Lens for cross country photos

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by seannymurrs, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. seannymurrs

    seannymurrs New to TalkEmount

    Aug 31, 2014
    I'm a teacher at a junior high school and recently agreed to help out with the yearbook by taking pictures at cross country meets. I currently have a a6000 and have been using the kit lens that came with my wife's NEX-3n since I bought the body only for the a6000. I'd like to get a new lens but am not sure what would be best for taking photos at meets. I'd like to spend $250 or less if possible. I've been looking at the Wirecutter guide to e-mount lenses and both the budget sigma prime and the Sony portrait lens they recommend look good. I'm pretty new to photography though so am not really sure what about a lens makes it good for sports/action photography. All I know is that when I was using my wife's lens at last weeks meet I pretty much kept it all the way zoomed in the entire time. I can get right up on the sidelines so don't need a huge zoom but also like to keep the photos tight in on the runner I'm focusing on. Would really appreciate any advice.
  2. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue Subscribing Member

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    Hey - welcome aboard!

    What lens came on the 3N? I'm guessing the 18-55 or 16-50 (I'll assume one of these for the rest of this post...)? Honestly I would say either of these is probably your simplest option for what you are looking to do... I use the 16-50 regularly for that type of shooting (I have a friend that does horse trials/eventing).

    You mention you were zoomed in max most of the time, as you are going to want AF you are really limited to native e-mount (without high cost of the a-mount adaptor for other Sony/Minolta lenses), so you could look at the SELP18105G which is a great everyday lens and while keeping the same wide angle as your existing lens, the tele end zooms twice as far in. New it's way out of your budget, but I reckon a used one could be had for $350 if you scout about... it also has OSS so should make for hand held steady shots. So above budget, but the best fit for your needs, and I have no doubt you would use it for plenty more than just this requirement. I don't have this lens but the guys that do all use it regularly. Here's a link to the thread for this lens here, and specifically to a members post where they shot a bit of sport https://www.talkemount.com/showthread.php?t=6523&p=64053#post64053

    Staying within budget, you could look at the SEL55210 for $230. However, its wide end is equal to max zoom of your current lens, so it may be a bit limiting as you won't be able to get any wide shots (so would need to change lenses to your existing lens for them), and the tele end is going to be way too much zoom so you will only ever be using 1/2 of it's range (not that it really matters I suppose). It also isn't the fastest in terms of light with F4.5-6.3 (on an overcast day you may find the need for higher ISO than you might like in order to freeze the action still), and also the AF isn't as lightning as the SEL1650 for example. It does also have OSS for steady shots.

    I am focusing on zooms as I would personally not likely take a prime to that kind of a sports/action event as stuff happens so fast you are not going to have time to change lenses to get the right shots etc. Also, the only primes with AF, the 'zoomiest' they get is 60mm (the Sigma) and thats only a smidge more that your current lens so not worth it.

    If you wanted to consider MF, then there are hundreds of legacy lenses you could adapt for pocket money, but it would mean you would be stuck with a pre-focus workflow which I suspect would be limiting for sports/action. There are plenty of other guys on here with more experience with adapted lenses who could suggest some options if you wanted to go the MF route.

    Your biggest winner is the A6000 super fast AF, makes catching fast action a breeze.
  3. seannymurrs

    seannymurrs New to TalkEmount

    Aug 31, 2014
    The 3N comes with the 18-55 kit lens vs the 16-50 that comes with the a6000 kit. Only thing I'm concerned about with using the 18-55 that came with the 3n is I read that it isn't compatible with the fast AF of the a6000. Some said there was a firmware update that enabled support but I'm not 100% sure.

    EDIT: upon double checking I realized I was wrong. The lens that came with my wife's 3n appears to be the 16-50 kit lens, not the 18-55 I originally thought.
  4. ggibson

    ggibson TalkEmount Regular

    Sep 1, 2011
    The 55-210mm seems like a good option since it has a long range, and it fits in your budget.

    Also consider Sony's 50mm f1.8. If you liked staying at the long end of the 16-50 during the last meet and don't need longer reach, the SEL50 would be great to get good background separation and high shutter speeds.