New NEX-6 user needs first prime - SEL3518 or Sigma 30mm or legacy prime

Started Apr 3, 2013 | Discussions
mgn2
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New NEX-6 user needs first prime - SEL3518 or Sigma 30mm or legacy prime
Apr 3, 2013

I just got my NEX-6 with the kit lens (16-50) a day ago and so far love it. I don't think I will miss my Nikon SLR gear (D40+18-55mm kit lens+35mm 1.8G prime+55-200mm zoom) going forward. I have a Fujifilm X100 which I think is the dog's bollocks and so I'm covered at 23mm with a fast prime.

I want to start building (slowly) a setup with the NEX-6 eventually ending up with 3 more lenses - a wide/UWA zoom/prime, a fast 'normal' 35mm-ish prime and a longer zoom. The very reason I wanted to switch from SLR to the NEX was size and form factor and it doesn't hurt that you can get professional quality IQ (IMHO) with the NEX. So I would like to keep everything as small as possible and would like add a fast normal 35mm prime first.

I am not a pixel peeper, I shoot jpeg only (might experiment with RAW, HDR, etc. but only seldom), and I am not looking for the absolute sharpest lens - just something that is fast, small and renders beautiful colors with decent sharpness just like the lens on my Fujifilm X100.

What should I get -

the SEL 3518 (con is that as it is expensive) or

Sigma 30mm (con is that it is not too fast) or

a legacy prime with an adapter (con is that it may not be small with an adapter and mild inconvenience of focus and aperture control)?

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Sony Alpha NEX-6
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Tom2572
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Re: New NEX-6 user needs first prime - SEL3518 or Sigma 30mm or legacy prime
In reply to mgn2, Apr 3, 2013

mgn2 wrote:

I just got my NEX-6 with the kit lens (16-50) a day ago and so far love it. I don't think I will miss my Nikon SLR gear (D40+18-55mm kit lens+35mm 1.8G prime+55-200mm zoom) going forward. I have a Fujifilm X100 which I think is the dog's bollocks and so I'm covered at 23mm with a fast prime.

I want to start building (slowly) a setup with the NEX-6 eventually ending up with 3 more lenses - a wide/UWA zoom/prime, a fast 'normal' 35mm-ish prime and a longer zoom. The very reason I wanted to switch from SLR to the NEX was size and form factor and it doesn't hurt that you can get professional quality IQ (IMHO) with the NEX. So I would like to keep everything as small as possible and would like add a fast normal 35mm prime first.

I am not a pixel peeper, I shoot jpeg only (might experiment with RAW, HDR, etc. but only seldom), and I am not looking for the absolute sharpest lens - just something that is fast, small and renders beautiful colors with decent sharpness just like the lens on my Fujifilm X100.

What should I get -

the SEL 3518 (con is that as it is expensive) or

Sigma 30mm (con is that it is not too fast) or

a legacy prime with an adapter (con is that it may not be small with an adapter and mild inconvenience of focus and aperture control)?

IMO all roads lead to the 35/1.8. Put is this way: everyone needs at least one native fast lens for general low light work. With E-mount that means the 24/1.8, 35/1.8 or the 50/1.8. Most consider the 50mm to be too wide for low-light indoor work, and if you think the 35/1.8 is expensive then the 24/1.8 is a non-starter. That leaves the 35mm.

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MedicineMan999
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Re: New NEX-6 user needs first prime - SEL3518 or Sigma 30mm or legacy prime
In reply to Tom2572, Apr 3, 2013

I got the SEL35 well before the wide angle1018 and it was a need for speed. Like you weight is always the first thing I look at and it shines there too.

If you add the adapter you've added what will seem to be a heavy brick to whatever you're packing in.

I'm too new to all of this to comment on color

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paulcraig
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Re: New NEX-6 user needs first prime - SEL3518 or Sigma 30mm or legacy prime
In reply to MedicineMan999, Apr 3, 2013

The SEL35F18 is a nice lens and while I originally bought it to supplement my other lenses, in reality it stays on my NEX-7 the majority of the time. It's become my go-to lens, and can handle whatever I throw at it. It's sharp too, and lightweight. Not cheap but look on Amazon for used/returned deals from Amazon Warehouse Deals, and purchase something in Like New condition. This is how I have acquired most of my NEX kit and have saved hundreds.

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DUSTY LENS
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Re: New NEX-6 user needs first prime - SEL3518 or Sigma 30mm or legacy prime
In reply to paulcraig, Apr 3, 2013

paulcraig wrote:

The SEL35F18 is a nice lens and while I originally bought it to supplement my other lenses, in reality it stays on my NEX-7 the majority of the time. It's become my go-to lens, and can handle whatever I throw at it. It's sharp too, and lightweight. Not cheap but look on Amazon for used/returned deals from Amazon Warehouse Deals, and purchase something in Like New condition. This is how I have acquired most of my NEX kit and have saved hundreds.

Sigma AF 30mm f/2.8 EX DN A

For best resolution of the 30mm Sigma Lenses , the Sony 30mm Macro or the 35mm Sony f1.8

Very low distortion 0.27 % barrel of all 30 or 35mm lenses

Very low weight ( Best for NEX )

Very Small size  ( Best for NEX )

Best perspective and focal length for NEX

As tested here : http://www.photozone.de/sony_nex/787-sigma30f28nex

These are my reasons for liking the 30mm Sigma against the others .

The price is extremely low also compared to all but one , which is very close in price .

Dusty

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Clayton1985
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Re: New NEX-6 user needs first prime - SEL3518 or Sigma 30mm or legacy prime
In reply to DUSTY LENS, Apr 3, 2013

The Sigma is great but in the end you pay for f1.8, OSS, and the Sony name .  If f1.8 and/or OSS aren't important then you can't go wrong with the Sigma.

For me, the 35mm f1.8 stays on my camera more than any other lens.

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Jefenator
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Re: New NEX-6 user needs first prime - SEL3518 or Sigma 30mm or legacy prime
In reply to mgn2, Apr 3, 2013

It depends on your priorities, I think. For landscapes, I find the Sigma 30 to be indispensable. I like the slightly wide-normal viewing angle (35mm gets a bit boxed in for me) and the sharpness is amazing.

I'll be the first to say, though: f/2.8 for a normal-range prime is pretty workmanlike. (It is in line with many of the legacy offerings in that focal length neighborhood, and unlike most of them, the Sigma is pretty darn sharp, even in the corners, right from wide open.)

For shallow-focus candid shots, I'd hold out for the upcoming Zeiss 32/1.8. But if you think the SEL35 is pricey... 

There are various faster 28s and 35s to consider but most of them would be bulkier and more expensive than the SEL35, and would be manual focus only.

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PhotoFactor
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Re: New NEX-6 user needs first prime - SEL3518 or Sigma 30mm or legacy prime
In reply to mgn2, Apr 3, 2013

mgn2 wrote:

I just got my NEX-6 with the kit lens (16-50) a day ago and so far love it. I don't think I will miss my Nikon SLR gear (D40+18-55mm kit lens+35mm 1.8G prime+55-200mm zoom) going forward. I have a Fujifilm X100 which I think is the dog's bollocks and so I'm covered at 23mm with a fast prime.

I want to start building (slowly) a setup with the NEX-6 eventually ending up with 3 more lenses - a wide/UWA zoom/prime, a fast 'normal' 35mm-ish prime and a longer zoom. The very reason I wanted to switch from SLR to the NEX was size and form factor and it doesn't hurt that you can get professional quality IQ (IMHO) with the NEX. So I would like to keep everything as small as possible and would like add a fast normal 35mm prime first.

I am not a pixel peeper, I shoot jpeg only (might experiment with RAW, HDR, etc. but only seldom), and I am not looking for the absolute sharpest lens - just something that is fast, small and renders beautiful colors with decent sharpness just like the lens on my Fujifilm X100.

What should I get -

the SEL 3518 (con is that as it is expensive) or

Sigma 30mm (con is that it is not too fast) or

a legacy prime with an adapter (con is that it may not be small with an adapter and mild inconvenience of focus and aperture control)?

I'm in a very similar situation to you - I have a D40x and just wanted a smaller camera that would shoot high quality photos, so also bought the NEX-6 and have had it about a month.

I picked up the two Sigma lenses on the $199 deal somewhat opportunistically. The 30 is pretty close to a normal lens and not very expensive - it's also pretty small and very sharp. The f2.8 is not so slow when you figure it's barely a stop slower than a 1.8, AND your high ISO performance is way better (more than one stop) than the D40. So you basically have the equivalent low light capability (or better) even with f2.8.

The only thing you lose with Sigma is OSS (stabilization), but I never had it with my D40x lenses and you likely didn't, either. you could always use the PZ kit lens if that's important in some situations.

I also still have my Pentax MX film SLR with Pentax 50 and 28mm lenses. I paid <$20 for the adaptor and have done some playing with the 50, which due to APS-C makes a pretty good portrait lens.

Enjoy your camera!

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mgn2
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Re: New NEX-6 user needs first prime - SEL3518 or Sigma 30mm or legacy prime
In reply to PhotoFactor, Apr 3, 2013

I'm probably going to get the Sigma 30mm used for about $100 then think of adding the Sony 35mm when the used lenses hit the market for less than $450. Couple more questions:

-is there  a difference between the old and new 30mm sigma?

-for my purposes, what is the lightest/smallest adapter+normal legacy prime (35mm or so) combo that is also reasonably sharp, very fast (1.8 or 1/4) and under $75?

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John Knuhtsen
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Re: New NEX-6 user needs first prime - SEL3518 or Sigma 30mm or legacy prime
In reply to mgn2, Apr 3, 2013

Difficult question. I would buy a sony 20, sony 50 (portraits, it could be a legacy lens), and something 12 mm (it could be the sony 16 plus the ultrawide, for architecture).

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blue_skies
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Re: New NEX-6 user needs first prime - SEL3518 or Sigma 30mm or legacy prime
In reply to John Knuhtsen, Apr 3, 2013

John Knuhtsen wrote:

Difficult question. I would buy a sony 20, sony 50 (portraits, it could be a legacy lens), and something 12 mm (it could be the sony 16 plus the ultrawide, for architecture).

I would add the Sigma 30 as well. And keep the 1650 lens.

That would make a very nice setup for reasonable cost.

If indoors video is of a concern, e.g. children & family, I would splurge for the E35 with OSS.

-- hide signature --

Cheers,
Henry

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mgn2
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Re: New NEX-6 user needs first prime - SEL3518 or Sigma 30mm or legacy prime
In reply to John Knuhtsen, Apr 3, 2013

John Knuhtsen wrote:

Difficult question. I would buy a sony 20, sony 50 (portraits, it could be a legacy lens), and something 12 mm (it could be the sony 16 plus the ultrawide, for architecture).

Sony 20 would be redundant to me as I have the Fuji X100 at 23mm which is hard to beat IMO. I don't really like 50mm as much as I like the 35mm view. On the ultrawide, I don't hear great things about the 16mm pancake (relative to the kit lens), not sure how it holds up with the ultrawide adapter. I do agree that I should get something around 12mm eventually. Not sure if there is a suitable legacy lens solution for this? Manual focus would not be an issue with landscapes where one might focus out to infinity anyway if there is no foreground object/person to be focused on.

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mgn2
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Re: New NEX-6 user needs first prime - SEL3518 or Sigma 30mm or legacy prime
In reply to blue_skies, Apr 3, 2013

blue_skies wrote:

John Knuhtsen wrote:

Difficult question. I would buy a sony 20, sony 50 (portraits, it could be a legacy lens), and something 12 mm (it could be the sony 16 plus the ultrawide, for architecture).

I would add the Sigma 30 as well. And keep the 1650 lens.

That would make a very nice setup for reasonable cost.

If indoors video is of a concern, e.g. children & family, I would splurge for the E35 with OSS.

-- hide signature --

Cheers,
Henry

I really do want to get the E35, but I think if I get the Sigma 30 now for $100, the E35 will eventually drop at least $100 in the used market over a few months, and then I might pick one up as well.

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richiemccaw
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Re: New NEX-6 user needs first prime - SEL3518 or Sigma 30mm or legacy prime
In reply to mgn2, Apr 3, 2013

mgn2 wrote:

blue_skies wrote:

John Knuhtsen wrote:

Difficult question. I would buy a sony 20, sony 50 (portraits, it could be a legacy lens), and something 12 mm (it could be the sony 16 plus the ultrawide, for architecture).

I would add the Sigma 30 as well. And keep the 1650 lens.

That would make a very nice setup for reasonable cost.

If indoors video is of a concern, e.g. children & family, I would splurge for the E35 with OSS.

-- hide signature --

Cheers,
Henry

I really do want to get the E35, but I think if I get the Sigma 30 now for $100, the E35 will eventually drop at least $100 in the used market over a few months, and then I might pick one up as well.

You should just go and get the E35. I strongly believe, and as many here would also agree, that it would be well worth the price as a brand new lens.

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mgn2
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Re: New NEX-6 user needs first prime - SEL3518 or Sigma 30mm or legacy prime
In reply to richiemccaw, Apr 3, 2013

richiemccaw wrote:

mgn2 wrote:

blue_skies wrote:

John Knuhtsen wrote:

Difficult question. I would buy a sony 20, sony 50 (portraits, it could be a legacy lens), and something 12 mm (it could be the sony 16 plus the ultrawide, for architecture).

I would add the Sigma 30 as well. And keep the 1650 lens.

That would make a very nice setup for reasonable cost.

If indoors video is of a concern, e.g. children & family, I would splurge for the E35 with OSS.

-- hide signature --

Cheers,
Henry

I really do want to get the E35, but I think if I get the Sigma 30 now for $100, the E35 will eventually drop at least $100 in the used market over a few months, and then I might pick one up as well.

You should just go and get the E35. I strongly believe, and as many here would also agree, that it would be well worth the price as a brand new lens.

So you think the $450 spent would be an obvious improvement over the kit lens in terms of startup, AF, bokeh, sharpness and video performance? I want to like the Sigma 30, but I feel it may not be wide/fast enough, and I read it slows down startup time and is not as fast at AF as the E35. Where can I find a good used E35 at a discount?

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rmcohen
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Re: New NEX-6 user needs first prime - SEL3518 or Sigma 30mm or legacy prime
In reply to mgn2, Apr 4, 2013

A friend of mine picked up my 6 with the Sigma 30 on it and shot this:

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PhotoFactor
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Re: New NEX-6 user needs first prime - SEL3518 or Sigma 30mm or legacy prime
In reply to rmcohen, Apr 4, 2013

Wow! That's a great shot and very sharp!

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expireduser
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Re: New NEX-6 user needs first prime - SEL3518 or Sigma 30mm or legacy prime
In reply to mgn2, Apr 4, 2013

Old and new Sigmas just have different body, same optics. I love my 30mm Sigma, I prefer it over 35mm for the additional field of view. I'm using an NEX-7, I'm a pixel peeper, and I find the Sigma to be very sharp. I think it's a great idea to pick one up cheap, then later on if you really want another f/stop and/or OSS you can find a 35mm f/1.8 used.

I wouldn't get a legacy 35mm MF lens. The Sigma is going to be sharper, lighter, fully supported by your camera and by Lightroom lens profiles, and probably the same price.

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mgn2
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Re: New NEX-6 user needs first prime - SEL3518 or Sigma 30mm or legacy prime
In reply to expireduser, Apr 4, 2013

I just put in an order for one for about $100. Should be with me in a couple of days. Looking forward to using it. I am sure the SEL 35 1.8 can be picked up later this year for a cheaper price, when if and I decide to add that as well. Any opinions on a lens that is good for UWA/wide? Already have the 16-50 kit lens. The 16mm pancake + adapter can be bought used for $200-$250.  Is that pretty much the only option besides the expensive Sony 10-18mm ($900)? What about a legacy lens? When is the 12mm Zeiss going to be out, what will it cost and is it worth waiting for?

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eplamondon
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Re: New NEX-6 user needs first prime - SEL3518 or Sigma 30mm or legacy prime
In reply to mgn2, Apr 4, 2013

Tough call - and for sure you're not going to get a unanimous response... simply a collection of personal opinions.

So here's mine....

I bought my 30mm sigma prior to the Sony coming out.  I knew it was around the corner, but I went with the notion many folks have said here - if I like it and feel I want more later, the Sony will be waiting.    The fact that the Sigma has received glowing reviews across the board made it an easy decision.  I got mine for $150.  And now that you can get the 30 and the 19 for a bundle @ $200 bucks, you're bound to be able to find the 30mm going solo for a cool $100.   That puts it into no-brainer land.   It's sharp, it's light.  The camera is almost a compact at that point.    And with the nice sensitivity - the 2.8 does very well in many conditions.

This all comes from a budget standpoint as well.   IF $$$ doesn't really matter then I'd consider that Sony.   I certainly wouldn't underestimate the value of the OSS.   I have it on the Sony 50 and it's very very nice.   I do video as well, so if that's something you plan to do, the OSS will be be VERY handy.

The focal length sure is nice too.

I guess I'd turn it back to you and see what you're okay with spending now.   If the cost of the 35 is where you're prepared to go at this moment, just go that route.

For many folks - for around the same money, you can snag the Sigma and the 50mm.   Although a bit more tele - that lens makes a nice portrait lens and I've marveled at it's sharpness.  I do love it.

Finally - in regards to the legacy lenses.    Boy, if you've got some lying around or have access to folks that do - I find them very FUN.   Great quality of course, but with the peaking applied, it just feels very organic to use the manual focus.  And you can nail focus easily.   You can get some great deals online - though many folks certainly recognize the desire in the old lenses, so costs have started creeping.

One thing I can say about the NEX lenses in general is that I really hate manually focusing with them - the fly by wire or whatever it's called just doesn't feel good - which is why when I have that hankering for manual control, I pull out a Nikon lens and pop it on.

Just a ramble here - good luck with whatever you decide.   The NEX line is definitely a fun cam and gives you many options

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