Now that I’ve had a chance to review and use the Sony NEX-5N, I can honestly say that I’m in love with the camera, even though there are a few downsides to it, mainly the lack of available lenses at the moment. Sure you can use the many adapters that are available for the camera now to make use of lenses from Nikon, Canon, and Olympus, there are downsides to this, mainly the fact that this turns the NEX into a full manual camera.
The good news however is that there are 3rd party lenses either here already or on the way. Same goes for official Sony e-mount lenses. They are coming slowly, but they are coming. Below are the 3rd party lenses that are available now as well as those coming very soon from Rokinon, Tamron. and Sigma. In most cases, the 3rd party lenses are a bit more affordable than the Sony lenses but they don’t sacrifice price for quality. These 3 manufacturers are pretty well known in the photography circle so you can’t really go wrong with purchasing one of these.
Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III VC is the first All-in-One Zoom For Sony NEX cameras by Tamron the Pioneer in High-Power Zoom Lens Design. This striking new 11X zoom provides greatly enhanced shooting flexibility with Sony NEX APS-C-format mirrorless compact interchangeable-lens cameras, including the NEX-3, NEX-C3, NEX-5, and NEX-5N, providing equivalent focal lengths from 27mm wide-angle to 300mm super telephoto plus macro focusing in an ultra-compact form factor, Incorporating the latest version of Tamron’s acclaimed VC (vibration compensation) system, its advanced optical design and stepping-motor autofocus (AF) drive deliver extraordinary image quality plus seamless AF performance.
- 3.8 in.
- 16.2 oz
- ø62 filter
- Sony NEX series
Sony has a similar lens 18-200mm f/3.5-6.5 lens available too for the NEX series. The Tamron however is a very good alternative that features all the same functions as the Sony lens and is a little more affordable than the Sony lens. For more information on the Tamron AF 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3, you can check out Tamron’s website here for full specs and details. The lens retails for $739.
The Rokinon 8mm Ultra Wide Angle f/3.5 Fisheye CS lens is equipped with a Sony E-mount bayonet and was specifically designed for Sony’s NEX and E-mount series. Due to Sony’s one-off construction of their NEX and E-mount series, the bayonet mount was carefully adjusted to ensure the widest possible field of vision and to prevent vignetting. Just like in other lenses constructed for filming purposes, aperture adjustment is perfectly smooth. It gives you a 180° view with dramatic, exaggerated perspective. With hybrid aspherical lenses and multi-layer coating, you will produce sharply defined images with a minimum of flare and ghosting. The 8mm lens focuses as close as 1′ (30.48 cm) from the lens, and has a built-in petal lens hood.
The Rokinon is for anyone who is really serious about taking fisheye images. At 8mm, it’s a very wide angle lens. The only issue with this lens is that it is a full manual lens. Then again, it’s not the kind of lens you’ll leave on all the time and the combination of Sony’s peak leveling feature and MF-assist focusing, it makes using a manual lens quite easy. The lens sells for roughly $299.99, so it’s really not a bad deal for a really well made lens. It’s not a bad alternative to the Sony 16mm f/2.8 with the fisheye attachment.
You may wait to hold off buying this lens however as there is a new Rokinon fisheye leans coming out that is also a 8mm lens but with a f/2.8. It’s also almost half the size of the current lens which in my book, is a huge plus. Look for this new lens at the end of March.
Sigma 30mm f/2.8 EX DN Lens & Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN Lens
The Sigma 30mm f/2.8 EX DN Lens is a standard fixed focal length lens designed specifically for mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. This 30mm lens is equivalent to a 60mm lens in 35mm format and provides a 39.6° angle of view.
Featuring a newly developed linear AF motor, this lens is ideal for use with video and still photography. The linear motor helps to guide the lens elements directly without the need for gears or other noisy mechanical parts, providing quiet and accurate focusing.
An aspherical lens design across 2 glass elements provides correction for distortion, field curvature, and color aberration while Sigma’s super multi-layer coating helps to reduce ghosting and flare. With a minimum focusing distance of 11.81″ / 30cm, there is room for selective focus and creative depth of field applications, featuring an attractive bokeh due to the rounded 7 blade diaphragm. Sharp and high contrast results are available throughout the aperture range, even with the wide f/2.8 opening.
- Standard focal length lens, designed specifically for mirrorless cameras.
- Aspherical lens design provides correction for image distortion, field curvature, and color aberration.
- Multi-layer coating reduces ghosting and flare and provides greater contrast and color fidelity.
- Rounded 7 blade diaphragm produces an attractive out of focus quality.
- Equally sharp results are available from minimum to maximum aperture.
- Linear AF motor directly guides lens elements for quick, quiet auto focusing, ideal for use with video recording.
Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN Lens
The Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN Lens is a high-performance wide angle lens that is designed exclusively for mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras and has the equivalent angle of view as a 38mm (35mm equivalent focal length) on the Micro Four Thirds systems and 28.5mm (35mm equivalent focal length) on the E-mount systems.
Three glass mold aspherical lenses provide excellent correction for distortion, color aberration and field curvature. The inner focusing system corrects the fluctuation of aberration to maintain image quality regardless of the focal distance. Sigma’s Super Multi-Layer Coating reduces flare and ghosting and provides sharp and high contrast images even at the maximum aperture. The superior telecentric optical design improves image quality throughout the frame. This lens benefits from a newly developed linear AF motor which moves the lens elements directly without the need for gears or the drive of other mechanical parts. This system ensures accurate and quiet autofocusing, making the lens suitable for video recording as well as still photos. The lens features a rounded 7 blade diaphragm creating an attractive blur to the out of focus areas of the image. This Sigma 19mm F2.8 EX DN has a minimum focusing distance of 20cm/7.9in and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:7.4.
The Sigma lenses are a good alternative to the Sony prime lenses once they become available. The lenses don’t look as cosmetically nice as the Sony lenses but they seem to feature some new tech in them that makes them quieter and focus more accurately. I also like the fact that these lenses are an f/2.8. It also helps that these will come in at a lower price point than their Sony equivalent.