Roy P writes:
The Zeiss 24/1.8 lens arrived on Saturday... Impressive little bugger. The lens cap sucks, though - very hard to put it on / take it off, especially if you have the hood on.
My NEX-7 is scheduled to arrive next week, so I'm testing this lens with my 5N. From what I've seen, it has excellent color and sharpness at f/1.8 across the frame. Images compare very well with my Nikon D3s + Nikkor 35/1.4G.
The high noise in the 5N makes it a little murky - the Sony 5N is much, much noisier at ISO 500 than the D3s is at ISO 2200, for instance. If I apply NR to the Sony image, it softens the image, so if I want the sharpness, I have to live with the noise.
However, at $1000 designed for an APS-C size sensor, it seems pricey compared to the Nikon 35/1.4G priced at around $1600 or the Zeiss 35/1.4 at around $1850, both designed for an FX sensor. For me, the NEX-5N, 7, etc. are stop-gap solutions until a Leica M10 or a full frame EVIL becomes available for my M and R lenses, so I don't want to invest big $ into lenses designed for APS-C sensors. So I'll most likely be returning it.
Sony put in a nice little feature in their manual focus override - after you initially autofocus, if you turn the focus ring, the image automatically zooms in for a more precise focus. Unfortunately, it works only with the Sony lenses. A very helpful feature missing in the D3s, M9, etc...
Will look forward to your reactions to the NEX 7.
DIGLLOYD: yes, Zeiss lens caps are ergonomically poor. One should replace them with Nikon caps. Ditto for Canon caps— replace them with Nikon caps.
I didn’t like the noise of the Sony NEX-5N either; the shooting at dusk I prefer makes the Fuji X100 a better choice. I’ll be applying the same criterion to the NEX-7 because I don’t need a bright-daylight camera, I need a portable camera that gives me high quality, including shadows, at dusk.
I also agree that an APS-C size sensor is problematic if one is paying $1300 for a body and another $1000 for a lens. But as a backup body for Leica M lenses, the body cost is only a fraction of that of a Leica M9, so it’s highly defensible in that regard.
I have the NEX-7 body (only) here, but I am waiting for the Leica M adapter. My approach is going to be simple: does the NEX-7 solve any real world shooting scenario for me that the Fuji X100 and Leica M9 do not? If not, I’ll also wait for a full frame EVF camera, and I’d be shocked if Fuji has not considered this idea. I really like the X100 sensor.