Sony A5000 beginner question

koh1990

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Jan 21, 2015
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Hello guys,
i am new to photography and i just got a Sony A5000.
i wanted to ask a few things.
i am interested a lot in taking photos with very good focus and i am also interested in macro photography.
what lens would you recommend?
also what's ur opinion on this len "E 50mm f/1.8 OSS" (http://lenshero.com/lens/Sony-E-50mm-f1.8-OSS-lens)
thanks
 

gondo

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Apr 20, 2004
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Let's see if I can help. Pentax makes weather resistant cameras and lenses, so you want to stick to pentax lenses to maintain the weather resistance. The good news is Pentax makes excellent lenses and cameras so this is good. With other brands that aren't weather resistant you have the choice of purchasing lenses from other brands which is nice since you don't care about weather resistance.

So with your Sony you need an E-mount lens. You can go Sony, or you can go with a company like Sigma or Tamron, or whoever makes e-mounts. You have lots of selection.

Now I believe your camera came with a 16-50mm zoom lens. If you like using the 50mm end of your zoom but feel it's aperture isn't large enough then yes a prime lense might be nice. You also mention that you're interested in macro photography. Maybe you would be better off with a macro lens so you can get up close and focus. Macro lenses are more expensive with their design to be able to focus way up close. A third option would be to get a zoom that you don't already own in the 100-300mm range or so. You already have a 16-50, adding a 100-200mm or so would give you the entire range in just 2 lenses.

In a nutshell 50mm was considered the lens on old 35mm or full size sensor cameras that gave the same magnification of the human eye. What you see is what you get not zoomed in or out. But the sensor on your A5000 is smaller than on old 35mm cameras, therefore a 50mm lens will act differently. Your camera has a crop factor of 1.52 so roughly a 35mm lense will be equivalent to a 50mm on an old 35mm camera. (35X1.52=53.2).

So a 35mm is a good lens for taking general street photography, or what's called a walk a round lens. Some people prefer a bit wider view so choose a 24mm, some like a bit zoomed in so go 50-80mm or so. The good news is you have a 16mm-50mm so you can determine which focal length in that range you like best and get a prime lens in that focal length. If it's 50mm then so be it. Having the prime lense with the F/1.8 aperture or better will allow you to take good clear pictures in the evening and night when it's darker while keeping the ISO low and shutter speed down for a clear pic without requiring a tripod. It lets more light in. How does it do that, a bigger(not longer) lense with more glass which is more expensive. That's why prime lenses are so expensive.

Now for a zoom most people like a 50mm-200mm or 80mm-300mm or so for taking landscape and wildlife photos. They can zoom in and out to get the perfect shot. It's a nice walk around lens as well but in the evening it can create some problems with low light unless it's a very high quality zoom. And the macro lens allows you to focus with the camera right up close to the subject like an insect or flower to do the macro photography you enjoy. Those are expensive too because of the need to focus up close.

I love a 50-300mm as a walk around lens. It allows you to capture pretty much anything during the daytime. But if it's cloudy you notice and have to reduce shutter speed and up the ISO. Also I cannot get up close on a flower or insect since it won't focus. That's when you stand back 2-3 feet and zoom in with the 200mm for the same effect.

So a good prime lens to get started would be whatever you enjoy for a general purpose walk around focal length to take pictures of people, city, etc... Be it 24mm or more zoomed out, or around 50mm and a bit zoomed in, or 35mm and the same as the human eye. That paired with a nice 80-250mm or so zoom makes a nice combo. The prime can be used indoors for photographing people at events in low light.

If you want to get into wildlife big time or birding then a prime at just 300mm or whatever without a zoom might be desired but this is very expensive.

My advice, check out the macro lenses. If they are too expensive, then decide what focal length you want. 24, 35, or 50-80mm as an everyday general lens without zooming. Once you've decided check Sonyand other brands. Compare them and choose. You might find another brand that is better and cheaper than the Sony.

You have a lot to learn. Enjoy the new camera!!!
 

gondo

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Apr 20, 2004
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Let's see if I can help. Pentax makes weather resistant cameras and lenses, so you want to stick to pentax lenses to maintain the weather resistance. The good news is Pentax makes excellent lenses and cameras so this is good. With other brands that aren't weather resistant you have the choice of purchasing lenses from other brands which is nice since you don't care about weather resistance.

So with your Sony you need an E-mount lens. You can go Sony, or you can go with a company like Sigma or Tamron, or whoever makes e-mounts. You have lots of selection.

Now I believe your camera came with a 16-50mm zoom lens. If you like using the 50mm end of your zoom but feel it's aperture isn't large enough then yes a prime lense might be nice. You also mention that you're interested in macro photography. Maybe you would be better off with a macro lens so you can get up close and focus. Macro lenses are more expensive with their design to be able to focus way up close. A third option would be to get a zoom that you don't already own in the 100-300mm range or so. You already have a 16-50, adding a 100-200mm or so would give you the entire range in just 2 lenses.

In a nutshell 50mm was considered the lens on old 35mm or full size sensor cameras that gave the same magnification of the human eye. What you see is what you get not zoomed in or out. But the sensor on your A5000 is smaller than on old 35mm cameras, therefore a 50mm lens will act differently. Your camera has a crop factor of 1.52 so roughly a 35mm lense will be equivalent to a 50mm on an old 35mm camera. (35X1.52=53.2).

So a 35mm is a good lens for taking general street photography, or what's called a walk a round lens. Some people prefer a bit wider view so choose a 24mm, some like a bit zoomed in so go 50-80mm or so. The good news is you have a 16mm-50mm so you can determine which focal length in that range you like best and get a prime lens in that focal length. If it's 50mm then so be it. Having the prime lense with the F/1.8 aperture or better will allow you to take good clear pictures in the evening and night when it's darker while keeping the ISO low and shutter speed down for a clear pic without requiring a tripod. It lets more light in. How does it do that, a bigger(not longer) lense with more glass which is more expensive. That's why prime lenses are so expensive.

Now for a zoom most people like a 50mm-200mm or 80mm-300mm or so for taking landscape and wildlife photos. They can zoom in and out to get the perfect shot. It's a nice walk around lens as well but in the evening it can create some problems with low light unless it's a very high quality zoom. And the macro lens allows you to focus with the camera right up close to the subject like an insect or flower to do the macro photography you enjoy. Those are expensive too because of the need to focus up close.

I love a 50-300mm as a walk around lens. It allows you to capture pretty much anything during the daytime. But if it's cloudy you notice and have to reduce shutter speed and up the ISO. Also I cannot get up close on a flower or insect since it won't focus. That's when you stand back 2-3 feet and zoom in with the 200mm for the same effect.

So a good prime lens to get started would be whatever you enjoy for a general purpose walk around focal length to take pictures of people, city, etc... Be it 24mm or more zoomed out, or around 50mm and a bit zoomed in, or 35mm and the same as the human eye. That paired with a nice 80-250mm or so zoom makes a nice combo. The prime can be used indoors for photographing people at events in low light.

If you want to get into wildlife big time or birding then a prime at just 300mm or whatever without a zoom might be desired but this is very expensive.

My advice, check out the macro lenses. If they are too expensive, then decide what focal length you want. 24, 35, or 50-80mm as an everyday general lens without zooming. Once you've decided check Sonyand other brands. Compare them and choose. You might find another brand that is better and cheaper than the Sony.

You have a lot to learn. Enjoy the new camera!!!
 

gondo

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I did a search and there isn't much for the Sony E-mount.

Sony has a 35mm prime f/1.8. Mitakon Zhongyi makes a 35mm at f/0.8 but it's obviously more expensive with that awesome aperture.

Sigma has a 30mm f/1.4 for about the same price as the Sony 35mm. Sony has a 30mm macro for about the same price.

At 50mm there is the Sony you mentioned. Rokinon makes a 50mm f/1.2 for a bit more than the Sony.

There are some 50mm macros available but those are in the $1000+ range.

You will soon notice that it's not unreasonable to have $5000 in lenses for a $400 camera. That's why many people stick to Canon or Nikon. They are invested in lenses. Pentax also has a following with their weatherproof designs. With other brands like Sony, Panasonic, Fuji, etc... it's less common to see pros using them. It's hard to drop $1200 on a lens for a Camera you may not own in a few years. At least with Canon and Nikon you know they will always have future cameras available, but a Panasonic...you may not always purchase the same brand.

Sony is probably one of the best of the other brands besides the big 3. But lens manufacturers like Sigma and Tamron tend to favor Nikon, Canon, and Pentax. You'll notice there isn't a huge variety of Sony lenses available.





 

gondo

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Just to give you some more info, I mentioned that 50mm or 35mm with your camera (50mm equivalent) gives you close to human eye equivalent. Most people find this to be a bit too close. They prefer a bit zoomed out, not so much that you get a fish eye effect though.

The most popular is around a 35mm (standard) or 24mm with your camera. A 24mm prime with f/2.8 wouldn't be a bad choice.

Also a zoom lens in the 18-50mm range or so would be ideal. Maybe even a 16-35mm or so. That's a perfect walkaround lense for landscape, portrait, general use. If it's f/2.8 it also acts as a great star lens for getting the nightsky with approximately 15sec exposures with no star trails. Absolutely gorgeous pics.

I'll go search for something in that range to see what's available for sony. It would be my preference.

 

gondo

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Sony has a 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 not expensive. Great walkaround or video lens for a beginner without getting into $1000 glass.

Sony has some F2.8 primes at 16 and 20mm and the F2.8 at 35mm if you don't mind the zoomed in a bit look.

Sigma has a 19mm F2.8 for $199. Also a F1.4 30mm for $339. Both have autofocus motors.

From your kit lense if you like the 35mm (50mm equivalent) for human eye equivalent, that 30mm at f1.4 is very fast. It's just a tad zoomed out so that's good if your happy with 35mm.

Also check out the auto focus mechanism. Read reviews of the particular lens you find in your price range with the specs you want. the review will talk about the autofocus mechanism. For example that Sigma F1.4 30mm is the best 30mm on the market for emount and cheap, but it's focus by wire which is not good for video. Gotta watch these little things.

Rokinons are a bit higher end for the Sony E-Mount. They have a 21mm F1.4 at $429. it's autofocus would be better suited for video.
 

koh1990

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Jan 21, 2015
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I have one more question, maybe u or anyone else can help me?
When i press the capture button a little in order for the camera to start focusing, if i zoom in, it zooms in the focus area so it's like macro photography. But when it's zoomed in and i press the button to take the photo, it takes the photo without the macro zoom.
I guess it's a stupid question but i searched on google and didn't find anything regarding this.
Appreciate the help
 

gondo

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Ok first of it's called a shutter button not capture button. Secondly you should know that all cameras function pretty much 95% the same with the same terminology. All Digital cameras are built with the same settings and functionality of older analogue cameras, to keep it familiar with pro photographers. If Canon for example, redesigned the digital camera with new features and terminology, nobody would buy it. The only difference betweeen a $300 camera body, and a $5000 body is the number of features that are adjustable as opposed to fixed and automatic, beside the quality of focusing, etc... So good news is, even a $300 camera can take amazing pictures. It's the lens that determines quality. Also you can learn photography with your A5000, and in the future if you move to a different brand such as Nikon or Canon it will be familiar. Once you learn the photography jargon all cameras are basically the same in usage.

As for your question. Whether a lens can maintain focus while zooming is a function of the lens not the camera. More expensive lenses can, and some cheaper lenses can't track as well. A test is to zoom all the way, focus, then zoom out. If it maintains focus it tracks well. If you start zoomed out, focus, then zoom it it'll have a harder time to track focus properly. Even with expensive lenses.

Now you said you focus, zoom in, and then it snaps a picture of the zoomed out image. This is almost impossible. It can only take a picture of where the lens is in time. When snapping a picture it won't unzoom the lens then take the picture. So I don't understand. Also zooming while focused is only used in 2 situations.

1 is for taking movies. An SLR camera can shoot amazing movies with a 15-50mm or so lens and if its a good one you can zoom in and out and it'll track the focusing while doing so.

Situation 2 is if you are in continuous mode to snap 7 pictures/second or so depending on camera specs. More expensive cameras can do more pics per second. This is for taking pictures of a moving subject such as a cheetah on the run or a bird in flight. You can zoom in out while snapping pics continuously to try and capture that perfect shot. When done filter through the 100 pictures you just took and keep the magic one, deleting the rest.

Otherwise you must zoom to frame your picture the way you want, then focus and take the picture. No need to zoom while focusing. And if you still can't focus properly you need to manually focus with the ring or adjust your focus settings. Some lenses just don't auto focus properly. But in no way is it possible for a camera to take a zoomed out pic while zoomed in. Unless you pre snapped the pic by accident then started zooming in and got confused.
 
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