manual focus for that matter) works in the combo.

  4. Hi Alister,
    thanks so much for sharing this information regarding Sony FX-9. Currently I have Sony FS7, but I’m considering buying FX-9. For FS7 I have used a set of Sony CineAlta PL lenses with E-mount to PL mount and now I was wondering if these lenses would also be compatible with Sony FX-9 as this one has a full-frame?
    Thanks so much for your reply already in advance, I really appreciate it!
    Best, Joze

    1. They are s35mm lenses. But most of them will cover the full sensor, but a bit soft and with some light fall off outside of s35, especially at large apertures.

  5. My Fx9 just stopped performing AF , when I press to switch between manual and auto focus it says cannot proceed.

    I have sony G master 24 and 50 primes. They were working and now the camera just doesnt use AF with either of them. I know both lenses cannot be damaged so it has to be the camera. Any help would be appreciated that was one of my favorite features of this camera since buying it a month ago. Would love to get it back otherwise its kind of useless for my run n gun style

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