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SEL55210, opinions ?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by Amamba, May 7, 2013.

  1. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    I heard that it's a very sharp lens, also heard that it's total crap. Which one is it ?

    As I understand the AF is slow. How slow ? Is it slower than SEL50F18 ? About the same ?

    How accurate is it ?

    How sharp throughout the focal range ? Can someone compare it to, say, Canon 55-250 IS or Tamron 70-300 VC, IQ-wise ?

    How good / bad is the bokeh ?

    I like to have a tele lens (as long as it's not huge) but I don't use it for actual tele work. I like to use it for portraits, the background compression it allows, the ability to take candid shots without being in people's faces with the camera.

    This means that the lens doesn't have to be fast focusing or good in tracking, but it needs to be relatively sharp wide open, have accurate AF, very good bokeh, and decent stabilization.

    Would SEL55210 meet these criteria ?
     
  2. Bill

    Bill TalkEmount Veteran

    339
    Oct 22, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Bill
  3. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    I like mine, it works for what I use it for. I don't shoot sports or kids so AF speed doesn't concern me greatly. I've never found the IQ lacking. It's fairly light for what it is and it isn't overly large either.
     
  4. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    I also like mine. It's pretty small and light so it handles nicely on my NEX-7. Very nice for outdoor shooting but It's to slow for low light situations. I can't really give the comparisons you were looking for as I don't have those other zooms and I never use the SEL 50 in the same kind of light as the SEL 55-210, but that's what makes it valuable to me as I use it completely differently. It fits in all my smaller bags without issue too which is very nice.

    Here's a good thread about the 55-210 from awhile ago.

    This was with the NEX-5n
    2012-09-12%20at%2009-55-23-1024x1024.
     
  5. freddytto

    freddytto TalkEmount All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2011
    Puebla, Mexico
    I made some shots last week with lens: 55-210mm f5.6 ISO200 1/160s

    DSC02951.
     
  6. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    I really want to like this lens, but I didn't succeed. My second sample was optically good enough, but focussing with the NEX-6 was erratic. I couldn't bring myself to try yet another sample so up until now I make do with the Minolta MD 50-135/3.5 or a set of Minolta MD primes when I need telephoto.
     
  7. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Ad,

    Would you say the problem is related to lens or PDAF ? Would it also be erratic with CDAF ? Also, when they say the focusing is "slow", how slow is slow... is it slower than SEL50F18, for example ?

    So far all photos I saw from this lens were sharp and with great colors, but then again, they are processed.
     
  8. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    I think the problem is PDAF-related; I was using it on the NEX-6 and the lens' firmware had been updated (to version 2 IIRC). When forcing the camera to use CDAF by setting live view on and using f/7.1, there didn't seem to be a problem.

    I can't compare focus speed of the 55-210mm to the SEL50F18 because I never owned the latter. For me focus speed was OK, but I'm much more demanding on focus accuracy than on focus speed.
     
  9. teefin1

    teefin1 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    618
    Sep 7, 2012
    from the pics posted by Colin and Freddy, it seems fantastic!
     
  10. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    The IQ is definitely there, but at this price I'd expect a reliable AF as well.

    If / when I upgrade to a higher end body with PDAF I don't want to have to change lenses.

    Right now the choice is between $300 lens which is compact with great IQ, or $230 EVF and hopefully better shake control when using optically excellent but large and non stabilized Minolta MD 70-210. I decided to try the second route first
     
  11. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    The Minolta MD 70-210/4 is considered too large and heavy by a number of NEX users, including me, to be really useable. I prefer the Minolta MD (Rokkor) 50-135/3.5, I feel the handling is much better and it's optically a notch above the 70-210/4. Focussing a lens with a focal length of 210mm hand-held is also a challenge because of the viewfinder image jumping up and down.
     
  12. HabsFan

    HabsFan TalkEmount Veteran

    258
    Apr 10, 2013
    Ontario, CAN
    I just got a mint version of this lens yesterday. I got it from a guy that bought it for his wife and she never used it. No dust or finger prints even on the body. I'm going to try it out today and I'll post some pics later.

    Observations from the the 5 minutes i had it on my camera: OSS at long end is pretty neat how it stabilizes the image on screen for framing. Lens is very lightweight. Focus speed is OK and there was no hunting (in good light outside).
     
  13. GaryR60

    GaryR60 TalkEmount Regular

    56
    May 12, 2013
    Seattle
    Seems to be a matter of opinion, really. Some "experts" who have a snobbish fixation upon high-end lenses think everything else is crap. The reality is that even cheap lenses, these days, are pretty high quality and the difference, in terms of image quality, is often imperceptible. Meanwhile, I have seen astoundingly beautiful photos produced with a damaged Holga or even a pinhole camera, so I tend to believe it's the photographer, more than the equipment, that really matters.
     
  14. HabsFan

    HabsFan TalkEmount Veteran

    258
    Apr 10, 2013
    Ontario, CAN
    So I managed to take a few pics in a local forest over the lunch hour for testing purposes. Probably not the most flattering light given the time of the day. I only spent about 10 minutes so I didn't pay attention to ISO/shutter speed too much or even framing for that matter. So here are some quick snaps, all JPEGs OOC using NEX 5N:

    #1 - Trillium in the woods. 210mm, ISO 400, 1/640, F8

    DSC07083.

    #2 - 55mm, ISO 400, 1/800, F4.5

    DSC07076.

    #3 Logs, pretty good detail here given the slowish shutter speed, thanks OSS! - 68mm, ISO 400, 1/50, F8

    DSC07080.

    #4 - 210mm, ISO 800, 1/250, F7.1

    DSC07085.

    #5 - Spotted this little guy squeaking in the woods. Could have used a bit more reach. Pretty shady area. 210mm, ISO 400, 1/60, F8

    DSC07084.
     
  15. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Pretty good first outing I'd say. :)
     
  16. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Now, you're making me want the 55-210 even more :D

    Nice shots there :thumbup:
     
  17. izTheViz

    izTheViz TalkEmount Top Veteran

    537
    May 10, 2013
    Paris
    Yannis Marigo
    Wow ! I was thinking about selling mine. Didn't use it so far and didn't realize its potential. I may finally keep it.
     
  18. GaryR60

    GaryR60 TalkEmount Regular

    56
    May 12, 2013
    Seattle
    That's what I shot the Seattle "springtime" photo with. :D
     
  19. HabsFan

    HabsFan TalkEmount Veteran

    258
    Apr 10, 2013
    Ontario, CAN
    I think it's really just knowing the limits with this lens. This will not be a low light/indoor lens. I'm still getting used to using a NEX camera (coming from Alpha).

    For the squirrel shot, I used the touchscreen to get the focus point since it would have probably focused on a branch in front using multi. The camera acquired focus quick enough and I used DMF to check/fine tune. This was a pretty shady area and the lens did not hunt when using the one focus point. I find the touchscreen pretty handy, I know some people say they turn the touch off but I think it's great.

    I may try to pick up a tele extender as some people have has success with them and this lens for 'static' wildlife shots.
     
  20. gmutt26

    gmutt26 TalkEmount Regular

    41
    May 14, 2013
    Hd this lens and I didn't like the build of it. It's really slow n the focus and as the filter size is only 49mm when extended it gets slower as the light has to travel a longer distance through a small hole. Get the 18-200 its so good, and 67mm filter end is much better. I have it now on the nex6 and I'm getting amazing phoTos.