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Thread: A NEX conundrum...

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    A NEX conundrum...

    So I've found myself looking at all the nex-5n images and thinking "A small camera like that could probably do everything I NEED a camera to do" and "If my a850 was smaller I WOULD take it with me more often".Dangerous thoughts I know.

    I would love to hear what some of you with the nex-5n think of the files relative to the full frame sonys. For reference: the majority of my photos are landscape/scenic; I like lots of DOF with my wides and like to isolate subjects with my mid to longer lenses. I'm currently using the Sony 20/2.8, 50/1.4, and Tamron 90 Macro - these lenses are light enough and provide sufficient sharpness and the look I like. Smoothness in the gradients and the feel of an image are more important to me than technical perfection. A reasonable cross section of my work and style is on my website (linked in signature) and should provide some insight into the type of images I take and how I process them.

    I would probably go with zeiss zm lenses (18/4, 35/2, 50/1.5 to start? maybe the 25/2.8?) if I were to go the nex route as they seem to have focal lengths and apertures that I would use and meet my desire to be smaller and lighter. So am I thinking that the nex is better than it is? or do those with it think it could reasonably work for my needs?

    Thanks!
    Simon

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    Re: A NEX conundrum...

    Rob Skeoch over at ThePictureDesk blog has tested all of the ZM lenses on the NEX-7. See for yourself.

    http://thepicturedesk.blogspot.com/2...t-18mm-zm.html

    I got to play with the NEX-7 (but couldn't keep any sample images ) at PhotoPlus and the focus peaking works like a champ on both the NEX-7 and NEX-5n.

    You can read part one of my show report here.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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    Senior Member pegelli's Avatar
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    Re: A NEX conundrum...

    Three thoughts Simon:
    - How important is (in-body) stabilization for you. For tripod/landscape work it's a non-issue but for handheld it might matter.
    - If you want something as wide as the 20 mm FF on APS-C you might also need a Voigtlander 12 or 15 mm, they seem to work quite well on the 5n (better than on the 5) and are not too expensive.
    - If you want 24 MP (like the FF's) you need to wait for the Nex 7, otherwise the 5n is great

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    Re: A NEX conundrum...

    Simon,
    I think the question could be if you can rely on manual focus.
    If you want subject isolation means fast lenss and if you want to keep them small this means mostly manual lenses.
    Personally I like the Nex5n but plan to use it more with the 18-50 zoom.
    The next question will be how you get along with evf.
    If we talk IQ I still believe sensor size matters (also keep in mind with dx DOF will not be as shallow as with ff at same f-stop and fov)

    In my case I like the Nex but I would want another "SLR".
    There are also many occassions where size and weight are not so important and handling and UI of a bigger camera is just better IMO.

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    Re: A NEX conundrum...

    I have a NEX-5 and like you said "it could probably do everything I NEED a camera to do".
    However, it is much more a joy, for me, to use other cameras (a Contax 167, a Nikon FM2n, etc) so I only use the NEX when I take pictures of objects in studio and I want immediate feedback and editing.

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    Re: A NEX conundrum...

    Hi There Simon.

    Well, the IQ isn't up to the A850 (although the high ISO is in a different league better).

    I really don't think one should worry about manual focusing - the peaking works so very well.

    But I must say, I wouldn't want to use it for everything - I like to use a bigger camera as well.

    Still - it's not that expensive, and the lenses you talk about can be considered as currency (i.e. if you buy them carefully you won't lose any money).

    If I were you I'd buy a NEX5n with the kit lens and the viewfinder and have a play about and see how you feel about it (it really does take a bit of time to get the rather odd settings under control).

    I wouldn't be without mine . . . . but I wouldn't be without my big Sony either!

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: A NEX conundrum...

    Jono,

    You've pretty much nailed what I was thinking... It's not that much money to give it a try. I'll probably pick one up and see what I think of the files and handling - then if everything goes well I can decide on what i would use it for and decide exactly what glass to put on it.

    I'm really looking for a camera to have with me primarily when I'm in the mountains (hiking, ski touring, climbing, etc). I can lug the big Sony and big tripod out there - but lighter would be really great on longer and/or more strenuous trips.

    One last question for those who have tried both nex and ff cameras - do the files from the nex have the same depth and flexibility in post as those from the ff Sony? If not would you say 75% as much, maybe 50%?

    Thanks,
    Simon

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    Re: A NEX conundrum...

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon M. View Post
    Jono,

    You've pretty much nailed what I was thinking... It's not that much money to give it a try. I'll probably pick one up and see what I think of the files and handling - then if everything goes well I can decide on what i would use it for and decide exactly what glass to put on it.

    I'm really looking for a camera to have with me primarily when I'm in the mountains (hiking, ski touring, climbing, etc). I can lug the big Sony and big tripod out there - but lighter would be really great on longer and/or more strenuous trips.

    One last question for those who have tried both nex and ff cameras - do the files from the nex have the same depth and flexibility in post as those from the ff Sony? If not would you say 75% as much, maybe 50%?

    Thanks,
    Simon
    Simon,
    I recently photographed some identical scenes with the Nex5n and kit zoom, a Leica x1 and a Leica M9+35/1.4asphII.
    If you are interested I can send you some files, but I would need your e-mail adress (just pm it to me).
    I am doing the same you plan to do-checking out the Nex5n with the kit lens.
    Tom

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    Re: A NEX conundrum...

    Tom,

    Some files would be awesome. PM sent.

    Thanks a million.
    Simon

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    Re: A NEX conundrum...

    Simon,

    Having come from a similar FF position (D700) and having moved to NEX and M43, I can understand your concerns. I tend to shoot similar subjects to you (lovely images on your site BTW), so please feel free to check my own site to see what the NEX (and M43) can do, both with native and legacy lenses (Voigtländer). Here's the best page:

    http://web.mac.com/simonchughes/Site...ts_Recent.html

    We were just out (visiting relatives) in the Lake Louise and Calgary area, so I'm sure you'll recognize the locale. If you have any specific questions, just ask.

    Cheers,

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    Re: A NEX conundrum...

    I just got the 5n yesterday and have been messing around with it. my 5D2 kit ships to its new owner today, and before that I had a Pentax K20d and Oly EP1. After a fair amount of pixel peeping (hey, I'm sick and stuck on the couch) I have to say that I'm fairly impressed with the 5N. While it doesn't compete with the 5D2 and L glass, it gives some nice images and certainly gives nice looking hi-iso jpgs (sadly Aperture doesn't support the raw files yet *sigh*). In fact the colors are quite nice. For my typical low-light snaps 3200 is really clean to my eye and higher iso is actually usable. Seems to have a couple of stops more usability than any of the 4/3 I owned or my g/f owns (just got her a G3).

    The kit zoom is nice but the handling of the combination takes some adjustment. Actually it is more psychological as it is easy to hold/shoot and you can grab it by the lens to carry. I'm not quite so thrilled with the 16mm pancake and I may send that back and get the 55-200 instead. I wish that Sony had put the image stabilization in the body. I'm thinking that the 50/1.8 that is coming may be a great lens as it is fast and has OSS.

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    Re: A NEX conundrum...

    Hi, Simon. I had the same conundrum last year, and I ended up selling my A900 and lenses after having the NEX-5 for a few months, because the A900 just sat. I just got the 5N yesterday, and my preliminary feeling is that the IQ is a nice little step up from the 5, especially with M wides. I will be using a CV 15/4.5, Zm 35/2, Zm 50/1.5 and occasionally a Contax G 90/2.8, and this setup looks great on the 5N.

    It really all depends on how big you print. My printer is only 13x19, and I rarely outsource for bigger prints, so the difference in resolution between the A900 and my NEX cameras is subtle at best. 24mp is just about perfect for 13x19, so the NEX-7 may be ideal, but we'll see how it performs with M wides.

    To get a sense of the DOF difference, just shoot around with your A850 with the aperture stopped down about one stop from where you're usually at, and that'll give you a pretty good sense of what you're loosing. It rarely affects me, but YMMV.

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    Re: A NEX conundrum...

    Douglas--

    Many of your [great] photos on your website look like studio shots...are you using the NEX for these types of shots going forward, and if so how are you dealing with light?

    (or is that work a whole other process/whole other kit?)

    Thanks,
    Jeff

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    Re: A NEX conundrum...

    Hi, Jeff. Thanks. Those were mostly A900, A700 and a few Hasselblad with MFDB. I'm not doing much studio anymore, but there are ways to rig the NEX-5N for studio use. The NEX-7 would be a better choice for this, though, since it has the Alpha/Minolta hotshoe. Both the 5n and 7 have a feature that unlinks exposure from the viewfinder, so you can use strobes and modeling lights effectively.

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    Re: A NEX conundrum...

    Douglas - thanks for the perspective from someone who made the switch. Based on my shooting habits I would need to shoot the RF glass near wide open, but my impression is that it is actually quite good at those larger apertures.

    My printing rarely exceed 16x20 (but I have gone up to 30x40 with some stiched files), and then only with some files that can handle it. Most of my printing ends up on 8.5x11 inch paper in folios.

    It looks like I'll be getting my hand on the 5n and kit lens for some experimenting...then adding some RF glass if I like what I see.

    Thanks to all for the information. I'll be sure to update the forum with my findings. Cheers,
    Simon

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    Re: A NEX conundrum...

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon M. View Post
    Tom,

    Some files would be awesome. PM sent.

    Thanks a million.
    Simon
    They are on the way. But keep in mind it is not a tachnical test rather just some quick shots.

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    Re: A NEX conundrum...

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon M. View Post
    Douglas - thanks for the perspective from someone who made the switch. Based on my shooting habits I would need to shoot the RF glass near wide open, but my impression is that it is actually quite good at those larger apertures.

    My printing rarely exceed 16x20 (but I have gone up to 30x40 with some stiched files), and then only with some files that can handle it. Most of my printing ends up on 8.5x11 inch paper in folios.

    It looks like I'll be getting my hand on the 5n and kit lens for some experimenting...then adding some RF glass if I like what I see.

    Thanks to all for the information. I'll be sure to update the forum with my findings. Cheers,
    Simon
    Yeah, the toughest thing would be the wide angle, in regards to speed, but maybe you don't need super shallow DOF with the widest angle? The ZM 35/2 is pretty sharp wide open, but a razor around f2.8-4. The ZM 50/1.5 has a great look, but isn't technically sharp wide open. If you want sharp wide open, I'd go Voigtlander 50/1.5. Granted, the ZM 50/1.5 is a little sharper at the edges starting around f2.8 or so.

    I've owned and tried around 11 rangefinder lenses on the NEX (5 of them being 35mm lenses,) and I've finally come to a point to where I've ALMOST got everything narrowed down to my go to system. I've just got to test the differences between the Sony 16 and the Voigtlander 15 that I just received. So, my setup on the 5N will be:

    CV 15/4.5 (or maybe Sony 16,) ZM 35/2, ZM 50/1.5, and occasionally the Contax G 90.

    I used to shoot the Sony 20/2.8, Sony 50/1.4, ZA 85/1.4 and occasionally a Zeiss Jena 135/3.5 on the A900, and my whole approach hasn't changed much, and prints look great with NEX. The ZMs have nice pop and subject separation, and I'm not really noticing a huge difference from one stop more equivalent depth of field. If you really need the shallower DOF, you could always go CV 35/1.2 and CV 50/1.1, if the size doesn't bother you.

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    Re: A NEX conundrum...

    Douglas,

    Which other 35mm lenses did you try and why did you choose the ZM 35/2?

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    Re: A NEX conundrum...

    I have been following everything to do with the Nex 5n and 7 for a few weeks now . There seems to be a preference for a 35mm lens in everyones choice of lenses . Are there no fast/sharp wide open 28mm lenses that are worth considering rather than a 35mm lens ? The next common choice is a 50mm lens which is not too far from a 35mm lens . Hence the question . My ideal would be 12-16 as a wide (not sure which one ), 28mm,58mm and a 90 would be great .

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    Re: A NEX conundrum...

    Quote Originally Posted by jsparks View Post
    Douglas,

    Which other 35mm lenses did you try and why did you choose the ZM 35/2?
    My opinions on 35mm lenses on the NEX-5.


    MS Optical Perar 35/3.5:

    --Smallest lens around by far
    --nice rendering
    --slow
    --mine had decentering that couldn't be fixed, so I returned it.

    Nokton 35/1.4 SC:

    --Great size
    --low-medium sharpness wide open
    --easy to get purple fringing
    --nice for B&W
    --bokeh is hit or miss
    --has barrel distortion
    --never very sharp in the corners, even at f8

    Contax G:

    --medium sharpness wide open
    --nice size
    --poorish bokeh wide open but great bokeh stopped down
    --sharp enough in center and corners at medium apertures
    --fiddly Contax focusing adapter

    ZM 35/2.8:

    --great size
    --zero distortion, zero flare
    --great bokeh
    --vignetting at all apertures
    --nice "pop" to images
    --very high sharpness in center at all apertures
    --pretty sharp in corners but not as sharp as 35/2 in corners
    --kind of slow for my main standard lens.

    ZM 35/2:

    --not as happy with size, but still smallish enough
    --good sharpness wide open, but razor sharp stopped down a bit
    --best corner and overall sharpness I've seen in a 35mm rangefinder lens on NEX
    --nice "pop" to images
    --zero distortion, nearly zero flare
    --ok bokeh

    The 35/2 seemed to be the best combination of factors, for me, although I would have maybe chosen the Contax G 35, if it wasn't for the focus ring adapter, since it is smaller and cheaper. It should be noted that I used to give the Contax G positive marks for mfd, but the Hawks helicoid adapter now allows me to focus M lenses closer.

    One other thing to mention is color shift. Although I've yet to see it in a real scene with any of these lenses, when I tested for color shift in a totally white scene, the Nokton 35/1.4 had virtually none, the Contax G 35 had a small amount, and both ZM lenses had the most, although still considerably less than any wider rangefinder lens. I just got the NEX-5N, and the color shift looks improved.

    Hope these opinions help!

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    Re: A NEX conundrum...

    Quote Originally Posted by rwphoto View Post
    I have been following everything to do with the Nex 5n and 7 for a few weeks now . There seems to be a preference for a 35mm lens in everyones choice of lenses . Are there no fast/sharp wide open 28mm lenses that are worth considering rather than a 35mm lens ? The next common choice is a 50mm lens which is not too far from a 35mm lens . Hence the question . My ideal would be 12-16 as a wide (not sure which one ), 28mm,58mm and a 90 would be great .
    There are quite some 28mm from CV and Leica nd Zeiss.
    I took some images with the 28/2.0asph Leica but so few that I really can not comment other than those few images looked quite good.

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    Re: A NEX conundrum...

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    Yeah, the toughest thing would be the wide angle, in regards to speed, but maybe you don't need super shallow DOF with the widest angle? The ZM 35/2 is pretty sharp wide open, but a razor around f2.8-4. The ZM 50/1.5 has a great look, but isn't technically sharp wide open. If you want sharp wide open, I'd go Voigtlander 50/1.5. Granted, the ZM 50/1.5 is a little sharper at the edges starting around f2.8 or so.

    I've owned and tried around 11 rangefinder lenses on the NEX (5 of them being 35mm lenses,) and I've finally come to a point to where I've ALMOST got everything narrowed down to my go to system. I've just got to test the differences between the Sony 16 and the Voigtlander 15 that I just received. So, my setup on the 5N will be:

    CV 15/4.5 (or maybe Sony 16,) ZM 35/2, ZM 50/1.5, and occasionally the Contax G 90.

    I used to shoot the Sony 20/2.8, Sony 50/1.4, ZA 85/1.4 and occasionally a Zeiss Jena 135/3.5 on the A900, and my whole approach hasn't changed much, and prints look great with NEX. The ZMs have nice pop and subject separation, and I'm not really noticing a huge difference from one stop more equivalent depth of field. If you really need the shallower DOF, you could always go CV 35/1.2 and CV 50/1.1, if the size doesn't bother you.
    I don't often do the shallow DOF with wide angles - just not my thing. Looking at my images from the a850 I would say 80% of my shots with the 20mm are cropped to about 24mm-28mm equivalent and shot around f8 to f11. About 70% 50mm shots are rarely cropped and shot between f1.7 and f3.5, the others are shot at f5.6 to f11 and not cropped. My 90mm shots are often shot either at f3.5 or f8.

    I'll have to play around with what options in RF lenses will work for me and how I shoot - but first to get a handle on the camera with just a kit lens...
    Last edited by Simon M.; 5th November 2011 at 06:42. Reason: spelling

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    Re: A NEX conundrum...

    My conundrum - I'm liking this for a "just take it and shoot whatever" camera. I think the 50/1.8 will be a must-have due to the OSS and speed. I'm not crazy about the 16 (it may go back), and I want something with a longer reach. So the question is add the 55-210, or splurge and get the 18-200 and just use two lenses (18-210 and 50).

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    Re: A NEX conundrum...

    Quote Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
    My conundrum - I'm liking this for a "just take it and shoot whatever" camera. I think the 50/1.8 will be a must-have due to the OSS and speed. I'm not crazy about the 16 (it may go back), and I want something with a longer reach. So the question is add the 55-210, or splurge and get the 18-200 and just use two lenses (18-210 and 50).
    you could always buy a Leica R 28-90 like I just seem to have done

    I have the 18-200 - it's fine (more than fine, it's better than any 18-200 deserves to be) , but it's quite big - if you mind that.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: A NEX conundrum...

    Umm...you don't want to know how much I've spent on bass guitars in the past year

    I bit the bullet and went to the local shop to fondle, I mean handle the candidates. Perhaps a bit Goldilocksian, but I found the 18-200 to be a bit big for my tastes. The 55-210 however was nice and I was suprised by the build quality - really nice. I figured I'd save the extra money and just carry a second lens for those times I need to go wider. I just shot some tests in the house and backyard and color me impressed. I think it is a bit sharper and I like the rendering better than the 18-55 kit. I'm going to go walk down to the beach and snap away and see if the first blush continues.

    At this point I'm really looking forward to the 50/1.8 w/OSS.

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    Re: A NEX conundrum...

    Quote Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
    Umm...you don't want to know how much I've spent on bass guitars in the past year

    I bit the bullet and went to the local shop to fondle, I mean handle the candidates. Perhaps a bit Goldilocksian, but I found the 18-200 to be a bit big for my tastes. The 55-210 however was nice and I was suprised by the build quality - really nice. I figured I'd save the extra money and just carry a second lens for those times I need to go wider. I just shot some tests in the house and backyard and color me impressed. I think it is a bit sharper and I like the rendering better than the 18-55 kit. I'm going to go walk down to the beach and snap away and see if the first blush continues.

    At this point I'm really looking forward to the 50/1.8 w/OSS.
    I thought about the 18-200 and think I could like it for curtain situations (lets say going to sport event, or at the zoo or at vacation a the cost.
    For allday walkround the kit is as big as I would want a lens on the Nex.

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