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camera/lens advice please

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Post Options Post Options   Quote dCap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: camera/lens advice please
    Posted: 08 December 2020 at 13:47
I think this is the right place to post this ... I'm looking at alternatives to Sony E and FE mount cameras/lenses but would value the opinions of you Sony folk since I am looking to rule out the non-Sony. Trust that some of you have some experience on the other systems, talked yourself out of said gear, or maybe dual shoot.

I am looking for a new camera with one or two lenses. Simples, right!

USE - walkabout - street/ish (non-people shots) - walks - small one camera one lens system (possible 2nd small lens) - no interest in telephoto. Stills.

Not in a rush, probably buy in June. I watched the black friday deals and just wasn't ready to get anything on offer.

As a former 50mm shooter I've long found wide angles difficult to use. But the last couple of years have been adapting to the 24-28mm ish view of cheap/trash smartphones. And I am pretty much converted to 28mm now. I enjoy it a lot and 28mm is turning into my new fave (2 years running now).

Today the only camera I use is the RX100 IV (24-70). The majority of shots are at 24mm (default at power up), but I'll often flick to 28mm. The lens ring dial is set to jump 24/28/35/50/70 becuase I like that! I'm shooting a 365 (half way through) and will continue to June 2021 at which point I want to add my new camera or even replace the RX100. Love the EVF position.

As a dedicated PRIME ONLY shooter for many many years, I did 2019 with just one lens - a zoom lens (Panasonic 12-35/2.8 on m43) ... and I LOVED IT! Didn't change lens for a whole year (couldn't, as this was the only lens I owned).

My Sony contenders:
- Sony A7II + 28/2 + 50 macro
- Sony A6xxx + Zeiss 16-70/4

The A7II/28/macro are my fave option. Small (for FX), WR and the lenses might also be too (not clear on Sony website, WR mentioned in some places but no rubber ring?). Anyway, WR is a factor. Camera price is sweet, has IBIS. Is there a reason to NOT get this?

And the A6xxx model would not be the very latest. Same too with the III/IV of the full-frame - I just don't need any of that new tech and they are all out of budget. 16-70/4 has IS and is a 'replacment' for my Pan 12-35 but on a bigger sensor. Reviews appear mixed though.

Budget-wise I'd struggle to spend the same price on an A6xxx/16-70 and NOT get the A7II/28 instead. The 50 macro goes over that budget but as a starter the A7II deal looks too good. I am not looking to build a huge system, I'm not even 100% I'd get the macro and might just stay with A7II/28 for a year. Get the 50 macro in 2022 (ready for week50mm).

ALTERNATIVES

RICOH GR III
+ve = APS, IBIS, small, has 'macro-ish' mode, could replace my RX100, 28mm
-ve = poor battery, fixed screen, no EVF
(this would then be my only camera)
I have tried shooting my RX100 as a GR (not using EVF and not tilting the screen). The fixed screen kills this for me. Even though it is APS, and IBIS, and the lens is superb.

I don't enjoy the fujifilm system. I've tried it. X100T (years ago), X100F (for a month). I still have my X-E3/16/35 and even got an X-T3. But I just don't get on with it at all. In fact I've not touched the X-T3 and will eBay it in January with the X-E3 (a dozen frames!!) and 16/2.8 and 35/2. Those are 24mm and 54mm equivalents. And both have WR. As does the X-T3. The dials on the X-T3 are horrible. Lens aperture dial is not mechanical and there is an obvious delay in viewfinder changing aperture. Shame. It looks nice though. No IBIS!

Fujifilm X100V has tilty screen, viewfinder in the corner is nice. No IBIS. WR though (but I've bought and not liked 2x X100 series already). On paper this should be a strong contender but it has cost me a lot twice already.

Having shot KM7D (2005), A100, Nikon D700 (2009) ... then m43 (mainly olympus). I love tilt screens. Not the side version that the video people want but the A7II/A6xxx/RX100 style that moves in that plane. Everything is saying Sony. The one issue that paused me on the RX100 was the lack of touch, I've had/used touch screen for 10 years with Olympus/Pan but do not miss it at all. Give me tilt you can keep touch (I use it and like it, but can live without it).

Other options

Canon - 6DII with 28/2.8 IS (lens not WR). Looks to be the only 28mm lens in the world (apart from the Sony 28/2). LOVE the look of the 6DII. LCD is a fold-out jobbie (nice, you can 'close' it, tuck it away) but I favor the tilters. 35/2 IS is faster and means I won't get a 28 + 50 but I'm enjoying 28mm too much I think.

Nikon - D750 (sucessor to my D700 from 2009) but none of the lenses really speak to me, no small IS lenses, so ruled out.

Pentax - who! KP is just about everything I'd want in a dSLR but the lenses are an unknown (to me) as is the future of the system. Lenses are respected, camera has IBIS. None of the small lense have WR, so kinda ruled out.

WR - I know, it's just a fad! And I've shot in the rain for many years with non-WR kit. But I now live 200m from the beach and on a breezy day there is sand absolutely everywhere! And salt spray. Reason I am enjoying my (used) RX100 so much is that I can afford to kill it (just needs to last at least a year).

Have also consider hunting down a decent used Nikon D3 (same used price as A7II) or D700 (bargain) ... but my preference is for NEW body.

I have a Panasonic GX9 + 12-60/2.8-4 ... so this is the A6xxx/16-70 really and this works well as a home/studio camera. EVF in the ideal place. But I think I'm ready to exit m43, it has been a fun 10 years in.

EDIT - other than a few indoor studio shots I am struggling to consider anything more complex than my RX100, it has been a joy to use. Not carrying a camera bag anywhere for 6 months has been fun. Not looking like a photographer also helps.

Have I missed an obvious contenders? Small camera, big preference for IBIS, WR desireable, tilt screen.    Thanks.

Edited by dCap - 08 December 2020 at 14:05
Walk out if it doesn't feel right
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Then don't mess up my mind with your crying
Just Walk Out In The Rain
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Wētāpunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 December 2020 at 14:35
The recent A7c with tiny 28-60mm lens seems to fit almost every criteria you have
a77ii- Sony 135/2.8 STF, 16-50/2.8, 70-200/2.8 G
a7riii- Voigtländer 15/4.5, Zeiss Loxia 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2, 85/2.4, Batis 85/1.8, Voigtländer 110/2.5, Sony 24-105/4 G, Sigma 100-400 f5-6.3.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 December 2020 at 15:03
The A7II is a nice camera. The sensor is old, but I'd take it over the one in the 6DII. Canon is finally making competitive sensors but only has them in a couple of recent cameras.

I used the Canon 28/2.8 IS on my A7II but decided to keep the Sony 28/2 instead. The Canon is a very good lens that seems largely ignored. Canon doesn't claim any sealing on it. The Sony seems to be disliked. I am not sure why--maybe bad samples. Sony does claim it is a dust and moisture-resistant design.

I've been using the FE 50/2.8 Macro a lot for product photography. Image quality is great, but there are some issues with it. The big one for macro is the f/16 minimum aperture. I find the angle-of-view change with focus and extending focus annoying for product photos. Sony claims it is a dust and moisture-resistant design.


Edited by QuietOC - 08 December 2020 at 15:14
Sony A7RII NEX-5T HVL-F45RM LA-EA3 LA-EA4r MB-IV MC-11 EF-E II TLT ROKR MD-NEX KR-NEX DA-NEX
Minolta Maxxum 600si
Pentax Q7 5-15 15-45/2.8 8.5/1.9 11.5/9 AF-P/Q
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dCap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 December 2020 at 19:07
yeah, I got excited at the A7C launch ... but the side-swing rear LCD and the price put me off (think it is equal the price of A7II/28/50 macro here). EVF is in the right place though. Big RX100 really

And while the little kit zoom is nice and small, if I'm returning to Full Frame I needs me some f2 ness. Collapsable lenses are weird, I like the idea but I think it is a headline grabber and also great for travel (remember what that was?).

I should probably buy a used A7II and 28/2 (have seen them for the same new price as the body). I prefer to buy new (cameras) but this would be a 'free' rental - if I didn't get on with it I could sell it for almost the same price. But am rather consious of the fact I did 'something similar' when I started buying almost every Min/KM/Sony lens back in the 00s!

The trouble is that I'm enjoying the RX100 so much that my proper camera needs to excel at everything. Fuji didn't work out for me.

It is a shame the Canon IS lenses (24, 28, 35) and not weather sealed. The Nikkor f1.8 set (20, 24, 28, 35) are really big in comparison and again no WR and no IS. Make the Sony 28/2 look the far better option.

Having shot mirrorless since the Olympus E-M1 launch, I even have a launch t-shirt, I'm oddly drawn back to dSLRs. There are some super deals out there. I do like my mirrorless EVF though.

The 50 macro is also a big draw to the Sony FE mount. Loved my old Minolta 50/3.5 so if it has any of that DNA in it then I'd be happy. Breathing not really a problem as my product shots are not critical and would be hand-held with studio flash anyway (and rarely 'macro' distance just close-ups). Although I do have a coin collection that I would tripod mount and go in closer with - they would be flat field and f8/f11 would be fine as they are whole coin shots I'd want rather than super close detail.

When you look at other systems and want a decent small wide, IBIS, and a decent 50 macro ... Sony have it licked. Labelled as WR too.
Walk out if it doesn't feel right
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 December 2020 at 23:19
Originally posted by dCap dCap wrote:

yeah, I got excited at the A7C launch ... but the side-swing rear LCD and the price put me off (think it is equal the price of A7II/28/50 macro here). EVF is in the right place though. ...


Ah, yes, and it's not like there are any second-hand ones selling at a discount at the moment.

It really does sound like an A7-type camera is what really suits you, and the Sony 28/2 is good enough. I don't quite understand why the 28/2 gets so much dislike. Obviously it's built to a certain price point, but the images look fine to me eye.

The only other thing to consider, if you can push yourself to f2.8, is the Tamron primes (20mm, 24mm, 35mm). Sometimes with cashbacks and sales they are very well-priced. I've got the 35/2.8 and it's easily as good as some of the other 35mm lenses I've used in the A-mount.
a77ii- Sony 135/2.8 STF, 16-50/2.8, 70-200/2.8 G
a7riii- Voigtländer 15/4.5, Zeiss Loxia 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2, 85/2.4, Batis 85/1.8, Voigtländer 110/2.5, Sony 24-105/4 G, Sigma 100-400 f5-6.3.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote LAbernethy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 December 2020 at 01:20
I nixed a move to e-mount a while ago based on my experience with the Sony NP-FW50 battery in a-mount (a37). I started to look again at the a6600 with the Z battery but Ended up with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, paired with an Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens, I'm quite happy.
I've always been an Olympus Shooter, I still have and use an E-3 and E-5, I like the Olympus JPEG's: best out of the box Images. I don't like the processing necessary with the Sony's. I also like the 4/3's format over the APS-C when printing, fewer pixels on the cutting room floor.
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 December 2020 at 01:44
Originally posted by LAbernethy LAbernethy wrote:

I nixed a move to e-mount a while ago based on my experience with the Sony NP-FW50 battery in a-mount (a37). ...


Quite, my experience with the NP-FW50 haven't been great (a7R) either, but with the 3rd generation cameras (a7Riii et al) the NP-FZ100 is an entirely different and superior thing.
a77ii- Sony 135/2.8 STF, 16-50/2.8, 70-200/2.8 G
a7riii- Voigtländer 15/4.5, Zeiss Loxia 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2, 85/2.4, Batis 85/1.8, Voigtländer 110/2.5, Sony 24-105/4 G, Sigma 100-400 f5-6.3.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 December 2020 at 09:47
The a7ii is a nice camera (I've had mine for nearly 3 years). I use it as a digital back for manual focus and adapted lenses along with a cute little Samyang 24, which works as a carry-everywhere lens for me.

Downsides are its inability to use the new LA-EA5 (only the latest cameras can) plus the smaller battery compared to the a7iii (although USB charging means you can sometimes top up the battery while travelling from a to b).

One of the downsides for some of the modern cameras is a lack of distance scales on the lenses - for street photography this means having to rely on AF rather than prefocusing and shooting from the hip - this may or may not be a factor for you - I know maffe finds it a frustration.

For APS-C have you considered some of the little sigma primes? They used to do a 19 that might be of interest (you may even have shot it on m43).

If you were looking at non-Sony stuff, I'd suggest looking at the z50 as well.

For adverse weather/beach I'd suggest a rain hood like the ones from Op-tech - WR is fine and dandy, but I'd rather the rain/grit didn't actually hit the body in the first place.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 December 2020 at 11:37
A distance scale does appear on screen when manually focusing with E-mount cameras. It doesn't indicate depth-of-field.

Some lenses are gaining electronic displays. My Canon EF 70-300 IS II shows a distance scale on its LCD with a depth-of-field range. Some of the Zeiss Batis lenses have something like this.
Sony A7RII NEX-5T HVL-F45RM LA-EA3 LA-EA4r MB-IV MC-11 EF-E II TLT ROKR MD-NEX KR-NEX DA-NEX
Minolta Maxxum 600si
Pentax Q7 5-15 15-45/2.8 8.5/1.9 11.5/9 AF-P/Q
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 December 2020 at 11:40
The NP-FW50 in the APS-C cameras is just fine. Bring a spare when needed. The A6400 has a CIPA rating of 410, that Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II has a CIPA rating of 440. Basically the same.
With the A7r2 I also did not find the battery a problem, but I always brought a spare.
YMMV, but if you're were looking at the Ricoh GR III, the older battery will be fine for you. That GR III is great, if you like the form factor...

Colours straight out of the A6400 are to my taste. It seems Lee has a different taste. So, YMMV.

Having this out of the way. The A7 II with the 28/2 seems to tick your boxes perfectly. An 28mm f/2 lens and full frame goodness.

An A6x00 might be smaller, but there is no fast "28mm" lens, the Sigma 19mm and Sony 20mm for APS-C both are f/2.8 lenses.
Edit: there is of course the full frame 20/1.8.

You mentioned DSLR's, but those are huge compared to mirrorless cameras.
What about a Canon R or RP? With an adaptor to the DSLR lenses they seem a better option then the 6D II. And if you can live with 35mm, the 35/1.8 Macro is a sweet lens that is useful for general and close focus photography.

Options a plenty

Edited by addy landzaat - 09 December 2020 at 11:48
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hezu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 December 2020 at 13:50
Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:

The NP-FW50 in the APS-C cameras is just fine. Bring a spare when needed. The A6400 has a CIPA rating of 410, that Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II has a CIPA rating of 440. Basically the same.
With the A7r2 I also did not find the battery a problem, but I always brought a spare.
Just one spare? I recall at times, I was carrying 4 or 5 NP-FW50s for α7R II and had to use all of these. Granted, this was on a very cold winter day (say, at least -15°C) and some of these batteries may been old and worn (bought for α55, which was my first camera using this battery type) and some also dirt cheap third party products.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dCap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 December 2020 at 14:49
Originally posted by wetapunga wetapunga wrote:

Originally posted by dCap dCap wrote:

yeah, I got excited at the A7C launch ... but the side-swing rear LCD and the price put me off (think it is equal the price of A7II/28/50 macro here). EVF is in the right place though. ...


Ah, yes, and it's not like there are any second-hand ones selling at a discount at the moment.

It really does sound like an A7-type camera is what really suits you, and the Sony 28/2 is good enough. I don't quite understand why the 28/2 gets so much dislike. Obviously it's built to a certain price point, but the images look fine to me eye.

The only other thing to consider, if you can push yourself to f2.8, is the Tamron primes (20mm, 24mm, 35mm). Sometimes with cashbacks and sales they are very well-priced. I've got the 35/2.8 and it's easily as good as some of the other 35mm lenses I've used in the A-mount.


Yep - I'd be expecting a £340 lens from the 28/2 (unfair to compare it to anything with a higher price) - from what I've read it is certainly worth the new asking price. Also the used price (from a camera store) is respectable.

I'm okay with buying used lenses but much much prefer my body to be brand new. Am seriously considering grabbing a used A7II though as I can get body + 28/2 for under the great new price of the body alone. That kinda kills the A7C for me as it is near twice that price and they changed the rear LCD to the design I'd rather not have (I do like the fact you can 'close' it, hide it away).

I got burned by Sigma twice, I destroyed the focus belt in a brand new 180/2.8 macro and it cost a fortune to repair. And my 30/1.4 was one of three I tried in store. DPReview often put out lens advisory notes on various third party lenses for various camera mounts. I've had Tamron lenses in the past (superb 90/2.8 macro) but don't like the compatibility risks. Those Tamron primes do look cute though ... AND they are near macro too 1/2 macro I think (or 1/4?) and that would probable serve as a no-need for a true macro for me. It could be a one lens solution, so I perhaps need to re-think this.

The important thing for me is that I'm not looking to build a system. Which gives me the luxury of buying any one camera and any one lens (that fits!). I did 2019 with one camera and one lens (Pan G80 + 12-35/2.8) and no accessories.    

I have considered sticking to the used market and switching brands every year ... Canon 6D II + 28/2.8 for a year ... A7II + 28/2 for a year ... Nikon D700 + something, perhaps even a 50/1.2 AIS!!! I like camera gear (shocker!).
Walk out if it doesn't feel right
I can tell you're only lying
If you've got something better tonight
Then don't mess up my mind with your crying
Just Walk Out In The Rain
Eric Clapton, 1978
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dCap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 December 2020 at 14:54
battery comments

my RX100 IV has a pretty poor battery life ... and when I was hunting for it used I would often find people selling with 1-2 and even 7 spare batteries! The day I clicked the B-I-N on eBay for my used RX100 IV I also found an external charger (absolute must have for the RX, that connector and door would not make it through a 365) plus 2 spare batteries. Today, 6 months into a 365 I've never used, or carried, either of the spares. I charge the camera twice a week.

As a former Nikon D2H and D200 and D700 user EVERY mirrorless battery is rubbish. And when I used to shoot a lot more I would carry a spare for those 1000+ frame cells. My Pan GX9 came bundled with a spare battery from WEX.

I have a feeling one of the Sony A7 models shipped with two batteries in the box? Correct? They aren't big and I'm not a video shooter, so for stills I can get through a day.
Walk out if it doesn't feel right
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dCap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 December 2020 at 15:09
Originally posted by LAbernethy LAbernethy wrote:

I nixed a move to e-mount a while ago based on my experience with the Sony NP-FW50 battery in a-mount (a37). I started to look again at the a6600 with the Z battery but Ended up with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, paired with an Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens, I'm quite happy.
I've always been an Olympus Shooter, I still have and use an E-3 and E-5, I like the Olympus JPEG's: best out of the box Images. I don't like the processing necessary with the Sony's. I also like the 4/3's format over the APS-C when printing, fewer pixels on the cutting room floor.


I've mostly shot Oly mirrorless since I exited Sony (and also had two of their 4/3 cameras along with the excellent 50/2 macro). I did a few years with Nikon and enjoyed it but my photography changed a bit.

I sold all my Oly kit at the end of 2018 to challenge myself to use a zoom lens (not something I'd ever really got into). Pan G80 and treated myself to their 12-35/2.8. Having had Oly bodies (E-M10 II was my last one) I'd always lusted after the side-fold-out LCD >>> hence the Pan G80. To Sony peeps this is the style of the A7C and not the A7II. It is the ONLY thing I didn't like about the G80. It seriously messed with my head. I was shooting a car show and getting down for low angle stuff, I couldn't cope with the LCD being off-axis. It was a big factor in getting the GX9.

And the GX9 is the biggest problem I have in swapping out my camera. I bought it new from a UK store on a deal for £400 (with a spare battery cell). And I got an absolute MINT Leica 12-60/2.8-4. This one camera one lens rig is what my next camera has to best. For home studio shots it is fine, the lens focuses real close and is lovely. But is it just a bit too big for use on the street with that smaller body.

Hope this link works: https://j.mp/3qErbSt << that is:
Pan GX9 + 12-60/2.8-4
A6400 + 16-70/4
A7II + 28/2

The A6400 + 16-70/4 is smaller and perhaps the balance of camera/lens is a little bit better than the GX9/12-60. There are only two things I don't like about my GX9, EVF isn't wonderful when moving (but is super clear and very sharp), and there isn't a grip on the camera. It is noticably a bit odd to hold. Okay at the eye but a bit weird at any other angle.

A6400/16-70 price is just too close to the A7II/28 for me to properly consider it. The lens range is super duper. The 16-70/4 is fairly easy to find on the used market too and priced well. But reviews are mixed.
Walk out if it doesn't feel right
I can tell you're only lying
If you've got something better tonight
Then don't mess up my mind with your crying
Just Walk Out In The Rain
Eric Clapton, 1978
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