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Carole Lloyd

Upgrade lenses for NEX 6 (or A6000), or switch to Fuji X-T1

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Just lately I've had my NEX 6 back to Sony twice for repairs under an extended warranty and although it seems to be OK now, have been considering upgrading to the A6000 or the Fuji X-T1. The Fuji is heavier, definitely not a plus with my age-weakened status, but it is supposed to have better lenses. I've been using the Sony kit zoom lenses (16-50mm and 55-210) but would really love some lenses which remove some of the hit and miss factors I've been experiencing lately. I'm getting fed up with coming home and hitting the delete button on shots I'm sure would've been OK previously. I'm not sure at this stage if the hit and miss factor comes from camera, lens or operator but I have to admit the recent faults and repairs have left me suspicious.

 

Has anyone used the Sony A6000 and if so how did it perform? Are X-T1 owners happy with the selection of lenses available, their quality and the weight of the camera with lens attached.

 

What lenses could I upgrade to for the Sony system? I'd prefer zoom lenses, ie. something to replace the 16-50mm, but have also considered buying a prime lens as well, and would love a good macro lens.  I'm considering retirement in a few months and hope to travel to the UK and USA next year so don't want to get back home and start sobbing as I'm deleting hundreds of blurry shots. My dusty Canon gear is going to help fund the upgrade.

 

Apologies for all the questions but I've read so many reviews (on cameras and lenses, Sony, Fuji, Sigma and Zeiss) from so many experts for months now and it's doing my head in. Would welcome some advice from someone actually using the systems on a more long term basis  :unsure: :unsure: :unsure:

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If I had the spare change, I'd upgrade to the overpriced (IMO) Zeiss 16-70, simply because I'm addicted to zooms. The other option is to switch to equally pricey Zeiss primes, which doesn't really appeal or fit my limited budget.

 

I actually find the original Sony 18-55  that I got with my NEX-3 to be quite adequate with the NEX-6 (I didn't go for the 16-50) for my purposes. However, I do have to downsize files now and then with both it and the Sony 55-210. I'd say that these lenses are stretched to their limits with the 16 MP sensor, and at the longer focal lengths they max out at around 12 MP. Not sure I would want to use them with the 24 MP a6000. However, the 55-210 would probably yield acceptable results in good light.

 

I wonder how much better the Fuji zooms really are. Some people have reported SoLD failures, but that of course can happen even with very expensive lenses. Hopefully, Fuji's quality control is better than Sony's.

Edited by John Mitchell

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Sorry you had repair trouble with your NEX-6. That complicates what you should do next. You seem to be moving towards buying a new body, or moving to a different system, when in fact your problem has been with those Sony kit zooms. It's amazing to me that Sony can come up with such an innovative camera and drag their feet on the optics. I own a NEX-3, 6 and 7. I own all primes, the two best being the Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar 24 f/1.8 ZA (view of 36mm), and the Sony E 50 f/1.8 OSS. I wanted something wider and was going to get the Sony E 10-18 f/4 OSS or the newer Zeiss zoom.

 

Instead I bought a Sony RX10. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-cybershot-dsc-rx10/

 

I feel confident in saying that the Sony Zeiss 24 is the best lens I've ever own, and I was a pro from 1960 to the early '90s, using Leicas and Nikons. 

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Sorry you had repair trouble with your NEX-6. That complicates what you should do next. You seem to be moving towards buying a new body, or moving to a different system, when in fact your problem has been with those Sony kit zooms. It's amazing to me that Sony can come up with such an innovative camera and drag their feet on the optics. I own a NEX-3, 6 and 7. I own all primes, the two best being the Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar 24 f/1.8 ZA (view of 36mm), and the Sony E 50 f/1.8 OSS. I wanted something wider and was going to get the Sony E 10-18 f/4 OSS or the newer Zeiss zoom.

 

Instead I bought a Sony RX10. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-cybershot-dsc-rx10/

 

I feel confident in saying that the Sony Zeiss 24 is the best lens I've ever own, and I was a pro from 1960 to the early '90s, using Leicas and Nikons. 

 

Ed, do you find that you have to sometimes downsize images -- especially those taken at longer focal lengths -- with the RX10 in order to increase sharpness?

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Hope you get your NEX 6 sorted, fingers crossed but mine has been trouble free and it has got through a lot of work and abuse.

 

The lenses are the problem, I bought the twin zoom kit 16-50 and 55-210 and am not impressed with either. It has got to the point where I only use the 16-50 where weight/volume is at a premium - for example when cycling - and I don't use the 55-210 now. That lens started to produce images that were soft down one side, a fault that was fixed under warranty, but I find that the quality is very variable, possibly linked to the image stabilisation system? I find that the 16-50 is adequately sharp over the zoom range but does not sparkle at any aperture or focal length, there are major problems with distortion and vignetting that are fixed by software at the expense of pixels. Having said that I have not had a 16-50 image fail QC here and I have sold images taken with it.

 

Instead I use a collection of old prime lenses by Pentax and Olympus, and they reliably produce contrasty images with wall to wall sharpness. These old primes are compact by today's standards but of course you also need an adapter which adds to weight and volume. I also have a Sigma 19mm, which is an improvement on the standard zoom, but I am not impressed with the build quality. I do carry one zoom lens, an old Pentax 75-150 f4. It's far more reliable that the Sony 55-210, but it does lack stabilisation and that brings its own problems at the long end.

 

I have considered the Zeiss 16-70, and would pay the money if I thought it would solve all of the problems, but, unfortunately, the reviews are not altogether positive with stories of misalignment and soft edges.

 

To put all of this in perspective, I have had major quality problems with a Canon 24-70 f2.8 L lens, which, in addition to weighing very heavy,  spent a lot of time under repair and was never truly fully dependable, while my Canon 24-105, while reliably sharp, suffers from CA and distortion.

 

In truth, if I were starting again, I might opt for the Fuji, but the grass is always greener!

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Sorry you had repair trouble with your NEX-6. That complicates what you should do next. You seem to be moving towards buying a new body, or moving to a different system, when in fact your problem has been with those Sony kit zooms. It's amazing to me that Sony can come up with such an innovative camera and drag their feet on the optics. I own a NEX-3, 6 and 7. I own all primes, the two best being the Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar 24 f/1.8 ZA (view of 36mm), and the Sony E 50 f/1.8 OSS. I wanted something wider and was going to get the Sony E 10-18 f/4 OSS or the newer Zeiss zoom.

 

Instead I bought a Sony RX10. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-cybershot-dsc-rx10/

 

I feel confident in saying that the Sony Zeiss 24 is the best lens I've ever own, and I was a pro from 1960 to the early '90s, using Leicas and Nikons. 

 

Ed, do you find that you have to sometimes downsize images -- especially those taken at longer focal lengths -- with the RX10 in order to increase sharpness?

 

 

John, I have downsized my NEX images occasionally, but more with the 24MP NEX-7 than the 16MP NEX-6. I have never had a QC failure with any NEX images . . . but remember I have those marvelous primes. I have been downsizing with my 20MP RX10 images, although I consider that Zeiss zoom very very good. And I try not to shoot with any zoom at it's long end -- I pull back a bit. I have been using the RX10 zoom at 24mm, after testing it. No problems at f/ 4, 5.6 or 8. Normally, I would not shoot at the widest point on a street zoom. 

 

"I have considered the Zeiss 16-70, and would pay the money if I thought it would solve all of the problems, but, unfortunately, the reviews are not altogether positive with stories of misalignment and soft edges." - Bryan

 

I was considering getting that zoom, too . . . but then I bought the RX10. Remember that 24mm prime I'm so crazy about can focus down to 6.5", so it's a closeup lens when need be.

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I'm using the Fuji X-T1.  The lenses are great, but I think some of the sharpness has to be credited to mirrorless, also.  The 56mm is a joy to shoot, but even the 18-55 so-called kit lens is sharper or as sharp as any of my high dollar Nikon lenses.  The 10-24 is special for landscapes, buildings and such.

 

Today I received the 3.4-5.6 18-135mm Fuji lens.  It came so late I couldn't do much but take it out in the yard for some macro-type images.  I was shocked at how well it did. I could fill the frame pretty much with a flower, with a nicely defocused background.  I shot ants farming aphids, but getting that small I had to crop a lot. Yet the detail in the insects was amazing.

This lens will make a wonderful vacation and all around lens.

 

Weight?  The new lens and the 10-24 are the heaviest, but I have no problems.  I have a bad spine and a lot of arthritis in my hands since my 20s.  Fuji doesn't have a dedicated 1:1 macro  lens, yet.  A 90mm prime is coming down the pike, but nobody seems to know if it will be a portrait lens or also have the macro ability.  If it does, and with the super zoom coming, Fuji will round out their lens stable perfectly.

 

I've been shooting a D800 for a couple of years, so I know nice.

 

The only Sony I have shot is the RX100 and RX100 3.  Very nice little cameras, perfect to tuck in a handbag or pocket. Great reviews and I got some very nice shots with the original. Doesn't compare with the Fuji.  You take 100 shots with each, and you'll have twice if not more, keepers (stock worthy) from Fuji.

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Many thanks for all your comments.

 

I also considered the 16-70mm when it first came out and was feeling really excited - until I real the reviews! I didn't feel like spending heaps of money and regretting it afterwards so I've kept the 16-50mm, which is not bad (I haven't failed with it - yet) but I agree, it certainly doesn't sparkle! Despite the zoom lenses on offer I really enjoy using the NEX 6, but the thought of going on my retirement trip and having the camera die on me in the middle of a remote National Park gives me the horrors. I'm going to be counting the cents very carefully so the last thing I'll need is the stress and expense of buying a new camera.

 

Ed, I feel you are right! The problem is the kit zooms, either that or my hands are getting shakier and my eyesight dim. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any really good quality zooms to replace them with. I'm thinking that if I stay with the Sony system I'll maybe get the Zeiss 24mm lens and use that for my close up shots as well as landscape etc. The A6000 has good reviews but unfortunately, in Australia, shops are offering the A6000 with the 16-50mm lens, not body only so if I do buy it the lens will be on ebay in a flash.

 

Betty, after your comments, I'll look very hard at the X-T1, good reviews and the quality of the lenses make it a very appealing option and the 18-135mm lens would be perfect for travelling. Arthritic hands and a dodgy back are definitely a problem for me too but thankfully only in recent years.

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Carole, I've not had any problems with the NEX-6, but I never go on an extended trip without carrying an extra camera body. Have you thought about looking for a used or discounted NEX body to use as a backup? I have a NEX-3 body that I take with me just in case.

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I went with the Fuji range because of the lenses and the clear roadmap. They are also very good at updating the firmware even for discontinued models. I echo Betty's comments about quality, the whole range feels like a quality system and I only use my Canon 1Ds3 and L lenses for sport these days. I have the 10-24, 18-55 and 55-200 and am very happy with the results, they are not cheap but they are excellent. I am about to seriously try using the X-T1 for sport over the next few weeks, I suspect its AF is comparable with the last generation of film cameras which I used successfully for sport.

 

Above all I can carry the whole kit in a small bag that weighs about the same as the Canon with a 24-105 f4 lens. My neck and chiropractor are delighted!

 

Just to add; I looked at the Sony but I was not impressed with the lens offering or their confused strategy. I did not want to buy new technology and use old manual lens on it. I have also been relieved that I did not go the Sony route as they seem to be taking their cameras down the consumer electronic route of new models every year or less. Considered the Olympus and decided micro 4/3 was just a bit too small.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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Carole

If you do choose to buy, do remember that Australia is just about the dearest place in the world to buy cameras and lenses

 

Far better deals to be had in USA or Asia

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If I had the spare change, I'd upgrade to the overpriced (IMO) Zeiss 16-70, simply because I'm addicted to zooms. The other option is to switch to equally pricey Zeiss primes, which doesn't really appeal or fit my limited budget.

 

I actually find the original Sony 18-55  that I got with my NEX-3 to be quite adequate with the NEX-6 (I didn't go for the 16-50) for my purposes. However, I do have to downsize files now and then with both it and the Sony 55-210. I'd say that these lenses are stretched to their limits with the 16 MP sensor, and at the longer focal lengths they max out at around 12 MP. Not sure I would want to use them with the 24 MP a6000. However, the 55-210 would probably yield acceptable results in good light.

 

I wonder how much better the Fuji zooms really are. Some people have reported SoLD failures, but that of course can happen even with very expensive lenses. Hopefully, Fuji's quality control is better than Sony's.

 

I've been with both (Nex7 and now Fuji X). While the 24mm for the Sony was nice, it wouldn't stand out in the the Fuji camp and as far as accuracy / sharpness is concerned, I've found the Fuji zooms to be a lot better... night and day. The 55-210 was awarful compared to the Fuji 55-200, which I would compare to the Canon 100-400L in terms of IQ.

 

The 18-200 of sony seemed to soften in the final third and focus (could've been camera issues) was hit and miss as was the case with a lot of Sony lenses (excluding the 24mm). The 55-200 from Fuji is sharp across the frame and is bang on in terms of accuracy.

 

Fuji Primes compared to to Sony.... again, big difference in terms of build and IQ.

 

It all sounds good for Fuji but then you have to be prepared to change workflow a little, maybe acquire Capture One to process images, get used to the handing of the new gear etc. This all adds up to a transition period... selling gear, buying new and becoming familiar with the new equipment and software. For some, this is enough to stop them from migrating from one system to another. I'm really glad I did migrate but that's me.

 

What I would recommend is getting your hands on an X-T1 with something like the 23mm prime and the 18-55. Either from someone you know or hire it for a few days. This way you will be able to find out how it performs and whether it suits you and your workflow. It doesn't matter how much other people like a system, they are not you and I think this way you maybe able satisfy any concerns you may have before investing in a transfer

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I too use X-T1 and am very pleased with it. Firmware updates for body and lenses are notified when needed by Fuji and they are easy to apply. I also have the X-E2 but now only as a backup since acquiring the X-T1.

 

Lenses give excellent quality images and being an ex Canon user would say the IQ is as good as Canon "L" lenses, if not better. My Fuji lenses are 10-24, 18-55, 55-200, which are used most of the time, also 27, 35 and 60mm lenses are in my kit. I am waiting delivery of the 18-135mm which will be used for travel and walkabout. (Lucky Gal Betty - getting yours so quick, and good to hear you are happy with first trials.)

 

Will be hoping for the Fuji long range super zoom when it comes out. {Winter 2015 I believe}

 

Allan

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A wealth of advice from personal experience  which definitely gives me lots to think about before I purchase anything so I thank you all.

 

The Fuji X-T1 and lenses sound great, but before I buy I'll try to get my hands on one to test it out. It reminds me of when a new Canon model came out that everyone raved over (think it was the EOS 7D) and I desperately wanted one. I went to the local store to check it out but as soon as I picked it up I hated it! It just didn't fit well into my hands. How quickly we forget.

 

Unfortunately there's not many places in Brisbane that hire cameras and all that do stick with Canon and Nikon so I'll have to duck into one of the local stores. 

 

As far as price goes it's the same with most electronic items (and software) in Australia. For some reason we always end up paying more for the same product. It's no wonder we end up buying overseas!

 

John, I do have an RX100 so hadn't thought of taking an extra camera body - but definitely wouldn't want to have it as my only camera for the whole or even part of the trip. I can't say I really trust the NEX at the moment so thanks for the idea.

 

Duncan, will Photoshop not process RAW from the X-T1? It would be a challenge to change everything but if the end result is better I don't mind. The theory is if I'm retired I should (???) have more time on my hands ;)

 

 

 

 

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On a realistic, sensible budget, the RX100 should serve as your backup camera. John made a good point about bringing an extra body. I'm continually amazed at how people can go on a long, expensive, once-in-a-lifetime trip with one camera body. As a pro I used to travel with 4 to 6 bodies.

 

Carole, it's a good thing you're trying to work these things out before you go on the trip. If I had to go on a serious trip next month, I would bring the RX10 and as backup and the NEX-6 with the 24, 50 and the 11-18 (I'd don't now own the very-wide). I'd be just as happy to bring those three lenses and both the NEX-6 and NEX-7. 

 

Do they still have good equipment prices in Hong Kong? 

Edited by Ed Rooney

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Duncan, will Photoshop not process RAW from the X-T1? It would be a challenge to change everything but if the end result is better I don't mind. The theory is if I'm retired I should (???) have more time on my hands ;)

 

The Latest version of Camera Raw will be ok. Adobe applications seem to be a little more prone to introducing the Watercolour Effect. Really, this appears to be caused by the amount of sharpening and noise reduction applied to the file. The likes of Capture One and Iridient Developer provide a lot finer control over these elements and as a result, eradicate this effect. I've never had a batch fail here because of that problem since first buying my X-Pro1... then X-E1 and now the T1.

 

On a plus side, Adobe have been working with Fuji and they have now implemented the film types that are In Camera, to the Adobe Raw converters. This means you can shoot raw and apply Provia, Velvia or Astia later on away from the camera.

 

You could easily continue with Adobe and convert over to another Application if you needed /wanted to. Capture One comes in two flavours, Express / Pro.

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On a realistic, sensible budget, the RX100 should serve as your backup camera. John made a good point about bringing an extra body. I'm continual amazed how people can go on a long, expensive, once-in-a-lifetime trip with one camera body. As a pro I used to travel with 4 to 6 bodies.

 

Carole, it's a good thing you're trying to work these things out before you go on the trip. If I had to go on a serious trip next month, I would bring the RX10 and as backup and the NEX-6 with the 24, 50 and the 11-18 (I'd don't now own the very-wide). I'd be just as happy to bring those three lenses and both the NEX-6 and NEX-7. 

 

Do they still have good equipment prices in Hong Kong? 

 

Personally, I think the Nex 6 is a more forgiving camera than the 7. The sensor certainly allowed you to use a SWA lens without any colour cast and the AF was better.

 

When I travelled to the Peruvian Andes last year, I specifically bought the E1 as a backup to my pro1 and for added safety, I gave the RX100 to my wife to use for the trip. The RX100 lets you take shots when discretion is required  :D

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"Personally, I think the Nex 6 is a more forgiving camera than the 7." -- Duncan

 

No question, Dunc. And the 6 is more user friendly with a more practical setup than the 7, the hot shoe for example.

 

Did you walk the Trail from Cusco to Machu Picchu? My schedule didn't allow for that, so I took the train . . . which jumped the track. 

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my Canon 24-105, while reliably sharp, suffers from CA and distortion.

 

However, that can be easily fixed in PP, whereas sharpness and reliability can't.

 

Alan

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"Personally, I think the Nex 6 is a more forgiving camera than the 7." -- Duncan

 

No question, Dunc. And the 6 is more user friendly with a more practical setup than the 7, the hot shoe for example.

 

Did you walk the Trail from Cusco to Machu Picchu? My schedule didn't allow for that, so I took the train . . . which jumped the track. 

 

No, we spent nearly 3 weeks in a mountain lodge at 3800m above Huaraz. We spent most of our time shuffling around from the lodge upto 5500 metres (weather permitting). The weather was very changeable which was a little unusual for that time of year... blue skies should have been the norm but instead we ended up with high winds and snow some days! Incredible people and amazing mountains. Even got used to the coca leaves in the end.... keeping the altitude sickness at bay was never ending for the 1st week! I would love to go back!

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Ah yes, coco leaves. Far better for you than Pisco Sours. Unfortunately, for me that's hindsight. 

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my Canon 24-105, while reliably sharp, suffers from CA and distortion.

 

However, that can be easily fixed in PP, whereas sharpness and reliability can't.

 

Alan

 

Yup, you're quite right. Had the Zeiss 16-70 f4 turned out to be a smaller and lighter version of the Canon 24-105 I would have been quite happy!

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I'm processing my Fuji images in LR/PS (CC), or just PS alone, and having no problems.

 

Allan, yes, you'll enjoy the new lens.  It has an unexpected benefit of being an "almost macro."  Of course, not 1:1.  I racked the lens out to the long end and could get up pretty close to subject with it.  What shocked me is I got some good bokeh.  If shooting something like a decent sized flower, you can almost fill the frame and have a nicely defocused background.

 

One of the guys on the Fuji forum has been shooting insects and getting amazing bokeh. Of course, I image he's cropping a lot.  I did shoot those ants farming aphids and since they are so tiny, I did have to crop a lot.  Not so with the flowers.

 

Betty

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Ed, Hong Kong prices are cheaper for the A6000 by about $100 to $200 and I would be able to buy body only. Aussie shops are being a bit tardy in that it's only available with the 16-50mm lens - which I don't want. When I spoke to one salesperson she just said they can't separate them. Their loss!

 

I probably wouldn't have been planning quite this early but for the NEX 6 problems - which hopefully are fixed anyway. I have a week's holiday in Bali booked for October so might check prices of camera and lenses before I go and maybe utilise the duty free option. One week's accommodation and flights for under $500 was a deal not to be missed :D

 

I have to admit I like the idea of pairing the A6000 and NEX 6 and using the RX100 for when I don't want to be seen.

 

Betty, there is a new Zeiss Touit 50mm F2.8 macro lens out for both E mount and X mount which gives 1:1. You've probably seen it but thought I'd mention it just in case you haven't. Tried to add the link from dpreview but failed. Good to know if I switch to Fuji I can still use Photoshop.

Edited by Carole Lloyd

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