Wide-angle options for NEX-6

Started Mar 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Re: Wide-angle options for NEX-6
In reply to mgn2, Mar 23, 2013

mgn2 wrote:

Coming from Nikon (have a D5100) and about to get the 14-24 Nikon or 12-24 Tokina for lanscapes (both are $500, Nikon used, Tokina new). Is there a NEX-6 + lens combo that will work just as well if not better in terms of IQ and lens optics? If so which lens is this? The smaller the lens the better, and I really don't mind primes. What gets used by far the most on my Nikon bodies (D5100 and D40) is the Nikkor 35mm 1.8, for which there is definitely a great alternative in the NEX universe.

The Nex-6 works well with almost all WA lens solutions. Most compact are the RF lenses, unless you want a zoom. The E1018 is likely to be the most compact zoom. Zeiss has announced a 12mm/f2.8 lens that may be above your budget, but pricing is not known yet.

Aforementioned lenses all produce very sharp images. In your budget, WA RF Voigtlanders would be a first choice, but they do have softer edges than e.g. the Zeiss lenses.

Of-course, if 19mm suffices, the Sigma 19 is a very easy choice.

The E1018 also softens at the edges, so it may be a wash.

Most lenses are f/4. If you use f/4 and up (f/5.6), the cheapest way to go is the E16+ECU1 adapter. This will give you a 12mm effective FL with reasonable sharpness. Edges are not perfect, but quite acceptable.

The same ECU1 is rumored to work with the upcoming E20 pancake lens. This would give you a 15mm effective FL, with higher IQ than the E16, but again, edges may not be tack sharp.

OTOH, edges were never really sharp with legacy (SLR) lenses either. It is that we can now pixel-peep at 100% and see the details more clearly. With some lenses it is not lens IQ, but field curvature. You can e.g. focus on the edge (have soft center) and take a second pic with focus on the center (soft edge) and then layer the two images in PhotoShop or so to combine them into one sharp image.

Most of the time, the edges don't bother me. When viewing the picture in full size, the edges appear either sharp or don't matter, due to the composition.

(If a Nex-7, then the WA RF lenses are pretty much a no-go).

Pricing guestimates:

  • $100 - Sigma 19 (gen-1) (19mm/f2.8)
  • $200 - Sigma 19 (gen-2) (19mm/f2.8)
  • $250 - E16+ECU1 (12mm/f2.8, but use > f/4)
  • $350 - E20+ECU1 (15mm/f2.8)
  • $500 - Voigtlander (21mm/f4 skopar)
  • $600 - Voigtlander (15mm/f4.5 super wide heliar)
  • $800 - Voigtlander (12mm/f5.6 heliar)
  • $800 - E1018 (10-18mm/f4)
  • $900 - Zeiss 12 (12mm/f2.8)
And if you are willing to spend more, consider Zeiss ZM, Leica M, and Contax G (21mm). 

Below are some images with the 16mm with ECU1, first one is for scale.

Personally, I have the Sigma 19, the E16+ECU1, the E20 on order, and the Voigtlander 21. I am using the E16+ECU1 for 12mm views and will switch to the E20+ECU1 for 15mm views (if no 1650 with me). Time will tell.

I am waiting for reviews on the Zeiss 12mm lens before picking up the E1018. Especially with lenses such as the 16-50, there is only need for wide views that are significantly wider than 16mm, and I think that a single 12mm would suffice. The Zeiss would become interesting if it works on the Nex-7, but given its size, I already have my doubts.

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