Prime lens dilemma: Sony 35mm F/1.8 SAM lens vs. 16mm F/2.8 Pancake?

Started Dec 30, 2010 | Discussions thread
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michaelleo New Member • Posts: 6
Prime lens dilemma: Sony 35mm F/1.8 SAM lens vs. 16mm F/2.8 Pancake?

I'm not terribly happy with the low-light performance of the kit lens (18-55) so I'm looking for some advice on a fast prime lens for the NEX-5, probably in or below the 35mm range (i.e. 50mm is just too long with the 1.5 cropping factor)

Here are the benefits I see with each -- would love your opinion on which one (or another option) make sense for someone looking for something Small and Fast. I'm looking to spend less than $500 if possible.

Sony 35mm F/1.8 SAM lens

  • Pros: very fast. nice range given the 1.5 factor.

  • Cons: size. The adapter + this lens make it as big as the 18-55.

  • Questions:

  1. what about image quality?

  2. good range for indoor + some walk-around?

Sony 16mm F/2.8 pancake

  • Pros: very small.

  • Cons: Not nearly as fast as the other lens.

  • Questions:

  1. Is an F/2.8 going to be good enough to offer sharp and fast indoor / night captures?

  2. Is the 16mm too wide to capture pics of people without making them look too distorted? Would you use it to capture pics of friends and family?

Other lens?

I'm open to a non-Sony lens but am not super excited about no AF support. I like shooting manual occasionally but I have to say, it was A LOT easier when I was shooting on my Canon DSLR and had a viewfinder.

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