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Poor Man's M...

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by dixeyk, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I read a comment recently about the NEX7 being the poor man's M9. That struck me as funny because in my world the NEX7 is still too spendy for me to think about picking up. Granted by comparison it is a lot cheaper than an M9. In fact a NEX7 and a nice 50/2 Summicron could probably be had for less than the M9 body alone. That said, it still seems like rarified air to me. I'd drop that kind of money on 3 tickets to Europe but a camera...don't think so. I just dipped my toes into the NEX waters by picking up a used NEX-C3. It's not a NEX7 or 5n but to me it seemed like a lot of camera for not much money. I plan on pairing it up with my Hexanon 24/2.8 and rather than a poor man's M8 (I'm adjusting downward) I am hoping to have a small camera that is evocative of the first cameras I every used...70's compact RF cameras. Granted there is no RF (although the RF on my Konica S3 or Olympus 35RC weren't exactly roomy). I am hoping the NEX-C3 is a decent re-interpretation of that idea...small, great lens (I guess that part is up to me), easy to manually focus, creative controls and most of all fun.

    FWIW the M9 (and M8 as well) are what they are. I don't think its possible to have a poor man's M because the very nature of the M means it is not a poor man's anything. I like Leica glass but I got to play with an M8 for a while and it sure didn't seem to be something I would want. It was nice but just not for me.
     
  2. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I received my C3 a few days ago and so far have been very pleasantly surprised with it.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dixeyk/7458343574/" title="Yellow by dixeyk, on Flickr"> 7458343574_d3451be168_b. "1024" height="680" alt="Yellow"></a>

    I have been thinking a bit more about this idea of a poor mans M...I am not expert on the Leica M8 or M9 but I can say that the C3 I just got does a very nice job being a digital back of legacy lenses. The IQ is terrific and despite the consumer orientation of the C3 it is delivering everything I need it for. I can get to the functions I want quickly and easily (exposure compensation, ISO, metering etc.). It's small, is quick enough and from my perspective money well spent. This may be a horribly simplistic comparison but from my perspective the NEX seems like a natural option for someone considering an M8. They are not the same by any stretch and there are many reasons someone might prefer an M8 but for me the combination of great IQ, low noise, terrific High ISO and ease of using MF lenses at a very reasonable price is very attractive. I think if I were looking at an M8 I would find a camera like the NEX7 a really attractive alternative for half the price.
     
  3. Bolampau

    Bolampau TalkEmount Veteran

    276
    Apr 22, 2012
    Lincolnshire, England
    Paul
    a really interesting thread!

    I spoke to a photographer yesterday who told me he's just sold his M9 and bought a NEX 7. He was getting sick and tired of losing shots that were out of focus due to the limitations of Leica's rangefinder! He said that NEX focus peaking was the forward and that other M9 owners might turn to Sony.
    Cheers,
    Paul
     
  4. dbmiller

    dbmiller TalkEmount Top Veteran

    777
    Mar 2, 2012
    New England
    The short registration distance and the high IQ makes it an excellent base for nearly any set of lenses.

    I think the true RF people are still waiting for a better focusing mechanism. Peaking and magnification are certainly a big help, but focusing in low light or low contrast is still a pain in the arse. Of course, I've had trouble with my RF camera as well, so I look at them on a near-even level.

    The NEX-7 was really hyped at first for the Tri-Navi interface, but the 5n performed better on some ultra-wide lenses. Most legacy lenses don't have this issue, but it scares some people off who needn't be scared.

    All that being said, I still think it is the best system currently out there for legacy glass. I wait with bated breath for Canon's entry into the mirrorless interchangeable lens market, but am happy with the NEX for now.
     
  5. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    The NEX focus peaking is a really different way of approaching the problem of getting focus. It comes form Sony's experience with video and if someone is willing to give it a try and not be put off by it being different for what they are used to it can prove to be a very effective way to do things. Like any system it has it's strengths and weaknesses but as a new NEX owner I am finding it a very impressive platform indeed.
     
  6. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    That photo is stunning dixeyk!

    Re the topic... Leica-lust often confounds me. I've seen empty cardboard boxes being auctioned off for a lot of money, black electric tape placed over body logos so that it can be taken out to the streets, old lenses being sold for over $10-20K, YouTube videos of people opening packages, etc. Yes there are those that use the system for good and valid photographic reasons (same for any other system)... but then there's brand-worship to the extreme where one has to wonder if photography even has anything to do with it.

    As far as the comment you read about the NEX7 being the poor man's M9, I think that's funny too... as I don't subscribe to the doctrine that a camera's price tag represents the pinnacle of photographic achievement.
     
  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I think Leica lenses are superb and I can appreciate the fact that hand-made lenses and bodies carry a premium price but some of the prices that Leica gear commands are nothing short of breathtaking. I'd love to have a Summicron 40/2 but other that there is very little chance that I will ever own any other Leica gear. Even the "cheap" digital M body the M8 (used) is 8x to 10x the cost of something like my C3 costs. I'm not saying the C3 is better than the M8 but the C3 has as good (or even better) IQ, better low light, a very similar crop factor, and while I am a big fan of RFs I think the NEXs LCD with focus peaking is a very effective method of doing manual focus. Even the top of the line NEX7 is half the cost of the M8. If I were considering an M8 I would also give the NEX a good hard look as well.
     
  8. Phoenix

    Phoenix TalkEmount Top Veteran

    859
    Aug 25, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Phoenix Gonzales
    I agree, what gets me though is why does it have to be compared to the Leica M model? is it because of the compact rangefinderesque body? surely its not the sensor since one's full frame and the other's APSC, I dont think it's the lenses either since it's not only Leica glass being adapted to the NEX and we don't come across the term "Poor Man's Cannon Mark III" or "Poor Man's D3". So if someone coined the term a Poor Man's M can we then call the Leica M a "Rich Man's NEX-7"?

    The Leica is a wonderful camera and has amazing lenses, but so does Cannon, and Nikon, and Sony, and Pentax, etc....and it really solely depends who is behind the camera taking the pictures, somehow most people believe that good images solely depend on the brand of camera you use, I can almost guarantee that if you ask a blind person to take a photo of something, no matter which camera he or she uses you will probably get very similar if not the same images.

    People who are obsessed with brand names (and to a degree brand loyalty) are a mystery to me, I buy a product because I can afford it, it suits the way I shoot, because it brings out the best in me, etc...not because it's the brand pro's use, or because a certain website said it's good, or because a certain reviewer said it's the best gear money can buy. Some might say it's because "it's what the masters like HCB used...." newsflash! Henri Cartier Bresson shot film, all cameras from his era shot film, it had nothing to do with the camera as you recorded it on the same medium, Film. Whether you used a rangefinder, an slr, a lightbox, or an empty box of rat sack, you are still using film.

    I will bet a lot of money that if a manufacturer releases a camera that has better overall features than any camera we have currently, better IQ, ergonomics, features, build, and lens family than anything Leica, Nikon, Cannon, Sony, Fuji, Pentax, Olympus, etc.... could have ever produce, but the downside is that everytime you took a photo you got flogged 46 times with a stocking filled with warm dog diarrh*a, no one will use it for the very obvious reason. People will compromise shooting with a "lesser" camera like Leica, Nikon, Fuji, etc...
     
  9. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin

    I'm a software trainer/teacher and I run into the idea that software is a replacement for skills all the time. It's been the core of software advertising for years now. Buy Final Cut Pro or Premiere and that makes you a video editor. To a lesser degree it has been the way camera companies push their wares as well. Leica has spent years building a well deserved reputation for quality. The way the founders of Leica went to great personal risk to get Jews out of Germany before the Holocaust (The Leica Freedom Train) is enough for them to have my respect and admiration. Leica has become shorthand for quality and that reputation is interpreted by some folks as a sort of magic bullet. I see it with my students. A lot of them have this idea that all the knowledge in the world is out there at their fingertips and they don't actually need to learn anything but instead can just look it up. Combine that sense of entitlement with the way our consumer driven society works and you have people constantly looking outside of themselves for things instead of looking within. Leica means "high quality" so I need to buy one and then my photography will be high quality because I have high quality gear. Substitute BMW, Porsche, Rolex, Ferrari or whatever premium brand you like and it still works. Brand loyalty is also tied up with self image. If someone spend s a lot of money on something the last thing they want to hear is that there is something else that is less expensive is better, prettier, faster, or even as good. It can end up getting really nasty.

    One of the problems of gear oriented forums (even terrific ones like here, mu-43 or SC) is that it kind of comes with the territory.

    For me it isn't about gear it's about the images. I know folks will argue that it IS about the gear and that better gear makes a difference but I think that only applies when you have specific constraints put on you like a working professional providing images for stock. There are some very specific requirements for that kind of thing and that can easily dictate equipment choices. But when it comes to the the art/craft of making images I feel it about the eye of the photographer than anything else. I make my choices of what gear to buy based on a few simple criteria. Am I comfortable using the gear? Does it do something to help enable me to make images? Can I afford it? I really don't care what name it has printed on it because in my limited time producing images I have yet to have anyone ask me what camera i shot an image on (unless it was on one of the forums here). :D
     
  10. JimR

    JimR TalkEmount Regular

    126
    Mar 28, 2012
    Houston, TX
    Jim
    I love my NEX-C3. I like to call it the "poor man's NEX-7". ;)
     
  11. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    AWESOME...mind if I use that? :D
     
  12. freddytto

    freddytto TalkEmount All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2011
    Puebla, Mexico
    welcome to the group friend, you made the right desicion, nex cameras are great because of its compact size and in particular to high performance in low light and noise is very low.

    I was thinking of buying the nex7, before but after see so many review, choose the nex5n and I'm really fascinated, I saved a few dollars and with that acquired new E-mount lenses, plus some legacy lenses, are on the way from germany;)


    practically there is little difference between 7 and nex5n nex, with the peaking helps a lot the use of manual lenses.

    I love my nex5n ...
     
  13. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin

    Thank you, glad to be here. I am really loving the C3 as well. The thing that I cannot get over is how easy manual focusing legacy glass is. I may never go back to AF lenses. :p

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dixeyk/7470612760/" title="Tick Tock by dixeyk, on Flickr"> 7470612760_467157d516_b. "680" height="1024" alt="Tick Tock"></a>
     
  14. JimR

    JimR TalkEmount Regular

    126
    Mar 28, 2012
    Houston, TX
    Jim
    Sure, go right ahead.
     
  15. Phoenix

    Phoenix TalkEmount Top Veteran

    859
    Aug 25, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Phoenix Gonzales
    When I used the focus peaking feature on the NEX, I never had (not that I was big on it to start with :p )

    and speaking of Poor Man's M, can this be classified as the Rich Man's M?
     
  16. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I have a been fan of m43 for the past few years and the main reason was the quality of the native lenses. Although I have a real love of legacy glass using them on m43 bodies was just not all that fun. I tried everything but the native glass was a lot simpler to use so I built up my m43 lenses and started to sell off my legacy lenses figuring that their time was past. I had extensive sets of Hexanon, Super Takumar and OM lenses that I sold off (only keeping a few lenses) that I wish I had kept right now.

    The NEX has really been quite the revelation. When I started photography my first cameras were these small compact RF cameras. They were small, very capable and a real blast to shoot with. I also had my OM1 and OM2 but there was just something special about those compact RF cameras. Ever since my first digital camera I have been wanting to find something that would replicate that feeling and the NEX is the first digital camera to do that for me. My C3 with the Konica 40/1.8 reminds me a lot of my Konica Auto S3 (except for the longer focal length). The C3 might be the low end of the NEX line but I honestly don't see what more I could want at the moment. I feel like a NEX body with a 24mm and 50mm (or something close) is a terrific way to go if you're looking for manual focus heaven. With my Hexanons (24, 40 and 50) I end up with the equivalent of a 36/2.8, 60/1.8 and 75/1.4...they may be a tad peculiar focal lengths but very useable.

    ...a Leica M9 for $50K? Well it makes the garden variety M8 and M9 seem positively cheap.
     
  17. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dixeyk/7470611790/" title="Pastellar by dixeyk, on Flickr"> 7470611790_5a2cd0e90a_b. "1024" height="680" alt="Pastellar"></a>
    Hexanon 40/1.8 @f5.6

    Here is something I have been noticing...the texture of the pansies that almost makes them look like paper. Is that the additional resolution of the NEX sensor doing that? I don't recall ever seeing that before. Well, whatever the cause I quite like it.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dixeyk/7470610872/" title="Last Stand of the Lupines by dixeyk, on Flickr"> 7470610872_e0f23602af_b. "1024" height="680" alt="Last Stand of the Lupins"></a>
    Hexanon 40/1.8 @f4
     
  18. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    I had previously used a Canon DSLR for several years in product photography at my former workplace and I would have to say that I had always found the saturation on the low side. So when I first got my NEX-5N I was just as stunned as you are about the IQ. The colour and saturation in standard JPEG mode is spot-on... vibrant but not overdone. With hardly any noise, the hue gradients are just rendered beautifully.

    When the NEX is coupled with legacy glass... something special happens. From observation, various types of multi-coatings seem to produce discernible differences or should I say "traits" (all good from my experience so far). You'll also find that some vintage lenses will tend to produce very sharp images with less contrast than modern lenses (in a good way). Coupled with the NEX sensor you end up with an image with incredible detail integrity that would otherwise be blown-out. I'm talking about the very subtle details at around 89-99% shadows and around 1-9% highlights.

    Taking a closer look at your pansies, I can see plenty of detail in the light pinks as well as the dark shadowy greens. It's all there. I think it's partly the NEX sensor and the delivery of light from the hexanon - fantastic combination!

    You should try your Takumars, they render beautifully too on the NEX! Have a look at Bimjo's petal detail (if you haven't already)...
    https://www.talkemount.com/f39/takumar-55mm-1-1-8-super-multi-coated-nex-5n-782/index3.html#post5652
     
  19. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Most definitely...none of my m43 bodies produce images like this even using the same lenses. There is a delicacy to the images that is breathtaking. The NEX and the Hexanons are pretty special but I am eagerly awaiting the NEX to m42 adapter I ordered so I can try out my Super Taks (50/1.4 and SMC 28/3.5) and my Helios 44M. That petal detail in the daffodil is a knockout.