NEX-5N 18-55mm Kit Lens Impressions
What can you say about a kit lens. Competent, not exceptional, handy to have in your arsenal especially with the lack of native e-mount lenses. Autofocus is quick and silent, it’s a bit weaker… on the wide and long ends but always seems to have decent centers.
The build quality is excellent, pretty much the best you’re going to find in terms of it feeling like a premium product at least to look at for a kit lens. The manual focus feels damped enough for a fly by wire system and the all metal external casing is beautiful if perhaps not going to look great in the long run if you’re rough with your gear. The mount at least is metal. The lens is OSS meaning it has optical stabilization for the cases you prefer to shoot with a low shutter speed than a higher ISO.
I’m used to using Zeiss C/Y, ZF.2, and ZA lenses so the initial sharpness and contrast weren’t up to my liking. However, playing with it a bit in Lightroom, I bumped up the sharpness a bit in every picture and applied contrast to get it where I like it. It isn’t entirely fair though to compare a $200 kit zoom with a $1500 Zeiss prime. Perhaps not the sharpest or the most outstanding lens but still a very useful focal range and capable of producing compelling images. My initial impression of the lens is that it seems to do better with close objects than at infinity for landscapes.
The NEX-5N will remove most of the chromatic aberrations and other often undesirable lens characteristics if you shoot in JPG. Not confirmed yet in RAW but we shall see.
Some samples below, all were shot in JPG Fine then post processed: