The Sony NEX System Reaches Maturity


Hall of Famer
Jul 3, 2010
While the Sony RX1 has grabbed most of the headlines today, the NEX system has quietly grown up.

From the beginning, there have been three knocks on the Sony NEX system:

1) Lens lineup had gaping holes including the absence of a fast normal lens and ultrawide zoom.

2) No body image stabilization meant that unstabilized primes mean an unstabilized system (for prime shooters).

3) The kit zoom was large compared to the body size when compared to the smallest lenses from Panasonic and Olympus.

Today Sony addressed all three of those concerns. They announced a reasonably compact and light 35mm f/1.8 normal as well as a constant f/4 ultrawide zoom and made both of those optically stabilized. No other manufacturer has seen fit to issue a stabilized normal prime and ultrawide zoom, so this signals Sony's strong commitment to stabilization across the board. At the same time, they issued a new 16-50mm power zoom lens with a collapsible design and powered extension, making the combination of an NEX body and kit zoom very nearly as compact as their most compact MFT competition.

The NEX system remains less complete than Micro 4/3, missing options like faster zooms, telephoto macros, and super telephoto zooms, but as far as I am concerned, the most important gaps in the lens lineup will be filled once the newly announced lenses become available in November.

You can see the entire Sony NEX lens lineup here:

Importantly, both Sigma and Tamron are also making NEX lenses, filling such important gaps as having a quality 28mm equivalent prime (Sigma) and relatively compact megazoom (Tamron).

It's an exciting day for the Sony NEX system!

Reminder: We have a sister site devoted to Sony NEX users at


Sep 26, 2011
Minnesota USA
Kyle Krug
It is really nice to see all of these releases. The star for me is the 35/1.8. It fills a big gap in the lineup (as you said, Amin), looks great, dig the OSS included, and love the fact that it is black (along with all the new lenses). I am also optimistic that it will perform pretty well, given how much people seem to like the Alpha DT 35/1.8 (assume there is some relation).


Hall of Famer
Aug 15, 2010
I actually dont think any of these systems are mature yet, though I catch your drift that its at least more broadly complete. They still need some better flashes, but the lenses are welcome, assuming they perform.

Amin, are you going to try some of the new stuff?


Jul 11, 2010
Ontario, Canada
I agree it's good to see these developments. I'm not too keen on the Nex bodies, but I do like to see another system gaining depth and breadth.


Nov 5, 2010
W. Australia
I am keeping my Nex 5N, buying the 35mm f1.8, and not buying a DP2M or D600. I might get the Sony 50mm too. However, first of all it will be a RRS mounting for my Nex and tripod.


Nov 10, 2010
Los Angeles
I think one of the remaining holes is lack of pancakes in more 'normal' focal lengths.

A 23mm f/2 would be super, and make me stop regretting not buying Luke's x100.


Sep 10, 2012
I wouldn't yet say maturity (a lot of focal lengths are still not covered, or with lenses that not everybody might want, I for one would never buy a 24mm the size of a telezoom !), but certainly growing and getting pretty compelling.
At this point, just one week into NEX after 6 months with m4/3, all the m4/3 is sold or pending, and I've collected already 5 or 6 manual lenses.
I'm finding my manual focusing improving daily in speed and accuracy, and I don't have a VF yet ! I think if I stick with it, I'm gonna get really confident and start switching back to delivering my vision rather than concentrating on the technical aspect of things.
I'm definitely exploring this system way deeper. I will upgrade the body (5N) around the end of the year, once we have enough feedback regarding 6 vS 7.
I'm also buying the 35/1.8 (and already have the 18-55, that I have yet to use !!) but really not pining for any other AF lens (which is crazy, I was totally a slave to AF before discovering Peaking).
I'd never have thought I'd get a Sony camera. Sony has come a long way with NEX. I'm really excited by those cams and the realm of various glass which has opened before me. I do think, however, it is best suited for mature photographers wanting to further hone their craft (quite the opposite of the original, P&s upgrader target).


Jul 14, 2010
I actually dont think any of these systems are mature yet, though I catch your drift that its at least more broadly complete. They still need some better flashes, but the lenses are welcome, assuming they perform.
For Micro Four Thirds everything is available. Most important types of lenses, several high quality cameras, the fine flash system of Olympus... There are no tilt/shift lenses and there are still some other holes, but being in the third generation Micro Four Thirds has become quite mature.


Jul 8, 2010
If there is confidence in the system other lens makers will join in. I believe that Zeiss is now targeting M43s and maybe even the Sony E-mount(?).


Jul 14, 2010
The new lenses are very welcomed by me. If I wanted to buy a NEX, I would be able to buy nearly all lenses I need. Unfortunately, there is no equivalent of a 90mm or 100mm lens, since Sony decided to build a 30mm macro and a 50mm instead of a much more useful 60mm (IMHO the macro should have been a 60mm).

Björn Utpott

Jul 17, 2010
The ultra wide zoom goes a long way to making NEX a real alternative to MFT. I've been shooting with NEX for over a year now, but considered going back to MFT for the excellent Lumix 7-14 - which I could never bring myself to sell. If the E 10-18mm F4.0 OSS is decent (the price suggests it should be), then I can see myself committing to NEX.

Still missing is a bright telephoto prime, which took almost 4 years to appear in the MFT lineup. Sony had a "medium telephoto prime" on their roadmap in late 2011 before the Thailand floods, so hopefully that is coming soon. I'm guessing an 85mm F1.8 OSS. Also on the same roadmap is a "thin snap prime" and a "high performance G standard zoom," two other lenses that haven't been announced yet either.


Top Veteran
Jan 6, 2012
Paris, France
I hope the telephoto is indeed a 85mm 1.8. That's a focal length I can only cover with huge legacy lenses right now. Then Sony will have a nice set of fast prime: 24mm 1.8, 35mm 1.8, 50mm 1.8, 85mm 1.8.

I really wonder what the "snap" pancake is. I wouldn't mind something like the Canon 22mm f2 but that would put the Zeiss in a difficult position...

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