The owners of a house I’ve been working on had made a purchase or two at Barnes and Noble and were discarding the bag, thinking it would make an interesting rezinate lens test item I asked if I could have it, I believe I was right, it is interesting and revealing when it comes to a lens performance.
If a person were so inclined to attend a theatrical offering of Romeo and Juliet I imagine it could put a dent in their pocketbook, for those that is true of Barnes and Noble offers a glimpse imprinted on one their bags.
Now I don’t know if this bag is biodegradable or not but in thinking of the persona BN seems to want to project in their cafe/coffeeshop area one would think so.
This particular blog isn’t about BN’s corporate mindset though, it’s about Sony lenses, in the main their 55-210mm f4.5-6.3 OSS and a tip of the hat to the 50mm f1.8 OSS
f4.5 to f6.3 is a “slow” lens, the fact that such an aperture restriction is known to be will surely raise some doubt for any considering this lens.
I’m not sure what Sony is up to but whatever it is they’re on to something as neither the camera nor lens seems to be aware of the slowness of this lens – in the auto modes on a Sony NEX available light almost becomes a secondary consideration.
The less there is the trade off becomes bumping the ISO, ordinarily that can lead to a lot of noise in IQ but Sony’s in camera adjustments do a good job of remediation.
In manual when light is at a premium with a lens of this aperture value it comes down to adjustments based on what a person knows or doesn’t know, but that’s pretty much true of any lens in manual.
The first photo was taken indoors at night without the best of light and no flash using the 50mm f1.8 at a distance of two to two and a half feet.
Photos two and three with the 55 -210mm under the same conditions – all in jpeg, and no editing save for cropping.
Number two at 100mm and three at 132mm with the settings left to the camera, which decided upon an ISO of 1600 – once above ISO 800 on any camera I begin to get a little concerned, but as can be seen ISO 1600 with this lens and camera provides positive results.
There are cameras that will shoot in excess of ISO 50,000 – the only application I can think of is if in the dead of night you had a Sasquatch encounter and wanted to capture a noise laden and blurry photo – which may or may not be a selling point for some.
Lens and camera technology are undergoing major advances – the proof of that is once the market has been saturated with the current offering a new and improved version is presented, the latest must have if you want to be taken seriously, sort of a personal totem.
A problem I have with Sony, and the only one, is their penchant to produce camera model specific lens mounts and designs – they ought to exhibit some consumer loyalty and abandon that approach.
Enter the non oem adapters, inexpensive and for the most part allow operation in manual modes only, which is fine with me but probably not everyone else.
Adapters allow me to use the vintage lenses I own produced by an assortment of manufacturers – each of these lenses have always impressed me with the IQ the produce, yet when coupled with Sony’s sensor they seem to be enhanced, which is pleasant surprise, and that can only be related to the sensor.
All sensors are not created equal, neither are lenses, Sony’s sensor is raising the bar and as I alluded to in a previous blog Leica may well be a little worried especially now that Sony offers full frame sensors in their compact mirrorless line.
Something else I’ve noticed about the 55-210mm is it’s ability to focus closer at the higher ranges than other lenses I have of similar range – I consider that a plus.
Anyway, take a look at the photos. consider the conditions, and decide for yourself if this is a “prime” or not. If you think so and want one a quick look on ebay shows they can be purchased new in the neighborhood of $200.
Bear in mind that they were all shot in jpeg which seriously lacks the detail and information produced in the RAW format.
One other thing – I won’t argue the DG and “aspherical” designations as being what you really need for digital, but none of the vintage lenses I own come which such designations and they will hold their own against and even exceed a lot of high priced DG lenses.