18-55 or thirdy party lens

Discussion in 'Sony E-Mount (incl. NEX, A7, A7R, A3000) Forum' started by yuppi, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. yuppi

    yuppi New to SC

    8
    Feb 16, 2011
    Hey everyone

    I'm a new nex owner. Just wondering if anyone could lend their opinions. I bought the 16mm kit. Now I can either go back and get the bundled 18-55 for another $150 or I can save that money to go towards a third party lens and adapter. Do you guys think it's worth it to buy the 18-55 with IS or are there sharper MF out there worth buying? what would you do?
     
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  2. madmaxmedia

    madmaxmedia SC Veteran

    242
    Nov 10, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Really depends on your shooting preferences. What focal range do you mostly shoot? For example, if you shoot a lot of wide anyway, then it might make sense to pair the 16mm with a MF prime. OTOH if the image stabilization and moderate zoom is really useful, then you're not going to get both in a MF lens. And $150 bundle price is pretty good.
     
  3. yuppi

    yuppi New to SC

    8
    Feb 16, 2011
    I capture mostly street shots. I like to shoot human interaction. $150 is a great price for a lens. Just wondering if I could benefit from a legacy lens maybe.
     
  4. yuppi

    yuppi New to SC

    8
    Feb 16, 2011
    Thanks for the quick reply by the way!
     
  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I find the 18-55 pretty useful for street shooting in any decent light. I've been toying around with the 16 a lot lately and enjoy the compositions I get with it, but it does push the people further away so I have to be that much closer to really capture the interactions. The kit zoom is much better in that regard. I usually leave it set to about 24mm as a starting point, but sometimes zoom in a bit from there... I'd say for the money you won't be disappointed. Most people find it to be a better quality lens than the 16, although I'm not an IQ freak and I like them both just fine...

    -Ray
     
  6. madmaxmedia

    madmaxmedia SC Veteran

    242
    Nov 10, 2010
    Los Angeles
    I think it's hard to beat the 18-55mm at that price, but if like to mess around there are some great legacy MF bargains too. With MF you can find fast, cheap, pretty sharp primes.

    I just got a NEX-3 w/ 16mm secondhand for a great price, and decided to add a Konica AR 40mm f/1.8 pancake (and adapter) to supplement the 16mm. The lens + adapter only cost me $60. So now I have a wide angle (which I love) as well as a normal (well, 60mm is close.) I anticipate using the 16mm the most so the 18-55 is not necessary for me now. The NEX sensor + f/1.8 lens is very intriguing to me too...
     
  7. yuppi

    yuppi New to SC

    8
    Feb 16, 2011
    thanks for the response. I'm still unsure! I know that the 18-55 is probably a solid lens at that price. I feel that no one has gotten any kind of wow factor from it though. Obviously I am having framing issues with the wide 16mm. I feel like I'm getting too close for comfort in order to get people in the frame the way I want to finish the composition. I , like madmaxmedia, find the nex sensor + f/1.8 lens intriguing haha. I just know that I want a lens that will justify the great sensor! I'm definitely stuck
     
  8. madmaxmedia

    madmaxmedia SC Veteran

    242
    Nov 10, 2010
    Los Angeles
    I am mainly taking photos of my daughters, so getting in close with the 16mm is not a problem for me. I actually like the 'you are there' perspective of a wide angle lens in and about with your subject. Of course, you do need to be careful about framing, mainly your angle of view. But the flip up LCD helps a lot with this, I can easily lower the camera to straighten the perspective.

    I just got the camera last night, so only took some shots around the table fooling around. This one is at ISO 1250 and pushed a bit (fill light), I love the low light capability of this camera! This and the 40mm pancake will basically cover all my normal shooting needs. An IS lens would be nice to have though-

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/95505361@N00/5451844930/" title="DSC00312_edited by Steve Lang, on Flickr">"640" height="426" alt="DSC00312_edited" /></a>
     
  9. It really depends on what your needs are.

    If you feel handicapped without the autofocus, then your options are rather limited. The 18-55mm lens itself turns out respectable pics, no issues there.

    However if you feel comfortable with totally manual focusing there are plenty of lenses/adaptors to be had. You can find higher quality optics and much longer zoom or closer in macro lenses, depending on what you want to shot.

    I personally have and keep mounted the 18-55mm lens, but have handy a 70-150mm Minolta for when I need it.
     
  10. djnww

    djnww SC Rookie

    13
    Nov 20, 2010
    The 18-55 at $150 is a great price. It's not the best of lenses, but at least it has autofocus, which is handy for everyday use. Imagine trying to manually focus all the time with people around... what a nightmare.

    I'd still buy a third party lense down the track for more professional shots.

    Cheers,
    Dan
     
  11. madmaxmedia

    madmaxmedia SC Veteran

    242
    Nov 10, 2010
    Los Angeles
    The solution is obvious- buy both! Get the 18-55 for now, and a MF later-
     
  12. yuppi

    yuppi New to SC

    8
    Feb 16, 2011
    Just want to update everyone. I dont know why but i opted out with the 18-55. I just went with my gut on this one. I purchased a 35mm super takumar. That and the adapter can to $60 so it was nice on my wallet. I will let you all know how it goes when i get them! Thanksnfor everyones advice
     
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  13. jazzroy

    jazzroy New to SC

    1
    Feb 22, 2011
    if you shoot street photography and human interaction here are my suggestions:

    the 18-55 is a better kit lens than the 16mm for you. 16mm is mostly for landscapes, you have to be too close to people to get interaction. also you cannot do portraits, due to perspective distortion (that's the main reason for 50mm and 75mm being portrait lenses, they have human eye-like distortion).

    so, if you want to stay with emount lenses, I would go back and change the base kit with the 18-55.

    or you can enter the wonderful world of legacy lenses :)

    if you get a manual 50 1.8 (you can get an excellent olympus zuiko for 40$) with adapter you'll never take it off the camera (that's what happened to me, to kit lens is collecting dust in the bag..).
    pros:
    - great, stellar bokeh that you cannot have with any emount lens (since new ones come)
    - avalaibility of hundreds of used cheap primes with image quality superior to emount ones.
    - vintage addiction ;)

    cons:
    - no image stabilization
    - manual focus: it's nice to focus manually, but you have to practice a lot and become really fast, or you'll miss most of the actions!

    anyway, whatever kit you keep, the expense of 60-70 bucks (lens+adapter) to enter the world of vintage manual primes is something you'll never regret!

    EDIT: I didn't read your last post, so I'm late, but nice to see you did almost what I was thinking!
     
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  14. yuppi

    yuppi New to SC

    8
    Feb 16, 2011
    hey everyone,

    here's an update. I received my new 35mm F3.5 super takumar today. First I was surprised at the size. albeit, heavier than the 16mm, but still plenty pocketable in my jacket. I haven't been able to really take a test run yet but so far bokeh looks REALLY nice. The only thing is that I have to get used to manual focus instead of running on DMF. I feel for some reason I am getting more noise in my photos, but I attribute this to my technique and not the lens. As far as I can tell, this is going to make an amazing street/portrait lens and will stay on my camera from now on. I can't seem to figure out attaching photos on this forum.

    Thanks again to everyone who replied and I'll post some photos once I take some good ones!
     
  15. yuppi

    yuppi New to SC

    8
    Feb 16, 2011
    here are some samples guys. Go easy on me, I just got interested in photography a week ago haha. The pictures of the camera were just taken with my phone. Hope you all like these samples!

    Thanks All
     

    Attached Files:

  16. yuppi

    yuppi New to SC

    8
    Feb 16, 2011
    Oh and the picture of my girlfriend is take with the kit 16mm. not the takumar.
     
  17. HeatherTheVet

    HeatherTheVet SC All-Pro

    Apr 23, 2011
    Scotland
    Heather
    Hi guys, having serious lens angst!
    I bought the NEX-5 on ebay and thought I was buying the dual lens, but actually got just the 16mm. So in a genius move of insanity, I bought another camera with the 18-55, and was going to do a switcheroo on the lenses and sell it on. But then it was my husband's birthday and I ended up giving him the extra camera, and donating the 18-55mm lens so he was all set up and ready to go. Which leaves me back where I started with the 16mm lens! I was just going to lay out on another 18-55 but inspired by your adventures with other lenses I have bought an adapted for FD and am picking out various lenses, but as a beginner its pretty hard to know what I'm supposed to be picking up.
    I'm going into the Highlands tomorrow with the 16mm so I'll see how I get on. Hopefully I'll get something nice and work out how to stick it up here!
     
  18. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    I have some FD lenses. My favorite on the Nex is the 24 2.8. It gives me my natural field of view, 35mm.
    It focuses to about 1 foot and has very nice contrast. The color rendition is stunning and I don't care for color....but it gets me excited.
    The lens is very sharp on the Nex. It's larger than my OM 24 but makes better images.

    The 35mm f2.0 FD is an amazing lens. All of the above attributes but stronger.
    The 50mm 1.4 is also as above.

    I really don't like using the MF on the Nex due to the issue with changing ISO but I messed up a few days ago by putting the 24mm on, It hasn't been off yet.
    I use some of my older, (legacy) glass for my images in the garden. So every year for a spell, I dig the lenses out and use a few choice ones. This year it's the Canon FD stuff. I haven't used these lenses in probably over 30 years. So, depends on what your natural FOV is, that will determine which lenses to go for. Just remember that there is a crop factor. Multiply the focal length by 1 1/2 to get the new crop size.

    The Canon FD lenses are very good and have a history of going against Nikon glass from the same era.
    Good luck in your quest...
    shooter
     
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  19. HeatherTheVet

    HeatherTheVet SC All-Pro

    Apr 23, 2011
    Scotland
    Heather
    Thank you for your help, I did buy myself an adapter and what I am quite sure is a thoroughly unsuitable lens. Techy question - what do I need to change on the camera to get it to accept the lens? Can I now only shoot in M mode or are others available to me? And am I away to fall into some stonking great elephant traps?
    I did get a few nice shots over the last couple of weekends and some nearly good ones of running water. I might go back and spend some time getting it right, I didn't manage to marry up the aperture and shutter speed properly so the exposure was duff. 'm going to have a dig around and try to work out how to post photos.
    Embarrassingly unprepared or wot?
     
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  20. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    If you like street shooting, I'd definitely go for the 18-55. IMO, it's a vastly underrated lens. If you are shooting at daylight, stop it down to 5.6 and you will get pretty sharp photos. Otherwise, the photos are still pretty good IMO.

    Personally, I find it hard to manually focus fast enough on the NEX3 for street work. I have a M adapter, and used M lenses on the NEX. Good results IQ wise. But the usability ... it's better on a camera like the GH2 or even EP2. I guess one could use zone focus on the NEX, which would require stopping whatever legacy lens is used anyway. So might as well use the 18-55 stopped down if sharpness is desired. Just my 2 cents.