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Looking for advice about next step for equipment

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by pworden, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. pworden

    pworden TalkEmount Veteran

    325
    Aug 26, 2013
    State College, PA
    Patti
    Winter has set in here in State College, PA. Really cold, hard to go out and take pictures. And, it's the time of year to be on Amazon and making purchases - maybe for me, too - I've been good. A bad combination for me right now.
    You can see from my list of equipment that I haven't spent much. Most of the images I capture are probably in the creative category, so can be macro (love those small, controllable scenes and amazing insects) or even landscape. I take some product shots for work. Am pretty much a photography novice but tons of imaging experience due to prepress/graphics work.
    I've read many of the posts here about the A7 and seen sample shots from some great lenses. Now I'm thinking about the next step. Do I get an A7 so I can get full-frame from my adapted lenses? I like the SEL35F18, the Minolta MC Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 and the Vivitar Macro most of the ones that I have. I like the looks of several sample shots that I've seen here, such as the Voigtlander NOKTON Classic 35mm F1.4 M.C.
    So these are the things I'm thinking about:
    1. A7 - Could get full frame with the lenses I have, and many future adapted lenses; weather-sealed, perhaps easier menus. I could use the same MD/MC adapter I already have. Looks like the downside of this is that new OSS lenses would be more expensive - and big. I realize my APS-C lenses could still be used with the results as-is now.
    2. NEX-7 - Could pick up from $600-$700, get a little more resolution and have a second camera with an adaptor on most of the time, maybe a lens turbo.
    3. Keep NEX-6 but get better lenses and maybe a lens turbo.
    Macro is a priority. Is the stabilization on the Sony 100mm macro a significant difference compared to the Vivitar all-manual? If so, could get an adapter and that lens - it's the one I wanted originally - would it be full frame? My brother is a macro PRO - all big Canon equipment. It's a challenge to get better shots with little NEX.
    4. Wait for spring, keep everything as-is and take more pictures of my cat, in the dark, after work, for now.
    Last, a bit unrelated... my neighbor brought over his old Vivitar Pentax-mount macro lens for me. Full of fungus. I've never seen that. Bought some silica packets for all of my lenses. Does anyone else do that? :)

    Sony NEX-6: SEL35F18 | SEL55210 | SEL30M35 Macro | SEL1650
    Legacy Lenses: Minolta MD W Rokkor-X 28mm f/2.8 | Minolta MC Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 | Minolta MC Rokkor PF PG 55mm f/1.7 | Minolta MC Macro Rokkor QF 50mm f/3.5 | Celtic MC 28mm f/3.5 | Vivitar 90mm f/2.8 Auto Telephoto Macro
    Accessories: JJC LED-2 Macro Arm Light | Poloroid Macro LED Ring Flash PLMRFS | Fotasy Extension Tubes 10mm NE1 & 16mm NE1 | Fotasy MD-NEX Adapter
     
  2. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    I don't know if this will help, but I've seen bits and snatches of rumors that more E-mount cameras will be coming from Sony in early 2014. As they were unsubstantiated, one can only guess if there is any truth to be gleaned. I'm planning for a second mirrorless ILC myself. Although I have enough stashed in the piggy bank to where I could get a Nex-6, I am most likely going to wait until Spring to see what may be announced. I'd love to see a weather-sealed Sony APS-C; I doubt I'll ever go FF. Although I'd prefer to stay with the E-mount platform, I'm also investigating the Pentax K cameras. I'm not in a hurry, so I have plenty of time to investigate. Don't know if that helped or muddied the water.

    Tony
     
  3. pworden

    pworden TalkEmount Veteran

    325
    Aug 26, 2013
    State College, PA
    Patti
    That helped. The main reason full-frame tempts me is for macro - just filling the frame with the insect would equal more detail, and of course the higher resolution that comes with it. It would be interesting to see the FOV with my old lenses, but I frame what I want now without feeling like I'm missing something (except macro/detail) so in that respect it's just a matter of perspective, no pun intended. I think the lens turbo or Metabones sound like more fussing than I would like so I'm not likely to go that route. I'm also not in a hurry so with that information I may also just wait until I see something that's more of an obvious choice for me at this point in my photography. Thanks for that!


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  4. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    I would wait. I am hoping that Sony will get out big brother of a3000 (better EVF would make a great difference).

    For macro work I would start with a legacy 100mm or so macro lens. If it won't work for you you can sell it. Or keep it as investment.
     
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  5. mattia

    mattia TalkEmount Regular

    143
    Dec 13, 2013
    Full frame macro also means more of a struggle with depth of field. The better higher ISO performance helps, but getting a macro lens and an extension tube (and/or light) will be if more help than a FF sensor will.
     
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  6. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Another important consideration is field of view and working distance. I like my Minolta MD Macro 100/4 better on the NEX-6 than on the A7 because it gives me more working distance on the NEX-6. Ideally I'd want a 150mm macro for the A7 but I'm not going to do that, the NEX-6 suits me fine there.
     
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  7. pworden

    pworden TalkEmount Veteran

    325
    Aug 26, 2013
    State College, PA
    Patti
    Good information. I have decided to forget about full frame for now - cost, cost and size of native lenses, and also because I've seen the pictures you posted, mentioning that focus is more challenging, edge-to-edge; it makes sense that the APS-C size is clipping off the far ends of my legacy lenses, showing the best part of the lens. I'm not particularly skilled yet and that would be an extra challenge I don't need right now, and aside from some product shots for work, I just do this for fun.

    I am interested in picking up a used NEX-7 mainly for higher detail on macro shots, might just leave it setup with lens and ring light as a dedicated macro. Also, I hate the flash adapter for the NEX-6. I haven't found a ring light that doesn't need it. It pops off all the time. I understand there is a different hotshoe on the NEX-7 but haven't investigated that yet.
     
  8. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    As I mentioned earlier, I've been giving the Pentax range a real close look. I wasn't planning to buy another camera until Spring, but Tiger Direct had an excellent deal on the Pentax K-30 weather sealed DSLR. In all the reading I've been doing in recent weeks, I kept coming back to the K-30 as the best bang for the buck in that type of camera. Sony would have been my first choice, but none of the E-mount platforms had what I wanted, in a price I was willing to pay. TD's weekend deal was a crystal blue and black K-30 for $399 with an 18-55 kit lens. This will be my first ever DSLR, although I have occasionally used someone else's DSLR, and we have one at work for official functions.

    I'm certainly not moving away from Sony. I still love my 5R, although its lack of EVF is a pain in sunny conditions. I'll probably carry both cameras in the woods at times, to keep lens changes down. The 5R is still going to be my go-to when I want a small bag and just a camera and lens. I'll just have one foot in two different worlds, so to speak. I'll also be able to my M42 legacy lenses on the K-30, but not my Minoltas, unfortunately.

    Of course, now that I have a K-30, Sony will come out with a weather-sealed A5000 in 2014. :)

    Tony
     
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  9. michelb

    michelb TalkEmount Regular

    196
    Oct 27, 2013
    Greater Montreal area in Quebec, Canada
    Michel Brien
    If you need an adapter on your NEX-6, this means your ring lights already have the iISO shoe that you will have on a NEX-7. If you ever go the A7 A7R route, back again with adapters

    For your macro shots, i see no mention of tripod or support
    My best macro shots were on a sturdy tripod ( Manfrotto 055 ) with small aperture to increase depth of field. Hand held even with OSS will not provide sharp shots too often.

    With your ring light ( my understanding they are LED's not a real flash) you will keep struggling due to camera movement if you don't use a stable platform.
     
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  10. pworden

    pworden TalkEmount Veteran

    325
    Aug 26, 2013
    State College, PA
    Patti
    Yes- I didn't mention a tripod. I have an inexpensive one, Targus TG-42TT. I use it sometimes but not when chasing bugs. You're right - makes a big difference.

    Good to know about the NEX-7 hotshoe. I realize there could be a new Sony APS-C next year that could offer maybe easier menus or who knows - than the NEX-7, but new = +$ compared to used/discontinued, so I'm still inclined to get NEX-7 as a macro camera. It's a process, considering a new setup, isn't it?!

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  11. pworden

    pworden TalkEmount Veteran

    325
    Aug 26, 2013
    State College, PA
    Patti
    Tony - Congratulations on the Pentax. Sounds like a great choice and a great deal!


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  12. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Thanks Patti. I was amazed to find that deal. I'm sure I haven't purchased my last e-mount, either.

    Tony
     
  13. f/otographer

    f/otographer TalkEmount Regular

    196
    Aug 20, 2013
    pworden, I can recommend the NEX 7. I took a chance on one almost two years ago and I had all my Canon DSLR gear sold in a month. I shoot lots of macro on mine and recently purchased a Metabones Speedbooster in C/Y mount for mine. It rarely leaves my camera now. My kit basically consists of the 7 w/booster, a Yashica ML 28/2.8, ML 50/1.7 and ML Macro 55/4. I have a couple of Minolta close up filters and Contax extension tubes tossed in the bag as well for when I want even more magnification. It all fits in a nice small bag. I know you mentioned the Lens Turbo, but I suggest spending a little more to get the Speedbooster. Its a quality piece that I have had no issues with. Optically its top notch and does what its advertised to do. With this little marvel on my 7 I really have no desire to spend all that extra money on a a7. I really like the extra stop of light the speedbooster gives as well as basically turning the NEX 7 into a full frame camera. Recommended.

    Here is my NEX 7 folder on flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/8539414@N07/sets/72157629936411965/

    A couple of things about the 7. The rubber grip will eventually start to come off. No worries, Sony will fix it for free. I havent even sent mine in to have it fixed since I got a leather half case for it which prevents the grip from coming off, it also adds a few millimeters to the bottom for a little more grip. The other thing is that the coating on the rear of the screen will eventually start to peel. Mine was from the constant use of putting it in and taking it out of the camera bag. A screen protector will probably prevent this.

    Good luck on your decision. The 6, 7 and a7 are all great options to choose from.
     
  14. pworden

    pworden TalkEmount Veteran

    325
    Aug 26, 2013
    State College, PA
    Patti
    f/otographer: great shots! The mantis, the flowers in front of the skyscrapers, the ladybug... Just great. The jumpers with green that is on your Flickr profile wide pic is one like my brother found just this year. Now he wants to find a blue variety.
    Good to know about the speed booster, but the C/Y speedbooster that you have - are your Minoltas and Vivitar not MD or MC mounts? All of my legacy lenses are MD or MC and I haven't located a speed booster for that mount, but I asked to be notified by Metabones when one is available.


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  15. f/otographer

    f/otographer TalkEmount Regular

    196
    Aug 20, 2013
    http://www.metabones.com/products/details/MB_SPMD-E-BM1

    They make it, but its currently unavailable. Hopefully it will be in stock soon. I had to wait a while for the C/Y to get in stock. About the photos, only the C/Y mount photos were done with the speed booster. All my Minolta shots were just with a normal adapter. One thing I like about the C/Y speedbooster is that you can use Yashica ML glass, Contax Zeiss glass in C/Y mount, tons of third party lenses in that mount including many great Tamron Adaptall lenses. You can also get an M42 to C/Y adapter and use all the old screwmount lenses with it. These you have to make sure the rear element does protrude to far back to hit the glass of the speedbooster though. But those are a small minority.

    Of course this pretty much goes for the Minolta SR mount as well. Minolta MD, MC and Auto Rokkor glass will work with all the third party lenses made in that mount, including the Tamrons. And there is an M42 to Minolta adapter as well. So you would be well served with the SR mount.

    Believe it or not as much as I shoot those little critters I dont know much scientific information about them. I knew it was jumping spider for instance, but wasnt aware of the different color variations. I just try to catch these little guys as I find them. Thanks for the compliments though, very much appreciated. :)
     
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  16. pworden

    pworden TalkEmount Veteran

    325
    Aug 26, 2013
    State College, PA
    Patti
    Hmm. Saw B&H has a nice bundle deal for the Nex-7. Would like the 20mm too. BUT the main reason I am interested in 7 is the 24 sensor for macro. But I know it has more noise at higher ISO, too.
    What's the opinion out there - would I see much difference with the Nex 7 sensor? I do crop my macro shots.
    Thanks!


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  17. f/otographer

    f/otographer TalkEmount Regular

    196
    Aug 20, 2013
    In all honesty I might recommend the NEX 6 over the 7. Its newer, and although 'only' 18 mp it is supposed to be a good bit cleaner then the 7 when it comes to noise. 18mp is still enough for anybody's purpose. Body is almost the same as the 7, you just loose the Tri Navi button system which I really love.

    Both great cameras, cant go wrong with either one.
     
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  18. pworden

    pworden TalkEmount Veteran

    325
    Aug 26, 2013
    State College, PA
    Patti
    Thanks for that opinion. I have the 6 so will stick with that. Always thought of the 7 as more professional but wasn't really sure enough to go to the expense. When I saw the bundle on B&H it looked like the camera portion was around 400-500 so was tempted ;)


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  19. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    First, the NEX-6 has 16, not 18 MP, and second, the high ISO performance is the same across the two. Also, you not only loose the Tri-Navi with the NEX-6, but also the mic jack, the AF/MF button (which I don't want to live without anymore) as well as the better built quality of the 7. Is it worth a switch from a 6? Really depends on how happy you are with the control layout of the 6.
     
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  20. pworden

    pworden TalkEmount Veteran

    325
    Aug 26, 2013
    State College, PA
    Patti
    Okay. I saw some sample shots somewhere on the web today comparing NEX-6, NEX-7 and an Olympus ISO noise and they were showing worse performance from the 7, but I value the user opinions here much more than most web stuff. I would like a MF/AF switch, but most would like a noticeable difference in macro detail, so if that's not to be expected then I'll pass since I have the NEX-6 now. If anyone has used both for macro and sees a notable difference, I'd like to know, but so far I haven't heard or seen that - it was just something I thought might be great -16 to 24.


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