I mentioned yesterday how impressed I am that you can get a Sony A6000, successor to the NEX-7, for only $448 from B&H Photo or from Amazon.com. Really, this might be the biggest bargain out there in a new digital camera right at this minute.
And although finding the right lenses for Sony cameras can be a thorny thicket, Sigma comes to the rescue in this case with matching high-value lenses for the Sony—the DN series. The first lens I'd buy for the A6000 would be the Sigma 30mm (45mm-e) ƒ/2.8 DN lens, also an excellent bargain at $199 (and here it is at Amazon.com); next I'd get the Sigma 60mm (90mm-e on APS-C) ƒ/2.8 DN, a stellar (urp, excuse me) bargain at $209 (from B&H Photo; and from Amazon.com, for some reason bundled with some other crap); and finally I'd round out the set with the Sigma 19mm (~28mm-e) ƒ/2.8 DN, also $199 at B&H Photo (and at Amazon.com).
28-45-90 is a very classical focal-length set, not quite the current fashion but very usable.
And while these lenses are not glamorous at all, they're extremely good. I have the 60mm DN for my NEX-6, and it's a very odd lens. The focus is magnetic, so when the camera's turned off the optical cell slides back and forth inside the lens with a klunk-klunk—really questionable where perception is concerned, given Sigma's former reputation for iffy quality! But it works fine, and it's small and light, and it's a superlative portrait lens, with a clear but gentle look and superb bokeh.
The lenses, like the camera, are available in silver, although I can't say how well the silver finish of the camera matches the silver finish of the lenses.
If you can avoid metaphysical doubt about greener grass on the other side of fences and so forth, really, is there a single better bargain in all of cameradom, for a new, current camera with very high image quality?
I'm not sure there is, at this moment.
Original contents copyright 2014 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
*Ricochet biscuit (Showing my age/era. But Bro Scott appreciated it.)
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Trecento: "I'd point out that the really nice, DSLR-like phase-detect autofocus is reputed to not work efficiently with the Sigma lenses. And that the Sony 20mm ƒ/2.8, which does, also can make for a pretty pocketable combination. Though, for me a 30mm-e, 53mm-e, 75mm-e combination of Sony primes isn't nearly as interesting as the Sigmas."
Andrew Lamb: "It's one hell of a bargain in the States. Sadly, that's not the case in the UK. On Amazon UK, it's £499. Ouch. One site, here, sells it for £379 but none of the big retailers are anywhere near as competitive."
Michael Barker: "Hmm. If you're going to give up on glamour, you might as well go with a Canon :-) ."
Mike replies: Canon has sort of become the Toyota of cameramakers, hasn't it? (I was really impressed with my RAV4...and could hardly wait to get rid of it.)
Kenneth Tanaka: "While that Sigma 30mm E-mount lens is optically okay and very compact, its constant clunk-clunk knocking drives me nuts after an hour or so. Mine stays home, and would be a stocking-stuffer gift...if I knew an E-mount photographer I really disliked."
adamct: "I agree about the Sigma 60mm. I own it, and it is excellent. I also own the 30mm and I like it better than the Panasonic 20mm ƒ/1.7 (ducks and runs for cover)."
Mike replies: You don't have to duck and run for cover if you just add "...of sainted memory" after each and every mention of the 20mm ƒ/1.7.
Jeff Kott: "The main reason to go for the A6000 over the NEX-7 (which can be purchased for next to nothing used now) is the PDAF autofocus. I think it would be a shame to get this camera and use it with lenses that do not take advantage of the PDAF. The Sony 35mm ƒ/1.8 is more expensive than the Sigma, but much faster, has OSS, is a great lens with a sharp rendering and utilizes the A6000's PDAF. Ditto for the Sony 50mm ƒ/1.8 OSS. If you're considering this camera, Thom Hogan posted his A6000 review yesterday. I have an A6000 and love it."
Mike replies: Thanks Jeff. The Sony 35mm does indeed have all the advantages you cite, but as far as bargains are concerned, you can almost buy two of the Sigmas for its price. As for the 50mm, I have to agree with several other commenters in that I've never cottoned to the 75mm-e angle of view, despite several tries. To me it just feels like 85mm-e is the widest angle of view I want in a short tele. But of course it's entirely a matter of taste and YMMV.
Additionally, our friend Eamon Hickey has a three-part review of the A6000 at Imaging-Resource.
Chip McDaniel: "Your recommendation of the Sigma lenses for the Sony APS-C mirrorless cameras is a very good one. I have used the 19mm and 60mm Sigmas on the NEX-7 and NEX-6. Both are very good, and the 60mm has no weak points that I can see. The 19mm shows some distortion and less sharpness in the far corners, but it stands up very well.
"There are examples taken with both lenses in this Flickr album. You'll see that they stand up quite well in comparison with both of the Zeiss Touit lenses and with Nikkor lenses on a full frame sensor. These lenses have to be one of the biggest bargains going, although the package price of the two Touit lenses currently makes me sad that I bought them early."
Duncan: "Instead of the Sony, you could get a Panasonic GX7 body for $598 along with a $100 gift card towards your first lens. And with Micro 4/3, the lens choices are much greater than with the Sony."