A New Zoom At The Zoo - jimdenhamphoto

Sony A6300 + Sony E 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3

On Friday night, Sam requested that he and I make the trip to the Nashville Zoo (about 1 hour and 45 minutes) on Saturday morning, as we hadn't done anything like that in a while. Sounded like a great idea to me, for that reason and because it gave me an opportunity to try out my new telephoto zoom lens in a great environment! That's called win-win for those who aren't familiar.

In case you hadn't heard, my beautiful bride gifted me the new lens, a Sony E-Mount 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3, for Christmas. It is an APS-C lens, so it really only works on my Sony A6300, but that is exactly what I wanted it for. The smaller sensor converts that focal range to 83-315mm, which should reach most anything I typically would need. But, the lens is cheap. Is it too cheap to make it a worthy piece of kit for my bag? I'll let you be the judge! 

F/6.3 | ISO 6400 | 1/100 | 210mm (315mm 35mm equivalent)

So here's the setup. Sony A6300 set in either shutter priority or aperture priority with Auto ISO and a 6400 max setting. Focus modes were switched from continuous to single shot depending on the subject. Images were imported into Lightroom with only Lens corrections and Basic panel adjustments - no sharpening or noise reduction. A couple were cropped a bit as even the max zoom wasn't quite long enough.

f/6.3 | ISO 640 | 1/500 | 210mm (315mm equivalent) - Shutter Priority - Single Shot

The biggest problem with this body/lens combo was focusing in low light while in continuous focus mode. In single shot, unless I was too close to the subject, it did not miss a lick, although shooting through glass and chain linked fences can test your focusing skills. Outside, in the open light, the performance was terrific with either single shot or continuous

f/5.6 | ISO 5000 | 1/200 | 111mm (167mm 35mm equivalent) - Aperture Priority + Single Shot

From my point of view, the picture quality is quite good. The color is great and the images, even at ISO 6400, are sharp and not noise impeded. This pleases me a great deal, however, I would like your opinion. Click on the images to see in a lightbox and let me know what you think!

This test has done nothing to shake my surprise of how good this lens is performing, especially with this camera body. It does have its shortcomings, primarily in the continuous focus in low light, but with decent light, this combo seems to rock solid. What do you think? Leave a comment below!

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