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  1. #1
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    SONY NEX - 3 and NEX - 5 for closeups ?

    QUESTION:
    I am not a pro photographer.
    I am buying a camera for one purpose only - to go to museums and libraries and take very highly detailed closeup photos of photos in old books, and images in old newspapers. I also want to take detailed closeups of woodwind instruments such as clarinets, oboes and flutes.This is all I need a camera for. I need very high resolution closeup shots. Museums and Libraries are often dark so I need superb low light capability - this is critical.

    I do not want a bulky SLR camera since I need something light to carry into a museum.

    I have no interest in video, 3D, landscape shots, portraits,action photos, etc.

    I have a SONY credit card and am interested in the interchangeable lens SONY NEX - 3 and the NEX - 5.

    Can anyone tell me about these? Does anyone have experience with these? Can another camera by SONY be recommended? What lens(es) should I buy?

    Thank you


    andy jackson

  2. #2
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: SONY NEX - 3 and NEX - 5 for closeups ?

    Sony has a 100mm f/2.8 macro lens that is ideal for your use, the 50mm f/2.8 macro would also suffice, but the focal range is a little less practical. The 50mm is also a little smaller. The NEX would require an A-Mount adapter to work with that properly, whereas the SLT A-33/A-55 would not. The SLT's are slightly bigger, but they are still very small by DSLR standards. Plus, once you have the A-Mount on the NEX, it wouldn't be all that much smaller than the SLT.

    Otherwise, you could use the NEX with the 18-200mm and have fair macro ability. The problem with this is that it is much slower than the other two macro's i mentioned, in a museum this is a big deal too. It will focus much slower, and require very high ISO. I really think your better option would be the SLT A33 and the 100mm f/2.8. Alternatively, for a more multi-purpose lens type, Tamron makes a 60mm macro thats even faster than the two sony's I mentioned, at f/2. I don't think it would be as specialized as the Sony 100mm for your use, but it would certainly be more versatile.

  3. #3
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    Re: SONY NEX - 3 and NEX - 5 for closeups ?

    Thank you.
    What about the very high resolution closeups ? Would I get all the detail in the image I am photographing? Museums and Libraries are often dark so I need superb low light capability. I want my photo to be as detailed as the original.

    Would these cameras be capable of this level of detail......or would another SONY digital camera be better?


    For my use is the SONY NEX - 3 more useful? Or the NEX - 5? I don't need bells and whistles. What is the difference between the NEX-3 and NEX-5?

    Andy

  4. #4
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: SONY NEX - 3 and NEX - 5 for closeups ?

    Quote Originally Posted by andy jackson
    Thank you.
    What about the very high resolution closeups ? Would I get all the detail in the image I am photographing? Museums and Libraries are often dark so I need superb low light capability. I want my photo to be as detailed as the original.

    Would these cameras be capable of this level of detail......or would another SONY digital camera be better?
    This is more a matter if technique than the camera you use. No camera is going to deliver good handheld results in poorly-lit interiors. But if you carry a compact tripod and shoot at low ISO, you'll get excellent image quality with more detail than you need.
    Photo-John

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  5. #5
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: SONY NEX - 3 and NEX - 5 for closeups ?

    The museum (probably) wont allow a tripod.

    So, its a very tough order to fill and it sounds like you are set on the NEX. I really think you will have a much easier time and better results with a Sony SLT. However, sticking with the NEX and in very low light situations, the very fastest low light option would be an A-mount adapter for the NEX, and the Tamron 60mm f/2 macro lens. This will require manual focus only (which you would probably stick to for macro anyway). Alternatively, the other 2 I mentioned before, the Sony 50mm f/2.8 macro and Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro are sufficient, 100mm ideal for a much more practical macro focal range. Between the NEX-3 and 5, they both have the same sensor, so IQ shouldn't vary, I also can't think of any feature for the 5 that would be particularly beneficial over the 3.

    The difficulty lies in achieving a very precise focus placement, with a narrow aperture to accomodate the low light/handheld part. It will be tough for sure.

  6. #6
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: SONY NEX - 3 and NEX - 5 for closeups ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anbesol
    The museum (probably) wont allow a tripod.

    So, its a very tough order to fill and it sounds like you are set on the NEX. I really think you will have a much easier time and better results with a Sony SLT. However, sticking with the NEX and in very low light situations, the very fastest low light option would be an A-mount adapter for the NEX, and the Tamron 60mm f/2 macro lens. This will require manual focus only (which you would probably stick to for macro anyway). Alternatively, the other 2 I mentioned before, the Sony 50mm f/2.8 macro and Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro are sufficient, 100mm ideal for a much more practical macro focal range. Between the NEX-3 and 5, they both have the same sensor, so IQ shouldn't vary, I also can't think of any feature for the 5 that would be particularly beneficial over the 3.

    The difficulty lies in achieving a very precise focus placement, with a narrow aperture to accomodate the low light/handheld part. It will be tough for sure.
    The way I would attempt this would be to use a camera that will not fire without focus confirm with manual focus. Use a very low light lens, set the focus so that the object fills the frame, position your self (and camera) as perpendicular as possible to the surface and very slowly move the camera into the focus range. When you hit focus, it will fire. There are also small flashes and ring flashes that mount on the end of the lens if you have the budget. - Terry
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  7. #7
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    Re: SONY NEX - 3 and NEX - 5 for closeups ?

    I think Oldclicker hit it with the technique, if the camera supports it. I've used that on my a700, but not sure if the NEX or SLT's support that.

    I'll put another vote for the 60mm f2 Macro as well. The SLT's would be better high ISO choices, but only by a little bit over the NEX cameras. This is key, as most museums seem to frown on flash photography of their exhibits and in some cases, any photography at all. Is this for profession use, or purely your use?

  8. #8
    Member Ballen Photo's Avatar
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    Re: SONY NEX - 3 and NEX - 5 for closeups ?

    Interesting thread. I'm interested in hearing what you guys think as well.
    -Bruce

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