Frozen (and some more thoughts about the Sony NEX 5N)

During my last trip I had to deal with very low temperatures (the lowest being -24 Celsius, that’s about -11 Fahrenheit). At these frozen conditions every camera operates way out of the limits the owner manual suggests. Of course, the scenery was so beautiful that I didn’t bother taking notice of the manual warnings !!

I had not been on a frozen lake for years and it’s a sight a liked very much. I almost exclusively used the Sony NEX 5N and I also took very few images with my Makina 67 (which was making quite a noise when I was advancing film). The camera worked flawlessly and allowed me to get a few good images of the scenery.

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Once again I used the 18-55 e-mount lens. Now a few words about this lens. I am using it very often on the NEX since it has auto focus, stabilization and the focal length (27-82 equivalent to 35mm format) is very convenient. It’s a decent travel lens but as expected not something special. The second kit lens (16mm f2.8 which translates to 24mm) suffers from great distortion and I only use it on low light interiors mostly for snapshots. For “serious” images I will fit either a Voigtlander or Leica lens, with the superb peaking system of the NEX focusing is very easy. Also I am thinking of permanently replacing the 16mm pancake with my Voigtlander 15mm f4.5 lens. The high ISO performance of the camera compensates the slower maximum aperture but I will have to see in person the corner performance of this lens with the NEX sensor. As I have written before I am not willing to spend time with Cornerfix software on continuous base so I will make some test images and see how this lens behaves on the 5N.

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Now, about using a good 35mm equivalent lens on the NEX, the obvious choice is the Zeiss 24mm f1.8 but that’s an expensive lens. It’s also a big lens so when you compare the NEX 5N – OLED Viewfinder – Zeiss 24mm combo with the Fuji X100 suddenly the X100 becomes a much more convenient camera to carry. The price of the Zeiss almost equals the price of the X100 so for now, I have decided to keep the X100 for this particular focal length (carrying both the NEX and X100 is easy, they both fit in a normal bag and the weight is of course no problem.). This of course would further limit the use of the Leica M8 with the Elmarit 28mm but the M8 stays in my arsenal for its infrared ability.

Well, it’s always a complicated issue, the discussion of gear, but the choices today are so many and of course no camera can do it all unless you are targeted to a specific style of photography (which I am not).

The bottom line here is that the Sony NEX 5N is a truly wonderful and versatile camera for every day use and I personally think that it’s worth the upgrade from the previous model.

Enough with words, here are the rest of the images (and since this is listed in Travel category, all images were shot at the city of Kastoria, Greece).

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(c)2012 Konstantinos Besios. All rights reserved.

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