SEL1855 Quality shots?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by NickCyprus, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012

    first of all, please excuse possible spelling mistakes etc - since English isn't my native language (I'm from Cyprus btw) :)

    Let me start by saying that I very new to photography and bought my Nex-5 two months ago (bought it used for a bargain price ;))
    During this time, I've read a lot of the theoritical/technical aspects of photography and I feel that I've learned a lot more than what I used to know...

    Basic Photography Tips | Photography Tutorials |
    (this helped a lot to understand terms like "composition", "exposure", "DOF", "aperture" etc and how to use them)

    I always wanted a better camera to replace the p&s and the reason was because I wanted to produce better photos.
    I know that I'm never gonna be a PRO or anything and that isn't my intention. I just want to produce better photos for me.

    Photography feels to me very relaxing but it can be frustrating when the quality isn't good or isn't getting better, lol :D

    So, basically I wanted to ask
    1) if its possible to produce quality/"professional" photos with the SEL18-55mm zoom kit lens? Because this lens is what I'm gonna be using more (ultimately I want to buy an 18-200mm lens for the all-in-one convinience).

    And 2) is it possible to get quality/pro photos WITHOUT editing/processing them in LR or other programms?
    (I know I should be shooting RAW for better images and its something I could try out eventually. Also, I do have Sony's RAW Image Data Converter which if I'm not mistaked is similar to Lightroom???)

    Could I see some examples?

    I know that most of you guys and girls here are professionals and/or very experienced - I hope a noob like me here doesn't bother you much :D

    Cheers ;)
  2. dbmiller

    dbmiller TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Mar 2, 2012
    New England
    Yes. While some may depend on how big you want to print, you can get some excellent shots from much maligned 18-55.

    Of all the posters here, I think Freddytto takes images with the kit lens that just make my jaw drop. Check out his albums in the gallery and other posts by him in the "Images to Share" section of the forum. I think you'll be most impressed.
    I'm of the opinion that almost all, if not all images needs some sort of post processing. There always seems to be something that can be done to improve an image. Whether it's a minor bump of contrast, fixing white balance, or something major. Of course, the better the image to begin with, the less you have to do.

    I don't use Sony's converter, so can't answer any questions about it.
  3. applemint

    applemint TalkEmount Veteran

    Sep 20, 2012
    Plenty of good SEL18-55 photos on flickr too:
    sel1855 - Flickr: Search

    As for post processing, I used jpegs (with minor adjustments in Picasa, cropping etc) up until about a month ago when I finally started using the 'free' copy of Lightroom 3 I got bundled with a GF3 camera earlier this year. Even in that short time and with my bumbling beginner efforts I can see that post processing can make a massive difference to a photo - turning something quite ordinary into something pretty good. Of course the composition, focus, good use of depth of field etc has to be there in the first place, but even with just a few basic tweaks in LR you can give most photos a bit of extra punch and just generally make them look better. So I guess I am a convert to pp - although some photos need very little doing to them. It also helps keep your photos organised and you can tag them with keywords etc.

    I have never used the free software that came with my Nex or any other pp software, free or paid for but I know there are several options apart from Lightroom.
  4. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Yes you can take good pictures with the 18-55, optically it does quite well, that is not where the issue lies. It's a rather slow lens in aperture, so it needs a lot of light, reason which you'll probably want another, faster option for indoor shots in low light (i'm mostly thinking restaurants, parties...).
    However, the real Achille's heel of the NEX is the AF speed (or rather, relative lack of). I've missed a bunch of shot with the 5N/18-55 combo due to unresponsive AF. All is not black by far though, it's a good lens able to very satisfying results, but you might want to investigate a few cheap older manual lens options to complement it.

    Vermont2012-88. Vermont2012-89. Vermont2012-90. Vermont2012-69.
  5. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther TalkEmount Veteran

    Aug 9, 2011
    Yes! :)

    'Mission San Juan Capistrano' by RedTail_Panther, on Flickr

    'Mission San Jose, San Antonio Texas' by RedTail_Panther, on Flickr

    'ISO 5000 Straight Out Of Camera' by RedTail_Panther, on Flickr
  6. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin TalkEmount Regular

    Sep 26, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    While the term professional photo is open to interpretation, I think that the 18-55mm lens has enough resolution to print large from it and the NEX-5 body should have no problems either.
  7. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Thank you all for the replies

    Wow, after seeing some of Freddytto's photos I'm ashamed to post mine, lol :D

    I've been using jpegs with the Picasa too, easy program but its more of a "apply special effect" program IMO

    ^^WOW!!! Are those un-processed photos???

    Should I have said "artistic" better?

    This is what I mean:



    Very nice pics
    And thanks for the suggestion ;)
  8. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012

    After seeing Freddytoo's pics :eek: I'm ashamed to post mine, lol :D
  9. applemint

    applemint TalkEmount Veteran

    Sep 20, 2012
  10. freddytto

    freddytto TalkEmount All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2011
    Puebla, Mexico
    the kit 18-55mm , a lens is not perfect but it's decently good, has had very bad reviews for the quality of construction,but we have some photos submitted of some mates and they are truly amazing, by the way thanks for the complement dbmiller , but let me tell you, Bimjo is very good using the kit too.

    The wide end is very sharp in the centers and mid-section, but the extreme corners need to be stopped down, of course don't forget the strong color fringing and distortion that occurs at and near 18mm, here comes the editing/processing, to make your photos looks more professional, I use Lr4 to edit my photos also Silver Efex Pro2 use that goes great with Lr4 because I'm lover of B / W, I usually shot in Raw and use Lr4 for the whole process.

    The kit works best at f/5.6 to 8, which is good news too, the long end has some good qualities, like smooth bokeh or background highlight blur, lack of color fringing, and very good overall sharpness, although a little soft at F/5.6 in the extreme corners.

    NEX7 -18-55mm 18mm ISO100 F/14 1/100s
    <a href="" title="DSC06017_HDR-Editar by Freddytto Robles, on Flickr"> 7926695312_342827b365_c. "541" height="800" alt="DSC06017_HDR-Editar"></a>

    NEX7 -18-55mm 18mm ISO100 F/11
    <a href="" title="Hot afternoon _HDR by Freddytto Robles, on Flickr"> 7884901516_f8bc8d1718_c. "800" height="546" alt="Hot afternoon _HDR"></a>

    <a href="" title="The Brooklyn Bridge by Freddytto Robles, on Flickr"> 7469282614_0d9c6c3a44_c. "800" height="538" alt="The Brooklyn Bridge"></a>

    NEX5n -18-55mm 22mm ISO400 F/8 1/25s
    <a href="" title="Morgan 3 wheeler HDR by Freddytto Robles, on Flickr"> 7695442110_eafd0b30e4_c. "800" height="531" alt="Morgan 3 wheeler HDR"></a>
  11. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Thanks for all the replies :thumbup:

    Wow, some very nice photos here!!!
    After seeing Freddytto's photos with the zoom kit lens I'm ashamed to post mine, lol :p

    @applemint: thanks for the link ;)
    I too used to shoot jpegs only and edit them in Picassa (which looks more like an "applying special effect" program IMO, isn't it?)
    I then started to shoot RAWs and edit them in Sony's RAW pp but my pics don't seem any better to me so I probably have a lot to learn about PP.

    @RT_panther: is that last photo of the jet really just like it came out of the camera (ie. no post processsing)???

    @Luckypenguin: Maybe I should have used the term "artistic" ?

    @freddytto: your photos are really amazing!!!
    Could I see some unedited version of the photos (especially the 2nd one) to get an idea?
  12. freddytto

    freddytto TalkEmount All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2011
    Puebla, Mexico
    ok, thanks friend, then I apologize because the pictures of the Brooklyn Bridge, was taken with a long exposure with nex5n, several months ago, and unfortunately I had problems with my laptop so I restore it , then lost a lot of my first work, it was my fault for not make a backup, but I have this picture of my wife made ​​a few days ago, made with the kit 18-55mm, always shot in RAW as I mentioned it, to be honest I used to shoot in
    JPG, but after in PP, I came out all wrong, so I started researching more and more and here in the forum they talked about Raw, this is a file format that captures all image data recorded by the sensor when you take a photo, so when shooting in a format like JPEG image information is compressed and lost.

    In the example, just take about 4-5 minutes for editing in LR4, or you can use some presets that make it easier for you, give it a little color, contrast, noise reduction, brightness, whatever you want.

    ISO 100 F/16 1/160s
    <a href="" title="ALEX by Freddytto Robles, on Flickr"> 8088212977_ac65a5d3e7_c. "545" height="800" alt="ALEX"></a>

    <a href="" title="ALEX by Freddytto Robles, on Flickr"> View attachment 26515 "545" height="800" alt="ALEX"></a>

    <a href="" title="ALEX B/W by Freddytto Robles, on Flickr"> 8088213130_957ca76cf3_c. "545" height="800" alt="ALEX B/W"></a>
  13. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Thanks for the reply and the sample pics my friend!!!

    I've done some more attempts shooting RAW and editing them with the PP program (Sony's Raw conversion program) and ok its not such a difficult program to operate as I originally thought but still I'm not 100% happy with how my photos are coming out...

    Since I'm very new to photography, I would like to post some of the photos and give me some constructive critisism on what I've done wrong or what should I be doing. Is there a special place to post such thread or can I post them here?
    Should I post the RAW files directly or should I post them after I converted them to jpeg???

  14. freddytto

    freddytto TalkEmount All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2011
    Puebla, Mexico
    of course you can post your photos here, there is not problem, do not be afraid of criticism, I think it makes us better every day.
  15. ErickSaint

    ErickSaint TalkEmount Regular

    Aug 27, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    I would think creating a new thread in the proper photo section would be the best for CC on your work. Maybe add CC to the post title. Best to post jpg copies in my opinion. The RAWs are like your negatives, dont really want anybody access to a full unedited RAW of your work, and claim it as their own down the road.

    Plus, I'm pretty sure browsers can not read RAW formats, hey can all display jpg.
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