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New NEX-C3 User Coming from mu-43, 1st Post

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by larrytxeast, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. larrytxeast

    larrytxeast TalkEmount Rookie

    23
    Feb 23, 2013
    This is my first post. I've been posting for a little while over at mu-43, apparently a "sister" site to this one. I've owned the E-PL1 since last February, and then the E-PM1 last September (the exact day the E-PL5 and E-PM2 were announced). Besides the kit lens I also used an old manual-focus Nikkor 50mm 1.8. I also own & use a Nikon D5100 d-SLR with 18-105mm VR and 50mm 1.8 G.

    Anyway, although I have at times pondered an NEX with its newer sensor vs the original PENs, with the PENs now getting the OM-D/EM-5 sensor, I was set to upgrade to the E-PM2 once my tax refund arrived. I was also going to get the 2 Sigma 19mm & 30mm lenses if I could still find them. However, I'm a notorious cheapskate, never mind that my tax refund was nearly $8000, so much so that I still use Photoshop CS, the ORIGINAL CS (until someone today told me Adobe now lets you use CS2 for free, so I downloaded it) and only about a year ago bothered to get Lightroom 3.5, and even then only because I managed to get it for free by a most unusual fluke (not bit torrent!). I only got the Nikon D5100 February of last year because B&H had it on special refurbished (and I had plenty at the time--tax refund again--to get a D7000 or even D800 if I had wanted to), and got the E-PM1 refurbished at Cameta. Other than when I got the Nikon 50mm 1.G in late 2011 after it had just been announced, I never buy something when it's just come out & selling for full price.

    In that vein, it occurred to me--if I get the E-PM2, I will have to get Lightroom 4 also, the E-PM2 RAW files probably won't work with LR 3.5. Thus, besides the fact that I haven't seen the E-PM2 show up for cheap yet & would thus have to spend the full $500 on one, I also was not liking the fact that I'd also have to spend $80 or so to upgrade Lightroom to 4. (Never mind that with that tax refund I could buy an Olympus OM-D/EM-5 and 12-50 and 45mm 1.8 and Panasonic 20mm 1.7 and still have like $6000 left over.)

    So a couple of days ago when I saw someone selling a Sony NEX-C3 with 18-55mm for $330, I thought--why not. That seemed like a good price to me. I'll still get the sensor upgrade I would've gotten had I bought the E-PM2, only I won't have to upgrade LR 3.5, and I can try out NEX and see what I think of it. I paid for it today, it arrives this Monday. I tend to shoot landscapes and portraits of my kids, sometimes other people's kids as well.

    Here are my questions:

    (1) I really liked the Olympus JPEG treatment, so much so that with landscapes I photographed last year with the E-PL1, I made 16x20 prints from the unedited JPEGs. I realize the Sony won't be the same. What settings are good for minimal post-processing if that's the idea? (I would still shoot RAW to have that file as well.)

    (2) I assume LR 3.5 has lens profiles for the 18-55mm barrel distortion? (I realize that had I gotten the F3 instead it corrected for lens distortion in-camera whereas the C3 doesn't.)

    (3) I was set to get an NEX to Nikon adapter but in looking at what the adapters for Canon FD look like, they look smaller. Is that the case? (Otherwise I'd be inclined to get a Nikon adapter to use my current legacy 50mm with it.)

    (4) What settings do I need to configure for using legacy lenses and focus peaking?

    (5) What are good settings for the soft buttons? I tend to change ISO shot-to-shot and also active AF point (or quick access to MF magnify if I'm using legacy glass) and would shoot mostly in aperture-priority mode.

    (6) How excellent is the 50mm Sony 1.8 OSS optically? How about the Sigma 19mm & 30mm?

    Yes, I have downloaded the owner's manual. I really look forward to the improvements I will experience with manual-focus (focus peaking) and wider dynamic range with landscapes. I will also be getting a CPL polarizer and spare batteries.
     
  2. Nubster

    Nubster TalkEmount Veteran

    472
    Jan 5, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Chad
    First of all, welcome to the NEX family. I can't help you much with most of your questions but I'll take a stab at the couple that I can...

    4. There's a setting in the menu to allow shutter release w/o lens. Turn that on. The camera won't recognize a legacy lens being attached so it needs permission to operate "without a lens attached". Focus peaking, just set the amount and the color and you're set. I personally have it set on high and yellow.

    6. The Sigma 19mm and 30mm are excellent. Easily worth twice the price if you ask me and many others.
     
  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Welcome...the C3 is a terrific little camera. I came from m43 to NEX (but in my case I decided not to go back). I'll answer the ones I have some experience with (I shoot mostly MF lenses on my NEX. To start off the sensor in the C3 (and in all the NEX models) has better IQ and more DOF control than any of the m43 bodies...including the new Sony sensor equipped E-M5, E-PL5 and E-PM2 (that's not meant as a knock on the m43 cameras...it's just that the NEX has a larger APS-C senor and it happens to be VERY good).


    I shoot JPEG and while the files are not quite as warm and punchy as the punchy as the ones from Olympus cameras but they aren't bad either. This is from my C3 with a Hexanon 24/2.8 JPEG SOOC..

    7512426536_ab71076c48_b.
    Razor Break by dixeyk, on Flickr

    ...and this is from my 5n with an MC Rokkor 50/1.4.

    8140143821_ded08e05ee_b.
    Sheltered by dixeyk, on Flickr


    Not really the smallest adapters are the ones for Leica M, m39 and Pen-F...most of the standard SLR mounts are all pretty close in size with the Konica being SLIGHTLY smaller and the M42 being a bit bigger.

    It depends what you like I prefer either Yellow or Red for the color and Medium for the strength

    They seem to have arbitrary limits as to what button can be changed to what but by and large you can set them up to be pretty convenient. MF magnify is the bottom most button when you've got a legacy lens attached and it can be set to automatic when you turn the focus ring on a native lens (just like m43 cameras). Three of the buttons on the rear click-wheel are changeable (left, right and center...top is display and bottom is exposure compensation. The bottom most button is also changeable and I have it set to AEL (when I have native glass on the camera). My click-wheel is set to LEFT = drive, CENTER = mode dial and RIGHT = metering. You can also set the center button to be able to choose between 5 different options on the fly.

    I have the Sigma 19 and 30 and I'd say they are pretty close IQ wise to the Panasonic 14 and 20 respectively (and I shot a lot with both lenses). The Panasonic 20 is sharper than the Sigma 30 but not by much and that is offset in part by the fact that the NEX sensor is better and has better high ISO. Of course the main difference will be the fact that the Panasonic 20 has better OOF background having a wider minimum aperture. With the newest firmware the AF speed of the Sigmas is slower than the Panasonic 14 and faster than the Panasonic 20. Considering the Sigmas run about $100 they are a GREAT deal.

    This is from the 5n and the Sigma 30 (also SOOC JPEG).

    8168698451_b56980e339_b.
    Fell by dixeyk, on Flickr

    Check out some of the threads for the Sigmas and see what you think of the images. BTW, as good as tye NEX is...this forum is even better. Lots of great folks here.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Since Chad and Kevin already answered your questions I'll just offer my welcome to the forum. :)
     
  5. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    All three are excellent, the 30 is the sharpest, and if you shoot at f2.8 the 50 probably beats the 19. However I find the 50 a little bit too clinically sharp and not the best bokeh character though this is highly subjective of course. Overt sharpness in portraits usually means a bit of PP work because people prefer not to have all their blemishes on display. I have a FL 55/1.2 for my bokeh monster, and does people portraits better in my opinion, but I prefer the SEL 50 for my baby

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
     
  6. larrytxeast

    larrytxeast TalkEmount Rookie

    23
    Feb 23, 2013
    Thanks for the welcome-in guys. Mirrorless really is exciting, isn't it? To have this sort of quality on-hand with you at all times has been just great for me. Now I'm ready to take it to the next level, to where my mirrorless camera is equally capable as my Nikon D5100 DSLR sensor-wise.

    I found this site searching for tips on manual-focusing with legacy lenses, the whole time I was at mu-43 I never bothered to notice the "sister" sites, including this one. This one happened to be one I found in my Yahoo! search on manual-focusing with legacy lenses, and then I saw the mu-43 links.

    I definitely hope to get the Sigma 30mm, my only qualm is I had meant to get it with m4/3 for portraits, with NEX having a 1.5x crop factor vs 2x it won't be as suitable for that but I may be surprised (I did do some portraits in 2011 with my Nikon DSLR and 35mm 1.8 DX). I MAY end up using the 19mm as well for landscapes, especially if it has less distortion than the 18-55mm, my tendency is to use zooms for landscapes though (I use the 18-105mm VR on my Nikon D5100). What I'd REALLY like to see is a low-priced Sigma 50mm 1.8 or a super-wide like the Olympus 9-18.
     
  7. Nubster

    Nubster TalkEmount Veteran

    472
    Jan 5, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Chad
    If you can wait, Sigma is coming out with a 60mm f/2.8. I can't imagine it not being as good or better then the 19 and 30. Of course it'll probably cost at least twice as much as one of the other two lenses.
     
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    So a 60/2.8 for $400? That sounds pretty good to me. If they make it a macro I'm sold.
     
  9. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    Yep ! Agreed, if MFD is good, I'm getting one :)

    Just two add my 2 cts, I use Peaking on Medium 99% of the time (this is lens depdendant), and use Yellow during the day, and White at night. Pupils of human subjects will shine bright white in dim indoor environments, which is great for fast and accurate peaking.

    The SEL 50 is very good, very sharp, pretty ugly, and rightdwn boring when you're used to legacy nifties. The fact that it won't AF faster than you would with an old MF lens doesn't help, either. So optically excellent, but mine went back to Amazon within 72hours... And I'm among the few people who didn't care for the Sigma 30 either. I can warmly recommend the SEL35, of course it's 4 times as expensive, but for my use, worth the extra. BTW the C3 is the NEX whose form factor I love best (having had 5N, 6, C3, and now 7).
    Welcome ;)
     
  10. Grisu_HDH

    Grisu_HDH TalkEmount Veteran

    397
    Dec 16, 2012
    Southern Germany
    Markus
    Welcome aboard.

    I have really not more to say than the experts here did already *lol*...
    I like my Sigma 30 for giving great IQ with a relative minimum size and weight.
    If you want a portrait lens, go for the 50 1.8 if you want to have AF, or otherwise adapt a fast legacy lend like a Rokkor 50 1.4.
     
  11. larrytxeast

    larrytxeast TalkEmount Rookie

    23
    Feb 23, 2013
    Yes, the Sigma also tempts me, but I'm feeling hesitant to spend $200 on the pair AND $200 on the 50mm 1.8. Decisions, decisions.

    Incidentally, after messing around with the camera a bit yesterday, getting a feel for it and taking a few "see how it works" images, I have some impressions on it. I posted my thoughts in case it helps out anyone (or anyone has any thoughts on it). Note: it's a VERY long post, VERY long, but it gives an almost painstakingly amount of details on the controls etc, at least for my sort of intended usage anyway, & coming from the perspective of a person shooting Olympus m4/3rds and considering changing to NEX. It's the sort of information I'd like available to me if I was considering switching or trying NEX out.
     
  12. Grisu_HDH

    Grisu_HDH TalkEmount Veteran

    397
    Dec 16, 2012
    Southern Germany
    Markus
    Well, just think about what you want to shot most of all...
    Portraits? = 50mm
    Landscape/Architecture? = 19mm
    Allround? = 30mm

    If portrait isn't on first place than choose the Sigma duo and think about a manual 50mm Minolta or Canon...

    And by the way: "Decisions, decisions" isn't really correct... it will change to "excuses, excuses" later on when buying more lenses than you really need... :) :)