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Hi everyone, 

 


I know there have been a number of threads on mirrorless cameras recently, but here's  a different angle that I haven't seen discussed yet. 

 

I'm looking to buy a second camera as an alternative to my Nikon FF system. I'm currently using an RX100 for that purpose, but I'm not terribly happy with it (slow response, annoying power zoom, harsh highlights, lack of dynamic range, inability to set aperture and then adjust exposure compensation without pushing lots of buttons, etc). 

 

Whatever I get, I'll probably be using the kit zoom that comes with it. I know I'm going against a trend here, but the idea isn't to replace my DSLR ;-) I don't mind lack of viewfinder/EVF (got used to that with the RX100) but do like the idea of a flip screen to save my knees when doing low angle shots and - perhaps - when using a tripod. 

 

Current favourite is Fuji X-M1 with the 16-50 kit. Excellent reviews, and great price here at the moment, but a bit bulky compared to the alternatives. Not sure it would fit into a laptop bag with its normal contents, for instance. 

 

Alternatives seem to be: 

 

1. Sony A5000, A5010 or A6000. Smaller, and the cameras themselves sound very capable (I have read the recent threads about them) but is anyone using the kit zoom (16-50 f3.5-5.6) for Alamy? Reviews say that the image edges aren't that great, and if shooting in RAW (which I intend to), there's an awful lot of distortion, especially at the wide end - just the focal lengths I tend to use the most. In fact, the 16mm end sounds rather rough. How bad are these issues? Enough to be issues with Alamy QC? 

 

2. Panasonic GM1 and 3. Olympus OM-D E-10 (though the latter is a bit pricey for my purpose, here). Anyone using these with kit lens for Alamy? Any advice?

 

*Not really complaints - for a small camera it does a great job - these are just some issues I'm hoping to mitigate. 

 

Edited by DHill

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Hi everyone, 
 
Kit lenses on very small cameras? 
 
 
 
Current favourite is Fuji X-M1 with the 16-50 kit. Excellent reviews, and great price here at the moment, but a bit bulky compared to the alternatives. 
 
Alternatives seem to be: 
 
Sony A5000, A5010 or A6000. Smaller, and the cameras themselves sound very capable (I have read the recent threads about them) but is anyone using the kit zoom (16-50 f3.5-5.6) for Alamy? Reviews say that the edges aren't that great, and if shooting in RAW (which I intend to), there's an awful lot of distortion, especially at the wide end - just the focal lengths I tend to use the most. How bad are these issues? Enough to be issues with Alamy QC? 
 
 
*Not really complaints - for a small camera it does a great job - these are just some issues I'm hoping to mitigate. 
 

 

 

I have the NEX 6 with the 16-50 kit. The issues are real enough, the images lack punch and there is a lot of  distortion (but fixable at the cost of pixels). Having said that I have not had any image taken with this lens fail QC here and have sold shots taken with the lens. 

 

I only use it when I want to travel really light, preferring my collection of old manual focus lenses that I use with adapters (very little distortion and crisper images).

 

The alternative is the Zeiss 16-70, but that receives more adverse criticism than it should for the money.

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HI

I have tried Sony [nex7] Panasonic [GF-1 to GX-7] and Olympus EPL5 for the same reasons. Panasonic pretty good but the menu structures drove me wild at times in the Sony and Olympus.

 

I now use the Fuji X-M1 for a lot of the time but with the 18-55, because i had one and it suits me just fine. Nikon FF reserved for wildlife and other stuff where only it will do.

 

You probably have little need for jackets in Sydney but the X-M1 fits in a pocket [just] The tilting screen is what makes it so useful and the image quality is v g. I have no experience with the 16-50 but fit a 27mm and move about a bit and it's no bigger than the other cameras mentioned X-M1 is cheap now ! The Fuji kit goes everywhere with me now. That's my personal recommendation for what it is worth

Best Wishes

John

john

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Hi

 

I use the Panasonic GM1 with 12-32 kit lens. I have submitted around 40 shots to Alamy taken with this combo. To date, no rejections. The lens is quite slow though and I have only submitted images taken in good light.

 

Incidentally, Panasonic have just released the GM5 which looks to be a GM1 with EVF.

 

Best wishes

 

Gareth

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RX100 "inability to set aperture and then adjust exposure compensation without pushing lots of buttons, etc)."

 

Really? I just have the control wheel set so that one push on the left-hand side takes you into exposure compensation and a second push reduces exposure by 1/3 stop, etc, while retaining your chosen aperture in aperture priority mode. Could hardly be easier.

 

Alex

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I've begun to try to get a similar set-up, that is, a small kit to complement my 5D w/lenses. Just got a5000 w/kit lens and the corners are really blurry at the wide end, which is most important to me. Haven't had time or good enough weather for a decent trial, but initial shots aren't as good as my RX100 in the corners (I know, 24mm vs 28mm equivalent, so maybe not fair). The overall IQ is a bit better owing to the larger sensor. I have an M42 adapter on the way to use Super Takumars (55, 105, 200, all 49mm filter size) to round out the kit. If OK then I still have a wide angle problem. Kit lens will pass Alamy QC, but I really want better corners so I may have to spend some money there. Shooting the kit lens at 16mm Raw might lead to extra PP, as the lens was designed with built in compromises that are dealt with by the camera's proccessor. I'm hoping to avoid that issue, so I use JPEGs for now.

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I've begun to try to get a similar set-up, that is, a small kit to complement my 5D w/lenses. Just got a5000 w/kit lens and the corners are really blurry at the wide end, which is most important to me. Haven't had time or good enough weather for a decent trial, but initial shots aren't as good as my RX100 in the corners (I know, 24mm vs 28mm equivalent, so maybe not fair). The overall IQ is a bit better owing to the larger sensor. I have an M42 adapter on the way to use Super Takumars (55, 105, 200, all 49mm filter size) to round out the kit. If OK then I still have a wide angle problem. Kit lens will pass Alamy QC, but I really want better corners so I may have to spend some money there. Shooting the kit lens at 16mm Raw might lead to extra PP, as the lens was designed with built in compromises that are dealt with by the camera's proccessor. I'm hoping to avoid that issue, so I use JPEGs for now.

 

The Pentax lenses should be fine, maybe some CA, but that's easily fixed. Re wide, I bought a 19mm Sigma f2.8 and that provides snappier results than the kit lens but is  not great at the edges. It's good enough to get through QC however. I believe that there is a revised version of the Sigma out now, hopefully better.

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Thanks, Bryan. I'll be looking at Sigma lenses, and I hope they or someone else offers a good, wider lens soon. The new 19 gets some good comments, I see. 16mm would suit me, but the Sony doesn't sound great. Getting by with the kit lens for a while is ok, too.

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Thanks, Bryan. I'll be looking at Sigma lenses, and I hope they or someone else offers a good, wider lens soon. The new 19 gets some good comments, I see. 16mm would suit me, but the Sony doesn't sound great. Getting by with the kit lens for a while is ok, too.

 

I use the original 18-55mm Sony e-mount lens on my NEX-6 mainly because I prefer manual zooms. According to reviews, the 18-55 is somewhat better optically than the 16-50, but you probably wouldn't find it to be a major improvement. Centre sharpness with the 18-55 is very good. However, you have to close down to f/5.6+ if you want to sharpen edges/corners, especially at the short and long ends. Still, it's a good general-purpose lens IMO. Sigma is rumoured to have an e-mount 18-55 in the works plus a couple of other zooms. It will be interesting to see what they might (?) come up with.

 

I also have two legacy Minolta MD lenses (28mm and 45mm) but haven't played with them enough yet to determine if they are sharper than the Sony 18-55 at the same focal lengths. You're right, the Sony 16mm isn't that great. However, I like it because it accepts Sony's ultra wide-angle and fisheye converters that work surprisingly well (images pass Alamy).

Edited by John Mitchell

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John,

 

At 16mm I get little, if any, improvement by stopping down (tried f/16 even!) during a quick test. I need to test the lens further by using manual focus and see if I can get better corner resolution with accurate focus.

 

I've had great results with vintage lenses on 5D, hope the same goes here. Be careful if you try it, it can be addicting!

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The Nikon D5500 will be touch screen,flip out screen and is small.You already have your Nikon lenses you can use with it.

 

I ventured over to various Sony cameras for awhile and still prefer the IQ and lens selection from Nikon or Canon on smaller body cameras.

 

With Sony,I wasn't crazy about the use of adapters. I had the A7/A7R/A6000...

 

The Fuji XT1 was quite nice but the good lenses are a pricey investment.

 

L

Edited by Linda

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The Nikon D5500 will be touch screen,flip out screen and is small.You already have your Nikon lenses you can use with it.

 

I ventured over to various Sony cameras for awhile and still prefer the IQ and lens selection from Nikon or Canon on smaller body cameras.

 

With Sony,I wasn't crazy about the use of adapters. I had the A7/A7R/A6000...

 

The Fuji XT1 was quite nice but the good lenses are a pricey investment.

 

L

Fair comment Linda

Different flavour sensors do give a different feel to the images I think

J

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John,

 

At 16mm I get little, if any, improvement by stopping down (tried f/16 even!) during a quick test. I need to test the lens further by using manual focus and see if I can get better corner resolution with accurate focus.

 

I've had great results with vintage lenses on 5D, hope the same goes here. Be careful if you try it, it can be addicting!

 

Have to admit that I'm not overly concerned about corner sharpness most of the time. This one was taken with the Sony 16mm "pancake" lens (which is what I was referring to, not the 16-50, which I've never used). The couple in the bottom left-hand corner was sharp enough for QC apparently.

 

I confess my ongoing addiction to zooms, but I am going to experiment more with MF lenses.

Edited by John Mitchell

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Great - thanks, everyone. Your comments have been really helpful. 

 

Bryan and Kevin: good to hear your experiences with the Sony kit lens. 

 

John: sounds like you've gone through a very similar thought process!  Good to hear from a fellow Cheshire-ite (part of my family is from the Lymm and Grappenhall areas, and I grew up elsewhere in Cheshire). 

 

Alex: yeah, I know ;-). If the RX100 wasn't shared with my wife (she uses it more than I) and if I'd had the patience to spend more time with the manual, I might have got to know all the button combinations. But other cameras I've used are far more intuitive and faster to operate.  

 

Linda: yep, for a long time I've been contemplating getting a D5xxx body as a backup for the reasons you mention. It would be quite compact with the excellent Nikon 35mm f1.8 DX, but I guess it's a bit big for an RX100 replacement though ;-). 

 

Anyway, in summary, as the Sony kit lens isn't that great, it comes down to Fuji vs Olympus. Both the X-M1 and OM-D E-5 are available for little over US$400 equivalent here at the moment. From my research, Oly has the better focus, Fuji has better kit lens (though Oly is also very good) & Fuji beats Oly in low light. Micro 4/3rd has the widest lens selection but I'm not looking to develop a kit (yet???). 

 

So, this afternoon I went with the Fuji, though it was a very close call. I'm very pleased with it. The user interface is very intuitive and quick to use, and the images so far have been excellent. They remind me of sharper versions of D7000 images - noise levels seem very similar. Interestingly the default capture sharpness setting in LR creates sharpening artefacts! But then, logically, there should be no need for capture sharpening if there's no AA filter. 

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Oh, be careful, David. Next thing you' get sucked in to the 56mm, or one of the wides. I have the 10-24 and, if you know how to use it, the images are stellar. I also have the kit lens and the 18-135 for reach. Love them all.

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Betty - you can read my mind! I'm already investigating a 18mm f2 on sale second hand locally - that would make the camera truly pocketable. And I've been reading reviews of the 10-24 to see if it would make a light-weight alternative to the Nikon 14-24 f2.8 ;-)

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I bought an X-E1 with 16-50 lens as a basic carry almost everywhere camera for those times when its handy to just have a camera with you.  I was amazed at the quality from the cheaper lens, in 'macro' mode you could see every individual hair on a grass hopper.  The only thing I did not like about the 16-50 was the max of F5.6 at 50mm, so I have now got the 18-55 which one stop faster.   I did try the 18 F2 but I was getting too many unacceptable images (maybe I had a poor copy).

 

The Fuji is now providing more Alamy images than my Canon FF gear!

 

T

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I have a NEX6 so I'm not shopping for the a5000 but this is still an interesting thread, thanks for starting it dhill.

 

I suspect some of my complaints about the NEX 6 would be resolved by different lenses and David K's video makes the adapter with non Sony lenses look very appealing.  My concern is how to determine which lenses are manual vs. auto, and most importantly, which are of sufficient optical quality to produce excellent IQ even with the Sony A7 FF cameras.  For instance if I only buy MD lenses, or only buy Rokkor MD lenses am I safe?

 

I'm especially keen to buy a used 400 zoom for wildlife shooting but don't want to spend $1000s for the lens.  Are any of the following good options that will produce good IQ on both the NEX 6 or a full frame sensor?

 

Minolta AF APO TELE 100-400 f4.5-6.7  $323

Vivitar/Sony 100-400mm AF Telephoto Zoom  $204

Minolta AF 75-300mm f4.5-5.6 Macro  $60

 

I can also buy a lot for $642 that includes:

  • Minolta AF 100-400 f4.5/6.7 with UV filter
  • Minolta 50mm f3.5 macro
  • Minolta AF 28-80 f3.5
  • Minolta 75-300mm f4.5/5.6
  • 3 Kenko Extension Tubes 12mm/20mm/36mm

Do any of these choices stand out?  Are they all a waste of money?

Edited by Lynn Palmer

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I have a NEX6 so I'm not shopping for the a5000 but this is still an interesting thread, thanks for starting it dhill.

 

I suspect some of my complaints about the NEX 6 would be resolved by different lenses and David K's video makes the adapter with non Sony lenses look very appealing.  My concern is how to determine which lenses are manual vs. auto, and most importantly, which are of sufficient optical quality to produce excellent IQ even with the Sony A7 FF cameras.  For instance if I only buy MD lenses, or only buy Rokkor MD lenses am I safe?

 

I'm especially keen to buy a used 400 zoom for wildlife shooting but don't want to spend $1000s for the lens.  Are any of the following good options that will produce good IQ on both the NEX 6 or a full frame sensor?

 

Minolta AF APO TELE 100-400 f4.5-6.7  $323

Vivitar/Sony 100-400mm AF Telephoto Zoom  $204

 

I can also buy a lot for $642 that includes:

  • Minolta AF 100-400 f4.5/6.7 with UV filter
  • Minolta 50mm f3.5 macro
  • Minolta AF 28-80 f3.5
  • Minolta 75-300mm f4.5/5.6
  • 3 Kenko Extension Tubes 12mm/20mm/36mm

Do any of these choices stand out?

 

I've never used one, but the Minolta AF APO 100-400 f4.5-6.7 was supposed to be a good lens in its day. You would of course need the pricey Sony adapters with this lens, and the AF might be slowish. It would become a 150-600 (35mm equiv) with the NEX-6, which could be a plus.

 

I'm definitely not a wildlife photographer, but I have some tame bird shots on Alamy taken with a Minolta 75-300 f4.5-5.6 AF lens. A real wildlife photographer would no doubt rightly pooh-pooh this lens, but the results do (or did a couple of years ago) pass QC. I probably will eventually buy a used adapter so that I can occasionally mount the 75-300 on my NEX cameras, or I might look around for a used Sony SLT camera with in-camera stabilization (makes a huge difference).

 

I agree, spending $1000's on lenses just doesn't make financial sense these days, especially for an area as competitive as wildlife photography.

Edited by John Mitchell

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I have a NEX6 so I'm not shopping for the a5000 but this is still an interesting thread, thanks for starting it dhill.

 

I suspect some of my complaints about the NEX 6 would be resolved by different lenses and David K's video makes the adapter with non Sony lenses look very appealing.  My concern is how to determine which lenses are manual vs. auto, and most importantly, which are of sufficient optical quality to produce excellent IQ even with the Sony A7 FF cameras.  For instance if I only buy MD lenses, or only buy Rokkor MD lenses am I safe?

 

I'm especially keen to buy a used 400 zoom for wildlife shooting but don't want to spend $1000s for the lens.  Are any of the following good options that will produce good IQ on both the NEX 6 or a full frame sensor?

 

Minolta AF APO TELE 100-400 f4.5-6.7  $323

Vivitar/Sony 100-400mm AF Telephoto Zoom  $204

Minolta AF 75-300mm f4.5-5.6 Macro  $60

 

I can also buy a lot for $642 that includes:

  • Minolta AF 100-400 f4.5/6.7 with UV filter
  • Minolta 50mm f3.5 macro
  • Minolta AF 28-80 f3.5
  • Minolta 75-300mm f4.5/5.6
  • 3 Kenko Extension Tubes 12mm/20mm/36mm

Do any of these choices stand out?  Are they all a waste of money?

I had a spell of taking wild bird shots with a 300mm lens and I'm not sure that I would want to be without autofocus for that task. You can pre- focus and wait patiently, and plenty of wildlife pictures were taken before the evolution of autofocus, but that technology makes it a lot easier.

 

Re MF focus lenses in general, you can't go far wrong with a 50mm from any of the OEM ranges. Cameras were sold to some extent on the performance of their "standard" lens which was a 50, so they all competed to do well with that one. I've compared Pentax, Canon and Olympus 50s and they were all a good deal better than the standard 16-50 NEX 6 zoom, and I would presume that the Minolta and Nikon offerings were also good.  From memory, the 50mm Zeiss beyond the simple 4 element Tessar, i.e. the Planar etc were always highly regarded. Of course 50 is equivalent to 80 mm on a NEX, which is not the most useful of focal lengths, but there you go.

 

Go wider than 35 and it's a bit more problematic, while longer is not such a problem.

 

You could take a look at the Manual Focus Forum  for further advice.

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Thank you John, for me wildlife photography is more for fun than anything else.  I like to walk or hike for weekend recreation and can't resist shooting the critters I pass. 

 

The little NEX6 performed well enough on my Christmas vacation to earn a reprieve but the 55-210 Sony zoom I have isn't good enough -- even at 210mm (effective 315mm on APS sensor) the critters are still too far away.  I've picked up an adapter and figured I'd look for a few lenses including a longer zoom to play with if they don't cost too much. 

 

It's important to me that the lenses I pick up will also work with the Sony full frame A7.

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Bryan, good point about the smaller prime lenses like the 28 and 50mm.  I shot with a Nikon F2, 50mm and 28mm prime Nikkor lenses for many years and might enjoy using manual focus prime lens again.  The auto focus does take some of the fun out of photography and like auto spell on the computer sometimes doesn't focus on the subject.

 

For a long zoom I really want an AF lens because I don't think my eyes can manual focus fast enough or well enough to keep up with birds in flight.  Will any of the used AF Minolta (or other brand) zooms provide sufficient IQ, especially for the full frame A7?  I finally bought the A7ii and really want a long zoom to go with it but don't want to invest thousands right now.  The Tamron 150-600mm zoom at $1100 is an option a little down the road but if a used Minolta MD lens for a few hundred dollars will do I can save money.  I'm also interested in a 100mm macro lens.

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Bryan, good point about the smaller prime lenses like the 28 and 50mm.  I shot with a Nikon F2, 50mm and 28mm prime Nikkor lenses for many years and might enjoy using manual focus prime lens again.  The auto focus does take some of the fun out of photography and like auto spell on the computer sometimes doesn't focus on the subject.

 

For a long zoom I really want an AF lens because I don't think my eyes can manual focus fast enough or well enough to keep up with birds in flight.  Will any of the used AF Minolta (or other brand) zooms provide sufficient IQ, especially for the full frame A7?  I finally bought the A7ii and really want a long zoom to go with it but don't want to invest thousands right now.  The Tamron 150-600mm zoom at $1100 is an option a little down the road but if a used Minolta MD lens for a few hundred dollars will do I can save money.  I'm also interested in a 100mm macro lens.

 

Lynn, Minolta MD (and the really old MC) lenses are all manual focus, not AF. I used them for years. Some are really good, others just average. Best to tiptoe around the online minefield and get some opinions on specific lenses. 

 

What kind of adapter do you have? is it just for MD lenses? The a7ii has in-camera stabilization, doesn't it? I found a Minolta MD f/2.8 mm lens in mint condition for $40 on craigslist (after foolishly selling one three years ago). It would probably be a good one for the a7ii and/or the Nex-6.

Edited by John Mitchell

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I have the Sony LA-EA4 adapter coming which should allow the camera to control AF lenses (Minolta lenses for sure).  I figure with the adapter I can play around with various inexpensive Minolta lenses.  I can also use it with my NEX 6 which is why I'm keeping the NEX for now. 

 

The A7ii is the new model with IBIS (in-body image stabilization) which was the deciding factor behind my finally purchasing the A7.  If I can't find an inexpensive older zoom with good IQ then I can always wait a few months and go for the new Tamron 150-600mm zoom.  It's my understanding it will work well with the A7 and the adapter.

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