After 3 weeks & thousands of shots: NEX-6 + Sony lenses are SUPERB!

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Mel Snyder
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After 3 weeks & thousands of shots: NEX-6 + Sony lenses are SUPERB!
6 months ago

I am coming to the end of 3 weeks shooting 500-700 shots a day with my NEX-6, 16-50PZ, 55-210mm zoom, 16mm + UWA and Rokinon 8mm, I have concluded that those who can't get great images with this camera and these lenses have photographic, not camera/lens issues.

And I began to realize just how pernicious the negative attitudes and information here really is. Even if your experience defies what you read here, it influences your shooting.

You actually believe that the 16-50 is a just so-so lens, and you don't use it unless pressed to do so. You don't shoot it wide open at any focal length...but when you do, the results prove the naysayers are wrong.

You actually believe the 55-210 is soft wide open at f6.3, even if your results defy that judgment...until pressed to shoot there, and results defy the naysayers again.

The smartest acquisition I made was the 16mm + UWA just before I left. In real-world travel shooting, the combination is spectacular, even wide open. Yes, the corners can be soft and distorted, as pre-trip tests showed me. But in real world shooting, there is rarely important information there. I would guess close to half my shots were with the 16+UWA. When you go into a magnificent house of worship like St. James in Prague or the Great Synagogue in Budapest, a 50mm legacy lens is as useless as a 500mm mirror:

Gad, the crap you read here about slow, inaccurate focusing and hunting here - and sure enough, it's there. But it's rarely of any importance in real-world shooting. Time after time, I would challenge focus by pressing the shutter when I knew the camera wasn't yet green-ball ready - and yet, time after time, in the microseconds between press and fire, the camera got the focus on.

And the stabilization? Wow, it has made me a believer. It is vastly better than that of my Nikon VR lenses. I shot repeatedly at 210mm f6.3 at 1/6th second - and got amazing images. Sure, if people are moving, that stabilization wasn't enough. But - for example - I came upon a Russian Orthodox ceremony in the Saint George chapel in Prague. I was way too far away to use anything but the 210mm wide open at 1/10th-1/6th and ISO 800-1600, complicated by severe backlighting from a setting sun - the faces were lit just by candlelight. The priests were rocking back and forth as they prayed, and the congregation was in constant movement as they came to communion afterwards - and yet, I still got about 1 out of 3-4 shots just fine.

Now, those who pixel-peep their lens charts and backyard petunia bokeh would be unhappy with these shots. all edited just on the iPad, no correction of any kind. But this is real world shooting. And when the light is half decent, as in this late afternoon shot of the priest at St. Stephen's in Vienna blessing pets, Sony lenses are spectacular:

I carried 3 Leica M lenses with me, and used them for less than a dozen shots. They spent most of the last 3 weeks in my B&Bs. I carried a Nikon D7000 and 2 zooms in my backpack as backup in case the NEX-6 or key lenses failed. I saw hundreds, perhaps thousands of tourists struggling with DSLRs, both FF and APS-C. Met a few with NEXes, and we'd exchange smiles and pitying glances at the DSLR toters.

One more day in Vienna, 2-1/2 in Salzburg, and then home.

My conclusion about this forum? - there are a few very knowledgeable techies here whose advice I treasure, and I will look for their postings and learn.

But most of what's put here is just background static, and it's corrosive as hell to those who actually shoot in the real world.

 Mel Snyder's gear list:Mel Snyder's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony Alpha 7 Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 DX Leica Summicron-M 50mm f/2 +13 more
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