Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by christian, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. christian

    christian TalkEmount Veteran

    Apr 12, 2014
    Boston MA
    Hi guys,

    You've all been very supportive with very nice comments and useful advice so far and I want to thank you for that. It's an awesome forum in many ways. I have to say I have tried others lately but always come back to this one.

    So I'll ask another question. Now that we see things more clearly with our move to Boston, I can finally have the use of a little budget of $1200- $1500 for gear development at the end of the year. How should I invest those precious $?

    For those who know me well, you know the A7 is currently my dream camera. I saw on SonyAlphaRumors that we can now find refurbished some A7 for "only" $999 (In the meantime I'm sure there will be an A7 mark II at the beginning of 2015 that I will crave for). Which is quite an offer given that it's a full frame camera. But then I will have so little budget left for lenses... I'm really lacking some manual controls and an EVF right now.

    In the meantime, I could invest it in lenses. For those who don't remember what's my equipment here it is: Sony NEX-5T, Kit lens, Sigma 60mm f/2.8, extension tubes, a couple of filters, tripod, remote control and a couple of other gimmicks and that's it.
    Only two lenses including a kit lens? :frown: Not good.

    I would need primarily 3 types of lenses: A versatile one like the 18-105mm f/4 G and 2 primes: a wide angle (something like 11mm or so) and I'd love to get the new Sony 90mm f/2.8 macro G.
    If I buy the 2 first ones as second hands, I think I can get those 3 for roughly $1500.

    To sum up, what should I do?

    - Upgrade to the A7? I'm sure I'll do it sooner or later. So in that purpose I can start saving for FF lenses right now. But I won't be able to developp my photography skills since I will miss lenses...

    - Invest in APS-C lenses for my NEX-5T? (except the new Sony 90mm f/2.8 macro G which is FF so A7 ready ;) ) I think that's the most reasonable choice as the 5T is still a pretty capable camera. But I've already been limited by it's dynamic range and low light performances. But at least with these lenses I should be able to improve my skills...

    Please, help me decide! LOL

    Thanks for the time you took to read that long message and for your thoughtful advice ;-)
  2. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Legend

    Oct 8, 2013
    It's easy for any of us to get caught up in the GAS syndrome, including yours truly.

    Speaking only for myself, to me an arsenal of lenses to choose from is more important than just getting another camera body...but you also mentioned wanting an EVF, which is totally understandable. But if it was me, wanting the expensive model camera you mentioned...but feeling strongly a "follow-on model" is on the horizon, I'd wait for 1 of 2 reasons which I'm sure you already know:
    1) The follow-on model might be even more of a camera to your liking, more what you really want;
    2) Or, when it comes into the market place, if the predecessor is still enough camera for you, you'll benefit by it's price drop.

    In the meantime to get yourself through the next 6-8 months with a nice EVF, buy a clean used NEX-7 or something, add a couple more lenses, and next summer after you're settled into Boston, make the final step to the ultimate camera model you're thinking about as the dust for it will be settled some in the camera marketplace.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 15, 2012
    So if I were you. I would look at buying legacy lenses that I could eventually use with an A7 to appease my GAS, but wait for an A7 II announcement before buying the camera so that the price will drop and also look for the used market as many people move up.. I would not buy any crop lenses because I know I'm planning to go FF.

    Have you moved many times before though, because..... the plan for extra money at the end of the year, when you move, never really pans out that way.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    I'm only saying this since from your post it seems like money IS an issue here (like most of us anyway :D ) but IMHO, IF deep down inside you're thinking and all you really want is a FF E-mount camera, then don't waste $$$ on APS-C lenses now...

    First of all, even if you momentarily satisfy your GAS/LBA, in the end you won't be 100% satisfied cause you'll know that what you wanted was an A7 and you'll be spending money on a "system" that's not what you really desire.
    Second, buying more (and probably expensive) APS-C lenses, you'll make the transition from the APS-C to FF more difficult decision cause you'll say to yourself "I recently spend all that money of APS-C lenses - I can't give up on APS-C now" (at least that's how I look at it, since I'm in the same situation with my recent 550euro 18-105 purchase :( )

    Your decision however should be based upon carefull examination and certainty that you want to move to FF system.

    IF you are certain for the above transition, what I would do if I were in your case, I would buy now the A7 body ($1000) since you have the funds for it, save the remaing $200-500 and slowly sell your current gear (5T, kit lens and Sigma 60) to fund the FF lens you want.

    Oh, and btw I think the 90mm 2.8 macro will be an expensive lens even if a "G" (and not Zeiss) lens - since its FF, I really don't think it'll be less than $1100.

    Oh #2: roundball is totally right, if you can wait for the A7 successor it would be good, so you can see what more does it offers from the A7 and if it matters to you ;)
    • Like Like x 1
  5. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    First of all, it’s nice that you will be upgrading your gear. I anticipate some great work will follow.

    I would really focus on whatever gear you feel will allow you to expand your photography. The gear that will allow you to get the shots you are missing out on now. That can be lenses, body or dare I say platform.

    That said, based on the type of macro work you do, I see more cons than pros in full frame. The fact is that the smaller APS-C sensor gives you more flexibility with its larger dof and increased focal length and dense pixels. I think an a6000 would provide more bang for your buck in that regard. You could still get full frame macro lenses.
    Now as much as I love Sony for their price to performance ratio and the connection it allows to this forum, macro is not a strong point of Sony mirrorless. You can certainly gain more options elsewhere. Even if you choose older DSLR gear. I know that's not what we should say on this forum, but its my honest advice for someone with talent, but on a budget.

    Btw. Excuse typos, having issues with keyboard.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. dragion

    dragion TalkEmount Top Veteran

    May 8, 2014
    Boston, MA

    Are currently restricted with your current gear?
    Is it missing or holding you back from acheiving the results you want?
    And would the A7 or its successor be the answer to your "needs"?

    If all these are "YES"...then I would recommend upgrading to the A7 as desired and save up for the 90mm f/2.8 macro.
    You will still require a FF lens for the meantime...maybe an inexpensive legacy lens to carry you over?

    I'm personally content with APS-C, but I'm only a poor hobbyist and don't require the need to go FF...yet.
    My current gear has pretty much everything covered, except for a good macro lens...like the FE 90mm f/2.8 macro.

    Whatever decision you make, will be the correct one.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Feb 4, 2013
    I am in a similar situation, I have a 5R and was looking longingly at the A7.

    First thing I would suggest, go to a store that lets you use one. I did this, and actually it kind of put me off. The A7 is way bigger and heavier than a 5T, it's not a subtle difference.

    The Zeiss FF lenses really are very pricey, and you will eventually want them to make the most out of an A7. You won't be able to get close to 24 megapixels worth of detail out of anything but the best legacy lenses, and they aren't actually that cheap any more.

    To sum up, I think you need closer to $3k to spend before full frame becomes worth it.

    I think you should hunt around for the viewfinder attachment for the 5T, see if you can find one second hand. There are bound to be more people trying to sell those than trying to buy. The viewfinder attachment is as big and detailed as the A7's, and significantly better than the A6000's.

    I think that G zoom lens is going to be big and unwieldy on a 5T, so again make sure you check one out in a store. I can recommend the Sigma 19mm F2.8 and the Sony 35mm F1.8 as lenses that handle really well on a 5R / 5T.

    If you want a great macro lens, have you considered getting an A mount adapter and some AF Minolta glass? This lens looks good, and is also full frame:


    • Like Like x 1
  8. christian

    christian TalkEmount Veteran

    Apr 12, 2014
    Boston MA
    Thanks Roundball.
    I wouldn't really call it GAS actually. I think GAS is more like when you already are quite equiped but want more. I can't say I'm well equiped right now. I need more gear to extend my variety of photography.
    Indeed, the EVF is one of the reasons, but I'm more lacking manual controls than the EVF so...
  9. christian

    christian TalkEmount Veteran

    Apr 12, 2014
    Boston MA
    That's maybe the solution I'll choose. Starting to invest in FF lenses (not necessarily legacy lenses, I want OSS and AF) and then upgrade to the A7 a bit later in 2015. By then the A7 successor should be available (hopefully with the latest AF system used on the A6000 and A5100). That would be a camera I could keep for quite a while.

    No, I'm not used to moving, but we've been saving for months and months for this move to be sure not to have financial issues (and we're now sure it's totally fine) and in addition we got a great news yesterday about a bonus that was not expected. So Actually I could easily dedicate 3-4000 dollars for an upgrade but I don't want to be unfair with my wife... if you know what I mean. I'll stay wise for now and invest more later on. :)
  10. christian

    christian TalkEmount Veteran

    Apr 12, 2014
    Boston MA
    I'm sure I'll go FF one day. So yes it would be certainly better to start investing in FF lenses. I imagined the 90mm macro G to be around $1000. The Canon 100mm L is cheaper... let's see.
    When I say I want the A7, it's my heart talking, and when I say I need more lenses, it's more of a reasonable voice telling me the 5T is good enough for now, all I need is more lenses. LOL
  11. christian

    christian TalkEmount Veteran

    Apr 12, 2014
    Boston MA
    Thanks for your compliments Gary.
    I don't think the DoF is that much of a problem even in macro. I've been reading and "studying" a lot of articles about pro macro photographers and they're (almost) all FF. I shot a couple of times with Thomas Delahaye and seeing what he can do with his FF and 100mm L glass is amazing. A lot of his shots are wide open... I don't want to upgrade because of the DoF, it's more because of the dynamic range and low light performance and only a FF can offer those high performances.
    It's true that there are more options considering Nikon and Canon systems, but I don't want a big and heavy 5D mark III. I think the size of my 5T is also an advantage for macro. The A7 is bigger, but considerably smaller and lighter than a D810 or 5DIII. I'm not even talking about the price! Those latter are at least twice as expensive.
    And by the way if I want a wider range of lenses I can still by the Sony adapter to the Amount system, even the one with the mirror so that I'm sure the AF is available, accurate and fast.
  12. christian

    christian TalkEmount Veteran

    Apr 12, 2014
    Boston MA
    Thanks William.
    I feel like I have to be quite strategic here. The solution to start investing in FE lenses appears to me like a good solution. There are some new and nice FE lenses coming out, starting with the 90mm. And then I'd upgrade next year with the A7 successor. I think it's the wisest thing to do in my case.
  13. christian

    christian TalkEmount Veteran

    Apr 12, 2014
    Boston MA
    That's true, the Amount adapter (even better with the mirror) can also be a good investment. You're right, that's something I should consider too. I've thought about it once and totally forgot.

    I saw and held several times in my hand the A7 in my local store, making me want even more this camera! LOL I compared with the 5DIII and D600 and it's still very small and light compared to those. It's bigger than the 5T but still small and light enough. In addition, it feels like the grip has been taylor made for my hand HA HA HA
    I'm not considering buying the EVF accessory for the 5T because I think it's too expensive for what it is, especially is I want to upgrade in a few months.

    The FE lenses are indeed very expensive but they're also a good investment for the future.

    In the end, out of 6 answers I got, half are in favor of buying lenses, and half for the A7. That's a tie! Let's roll the dice one more time HA HAH A
  14. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Feb 4, 2013
    Oh, well if that is the case I take my advice back!

    I checked ebay, and I was surprised that FDA-EV1S still sell for around $200. Whoa. Definitely not worth it if you are upgrading soon anyway.

    I also checked the price of that Minolta 100mm Macro, A mount. That goes for less than 300 dollars! Wow, I almost want to buy one myself.

    My new advice is either get an A mount adapter (the one that is FF compatible), or a metabones (not speed booster) Canon adapter. And pick up some glass you can have fun with now, and still use on A7.
  15. christian

    christian TalkEmount Veteran

    Apr 12, 2014
    Boston MA
    Yep, getting the A-mount adapter with some FF lenses that I could use with the A7 later on can be a good solution. In the meantime, even if the A7 is small, the A-mount adapter would add some bulk to it. That's also to consider... But thanks for the A mount adapter advice, I had completly forgot about it. It's also something I'll think about.
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