Best Prime lense

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by FatDadddy, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. FatDadddy

    FatDadddy TalkEmount Regular

    Feb 17, 2013
    I am new to photography. I have a Nex6 w PZ,Rokinon fish eye, and Sony looking for a mid range prime. I've read people suggesting both the 30 and 35. Suggestions?
  2. Fiddler

    Fiddler TalkEmount Regular

    Mar 8, 2012
    I don't know about which is best, but the Sigma 30mm is very sharp and as cheap as chips :) 
    • Like Like x 1
  3. GabrielPhoto

    GabrielPhoto TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Jul 3, 2013
    Depends on what you want and your budget. A Sigma 30mm 2.8 is razor sharp and cheap so hard to go wrong there. But I sold it and got the SEL35F1.8 because it is faster, creamier bokeh (although I normally the 50mm for that) and it is stabilized which is great for video.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Bugleone

    Bugleone TalkEmount Veteran

    Aug 21, 2011
    This is a 'horses for courses' situation........what may be the best lens for one type of work may be not suitable for something else.

    What type of images do you want to use it for and how large do you want to print??....For example;...if you are going to make large prints of detailed landscapes then you need a couple of very good lenses (probably legacy glass for a quality 35mm film camera) that will give good sharpness into the corners. However, if you are going to do mainly portraits then the corners are usually not important and a 'softer' drawing lens will be better, etc.

    The best tester is probably your 18-55 zoom which is actually a very good lens.....any specific prime must (obviously) offer a superior function to that setting on your zoom, and many legacy lenses don't actually offer much improvement unless they are very good, they just offer perhaps one stop facility over the 18-55.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. FatDadddy

    FatDadddy TalkEmount Regular

    Feb 17, 2013
    I shoot family pics mainly....very few portraits with out family in them. I don't print larger than 11x13.
  6. FatDadddy

    FatDadddy TalkEmount Regular

    Feb 17, 2013
    Few "landscapes" w out them that is
  7. Bugleone

    Bugleone TalkEmount Veteran

    Aug 21, 2011
    ....Then frankly, you don't really need anything more than the 18-55 that you already have as it will suffice very nicely used at f8 or f5.6 (which you need to get adequate depth of field for a family group etc)....and you can print up to (at least) 20x16inches without any obvious lens artifacts or defects.

    ......It's nice to play with other lenses and to have new ones but the reality is that the 'kit zoom' is actually rather hard to beat for all general work as it's actually very good.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. -et-

    -et- TalkEmount Veteran

    Jan 26, 2013
    Southern California
    What has already been said. :D 

    There is an old saying applicable to almost everything, that happens to be relevant when it comes to cameras and lenses - "Better is the enemy of good enough."

    What is important is to define what is "good enough". For almost all of us, the answers you received above are correct. For professionals and a few really serious amateurs, it might be appropriate to look for "better".

    - Tom -
    • Like Like x 1
  9. arief184

    arief184 TalkEmount Rookie

    Sep 1, 2013
    I think the best lens for us is the one which you have now. Maximizing the utilization and you will get the best one. Kit lenses 18-55 or 16-50 are enough. If you have legacy lenses, buy the adapter to use it.
    Those only my 2 cents.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Budget is tight, get the 30mm Sigma. You won't regret it.

    Got a bit more cash, get the 35mm Sony. It is a bit better on the low lights.
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Andrew Gerard

    Andrew Gerard New to TalkEmount

    Jun 18, 2013
    Vancouver BC Canada
    Andrew Gerard
    I have the 35mm 1.8 glued to my nex-7 and the 50mm 1.8 is always in my bag, those 2 are also fantastic for video.

    If I had to get one only the 50mm 1.8 would be it.

    The following video was shot entirley on the NEX-7 with the SEL 50 1.8 ( except for the final wide shot...)
    all handheld.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    I kind of disagree with that "use 18-55 first" mentality... my 18-55 is mediocre compared to any prime I own. Not bad - simply mediocre.

    I have a bunch of primes (see my sig), and I find that the ones I use most are Sigma 19mm (and I am using it a lot for people shots) and any of the 50mm primes. The 30/2.8, as good as it is, stays mainly unused.

    A very cheap solution for the OP would be to get one of the many legacy 50mm /1.8 primes. I ended up with two Minolta MD 50/1.7, and I like them a lot, very sharp slightly stopped down, still very good IQ wide open, nice contrast, beautiful color, great MF feel, and all for less than $25. They make very good portrait lenses on the cheap. There are other brands as well - Olympus 50/1.8 gets rave reviews, Canon FD 50/1.8 (although I am not familiar with it and based on my experience with Canon EF 50/1.8 I'd be wary of harsh ugly bokeh). These Minoltas are probably the easiest to find, at least locally they seem to be very plentiful.

    Sony 50/1.8 is everything and then some - sharpness and bokeh even better than these old primes, nice color rendition especially in artificial light, + OSS and AF. But it does cost $300 or so, and the AF is slow in low light (good for portraits, but can be frustrating sometimes).

    My advice - get a couple of nice cheap manual primes in 50mm and 28mm range, then pick an AF prime in the focal length that you liked the most.
    • Like Like x 2
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