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

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
Amamba
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Re: NEX 6 lens choice - 18-55, 18-105, 16-70 ... or new system?
In reply to Caris, 6 months ago

Caris wrote:

trax87 wrote:

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.

We are all in the same boat. The price of the 1670 is a joke. Yes, you will gain additional 20mm ( or 15 if you compare to the 1855 ) plus a little bit more contrast but not sharpness. Unless you shoot models at the tele end or kids portraits where you want a bit more subject isolation at f4 ( which I suspect you don't ) , the 1670 will not give much more than you already have.

I bought a second ( black ) copy of the 1855 for $70 and there is nothing except additional reach that I can't do with it comparing to the 1670. I have yet to see any photo ( here or on Flickr ) taken with the 1670 ( except for the models shots ) that will convince me otherwise.

On another note, I am wondering why Sigma has not come up with a walk-around zoom for the e-mount. Sony restrictions?

A good copy of 18-55 used in sufficient light is surprisingly good. It's sharp and about the only criticism I have is that colors tend to be on a duller side, but that's what processing is for. I'd say contrast is OK even without any post.

If MF is acceptable, Minolta MD 35-70/3.5 Macro produced great results for me (not being optimized for digital, post is required but the amount of resolution and "hidden" colors that can be brought up is amazing). This wouldn't fit OP's requirement for wide end, though.

 Amamba's gear list:Amamba's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony Alpha NEX-F3 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG Aspherical HSM Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS +10 more
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