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Old 29th January 2012   #1
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Smile Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7

For a long time, I thought this was a rebadged 30/3.5 that Sony made in the Alpha mount. Part of that thinking comes from the lack of access to the lens data from Sony (if anyone has the original Sony page that shows the lens diagram, MTF data, etc, please post here).

Complicating the situation is the fact that it is nearly 1/5th the price of the better known Sony Zeiss E-Sonnar 24/1.8.

The 24/1.8 costs ~999 Euros (949 in some places)

and

The 30/3.5 costs 208 Euros (lowest price).

The conventional wisdom of "you get what you pay for", plays some trick (not a huge factor but is a factor).

All the initial impressions I had were incorrect. The 30/3.5 in E-mount is a new design.

Auto focus (not that useful for close ranges, especially while going near the 1:1 magnification) is very silent. The lens hood is a riot. Just efficient and compact.

The lens delivers when it comes to close-ups and macros. Simply, without any doubt, it is the sharpest for the NEX-7. I am glad that I bought one. [Now, I await the delivery of the 24/1.8, which is also a superb lens , albeit for a different use.]


I have posted this test snap in another thread.


Untitled by Vivek Iyer, on Flickr
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Old 29th January 2012   #2
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Re: Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7

I have one but have not used mine much. Pity Sony did not include VR and it is a little short of an ideal macro focal length, but I agree it is a decent performer.
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Old 29th January 2012   #3
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Re: Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7

Shorter focal length necessitates closer working distances which in turn obviates VR. If I try a "handheld macro", it is almost always with a flash synched to the highest value.

It would be nice if Sony would make a wireless macro flash that fits the 30/3.5 macro (i.e., compact and light weight).
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Old 29th January 2012   #4
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Re: Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7

VR is alays useful, Vivek. A macro lens can also be used in non-Macro mode. they left it out to save money, which relfects the view Sony originally took of the NEX line.
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Old 29th January 2012   #5
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Re: Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7

Quentin, I am not big on VR (that is me). Even if one gains ~2 stops (as is the common understanding), it does not do much for close ups. For low magnifications, may be. For those purposes, I might want a fast lens. I hope Zeiss will make a 30/1.4, to sound redundant.

After checking this lens, I am unsure if Sony did not include VR because of cost cutting or they did not think much of the NEX system. Given the IF arrangement and all the baffles before multiple elements, it seems like a complicated construction.

I actually think (I seldom say this!)that this macro is worth more than the current price I paid for!

If I don't get a picture that is satisfactory with this set-up, I know who is at fault!
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Old 29th January 2012   #6
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Re: Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7

Curious to see some real photographs with it, Vivek! Instead of that gnoom

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Old 29th January 2012   #7
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Re: Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7

I am sorry that does not appear to be a "real" photograph to you, Michiel. It is not trivial to have proper lighting at this magnification (~1/5X here). A HVL-20 was used with some modifiers and that is the light seen here.

Also, that shows my expression after checking out this lens.
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Old 29th January 2012   #8
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Re: Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7

Here are two that I did a couple of weeks ago.



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Old 30th January 2012   #9
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Re: Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7

Here are two test samples at life size (1:1 or 1X magnification). The aperture was at f/22. Camera ISO400.


Untitled by Vivek Iyer, on Flickr


Untitled by Vivek Iyer, on Flickr

The samples were chosen deliberately. If better techniques are used (ie., better lighting and/or stacking at wider apertures), this set-up (ie., NEX-7 and 30/3.5 Macro) would really shine.
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Old 30th January 2012   #10
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Re: Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7

Very convincing Terry and Vivek. (An old Dutch cent! Nostalgia!)

Now do I need this lens while I have so many macro lenses, tubes an bellows already?
I wonder is it also good for other purposes?

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Old 30th January 2012   #11
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Re: Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7

Michiel, I had an old VOC coin that I gave it away as a gift several years ago to a retiring colleague, otherwise, the spices would have been put on that.


BTW, I bought mine from Foka. Their price is the lowest I could find.

On your other question- I will have to take it outside to shoot soon. But, at portrait sort of distances, if you can live with a slow lens, it is very sharp.
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Old 30th January 2012   #12
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Re: Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michiel Schierbeek View Post
Very convincing Terry and Vivek. (An old Dutch cent! Nostalgia!)

Now do I need this lens while I have so many macro lenses, tubes an bellows already?
I wonder is it also good for other purposes?

Michiel
That word "need" leads to much trouble

You may need it because it is "nice to have"

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Old 31st January 2012   #13
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Re: Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michiel Schierbeek View Post
Very convincing Terry and Vivek. (An old Dutch cent! Nostalgia!)

Now do I need this lens while I have so many macro lenses, tubes an bellows already?
I wonder is it also good for other purposes?

Michiel
I have one, bought not as a macro lens, but as a cheap standard lens. It is very useful to have a macro ability with this lens, but as you can see from the examples above, it's not absolutely ideal as a macro due the the very limited depth of field the lens to subject distance allows.

I would still prefer to get the Zeiss 24mm or some "G" or Zeiss quality alternative as I think that the NEX 7 (I plan to get soon) will be better served by a really top quality lens. Don't get me wrong, the 30/3.5 is a perfectly good lens, but not quite as good or as fast as I'd like.

If availability or budget was a determining factor, the 30/3.5 would be perfectly satisfactory.

In my opinion, the 30/3.5 and the 16/2.8 are good as budget lenses go, but there still needs to be a "top drawer" selection on offer. I would love to see a 28mm f2 pancake for example (in black please Sony).
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Old 31st January 2012   #14
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Re: Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7

I got into the NEX, as I wanted to use my Leica lenses on this tiny body and I got my Macro before I got the NEX-7.
The reason was: it is light (138 grams!), it is cheap and it has AF and supports all NEX functions.

Here is one from the NEX-7 with the CV 12mm Heliar
made with the 30/3.5 Macro on the NEX-5 with studio flash in a light tent (click on the image for higher resolution)


here are more real life pictures (click for higher resolution)




find more in my flickr
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Old 31st January 2012   #15
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Re: Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7

here is another one with NEX-7 and the 30/3.5 Macro
studio flash in light tent
(click for higher res.)


and a 1:1 crop (EXIF included)
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Old 31st January 2012   #16
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Re: Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7

Excellent Dierk
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Old 31st January 2012   #17
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Re: Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7

+1 Very nice.
I agree the 30 mm is an excellent lens, especially considering price/quality.
It didn't get much time on my NEX 7 lately, after the ZE 24 mm arrived, that's a shame really.
Here's an example of the resolution outside:
http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/377565-post78.html
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Old 6th February 2012   #18
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Re: Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7

Another plug for the 30mm Macro



Might get a frosty reception.

'elf and safety would not be pleased.

thanks for egging me on, Dierk...
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Old 6th February 2012   #19
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Re: Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7



Would say for close-ups (not real macro) it is a bit on the soft side (relative to a Leica 50mm Summicron :-)).
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Old 6th February 2012   #20
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Re: Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7

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Would say for close-ups (not real macro) it is a bit on the soft side (relative to a Leica 50mm Summicron :-)).

I have about a hundred lenses that are probably better than the 30mm macro or that Summicron.
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Old 6th February 2012   #21
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Re: Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7

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I have about a hundred lenses that are probably better than the 30mm macro or that Summicron.
. . . .than the summicron?
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Old 6th February 2012   #22
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Re: Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7

Yes, why not?
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Old 7th February 2012   #23
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Re: Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7

Vivek: If you are still looking for some more information about the Sony and Sony/Zeiss lenses, this 35 page broschure (pdf) may give you some useful impressions:

http://www.docs.sony.com/release/spe...chure_mksp.pdf

But first of all I wish you furthermore a lot of fun with your purchase.
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Last edited by contrelamontre; 7th February 2012 at 12:15.
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Old 7th February 2012   #24
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Re: Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7

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Yes, why not?
Well, i was rather under the impression that there were not many sharper lenses than the latest 50 'cron (with the possible exception of the 50 'lux asph).

But I stand to be corrected
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Old 7th February 2012   #25
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Re: Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7

Quote:
Originally Posted by contrelamontre View Post
Vivek: If you are still looking for some more information about the Sony and Sony/Zeiss lenses, this 35 page broschure (pdf) may give you some usefull impressions:

http://www.docs.sony.com/release/spe...chure_mksp.pdf

But first of all I wish you furthermore a lot of fun with your purchase.
Wish or curse?

Thanks for the link, Hermann!
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Old 7th February 2012   #26
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Re: Sony 30/3.5 Macro for the NEX-7

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Well, i was rather under the impression that there were not many sharper lenses than the latest 50 'cron (with the possible exception of the 50 'lux asph).

But I stand to be corrected
You are hesitating already, Jono!

The one in discussion, I would suspect, is an oldie.

Yes, there are plenty of sharper lenses than the ones you mention and even I own a few.
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