Nikon & Sony 18-200mm comparison on the FS100 at DVinfo.net

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Sony NXCAM NEX-FS100 CineAlta
An interchangeable lens AVCHD camcorder using E-Mount lenses.


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Old September 11th, 2011, 01:38 PM   #1
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Nikon & Sony 18-200mm comparison on the FS100

Quick and simple comparison video between the Sony "E 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS" and the "AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II" on the NEX-FS100. The Nikon lens was placed on the NEX-FS100 with the Novoflex adapter. Except for lenses and iris, nothing changed between the shots.

Sony NEX-FS100 Nikon & Sony 18-200mm Lens Comparison - YouTube

Hopefully someone will find it useful to watch.
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Old September 13th, 2011, 01:48 AM   #2
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Re: Nikon & Sony 18-200mm comparison on the FS100

Derran, what were your conclusions? Thanks.
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Old September 13th, 2011, 02:38 PM   #3
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Re: Nikon & Sony 18-200mm comparison on the FS100

Hi Paul, that's a difficult question. My simple answer would be that these lenses are very similar in performance, more then I expected it to be.

The Nikon 18-200 VR II or VR I is a well known lens in the photography world, so I expected it to perform (much) better then the Sony lens. I prefer the Nikon lens over the Sony to work with, because of the focus ring with true stops and markings. With the Novoflex adapter you can adjust the iris manual and easier then with the small dial on the camera. Also zooming in with the Nikon lens goes a lot smoother. The Sony lens on the other hand has image stabilization and auto iris / focus for fast shooting when you need it. So they both have things going for it.
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Old September 13th, 2011, 02:47 PM   #4
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Re: Nikon & Sony 18-200mm comparison on the FS100

I couldn't see a difference, which is why I asked for your opinion. The Nikon is manual only, correct?
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Old September 13th, 2011, 03:23 PM   #5
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Re: Nikon & Sony 18-200mm comparison on the FS100

Significantly less chromatic aberration on the Nikon, as I expected. That seems to be the weakness of the Sony kit lens... Noticed it on test footage I shot, especially on high contrast edges...
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Old September 13th, 2011, 08:02 PM   #6
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Re: Nikon & Sony 18-200mm comparison on the FS100

I would go with the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 over these lenses. Its available in A-mount.

Better bang for the buck.
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Old September 13th, 2011, 09:43 PM   #7
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Re: Nikon & Sony 18-200mm comparison on the FS100

Well, a 70-200 isn't so great if you want some wide shots as well.
But it would be better for stuff at the 'long' end of the lens for
sure. As usual the 'do it all' lenses are ok at everything but not
great at anything.
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Old September 14th, 2011, 07:37 PM   #8
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Re: Nikon & Sony 18-200mm comparison on the FS100

Well a 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 is not a lens I would consider for someone making a living at this - lets be real.
Even for ENG style and run and gun docs.

The FS-100 camera deserves a better lens.
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Old September 14th, 2011, 11:35 PM   #9
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Re: Nikon & Sony 18-200mm comparison on the FS100

Jon,

Have you used the lens? That is actually EXACTLY what it is good for
is ENG style and run and gun. It may not be as good as a 70-200 F2.8
in low light, but it sure is better for getting wide shots! I don't
know of any one lens that is good at everything (except for those that
cost as much as a decent house).

I make my living doing video, I do not have another job. Right now
the only lens I have for the FS100 is the kit lens. I want to get
a couple fast zooms and a really fast prime, but I am waiting
to see about the new Sony adapter and the possible Birger, before I
decide what kind of glass to buy. In the meantime, I have no
problems with the quality of the video it has put out. I'm not
in a big time market, so maybe that's it, the guys that flew in from
Toyota loved the images I got from it, and so did the documentary
filmmaker from San Fran. Probably depends on what you are expecting
and so on, but the kit lens definitely doesn't put out images
that 'suck' or anything like that as far as I can tell.

I guess it all depends on what you want to do. You can find all sorts of lenses,
each better than others at some things, and worse at some things. I'm not
sure that saying a certain lens is 'better' than another, is true....'better'
at what?
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Old September 15th, 2011, 02:00 AM   #10
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Re: Nikon & Sony 18-200mm comparison on the FS100

I'd sort of +1 the Sony lens, even though it's not exactly my favourite lens for all sorts of boring reasons.

Okay, an 18-200 turns your FX100 into a sort of fixed lens camera, and my tests demonstrate that, at f8, you're getting the same sort of DoF as you'd get on an EX1 at 2.8 with equivalent shot size and camera placement, maybe a little more so.

I got collared to do an assignment covering a convoy of trucks passing through a town - 5-7 minutes of stuff going on, needing tele shots, wides, handheld and tripod stuff, capturing bystander reactions and needing closeups of people in the trucks. Quite frankly, piece of cake for an EX1, and handled well by the Sony lens on the FS100. Certainly did NOT want to be faffing around between a 17-55 and a 70-200.

The Sony has AF and IS, and it's sad to say that there still times when these are handy.

For me, the Nikkor would be 'yet another widdershins focusing lens' which irritates me beyond reason. It also looked in the test like it wanted to be stopped down a couple of notches on the tele end, where the Sony's happier wide open.

The Sony's focusing direction matters not a jot as the focus control appears to be connected to the mechanism by chewing gum and knicker elastic. Slow movements don't even drive the focus, the switch between speeds is agricultural, and I've ended up relenting to automation even though there's no 'focus assist' mode by using 'Push Auto' almost exclusively.

But hey. it's 18-200 and it's got me out of a couple of tricky situations. It's my fourth of five lenses, but it still deserves a slot in my bag.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 06:29 AM   #11
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Re: Nikon & Sony 18-200mm comparison on the FS100

I am not talking about the speed of those lenses but more that they are variable aperture lenses - extreme variables like the f/3.5 to 6.3 are starter lenses. Designed to get a person off the ground and shooting but you should really be considering fixed apertures and a starting point is to aim for F2.8 on zooms and faster on primes. It's about the quality of glass to achieve this.

And its not a question of money. I shot an interview on the FS-100 last weekend using a lens that cost less than $300 but it's far superior to the two zooms you mentioned. It was the Samyang 85mm prime F1.4. The images were superb and hardly different to Zeiss primes which I use.

For everyday shooting I use A-mount Sigma zooms - 17-50 and 70-200 and a 11-16mm zoom. I am a documentary shooter so these are my run and gun zooms. I also have Canon L lenses but as we all know these are waiting for adapters.

But my point is I feel we are getting too used to these super wide to telephoto all in one lenses... and I think they affect the quality of the storytelling. I try to stay around 35mm and rarely go below 24mm because this affects the viewers perception of the truth in a documentary ... I also rarely go longer than 85mm. In these focal lengths you should be able to shoot almost anything except some sports.

There is a reason that many pro's carry just three primes....
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Old September 15th, 2011, 10:41 AM   #12
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Re: Nikon & Sony 18-200mm comparison on the FS100

I'm just saying that I don't know that all inclusive statements like
'far superior' are going to be accurate. Again, far superior in what
way? Yes, a 85mm F1.4 prime would be far superior for getting
a shallow depth of field. Far superior in low light. Possibly
somewhat superior in quality of image. But these aren't the
be all and end all for every person that uses the FS100.
A more appropriate thing might be that you find them far superior.
For me, there is no way in the world I would EVER trade the kit lens
for a prime lens, no way, no how. The style of work I do does not
work with just using a prime or two. I might like to have one for a
'specialty' lens, but that would be in addition to other lenses, not
as my primary lens. When I got the call from CNN for video of a cruise
ship stuck on a rock, I am reaching for the kit lens. I need to be
able to get lots of extremely different focal lengths and very
quickly. The variable aperture thing isn't ideal, but it only takes a
second to readjust iris after I change the focal length, MUCH quicker
than changing out a lens. When I am doing a corporate video for
another client, and they only give me 10 minutes in their facility,
I am using the kit lens. If I had time to set up a nice interview
a 35 or 50 prime would be nice. The thing is interchangable lens
cameras are interchangable for a reason, no lens is 'better' than
another in every circumstance. You would probably need three still
zooms to cover the range of the kit lens. I see this kit lens get so
much flak online because it isn't as 'good' as other lenses. This
often comes from narrative types. Again, you should look at what
you are doing, before you decide which lens is 'better'. They
ALL have advantages and disadvantages, none are just 'better'
for everything....unless you are willing to pay a ton of money.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 05:01 PM   #13
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Re: Nikon & Sony 18-200mm comparison on the FS100

Gabe, why did you choose the FS100 over an EX1R?
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Old September 15th, 2011, 07:32 PM   #14
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Re: Nikon & Sony 18-200mm comparison on the FS100

Doug,

That's a good question. I went back and forth on that for a long, long,
long time. I probably do more shooting that is suited to the EX-1R
then the FS-100. However, it is like 65-35. I do just enough of the
slower stuff to make it hard to only have a EX-1R My other option was
a EX-1R and cheap DSLR. I almost went that way. I finally decided
on the FS-100 as I can get the EX-1R type functionality (obviously
not quite the same, but close) with the kit lens, but can also expand
the 'look' and 'style' of shooting by buying other lenses. It can kind
of 'bridge' between the EX-1R and the DSLR look.....you can do a little
of both. Does that make any sense to you? I really don't mind not
having a servo zoom (and I really thought I would) as I usually zoom
quickly to change a shot, but don't use the zoom in the shot very often.
I actually really like the FS100 more than I thought I would, coming
from a 'shoulder mount video camera' background.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 08:38 PM   #15
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Re: Nikon & Sony 18-200mm comparison on the FS100

Gabe, have you ever shot anything with an EX1R, EX1, or EX3?
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