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Old October 15th, 2011, 11:52 PM   #31
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Re: I need another camera - maybe the NEX-VG20

Yes, smaller/lighter figures large in my decision making too. The kit lens makes sense to me however over at another forum more focused on photography the comments about this lens range from outright derision (piece of crap) to faint praise.

Not unlike the polarized views here regarding the FS100 kit lens, the 18-200 (which I am also thinking of getting) where it is considered ‘...a consumer grade lens’ by one notable professional who also tells us ‘...deal breakers -- especially if shallow DoF is one of the reasons you are buying an FS100 in the first place...’ and so I have to imagine the same would apply to the NEX 7. In as much as shallow DoF shooting is indeed one of the primary reasons I am acquiring the camera this statement is of concern. Am I to take this advice literally; the said lens will not enable shallow DoF shooting? If so then advice regarding an alternative (that won’t cost an arm and a leg) would be most appreciated.

I must point out that when it comes to lenses I am an ageing newbie; that is I know more or less nothing about the subject and I’m too old to learn other than the rudimentary knowledge necessary to enable my shooting. Furthermore, I’m not a ‘professional’ but I like to think my output is closer to looking professional than the footage I see being shot by tourists who step off the bus with a tiny cam which they hold at arm’s length and pirouette like a ballet dancer, sweep the horizon, then quickly jump back on the bus.

Leica; now there is a religious icon if ever there was one. Before purchasing a Leica I imagine a two week total immersion in some kind of exclusive doctrinal high-order religious school is appropriate. I don’t want to go there. In fact I have no intention of becoming a collector of lenses of any creed. All I want is a lens (or two) that will enable shallow DoF shooting of the kind Doug Jensen demonstrated so well in his ‘Vortex Media's Sony NEX-FS100 Demo Footage on Vimeo’ and hopefully without having to go the expensive Nikon adapter and lens route (as he did for many ‘other’ obviously valid reasons). I should add perhaps that zooming while shooting is not one of my favorite moves.

I trust I make sense!

So my questions are given that I have no lenses whatsoever and with the above intentions should I even get the NEX 7 kit lens? And/or what else?

Most grateful...
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Old October 16th, 2011, 04:17 PM   #32
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Re: I need another camera - maybe the NEX-VG20

Lenses are a cult thing... personally I belong to the "old Minolta colors" cult <wink>, not really a card carrying member, just a fringe hanger-on, with GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) issues.... The color rendition of the lenses has something to do with the coatings used, and gives a "look" that is pleasing. For me I found the "kit" lenses Sony includes with their Alphas just don't "pop" the same way - I'd classify the kit lenses as barely acceptable to my eye. I think the pictures I take with the old Minolta glass look better, and the glass was relatively cheap!

There are LOTS of legends and tales (and yes, plenty of facts and test results) surrounding various lenses and various brands, and thus many adherents to specific lenses. Photographers tend to make video pixel peepers look like rank amateurs, maybe because there are so many more pixels to look at?! Still photographers most likely have "similar but different" ideas of what makes a lens "great" or marginal... entire flame wars are fought over "bokeh"...

I know all the reviewers seem to be getting excited over the 24mm Zeiss lens that Sony is also debuting, it's another $1K outlay for a "prime" lens... doesn't interest me at all. Probably a great lens, but I'd have little use for it.

I guess what I'm saying is that once you go interchangeable, you open a whole big can o' worms. My thought on the 18-55 "kit" lens with the NEX/E mount is that it was designed to work with the features of the body, so at least in theory is "optimized" to whatever the engineers/tech high priests set forth as specifications. We do know for certain that at least some of the drive behind the NEX and SLT cameras was for video features like constant auto focus instead of having to manually focus all the time (I can go either way, but auto is nice to have) - so at least to some extent these cameras/lenses are video oriented. Cameras with "auto everything" typically can auto adjust faster than a human for most things, so in that sense the tools are passing by the "average" shooter, but there's still room of manual override, people who know the manual stuff want it to be there, and the NEX 7 has it all in a nice package, it's going to be an incredibly "HOT" product.

Also we know that (at least on the stil side, not sure they are or could do it with 60fps, YET) Sony is setting up correction profiles that you would be able to use to adjust for "lens imperfections" in internal digital processing, so I guess perhaps the lens will become less important as processing horsepower goes up. As with all things, "digital" manipulation is altering the "analog" side of the equation.



I guess I'd put out my classic view - it's not the tools, it's the craftsman. You have to learn the capabilities and limitations of each of your tools, and use them for what they do well. My TX100 isn't the best camera in the world, but I appreciate the pocketability and overall quality on both the still and video side. Goes places that my other cameras simply won't, because I don't want to carry anything bigger or bulkier!

The NEX 5 looks great, but doesn't tick enough boxes to pull me in (lots of boxes checked, but you can't own EVERY camera ever made!), OTOH, the 7 adds VF and the hotshoe, plus the Tri-Nav control, now I'm interested, in conjunction/backup with an A65, it'll be on my hunting list... the whole different lens mount thing is the ONE downside, as I'm probably going to be exploring adapters, and possible lens options!
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Old October 16th, 2011, 09:51 PM   #33
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Re: I need another camera - maybe the NEX-VG20

Quote:
Originally Posted by John McCully View Post
Yes, smaller/lighter figures large in my decision making too. The kit lens makes sense to me however over at another forum more focused on photography the comments about this lens range from outright derision (piece of crap) to faint praise.

Not unlike the polarized views here regarding the FS100 kit lens, the 18-200 (which I am also thinking of getting) where it is considered Ď...a consumer grade lensí by one notable professional who also tells us Ď...deal breakers -- especially if shallow DoF is one of the reasons you are buying an FS100 in the first place...í and so I have to imagine the same would apply to the NEX 7. In as much as shallow DoF shooting is indeed one of the primary reasons I am acquiring the camera this statement is of concern. Am I to take this advice literally; the said lens will not enable shallow DoF shooting? If so then advice regarding an alternative (that wonít cost an arm and a leg) would be most appreciated.

I must point out that when it comes to lenses I am an ageing newbie; that is I know more or less nothing about the subject and Iím too old to learn other than the rudimentary knowledge necessary to enable my shooting. Furthermore, Iím not a Ďprofessionalí but I like to think my output is closer to looking professional than the footage I see being shot by tourists who step off the bus with a tiny cam which they hold at armís length and pirouette like a ballet dancer, sweep the horizon, then quickly jump back on the bus.

Leica; now there is a religious icon if ever there was one. Before purchasing a Leica I imagine a two week total immersion in some kind of exclusive doctrinal high-order religious school is appropriate. I donít want to go there. In fact I have no intention of becoming a collector of lenses of any creed. All I want is a lens (or two) that will enable shallow DoF shooting of the kind Doug Jensen demonstrated so well in his ĎVortex Media's Sony NEX-FS100 Demo Footage on Vimeoí and hopefully without having to go the expensive Nikon adapter and lens route (as he did for many Ďotherí obviously valid reasons). I should add perhaps that zooming while shooting is not one of my favorite moves.

I trust I make sense!

So my questions are given that I have no lenses whatsoever and with the above intentions should I even get the NEX 7 kit lens? And/or what else?

Most grateful...

Look, there are reasons for not liking the 18-200 kit lens. It's slow,
has funky focusing, and non constant aperture. But I think the images
it gives are pretty good. And you can certainly get shallow depth
of field with it. Here are two pieces I shot with the SEL 18-200
kit lens and the FS-100


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Old October 18th, 2011, 03:02 AM   #34
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Re: I need another camera - maybe the NEX-VG20

Thanks Gabe, nice images, and yes; shallow DoF shots in there too. Of course what I would like to see is footage shot with a prime as recommended by Doug Jenson side by side if you will. Clearly he means better results may be obtained with a prime in that regard than with the kit lens and your videos help clear that up for me, many thanks.

Dave, truly appreciate your wisdom regarding the lens opportunity. While it is somewhat daunting trying to sort out what is what I tend to agree that the kit lens is the way to go, initially; it canít be all that bad, and get the Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS prime due December. That will at least let me test the shallow DoF waters.

Many thanks.
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Old October 18th, 2011, 11:50 AM   #35
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Re: I need another camera - maybe the NEX-VG20

If you want a fast prime, you don't have to wait until December. Unless you
want some specific feature that comes with the E mount prime (you may be
able to use the OIS for example). If that is not the case though, you
can find 50mm F1.8 primes in FD mount for about $30 on ebay. Then you
can get a $15 FD to NEX mount as well. Or you can get a 50mm F1.4 prime
in FD mount for about $80. There are like 70 pages of old FD mount
lenses on ebay.....I gather it is because they don't work with any
of the Canon digital still cameras. But because of that, they are
really cheap. And they work with the E mount and the Micro 4/3 mount
systems with adapters. I have ordered some FD mount primes off ebay
about three days ago, so hopefully I will get them soon.

My point in my post, was that the SEL 18-200 'kit lens' is a capable lens.
Of course it is not going to get you the shallow depth of field you can get
with a a 1.4, 1.8, or even 2.8 lens. But on a big sensor camera, it is a
lot better than what you get with small chip traditional camcorders,
and you get the benefits of having an 11x zoom which is really nice
for run and gun stuff. To me, it's kind of the 'all around' lens which
is ok at everything but doesn't really excel anywhere. But the images
it produces look pretty nice to me. I personally like having it.
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Old October 19th, 2011, 04:28 PM   #36
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Re: I need another camera - maybe the NEX-VG20

I understand that the Sony production facility in Thailand where the NEX 7 (not sure about the VG 20) is manufactured is a total write-off (floods) so I imagine we won't be seeing the much anticipated NEX 7 for a while. With that in mind and given my interest in pursuing this shallow DoF thing I went ahead and ordered a NEX 5n with the kit lens and the 16 mm, from B&H.

The order was confirmed and is scheduled to ship on Sunday.

Not a whole heap of money and in due course maybe the VG 20 or the NEX 7!
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