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  1. #1
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    Sony E-mount/mirrorless/aps-c Lens Discussion

    The Best Action Lens for Ski Shots thread got totally overrun by Sony users discussing primes, astro-photography, and a bunch of other random stuff. So I started this thread for discussing Sony APS-C lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cdubmpdx View Post
    A6000 isn't full frame. I have the 16-70mm, it's a great lens. Great color rendition also.

    I wouldn't shoot full frame lens on a cropped sensor for a ski/travel set up. I like the small size of the 16-70mm for the quality and range it provides. Seems like a full frame lens kind of defeats the purpose of the A6000. Unless al

    With that note we also have the 55-210, sigma 150-600 with Canon mount and adapter, 50 1.8mm and 35 1.8. All are really small and I can bring multiple lenses in most situations with the exception of the 150-600, that thing is a beast.

    I initially had the same intention but decided we love the small size, it goes everywhere with us. if I get a full frame Sony it will be an addition and will build out appropriately or sell some of the crop lenses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Norseman View Post
    Since everyone here is talking about sony aps-c...

    I have an aging NEX-5R... functional, lots of snaps. I'd like to get a new lens for it this winter. I've cheaped through with the kit lenses so far but want to get some better images, especially on a rare-for-me overseas trip approaching.

    What should I get? I'm attracted to the idea of a compact prime lens for the travel sleekness, but worry about not having as much fun with it. Also attracted to the 16-70 Zeiss or similar for versatility with good quality... I thought I was afraid of the bulk but I guess it's not much bigger than the kit lens.

    Or should I just buy a newer camera? The NEX is pretty basic next to the big Alpha ones... but with good glass can prolly still make some nice images.

    Advice? This is the only decent camera I have and shares many duties.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cdubmpdx View Post
    I'd keep the camera and add new lenses. A camera is only as good as its lens and Sony seems committed to keeping their cropped sense line. I think the camera you have has the same sensor as the A6000 series, which creates the image quality but I might be wrong. You can get a new camera next or later.

    I'm no pro by any means but I have a few primes and the 16-70mm zeiss along with a few zooms for our A6000.

    I really like the 35mm 1.8 for a prime. It's pretty affordable and does great for indoor shots like museums if your traveling. Decent for landscapes but not as wide as you might like. or photos of people indoors. It's basically the focal length of what your eye sees so it's a good one lense setup for travel or just carrying around. No zoom obviously so you may or may not have an adjustment for this. But great bright photos.

    We use the 16-70mm the most. It isn't the best for indoors with f/4, but it's f/4 though the whole range. Gets wide enough for most circumstances and a decent amount of zoom to 70mm but won't get you super close. We like a small setup that I can throw in my backpack or whatever. If I could only have one lens with me I would keep this one. One Downside is the filter size is different than any other lens I have so if you use filters at all you will have to get an adapter or new filters. The 16-70mm is also pricey. It isn't bulky by a long shot, almost pocketable in a larger coat

    Happy to answer any question specifically the best I can. Again I'm only an amateur but a gear junky for everything I'm into, including skiing and photo gear. Though photo gear has fallen behind a little due to a new baby and lack of funds to spend on lenses and such.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    I really like the Samyang. MF only, but it's fast, sharp, and pretty easy to use. However, it's also not the most compact lens in the world.

    I could see running a two lens combo of the 18-135 and 55-210 for skiing. Pick which one is on the camera based on what terrain you're skiing. In trees throw the 18-135 on, more open use the 55-210.

    I like the 55-210 pretty well. It's pretty sharp, fast enough, and pretty light. I think I get better shots with it than either the 16-50 kit lens or the 18-200 that I rented.
    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    Note: I suck at astrophotography











    I was SUPER intimidated by the whole manual focus thing, but turns out, it's really not a big deal for landscapes and night. You're basically going to always focus at infinity. Figure out where on the focus ring is sharp at infinity and you're golden. My lens is pretty much right on the markings, but some reviewers have reported that the marks on their lens are slightly off from the sharpest point.
    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    Since we've totally hijacked this into a "what Sony lens" thread....

    I don't think it's really fair to compare the 55-210 with the 70-300. The 70-300 fuckin' better be better. It's a $1200 full frame lens vs a $350 crop sensor lens. It's also physically way bigger - 1-3/8" longer, 3/4" bigger diameter, and over 1lb heavier. I understand why GoldenBC is going that way since he's buying for a future camera, but I don't think it makes any sense to buy that lens if an a6X00 camera is your only rig and you don't have intentions of going full frame. Throwing a giant lens on a compact mirrorless kinda defeats the purpose of using a compact mirrorless.

    So if you stick with APS-C lenses, I think your choices for a long (200mm+) telephoto E mount lens are Sony 55-210, Sony/Tamron 18-200, and Sony 18-200 LE. I haven't tried the standard 18-200, only the LE, but I think the 55-210 is better/sharper. Which is a bummer as I would have liked to have been able to just run one lens instead of carrying around multiple. Here are examples of 100% crops from both lenses, in similar shooting conditions:

    Sony 55-210mm, shot at 150mm f9 1/640s ISO320


    Sony 18-200 LE, shot at 170mm f8 1/800s ISO800


    There's more noise in the second image due to the higher ISO, but it definitely is not as sharp either. Neither are perfect, but to me the 55-210 is better.

    For a shorter range zoom, I'll probably have to try both the 18-135 and the 16-70 and decide if the 16-70 is $400 better than the 18-135. Either should be an upgrade from the kit PZ16-50.

    I think this thread may have talked me into getting a 35mm-ish prime. Opinions between the Sigma 30mm f1.4 and the Sony 35mm f1.8? The Sony is smaller, the Sigma is faster and cheaper.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    Opinions between the Sigma 30mm f1.4 and the Sony 35mm f1.8? The Sony is smaller, the Sigma is faster and cheaper.
    I'm enough of a JONG that I really shouldn't have any opinion but FWIW DXOmark ranks the Sigma 30mm very highly, especially for sharpness.

    https://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compa...2_942_1083_942
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    Quote Originally Posted by auvgeek View Post
    I'm enough of a JONG that I really shouldn't have any opinion but FWIW DXOmark ranks the Sigma 30mm very highly, especially for sharpness.

    https://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compa...2_942_1083_942
    Thanks for the link, helpful.

    Curious if anyone has used both and can comment on if the Sigma autofocuses as well/quickly as the Sony?
    A bonus to the Sony is built in stabilization. Not a big deal if you have an a6500 where the body is stabilized. Maybe important on the a6300 and a6000 which rely on the lens? Or maybe not, at this focal length.
    Quote Originally Posted by Norseman View Post
    All ye punterz! Leave thine stupid heavy skis in the past, or at least in the resort category, for the age of lightweight pussy sticks is upon us! Behold! Keep up with the randocommandos on their carbon blades of shortness! Break thine tibias into spiral splinters with pintech extravagance!

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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    Thanks for the link, helpful.

    Curious if anyone has used both and can comment on if the Sigma autofocuses as well/quickly as the Sony?
    A bonus to the Sony is built in stabilization. Not a big deal if you have an a6500 where the body is stabilized. Maybe important on the a6300 and a6000 which rely on the lens? Or maybe not, at this focal length.
    This video review address both of those points: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89NLu539MCU

    From what I've read/seen/etc:
    - Almost as fast autofocus, but probably not quite as quick as native Sony lens. Much better than most 3rd party, though.
    - Obvious points: but stabilization is mostly a factor when shooting video. For stills, you might have to bump up the shutter speed a bit when shooting handheld. My JONG analysis: I would probably just increase the iso auto min ss setting to "faster" and set the min ss to like 1/64 or something higher than usual. And you might have to use a tripod slightly more frequently if you want to use longer exposure to keep the ISO down. My understanding is plenty of people use this lens on a body without IBIS.
    Last edited by auvgeek; 01-06-2019 at 01:14 PM.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    Thanks for the link, helpful.

    Curious if anyone has used both and can comment on if the Sigma autofocuses as well/quickly as the Sony?
    A bonus to the Sony is built in stabilization. Not a big deal if you have an a6500 where the body is stabilized. Maybe important on the a6300 and a6000 which rely on the lens? Or maybe not, at this focal length.
    I haven't used the sigma but heavily considered it. For what it's worth I have an a6000 and ultimately went with the native Sony 35mm 1.8 because a found a cheap used in like new condition at mpb.com. I don't think stabization is a huge factor given both speed and focal length, but auto focus is a factor. The sigma is fast enough but I use this lens primarily for photos of my 9 month old and our pup which both move a lot so I wanted fast accurate focus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by auvgeek View Post
    This video review address both of those points: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89NLu539MCU

    From what I've read/seen/etc:
    - Almost as fast autofocus, but probably not quite as quick as native Sony lens. Much better than most 3rd party, though.
    - Obvious points: but stabilization is mostly a factor when shooting video. For stills, you might have to bump up the shutter speed a bit when shooting handheld. My JONG analysis: I would probably just increase the iso auto min ss setting to "faster" and set the min ss to like 1/64 or something higher than usual. And you might have to use a tripod slightly more frequently if you want to use longer exposure to keep the ISO down. My understanding is plenty of people use this lens on a body without IBIS.
    Who needs Google when you have auvgeek

    Quote Originally Posted by Cdubmpdx View Post
    I haven't used the sigma but heavily considered it. For what it's worth I have an a6000 and ultimately went with the native Sony 35mm 1.8 because a found a cheap used in like new condition at mpb.com. I don't think stabization is a huge factor given both speed and focal length, but auto focus is a factor. The sigma is fast enough but I use this lens primarily for photos of my 9 month old and our pup which both move a lot so I wanted fast accurate focus.
    Good points, and part of my use for this lens would be for mountain biking. Where the action happens is predictable in biking and your shooting position is easy to adjust, so a prime lens can work. But bikes are fast and a good autofocus would be a must.
    Quote Originally Posted by Norseman View Post
    All ye punterz! Leave thine stupid heavy skis in the past, or at least in the resort category, for the age of lightweight pussy sticks is upon us! Behold! Keep up with the randocommandos on their carbon blades of shortness! Break thine tibias into spiral splinters with pintech extravagance!

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    18-105 vs 18-135? The reason I was trying to sell my 18-105 is to try out the new 18-135. Reasons: more reach, lighter, smaller. But I've read some reviews recently that state the 18-135 isn't as sharp. I also really like the fact that the 18-105 doesn't move in and out while zooming, seems like that's better for shooting in wet and dusty environments?

    Anyone have real world experience with both?

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    Thanks for the thread, geek.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zion zig zag View Post
    18-105 vs 18-135? The reason I was trying to sell my 18-105 is to try out the new 18-135. Reasons: more reach, lighter, smaller. But I've read some reviews recently that state the 18-135 isn't as sharp. I also really like the fact that the 18-105 doesn't move in and out while zooming, seems like that's better for shooting in wet and dusty environments?

    Anyone have real world experience with both?
    Not sure about sharpness, but my guess is that the 18-135mm focuses faster due to not being a PZ lens, right? I had the 16-50mm when I used to have an a6000, and that thing was a total PITA to focus with for anything other than landscape shots.

    Looks like it gets pretty solid reviews from the regular websites... although the quality does look a little iffy in some instances from the test shots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    Not sure about sharpness, but my guess is that the 18-135mm focuses faster due to not being a PZ lens, right? I had the 16-50mm when I used to have an a6000, and that thing was a total PITA to focus with for anything other than landscape shots.

    Looks like it gets pretty solid reviews from the regular websites... although the quality does look a little iffy in some instances from the test shots.
    Hmmm, I have no idea on the focus speed. As a matter of fact, I've only used the kit lens and the 18-105 on this camera (a6300).

    What's the best website for selling used camera gear?

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    Sony E-mount/mirrorless/aps-c Lens Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    Thanks for the link, helpful.

    Curious if anyone has used both and can comment on if the Sigma autofocuses as well/quickly as the Sony?
    A bonus to the Sony is built in stabilization. Not a big deal if you have an a6500 where the body is stabilized. Maybe important on the a6300 and a6000 which rely on the lens? Or maybe not, at this focal length.
    I have owned both... the Sony 35mm f/1.8 until some beater stole it from a state park picnic table wile I was down at the water with my kid... and the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 currently. The Sony was crazy good on autofocus and very sharp. The aperture was good enough for almost every occasion. Honestly if you need more subject isolation or bokeh get a full frame rig. The Sigma 30 is also excellent, at least as sharp and has acceptable autofocus speeds, but not as quick as the Sony. I definitely have missed the focus on fast moving kids. That being said, the extra f stop is nice to have for shooting low light. The focal plane is so thin at f/1.4 that you have to stop it down just to get both of your kidís eyes in focus. You will be happy with either and it will be your new favorite lens.

    For skiing I bring neither of these lenses. Most of the time you are shooting in bright daylight and need the reach rather than the speed. I love the kit 16-50 lens since it is so compact it fits in my jacket pocket. The old saying ďthe best camera is the one you have with youĒ applies. I have snapped some great ones with an iPhone. The best lens is the one that is accessible at the right moment and I am not stopping to unload a backpack and set up shots for a long time. Again, if you have an APS-C rig you are not a pro so lugging a whole pack full of gear is ridiculous. I also have the Sony 55-210 which I bring sometimes depending on the day. It is great for longer reach and also compact enough that i can throw it in my pack in case I need it and not really notice it is there.

    Also FWIW my other favorite lens is the Rokinon 12mm f/2. No autofocus so itís cheap, but awesome for landscape, architecture, some sports situations. No need for autofocus at 12mm. And f/2 fast so is good for astrophotography and indoor/low light applications.

    First 2 pics are the Sigma 30. Second is Rokinon 12. The truck is with the Sony 55-210. last is iPhone X. All unedited jpg. Ill see if I can dig up shots from the Sony 35.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Good stuff xksrx. Thanks. I think the Sony 35mm may have to be my next lens.

    FWIW on the "best camera is the one you have" thing. I'm using a holster style bag attached to the sternum strap of my pack. The Think Tank Mirrorless Mover 5 fits the a6000 and the 16-50mm lens. The Think Tank Digital Holster 5 fits the a6000 with the 55-210 (barely), or any other physically shorter lens no problem. It's a great solution and doesn't bother me skiing or skinning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    Good stuff xksrx. Thanks. I think the Sony 35mm may have to be my next lens.

    FWIW on the "best camera is the one you have" thing. I'm using a holster style bag attached to the sternum strap of my pack. The Think Tank Mirrorless Mover 5 fits the a6000 and the 16-50mm lens. The Think Tank Digital Holster 5 fits the a6000 with the 55-210 (barely), or any other physically shorter lens no problem. It's a great solution and doesn't bother me skiing or skinning.
    Curious, did you just thread the sternum strap through a spot on the bag? It doesn't flop around too much or get in your way?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zion zig zag View Post
    Curious, did you just thread the sternum strap through a spot on the bag? It doesn't flop around too much or get in your way?
    Thread sternum strap through the slot on the back plus clip the d-rings on both sides to some point on the shoulder strap or sternum strap. Where you clip it kinda depends on your pack but usually there's somewhere to do it. I like the Nite Ize S-Biners for this but any accessory biner works.

    It definitely bounces too much without clipping the d-rings. Still bounces a little with, but it's acceptable to me. A buddy of mine with a full frame attaches his a bit lower and clips the bottom to his waist belt, which really stabilizes it. But I don't think that's necessary with a smaller bag, and I think the camera is more out of the way being a little higher.

    It feels a little higher than it looks in this photo
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Norseman View Post
    All ye punterz! Leave thine stupid heavy skis in the past, or at least in the resort category, for the age of lightweight pussy sticks is upon us! Behold! Keep up with the randocommandos on their carbon blades of shortness! Break thine tibias into spiral splinters with pintech extravagance!

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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    Good stuff xksrx. Thanks. I think the Sony 35mm may have to be my next lens.

    FWIW on the "best camera is the one you have" thing. I'm using a holster style bag attached to the sternum strap of my pack. The Think Tank Mirrorless Mover 5 fits the a6000 and the 16-50mm lens. The Think Tank Digital Holster 5 fits the a6000 with the 55-210 (barely), or any other physically shorter lens no problem. It's a great solution and doesn't bother me skiing or skinning.
    You wonít be disappointed with the Sony 35. Also nice that it has stabilization since your body does not (I have the a6000 also). Remember the stabilization helps with still subjects in low light but not moving subjects. That f/1.4 on the Sigma letís in twice as much light so really helps with kids indoors...

    Good info about the sternum strap, I hadnít tried anything like that thinking that it would annoy me. Maybe Iíll try it...


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    Quote Originally Posted by xksrx View Post
    Good info about the sternum strap, I hadn’t tried anything like that thinking that it would annoy me. Maybe I’ll try it...


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    Same. And I have the same pack and was previously worried about the airbag handle, but doesn't look like an issue from that photo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zion zig zag View Post
    Same. And I have the same pack and was previously worried about the airbag handle, but doesn't look like an issue from that photo.
    It slightly restricts access to the airbag handle but I'm still quite confident that I'd be able to get to it if I need to. Hopefully I'll never find out though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Norseman View Post
    All ye punterz! Leave thine stupid heavy skis in the past, or at least in the resort category, for the age of lightweight pussy sticks is upon us! Behold! Keep up with the randocommandos on their carbon blades of shortness! Break thine tibias into spiral splinters with pintech extravagance!

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    What autofocus settings are you guys using for skiing? I have a 70-200 f4 on my a6300. I've played around with the focus lock a bit, but haven't gotten it all dialed in yet.
    Quote Originally Posted by grrrr
    There are good men out there. Good men who are good looking, who ski hard, have their shit in order, know their priorities in life and will make you happy. I'm not one of them, but they are out there.

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    I've got some Sony gear that I'm ready to get rid of.

    - A6000
    - 35mm F1.8
    - 16-70mm F4
    - Rokinon 12mm F2
    - 55-210mm
    - F20M Flash

    I loved this camera a lot, but it hasn't seen the light of day since I got an RX100 iv and a full frame. The 35mm was hands down my favourite lens, and the copy of the 16-70 seemed to be very sharp.

    Haven't figured out what I might post this stuff for on ebay but if anyone is interested PM me.
    Last edited by Bronic; 01-22-2019 at 04:43 PM. Reason: Forgot to include rokinon and mislabelled the 35mm F1.8
    Quote Originally Posted by The SnowShow View Post
    Keystone is the new Snowbird

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    The new focus tracking update on the A6400 (and A9) seems pretty interesting... although a couple of the reviews I read made it seem hit or miss still. That said, if/when they get it dialed, that will make Sony all that more appealing. If only their lens lineup had more and cheaper options.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronic View Post
    I've got some Sony gear that I'm ready to get rid of.

    - A6000
    - 35mm F2
    - 16-70mm
    - 55-210mm
    - A small flash

    I loved this camera a lot, but it hasn't seen the light of day since I got an RX100 iv and a full frame. The 35mm was hands down my favourite lens, and the copy of the 16-70 seemed to be very sharp.

    Haven't figured out what I might post this stuff for on ebay but if anyone is interested PM me.
    What flash do you have? I have all the other equiptment mentioned and vouch it is good, recently in the market for a flash.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronic View Post
    I've got some Sony gear that I'm ready to get rid of.

    - A6000
    - 35mm F2
    - 16-70mm
    - 55-210mm
    - A small flash

    I loved this camera a lot, but it hasn't seen the light of day since I got an RX100 iv and a full frame. The 35mm was hands down my favourite lens, and the copy of the 16-70 seemed to be very sharp.

    Haven't figured out what I might post this stuff for on ebay but if anyone is interested PM me.
    sending a PM shortly
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cdubmpdx View Post
    What flash do you have? I have all the other equiptment mentioned and vouch it is good, recently in the market for a flash.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
    It's the F20M. It's nice for what it is (a very small little flash that is great compared to the in camera option) but I think it's sony's cheapest flash.

    https://www.sony.com/electronics/int...ights/hvl-f20m

    I bought it new a few years ago and it saw use for one little photo shoot. I can't find the box for that one though, $75?
    Quote Originally Posted by The SnowShow View Post
    Keystone is the new Snowbird

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronic View Post
    It's the F20M. It's nice for what it is (a very small little flash that is great compared to the in camera option) but I think it's sony's cheapest flash.

    https://www.sony.com/electronics/int...ights/hvl-f20m

    I bought it new a few years ago and it saw use for one little photo shoot. I can't find the box for that one though, $75?
    Looks like an improvement over the built in flash but I don't think it will work for my needs. Hard to find a flash for such a small body though without throwing balance way off.

    Your gear should make someone really happy though. Great setup, somebody should make an offer if it's still available. Especially on the 16-70 and 55-210 that were just mentioned in this thread. The 55-210 is super affordable too.

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