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Sony NEX-5 16mm v 18mm - 55mm lens usage

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Nuggsy, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. Nuggsy

    Nuggsy Member

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    I've decided it's time to upgrade from a point & click & am toying with a Sony NEX-5.
    My reason for upgrading is I want improved image quality. The reason I'm considering the Sony NEX-5 is size.

    Being a complete novice, with little to no understanding of technical terminology, I'm unsure of which of the available buying options I should go for.

    From what I've read the 16mm lens is wider than the 18mm - 55mm option & the 16mm does not have zoom capability.

    Could someone please explain to me in simple terms the expected practical uses of each of the lenses? Do I need both?

    F.Y.I. The camera will be used for basic family stuff (days out / beach & city holidays / my daughter horse riding & indoors at home).

    Many thanks in advance.

    Nuggsy
  2. twist

    twist Active Member

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    For your suggested uses id personally go with the 18-55 it will give you loads more flexibility just wont be as fast as the 16mm n low light conditions, the nex-5 does a great job of higher iso though.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. Nuggsy

    Nuggsy Member

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    What is the use of the 16mm? What type of images would you capture with it?
  4. twist

    twist Active Member

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    Wide angle - although on a crop sensor its not so wide tbh. Youre losing 2mm compared to the 18-55 which isnt loads, but what you are gaining is f2.8 which means you can shoot faster at lower iso in poorer light, think cloudy, dark or dim light indoors. Also the 16mm is loads smaller. You will need to use your legs to zoom in and out.

    18-55 will be a little slower but with the nex5 high iso performance its not to much of a biggy. It will give you far more scope for varying shots because its a zoom. Its a bigger lens to. Oh, twilight mode is excellent for dim light.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2011
  5. twist

    twist Active Member

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    Ill use one of your examples to explain a bit better. Day out on beac with kids. Youre sitting on the sand, kids are playing further away but you want a face shot of the kids to catch a candid expression, more than likely with the 16mm youd need to get up and get closer to catch the expression and may miss it, with the zoom you couldve stayed seated and just zoomed in and gotten the shot. Obviously there would be varying factors but i hope this helps.

    Now with the 16mm if you were taking pics of say kids indoors on xmas day under lights of tree unwrapping gifts. Some may turn out a bit blurred with the 18-55 due to it being a slower lens. Whereas the 16mm would be crisper. But like mentioned the nex would just boost the iso to compensate for the lag.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2011
  6. Nuggsy

    Nuggsy Member

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    2 great scenarios thanks.
    I'm thinking I should start with the 18mm - 55mm but the price of the dual lens bundle vs stand alone 16mm means I'd be kicking myself if I decided to buy the 16mm at a later date.

    Hmmmmmmm...
  7. twist

    twist Active Member

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    16mm will set you back an extra 135ish used, so if its less than that in the bundle get it. Could always sell the 16mm if you find you dont use it.
  8. Nuggsy

    Nuggsy Member

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    I appreciate your input twist :smashin:

    My options: (both new from retail)
    18mm - 55mm £375
    16mm & 18mm - 55mm £479.99

    Think I may just go for it & get the dual lens kit.
    I do work away a fair bit (I have a trip to Dubai next week) & the pictures I take then are more landscapes & structures as I am on my own.

    If I'm understanding you the 16mm would be the better lens for those images right?
    It would also be a bonus to be able to use the camera in it's really compact form rather than have to carry the 'bulky' zoom lens.

    Before I take the plunge...
    what are your thoughts on a superzoom/bridge camera for my needs? How do they compare in terms of image quality?
  9. shotokan101

    shotokan101 Well-Known Member

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    If you are abroad can you not perhaps buy the kit either on the "Duty Free" side in UK or perhaps even cheaper in Dubai ?

    Compact/superzoom/bridge are all inferior IQ compared to the larger sensor ourtput from a DSLR - and I own all 3 :)

    JIm
  10. Nuggsy

    Nuggsy Member

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    In a complete reverse to my previous post I've made my mind up.

    Sony NEX-5 18mm - 55mm for £349.99 @ Best Buy is too good to refuse.

    This is my 1st venture into 'decent' photography & with the promise of more lenses being released this year & next for the NEX I think the more general purpose 18mm - 55mm lens is a sensible starting point.

    As for buying at the airport / Dubai.
    I considered it but the airport price will be dreadful (I take 1 trip a month on average & am yet to find anything electrical at an airport that isn't cheaper online).
    Buying in Dubai is a bit risky as I don't want to end up not being able to get one or discover they are more expensive.

    Thanks for the input guys really appreciate it.
    Who knows maybe I'll get some snaps worth of sharing when I get back?
  11. AEJim

    AEJim Member

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    I think you've made the right choice of lens unless the majority of your snaps are family fireside type shots, for landscapes and outdoor shots the bigger lens will work well - especially when you can't get that close to your target. It's far more flexible in the real world.

    I've been lucky and ordered the cam with both for £350! (a friend is a programmer for Sony, also got me a free PS3 - result! :))

    A lot of friends are getting into photography and have Olympus Pen's and the like, I wanted to be different and the Sony seems to fit the bill, looking good while performing as well as any - it seems there's no "best cam" at the moment and all have their own strengths/weaknesses. The fact that the Nex 5 looks the coolest will probably be enough to sway most :)
  12. shotokan101

    shotokan101 Well-Known Member

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    Make sure you're on the latest NEX Firmware as it's supposed to make useability a bit easier with reassigning custom functions to the hard buttons :)

    JIm
  13. Nuggsy

    Nuggsy Member

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    Result - my local Jessops matched the Best Buy price & gave me discount on a memory card.
    I've updated the firmware, charged it up & should get the chance to give it a whirl tomorrow.

    Thanks to all for your help!

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