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Just picked up a NEX-C3

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by dixeyk, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I have a soft spot for using manual focus lenses but my native lenses are the best match with my m43 bodies. I've never been a big fan of the NEX cameras but I saw one on the Buy/Sell area and figured I'd give it a go. See...that's the problem with having a PayPal balance. :eek:

    Anyway, I have no plans to leave m43 as it is really coming into its own with some terrific native glass and bodies like the E-M5. BUT...I am a big fan of using legacy glass and while I have gotten some terrific images using them on my various m43 bodies I have always found it a bit of a chore using the LCD and EVF. Having read so many folks talk about how great focus peaking is I thought I'd try out a NEX body as my legacy lens body. I'm not looking to move to an NEX system so I decided the NEX-C3 looked like a good way to go. I think it's going to primarily have my Hexanon 24/2.8 on it. I am looking forward to the Hex24 being a bit more WA with the 1.5x multiplier on the NEX as opposed to the 2x on my GF2 and GH2. I also think it would be a nice match with a Jupiter-8 or Industar 61L/D.

    It should be a nice new image making tool.
     
  2. eno789

    eno789 Mu-43 Regular

    193
    Jul 5, 2010
    Bay Area, California
    Brian
  3. applemint

    applemint Mu-43 Veteran

    345
    Jan 24, 2012
    Here in the UK you can get a brand new (from a camera shop) Nex C3 body for £240 - at that price I think it's a great value digital back for legacy lenses.

    My favourites inexpensive legacy lenses on the Nex are probably the Yashica ML 50mm 1.9 and the Minolta MD 35-70 zoom.
    This is taken with the Yashica on a Nex 5:

    7110897813_74d1c64460_c.
     
  4. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Please post your experiences! I tried the 3, 5 and 5n. I just don't "click" with NEX (maybe a pun intended there), but would love to hear how you get a long.

    I find the colors overcook, though, with orange being the worst. Always had to fix in post.

    Good luck, and post some examples here or on SC.
     
  5. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Will do...I am looking forward to experimenting with it and seeing what I can come up with.
     
  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Got the C3 today. My first impression WOW followed by...damn that thing is tiny. It really feels pretty good in hand and as a digital back for my Hexanons it is light years ahead of my m43 gear. The focus peaking alone is worth the price of admission. I'll report back after the battery charges and I have some time to play with it.

    What little I did play with it was pretty fun. If Sony a lens like the P20/1.7 I think m43 would be converting a few folks.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. applemint

    applemint Mu-43 Veteran

    345
    Jan 24, 2012
    Yes, I also think the Nex cameras make better digital backs for legacy lenses than the m43 stuff. As you point out though, the biggest problem with them is the current lack of decent e-mount prime lenses.
     
  8. kevwilfoto

    kevwilfoto Mu-43 Veteran

    294
    Sep 23, 2011
    Colorado
    I've thought of doing the same thing, maybe finding a good deal on a NEX-5n to use legacy lenses with. If Olympus were able to add focus peeking (peaking?) to the OM-D via a firmware update, I'd feel like I wasted my time and money, though, so I haven't yet acted on my idea. I'm curious to see how your experiment works out.
     
  9. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Eric
    I'm not terribly familiar with the NEX cameras - is focus peaking available on all NEX cameras or only certain models?
     
  10. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    As far as I know the F3 adds 1080 video and a built-in flash. Since I almost never use flash (and the C3 comes with a detachable one like the E-PL3/PM1) and I use my GH2 for video the C3 seemed like a good deal. As I understand it all the NEX models including the NEX3/5 have focus peaking. The oder models got it form a firmware upgrade (are you listening Panasonic and Olympus?).

    So far after a bit of playing with it I am still very impressed. The controls are all pretty straight forward for using legacy glass with very little (if any) menu diving. There is even a "sunny" setting for the LCD that really cranks the brightness up. Now all I need is actual sunny weather to see how it works. I have the Hex 40 attached and am taking it with me today instead of my normal m43 body.
     
  11. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I wonder if we'll ever see focus peaking on m43. I guess I figured for how little I paid for a nearly new body it was a pretty small risk. Also, I always have a second (or third) body around so it can fit in there nicely if nothing else.
     
  12. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    A few shots with the NEX during the day. The shots aren't anything special in that I was just trying to get the hang of focus peaking. Here's what I think so far...The NEX-C3 is comfortable although a wee bit small in the hand. I'm currently using a Domke gripper strap but it's going to need a wrist strap to be comfortable. The large legacy lens actually helps make the small body easier to handle as it gives you a place to grab. The controls are all easy to get to and I rarely needed to go into the menus. I can access ISO, metering and exposure compensation from what buttons there are in the body. I still think the overall UI is kinda cumbersome but it didn't take long to get used to it and it doesn't seem to get in my way so I'm happy. The flip up screen is terrific and even useful in bright light because of focus peaking. I wish the LCD was articulated and a bit larger. It also get pretty smudged so I think an LCD screen protector is the next purchase.

    As far as using a manual focus lens...focus peaking really lives up to its reputation. It is far and away the best experience I have ever had using legacy glass on a digital camera. It works like a charm. It takes a little getting used to because you have to figure out what to look for but once you do it's fast , easy and reliable. Finally, the IQ is...well, pretty darned impressive. I made the mistake of choosing the VIVID image style so the colors are REALLY saturated. I'll probably go back to DEFAULT setting color wise. That said, the images are amazingly detailed and a big step up from what I am used to. I've never felt particularly unhappy with the images from any of my m43 cameras but the images form the NEX-C3 definitely got my attention. I went into this thinking that they would be nice but just a little better than my GF2 or E-P1 and on a par with my GH2. While I think all my m43 bodies can produce wonderful images, I think the IQ of the NEX is a step up.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dixeyk/7458343574/" title="Yellow by dixeyk, on Flickr"> 7458343574_d3451be168_b. "1024" height="680" alt="Yellow"></a>
    Hexanon 24/2.8 @f5.6

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dixeyk/7458342592/" title="Pink Sharp by dixeyk, on Flickr"> 7458342592_3d544020e4_b. "1024" height="680" alt="Pink Sharp"></a>
    Hexanon 24/2.8 @f5.6

    As a platform for manual focus glass it's VERY IMPRESSIVE. One more thing...the shutter is pretty funny...it's loud as hell and sounds just like my old Konica SLRs. It won't be to everyone's liking but I think its awesome.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  13. applemint

    applemint Mu-43 Veteran

    345
    Jan 24, 2012
    Yes, I was going to suggest that actually if it didn't already have one as the earlier Nex models (3 and 5) had a nasty habit of losing their anti glare coating on the screen - not sure if this applies to later models or not?

    Glass cover replacement for Sony NEX LCD screen | Photoclubalpha

    I have a GGS screen protector on my Nex 5 and they are excellent and very easy to fit (I have the version which blocks the automatic brightness adjustment sensor of the lcd display but that's not an issue for me as I prefer to adjust that manually).

    Interesting to read your thoughts on the Nex coming from micro four thirds as my experience was the other way round - got the Nex when they first came out and then was tempted to try m43 due to the far superior native AF prime lens choices + the smaller size and weight of the m43 lenses.

    If the Nex had lenses like the 20mm 1.7 Panasonic and 45mm 1.8 Olympus, I think (as you said) they would tempt a lot of m43 owners. I think (most) Nex lenses will always be bigger and heavier though due to the different sensor size and mount and no IBIS in the Nex bodies. That said, my Nex 18-55 and 55-210 lenses may be heavier and bigger than my Olympus 14-42 and 40-150 lenses but they also look and feel a lot nicer due to the metal build, smooth zoom and things like the rubber grips on the zoom ring and manual focus ring (on the 55-210). In comparison my 40-150 in particular looks and feels cheap - but obviously if you want lighter plastic lenses then that's something you have to accept. I also think the OSS in the e-mount lenses works better than the IBIS in my Olympus body (the OMD IBIS may be a different story though).
     
  14. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Yep the GGS will arrive tomorrow. I kind of see the two systems as complimentary (at least in my case). My m43 gear gives me small, AF and great lenses. The NEX gives me small and far superior handling of MF lenses. It's not even close. Using MF lenses on my m43 gear (including my GH2) is a chore compared to using the NEX and focus peaking. I don't think my Hexanons or Super Takumars will ever get mounted on any of my m43 bodies again. Now, since the ease adapting of legacy glass is one of the main reasons that I came to m43 I may have to re-think things a might.
     
  15. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Thanks a LOT, Kevin. Now in addition to all the great :43: gear on my GAS list, your gushing about focus peaking has me wanting to follow you into the NEX landscape as well. :mad:
     
  16. applemint

    applemint Mu-43 Veteran

    345
    Jan 24, 2012
    Agreed - that's why I still have both (albeit not the most cost effective solution!). Nex for legacy lenses and low light/high iso stuff (mainly); m43 for when I want to use fast prime lenses and need/want to have AF or when I want to travel light (GF3 +20mm or 14mm in jacket pocket).
     
  17. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Eric
    Do the NEX cameras give live exposure preview the way the Olympus bodies do? If so, I may really need to rethink m43 as I really don't use AF lenses all that much and initially purchased my E-PL1 as a digital back for my OM and M42 glass. I'm sure I'd miss the IBIS Olympus offers, but I think focus peaking would get me a lot more keepers more easily.
     
  18. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    You guys should enroll in our sister site at talknex.com. The site could use some more traffic, and this kind of lively discussion could really help!
     
  19. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Yeah, sorry about that. For the longest time I was not even remotely interested in NEX. I even remember posting how I found the NEX5n too small and uncomfortable to hold. it wasn't until a coworker brought in his NEX 3 and I got to look at it someplace other than a Best Buy. Even when I bought it I was not expecting it to be significantly different than my GH2 IQ wise. What has been a real eye opener is the combination of IQ and ease of using MF lenses. I still see it as filling a very specific niche for me. It won't replace any of my m43 gear because there are no equivalents to the P20, PL25, O12 or O45 in E-Mount. BUT...for using my old legacy glass it IS pretty great. I really see the NEX and m43 as being a great compliment to one another.

    I have always had a fascination with the Leica M8 and M9 although both are out of my budget. For me the NEX is sort of a baby M8. I suspect if I had any M glass the NEX would do a pretty fair job with it. The 3 week old NEX-C3 cost me about $290. It was cheaper than an M8 by three round trip tickets to Costa Rica and I can use DSLR and RF lenses on it. I'm not trying to say it's as good as an M8 (although IQ is pretty impressive) but I get a nice enjoyable platform to use my legacy glass on. I will say that if I was someone with a collection of M glass I would definitely take a serious looks at a NEX7 instead of an M8.
     
  20. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I did and have been posting there but it is a very quiet board. I have gotten much more response here and on SC. But...I'll go over there and see what I can get going.