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As much as I love my NEX...

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by nianys, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    You guys know how much I love my NEX as a portrait camera, and digital back for all kind of fancy and fun legacy optics.
    However, do I shove it daily in my purse to go run errands like I did with my GX-1 ? Nope.
    Why is that ? As much as I try to like it, the AF on the NEX sucks.
    Sorry if the word is harsh and seems overly severe, but it does. Whoever has shot a fast DSLR or last gen m4/3 cam can testify NEX'AF is left in the mud compared to those.
    I've lost countless shots traveling with my 5N+18-55 combo. I've sold the new 16-50 that came with my 6 because I felt it really didn't bring much improvement in either the AF speed of IQ department.
    So basically, I have no small AF lens that I can trust to perform fast to use my NEX as a walk around cam, and that's a big issue.
    I'm gonna try the Sgma 30/2.8 as a walk around lens, knowing it's not fast enough for my taste, and very unsure about AF, since feedback on it is contradictory...
    Any ideas ?
     
  2. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin TalkEmount Regular

    110
    Sep 26, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Keep the NEX for manual lenses, get a cheaper m4/3 camera + lens for AF?
     
  3. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    I thought of that, but the IQ is so good on NEX. I can't live with the deeper DOF of m4/3...
    The one worthy lens for M4/3 is the PL25. So much for the "cheap"combo ;)
     
  4. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I did the m43, NEX combo for a while and it worked pretty well. Of course I'm pretty picky about lenses so not quite an inexpensive proposition. The PL45 which gave me really nice IQ and wonderful DOF is a spendy lens. For snaps right now I have a point and shoot and it's okay but not great. I've considered going with a nice fast P&S like the XZ1 with it's 1.8 lens (very cheap right now) and just accepting that my cheap shove in my bag camera has limitations.
     
  5. teefin1

    teefin1 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    618
    Sep 7, 2012
    I thought about keeping the EPM1 with oly 45mm as a handbag camera but found in low light, such as in restaurants, (with kit lens) the AF was actually worse than the Nex! Thats why I opted for the Sigma 30. I know it's not the fastest, but offered a good compromise.
     
  6. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    I know I feel that I need a zoom as a walk-around lens, I assume you do as well. This somewhat limits you to an AF lens. However, if you analyze what focal length you take the majority of your shots in walk-around situations you may find that a majority of them are taken at/near one focal length.

    If that is true you could easily mount a MF prime that matches the preponderence of your shots and zone focus it ala '50s street shooters (f/8 & be there). You might be surprised at the results that you get.
     
  7. WT21

    WT21 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    610
    Aug 7, 2011
    What good is IQ if you don't have your camera or can't focus in time?

    I think they both have a place. I sold all my m43 to concentrate on my NEX + RX100. The 5n + CV40 is still the best "normal" pairing I've ever used, balancing IQ and size. But I'm also missing AF, and other things I've tried so far with NEX has been weak (in IQ or AF). I've been looking at Sony a57, Fuji, m43, etc. etc. There's just no single system that puts it all together. If you have a variety of needs, and you are demanding, then you'll need a variety of options to go to. That's been my conclusion, at any rate.

    p.s. -- I figure if I never use anything else with my 5n, I'm OK with that. The 5n is about $300 and the CV40 is about $400. That's $700 for a fabulous, lightweight, dedicated normal range shooter. Compare to the RX1 at $3,000 or the Fuji X100 at $800 (though both are the wrong FL for me). I'm OK with my set-up.
     
  8. eno789

    eno789 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    720
    Jan 1, 2012
    NoCal, USA
    Brian
    I think it depends a lot on what you're shooting at. Understandably most portraiture shots are taken with shallow DoF. But for landscape and macro, you actually want more DoF. That's why I keep my m4/3 sets. The m4/3 bodies do not worth much if I sell them anyways. I have more adapted lenses than AF ones, it's good I can adapt lenses on either one.
     
  9. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    Oh yes, you gys are all totally right.
    I shoot a lot, I shoot daily. I like to have only one User Interface to become natural with. Weirdly enough, I'd say the area of my photography that would need AF is the most is where I don't use it at all, portraits. Actually, outside and stopped down to F4 (I really have to kick myself in the rubs to go that much, I'm working on F5.6 but can't live with it yet, yes I'm infected with an acute case or fast F numbers !), I'm better off with Peaking turned off and just relying on my own eyes, pretty simple.
    AF can be seen as a crutch, when I had the GX-1+PL25 I just tossed it in my purse any time I crossed the door, because I knew it would tackle any unexpected situation I'd throw at it. I guess what my NEX lacks now, besides lens options and reliable AF, is my own vote of confidence. I have to find a focal length that I'm comfortable with outside. A lens that is compact and keeps the package to a minimum. Obviously the PEN 38 is the perfect candidate. I just need to get into the habit of taking the cam along with it, and get it out and shoot it whenever I feel.
    The SEL 35/1.8 will be released within weeks now. It's gonna be a bit pricey, but when I've experienced with the 38 outside long enough to find out if the focal length suits me, I might pony up for the 35 (assuming AF is not a joke).
     
  10. storyteller

    storyteller TalkEmount Veteran

    322
    Sep 25, 2011
    The Sigma, while not super fast at 2.8, is a stellar performer wide open. It is true the AF doesn't improve from the kit. I personally don't find it any worse. I'm surprised you found the AF no better on the 5N then the 6 with the new kit zoom.

    The big issue with the Sigma are the long start and shut down times. The Sony lenses are close to instant. For some reason the Sigma is super sluggish to come to life.
     
  11. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I had the Signa and it's a terrific lens. The AF reminds me a lot of the Panasonic 20/1.7 on m43. The image quality is superb. For a while I had the 2 systems going and when I finally sold off my GX1 I decided to commit to going all MF on the NEX. It took some getting used to but I'm at the point now where I don't find myself feeling particularly limited by it. My MF skills have improved. I've gotten better at anticipating shots and I would even say my photography has gotten better. I have yet to find a solution that gives you everything. My old RF cameras were MF as was my OM1n. I think of the 5n the same way I would if I had decided to go with an M8. Of course if you want AF maybe 2 systems is the best solution.
     
  12. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    Kevin, I concur about being a more proficient photographer now than when I relied on AF. Absolutely so. MF slows down the whole photographic process, for the better. More anticipation, more thought, more skill.
    I really think I'm gonna force myself to take the 6 along with me when I leave the house, and try to shoot everything that catches my eye.
    It's a great camera with improved controls, ergonomics and interface over the 5N, but I can't make myself fall in love with it (I never bonded with the N either, though). I just need to give both the camera and myself time, and not want instant gratification with everything. I'm gotten really used with the IQ, to the point of not really paying attention. However, if I try to keep receptive to that, I realize it delivers incredible quality (as does the N).
     
  13. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Claire,

    You can't make yourself love it. When the right thing comes along you'll know it and you'll stop looking. When I shot m43 I went through a lot of cameras (11 in 2 years) and while i really like a few of them but never stopped searching for one that would do thing A or had feature B. I had a list as long as my arm as things the "perfect" camera had to have. An EVF, fast AF and great ergonomics were on the list and look where I am now. I use a 5n that has lousy AF, a weird UI and ergonomics and I'm selling my EVF because I prefer using the LCD. When I got to the NEX, despite all of it's quirks I found something that really resonated with me. I find that all the little things that would have bugged the daylights out of me with another camera don't seem to matter now. You'll find what's right for you. Maybe it's the NEX, maybe you'll move on to a Fuji or something else. I think just committing to carrying the NEX daily is a good thing to do if only to allow yourself time figure out if it's what you want or not.
     
  14. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    NEX is good, and the 6 IS a nice camera. I just don't LOVE it. Mind you, my D700 was the camera I loved the most (had 2 of them) despite being an ugly brick of a cam with convoluted menus and a bomb blast shutter sound.
    I think the 6 and I will get there. I would have tried a 7, but the lack of standard hotshoe kills it for me. I'm sure the EX-1 is terrific, but I don't fancy paying the premium, having to rebuy ALL my adapters (I have a bunch of them by now !) and blindly following the "more retro is better" hype.
    I had the 20/1.7 and its AF was leisurely, but not maddening, I could certainly live with that. The 18-55 seems worse, at least from memory.
    I might just get the Sigma from Amazon, so I can always return it for full refund if A), AF is just too bad or B) the focal length or aperture just doesn't work for me.
    In the meanwhile I'm going out for lunch tomorrow and bringing the 6 along.
    Lack of good AF didn't seem to faze me on the N, I don't know why all the sudden I feel frustrated with the 6. I guess the "hybrid AF" hype got to me despite my natural caution. By the way I can't figure out why on Earth Nikon is the only maker who was actually able to pull real FAST hybrid AF (on the otherwise totally useless 1 series).
    I felt the same way you did about the N, long list of quirks I wouldn't have accepted from any other cam, but I liked it all the same. The 6 is better in almost every way, so I should be able to get along with it, given time.
     
  15. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    Plus I wouldn't trade THIS community for any other ! Believe it or not (it's so silly most people won't) but one of the biggest drawbacks of m4/3 is actually... m4/3 owners. I know Amin will flame me for generalizing, but that has to be the worst bunch of holier-than-thou know-it-all folks I've ever met. Scary.
     
  16. WT21

    WT21 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    610
    Aug 7, 2011
    Hmmm... can't say I understand this. I've shot with a D700, and I found the shutter sound MILES more pleasing than the 5n without first curtain electronic. Even with first curtain, I still think the D700 sounds more like a camera than the grating metal sound of the 5n. Haven't heard a 6, though.
     
  17. WT21

    WT21 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    610
    Aug 7, 2011
    You've sold me! .... on sticking with my 5n, lol.

    Sometimes it is about cost and expectations (or at least, that's the way it sits in our heads).
     
  18. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Community is important and I can completely understand that being a huge attraction. I very much like the low key atmosphere here. In defense of mu-43 however I was there for two years and for most of that time I found it welcoming and helpful but communities grow and with growth comes growing pains. But gear centric forums bring with them certain drawbacks. It comes with the territory. That said, I too find this community quite agreeable.

    As to the AF on the NEX6...maybe your frustration stems from the fact that the NEX6 was supposed to have BETTER AF than the 5n. I just consider the NEX to be a MF platform and don't even entertain the idea of AF. In fact, it does seem very well suited to life as a digital back for legacy glass (whether by design or a happy accident). The Sigma reminds me very much of the P20/1.7. leisurely and sometimes unpredictable AF but lovely images. The Sigma seems to have the most trouble in low contrast settings. In decent sunlight it's fine. The IQ is really nice. It's one VERY sharp lens and I have considered picking another one up for those times when I want to snap pictures at a party or maybe feel like being more spontaneous. I've heard folks refer to it as the Sigmalux and I have to say that when I had one I was never disappointed with the images.

    Spend some time getting to know your NEX6 and see if you bond with it. Heck, I knew my wife for almost a year (and we argued a lot) before we ever decided to date. We're going on 29 years now.
     
  19. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    You should here the shutter on the C3. I swear it was louder than my old Konica T2. I find the 5n positively stealthy by comparison.
     
  20. WT21

    WT21 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    610
    Aug 7, 2011
    lol. That is something! Do you have first curtain electronic on for the 5n? Is that available on the 3C? I found that option quiets the 5n to the level where I can deal with it. Shutter sound was one of the reasons I sold on my original 5 and 3.