Best prime lens for Sony NEX


ejroc

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Aug 16, 2011
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#1
Hi, I am looking to purchase a wide aperture prime lens for a friend who is using the Sony NEX 5N.
She's currently using the 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens but seldom uses any zoom.

She mostly uses her camera for food pics and group/landscape pics when traveling. I'm considering the 35mm F1.8 but I'm not sure if the field of view would be too narrow? I don't think she is the type to change lens much at all.

Alternatives would be 20mm F2.8 or Sigma 19mm F2.8... but the improvement in aperture from F3.5 doesn't seem significant to me.

Advice, please? :)
 

Last edited:

SkyStrike

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Nov 29, 2010
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#2
- If she's not the type to change lens much, then why buy another lens?
- zoom to 35/20/19mm and fixed it there and see if she can live with it... probably the fastest way to see if it's suitable.
 

Octarine

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#3
Alternatives would be 20mm F2.8 or Sigma 19mm F2.8... but the improvement in aperture from F3.5 doesn't seem significant to me.
Nor is it of any relevance here. Group and landscape usually require an aperture of f/5.6 or more to achieve the necessary depth of field. Whether the lens has a maximum opening of f/2.8 or f/3.5 doesn't matter at all.
You seem trying to fix something where there's nothing broken. If you want to have a present for your friend then pass her a voucher and let her chose and buy.
Btw: There is no "Best lens for [camera]" - there are lenses that fit the purpose / intention better than others. The term "best" requires a reference, it cannot stand alone.
 

catchlights

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#4
Ask your friend to go thru those photos she like the most, check the exif data and see which focal length is the most use. the answer is already there.
 

pinholecam

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Jul 23, 2007
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#5
TBH, seems like a HP is more suitable.
There just isn't a 'one prime do all' type prime.

What she uses it for seems so at odds with each other.
Food shots pobably need 35mm and up.
Landscapes need wider usually and dont need fast aperture.

I would recommend her to just explore the kit lens unless she is sure of what she wants.
Sony stores are common here.
Just go to one yo try out the lenses yhere to mm ake up her mind.
 

ejroc

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Aug 16, 2011
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#6
- If she's not the type to change lens much, then why buy another lens?
- zoom to 35/20/19mm and fixed it there and see if she can live with it... probably the fastest way to see if it's suitable.
Thinking of buying another lens as this new lens will be her main lens, this means she won't be using the kit lens anymore.

Nor is it of any relevance here. Group and landscape usually require an aperture of f/5.6 or more to achieve the necessary depth of field. Whether the lens has a maximum opening of f/2.8 or f/3.5 doesn't matter at all.
You seem trying to fix something where there's nothing broken. If you want to have a present for your friend then pass her a voucher and let her chose and buy.
Btw: There is no "Best lens for [camera]" - there are lenses that fit the purpose / intention better than others. The term "best" requires a reference, it cannot stand alone.
TBH, seems like a HP is more suitable.
There just isn't a 'one prime do all' type prime.

What she uses it for seems so at odds with each other.
Food shots pobably need 35mm and up.
Landscapes need wider usually and dont need fast aperture.
Noted. Maybe I should explain that she has been hoping for more 'bokeh' from her food pics and the kit lens doesn't really deliver, but because she will only be probably using the same lens for other purposes such as group pics, I was looking for a focal length that could possibly be multi-purpose (35mm, 19mm, 20mm). The fast aperture will be for bokeh in food pics. Personally, I'm using 20mm f1.8 on a m4/3 for all purposes, but I wasn't sure about the Nex.

Thanks for all the inputs, much appreciated :)
 

SkyStrike

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Nov 29, 2010
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#7
Thinking of buying another lens as this new lens will be her main lens, this means she won't be using the kit lens anymore.

Noted. Maybe I should explain that she has been hoping for more 'bokeh' from her food pics and the kit lens doesn't really deliver, but because she will only be probably using the same lens for other purposes such as group pics, I was looking for a focal length that could possibly be multi-purpose (35mm, 19mm, 20mm). The fast aperture will be for bokeh in food pics. Personally, I'm using 20mm f1.8 on a m4/3 for all purposes, but I wasn't sure about the Nex.

Thanks for all the inputs, much appreciated :)
There is no one lens that excels at everything (food, portraits, landscape, more bokeh etc)

If you want it wide angle, you will eventually get MORE dof rather than lesser dof. (MORE dof = less bokeh and more things in focus)

For food, personally I'll look at some range between 50mm to 70mm or longer... Really depends on what your want... Some pros shoot above 100mm. That said, I'm not saying that wide angle cannot shoot food.. Really a matter of your preference and shooting style.

large aperture is not the only equation to have more bokeh (you can still get bokeh when using f5.6 or f8). Focal distance plays a part too. Try using your kit lens and zoom to the max and go as near as you can (also make sure your subject is far away from the background). It's debatable on whether the background blur is acceptable or not.
 

Mar 1, 2012
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#8
Get the sigma 19. It's cheap, small, fast-ish, sharp, and has similar field of view as most phone camera (prime) lens. 28mm equivalent field of view is, in my opinion, the all-in-one prime lens, if any.
 

pinholecam

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Jul 23, 2007
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#9
Thinking of buying another lens as this new lens will be her main lens, this means she won't be using the kit lens anymore.


Noted. Maybe I should explain that she has been hoping for more 'bokeh' from her food pics and the kit lens doesn't really deliver, but because she will only be probably using the same lens for other purposes such as group pics, I was looking for a focal length that could possibly be multi-purpose (35mm, 19mm, 20mm). The fast aperture will be for bokeh in food pics. Personally, I'm using 20mm f1.8 on a m4/3 for all purposes, but I wasn't sure about the Nex.

Thanks for all the inputs, much appreciated :)
I agree with Silvermoon.
If there is a 'one prime', 28mm may be 'it', but highly subjective. (actually anything between 21-35mm imo)
Do be aware that its a trade-off at the end, and your friend will need to compose around the limitations of a fixed focal length.
This is why most of us say that its not an ideal solution over the zoom.

So 19mm is the closest to it on apsc on the NEX.
Not a bad lens and cheap too. :)
 

Last edited:
Apr 18, 2012
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#10
buying a fixed focal lens is very objective as she may not like it. reason is becos she may not be looking at e pictures details but e freedom of a lens for all purpose.

I actually had bought e sigma 19mm for landscape shooting but now I hardly shoot landscape. now I do more group shooting so was thinking to get something more wider.

so I think u need to ask ur fren view before buying e lens
 

Octarine

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#11
I actually had bought e sigma 19mm for landscape shooting but now I hardly shoot landscape. now I do more group shooting so was thinking to get something more wider.
Wider than 19mm for group shooting? Do pay attention to the distortions, people might not like it looking stretched when they are closer to the border of the frame.
 

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