Buying the NEX-5R but deciding on a lens... want a portable GOOD camera

Started Apr 23, 2013 | Discussions
OP KellieO New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Buying the NEX-5R but deciding on a lens... want a portable GOOD camera

D Cox wrote:

Pi lover wrote:

With the kit 18-55 zoom you've got a decent lens.  It's not likely to be the Zeiss though.  The size of the Nex5 is great and the picture quality impressive.  I find the 55-210mm lens great bang for the buck too.

One thing you're going to find with the 5R is that you only have the back screen to view your pictures.  I'm waiting for the EVF kit (just under $300) because in brighter light the screen becomes totally useless.  It's frustrating to want a shot and not be able to see anything.  The EVF is one advantage the more expensive Nex's have.

I find the screen is perfectly visible when set to "Sunny Weather" brightness. This does drain the battery faster, however.

Good tip on the "sunny weather" - I'll have to make a point to check out all the settings. I always do get extra batteries too. My a330 live view was nice for snapshots, although it drained the batteries faster too.

OP KellieO New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Buying the NEX-5R but deciding on a lens... want a portable GOOD camera

Kiichiro wrote:

If you just want a P&S and not spend a lot of money then get the NEX3N with the pancake zoom.  I'm picking one up to go with my 5R soon.

I'll have to research it some more. I've been looking at these for over a year and based on my initial research, I was going to go with the 5N, although I can't remember why at this point. Since then, teh 5R replaced the 5N, so that's where I'm at.  This camera is replacing my P&S, but since I'm mostly shoot with my a850, a full frame professional camera, it's hard to step too far down in quality.

blue_skies
blue_skies Forum Pro • Posts: 11,329
Re: Buying the NEX-5R but deciding on a lens... want a portable GOOD camera

Did you already purchase the Nex-5R with the E1855 kit lens?

If not, I suggest that you get the E1650P kit lens instead - it makes for a much smaller configuration.

It also alleviates the need for the E16, as this FL is also covered by the E1650P.

I would then add the E35 at some point, for shallow DOF, low light and video recordings.

Shooting with the E1650P will be more satisfactory than you may expect. If under lowlight, keep the FL below 20mm so the lens is a tad faster, and accept higher ISO - it will still look ok under most circumstances.

I would wait with the 55210, unless you see the $244 deal at target. With the CIZ you can 'stretch' the E1650P to 100m, which suffices under a majority of circumstances.

One note - whether in iAuto or A-mode, the camera will go wide-open on the lens, then push shutter time down to 1/60th, and then increase ISO as light conditions worsen. I have found that keeping shutter time above 1/100th, with higher ISO, leads to more pleasing images, especially if people are the subject.

And if compactness is a factor, consider the E20. I use the Nex-5N with E20 nowadays, and am happily surprised how small this combination actually is...

-- hide signature --

Cheers,
Henry

 blue_skies's gear list:blue_skies's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony a6000 Sony a5100 Sony Alpha a7 II Sony Alpha a7R II +35 more
OP KellieO New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Buying the NEX-5R but deciding on a lens... want a portable GOOD camera

Thanks everyone! Sounds like I need to go with the 16-50 as my everyday lens, and then decide if my next lens should be a wide-angle or zoom (the 55-210).

Does anyone have experience with the Sony SELP1650 16-50mm? That range just sounds perfect, but I got the impression that it was not a very good lens. Any experience?


Thanks!

OP KellieO New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Buying the NEX-5R but deciding on a lens... want a portable GOOD camera

blue_skies wrote:

Did you already purchase the Nex-5R with the E1855 kit lens?

If not, I suggest that you get the E1650P kit lens instead - it makes for a much smaller configuration.

It also alleviates the need for the E16, as this FL is also covered by the E1650P.

I would then add the E35 at some point, for shallow DOF, low light and video recordings.

Shooting with the E1650P will be more satisfactory than you may expect. If under lowlight, keep the FL below 20mm so the lens is a tad faster, and accept higher ISO - it will still look ok under most circumstances.

I would wait with the 55210, unless you see the $244 deal at target. With the CIZ you can 'stretch' the E1650P to 100m, which suffices under a majority of circumstances.

One note - whether in iAuto or A-mode, the camera will go wide-open on the lens, then push shutter time down to 1/60th, and then increase ISO as light conditions worsen. I have found that keeping shutter time above 1/100th, with higher ISO, leads to more pleasing images, especially if people are the subject.

And if compactness is a factor, consider the E20. I use the Nex-5N with E20 nowadays, and am happily surprised how small this combination actually is...

-- hide signature --

Cheers,
Henry

Thanks Henry! I haven't bought anything yet. Do you have the 16-50? I thought that sounded like a great range, but it sounded like it got some pretty bad reviews. So, you've enjoyed it? Thought it performed well? Thanks much!

smallLebowski Contributing Member • Posts: 996
Re: 20mm + 16-50mm or cheaper 19mm + 16-50mm
3

Option 1:

1. I would buy 20mm Sony pancake (it's sharper and more all-around than 16mm)- that would be very compact - truly pocket-able camera.

2. 16-50mm power zoom (that one is smaller than 18-55) for video - since it has OSS and you will need zoom as well for video.

3. 55-210mm for telephoto

Option 2 (cheaper):

1. 19mm Sigma lens - a little bigger than 20mm pancake, but very sharp lens - and very cheap - around $100 for a new alone or $150-190 for both 19mm and 30mm!

2. 16-50mm power zoom for video - has OSS and zoom. Again it's smaller than 18-55mm.

3. Don't buy 55-210mm yet and save for a new version that should come out soon. That advise is only if you want to save now some money and go a cheaper route.

Extra options to consider:

Option A (for low light): to avoid using flash (5R has a weak flash anyway) it's a good idea to buy SEL35f18 - very good and fast lens (and quite compact too) - will be good both for stills in low light and video (it has OSS).

Option B (for action, kids, sport): buy an LA-EA2 adapter + SAL lens (A mount) - adapter will give you DSLR focus speed and performance for moments when you need fast auto focus. Any SAL lens will do, but for starters SAL35f18 is a small, sharp, fast (f1,8) and cheap ($200 new) lens. LA_EA2 + SAL35f18 is roughly the same price as SEL35f18 - so it's up to you to decide what you need more: compactness and OSS or fast auto focus for shooting sports, action, kids situations.

Option C (for longer telephoto): Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG OS Lens for Sony Alpha - for use with LA-EA2 adapter: it's cheap ($310 new) and has longer reach (450mm equivalent) - it is sharper than any other lens in that price range and as a bonus you get OS (you will need it for telephoto) and fast auto focus with LA-EA2 adapter. You basically get best of both worlds. The only cons - setup will be closer to DSLR in terms of size, but this is a lens for special occasions when you need it, so I wouldn't worry too much about size.

OP KellieO New Member • Posts: 14
Re: 20mm + 16-50mm or cheaper 19mm + 16-50mm

smallLebowski wrote:

Option 1:

1. I would buy 20mm Sony pancake (it's sharper and more all-around than 16mm)- that would be very compact - truly pocket-able camera.

2. 16-50mm power zoom (that one is smaller than 18-55) for video - since it has OSS and you will need zoom as well for video.

3. 55-210mm for telephoto

Option 2 (cheaper):

1. 19mm Sigma lens - a little bigger than 20mm pancake, but very sharp lens - and very cheap - around $100 for a new alone or $150-190 for both 19mm and 30mm!

2. 16-50mm power zoom for video - has OSS and zoom. Again it's smaller than 18-55mm.

3. Don't buy 55-210mm yet and save for a new version that should come out soon. That advise is only if you want to save now some money and go a cheaper route.

Extra options to consider:

Option A (for low light): to avoid using flash (5R has a weak flash anyway) it's a good idea to buy SEL35f18 - very good and fast lens (and quite compact too) - will be good both for stills in low light and video (it has OSS).

Option B (for action, kids, sport): buy an LA-EA2 adapter + SAL lens (A mount) - adapter will give you DSLR focus speed and performance for moments when you need fast auto focus. Any SAL lens will do, but for starters SAL35f18 is a small, sharp, fast (f1,8) and cheap ($200 new) lens. LA_EA2 + SAL35f18 is roughly the same price as SEL35f18 - so it's up to you to decide what you need more: compactness and OSS or fast auto focus for shooting sports, action, kids situations.

Option C (for longer telephoto): Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG OS Lens for Sony Alpha - for use with LA-EA2 adapter: it's cheap ($310 new) and has longer reach (450mm equivalent) - it is sharper than any other lens in that price range and as a bonus you get OS (you will need it for telephoto) and fast auto focus with LA-EA2 adapter. You basically get best of both worlds. The only cons - setup will be closer to DSLR in terms of size, but this is a lens for special occasions when you need it, so I wouldn't worry too much about size.

Thanks so much for all the suggestions!! Size is definiteliy a priority for me. If I'm going somewhere speficially to take the best photos possible, I'll take whatever lens on my full-frame DSLR. But, I want pretty good quality too... I don't want to give it all up. You've given me a lot to research though - thanks!!

Mel Snyder
Mel Snyder Veteran Member • Posts: 4,088
Re: Buying the NEX-5R but deciding on a lens... want a portable GOOD camera

KellieO wrote:

Kiichiro wrote:

If you just want a P&S and not spend a lot of money then get the NEX3N with the pancake zoom.  I'm picking one up to go with my 5R soon.

I'll have to research it some more. I've been looking at these for over a year and based on my initial research, I was going to go with the 5N, although I can't remember why at this point. Since then, teh 5R replaced the 5N, so that's where I'm at.  This camera is replacing my P&S, but since I'm mostly shoot with my a850, a full frame professional camera, it's hard to step too far down in quality.

Kellie...

Get the 16-50 PZ zoom with the camera. It's cheap and better than the critics here think. Makes a great purse camera. Here's a recent shot with mine.

 Mel Snyder's gear list:Mel Snyder's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony Alpha a7 Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Leica Summicron-M 50mm f/2 Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS +12 more
Mel Snyder
Mel Snyder Veteran Member • Posts: 4,088
Re: Buying the NEX-5R but deciding on a lens... want a portable GOOD camera

Kellie - in case the image doesn't show on my previous post, here it is again - check it in the "original" mode. No editing - just shot raw and converted to jpeg. Shot with a Hoya polarizing filter and -.3 exposure, to accentuate the sky and keep the white ship from totally blowing out. Should have shot it HDR, but didn't know how to do it then.

 Mel Snyder's gear list:Mel Snyder's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony Alpha a7 Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Leica Summicron-M 50mm f/2 Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS +12 more
anthny680 Regular Member • Posts: 186
Re: 20mm + 16-50mm or cheaper 19mm + 16-50mm

Kellie,

You have a wonderful camera in the a850, paired with an even more wonderful Zeiss lens.  Now the camera I'm going to recommend for you, as you're point and shoot replacement, is Sony's own flagship point and shoot with 1" sensor, the Cybershot RX-100.  Technically Sony's flagship P&S is the full framed RX-1, but you mentioned a budget.

I couldn't imagine going on a family trip with the kids and having to navigate between two separate interchangeable lens systems, when all that's really needed is a quality compact.  The A-E mount adapters just make the whole thing more cumbersome.

With the RX100 you get hassle free fun with real portability, and amazing image quality.  It fits in your pocket, the Nex does not.  It has video and all that good stuff you're looking for.  The RX100 menu system is designed like your A850, so moving between cameras will be quick and easy, the mode dial even offers the 3 custom preset settings similar to your A850.  The RX100's 28-105mm f1.8-4.9 variable aperture Zeiss lens is of good quality, certainly no worst than the budget kit lenses you'd be getting with the Nex system.

Image quality is spectacular, just read the reviews on B & H Photo's website, many of which are from pro and semi pro photographers, who have big DSLR's but don't want to sacrifice quality when portability is essentail  B&H LINK

EDIT: I'm quite surprised the RX100 suggestion didn't arise in page 1 of this thread...

Good luck!

FuzzyQball
FuzzyQball Senior Member • Posts: 1,630
Re: Buying the NEX-5R but deciding on a lens... want a portable GOOD camera

The only lenes that are pocketable are the 16mm, and the 16-50 power zoom.  There have been mixed reviews of both here, but it all depends on how finicky you are.  If you were OK with you P&S, then it will likely be OK.

-- hide signature --

Glenn

 FuzzyQball's gear list:FuzzyQball's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony a6000 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS +1 more
smallLebowski Contributing Member • Posts: 996
Re: Buying the NEX-5R but deciding on a lens... want a portable GOOD camera

and 20mm pancake as well.

blue_skies
blue_skies Forum Pro • Posts: 11,329
Re: Buying the NEX-5R but deciding on a lens... want a portable GOOD camera
1

KellieO wrote:

blue_skies wrote:

Did you already purchase the Nex-5R with the E1855 kit lens?

If not, I suggest that you get the E1650P kit lens instead - it makes for a much smaller configuration.

It also alleviates the need for the E16, as this FL is also covered by the E1650P.

I would then add the E35 at some point, for shallow DOF, low light and video recordings.

Shooting with the E1650P will be more satisfactory than you may expect. If under lowlight, keep the FL below 20mm so the lens is a tad faster, and accept higher ISO - it will still look ok under most circumstances.

I would wait with the 55210, unless you see the $244 deal at target. With the CIZ you can 'stretch' the E1650P to 100m, which suffices under a majority of circumstances.

One note - whether in iAuto or A-mode, the camera will go wide-open on the lens, then push shutter time down to 1/60th, and then increase ISO as light conditions worsen. I have found that keeping shutter time above 1/100th, with higher ISO, leads to more pleasing images, especially if people are the subject.

And if compactness is a factor, consider the E20. I use the Nex-5N with E20 nowadays, and am happily surprised how small this combination actually is...

-- hide signature --

Cheers,
Henry

Thanks Henry! I haven't bought anything yet. Do you have the 16-50? I thought that sounded like a great range, but it sounded like it got some pretty bad reviews. So, you've enjoyed it? Thought it performed well? Thanks much!

Yes, I am enjoying the E1650P - I am shooting JPG with it for now, but I am very pleased with the results, it is actually quite impressive, especially given its compactness. I would ignore the reviews - they mostly are about uncorrected optical behavior, and pre the v1.02 camera software (when this lens was not great on 5N and 7).

I am mostly out now with the E20, E1650P and E35, which makes for a very compact set.

Some weekend shots with the E1650P per below:

Overview of the scene

CIZ at 50mm and 2x for a 100mm equiv. FOV

Vertical panorama - camera held sideways

-- hide signature --

Cheers,
Henry

 blue_skies's gear list:blue_skies's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony a6000 Sony a5100 Sony Alpha a7 II Sony Alpha a7R II +35 more
maxpowers New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Buying the NEX-5R but deciding on a lens... want a portable GOOD camera

Lebowski is right. If compactness is what you are going for the new E20 is the best lens yet. Much sharper than the 16mm pancake and focuses lightning quick. The NEX is truly a pocket cam with this lens.

dpmaxwell Regular Member • Posts: 467
Re: Buying the NEX-5R but deciding on a lens... want a portable GOOD camera

Hate to be "that guy", but pictures 2 and 4 appear to have a bit of sensor dust top center.  

-- hide signature --

*Disclaimer: the above post is just my opinion. No offense was intended. Please don't freak out - I'm just some random dude on the internet.*

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blue_skies
blue_skies Forum Pro • Posts: 11,329
Re: Buying the NEX-5R but deciding on a lens... want a portable GOOD camera

dpmaxwell wrote:

Hate to be "that guy", but pictures 2 and 4 appear to have a bit of sensor dust top center.  

-- hide signature --

*Disclaimer: the above post is just my opinion. No offense was intended. Please don't freak out - I'm just some random dude on the internet.*

Not at all, thanks for that. It's time to clean the sensor. My oops.

-- hide signature --

Cheers,
Henry

 blue_skies's gear list:blue_skies's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony a6000 Sony a5100 Sony Alpha a7 II Sony Alpha a7R II +35 more
Richie Beans Regular Member • Posts: 309
Re: Buying the NEX-5R but deciding on a lens... want a portable GOOD camera

I would definitely suggest the 16mm, all by itself... It's a great beater lens. You won't ever have to miss those kid shots because you were too busy protecting your precious lens; just store it temporarily without the lens cap and whip it out when needed. In addition, it sounds like you'll be spending a lot of time in the car.... good luck trying to get decent shots with anything other than a 16mm (or less). While having a zoom option sounds nice, not having to even THINK about having to use two hands to compose a shot can make the difference between getting the shot and wishing you weren't fiddling the lens.

Kids move fast... Be ready!

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NEX5R +1 more
Richie Beans Regular Member • Posts: 309
Re: Buying the NEX-5R but deciding on a lens... want a portable GOOD camera

Jeez! What's in that guy's kayak anyway!?

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NEX5R +1 more
ThachLy Regular Member • Posts: 264
Sigma 19mm is the best budget prime lens for NEX 5R

Hi Kellie0

Just get a Sigma 19mm F2.8, price new on ebay around $150US. It's far sharper then the kit zoom. You may also want to check this out.

http://kurtmunger.com/recommendedgearid135.html

The following pic was NEX5R + Sigma 19mm F2.8. Just JPG straight out of cam, resized for posting. The kit zoom was no where near as sharp. This Sigma is also very nice on skin tone, a bit warmer .... it is so sharp edge to edge. Others may have different opinion.

Good luck with your choices.

Thach

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Fujifilm XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Fujifilm X-A1 Fujifilm X-T1 +7 more
pcake Contributing Member • Posts: 692
Re: Sigma 19mm is the best budget prime lens for NEX 5R

i'd definitely put the EVF on your list.  following running kids, flying birds or anything moving is a lot easier through a finder than on a screen - at least, it is for me.

btw, if you do some searches on this board, you'll find a lot of pics from the 16-50 that look good, and many discussions with people who say that the 16-50 is much better than they expected after reading about it on forums.  add to that the versatility of the zoom and its small size, and it seems like a good fit for your needs with the little flash that comes with the camera.

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