First post! - Just bought an NEX-5R, want to get started with some extra lenses.

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by hectorvs, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. hectorvs

    hectorvs New to TalkEmount

    Mar 6, 2013
    ------- Sorry for the wall of text, you can skip my intro and go directly to the question ------------

    This is my first post in the forums, so let me introduce myself.

    I got into photography a couple of years ago.

    I've always fiddled with regular point and shoots, but after taking a photography class, I took the plunge with a Nikon DSLR. Bought a prime 50mm f1.8 lens and the great 18-200mm lens.

    Everything was great, but as time went on I realized that hauling all that stuff around was very impractical. I wanted to use my DSLR to take great pictures of my travels, but I found out that it gave me more grief than enjoyment. Carrying the thing around and having the stress of it getting dropped or stolen was not something I was willing to deal with... Also, try handing your camera to someone else to take your picture... not so good.

    So, time went on and I traveled, but my nikon stayed behind... :(

    I had read about mirrorless cameras in the past but really dove into researching them about a month or so ago. I wanted most of the flexibility and quality of a DSLR but portability and ease of use were now a priority.

    So, I decided to take the leap with the Sony NEX-5R. It's "point and shooty" enough so anyone can use, but it has all the stuff under the hood to compose cool pics when I need it to! :)

    Also, the interchangeable lenses make it a win.

    And here we are today.

    ------------ QUESTION STARTS HERE ---------------

    I've been lurking the lenses forum for a while reading up on what you guys have and use and have a couple of questions.

    I'm basically interested in landscapes and street photography for traveling, also portraits and things like that. Not so much into macro or weird fisheye stuff.
    I like the kit 18-55 lens, but sometimes wish having more zoom. I'm eyeing the SEL18200LE to replace my kit. That will give me a lot of flexibility.

    Now, which lenses do you guys recommend for landscape/street photography and portraits?

    I may get the prime 50mm f1.8 like I had with the nikon, but I found out that it was too "zoomed in" in many cases... I don't know if it's worth it to spend the extra money and get the 35mm f1.8.

    For landscapes, maybe the pancake 16mm one works fine?

    Another option is to get the 16-50mm that comes with the NEX-6 for landscaping, get the 55-210 telephoto and the prime...

    What do you guys think?

    I'm interested in them being easy to use, so having AF and image stabilization is a must.

  2. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Welcome :)

    Can't really help with your question, since as you say you're only interested in AF lenses, and anyway the options for native E-mount lenses is limited (it seems you have your options covered anyway ;)) but just an observation: you said with your DSLR carrying it around was impractical - a Nex with the 18-200 isn't actually very practical per se ;)
  3. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    Well, I really like the 16-50, especially for landscapes. That extra 2mm at the wide end makes a big difference. Add to that it's nifty retracting feature, and I'm as happy as twelve dogs. If I didn't enjoy playing with my MF lenses so much, it would never leave the camera.

    Oh, and welcome!
  4. hectorvs

    hectorvs New to TalkEmount

    Mar 6, 2013

    Well, I may consider the MF lenses as well if the cost and quality is good, why not? I would like to hear your suggestions! :)

    About the 18-200mm, that's a good point... it might be a bit big to keep it on the camera all the time, maybe it's a good idea to stay with the 55-210mm separately.

    I'm basically trying to figure out what's the best "bang for the buck" for what I want to do, a balance of quality, portability and flexibility. More interested in the flexibility and portability parts, to be honest.
  5. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    That's my thoughts. ;)
  6. hectorvs

    hectorvs New to TalkEmount

    Mar 6, 2013
    Thanks for your suggestions, Bimjo!

    As you can see, I'm still learning about this lens business. It's fun to learn, to say the least.

    Now, I've been looking at the ridiculous SEL24F18Z.

    It seems to be good for landscapes because it's wide angle, it's a fast lens, so good for portraits and low light situations... could this be a good choice and kill two birds with one stone? It's too expensive for my taste, but still, I just want to learn more about why this lens is apparently so great.
  7. demiro

    demiro TalkEmount Regular

    Mar 2, 2012
    Welcome hectorvs. I'm in a similar situation. Just bought a 5N two weeks ago. I now have the 18-55 (which I didn't want, but came with the camera), the 50/1.8, 16/2.8 and 50/1.7 Zeiss MF.

    My thoughts so far:

    The 50/1.8 is a very nice lens, but MF is so easy on the 5N that I don't really imagine I will use it much. Fine for portraits, but not sure I'll be keeping it.

    16/2.8 is a solid if not amazing lens. I chose it because it is compact and will make for an easy take anywhere option. Wide but not too wide for me. Good for landscapes and street. Should be a keeper, especially given the cost of the upcoming 20mm pancake. If they were closer in price and performance I may prefer the 20.

    The 18-55 has been a nice surprise and seems like a keeper, especially given low re-sale value. Good for general purpose; indoors with flash; good for my wife in iA mode.

    The Zeiss Planar 50/1.7 is the star of the show for me though. Focus peaking makes using manual focus lenses EASY. Do not fear it. As you will see if you browse this site, many folks think the ease of adapting vintage lenses takes the NEX platform from very good to truly special. You can spend less than $50 on a lens + adapter to try it. Your biggest concern should be getting sucked in and finding yourself with a dozen or more manual focus lenses in the closet by the the 4th of July. That has happened to many unsuspecting victims...

    I'm on the fence about what to do next. The Sigma 30/2.8 seems to be a fine choice, but I'm guessing I'll end up with a MF option in the 35-38 FL range.