CZ 16-80mm & Sony 70-400mm for NEX-7

Started Apr 13, 2012 | Discussions
ageir
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CZ 16-80mm & Sony 70-400mm for NEX-7
Apr 13, 2012

Have looked through the forums & haven't seen this question answered.

I'll be buying the NEX-7 & am looking at lenses for it.

I shoot mostly street, landscape and wildlife. Can't see E mount lenses that suit. So I'm considering these two A-mount lenses: the CZ 16-80 and Sony 70-400 (plus the adapter I'll need to buy.)

Because these aren't made for the NEX-7 and because these are expensive I thought I'd ask before I bought. So has anyone had the experience of shooting either/both of these lenses on the NEX-7? If so, how was your experience as to handling and image quality?

Thank you.

Sony Alpha NEX-7
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El Matadurr
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Re: CZ 16-80mm & Sony 70-400mm for NEX-7
In reply to ageir, Apr 13, 2012

Both those lenses are great, but unless you are hoping for smaller NATIVE E-MOUNT lenses on down the road, why not get the a65/a77 (that said, I own the NEX-7, and it's fantastic, but those lenses are absolutely huge compared to the camera).

To use those, you'll need the LAEA2 (for useable autofocus), which will set you back $350-400.

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ageir
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Re: CZ 16-80mm & Sony 70-400mm for NEX-7
In reply to El Matadurr, Apr 13, 2012

Thank you for the response.

You're exactly right about these lenses being huge & I'd prefer more compact & lighter but Sony hasn't come out with an E-mount like these 2 lenses, & don't appear to be doing so anytime soon.

So I'm considering the NEX-7 because photo quality is great, and considering it over the a65/a77 because of the smaller size & less weight than mirrored DSLRs. And I'm looking to buy now, rather than wait for the E-mount lenses is because the camera I have now, a Nikon D300, broke just after the NEX-7 came out so good opportunity (my wife thinks it's quite an 'amazing' coincidence ... anyway.)

I know that in buying these 2 lenses I'm negating some of the size/weight advantage but even at that the Sony & 2 lenses is still almost 1/2 the weight of my Nikon & 2 lenses (18-200 & 80-400.)

By the way, the reason for these 2 lenses is the CZ's wide angle and the Sony's telephoto. The CZ's zoom is useful, but the Sony's less so because I generally only shoot at the extreme end of the telephoto. But other telephotos I've seen are either really expensive and/or way too big & heavy, unless someone here has a suggestion.

So opinion on the quality of photos on the NEX-7 of these 2 lenses (or better alternative) is appreciated.

Thank you.

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D Williams
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Re: CZ 16-80mm & Sony 70-400mm for NEX-7
In reply to ageir, Apr 13, 2012

I have shot the 16-80 on the NEX-7 and the results are fine for outdoors or with flash. I have also shot my 400mm f4.5 on the NEX-7. The results are also fine but you are going to need to shoot off of a tripod or a bean bag with the 70-400mm due to the lack of stabilization. If you print big or crop heavily the high pixel density of the NEX-7 demands that you be absolutely steady unless you can keep the shutter speed around 1/2000.

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ageir
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Re: CZ 16-80mm & Sony 70-400mm for NEX-7
In reply to D Williams, Apr 13, 2012

Thank you for the information.

Good advice about the 70-400. When I asked a Sony Store salesman about using the 70-400 on the NEX-7 he said no problem since the the LA-EA2 kept intact all the lenses capabilities ... I assumed, wrongly it appears, that included IS. And shooting my Nikon 80-400 with stabilization is hard enough, can't imagine doing it without it. And because I fly a lot and hike when I'm photographing I don't generally carry a tripod.

I'll have to consider this.

Thanks again for the heads-up.

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SparkleHedgehog
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Re: CZ 16-80mm & Sony 70-400mm for NEX-7
In reply to ageir, Apr 13, 2012

I have the laea2 with sal70300g on my nex7 and absolutely love it. My dad has the 70-400g lens so I've had it on and done direct comparisons between the two and I've gotta say that lens is just massive!

For the extra 100mm gain (which is all you're really getting over the 300) you have to deal with:

Double the length
Double the weight
Double the cost

To me, for 100mm gain those factors just don't weigh up especially when you consider the nex7 can crop more due to the higher sensor pixel count (and with a g lens you're getting plenty of resolution through to the sensor).

The 300mm takes some cracking photos and never ceases to impress me

The 300mm just feels right on the nex 7 whereas the 400 just seems like an unnecessary lump and just not worth it.

Just my opinion and findings

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ageir
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Re: CZ 16-80mm & Sony 70-400mm for NEX-7
In reply to SparkleHedgehog, Apr 13, 2012

Thank you. I agree ... I'm not keen on the weight/size of the 70-400 ... it's just that I'm use to shooting wildlife at the 400 end of the zoom I have now so I'm assuming that's the minimal focal length for that type photography.

So 2 questions, if you don't mind:

1) Does the sal70300g have image stabilization?

2) When taking wildlife photos (assuming you do with this lens) do you find it has a long enough reach?

Thank you.

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AquilaNauta
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Re: CZ 16-80mm & Sony 70-400mm for NEX-7
In reply to D Williams, Apr 13, 2012

Greetings,

I own NEX-7 and SAL-1680Z. I haven't shot with it yet, but when I used it with my NEX-5 it was mainly too slow. Only focal length 16mm was usable with aperture 3.5, of course for Value Lens like SAL-1680Z it lack of resolution at the corners with f/3.5. When You close it up a little to 4.5-5.6 it looks amazing good.

I shot mainly with CZ and CZJ fast primes and without flash unit, so f/4.5 (+1EV/+2EV to get optimal resolution at f=80mm) isn't acceptable for me.

I don't like LE-EA2 too, because it take 1/3EV. It isn't maybe not much, but still at 85mm if You have shutter speed 1/100 it is still acceptable, but with -1/3EV it goes to 1/60 which is not easy to handle (without stabilization, eg.tripod). SAL-1680Z I use only as substitution for prime at 16mm, it worked well on my summer holidays too (with strong light it doesn't need mainly CPL filter).

I generally advise SAL-1635Z and SAL-2470Z, because they are fast for zooms (f/2.8) and they have quite acceptable performance at wide open. As I see, they have only two disadvantages: their weight and their cost.

For over 70mm i may recommend primes, it could be better option than dark zoom without stabilisation. Of course if You may pay for 70-200mm with f/2.8 it should be fine too, but I manly use CZJ Sonnar 2.8/200 M42 and CZJ Sonnar 4/300 PSix (both without adaptor should cost about 330$). Aperture f/4 at 300mm isn't maybe great, but it is still less than maximum aperture for most zooms and it isn't so expensive like CZ ApoTeleTessar 2.8/300 C/Y, which is quite rare and it cost above 10000$ if You find it
Best regards, AqN

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ageir
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Re: CZ 16-80mm & Sony 70-400mm for NEX-7
In reply to AquilaNauta, Apr 13, 2012

Thank you for the information on both lenses.

It seems now with your added information now that I really need to think about this whole thing and what I need to do (I am sure glad I posted on this forum to ask for other's experience & opinions!)

The 3 most important things for me in lenses is 1) wide angle with 16mm being the minimum, 2) telephoto sufficient for shooting wildlife which seems to me 400mm is the minimum, but could be wrong because my experience is limited, and 3) good image quality because I do sell my photos.

If I could I'd be setup like a National Geographic photographer, but don't have the money or support systems (people to carry my gear) to do that.

Mainly getting the NEX7 because of it's smaller size and weight, but wanting to retain the image quality and versatility in the lenses. So for the NEX system now, I may be wanting too much and will need to compromise if can't wait to buy (because it isn't fun shooting with my broken camera I have now that's for sure.)

Thanks again.

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El Matadurr
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Re: CZ 16-80mm & Sony 70-400mm for NEX-7
In reply to ageir, Apr 13, 2012

ageir wrote:

And because I fly a lot and hike when I'm photographing I don't generally carry a tripod.

Monopod with quick release plate? That's literally all you need to get "image stabilization".

And on your question on other lenses, if they have OSS/IS/VR/etc... NO Sony alpha mount lens has image stabilization, as the stabilization is actually in the sensor of the Alpha dslrs, meaning any lens you put on a Sony DSLR is stabilized. Sigma just now quit manufacturing OS versions of their alpha mount lenses, if you can pick up a relatively older copy, the OS DOES WORK with the LAEA2, and is very effective.

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ageir
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Re: CZ 16-80mm & Sony 70-400mm for NEX-7
In reply to El Matadurr, Apr 13, 2012

Thanks.

Actually I thought I'd buy a GorillaPod (or whatever they're called) as it looks light and compact.

Thanks for the explanation on stabilization. Just was online with Sony &, after sometime while the person searched around for an answer, came back with the advice you gave. So now I know.

Thank you.

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SparkleHedgehog
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Re: CZ 16-80mm & Sony 70-400mm for NEX-7
In reply to ageir, Apr 13, 2012

The alpha lenses that Sony make don't have built in stabilisation as their alpha bodies have it instead so none of their lenses have stabilisation. I haven't yet found this to be a problem handheld even as low as 1/320 shutter speed is fine if you are a steady user.

Here's an example of what I have taken with it:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sparklephotography/6840805851/in/set-72157626629311212/lightbox/
There are others on there if you go left and right from that link

I find it long enough yes but as a wildlife photographer you always want more than you have, even if you had 600mm you'd still want more.

ageir wrote:

Thank you. I agree ... I'm not keen on the weight/size of the 70-400 ... it's just that I'm use to shooting wildlife at the 400 end of the zoom I have now so I'm assuming that's the minimal focal length for that type photography.

So 2 questions, if you don't mind:

1) Does the sal70300g have image stabilization?

2) When taking wildlife photos (assuming you do with this lens) do you find it has a long enough reach?

Thank you.

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LSHorwitz1
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Re: CZ 16-80mm & Sony 70-400mm for NEX-7
In reply to SparkleHedgehog, Apr 13, 2012

ageir,

I own both the NEX7 and a77 and therefore have an interest in both A-mount and E-mount lenses. I own the CZ16-80 and 70-300G lenses, and personally find both of them to be quite over-sized when using them on the NEX with the LA-EA2 adapter.

I have found, however, that the Sony E-mount 18-200 zoom lens is a truly superb lens, and in many respects rivals the CZ16-80 and 70-300G A-mounts, and for use of the NEX7 is vastly superior due to weight and bulk. Unlike any other superzoom lens I have owned, (and I have owned quite a few) the SEL18200 just takes outstanding photos.

I will post here in a separate message a comparison with 2 very casual shots I took across the room here with the 70-300G/LA-EA2 as well as the SEL18200 on the NEX7. Both are taken in available light with both lenses set to the 200mm telephoto position.

Zoom in on the textbooks and see how well the SEL18-200 does with the book title text, superior to the 70-300G. My opinion has been since buying the 70-300G that it is a very good lens but certainly not in the league of the best 70-300 lenses I have owned, and thus quite over-rated by Sony enthusiasts.

I would definitely think about the 18-200 E-mount as a great and really simple solution for most if not all walk-around situations. Will it serve your needs as a wildlife, long reach tele. Perhaps not, but I then ask to consider what a 24 Mpixel image can offer you when cropped, gaining the same effect as a 300 or even 400mm lens with a very substantial number of pixels of resolution remaining.

Larry

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LSHorwitz1
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Re: CZ 16-80mm & Sony 70-400mm for NEX-7
In reply to LSHorwitz1, Apr 13, 2012
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Kriekira
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Re: CZ 16-80mm & Sony 70-400mm for NEX-7
In reply to ageir, Apr 13, 2012

ageir wrote:

Thank you for the information on both lenses.

It seems now with your added information now that I really need to think about this whole thing and what I need to do (I am sure glad I posted on this forum to ask for other's experience & opinions!)

Imho, yes, much more thinking through will get you closer to what you want. In particular, it seems you have never held the 70-400G. It in no way can be considered a hiking lens (of course, you can hike with an anchor, but some wouldn't call that an expedition, not a hike). There is simply no reason at all (imho) to consider the Nex-7 + adapter + 70-400G. If you are going to carry that much "glass", you would be nuts to not carry a body with image stabilitation (that means a Sony alpha-mount body).

The 3 most important things for me in lenses is 1) wide angle with 16mm being the minimum, 2) telephoto sufficient for shooting wildlife which seems to me 400mm is the minimum, but could be wrong because my experience is limited, and 3) good image quality because I do sell my photos.

Are these APS-C lens lengths, or "35mm equivalent" lens lengths?

If I could I'd be setup like a National Geographic photographer, but don't have the money or support systems (people to carry my gear) to do that.

Mainly getting the NEX7 because of it's smaller size and weight, but wanting to retain the image quality and versatility in the lenses. So for the NEX system now, I may be wanting too much and will need to compromise if can't wait to buy (because it isn't fun shooting with my broken camera I have now that's for sure.)

You are trying to maximize two things that pull in opposite directions: equipment size and weight, and IQ. You will have to compromise (we all do). The Nex-7 is a remarkable achievement, but the IQ and reach you want can't be achieved without selecting lenses (and an adapter) that swamp the size and weight advantage.

There is a lot of great advice in these responses -- worth re-reading.

Since you don't print big, I would suggest looking at a Micro-four-thirds (MFT) camera & lenses. Much more expensive, with much better dynamic range, is the Nex-7 w. the 18-200. I don't consider that the current "sweet spot" in terms of miniturization and IQ because the cost is still high -- but it's a very nice, very versitile combination.

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LSHorwitz1
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Re: CZ 16-80mm & Sony 70-400mm for NEX-7
In reply to Kriekira, Apr 13, 2012

These are crops from both the A-mount 70-300G and E-mount 18-200 photos I referenced above. Note the excellent detail in the E mount 18-200 lens, and also note that this crop is equivalent to about 700mm effective focal length.

I would perfornally much prefer to carry a single versatile lens on the NEX in this type of situation and then exploit the crop ability of the wonderful 24MP NEX-7 versus carrying around a 400mm or larger lens. This benefit is, as was stated above, especially worthwhile if you print in smaller sized prints.

Larry

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SparkleHedgehog
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Re: CZ 16-80mm & Sony 70-400mm for NEX-7
In reply to LSHorwitz1, Apr 13, 2012

i do agree about the 18-200 lens being a stunning product as I've said many times on this forum, it's my favourite single lens

however

even though your sample comparison does impress i have never been able to get as good a pic using my 18-200 as my 70-300g in the field in non test conditions where it matters. the la-ea2 also helps focus much MUCH faster so makes a big difference when it comes to wildlife as the original poster was mentioning they enjoy.

It's all good info being mentioned here so it's down to the OP now to weigh up the pro's and cons and see what's right for them now

Good thread!

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Kriekira
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Re: CZ 16-80mm & Sony 70-400mm for NEX-7
In reply to LSHorwitz1, Apr 13, 2012

Agreeing with what SparkleHedgehog writes up-thread, I am not seeing anything from my Nex-7 + 18-200e that equals my a850 + any of:
. 16-35Z
. 24-70Z
. 70-400G
. 100 Macro

Since the 70-300 is not as sharp as any of those, it is likely closer in IQ to the 18-200e, but I'm not seeing anything that leads to expect the 18-200e to outperform the 70-300 (a well-regarded lens).

It may be that I have a "soft" copy of the 18-200e -- it is certainly soft at 200 (as mentioned in many of the reviews).

The Nex-7 + 18-200e is an excellent, versitile, small package with a high IQ/wt ratio. But almost nothing I've seen from my copy of the 18-200e puts in in the same class as the lenses listed above (to say nothing of the difference in focus speed and accuracy).

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NowHearThis
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Could you expound on your reasoning...
In reply to ageir, Apr 13, 2012

...for an E mount body vs A mount one?

ageir wrote:

Have looked through the forums & haven't seen this question answered.

I'll be buying the NEX-7 & am looking at lenses for it.

With respect, why not just buy an A65 and save yourself $700.
(NEX-7 Body + LA-EA2 = $1600 vs A65 body priced at $900.)
Or save at least $500 by buying this instead:
(NEX-7 Body + LA-EA2 + 16-80 = $2500 vs A77 + 16-50/2.8 Kit for $2000.)

Don't get me wrong, I really like my NEX-7, and by all means get it; I like it for it's smaller size and the Tri-Navi controls. But the biggest lens I'm likely to ever do any serious shooting with is the E-mount 18-200 OSS. (I reserve the right to change my mind if Sony ever makes a 70-400 OSS.) I'm curious as to your reasoning why the NEX 7 over a very good A-mount body especially when you aren't getting or wanting any E-mount glass.

I shoot mostly street, landscape and wildlife. Can't see E mount lenses that suit. So I'm considering these two A-mount lenses: the CZ 16-80 and Sony 70-400 (plus the adapter I'll need to buy.)

Because these aren't made for the NEX-7 and because these are expensive I thought I'd ask before I bought. So has anyone had the experience of shooting either/both of these lenses on the NEX-7? If so, how was your experience as to handling and image quality?

Thank you.

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D Williams
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Re: CZ 16-80mm & Sony 70-400mm for NEX-7
In reply to ageir, Apr 13, 2012

Agier,

I've just returned from an extended vacation where I did a fair amount of small bird photography. My equipment included my stabilized A700, my new NEX-7, an LA-EA2, an e-Mount 18-200, an A-mount Minolta 300mm F4 G, a Minolta 1.4 TC, a Minolta 100-300 F4.5-5.6, a Sony 16-80mm, and a sony 50mm F1.4. Support equipment consisted of a Velbon Carbon Fiber Tripod, a Manfrotto 681 monopod with ball head, and a "The POD" screw in bean bag.

I shot freehand while hiking, supported while hiking, and from a blind in my rural back yard. I shoot to print, usually 81/2 x 11 or 13x19 inches. My observations in no particular order.

  • The E-Mount 18-200 lens is a pleasant surprise. It is a good walk-around lens because it is stabilized. I like it better than the 16-80mm on the NEX. It's slowness on the long end is more than offset by its stabilization. Practical IQ's are comparable when shot from support. That said, the 18-200mm is too short and too slow for general wildlife, even when shooting from a blind. When the birds are in open shade or the weather is overcast F6.3 is just too slow, especially hand held.

  • The 300MM's were marginally long enough when shooting from a blind. 30mm worked handheld for large patient birds like Hawks willing to sit still while you approach but 300mm just doesn't get you close enough to small birds if you are moving. The Minolta 300mm killed the 18-200 and the Minolta 100-300 for IQ.

  • The highest percentage of Ggood IQ shots came from shooting on the tripod or the beanbag (www.thepod.ca). Significantly less reliable were the monopod and stabilization (the A700 handheld). Anything under a shutter speed of 1/1000 was hit and miss - you can get great shots but a lot of shots were blurred in the feather detail. Handheld (NEX) required a shutter speed of 1/2000 to get reliable sharp shots.

  • Cropping the NEX can give good pictures as long as you are supported or can keep the shutter at 1/2000 and the ISO at 1600 or under and you get a good exposure. The problem with the NEX is noise and pixel density. If you are blowing up a small crop you start to loose detail when you remove noise, and the pixel density is so high that ANY vibration or movement kills your resolution.

  • Highest success rate came from the A700+300mm+1.4 TC - hand held or supported (you can't use the TC on the LA-EA2). All other things being equal, there is no substitute for MM.

  • With a longer lens, Stabilization(A700) + monopod is significantly better than just a monopod (NEX). Handheld stabilized(A700) is about the same as the NEX on a monopod. Handheld stabilized (A700) is significantly better than handheld non-stabilized unless you can get the shutter speed way up

  • On the NEX, hand held-indoor no flash, The fast 50mm was more usable where I shooting than the flexible 16-80mm. In this case, cropping the 50mm shots was a good trade-off for the higher ISO that the 16-80mm required. Using a strobe (F58AM) the 16-80mm seemed more useful. Outdoors, the 16-80mm was probably more useful.

Lots of variables, YMMV

PS I also have a 400mm F4.5 which is by far my best wildlife lens but it is too big to travel or hike with.

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