Need help deciding on next lens...

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by pmd5700, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. pmd5700

    pmd5700 TalkEmount Rookie

    10
    Dec 9, 2014
    Florida
    I currently have an a6000, SEL1650, SEL55210, SEL28F20. I also have a Rokinon 12mm on the way. I am planning a trip in a few months to Europe (London, Paris, Bruges, and Iceland). I am looking at adding either the SELP18105G or the SEL1670Z for this trip. I have read countless posts on various sources about this exact question and there never seems to be a conclusive answer. And I don't expect to get one here. I'm just looking for another discussion using my exact combination of lenses.

    I primarily use the 55-210 for wildlife and I don't anticipate much of that on this trip since it will mostly be in cities so I will plan to not bring that lens.

    I like the 16-50 somewhat (mainly for the size). It's lacking in IQ and I would want a longer focal length on the long end since I'm not bringing the 55-210.

    The 28 is my favorite lens by a long shot. It's on my camera 90% of the time right now. I would love to bring it with me, especially for low light (food, restaurants, streets at night, etc.), but it seems silly to double up on focal lengths. Could the Rokinon handle these kinds of shots okay or would I get sick of manually focusing it all the time? The Rokinon would make a heck of a lot more sense during the day for the wider angle shots (landscapes, building interiors, street shots, etc.).

    My primary lens will either be the SELP18105G or the SEL1670Z. Right now, I’m heavily leaning towards the 18-105. It sounds like IQ would be mostly the same for them. I really like the added focal length. And, of course, the cost is much more appealing. The only things that concern me are the 18mm minimum focal length (vs 16mm on the Zeiss). If I bring the Rokinon it would cover me well but I would have to swap lenses. The other concern I have is the overall size. The thing is massive. It’s bigger than the 55-210 and heavier. I would probably have a backpack for storing most of the gear, but depending on what I was doing, I would most likely have the camera around my neck. I’m worried this will be too heavy around the neck.

    Again, I know I’m not going to get a definitive answer from this, but if anyone has experience with a similar setup or a similar trip, I would love to hear some thoughts, opinions, concerns, etc.
     
  2. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    I had both. The colors of 16-70z have more punch out of the box. Overall IQ is similar, but the 18-105G is more versatile and can be used at its extremes. For instance, it makes decent portrait captures @105/F4. On the other hand, the 16-70 is wider. Plus the size, weight and handling of the 16-70z are perfect IMO. Especially when compared to the clunky 18-105G. The other thing to consider is the power zoom vs traditional zoom, many people seem to hate PZ. Which ever you choose, both are noticeably better than the kit lenses.

    If I were still on APS-C, I would go with the 16-70 because the form factor made it more enjoyable.
     
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  3. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    Also I should add. Don't get the 18-105G if you are a brick wall shooter. Tons of distortion without corrections in-camera or post.
     
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  4. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    943
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    I had a similar dilemma earlier this year. On various travel excursions (mostly to Florida) I found the constant switching between my kit 18-55 for wide-standard views and the 55-210 for telephoto to be... inconvenient, to say the least. And the combo (as well as a set of primes) added bulk to my bag forcing me to choose - usually incorrectly - which lens to fit most of the time.

    I must say that I never seriously considered the 16-70 primarily due to its cost and its lack of longer reach. While it is a 24-105 FF equivalent, that 105 equivalent doesn't buy you much reach over the 18-55's (or 16-50's) 83 (or 75) equivalent reach. I also looked at the 18-200 offerings, but in the end went for the IQ and constant aperture afforded by the 18-105G.

    So far I have been pleased with the 18-105G, but at times its large size makes it cumbersome to carry. It's not exactly a compact street-shooter. ;)

    In the end, I think your choice between the two boils down to which aspect is more of a priority to you:
    (a) size and portability (and a little of that Zeiss punch, go for the 16-70), or
    (b) focal length range (where the 18-105 wins, especially since you will have the Rokinon 12mm to fill in when ultra-wide is needed... I just ordered one of those myself - thank you Prime Day).
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
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  5. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    943
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    I would add that my own planned three-lens travel kit, once my copy of the Rokinon 12mm arrives, will be: (1) the 18-105G as the default zoom, (2) my Sigma 30/1.4 DC DN C for low-light and most indoor stuff, and (3) the Rokinon 12mm for wide-angle architectural and landscape stuff. That shouldn't be too bulky for most trips I'd think. (Currently, when I carry three lenses I go with my Sony 50/1.8 as the third lens... just for the heck of it. But if my copy of the Rokinon lives up to its billing, it will become the third player in my travel kit.) That said, all my other lenses, including my much appreciated Sony 50/1.8 and the longer-reaching 55-210, will still play their special roles. ;)
     
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  6. pmd5700

    pmd5700 TalkEmount Rookie

    10
    Dec 9, 2014
    Florida
    Thanks for the response! What do you mean by "without corrections in-camera or post"? Are the corrections not good enough or are there no lens correction profiles for this lens? I mostly shoot in raw but sometimes shoot RAW+JPEG so I can transfer a decent looking photo to my phone.

    Thanks for the response! I'm really leaning towards almost your exact combo for travel. Rokinon 12mm, Sony 28/2.0 (low light), and the 18-105G. I would be able to get the 18-105 and the Rokinon (On prime day like yourself ;)) for less than the price of the 16-70z. What kind of bag do you use when you travel with those lenses? I'm thinking a backpack so I can put other items. Also, how to secure the camera when you're walking around? Neck Strap, Hand Strap, Body Sling, etc.
     
  7. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    Some people don't like electronic corrections. They like lenses that have optical corrections built in. There are a multitude of pros and cons that would create a new thread, so I hope you get why. That said, this lens is heavily dependent on the camera or the lens profile applied in post processing. This doesn't really bother me, but many won't buy a lens that is heavily dependent on electronic correction. Hope this helps
     
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  8. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    943
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    Like Gary just said, the 18-105G relies upon in-camera software correction for distortion and vignetting rather than have fully-optimized lens elements to correct these things. If you shoot JPEG or RAW+JPEG you will not see the distortion the lens produces without software correction. Also, even if you shoot in RAW, depending on the RAW image processor you use, the distortion and vignetting can be easily corrected, and some software, like Lightroom, Apple's Photos, and others can automatically correct the distortion on import. I'm not entirely sure which is the case for Sony lenses, but I believe that either the correction parameters are baked into the file, or software can consult a database of lens corrections.
     
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  9. pmd5700

    pmd5700 TalkEmount Rookie

    10
    Dec 9, 2014
    Florida
    Ok, I see what you mean. I'm fine with lens correction in post (or in Camera JPEG). I'm used to it from the 28/2.
     
  10. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    943
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    When I got the 18-105G a picked up a new bag to carry the camera with the 18-105 and two additional lenses, a Lowepro Format 160, from Best Buy of all places. I have had good luck with Lowepro's stuff, this being my third or fourth bag of theirs (I also have a larger Loewpro Event Messenger 150 that handles a couple more lenses and/or flash, plus an iPad if needed). In the Format I can fit the A6000 with 18-105G attached in one main divider area (as wells a dust blower tucked in beneath, essential for clean lens changes), and then two other small lenses in the other main section, one on top of the other. The only downside to the bag, other than it might be a tad too big, is that the shoulder strap is rather basic and came without any slide-able cushion. So I "borrowed" a strap cushion from one of my other less-used older bags. As for neck strap for the camera, I'm one of those types who so far just sticks with the stock camera strap provided by Sony.

    Oh, and one reason I got the Format 160 was that it fit fairly nicely into the backpack I already have.
     
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