What lenses for Italy?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by mingus2112, May 8, 2017.

  1. mingus2112

    mingus2112 TalkEmount Regular

    182
    Jun 16, 2014
    I hate to post yet another "what lenses should I bring on my trip to..." thread, but i've read them all and am still undecided. I've been at both extreme ends of the spectrum --traveling with just a phone or a point and shoot as well as BACKPACKING with 2 camera bodies (film SLRs) and several heavy lenses. I'm looking for the happy medium here without spending too much on things I won't get a lot of use out of.

    My AF camera is a Canon 60D, but i'm not bringing that on this trip. My plan is to bring my NEX-6 (or a6000) if I upgrade, a COUPLE Minolta MD primes and then _______? I thought about getting a Sony 20mm pancake for those days or times when I need to throw the camera in a pocket. Then i'll need an everyday zoom. My options here are picking up something like the Sony 18-55 (I used to have the 15-60 and sold it) or (and here's the question) what about getting an LA-EA2 and using my Minolta Maxxum zooms? Would this be at least as good quality (although, obviously not as wide angle) quality or better than the 18-55? I avoided adapting the Maxxum lenses in the past because of the aperture adjustment and the loose manual focus, but the LA-EA2 could fix that. I'm just worried about quality loss with the adapter's translucent mirror, focusing speed, etc. I don't need it to be snappy fast, just not ANNOYINGLY slow.

    In addition, our trip is wide open right now as to where we're going. we'll be gone a week and flying in and out of Milan. The only thing booked so far is a private, after hours tour of the Vatican. Last time (10 years ago) we did Venice, Florence and Rome. We'll probably follow a similar path this time, but in and out of Milan. I had good luck with my Minolta 35mm 1.8 in the cloisters in NYC, so maybe i'll bring that. It would definitely be good in the vatican. Any other focal lengths that would be worthwhile (on APS-C) on a trip like this?

    -James
     
  2. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul TalkEmount Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    790
    Feb 14, 2016
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    Paul
    It depends what your photography style is like, when I went to Italy I had an A7R2 + 12mm, 24-70 and 70-200 and that covered everything I needed.
    With the A6000 the 10-18 would be a good option to capture the buildings and architecture and coupled with the 16-70 would be ideal. A longer zoom isn't necessary but always nice to have.
    I always find when travelling to keep it compact, light and as simple as possible, i.e. don't take too many lenses (especially primes which can be a hassle to change depending where you are).
     
  3. christilou

    christilou TalkEmount Top Veteran

    743
    Nov 26, 2012
    Surrey, UK
    Christina
    When I go away I normally take the FE55, the FE85 and a ZM25 for the wider shots. When I went to Italy last year I also took a 35mm but barely used it more for late night shots as it's a 1.2 Voigtlander.
     
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  4. chalkdust

    chalkdust TalkEmount Veteran

    428
    Sep 25, 2015
    Bert Cheney
    Mingus, it sounds like your main question is about the LA-EA2 adapter and about zoom recommendations. I cannot help with either of those except to try to emphasize your question.

    I never really learned to use zooms effectively. And I do not need that adapter. If I were going to Italy, I would invite Christina to join me and my wife and then just borrow her lenses.

    My only real recommendation is to keep in mind a preference for wide angle. Things I photographed there tend to be either BIG or close or both.

    Now, back to Mingus's actual questions......
     
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  5. mingus2112

    mingus2112 TalkEmount Regular

    182
    Jun 16, 2014
    Yes - that was the root of my question, thanks! I AM trying to figure out what lenses to bring but, for my e-mount, that only includes legacy manual focus lenses. I was looking at getting some inexpensive native glass, but wondered if the LA-EA2 would fill that role with my Maxxum lenses. Then I wouldn't need to get any inexpensive "kit" zooms. As for primes, I want to carry a couple with me - and by "carry with me" I don't mean all day, every day. I just mean pack and bring from city to city, but only take around with me each day what I think I might use.

    The only "wide" lens I have right now is a Tamron 17mm. It's huge and heavy, so i'll probably leave that at home. If I got a kit zoom, that would at least fill that focal length (but obviously not the quality).

    -James
     
  6. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    James, I don't have any Minolta AF zooms or primes, so I can't offer any concrete advice on the adapting those lenses using an LA-EA2 or LA-EA4 (or for that matter the LA-EA1 or LA-EA3, which don't offer autofocus on older Minolta and Sony screw-drive AF lenses). I've often considered going that route, but never taken the plunge. Part of the reason I haven't gone that route is that even with those A-mount adapter/lens combos that will permit autofocus, it would likely not be anywhere close to the functionality of native lens AF with the hybrid PDAF system of the a6000 (or the NEX-6). WIth the LA-EA2 and LA-EA4, you will be using the classic AF sensor in the adapter. It might match the NEX-6 in performance, but I doubt it would match the A6000, or your Canon 60D, for that matter. Others could likely say more definitively on that than me.

    Given that, I think that for a trip such as this, bringing a couple of your MF legacy primes, for special situations, along with at least one native lens, such as the kit 16-50 or 18-55 (I have the latter and it is certainly useable in most general usage situations), would be your best bet.

    While I don't have it myself, I too have often longed for the E 20/2.8 pancake for pocketable walk-around shooting. Depending on your budget and focal length preferences, I might also suggest the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN C as a normal FL prime, or, if your budget permits, the Sony-Zeiss E 24mm f/1.8 ZA. Both will give you great low light performance for those intimate Italian cafes and restaurants.

    Finally, depending on your tolerance for a larger lens, I might suggest the Sony E 18-105mm f/4 G OSS PZ all-in-one lens. I "upgraded" to it from the kit 18-55 last year when I was looking for a little more long reach out of a travel zoom, with the added bonus of improved image quality from the constant f/4 G glass. It is substantially bigger than the 18-55, but that extra 50mm can come in handy while traveling.

    Just my thoughts... your mileage may vary.
     
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  7. fractal

    fractal TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 17, 2014
    Southeastern PA
    Chris
    You can pick up a used 18-55mm rather cheap. It's a good zoom, has OSS and should serve you well for a vast majority of your shots during the day.

    Add a fast Minolta MD prime for low light or wide open/portrait shots, and maybe a longer lens for reach.

    18mm on the zoom is wide enough for most shots.

    For interior shots of buildings, and if you are ok with the "fisheye" look, I recommend the Rokinon 8mm 2.8 which often goes on sale for around $200.

    If you want the best native lens for your A6000, I can't say enough good things about the Sony Zeiss 24mm 1.8.
     
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  8. HabsFan

    HabsFan TalkEmount Veteran

    271
    Apr 10, 2013
    Ontario, CAN
    I would not look past the 16-50 kit lens. It can serve as your compact kit and is cheaper than the 20mm. Sure the 20mm 2.8 is going to better at 20mm but the kit lens is actually pretty good around 24-35mm. If you plan on shooting mostly during the day, it will be good for general picture taking and you can use your other lenses when you want the most quality.

    Last summer, all I brought on my summer vacation with the family was the 16-50 kit, Samyang 12 f/2, and Sony 35mm. There may have been one or 2 instances which I would have like a bit more reach but in the end I was pretty happy with the results.


    You can have a look at some of the images here August in Greece
     
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  9. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    I second the Samyang/Rokinon 12mm f/2 as a great wide angle option.

    Indeed, my typical three-lens kit these days would include the Rokinon 12/2, Sigma 30/1.4, and either the Sony 50/1.8 OSS or 18-105.
     
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  10. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    806
    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Soeren
    The only right thing to do is to bring the Holy trinity, the 12mm samyang, 24mm Sony and 60mm sigma :D
     
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  11. fractal

    fractal TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 17, 2014
    Southeastern PA
    Chris
    that's a nice kit!
     
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  12. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    James, if you'll permit me, yet again...
    The more I think about Italy, and as I recall the trip we had there several years back before my E-mount adventure began (Rome, the Vatican, Sorrento, Capri, the Amalfi Coast, Umbria, Assisi, Tuscany, Sienna, Pisa and Florence), the one lens I wish I would have had with me on an E-mount camera would be the Rokinon 12mm f/2. It would have been invaluable inside the cathedrals, duomos, and basilicas, as well as in the little walled towns of Umbria and Tuscany, not to mention for the architecture of Rome. In addition to it's very nice and expansive wide angle view (much wider than a 16), its f/2 max aperture would come in handy in those dimly lit churches and other ancient buildings. And even though it is manual focus, at 12mm, when stopped down to f/8 - f/16 most everything from 3 feet to infinity will be in focus.

    So, I'd humbly recommend getting the Rokinon 12mm f/2 (or Samyang, same thing), and then perhaps one of the two inexpensive kit lenses, 16-50 or 18-55, doesn't really matter which (though the 16-50 does pancake down nicely). They can serve well in general walk-about situations. To finish it off, you can bring along a few of your best manual focus Minolta primes, like a 28/2, a 35/1.8 and/or a 50/1.4, plus maybe an 85, 100 or 135 (for the rare time you might want a telephoto), for when you find a situation demanding more creative capability that a prime will offer.

    Okay, that's my additional two cents worth.
     
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  13. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    806
    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Soeren
    Yeah, if only the 60mm was a f/1,8 :) Im considering the 55mm f1.8 FE lens but the cost...... :(
     
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  14. fractal

    fractal TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 17, 2014
    Southeastern PA
    Chris
    I bought the 55mm used.

    Pros - size and weight are perfect for Sony mirrorless cameras.
    very sharp, even wide open.
    great colors, nice bokeh.

    Cons - price
    almost too sharp sometimes - "clinical" look.
    minimum focusing distance is not great.


    I prefer the way the Sony 24mm 1.8 renders vs. the 55. Not as sharp but there's something about the colors and contrast.
     
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  15. mingus2112

    mingus2112 TalkEmount Regular

    182
    Jun 16, 2014
    You're always permitted! If you recall from three years ago, I was lead down the rabbit hole by a picture of YOUR a3000 with adapted Minoltas! I struggled where to put this post as I'm not sure if i'm leaning towards bringing my adapted lenses, going full native or a mixture of both. It sounds like nobody recommends (whether it's lack of experience with or just a vote against) bringing Maxxum zooms and an LA-EA2. I may still pick that up, but it sounds like I should pick up a wide angle native lens (like the Rokinon/Samyang) as well as a native zoom. Honestly, i'm not interested too much in native primes (other than maybe the 20mm for its size). It sounds like most days I could get by with an 18-55 or 16-50 on the camera and the 12mm in my bag. Days in Venice I might want to bring a couple of my Minolta primes.

    So it looks like it comes down to me buying a few lenses. a 12mm for sure and either 16-50 or 18-55 and POSSIBLY the 20mm anyway. The 20mm would be good, I would think, for when we're going out to dinner. We wouldn't be carrying around a backpack, so the whole camera could be stowed in a pocket or small bag. Guess I should have posted in the native lens thread! Whoops - so any thoughts on the 16-50 vs 18-55? the 16 has the compact size and (i think) the 18-55 has the edge on image quality.

    -James
     
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  16. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    I agree with the above sentiments about adapting the Minolta/A-mount lenses with the adapter. The glass may be superb, but the size, weight, cost and AF performance are cons. No real benefit over taking the 60D with a native EF lens.
    The strength of the NEX/a6xxx cameras is their size to performance ratio. You only have to suffer through one trip with a DSLR and a bag full of lenses during vacation to declare "I'll never do this again!" Ironically, it was in Italy, hauling all this while on my feet across Rome. One day was so tiring, the following day, I went out with only my point-n-shoot. And I had a splendid time enjoying my day.
    My advice is to keep it small, keep it light, and keep it capable. If you are to invest in some lenses, keep it native to the E-mount.
    Don't dismiss the 16-50, as it can get the shot, and is small enough to be pocketed. Only caveat is that make sure the NEX 6 can correct for it like the a6000's firmware does. Otherwise, opt for the 18-55 for your NEX 6 as the one lens solution. Pixel peeping it against my Sigma 19mm f/2.8 (18mm vs. 19mm), the Sigma just wins in sharpness. (The Sigma 19mm also trounces the Sony 20mm pancake, BTW).

    The suggestion for a Rokinon/Samyang 8mm or 12mm for the indoor shots is excellent advice. Both are relatively small, fast, and so wide that AF isn't needed. And so affordable!
    If you don't go with this route, be sure to take your widest prime in f/2, f/1.7, or f/1.4. Forget the Tamron SP 17mm. Too slow and large. This is one area where modern native ultra wides are superior in every way over the vintage SLR counterparts.

    For myself, I'd opt for an upgrade to the a6000 kit with 16-50, for all the upgraded capability and resolution. It's also a better manual-focus lens shooter.
    Add the Samyang-Rokinon 12mm f/2. Bring a fast Minolta prime in f/1.7 or f/1.4. Plus a Minolta 100mm f/2.5 or 135mm f/3.5 prime if you have them. I found I rarely used more than 100mm of reach in urban shooting or landscapes being a tourist. One of these will provide enough reach on an APS-C sensor.
    Just pack the appropriate combo for the day. Once, I ran around San Francisco with just the 18-55 on my a6000 and a Nikon Series-E 100mm f/2.8 in my pocket. And never felt the need for another lens, even though I had a trunk full of native and vintage lenses available.
    Personally, I'm not a fan of all-in-one zoom lenses. I don't understand the idea of getting an interchangeable lens body, and then grafting a large heavy protrusion like an ultra zoom for 'convenience'. I find no convenience in turning the benefits of a small platform into a large one all day for that rare occasion of wanting the long focal length. Plus, the performance of all these zooms are concentrated at the widest focal length, and it falls from there. You've essentially turned it into an all-in-one camera, with all its negatives.
     
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  17. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    806
    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Soeren
    The 60mm Sigma is also very sharp, has the perfect (almost) focallenght, it's very compact and light but has a max aperture of f/2,8, ratles when not turned on and lacks a bit on built quality. Then again at that pricepoint, quality/bang for the buck it's second to none. Nevertheless I think I want that 55mm :)
     
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  18. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    806
    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Soeren
    I'd go all adapted or all native. I have an adapter for my nikor lenses but have found switching back and forth between native and adapted is to much hazle, unless you have one for all the legacy lenses you bring.
    E.g. switching from the 12mm samyang to the 55 micro nikor but the adapter sits on the 24mm or 105mm........
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
  19. mingus2112

    mingus2112 TalkEmount Regular

    182
    Jun 16, 2014
    This sounds like a great idea. I had originally asked somewhere about upgrading the body just because of this - I was unimpressed with the 16-50 on the Nex-6. It was my understanding that the a6000 corrects for this a bit more. I'd probably also bring my 35mm 1.8, 58mm 1.4 and then either the 100mm/4 or 135mm/2.8. I really love the 135mm/2.8, but it might just be too long for most things. It's a great lens, but all of those cities are very tight.

    I get the sentiment, but i'm just not in a position to invest in that much good and new glass. I just find myself reaching for the Canon less and less and that's due to it's bulkiness. I've been on those "never again" trips with a bag full of prime lenses and two different camera bodies for two different types of film. With the next, right now, it's fine when i'm using primes, but sometimes i just need it to be on autopilot - which it wouldn't be with any of my manual focus primes. So it's really back to those Sony zooms for the carry around. Is the quality improvement on the 18-55 worth the extra heft over the 16-50? And, for that matter, the 18-105 - is the quality and the price (almost 5x the price) worth the added weight? I feel like at that point it would be the 18-105 AND the 16-50 (for when it's too big) vs JUST the 18-55.

    -James
     
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  20. mingus2112

    mingus2112 TalkEmount Regular

    182
    Jun 16, 2014
    Thought this was funny. I just looked up the Rokinon 12mm (the silver version is like $70 cheaper than black!) and this was in the description:
    WARNING:
    CHOKING HAZARD -- Toy contains a marble. Not for children under 3 yrs.
    CHOKING HAZARD -- This toy is a marble. Not for children under 3 yrs.
    CHOKING HAZARD -- This toy is a small ball. Not for children under 3 yrs.
    CHOKING HAZARD -- Children under 8 yrs. can choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons. Adult supervision required. Keep uninflated balloons from children. Discard broken balloons at once.
    CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
    CHOKING HAZARD -- Toy contains a small ball. Not for children under 3 yrs.

    Anyway...also noticed that the 8mm seems to be fisheye only - is that right? If so, it seems the 12mm would be most useful, right?

    -James
     
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