SELP18-105G: Best option for travel?

Started Mar 3, 2014 | Discussions thread
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JaviB Regular Member • Posts: 212
SELP18-105G: Best option for travel?

I want to add a lens to my gear but I'm not sure which one, I'm a bit at a crossroads.

First, question, what for? what do I have? what do I lack?

I do 90% of my pictures when travelling. My camera is NEX-5N and my lenses SEL18-55 and Sigma30f2.8.

Despite the higher image quality of the Sigma30, I use sel18-55 much more. Sticking to the 30mm is limiting for me. And I don't like to change lenses a lot on the go. I like to take a wide and a close shot of the same concept. Maybe a landscape and a detail in that landscape. The 18-55 allows me to have a wide range of different pictures of the places I visit, from landscapes, to portraits, with acceptable quality. Here are some of my pictures

I use the Sigma30 when I don't want to capture everything, or in other words, when I accept missing some shots but for the ones I take I want maximum quality.

Adding the 18-105G would mean higher quality in the 18-55 range, and extra range. Despite the barrel distortion issue, once corrected in camera for jpg or in lightroom for RAWs, the image quality seems to be excelent. I always apply lens profile corrections in lightroom to my pictures so I have no problem with the software correction. Optical correction also have a cost in image quality, since more glass and a more complex design is required in the lens, so the light get to the sensor a bit "treated".

Some reviews say the lens is not up to the "G" expectations, but people with it are extremely happy with the image quality. I've seen great pictures with this lens and just a NEX 3N. Look at this:

I think the sharpness values are quite good for this lens. At 18mm I don't shoot wide open, and at 105mm the corners are not usually important:

There are other options for travel lens, like the 18-200s, but the 18-105 is cheaper and I think the quality is higher and the range is enough for me.

Problem: It is huge for my little 5N. Nevertheless It is not very heavy and it doesn't extend when zooming. Would I be able to put the camera on a tripod with this lens? I have a manfrotto MKC3-P01.

What makes me doubt about adding this lens, apart from the size, is that I find that with my 18-55, most of the pictures are at 18mm or close to it, but maybe this is influenced because I know that my kit lens is not good at the long end. How much would I use the extra range of the 18-105? Should I get a ultra wide lens instead? Maybe SEL16f2.8 + UWA converter. But I could end not using it a lot, just like my sigma30.

What would be your recommendation?

 JaviB's gear list:JaviB's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony a6000 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS +3 more
Sony Alpha NEX-5N
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