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If you had $500... What lens would you pick?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by txbkst, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. txbkst

    txbkst TalkEmount Regular

    44
    Nov 27, 2012
    East Texas
    Kim
    I have $500 burning a hole in my pocket. I am really wanting the Sony A-Mount 16-50/2.8, but I thought I would canvas the folks here to see what you'd pick. My camera is a C3.
    My current lens lineup is as follows.

    Legacy:
    FD 50/1.8
    FL 35/2.5
    FD 28/2.8
    FD 35-105/3.5.
    I have waiting for me to purchase (seller is holding until I can get to the town over):
    FL 85/1.8
    Nikon non-AI 50/2
    Bushnell 28/2.8 for FD

    AF Lenses:
    18-55 kit
    SEL 50/1.8
    LA-EA2 with a Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.

    Lately I have been obsessed with finding one lens to keep on the camera most of the time, hence the interest in a zoom. The Sigma 17-70mm was supposed to be that lens, but I'm not really impressed with it. So... any advice? I mostly shoot indoors, low to not quite bright. The usual subjects: dogs, cats, turtles, birds, and one toddler. Outdoors I have a Crape Myrtle I love to take photos of as well as my Live Oaks. I want to try to photograph the moon as well. My biggest issue with the legacy stuff is that I am not quick enough to photograph moving subjects. I know that takes practice, so hopefully I will get there. The other, final option would be to forego the lens and get a second hand 5N. I briefly had the 5R (it had to go back due to some weird issues), and I really loved the responsiveness and low light performance.

    Thanks in advance for your help!
     
  2. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    I would probably opt for a faster normal-range lens like the SEL35 or a Voigtlander in the 28-40 range.
     
  3. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    Heh this is almost my exact response. I just got a Voigtlander 28/2 secondhand that I've yet to shoot properly with (I've tested it before in-store), but which focal length you'd choose is really a personal preference - I find APSC 35mm a tiny bit narrow to be a true all-purpose lens for my tastes.

    Edit: I also have a FL 85/1.8 on the way!
     
  4. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    Ah ah, I have a fetish for the PEN F 38/1.8, and it will only set you back between 200-250$. Since you're obivously used to MF, shouldn't be an issue, the lens peaks very generously and I found myself acting quicker with it than the SEL50 in AF mode on more than one occasion (which was why the SEL went back to the dealer. Great output, but exciting -in looks and handling- as watching nails grow, and pedestrian AF performance).
     
  5. txbkst

    txbkst TalkEmount Regular

    44
    Nov 27, 2012
    East Texas
    Kim
    So the advice is to get a manual focus prime. Hmm... I guess I need to do a bit more research into the Voigtlanders and the Olympus Pens! Thanks for your input.
     
  6. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    Well you've actually got a lot of lenses, and they all do similar things to what you'd get with your zoom. In my mind, a fast prime is as versatile as a zoom, just that the versatility is in aperture not focal length. You can shoot at night. You can shoot in the day. You can have wafer thin DoF. You can have landscape long DoF. All of these versatile things being very limited on a zoom.
     
  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I would into the same camp as nianys in that I'd probably but a legacy lens but I would lean toward an M-Rokkor 40/2 (about $500).
     
  8. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    I'd just get the Sigma 19mm (or 30mm, depending on your shooting preferences) and then save up to the Zeiss 24mm (I absolutely love this lens!). Legacy lenses are great, but I find myself preferring AF when I'm lazy sometimes ... The AF/MF-switch on the NEX-7 makes switching pretty enjoyable.
     
  9. Orange

    Orange TalkEmount Veteran

    203
    Jan 4, 2013
    England
    It's not Orange!
    "If you had $500... What lens would you pick?"
    I wouldn't be bothered, I'd just be insanely happy that I had $500 to spend on a lens!!! :p

    Surely the answer to such a question is purely subjective?
    But as you're canvassing, I'd want me some fast, MF primes cuz that's (one of the reasons) why I bought a NEX! ;)
     
  10. applemint

    applemint TalkEmount Veteran

    245
    Sep 20, 2012
    As you already have the LA-EA2 I was going to suggest the Alpha mount 35mm f1.8 which is excellent and inexpensive (I picked one up [new] for £119 recently) - but as you say that is a wee bit too narrow, the 30mm f2.8 a mount macro is also pretty good as a general purpose lens + macro lens (will focus as close as 2 cms from the subject even though the specs say 12cm minimum focal distance). It's obviously slower though @ 2.8 vs 1.8 for the 35mm. The Tamron 17-50 2.8 gets good reviews and is half the price of the Sony 16-50 - from what I have read the Sony is better built, quiter and faster to focus and slightly better IQ - but not necessarilly enough of a difference to justify the price difference.
     
  11. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    12 cm is rated from the sensor, 2 cm from the front element.
     
  12. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    I'd keep the $500 in my pocket and save up for the 10-18mm (or maybe, maybe the Zeiss 24mm).
     
  13. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Or the Zeiss 12mm. Doesn't cost much more then the Sony 10-18mm and should be optically better anyways (Prime, no OSS, more expensive, Zeiss - you get the point).
     
  14. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Would be nice indeed, but is it available yet? I didn't keep track.
     
  15. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Nope, unfortunately there are no news about the three Zeiss lenses, but all of them should be released in about two months.
     
  16. Derichuk

    Derichuk TalkEmount Regular

    59
    Dec 5, 2012
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Deric
    Well I am currently lusting after a used Nikkor 180mm f2.8. That is only because I have the kit zoom, the Sigma 30mm, and various Nikkor lenses. A fast telephoto would add nicely to my collection. However, I am interested in seeing what the Zeiss' are like when they come out.
     
  17. txbkst

    txbkst TalkEmount Regular

    44
    Nov 27, 2012
    East Texas
    Kim
    Well I went and did something totally reckless. I purchased a second hand Olympus OM-D E-M5. Now that I have done that and totally busted my budget, I am not sure why! Oh well. It will be here tomorrow. We will see how fast it gets put up for sale on mu-43. :p
     
  18. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Why did you buy a second OM-D? Do you need a second body that urgently? And even if so, wouldn't a E-P3 be a perfectly capable backup body?
     
  19. txbkst

    txbkst TalkEmount Regular

    44
    Nov 27, 2012
    East Texas
    Kim
    Honestly, it was one of those act before thinking kind of moments. That and I really love the styling of the OM-D and the 5-axis IBIS. I have very unsteady hands so the supposedly killer stabilization that works with any lens was a real draw. As for needing a second body? No, I don't need one at all. It was totally an impulse buy.
     
  20. freddytto

    freddytto TalkEmount All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2011
    Puebla, Mexico
    with 500 bucks, I would go for the 35mm f/1.8