NEX 7 with 50mm versus 18-55 mm

Started Mar 19, 2013 | Questions thread
seachicken2000
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Re: NEX 7 with 50mm versus 18-55 mm
In reply to Leonard, Mar 20, 2013

At the long end, most often I am using the kit zoom for a people pictures, and I what I want is a sharp center and good-looking bokeh. The 18-55 does this unusually well for a kit lens.

The 50mm lens is the best native lens in the system for me. Most people view it as just a decent modern 50mm lens; it is, but it's more than that. This lens has been designed to shoot portraits and it's all about the rendering, and this lens renders beautifully. The SEL 50mm is also extremely sharp in the center, right from wide open.

Stopped down it's sharp everywhere. Here's a 100% crop from the extreme corner at f/6.3. I can't really see any meaningful difference between corner and center at this aperture. Even pixel peeping on the NEX-7 sensor, it could hardly be any sharper.

As DtEW points out, at f/8 upwards, even though the 50mm prime will be the sharper of the two on paper, the reality is it won't make much difference as both will appear sharp in print. The question is how much sharpness do you want/need.

The biggest difference between them is the max aperture: f/1.8 is a world away from f/5.6 in terms of DoF control. My impression is (I can't provide any evidence) that the stabilization on the 50mm is more effective than the kit lens's.

Since you have a NEX-7 and have paid the price for all those extra pixels, why not? Or how about an adapted prime? A $30 Pentax SMC Takumar (and many others) stopped down is plenty sharp too.

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