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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:24 am 
01. First, as will become quickly evident, I am no great prospect for any camera salesman. I have been sitting outside the digital photography wall for what must be getting close to twenty years. But, the time has come that I need to make an investment in the next sixty days and I need your help to get it right. Its the last camera system I will likely purchase at my age.

02. So, way back when I was able to get into good equipment, it was, for me, first Asahi Pentax. I loved that gear, but when I dropped an expensive telephoto lens while trying to screw in a wide-angle lens in the middle of a sunrise shooting event, I finally understood why I needed an easier lens mounting configuration.

03. I am still using the Canon A-1 that replaced my Pentax. So, the lens inventory [maybe not so special to you, but for my limited means, a large sum of money at the time] that I am trying to preserve and augment is composed of:

a. Soligor Zoom Macro 28-80mm, F3.5-4.5 workhorse (90% of all my shots);
b. Soligor 135mm f2.8;
c. Tamron 60300mm f3.8-5.4

04. I normally use the AutoExposure capabilities of my camera in shutter-speed priority mode because the types of shots I make are normally more critically-determined by speed. Of course, I have never used a lens with AutoFocus, so manual focus is a normal way of life.

05. After many, many hours of watching/reading/trying to understand all the forums on which digital camera is best for which sorts of work for what sorts of reason, I pretty much convinced myself that some version of some Panasonic m4/3 system would be my best choice. And so I thought I would be posting to your Panasonic forum asking for help in zeroing in on which model. I was, at the same time, aware of the Sony activities, and while I noticed some things that looked attractive, I thought Panasonic [or perhaps an Olympus version] would be right for my type of photography.

Now along came the Sony NEX products this Fall, and while from what I think I understand I think I would like a NEX-7. the reality is I can more reasonably only afford a NEX-5N [including the cost of the optional, but for me, mandatory, Electronic View Finder].

06. So, while I am very willing to listen to other advice, I think I am just looking for good help in answering the questions:

a. Will either the Panasonic or the NEX let me get some more years out of my lenses?
b. What adapter is required/recommended to make that marriage happen?
c. Specifically with regards to using my new camera's movie capabilities, where zooming will be critical, which of the two systems [or some other] would likely give the best results with manual focusing. I know I don't want my movie's sound to be ruined by the noise of any part of the apparatus.
d. What current lens or lenses would you recommend to go with whatever new body is chosen?

I apologize if the specificity of my questions makes it seem as if I am just selfishly asking for someone else to make my choice for me. I really do not know, and do not have access to a local camera shop where I can get positive answers to my questions, and I cannot afford to get it wrong.

Thank you.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:40 am 
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Short answer: I think it's going to come down to whether you want to prioritize stills (Sony NEX-5n) or video (Panasonic GH2).

Longer answers:

a. Will either the Panasonic or the NEX let me get some more years out of my lenses?

Yes, both.

b. What adapter is required/recommended to make that marriage happen?

http://www.fotodiox.com/index.php?cPath=21

c. Specifically with regards to using my new camera's movie capabilities, where zooming will be critical, which of the two systems [or some other] would likely give the best results with manual focusing. I know I don't want my movie's sound to be ruined by the noise of any part of the apparatus.

It's really more about the lens than the camera body, so given the same lens on each body, I don't think there would be a significant difference.

Two (and a half) caveats, however:

1) if you want to zoom during a shot, you will almost always be better off using a video camera/camcorder over a hybrid stills/video camera.

2) if you really want to avoid picking up the camera's operational noise in your soundtrack, you will be much better off going dual system--i.e. recording sound separately from video--and synching in post. (This is exactly why "Hollywood" does it this way.)

2a) But at the very least, you should use an externally mounted mic. (And note that Sony's proprietary connection limits your choice in this regard.)

d. What current lens or lenses would you recommend to go with whatever new body is chosen?

I'm not up on Sony lenses, sorry. (I'm a Panasonic GH2 owner.) But the Panasonic 14-140mm is a must for video. Pany also just released 2 "power zoom" lenses--a 14-42mm and a 45-175mm--although I have no experience with either of them.

Also note that video clips on the NEX-5n are limited to 29 minutes in all regions, while U.S. models of the GH2 are limited only by the amount of free space on the card. And that the NEX-5n suffers from overheating when shooting video:

http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/sony-nex ... ng-issues/

Oh, and given your preference for telephoto lenses, you may find the GH2's ETC (Extra Tele-Conversion) mode interesting. It basically uses a 1:1 area of the sensor--i.e. no downscaling--which gives the user another 2.6X crop factor over the normal 2X. e.g. 100mm X 2 X 2.6 = 520mm And I don't think the NEX-5n has a similar mode, but I could be wrong.

HTH - Mark


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:54 am 
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Hi tcorbet,

since I was 10 and all the way until 22, I shot in film only, fortunately I had a "digital" body with Auto focus and a very steamlined pentax mount system (this was 15 years ago when I first got my very first Pentax "digital" film camera and 17 years ago when I got my first Olympus OM10 with 50mm prime) I went into DSLR kicking and screaming and not really happy with the FOUR THIRDS system in the DSLR sized offering - BUT now the MICRO FOUR THIRDS system is imo excellent, the same sensor but with the right kind of body and lens types, and I think going pana or oly in the micro will be the best choice imo, as the sensors havent changed but the processing, speed and the lenses have been fine tuned to support this interesting sensor type.

Anyawy!

Quote:
a. Will either the Panasonic or the NEX let me get some more years out of my lenses?


EDIT: Read Maestro's answer

Quote:
b. What adapter is required/recommended to make that marriage happen?


EDIT: Read Maestro's answer

I am assuming the lenses listed were and are used for a Film Pentax body at the time, but you manage to use them on your Canon A-1 - is that right. Assuming I read your post correctly....

To answeer your B question for your TAMRON lens - "This lens needs a PK (M) adapter. It can turn into a Pentax-A lens with a PK/A Adaptall mount."

So that mean YES, your lenses can protentially be used for digital - but at the moment, only for Pentax bodies. (Caveat: Im sure there are other mounts for Canon DSLR and Nikon DSLR and others but most of the literature point to pentax and since the OP was talking pentax, I am only making an assumption)

Quote:
c. Specifically with regards to using my new camera's movie capabilities, where zooming will be critical, which of the two systems [or some other] would likely give the best results with manual focusing. I know I don't want my movie's sound to be ruined by the noise of any part of the apparatus.


Movie recording needs Image stabilisation or some kind of shake reduction - And zooming only aplifies this sense of camera shake. Unlike deicated camcorders which uses a motor to zoom and uses anti-shake, point and shoot cameras dont have a motor - we use our hands to twist the lens - Im afriad the best way is to get a hold of a camera with a long lens and try out the vide yourself and see what zooming is like WITH and WITHOUT some kind of shake reduction.

Quote:
d. What current lens or lenses would you recommend to go with whatever new body is chosen?


Kit Lenses on the Mirrorless camera offerings are actually really decent. They normally come in twin kits, offering a prime and a zoom lens. If you are going into DLSR, and you buy a pentax camera, a mount is all you really need a lot of time reading on how the relationship with 35mm lenses work with DSLR cameras (especially cropped frame bodies)

Normally, if you go for a mirrorless camera body, Id get a twin lens kit that has a prime as currently all the brands are making pretty decent primes - the zoom, well that depends on how flexible you want the camera to be and how big and bulky you want it to be too.

Hope this helps

Anyone please correct me on my information if there seems to be something wrong, I normally sit and do my research but Im tired and I did only a little bit.

_________________
1) Olympus OM1 [Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8]
2) Pentax MZ-60 [Sigma 28-90 & 100-300]
3) Canon 7D [EF-S 15-85 & 70-200mm f/4 IS & 50mm f1.4]
4) Leica M [50mm Summicron Pre-aspherical - Silver]

http://www.poetproductions.net


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 Post subject: Outstandingly Helpful
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:13 am 
Yes, I should have done a better job of helping with the still vs. video tradeoff. Video is just the entirely new opportunity, so I made more mention of it. But, even though I will certainly shoot silly, meaningless movies, just to get the hang of it, whatever photographic talent I once had with film was all about light and composure of still images, and that is what I want to do as best I can with the new system.

The clerk at the local Wolf/Ritz store, not knowing for sure what would connect with the NEX-5N also recommended the fotodiox brand, so I shot off a specific request to them -- in Chicago, as I recall -- and they came back with a rather unhelpful [but honest] statement that not having any of those lenses they could not give me any guarantee than they would work. Thank you for at least a confirming recommendation.

So, the GH2 was definitely the camera that most caught my attention/envy. I would not need to be sold on that as my choice, but since you are an owner, you can no doubt give me the best information on where things stand with that model.

A. Initially, getting one in the US was extremely difficult. Is that all in the past, or with the weather disasters in Japan and Thailand, is that still true?
B. If they are available, do they sell at list and above, or are there any bargains anywhere?
C. Assuming that the great movie capability of the GH2 is less important to me, the more recent product/models have sort of gone over my head. What Panasonic model would you recommend that might let me buy in at a lower cost than the GH2?


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 Post subject: Mea Culpa
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:33 am 
Mark pointed out that I had not been as clear as I should have been on still versus video and you've point out that I did an absolutely terrible job of explaining my lens lineup Both of you are right and so helpful.

This will now be out of chronological order, but that should be ok.

On the lenses, no the two Soligors were made for the Canon mount. The Tamron does seem to be a little peculiar. I use it with no problems on the Canon, but a couple of years ago when I was first told that Olympus could give me some life for my lenses that Canon itself was not addressing, when I took my lenses to the store to try to attach to the Olympus body [I believe it was 4/3, before m 4/3 showed up] while my most important Soligor zoom worked fine, there was a lot of twisting and turning to try to make the Tamron line up properly. I think has to do with the fact that the Tamron/Canon mount is not 'pure' Canon.

So sorry -- the Pentax gear has been gone since I was on the roof of that hotel in Kweilin in 1978 and dropped the lens! The Canon gear is about vintage 1979/80 with the Tamron dating from about 1992. It all still works just fine, but I am so far behind.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:52 am 
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Location: bit east of Melbourne
just to throw it out there, why not a mainstream DSLR from Canon or Nikon, in particular second hand.....
:D
Basic kit lenses are good and cheap, some excellent cheap primes.

this may work out cheaper overall.

there is still limitations, in the Sony or Pansonic that make a DSLR superior. Especially in the value for money and general availability.
Then there is focus accuracy, speed, viewfinder etc.

Have you thought about processing photos, will you be shooting in raw?

_________________
Canon Powershot S95, Canon 6D,7D, Canon 40 2.8 STM, Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC, Canon 17-40 L, Canon 15-85, Canon 85 1.8, Sigma 30 1.4, 50mm 1.8, Canon 100 2.8L Macro, Canon 70-300L +Kenko 1.4 Pro 300DGX, Canon 430EX II and RS 4 Classic


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:36 pm 
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Posts: 733
tcorbet wrote:
...all about light and composure of still images, and that is what I want to do as best I can with the new system.


Given that, I would recommend the NEX-5n, as it's a much better still image/photography camera than the GH2.

But since you asked...

Quote:
A. Initially, getting one in the US was extremely difficult. Is that all in the past, or with the weather disasters in Japan and Thailand, is that still true?


That's no longer the case. (Although, many people, myself included, are bracing for another long wait if/when/after the GH3 is released.)

Quote:
B. If they are available, do they sell at list and above, or are there any bargains anywhere?


Due to widespread availability, age and the new "X" lenses, there are, indeed, bargains out there, especially on the GH2 + 14-140mm bundle which can now be found for ~$1,200. (MSRP is $1,500, and back when they were scarce, it was common to see them auctioned for $2,500+!)

Quote:
C. Assuming that the great movie capability of the GH2 is less important to me, the more recent product/models have sort of gone over my head. What Panasonic model would you recommend that might let me buy in at a lower cost than the GH2?


There's the G3, but again, I would really recommend the NEX-5n. (There's also the GF3 and GX1, but neither has a view finder. Yes, you can buy one for $150, but at that point, you won't be saving much money.)

Mark

P.S. from your following post:

Quote:
while my most important Soligor zoom worked fine, there was a lot of twisting and turning to try to make the Tamron line up properly. ... The Canon gear is about vintage 1979/80 with the Tamron dating from about 1992.


It's possible you might have two different mounts; Canon went from FD to EF in 1987. And as an aside, I have an m4/3 to EF adapter by Fotodiox that works flawlessly, and I know several other people who have Fotodiox's m4/3 to FD adapters and they also have had no issues.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:09 pm 
To Maxjj:

"Buggers!" Or is that just that a Hugh Grant thing and something that no Aussie would say any more than one of we wayward colonists in America?

Sure, for most the last decade of watching all the DSLR world pass me by,
I would have loved to have had either of the Canikon systems. The primary dissuasion was the lens incompatibilities -- at least I never found what seemed what would have worked for preserving my glass, in which I was probably wrong. In any case, the three factors of incompatibility, cost and finally size always stopped me. So, to your very good point, I did come to accept the size problem because the main thing I noticed even my well-appointed peers saying was that there were so many cases in which my large camera bag stopped me from getting a picture that I would have loved. It is just too cumbersome to keep my equipment -- essentially the same size as the DSLRs you recommend -- at hand while driving, or hiking, or just 'walking around'.

While admitting that any such complaint could just be rationalization, I'm firm on the fact that whatever I buy has to be less bulky. Indeed, without taking up more of everyone's kindly-provided time, if there is an alternative to m4/3 or similar mirrorless ILC, I have a harder time answering the question of why not just getting the best 'travel super zoom' as it is precisely the great examples of both still and video on this site which impress me. Forget the silly old, bulky lenses -- since using them will turn my m4/3 or whatever into a rather bulky camera anyway -- don't even buy into a system. I'm not sure I have a good answer as to why I have abandoned that idea. Thanks for reminding me that I'm not very good at making up my mind.

To Maestro/Mark:

Thanks for the additional, very helpful facts.

My Canon gear, now that you give me the proper model designations is all FD, so I will follow through with the Fotodiox folks rather than chance one of the much less expensive no-names from China, by which phrase I am not knocking those products, as others report perfect results with those as well.

And thanks for the market facts on the GH2. The point at which you seem to switch your recommendation pretty well confirms why and where I had winnowed my selection down as between the Pany and the NEX. For most of the last year that I have wished that I could have made the GH2 choice, it has been way out of my price range, and I guess I had hoped that the current trade show, or something would have forced out the reported GH3 replacement and that might have given me some decent bargain via eBay. but, I've run out of time. I will be sleeping in my car, driving across this continent for 70 days and nights starting at the end of March, and I need to do something now.

I won't persist on this thread, but after a little time to ingest the suggestions, maybe I will post on the Pany thread for a final selection in that brand or the Sony thread for a final selection as between the 5N and 7.

To all of you, thanks very, very much. As I am sure you all know, here, as compared with dpreview, you get genuine, helpful inputs instead of the endless ranting that goes on over there and becomes such a detriment to the basic fact that we all just like to take pictures.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:03 pm 
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"Bugger" is still going strong. Even my 4 year old boy uses it.
But then we seem to be good at turning anything into something humorous.

I know what you say about the less bulky and we take a little Canon P&S for that. However, I can see getting something that fits in between one day, just want to see this stuff mature a bit more, before I commit.

I would like to hear more about the 70 day trip, its the sort of things I like to do. I am getting a caravan in a couple of month and will be taking the kids on long trips.

_________________
Canon Powershot S95, Canon 6D,7D, Canon 40 2.8 STM, Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC, Canon 17-40 L, Canon 15-85, Canon 85 1.8, Sigma 30 1.4, 50mm 1.8, Canon 100 2.8L Macro, Canon 70-300L +Kenko 1.4 Pro 300DGX, Canon 430EX II and RS 4 Classic


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