All purpose lens set for beginner?

Started May 9, 2013 | Discussions thread
Dennis Forum Pro • Posts: 17,679
Re: All purpose lens set for beginner?

trax87 wrote:

I'm not specifically "looking" for anything so to speak.  Of corse there are many who use a NEX as a backup or in addition to a DSLR, but I know that a number of people are now using a NEX instead of a DSLR. 
Your suggestions are very helpful.  It sounds like my current lenses plus one fast prime (probably the 35/1.8) would work well for me for some time.   I guess those who need more than what is available currently either have a DSLR for those purposes or use the Sony adapter and Alpha lenses.

So a couple of thoughts ... if fast lenses are desirable, then you can wonder whether a DSLR would have been better, but there are plenty of people who opt to put a faster lens on a NEX.  (Before deciding on my last DSLR, I gave some serious thought to the idea of a NEX-7 based kit with the Alpha 70-200 on an LA-EA2 adapter when needed).  Either a legacy lens or an Alpha lens with adapter.  Some are happy with the size reduction of the body only, but for others, they effectively have the option of either a small or large kit.

Secondly, what I was trying to suggest based on my experience is that there's no real reason to view the combo of slow zooms and a fast prime or two as settling.  Sure, you may have been recommended faster zooms by some ... but count me as one experienced amateur suggesting the slow zoom/fast prime combo as preferable (Reasons given in prior post).

The 18-55 has an undeserved reputation.  Maybe there's sample variance, maybe it performs worse on the NEX-7, yes the corners aren't perfect, but on the 14MP NEX-5, it was an easy match for the Carl Zeiss 16-80 on my 12MP A700 when shooting landscapes stopped down for a bit of depth of field.  Extreme corners aren't perfect, and can be soft wide open (I don't usually care much about corners wide open in practice anyway).  But I've never liked kit lenses in general, and I'm perfectly happy with the 18-55.  (If I were to stick with NEX as my primary kit, I'd likely upgrade when a 'premium' lens comes along, but it's a fine lens).  I know you have the 16-50 and I really haven't kept up on it, but I'd probably want one of those as a compact option.  I don't know about the 55-210; I have the original 18-200, though, and find it a very competent lens.  You could always pick up a faster tele if NEX is your primary kit and you're willing to deal with the bigger lens ... but here my recommendation isn't to go out and buy X, Y or Z.  It's to use the lens you already have until you identify a need in your own shooting for something else.  The only AFing f/4 option is the old beercan (or the f/3.5-4.5 version) and that's big & heavy and slow focusing.  And then it only gets you a stop over an f/5.6 zoom.  (If the NEX lens is f/6.3 then you gain a bit more than a stop).  Depending on what you end up shooting, though, you might find that you want a stabilized lens (from a 3rd party manufacturer) ... or that you need an f/2.8 zoom (Sigma or Tamron) or that you really need more reach than 200 anyway, in which case a 70-300 might be more appropriate.

So my advice remains to stick with your zooms, pick up the 35/1.8 and then wait until you identify something in your shooting where those lenses are limiting you.  I have a lineup that I like a lot - it's not the right lineup for everyone - and I've gone through about 20 different lenses (over 20 years) on my way to getting here !  Buying a kit based on recommendations or for coverage because you don't have enough experience to know what you want/need could result in buying the wrong lenses.

Off my soapbox now

Enjoy your kit !

- Dennis

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