Is It Me, Or Do NEX Lenses Lack Contrast (BIG TIME)? *pics*

Started Apr 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Adventuristo
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Is It Me, Or Do NEX Lenses Lack Contrast (BIG TIME)? *pics*
Apr 7, 2013

Hey guys... I've loved the NEX-5N for a while now, probably for the same reason you guys do... APS-C quality in a very small and light package!  I was reasonably impressed with the low light abilities as well.  The camera I had before this was a m4/3, and it was barely better than a good P&S to me.

Some time back though, I had a 5D (classic), 35mm f/2 and 50mm f/1.4, and when I look back at those pictures, I see a heckuva lot more contrast (punch) and colour (pop?), without any post work. I find that my NEX pictures with the kit lens look "washed out," and I have to really add contrast and saturation to get them to a point I consider decent.  After doing that, the pictures looks good, but they look a little artificial compared to what I got out of my old setup.

I was curious to see what was causing this, so I had a look at some of the Flickr groups, and while many pictures are edited, the ones that aren't definitely seemed to have more pop and much better colour.

http://www.flickr.com/groups/canon24-70f2point8l2/pool/

http://www.flickr.com/groups/nikon24mm/pool/

So, I wondered where the difference was coming from.  In-camera processing/sensor or lens?  Looking at various reviews of the Metabones Speed Booster, I find that the colour and contrast is pretty much the same on Canon bodies vs. NEX bodies (what I suspected), and it is actually the lens that makes the difference.

http://www.eoshd.com/content/9485/metabones-speed-booster-adapter-full-review

I plan on traveling extensively soon, and I'd love to have the NEX-5N with me (carrying it around was effortless on my last trip, and should be the same even with the SEL24F18Z), but I'm really drawn to the significantly better colour and contrast from both Canon and Nikon lenses.  It seems the NEX has very decent dynamic range, colour bit depth etc., so really, the only difference from full frame image quality (comparing bodies here) seems to be DoF.

I realize that the Zeiss 24mm has MUCH better colour + contrast than the other NEX lenses, but to my eyes, there's still a fair bit of difference from Canon/Nikon/Sigma 35mm f/1.4 lenses.  At $1,100, it's a full $200 or so more than the Sigma (which is getting rave reviews).  And apart from that lens, all the others seem to have the washed out look as well.

Here are some samples, sorry they're not all the same subject but what can ya do...

Some micro 4/3 pics, just for the heck of it

Below are pictures from the 5D with the 35mm f/2 lens (bought for ~$300).

And now, NEX pictures!

And this is how I edited the last pic.

What do you guys think?

Canon EOS 5D Sony Alpha NEX-5N
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