I HAVE BECOME UNFAITHFUL

After a long monogamous relationship with Canon cameras; stretching back well over 50 years, I have started a relationship on the side with a Sony mirrorless camera. I don't think that I will divorce Canon completely but I am enjoying my new relationship with a crop sensor Sony A6500 which I purchased used at a very good price...

There are several reasons that I like this little camera but, its size and weight are just about the most important.  I can carry the A6500 and several lenses, a flash and a camera bag at well under four pounds.

The A6500 is fun to shoot...  I love the 50mm f/1.8 lens for portraits especially with the continuous Eye Auto Focus. The Eye AF is almost magical in that it will pick out a subject's eyes and lock on them even if the subject or camera move.  I shot this at our Vet...

This beautiful young lady is the niece of a family that adopted one of our rescue Maltese...

The used package also included a Sigma MC-11 adapter which allows me to use my Canon lenses on the A6500.  This was with my Canon 85mm f/1.8 lens on the A6500.

I can also adapt some older manual focus vintage lenses.  This was done with a Russian Helios 58mm f/2 lens which produces a special swirly background bokeh..

The little camera is great for events because of its light weight and good image quality.  I used a native Sony 85mm f/1.8 lens for this shot...

I don't know if I will totally give up my Canon gear but the little Sony is a great addition.  I will be visiting the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and also plan to visit the Rose Bowl floats on the day after the parade when they are parked for public viewing.  The little A6500 and a lens or two will be a great light weight kit to carry on those trips.

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  • I remember quite a while ago that you mentioned several ‘companies’ you trusted when purchasing used or refurbished items. I can’t remember any of them. 

    • There are two companies which I have purchased from and which I have been very happy...

      Adorama - purchased a lot of new and used gear. I most recently purchased the 85mm f/1.8 Sony lens and it was really in top notch condition at a good price...

      www.adorama.com

      B&H - purchased quite a bit of gear but only new stuff...

      www.bhphotoviceo.com

      I have heard good things about KEH for used gear but, I have never found their prices to be competitive...

      As far as used gear goes, you don't get a manufacturer's warranty with used gear which is something to keep in mind when you are deciding on a price you are willing to pay.

      eBay...  I have bought a few things on eBay and have been satisfied with some of it and dissatisfied with some. Lately, it seems like eBay and PayPay are more responsive to customers,  I purchased a Canon to Sony lens adapter but, it was not the model that was advertised. I complained to the seller through eBay and received a pre-paid shipping label to FedEx the adapter back. I was credited with my purchase price as soon as the seller received my item.  I stay away from Eastern European and Brooklyn New York sellers on eBay. I am sure that there are some honest Brooklyn eBay sellers, just like I am sure that a flock of pigs just flew over my house...

      www.craigslist.com ... Occasionally, you can find a good value on craigslist.  However, I always meet the seller in a very public place.  There is a parking lot of our police and fire station that I use for safety...

      In buying used, you need to know the present selling price for the item new.  Of course, with some items, like old vintage lenses, there are no new models to compare with.

  • Keep your evaluations coming. :-). You always take wonderful photos. I especially like the effect of your Russian Helio lens. 

    • I also paid about $40 for the Helios which is a model 44-4.  It is said that the bokeh from the 44-2 Helios is more swirly than that from the 44-4 but, the 44-4 lens is said to be sharper.  I cannot tell exactly since I have never used a 44-2 model.

      The total effect of the swirly bokeh is produced better with a full frame camera than with a crop format such as my A6500. 

      These shots are on my A6500

      However, I didn't want to spend an extra thousand or two thousand bucks to get a full frame mirrorless camera.  So instead, I purchased a three dollar eBay M-42 to Canon EF adapter and will try the Helios on my Canon 6D2. I have not received the adapter yet.

      There is another unique lens which cost me only thirty dollars.  It is a 75mm f/1.7 Night Hawk which was originally designed as a surveillance camera lens.  It doesn't have an aperture so any portraits I do with this lens will be wide open.  No problem since for outdoor shots, I like to shoot wide open.  I haven't tested the lens on real subjects yet but, it seems to do a pretty good job on my manikin head. I already have an ND filter for outdoor shooting if the light is too bright.

      I have a Sony 85mm f/1.8 lens which is a great addition to my kit.  It is tack sharp. I shot this lizard at 1/160 second using f/2.2 at ISO 1250.  The results from the camera/lens combination are really quite satisfactory...

      The Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS lens is designed for crop sensors and is very sharp!  I carried the A6500 with two lenses to a Renaissance Faire and was amazed how light the kit was...

      All in all, this is a fun camera to play with especially for an old guy like me.  Carrying a full frame Canon camera and a couple of lenses is a load...

      The lens I am disappointed in is the Sony 16mm f/2.8.  This lens is wonderfully small but, just doesn't deliver the sharpness I like.  I will sell this and get a manual focusing Rokinon 12mm f/2.8 lens which will cost about $250.  Until then, I can use my 12-24mm Tokina f/4 ATX lens with the MC-11 adapter.  This delivers very nice results but, the lens/adapter combination weighs almost a pound and a half.  The 12mm Rokinon weighs only 8-ounces while the diminutive 16mm f/2.8 Sony weighs a minuscule 2.36 ounces...

    • There are lots of rumors regarding new Sony cameras and Sony is having sales on some of their older issues such as the A7ii and A6000.  That indicates to me that there are new cameras in the pipeline,  Some of the rumors are momentous and I would certainly want to wait for the new kids on the block to appear before I purchased the first (or for me - my second) Sony mirrorless camera.

      Whether I stick to a crop sensor (most likely since my major reason for going Sony is to have a light kit) or if I get a new or used full frame camera depends altogether on what Sony is going to put on the table.

      I do like using a pair of cameras especially since changing lenses on the A6500 leaves the sensor quite vulnerable to dust.  The second camera would prevent needing to switch lenses in the field to a great degree.  Since the A6500 only weighs one pound with battery installed, an extra camera would not burden me down too much,

  • Nancy,

    Although I really love the A6500, I don't think that this would be the best time to purchase one because Sony is expected to release a successor to the A6500 in the near future,  This may result in the prices of the A6500 lowering a bit and the new camera might have some features lacking on the A6500.

    The A6000 and A6300 are still being sold by Sony at far lower prices than the A6500.  I personally like the A6500 best and would rather buy a used A6500 (this is the way I purchased mine) than a new A6300 at about the same price. One feature of the A6500 that I really like is the IBIS (in body image stabilization) which stabilizes lenses that do not have builtin stabilization...

    Lenses for the A6500 are proliferating and Sigma is coming out with some very neat glass for the A6xxx series cameras. One thing that I would research is that the auto focus of the lens I buy functions in all ways that the native Sony glass works. I am absolutely i love with the Eye Auto Focus of the A6500 and Native Sony lenses. Some third party lenses, even with the Sony e mount do not allow continuous eye auto focus...

    I was also surprised at the nice results I get from the Sony 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 which is the kit lens for the Sony full frame mirrorless cameras.  I could be quite satisfied with only the 28-70mm and the 50mm f/1.8 OSS lenses.  Through in the absolutely tiny and very inexpensive (especially used) Sony 28mm f/2.8 lens and you would have a very nice lightweight kit for travel and general shooting...

    I have adapted many of my Canon lenses using the MC-11 adapter but, the auto focus is not up to the capabilities of native Sony lenses.  I specifically miss Eye Auto Focus of the Sony lenses...

    There are two things that bother me a bit about the Sony A6500.

    First, it takes a while to get the various buttons and wheels programmed to the way I like them.  It is very easy to hit a button accidentally which will change the shooting parameters.  I have just about mastered this problem.

    Second, when i remove a lens to change to another, the sensor has no protection and can attract dust.  OTOH, it is quite easy to clean the sensor with a swab made for that purpose.

    • Richard, thank you so much for the more detailed information.  I'm really trying to decide whether I want to go from two cameras (a small Cannon Powershot and  Nikon7200) to one that can go everywhere with me but is a better camera than my little Cannon (which is a pretty good little camera). I began my digital camera history with a Sony Cybershot that I truly loved but it didn't have the specific things I wanted/needed in a travel camera and Cannon did.

  • Skip and I have been discussing mirrorless lenses and specifically Sony.  What a perfect time for you to post.  We've also been looking at the Olympus.

  • Great portraits! I love the idea of lightweight but not ready.....yet.

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