A few weeks ago, my dad generously gave me his camera, a Sony NEX-5T. If you roll far enough back on OutFor30, you’ll find that I used to use the predecessor to this camera, the original Sony NEX-5. I remembered it being darn good if not a tad slow. All my photos from Iraq I shot with that camera coupled to an 18-200mm Sony lens. That was my first foray into trying alternatives to my giant Nikons. A number of the images from those trips turned into quite nice prints. In fact, in my home I still have one of those 16×20 prints hanging on the wall. The NEX-5T offers up 2 more megapixels resolution, touch screen LCD, and much faster interface speed. All that should make for a pretty fun camera to use.
Since the NEX-5T shares the same E-mount as my A7RII, all of my lens adapters perfectly fit this camera. I took to searching my lens collection for one that might work well with this lightweight camera. After trying out a 600mm f/8 reflex lens I decided that was comically too big so instead I settled on an old Olympus OM Zuiko Auto-W 28mm f/2.8. The NEX-5T has an APS-C size sensor so with the 1.5x Crop Factor this results in the 28mm lens having an effective focal length of 42mm which is pretty perfect for a walk around rig.
I like Olympus’ attention to detail in the design with the mixture of matte black and silver finish against brightly painted markings. Small, all-metal, and very well built, this old Zuiko is real looker.
I expected this new-to-me NEX-5T to be a pretty decent shooter but having spent the last year shooting with a monster-of-a-camera, the flagship 42MP A7RII, I figured at best it would be a fun little camera to poke around with and maybe use it to teach more of my kids about photography.
I love being surprised!
I was floored by the image quality I was getting out of this tiny little camera, not failing to point out how excellent is that tiny beast of a lens. The close-focus ability of the Olympus makes it especially useful as a walk around lens.
When I showed Floyd, aka the Hippopotapuss, some of these photos he was like, “THATS DOPE!” – cause Floyd’s lingo is still stuck in the 90’s even after I’ve explained to him over and over that he wasn’t even alive back then. Whatever… I’m not arguing about it with him anymore.
I can’t find a single fault with the way the lens and camera rendered this image. It is stunningly sharp, contrasty, colorful, without the slightest hint of chromatic aberration in those highlights. Additionally, I find the bokeh very pleasing to the eye – silky and calm looking..
The sun setting off in the distance made for some gorgeous backlighting to these vibrantly colored autumn leaves. The Olympus lens handled this tough situation very well, controlling flare and ghosting as well as any modern lens would have. I’ll add, too, that the RAW files from the NEX-5T have tons of latitude for cleanly pushing exposure in the shadows.
I was so impressed with the NEx-5T and that little Olympus 28mm that I decided to carry it as my travel camera for awhile. In addition to the 28mm, I also brought with me the Olympus OM Zuiko 50mm f/1.4 which provides an equivalent 75mm lens. These two tiny lenses along with the minuscule NEX-5T makes for a very light load out. I’m by no means willing to abandon my A7RII but it is fun to have more options available to me.
Dad, thanks for the camera!
Coming up next is another post of images from the NEX 5-T, this time with a Nikon 180mm lens attached to it.