Sony NEX-FS100 lens shoot-out

December 1, 2011 update:
Here is the link to my Sony NEX-FS100 zoom lens shootout in EventDV Live.

On the first of September, I’ll be organizing a zoom lens shootout for the Sony NEX-FS100. The research is being conducted for an article that will appear in EventDV Live. The FS100 is video camera with a Super35 sensor that allows for a shallow depth of field and has a native E-mount. Unlike DSLRs, the FS100 has professional audio connections and is using a sensor that is designed for HD video. Currently there are few E-mount zoom lenses available but the E-mount has the shallow’s flange back of all the mounts so with the proper adapter most DSLRs lenses can be used on the FS-100.

I’ve done my best to gather together as many lenses as I can from a variety of manufacturers, including a mix of modern professional lenses and vintage manual lenses. I’ve chosen zoom lenses only for this review on purpose as they will be the ones that will pose the greatest challenge for FS100 users.

Here is the tentative line-up:


Telephoto lens options for the FS100

FS100 lens options


Wide telephoto

Tokina ATX Pro 12-24 F4 (IF) DX – Nikon mount

Tokina ATX Pro 11-16 F2.8 (IF) DX – Canon mount

Nikon 17-35 F2.8 AF-S


Normal telephoto (medium telephoto)

Canon EF 24-70mm USM L F1.28

Minolta MD 35-70mm F3.5 Rokkor-X

Nikon 24-70 G ED

Tokina AT-X Pro 28-70mm F2.6-2.8 (Angeniux designed, Pro I) – Nikon mount

Konica Minolta AF 28-75 F2.8

Sony 28-75 F2.8 SAM


Long telephoto

Canon EF 70-200 F4 USM L

Nikon AF-S VR-I 70-200 F 2.8 G

Minolta AF 70-210 F4 (beercan)

Sony 70-200 F2.8 G SSM

Canon 24-105 F4

I`d love to get my hands on some more Sony glass for the shoot-out. On my wish list are:

SAL24702 24-70 F2.8 SSM
SAL1635Z 16-35 F2.8 SSM
New Sony DT 16-50 F2.8 SSM (October 2011 release)

Unfortunately it is really hard to borrow or rent Sony lenses as there is not much of a market for it. But if you or someone you know has these lenses, please let me know, especially if you are local.

Please complete the survey below to guess who I will pick as my top picks in each category. If you guess all three of my picks, you will be entered to win a $50 prepaid VISA.




4 replies
    • Shawn Lam says:

      I have since tested several more lenses, including the Sony SAL1650 16-50mm f/2.8 DT lens, and it is my top pick for wide zoom lenses. For normal zoom lenses I had been using my Konica Minolta 28-75mm as I needed the extra wide over the Minolta MD 35-70mm F/3.5 but will probably go back to the 35-70, now that I have the 16-50, as I want the manual iris contol on the lens barrel for smooth stepping.

      Ultimately, I’m waiting for the the Sony LA-EA2 adapter with FS100 firmware before making final recommendations as if it allows for smooth iris stepping then I will use exclusively Alpha lenses because they will allow for autofocus on the LA-EA2 adapter.

  1. Shawn Lam says:

    Thanks Salyer. The shoot-out went very well and my article is slated to appear in the Winter edition of EventDV Live. Unfortunately you will have to wait until then to see the results and read my article but I can say that we didn’t end-up testing the wide zooms (not a large enough sample size).

    Of the normal and long zooms I recommend the Minolta MD 35-70 F3.5 and the Minolta AF 70-210mm F4 (beercan) as having the combination of being the most parfocal and lowest cost. I also like the Canon 24-105 F4 for its large range, which it was parfocal on for all but the wide end.

    Unfortunately no one picked either of my top three picks so I can’t award a winner for the contest. Most of the responses were Canon, Sony, or Nikon lenses and a few not on the list.

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