Which NEX lenses have the "WOW" factor?

Started Apr 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
blue_skies Forum Pro • Posts: 11,639
Re: Which NEX lenses have the "WOW" factor?

SteveS58 wrote:

I'm a long time Olympus DSLR user (most recently E-30) who recently purchased the NEX 6.  I purchased the camera with the 16-50 kit lens.  I've been having a great time getting acquainted with the camera, love the small form factor, and the improved IQ over my E-30.  While the kit lens is adequate, there's no "wow" factor like there is with my Zuiko 50-200 lens or 14-54 lens.

Basically, you are looking for a faster lens, right?

Obviously a kit lens can not compete with these.  So now that I'm comfortable with the new camera, I'm ready to spread my wings and buy some better quality lenses.  I do street photography, portraits, landscapes, etc.  So I was looking for some real life experience on which lenses give you that "wow" factor.  Your advice is much appreciated.  ....

All fast Sony primes may give you what you want. The Sony zooms are a bit slow for your experience.

Thanks for your responses.  I'm not a pixel peeper.  I also don't necessarily need very low light capabilities.  There's a sharpness and beautiful bokeh that I've gotten from my better Zuiko lenses that I was looking to duplicate with the NEX system.

I am assuming that f/2.8 satisfies your WOW factor. There are lenses (most notably Zeiss' primes) that deliver (almost) distortion free, high sharpness, high contrast, and high subject isolation, at the cost of poor bokeh, at f/2.0 (Zeiss-look), and this is often also referred to as WOW factor. The only Sony lens that comes close to this is the E24Z, when used above f/2.2.

But both the E35 and the E50 are very impressive in their own league. They lack the wide-open sharpness, but they return very pleasing bokeh in return. And they are both sharp lenses and retain their edge-to-edge sharpness and contrast to about f/2.5.

In fact, even the E20, at f/2.8, impresses, especially if you have a close-subject/far background situation.

If you are pleased with 'just' f/2.8, consider both Sigma 19 and 30mm lenses. Both remain edge to edge sharpness, when used wide open, also at the cost of poor bokeh.

Then, there are lots of rumors about new zoom lenses on the horizon. However, an f/2.8 zoom is  not in the cards (unless at wide end only).

As to the Zuiko lenses, I have a set of the older OM series and have not been using them much. They are very nice in terms of bokeh, but they remain soft in terms of pixel-peeping level detail, especially compared to a more modern Zeiss' lens, at apertures of f/2.8 or wider. But I do like the wide open soft Zuiko 28mm look more than e.g. the wide open Sigma 30m look.

At smaller apertures, the 1650 kit holds its own against most of the prime lenses. These are different types of scenes, but keep this in mind.

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