Beachrider's reviews

  • Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Wonderful function at f/2.2, usable down to f/1.6, HSM is nice
    Heavy and expensive

    Special lens with above average color rendition. Images at f/1.4 were soft on APC-size, but quite usable after that.

    This allows the use of natural light in many scenarios, especially where high-ISO digital SLRs are being used.

    I like this lens

    reviewed December 29th, 2010 (purchased for $500)
  • Sony 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 DT SAM SAL-1855

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Small, light and optically stronger than 18-70 that preceded it.
    Plastic lens mount, limited zoom range, SAM quieter than in-camera AF, noiser than SSM/HSM/USM

    Purchased used. IQ for the price is quite good. Colors are well above average. Zoom range and max-aperature are limited due to price-point. SAM is compatible with contrast-mode focusing on 2010+ cameras, in-camera focus is not. Over time, I find myself using 35 f/1.8 instead of this lens. You should have it in your bag if you have both NEX and Alpha. It works exceptionally well with LA-EA1 on NEX.

    reviewed December 29th, 2010 (purchased for $100)
  • Konica Minolta 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 D AF DT

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Small and light, good zoom range for price point
    Plastic lens mount

    Bought it used. Replaced with 18-55 SAM. Still share it with young-shooters. Nice lens. Zoom-range and f/stop are limited by low price point.

    reviewed December 29th, 2010 (purchased for $55)
  • Tamron 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II LD Aspherical IF Macro AF

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Incredible zoom range with very strong IQ. As long as focus is set to center-only, pictures are clear. Color fidelity is quite good.
    Slow at 250, zoom creep in use

    Great lens for family outings, so long as there is enough light. Easy to always-have in bag. Still like it as much as when I bought it.

    reviewed December 29th, 2010 (purchased for $460)
  • Sony 55-200mm f/4-5.6 DT SAM SAL-552002

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Light, compact, affordable, usable zoom range, SAM better than in-camera focus
    Plastic lens mount, SAM not as quiet as SSM/HSM/USM. Need f/8 to get sharpest images.

    Got this lens used on Ebay. Now using this largely on NEX 5n with LA-EA1. If you want mirrorless photo & video shooting, then SAM/SSM will be very handy. Hundreds of photos later, I am finding that this is a useful for grab-shots when you leave it pretty much wide open most of the time. Otherwise shutter-times drift too low rather quickly.

    The lightness of these lenses makes them VERY usable when you have NEX and Alpha in your bag. No sign that the plastic construction is wearing too quickly, yet.

    reviewed January 11th, 2011 (purchased for $135)
  • Sony 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SAL-70400G

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Quite sharp wide open at all focal lengths. Zoom range is tremendous. Color is better than any other Sony-mount telephoto zoom. Physical color is less obtrusive than white, less hot than black.
    Heavier than 70-300 zooms, heavier than many up-to-400 zooms.

    Lens has been tremendous after hundreds of shots. I don't know of any up-to-400 zoom that is as quiet or as quick. Focus range limit is useful. Zoom movement is tight, but does not lock. Size of lens (and cost) make it a post-year-2 purchase for some photographers. It is 'worth it', when you have enough telephoto work, though.

    reviewed March 7th, 2011 (purchased for $1,600)
  • Sony 24mm f/2 SSM Carl Zeiss Distagon T* SAL24F20Z

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Amazing focus performance. Coatings are doing a lot of work on the flare and contrast. Very solid construction.
    A little heavy. Somewhat pricey.

    OK, I gave it all 10s. I would have given a 9.75 on image, if possible. Very usable down to f/2.0, but corners are a little soft at that setting.

    You need to work really close to subject to exploit semi-macro capabilities.

    My first Zeiss. Price for 24mm (f/2) is 70% of price for 24-70 (f/2.8), both from Zeiss. So it is a little pricey.

    reviewed August 1st, 2011 (purchased for $1,250)
  • Sony 35mm f/1.8 DT SAM SAL35F18

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Inexpensive. Very light. Very good IQ (even wide open). Works well on a700 and NEX5n (w/LA-EA1). More compact than most 35mm lenses. SAM is noisier than SSM/USM/HSM, but quieter than in-camera focus.
    Plastic lens mount, distance scales are very basic

    I like this lens mainly for indoor work on NEX5n (w/LA-EA1). It gives the advantage of NEX5n electronic shutter and mirrorless shooting. It helps me exploit the high-ISO functions of NEX5n better than E-mount lenses, so far. It's price also puts it within reach of people just-starting-out.

    This is probably the first prime lens that any Sony Alpha users could consider. This FL is very useful on APSC, it performs really well and is quite inexpensive.

    Using it on LA-EA1 does compromise NEX5n's lens-correction (for vignetting, distortion and CA) that is available with E-mount 16mm pancake lens. Also LA-EA1 CDAF on NEX5n is about as fast as E-mount CDAF on NEX5.

    reviewed October 5th, 2011 (purchased for $195)
  • Sony E 16mm f/2.8 SEL16F28

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Very light and quite inexpensive. Pancake lens is tres convenient with NEX5n. Faster focus than alpha-lenses on LA-EA1. IQ is commendable for price and convenience.
    No distance information on lens (there isn't much room for it, though)

    I was wondering why the slrgear review showed sooo much more distortion and CA then I saw. I then found out that NEX5n has lens-specific, in-camera correction for CA/distortion/vignetting.

    Those corrections must be the reason that I got much better results than slrgear got.

    It is a nice 'pancake' lens that benefits from the very fancy functions of NEX5n. I don't think that it is fair to review it against lenses that are 5x this lenses cost.

    reviewed October 5th, 2011 (purchased for $215)
  • Sony 85mm f/2.8 SAM SAL85F28

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    VG-E CA, IQ. Very light. Physically small. Decent MFD. CDAF works well with LA-EA1 on NEX 5n. SAM is quieter than in-camera focus but noisier than SSM/HSM/USM.
    Plastic Mount gives a cheap feel to construction.

    The first review here really bombed a really nice lens. When you consider its modest price point, it is an exceptional lens. Most use a zoom at this focal length, but this one is sooooo easy to bring along that you can do a better job at 85mm, when the situation arises.

    For NEX 5n users, I recommend getting the 35mm f/1.8 first, then get this one. Use both with LA-EA1 for the full benefit of CDAF on photo and video. When used with EA2, it is a fine lens for both action shots and many kinds of video.

    reviewed November 28th, 2011 (purchased for $240)
  • Sony 50mm f/1.8 DT SAM SAL-50F18

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Very light. Good on LA-EA1 on NEX 5n, very sharp @ f/2.8, very inexpensive, adapts quickly to temperature changes
    Plastic sides and lens mount

    The last of my plastic-fantastic lens purchases. SAM is quieter than in-camera focusing, but noisier than SSM/HSM/USM. Although purchased for LA-EA1 AF compatibility, has also been very-sweet on LA-EA2 with video. Lens performance @ f/2 and f/1.8 is like 'olde 50 f/1.7'. Use at f/2.8 and above is terrific.

    I don't-get where anyone complains about noise on this lens, though. It was not-noticeable during video on NEX5n

    When I bought it, it was on-sale. It was an easy bargain.

    reviewed February 20th, 2012 (purchased for $125)
  • Sony 16-50mm f/2.8 DT SSM SAL1650

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Light, Bright (f/2.8), Quick/Silent (SSM), High IQ, Primary Zoom for Alpha & NEX (w/EA-2) users
    At the Wide end, distortion & CA correction needed for best results (automatic in JPEG for a77) , plastic body

    A very useful APS-C lens for Alpha and NEX. Very useful focal range. Fstop 2.8 is still special vs f/4.5 & 5.6 for more entry-level lenses. It isn't a cheap lens ($615), so the plastic-everywhere (but the back-bracket) is a little surprising (vs NEX's metallic finish on lenses).

    Once you have learned the cameras with starter-lenses, this can be a solid second-year purchase. Probably a first-year purchase with NEX7 or Alpha 77.

    reviewed April 11th, 2012 (purchased for $615)
  • Sony E 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS SEL1855

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    Metallic construction, good IQ, useful zoom range, reasonable cost, quiet/small/light, consistent with NEX small-camera motif.
    Somewhat lower IQ than Alpha version, MF isn't 'direct', not very fast fstop

    Nice starter lens for NEX. CDAF functions VASTLY improve after NEX3 firmware 5.0 (different numbers for each NEX). Still not for fast-action photos, though. Good for basic NEX video, too.

    reviewed April 11th, 2012 (purchased for $160)
  • Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Small and light, easy to add to camera bag. Sharp and contrasty. Inexpensive, now.
    Not really a pancake, no MF button or depth scales.

    Now that the metal-body version is out, this lens has gotten much less expensive. I got it on a two-for-$200 deal.

    reviewed January 29th, 2013 (purchased for $100)
  • Sigma 30mm f/2.8 EX DN

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Nearly a pancake. Small, sharp, contrasty and light. Now it is inexpensive, too.
    No MF button or depth scale.

    I like this as a 'normal' lens. It is so good and so inexpensive that I leave it on my NEX when young relatives want to use the camera, too. I got it on a two-for-$200 deal because Sigma has 'replaced' it with a metal-side lens.

    reviewed January 29th, 2013 (purchased for $100)
  • Sony E 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 OSS SEL55210

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Metal adds durability, IQ is strong throughout. OSS is very effective, Price is VG, light
    No focus marks, rather long for NEX cameras

    Lens is an excellent 'add' to the original kit lens. Outperforms other zooms in this price range (much more expensive zooms are better for 2x price). Light and durable

    reviewed April 10th, 2013 (purchased for $350)
  • Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ OSS SELP1650

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Pancake-ish when closed, better than 18-55 kit (with correction), fast focus with some cameras
    Takes a little time to 'fold out' at startup, corrections are important @ 16mm

    This lens is an AMAZING pancake lens on NEX. The size always brings imaging compromise, but the cameras (once getting upgraded firmware) do a great job fixing the JPEGs.
    This lens hits another level of performance with A6000's advanced autofocus. It again needs firmware update, for older lenses. The AF response for A6000's hybrid AF is astonishing.
    I wonder if the problematic reviews actually had the correct camera/postprocess firmware/settings.

    reviewed July 31st, 2014 (purchased for $260)
  • Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS SEL50F18

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Light, fast, very sharp, OSS effective, key APSC focal length, contrasty, fast focus, useful hood,
    Not a pancake, no distance meter, not as fast focus as A-Mount w/LA-EA2

    A very useful lens. All advanced tracking and field detection function while minimizing the limits of CDAF environment. Use with A6000 and upgraded firmware VASTLY improves focussing with Hybrid-AF on that camera.

    reviewed June 9th, 2013 (purchased for $300)