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  1. #1
    Junior Member thercman's Avatar
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    NEX 5N, which lenses?

    Hi Everyone!

    A little background. My first SLR was a Minolta 7000, next was a x707si (Japanese version which I still have) and the other day I bought a NEX 5N. I was waiting for the a65 but I never really did any manual setting or anything with my slr cameras and didn't carry them that much do to size. So needing/wanting a digital camera I could manually focus and change lenses led me to this. So far I have been shooting the 5N with the 18-55mm kit lens. I must say this camera is pretty impressive.

    So here is my dilemma. Currently I own two lenses for the x707si, a 24-85 / f3.5-4.5 and a 70-210 / f4.5-5.6. Most of my shooting currently, and the main reason to buy the NEX was to take images of crested geckos and dart frogs that I am planning to sell. It is important I can get good close ups. Should I buy a macro lens for this, like the NEX 30mm macro, or buy an adapter ($30) and use my current lenses in manual focus? Or, should I just sell the A mount lenses and buy the NEX 55-210mm lens?

    Thanks in advance!
    Greg


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    Over time science has proven that the simplest answers are usually the correct ones.

  2. #2
    Junior Member thercman's Avatar
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    Re: NEX 5N, which lenses?

    Here are a few sample images (the best ones). This is as close as I can get with the 18-55mm lens... One major problem is that getting to close spooks the frogs etc. :roll eyes: So the goal is to get close and detailed images without being physically close...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails NEX 5N, which lenses?-dsc00047.jpg   NEX 5N, which lenses?-dsc00178.jpg   NEX 5N, which lenses?-dsc00294.jpg  
    Greg


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    Over time science has proven that the simplest answers are usually the correct ones.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: NEX 5N, which lenses?

    Get a different macro lens, not the e mount one. You'll find that you don't want AF on macro anyway, once you are at a much higher magnification. You could get the Sony 100mm f/2.8, and the LA-EA1 or 2 adapter. Or, you could get a manual focus lens from a prior mount, like Canon FD, and get an FD to NEX mount adapter. The skies the limit, basically, but I think getting the 100m f/2.8 sony is the best idea. a 30mm is so wide you will basically but the lens right up next to the little critters, at 100mm you can get further back.
    - Charlie

    Feel free to edit and repost my work as a part of your critique.

  4. #4
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: NEX 5N, which lenses?

    I agree with Anbesol. The easiest answer is the Sony (or used Minolta) 100mm Macro. With the adapter you will also have a good AF 100mm lens for other purposes. A more difficult answer would be to search out an old, used, good MF 200mm Macro lens. You are going to have to do your own research to figure out what is good and what isn't. - Terry
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    I am no better than you. I critique to teach myself to see.
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  5. #5
    Junior Member thercman's Avatar
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    Re: NEX 5N, which lenses?

    Thanks guys. From what I have been reading the auto focus feature using the Sony adapters is really slow. 5 - 10sec slow. So what about an inexpensive adapter without AF such as this? Sony Minolta AF Alpha lens to Sony NEX NEX-5 NEX-3 NEX-VG10 adapter
    Greg


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    Over time science has proven that the simplest answers are usually the correct ones.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: NEX 5N, which lenses?

    First of all - the AF of the LA-EA2 should be very good. Secondly, you will not want to rely on autofocus for macro photography. The focus placement on a macro lens is way too touchy to rely on AF.
    - Charlie

    Feel free to edit and repost my work as a part of your critique.

  7. #7
    Junior Member thercman's Avatar
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    Re: NEX 5N, which lenses?

    It should be for $400. You basically said it. The adapter above is $24 and I won't be using AF anyway. So I'll get it just to try it out. Free shipping to boot.
    Greg


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    Over time science has proven that the simplest answers are usually the correct ones.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: NEX 5N, which lenses?

    True that, $400 is a lot. With third party adapters you have full manual focus and even manual aperture control, not an excellent idea for shooting fast action sports, but it ends up to your benefit for macro photography.
    - Charlie

    Feel free to edit and repost my work as a part of your critique.

  9. #9
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: NEX 5N, which lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anbesol View Post
    True that, $400 is a lot. With third party adapters you have full manual focus and even manual aperture control, not an excellent idea for shooting fast action sports, but it ends up to your benefit for macro photography.
    The Sony/Minolta 100mm Macro has no aperture control on the lens. - Terry
    -----------------
    I am no better than you. I critique to teach myself to see.
    -----------------
    Feel free to edit my photos or do anything else that will help me learn.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: NEX 5N, which lenses?

    I didn't say the lens did, I said the adapter did. Not the Laea1 or 2, but third party adapters do.

    *edit - I guess there is no third party Sony A to E mount adapter, only the Sony one. My Sony A to M43 adapter does give me the full time DOF preview and aperture control.
    - Charlie

    Feel free to edit and repost my work as a part of your critique.

  11. #11
    Junior Member thercman's Avatar
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    Re: NEX 5N, which lenses?

    So I did some more reading and apparently those $30 adapters aren't worth getting. So it looks like I'll bite the bullet and get a "good" one. I have also read read some reviews on the 5n and saw images taken with the kit lens as compared to say Leica glass. Wow what a difference. With that said, if I were to purchase an adapter, what company's lenses would provide better images than Sony glass and not break the bank like Leica? Nikon?
    Greg


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    Over time science has proven that the simplest answers are usually the correct ones.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: NEX 5N, which lenses?

    No, the $30 adapters definitely are worth getting. What reading told you they were not? Supposing you can manage with manual aperture and focus control, I don't know why anybody would say they aren't worth it. For your purpose, as you stated: macro photography, those $30 adapters are especially good.




    ^ I got these images, and lots of others using the Minolta/Sony 100mm f/2.8 paired with a $30 adapter, except converted to Olympus M43 (with E-PM1 instead of NEX) The second image is at a much wider aperture ~ 3.2, and can give you an idea of how useless AF can be at macro range.

    If you want auto-focus and aperture control, you can only get the LA-EA1 or 2. Otherwise, assuming you can live without those features, the sky is the limit and you can get whatever lens you want. Considering the loss of aperture control adn the manual focus, manual focus era lens are better suited to being tooled in such a way. I'd look for fast fixed MF era lens. If you want AF and Aperture, then your best option is the Minolta/Sony 100mm f/2.8.

    Here is what I would likely do in your specific situation, going with manual focus:

    FD or MC to Sony E mount adapter - ~$30
    2x Macro focus converter - ~$30
    50mm f/1.8 or f/1.7 - ~$30
    Either Canon or Minolta brand, whatever you can find, they'd both do the same thing.

    The effective aperture would be slower than 2.8, at f/3.4 when paired with the macro focusing converter, however, still excellent optical quality. It would also be more suited towards MF and Aperture control, and all of that can be had for about $100. Excellent performance to cost ratio. Check out KEH and ebay... The current Minolta MF lens you have, being rather slow zooms, are less than ideal for pairing with macro focus converters and your NEX. The 50mm on the other hand, is much faster and much smaller.
    Last edited by Anbesol; 10-28-2011 at 11:03 AM.
    - Charlie

    Feel free to edit and repost my work as a part of your critique.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: NEX 5N, which lenses?

    Oh I hope you didn't bite the bullet and pay more than $30 for an adapter, unless its the LA-EA1 or 2, there is no good reason to pay more than you need to. I've seen the expensive ones, and the cheap ones. The only difference is the retail markup. Its very simple technology that either A) Works, or B) doesn't, and it turns out that companies are not actually selling non-working units.
    - Charlie

    Feel free to edit and repost my work as a part of your critique.

  14. #14
    Junior Member thercman's Avatar
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    Re: NEX 5N, which lenses?

    Thanks Charlie... No I haven't purchased anything yet. I am still trying to gather info. Right now I am looking at getting this lens: 2137 Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Standard Auto Focus Nikkor Lens - with 5 Year U.S.A. Warranty It has gotten really good reviews by hundreds of people. I think I may start with this lens. I also need a macro lens.
    Greg


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    Over time science has proven that the simplest answers are usually the correct ones.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: NEX 5N, which lenses?

    No good reason to get that, you would not have AF with it on your body. There are a garden variety of 50mm f/1.8'a around, Minoltas is even a 1.7. They are all very good and all have similar performance, especially considering the APS crop. Considering your sony E mount, I think you should either stick with a Sony or Minolta 50mm, or stick with a manual focus era 50mm. No sense in paying an extra $80 for AF gears you wont be using. There are a ton of 50mm MF era lens, Nikkor, Minolta, Canon, Olympus, Pentax. Whichever one you want, take your pick, and get the proper mount adapter and macro converter to compliment them. I know you can do Minolta/Canon options with all 3 parts for around $100, not sure on the other brands.

    *edit - Check out a local film camera buy back place. The 50mm's and 2x converters are pretty common and you could have a look and feel, they work a lot better than you might expect, just because its inexpensive doesn't mean its poor quality ;).
    - Charlie

    Feel free to edit and repost my work as a part of your critique.

  16. #16
    Junior Member thercman's Avatar
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    Re: NEX 5N, which lenses?

    Hey guys!

    Well after reading lots of lens reviews etc I decided to go with older manual focus Nikon AI-s series lenses. While I loose the advantages of auto focus etc I am learning really quickly about aperture settings and depth of field having to set it manually. The good thing is that I have spent maybe $500 - $600 in total and now have a 55mm f/2.8, 105mm f/2.5, 200mm f/4, PK-13 macro extension tube which will give me 1:1 on the 55mm lens and a 2x teleconverter for fun. I must say I am having a blast! I went out Sunday and shot about 120 images mostly wildlife. I am finding that I need to reach a bit farther. So currently there is a Nikon 300mm f/4.5 I am watching on eBay as well as a Sigma 400mm f/5.6.... I was looking at a guys gallery taken with the AF version of the Sigma lens and they turned out great. Between the last two which would you recommend if the cost was the same? For wildlife I think the extra 100mm will be indispensable.

    A couple images: The duck is a bit under exposed but for shooting with a manual 200mm lens of a moving object I think it came out okay. :-) The geese is a cropped image. Those little guys would not let me get anywhere near them. So no filling the frame even with the 200mm lens...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails NEX 5N, which lenses?-dsc00470.jpg   NEX 5N, which lenses?-dsc00465.jpg   NEX 5N, which lenses?-dsc00487.jpg   NEX 5N, which lenses?-dsc00525.jpg   NEX 5N, which lenses?-dsc00542.jpg  

    NEX 5N, which lenses?-dsc00445-version-2.jpg  
    Last edited by thercman; 11-14-2011 at 09:50 PM.
    Greg


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    Over time science has proven that the simplest answers are usually the correct ones.

  17. #17
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    Re: NEX 5N, which lenses?

    18-55mm Kit lens

  18. #18
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: NEX 5N, which lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by jenalee View Post
    18-55mm Kit lens
    WTF?

    lol

    RCMan, sounds like you're happy with your purchase. Glad to hear it, its amazing how much you can do with optics for so little cost when you aren't tied to autofocus.

    I think the 300 f/4.5 would be the better option. You can always get a teleconverter and a 1.4x would turn that 300 f/4.5 into a 420mm f/6.3. Only 1/3rd an f-stop difference, and the versatility of being slightly wider and faster than the sigma. Probably better optics as well, though the difference may well be marginal.

    Super telephoto is super hard hand held on a CSC camera like the 5N. Because the camera is so small, the balance is unusually awkward, 400mm would almost require a tripod.
    - Charlie

    Feel free to edit and repost my work as a part of your critique.

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