Looking for a tele lens on e-mount? That’s an easy thing if you have about 1000 EUR lying around. If not, it can be quite the hassle… I personally have not too much need for teles and am always looking for the cheap way out. As a result I tried quite a few options… Cameras used Sony A7 and/or A6400. Some experiences with older Nex Cameras.
Sony SEL55210 f4.5-6.3
The logical choice. Downsides: APS-C only (OSS doesn’t work on the full frame cameras), only f6.3 on the long end. Some seem to be very content, others not so much. I always thought image quality to be lacking, especially on the long end (where it’s needed on a tele lens IMO). I think there’s also quite the sample variation. Used price is unbeatable and AF is fast, though.
Minolta MD 70-210 f4 (MD-Nex Adapter)
Excellent lens, can be had cheaply and is easy to adapt. Alas – only manual focus and quite heavy. Left it at home most of the time. Sold.
Minolta MD 75-150 f4 (MD-Nex Adapter)
If you can find one cheap – strong buy! Even better than the 70-210, very compact and lightweight. Should’ve kept this…
Sigma 600 f8 mirror (needs Adapter)
Either my copy was terrible or it’s just a bad lens. Lightweight and compact but IQ was’nt satisfactory. Bye!!
Tamron SP 60-300 f3.8-5.4 (23A) (Adaptall Adapter)
“The zoom that wants to be a prime”. Handy focal length, excellent build quality, available in many mounts (Adaptall), legendary image quality, very good macro mode. But too heavy… Sold it…
Canon EF 70-300 IS USM (EF-Nex Adapter)
Said to be very good. My copy wasn’t, I gather it was defect. Sold it ‘as is’ for a mark-down. A little heavy but nice handling and very good IS.
Canon EF 70-210 f3.5-4.5 USM (EF-Nex Adapter)
Lightweight, cheap, fast. Found it a bit lacking on the long end. Depending on camera and adapter the AF ranges from not-working-at-all to Okish. Sold it.
Canon EF 100-300 f4.5-5.6 USM (EF-Nex Adapter)
Basically the same lens as the 70-210, just a bit longer focal length. So off it went.
Canon EF-S 55-250 IS STM (EFs-Nex Adapter, so no Sigma MC-11)
Fast AF, good IS, a little flimsy built but a cheap and versatile lens if you use a modern camera and a good adapter (Metabones and the likes). Why didn’t Sony build the SEL55210 like that one?? Sold it only to fund the SEL18135.
Sony SAL55-300 f4.5-5.6 (AF-Nex Adapter)
Although quite a modern lens, no IS (the A-Mount Cameras had IBIS). AF is generally OK (no Sports-lens, though), Image Quality quite good for a kit-lens. Decent range, compact and lightweight. Sold it to buy the Tamron SP
Samyang/Walimex 500 f6.3 Mirror
Nice build quality, lightweight for the focal length, but very difficult to nail focus. Also kontrast is lacking as with most mirror lenses. Had it for a few days.
Tamron SP 70-300 F4-5.6 USD (AF-Nex Adapter)
A-Mount Version has no OSS, bit on the heavy side, but other than that: IQ is very good and AF fast enough. A keeper!
Honorable mention. Not a tele lens but the very good centre sharpness on the long end makes it handy for cropping.