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X100 or NEX with Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA?????

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Ghosthunter, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    I am now in the market for 'another' camera!!! This time it has to be right. The G3 is FAN-BLOOMIN-TASTIC and a real keeper. The XZ-1 is a great compact and I was thinking of getting the Fuji X10 when it came out. The X10 looks good aesthetically and on paper and would probably be better than the XZ-1 but I want something super special. My intention is to build a small studio in my garage and take images of flowers, plants and other smaller stuff.

    When the X100 was launched I had to take plenty of cold showers and have bromide in my tea but I could never afford one so have not thought about it too much.

    One camera I thought was great was the NEX5. The sensor was pretty awesome and with the right lens it could not be beat...by anything!!!!(in my opinion) What let it down was the lack of decent auto focus lenses. If the Zeiss 24mm f1.8 had been out I would have kept the 5 and saved for the Zeiss as I thought this would/could be the ultimate! At the time I decided to sell the NEX to get the G3 which has been a good move. This was also done as I could not be bothered to wait for the Carl Zeiss 24mm to come out for my NEX5 which would I think been an awesomely awesome combination. This now looks imminent so I'm thinking of one of the following set ups:

    1: X100
    2:NEX-5 with Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA lens
    3:NEX-C3 with Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA

    A couple questions though...

    Is the C3 better for IQ than the 5? I got great results with my 5 and it would be cheaper to get one of the last 5's before the 5n comes out. The sensor in the C3 is the same one as the d7000 and K-5 so it's renowned for being good. With the NEX / Zeiss purchase I can also play with my MF lenses which I won't be able to do with the X100.

    Your thoughts?

    Image examples from the Zeiss 24mm f1.8: Just Posted: Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA / NEX-7 samples: Digital Photography Review
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Briar

    Briar SC All-Pro

    Oct 27, 2010
    Scotland
    Karen
    I think you answered your own question with the X100, but I can't say between the two NEX cameras other than agree that they will offer you more flexibility.

    I'm tempted to suggest you keep having those cold showers as it was keeping your GAS in check. Are you likely to be in your garage much during the winter months? A cold garage might be as effective as the cold shower in putting you off picking up a new camera!

    When is the new lens out?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    If you don't mind the size of the Zeiss lens on top of one of the small Sony bodies (I'd probably want to go with the Nex 7 just to give it some balance), the Nex option clearly has more versatility and longevity built into it. The lens will serve you through however many generations of bodies, whereas the X100 becomes obsolete all at once - IF that's a concern. The X100 is as nice a camera as I've ever owned and I'm not sure that the sensor and IQ and low light capability needs to get any better than that. But the point is I'm sure it WILL get better and if you're apt to want to upgrade at some point, the Nex gives you the option while hanging on to what should be a fantastic lens. The proportions of the Nex body and lens have become a deal breaker for me, so I have an X100 and an EPL3 with a bunch of small lenses. But if that's not an issue, I'd probably be all over the Nex. And you get the other obvious benefit of being able to change lenses should you want to - that's the benefit that comes with the price of an overall larger load to carry and shoot with. It will cost more up front (the Zeiss is pretty much the cost of an X100 by itself), but might not in the long run...

    -Ray
     
  4. stratokaster

    stratokaster SC Top Veteran

    886
    Dec 27, 2010
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Pavel
    I can definitely say that Fuji X100 is the best camera I have ever seen. However, I will never buy it because it doesn't have interchangeable lenses and the focal length is not right for me. However, if you like 35mm EFL, it's the best camera you can buy - certainly better than NEX.
     
  5. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    Thanks for the reply Karen.

    Not sure when the lens is out but it is on our website so it won't be long. If there was an AF lens for the G3 that was 35mm ish equiv that was faster and had better IQ than the Olympus 17mm then I would probably buy that but all we have at the moment is the 25mm Leica summulux DG f1.4 which is VERY nice indeed! I really want close to 35mm equiv as poss.
     
  6. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    Thanks Ray & Stratokaster

    2 differing opinions there! :biggrin: It's one of those coin tossing moments!! I will however wait and see what the Zeiss is like but from the image examples i have seen it looks good except for a few of the shots! I'm not bowled over to be honest. The images I have seen are on the link in my 1st post and the lens was attached to a pre production Nex7. The X100 looks like it's winning at the moment.
     
  7. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Assuming you trust Imaging Resource's comparometer, the C3 seems better than the 5. But 5N seems better than C3. In fact, I spent a lot of time yesterday night (more than I should have) comparing the 5N jpgs with just about every camera in Imaging Resource's database. The 5N looks REALLY good. That being said, the C3 is good too. While in the comparison process, I realized that the X100 is also very very good when compared to even the likes of the D7000 and K5.

    Imaging Resource "Comparometer" ™ Digital Camera Image Comparison Page

    That being said, I think it all boils down to what you want your new camera to do. I love the looks, the feel, and the IQ of the X100, but the AF responsiveness sometimes frustrates me. It's been much easier for me to capture "THE" shot with the GH2 than X100.
     
  8. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    Thanks for the reply

    After comparing the G3 with loads of cameras it seems to me that the G3 is a spankingly good camera. The NEX5n is indeed very good as is the X100. I think the X100 just has the edge over the Sony's and is a tad better than the G3. I just wish there was a 17mm high end lens with AF that would blow the Oly 17mm and Pany 20mm out the water. The 25mm f1.4 pan/leica DG is superb and IQ wise fit's the bill but it's 50MM equivalent which I find too telephoto. The 20mm is already a tad too much if I'm honest. The X100 is winning so far but I don't want to buy one JUST so I can be part of the gang. I want one because it will give me the type of images that I am after. By that I mean the feel that some images have. The X100 does seem to have 'something' about it that separates it from other cameras. The images I have seen on Flickr have something that appeals to me. One thing that 95% of digital cameras do is make the image look too clinical and the G3 does do that but not as much as others. Canon are probably the 'worst' for this. There are not many cameras that produce images with feel these days but there are a few like Leica and the X100. The XZ-1 is pretty good too. I did look at the IQ from the XZ-1 and it didn't fare that well..LOL. Perhaps it's how cameras render the images that appeals to me.
     
  9. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Yes, the X100 is very good indeed, and has that extra special glow to it. Given that you really want a good 35mm equivalent, sounds like the X100 may be the way to go.
     
  10. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    The X100 has something extra in both camera design and IQ that the NEX 3 I used to own did not have. Both are good in dynamic range, but the X100 files are easier and more enjoyable to work with. Color was a challenge with the NEX 3, but it sounds like color has improved in the recent NEX cameras.

    The NEX 5 accepts the new EVF if that matters.

    The Fuji is a great camera. The Sony is, well, a Sony.
     
  11. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I'm not sure I even gave you a recommendation (if I did, please accept my sincere apologies :cool:). I was just trying to point out some of the tradeoffs. My decision would be, and WAS, to buy the X100. Part of that was the OVF and the basic form of the X100 - the incredible files it creates were an extra added bonus. And better than the VERY good Nex 5 files I was getting when I had that camera. But I have to assume Sony will keep raising their game on the sensor front and the lens will still be a great lens through several generations of sensors. The excellent X100 lens is only good with the sensor it came really well glued to.

    But things like OVF vs form factor vs the basic shooting experience are not things one can make a recommendation based on - waaaay too personal.

    But I seriously doubt you'll be disappointed with either. And working in a shop, you should get enough time handling both to decide which just feels better to you...

    -Ray
     
  12. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    More than anything it's the files that are produced which will decide the way i go and it does seem the X100 has that something special. I have had the NEX 5 so know it very well. I would only have the NEX 5 IF the Carl Zeiss 24mm f1.8 was a stunning lens which it seems may not be the case. I have been playing with the X100 at work and i do love the rear screen and OVF. The menu seems very well organised (Fuji are good at that!) but there are a few things that bothered me. The camera had problems focusing when using the OVF. When focusing from the rear screen it was fine on the same subject??? It was a pre production model so hopefully this is not an issue. It's not a very comfortable camera to hold but then nor is the NEX. The X100 is still wining though!:biggrin:
     
  13. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Hmmm. I find the menus to be not very good - but I don't spend much time in them so its become a non-issue. In terms of the focussing, are you trying to focus on something fairly close? Inside of about 3 feet you're much better off using the EVF or the LCD - that's where the parallax starts to become a real issue. The newest firmware helps by giving you the two hypothetical focus boxes (one for near, one for far) and then illuminating the ACTUAL focus box after you've achieved focus - this helps you know whether you're focusing on the right part of the screen. But for closer shots and, particularly for macro, you should just switch to the EVF. But the X100 AF will never feel fast and secure like on the new Panasonics and Olys and I'd hope that Sony rises to that new CDAF level with their new Nex models, so that's probably advantage to Sony. But I've never found the X100 AF to be a problem, but I did have to adapt my shooting style to it a bit.

    The good news is you don't have a bad choice here!

    -Ray
     
  14. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    That's true!!

    I was focusing on subjects with strong contrast and a good few meters away. I think it was just the fact it's pre production. I'm not bothered about AF speed so much as it is a camera to relax with.
     
  15. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    Andy can you "borrow" a new Fuji and try it before you buy it? I think you need to be sure about how it's going to work for these kinds of photographs that you're talking about...the ones in your garage...
     
  16. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    Yeah, The more i think about it and compare images the more i think the G3 is just as good so i would be wasting my money. I think the best thing to do is either buy a dedicated lens for the G3 or get (eeek!) a dslr for the studio work. Lot's to think about and more playing at work!! Whoop!
     
  17. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    I tend to agree with Ray that the menu system of the X100 is bad. I'm still complaining about the separation of the auto-ISO function from the ISO control menu!!!

    On the other hand, I was amazed again at the IQ of the X100 tonight. It truly has something special about it. I posted a couple of photos tonight on the X100 macro photos sub forum. Great camera.
     
  18. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Andy, breathe 1st. You have a lot of knowledge about cameras, even before the job at the store. I would suggest you look at your image library, study it carefully. Then try to find what you think is missing or what you want to do. If a new camera is needed, this will point the way.
    My suggestion would be to save funds and get the GRD3 or 4. All your cameras are true clean image makers. The Ricoh would offer some grit.
    The X100 is a gem and I'm sure the Nex with the 24 will be also but is that what's missing from your library? Your work will point the way.
    Just my thoughts... Don
     
  19. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    He he, I must admit my brain hurts!!:doh:
     
  20. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Andy my friend, when you started the job at the camera store, your brain went on vacation.
    Negative space is good sometimes, my wife tells me that all the time.