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Today we're gonna do a quick comparison of Sony'e E 30/3.5 Macro lens against the new kid on the NEX block, Sigma's 30/2.8 EX DN lens. Sigma has just released two dedicated primes for the NEX systems (also available for the m43 platform) and based on the initial feedback from the user community, the new 30/2.8 EX DN is quite a performer. But really, how good of a performer? Let's check it out...

But first thing first. The two lenses are really targeting different segments of users - Sony's lens is a 1:1 macro while Sigma's lens, well, it's just a general purpose lens. If you're even remotely interested in macro photography, this comparison is useless to you - just go get Sony's lens. On the other hand, if you were considering getting Sony as a general purpose prime (given it's EFOV of 45mm, you get a normal-ish lens), than read on - you're the primary target for this review.

Even before we compare the actual resolution, vignetting etc. numbers, Sigma already holds an advantage over Sony - it's cheaper, lighter, smaller and faster. Sony sports slightly better build quality with aluminium barrel, but Sigma's barrel is just  fine as well - I managed to bump the lens a couple of times and it does not show any damage. It's not clear how well either of the lenses would survive a fall from say 3 feet, but whatever - few lenses would survive such a fall anyway.

Tagged in: nex-7 sigma sony
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New review of Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar 24/1.8 ZA on Sony NEX-5n and Sony NEX-7

Read Review>>>

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Weather has been somewhat unpredictable lately here In San Jose, so when the clouds finally cleared up on Sunday, I grabbed my bag of photo gear and finish a couple of long-delayed tests. Last week I run through a quick comparison of 50mm rangefinder lenses on Sony NEX-5n and I wanted to finish testing this setup before moving on to something new.  This time around I used Sony NEX-7, but also changed focusing distance, moving closer to the MFD for all lenses - this is where I'm hoping we will see the most difference among all lenses. As in the previous section, this part of the review focuses on bokeh, DOF and color rendering, not resolution or various artifacts like vignetting. I did not use focus bracketing and did not refocus lenses when moving from one aperture to another - this would put lenses that have focus shift (i.e. Sonnar, Nokton, Jupiter...) at a disadvantage, and hence I would not recommend using the samples below for evaluating lens sharpness. In part 3 of this review I will do a bit more comprehensive test for resolution, lateral CA and vignetting. Again, no commentaries - figure out what you like on your own or wait for part 3 if you're curious to know which lens(es) I liked personally.

In the meantime, here's a summary of the shooting conditions:

  • Sony NEX-7 with v1 of firmware
  • WB set to Daylight (5,500K, +10 tint)
  • RAW, Adobe RGB space
  • ACR with default settings: Blacks +5; Brightness +50, Contrast +25
  • JPEG max quality
  • 1.5m focusing distance
  • 2 shots per lens - max aperture, and stopped down to f/4


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Posted by on in Lens Comparisons

With Sony being quite slow in ramping up production of new E mount native lenses, and particularly the E 50mm f/1.8 OSS (I've been on a waiting list with Amazon for over 2 months now), the ever increasing community of NEX users has been actively evaluating a variety of alternative 50mm primes easily adoptable to the NEX mount. This particular comparison traces roots to fredmiranda.com's alternative gear forum, where a bunch of die-hard alternative glass users have been debating the properties of a number of Zeiss 50mm lenses on NEX cameras. I got curious in the topic and volunteered to do a quick test with a few popular, and often considered high-quality, 50s.

This section of the review will showcase bokeh rendering of 8 alternative lenses on NEX-5n. Results below are presented without much commentary - considering that tasted vary quite widely, I will let the reader decide which of the lenses have the most appealing characteristics. I will repeat this test on NEX-7 in a couple of weeks, but will use a different focusing distance, which hopefully would present the readers with a more diverse overview of the tested lenses. Finally, a third part of the review will compare more general characteristics like resolution, vignetting and lateral CA (expect very opinionated commentary in this section).

Before we jump to results, let's touch base on the test conditions:

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sony-e-16mm-f28New review of Sony E 16mm f/2.8 lens on 16Mp APS-C type Sony NEX-5n.

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