The time has come where I must sell my Sony A6300. A friend was looking to buy a new camera and at the price he wanted to spend I was thinking the Fujifilm X-T20, or the A6000 or something. But since I already have too many cameras, I decided to give him a crazy deal on my Sony A6300.
It was a hard decision as I really love this camera and have so much fun shooting with it.
So to say my last goodbyes, I decided to take ol Esmarelda out on one final voyage. Esmarelda was my cameras name, not my daughters name.
Sony A6300 | One Last Hurrah
For her final voyage I decided to adapt my 1980 Helious 44M 56mm f2 for a day trip down to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach with my family – this lens, with this camera is just pure awesome. I have a review coming and also a comparison between the 44M-2 and 44M-4 as soon as they arrive from Ukraine.
But for the sake of this article, I’ll talk about the 44M and the Sony A6300.
I’ve been shooting with Sony since the original A7r came out. I always felt Sony made interesting, or even experimental choices when it came to camera design. Take the A99 II for instance, they’re still including that god awful translucent mirror that cuts out 30% of your light.
The Sony A600 was a little plastic feeling and the A7r I swear was made by fisher price.
But the A6300 is something different. Sony got it right with this one. And then they even got it more right in the A6500 by improving the menu system. (I could care less about touch screen, the IBIS that barely works, or the ridiculous sized buffer. But that beautiful new menu!)
This is why it’s been hard for me to part with this awesome little camera. It truly is a gem. It just needs the A6500 menu and then it’s the perfect APS-C camera.
The Helious 44M – Pure Magic
On to the helios.
You’ve probably heard of people adapting vintage lenses to their Sony cameras. You can actually do it with any camera and the reason is, you can get old awesome lenses for dirt cheap and a lot of times they’re actually better than the over-engineered modern prime lenses.
A good reason to do this is Sony has yet to really focus on making good APS-C lenses, which is why I’ve always adapted Leica mount or old M42 mount lenses to my A6300. There are just no APS-C lenses worth buying, yet. Actually, the 50mm f2.8 is great for $200 dollars, though it’s a full frame lens, and Sigma has a few decent options now. I also hear Sony may give their APS-C line up some love this year, so we’ll see. I mean, they have to right? Otherwise Fujifilm will just completely knock Sony out of that market.
By the way I keep a pretty up-to-date Sony APS-C lens list here.
So the Helious 44M on the A6300 is just pure magic. I’ve also been using it on the X-T2, but I like the way it fits the body of the A6300 more. It’s just so fun to use as a manual lens, plus the Sony A6300 has way better focus peaking than Fujifilm, making manual focus much easier.
I actually also use it a lot on my A7rII where if functions as a proper 56mm as well. I just don’t take my A7rII on daily adventures like this because I don’t want massive 42MP files needlessly comping away at my hard drive space, plus they suck to work with in Lightroom. But even full frame, the 44M has still been impressive.
For a lens that’s older than me, the quality of the 44M is fantastic. It has that thing most new lenses don’t have anymore – character.
It’s tack sharp and even pretty fast. The crazy thing is, you can get them for $30 to $50 dollars, used, obviously.
Now, if you’re looking to pick up a Helios, which you should, it gets tricky as there are a lot of options. The 44M, 44, 44M-2, 44M-4, 44M-6 etc. They all are built with slightly different characteristics. Some flare more, some have more swirly bokeh, some are sharper.
So far the 44M seems pretty solid, it has some nice flaring, just enough to not be obnoxious and the swirly bokeh is very controlled.
You’ll also want to order them from Ukraine, the U.S.A or anywhere that’s not Russia. Apparently mother Russia does not have a reliable postal service. Actually, I got mine from Ukraine and even then the box was nearly destroyed. The lens was fine though.
A6300 | Final Thoughts
Will I buy the A6500? No, probably not. I already have too many Fujifilm cameras and won’t need another APS-C camera for a little while. But, if Sony improves their IBIS so that it functions like an Olympus camera (which I hear they might), throw in faster memory card write speeds, maybe even incorporating UHS-II card functionality or XQD, then I might be on board for a next generation, A7000 or something as long as the price is right. They really are nice cameras and I’m honestly torn between the A6300 and the X-T2. Both are great cameras, the A6300 might be a little bit more fun to use though.
The mount I use is the Fotasy M42 – Sony E-Mount adapter. You can find it here on Amazon.