Sony NEX 30mm f/3.5 Macro and 55-210mm Zoom lens reviews - Part 3

I used the NEX 30mm f/3.5 Macro and 55-210mm Zoom on a trip around the Birmingham suburb of Bourneville yesterday. This is the village created by the Cadbury family around the chocolate making factory. It is part of my familys history as my Grandmother worked there over a hundred years ago, in the days when they let the workers eat as much chocolate as they wanted. Apparently if you lasted more than a month without ever wanting to eat it again, you were doing well!

Sony NEX-5n 55-210mm zoom lens
Sony NEX-5n 55-210mm zoom lens 1/320th. sec. f/6.3 ISO 100 153mm

Sony NEX-5n 55-210mm zoom lens
Sony NEX-5n 55-210mm zoom lens 1/400th. sec. f/6.3 ISO 500 210mm

Sony NEX-5n 30mm f/3.5 macro lens
Sony NEX-5n 30mm f/3.5 macro lens 1/125th. sec f/9 ISO 100

Sony NEX-5n 30mm f/3.5 macro lens
Sony NEX-5n 30mm f/3.5 macro lens 1/200th. sec f/7.1 ISO 100

Sony NEX-5n 55-210mm zoom lens
Sony NEX-5n 55-210mm zoom lens 1/400th. sec. f/6.3 ISO 500 210mm

Sony NEX-5n 55-210mm zoom lens
Sony NEX-5n 55-210mm zoom lens 1/400th. sec. f/6.3 ISO 125 210mm

Sony NEX-5n 55-210mm zoom lens
Sony NEX-5n 55-210mm zoom lens 1/250th. sec. f/5.6 ISO 250 150mm

Sony NEX-5n 30mm f/3.5 macro lens
Sony NEX-5n 30mm f/3.5 macro lens 1/250th. sec f/8 ISO 100

Sony NEX-5n 30mm f/3.5 macro lens
Sony NEX-5n 30mm f/3.5 macro lens 1/500th. sec f/8 ISO 100

CONCLUSION

Both lenses are useful, and much needed additions to the still somewhat sparse NEX lens range. Its all very well to have adapters for a-mount lenses, but a range of native optics is a much better idea. 

The 30mm macro is a really excellent lens. It works very well for its specialist function and also doubles as a very nice standard lens. f/3.5 is a little slow, which isn't a problem for me, but some might find that restricts its use somewhat. As indicated before, the NEX-5n camera is so flexible in terms of ISO performance, that used with that camera the lens is very versatile. Not everyone will want to use the lens with a 5n however.

The 55-210 is also a useful lens. Similar focal lengths to this zoom usually get released much quicker. For example the 45-200mm for the Panasonic m4/3 system was released at the same time as the G1 and its 14-45mm zoom. So a lens like the 55-210mm is long overdue. Its performance is very typical of slow telephoto zooms of this type. These lenses are always a compromise, but its nonetheless capable of good results. I suggested that it has very similar results to my 45-175mm X Panasonic zoom and it also reminds me of the files that I got from my Nikon 55-300mm. As long as you don't expect the same results as  prime lenses then you won't be disappointed.

So, Sony are now up to 5 lenses for the NEX system actually available in the shops. I'm pleased with all of them and yet again would advise you to check them out for yourself if you are considering buying any of them. I have seen no evidence of the supposedly inferior optical quality that is so often quoted on forums. All of these lenses compare very favourably with those for similar competing systems such as m4/3 and Samsung NX. They also compare very well with similarly specified and priced DSLR lenses. From what I've seen, up to now the 30mm f/3.5 macro is the star of the show. I really do like this lens and it reminds me of the results I get from my 25mm f/1.4  Panasonic Leica, which as far as I'm concerned is high praise indeed.

Finally, I'll end where I started, with the build quality of these lenses. All of the NEX lenses I have are superbly engineered. It makes me wonder what happened with the a-mount lenses? These NEX lenses are certainly better constructed than any a-mount lens I've ever owned, better than any m4/3 lens, with the exception of the Olympus 12mm, and better than many, if not most, DSLR lenses. Holding one is like handling a piece of precision engineering, and though I'm sure they are not to everybodys taste, I think they are extremely aesthetic and a delight to use. I know appearances aren't everything, but it helps!!