NEX 6 lens choice - 18-55, 18-105, 16-70 ... or new system?

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trax87
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NEX 6 lens choice - 18-55, 18-105, 16-70 ... or new system?
5 months ago

After about a year of using my NEX 6, I have determined that, while I am not averse to using primes, for the type of shooting that I do I generally prefer zoom lenses for convenience.  I am not, however, happy with the 16-50pz kit lens I have been using -- I love the size and wider angle, and I am not particularly unhappy with the image quality, but I find it awkward to use because of the power zoom.  So, with that in mind I have been thinking of replacing it.  That has opened up a can of worms.

I could get the 18-55, which is pretty inexpensive, but if I am buying a new all-purpose walk around lens, I would prefer something a little longer so that I wouldn't be changing lenses as often.  Also, as I do use the wide end of the 16-50, I would probably miss it.  The new Sony 18-105 G lens is a nice range on the long end, but I do lose the wider angle.  Plus it’s big and is also a power zoom, so I probably should rule that out. The new 16-70 is the obvious solution,  but at about $1k it is not inexpensive and it has also gotten somewhat mixed reviews.

So where does that leave me? I can pay up and buy the 16-70, but the price is a little hard to swallow, especially when I know I can get the 18-55 for about 1/10th the price and I already have the 55-210 and the 16mm pancake.  Not as convenient to use those as the 16-70, and probably somewhat less quality, but certainly less expensive.  So that's question #1.  What are your thoughts as between those two options (18-55 vs. 16-70)?

Assuming I decided I was willing to invest an additional grand, I then start to wonder about alternative systems.  If what I am looking for are two good zoom lenses to cover at least 16-200mm combined (i.e., 24-300mm equivalent) and a fast prime (I currently have the 35/1.8), could I get better quality/price compared to what Sony offers in e-mount if I went to micro 4/3.  I haven't really done any research lately, but I know there are more options for lenses in that format.

At the end of the day, I’m a hobbyist at best and photography isn’t my only hobby. For my use currently, a good walk-around zoom lens, a tele-zoom and one fast normal prime are probably the three most useful lenses, with the first likely to get the most use. Going forward, who knows?

While money is always a consideration, and I have noted my concerns about cost, it is not necessarily the primary one.  A good value and flexibility to grow as my interest and skills grow are also considerations.

So, any thoughts about the above are appreciated.  I ask realizing that all of you will have your own biases, finances, experiences, etc., but each of you can nonetheless provide a fresh perspective.  And that's what I can use.

Thanks for reading this far and indulging my rather long post.

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