05-10-2007, 02:34 PM
Just, on a lark, I picked up a pair of TAMRON Adaptall primes. With the proper adapter, these lenses will work on just about any 35mm-style SLR/DSLR camera, but I'm going to try them in conjunction with the SONY A100 (I know, I know ... "Big Surprise!" :D ) - (I have a TAMRON - EOS Adapter coming so I can use them on the EOS 20D and EOS-3, also. Gotta love that "flexible" lensing. :) )
Now a few things about Adaptall lenses: They have no electrical connection to the camera, so there is no aperture information being fed back to the camera body's computer. Anyone who has used the Vivitar 500mm f/8 Reflex lens knows what this represents. Manual Focus only ... so break out the split screen modifications for your prism or get the proper diopter adapter for your eyeball, so you are really focusing for the camera's sensor and not just correcting for your own vision. They are great wide aperture lenses at the fixed focal length.
I'll do a series of shots to prove their value, but imagine 200mm (effectively 300mm) ... at f/3.5, without having to spend $400+ (I got it for $110). Or even 135mm (effectively 202.5mm) at f/2.5 ... for only $75.
If you enjoy interchangeability of your glass ... for those studio and extremely low light shots ... it may be worth a look. Yes, there are adaptall zooms, but I got most ranges covered, now. Just wanted a bit more light at the long end, without spending myself broke.
05-10-2007, 08:43 PM
Well, after some review of the Adaptall 200mm f/3.5 lens, the minimum Focus Distance (MFD) is 5.5 feet. Just a little more than the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8, which is 4.3 feet. To be honest, I had hoped for a little better, but it’s still entirely workable. I really didn’t have a long lens for the SONY that can deliver f/3.5 … yet. I plan on picking up the TAMRON SP AF70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD in the Fall, this year, when it is released. It’s MFD is just under a meter (38.5-inches). Now that's getting close, for a lens of that class.
The Adaptall 135mm f/2.5 lens MFD is just under 4 feet. It is pretty bright lens for its length and I shot it up against the Minolta AF50mm f/1.7. The results are pretty amazing, in their own way. Manual Focus and no real metering versus Auto Focus with full metering. Both images shot at 1/15 sec, f/2.5 aperture, ISO-400 and WB=3200, for indoor lighting.
Minolta AF50mm f/1.7 @ f/2.5 - 1/15 sec - ISO-400 Manual (AF on)
TAMRON Adaptall 135mm f/2.5 @ f/2.5 -1/15 sec - ISO-400 Manual (MF-only)
Using an ETTL flash with the Adaptall lens is a mistake and effectively useless, from what I have been able to determine. The flash relies on light metering information balanced against the aperture, to make its determination of burst duration and intensity. When using the standard AF-lensing, it has no problem calculating to proper amount of burst. Without any aperture information from the metering, it rapidly gets lost and blasts out far less light than you need for a proper exposure. In other words, forget the ETTL external flash and just use a cheapie non-TTL one, with constant output. Every burst is the same as the last and with a manual lens ... that's a constant you can truly use. Any kind of variable flash will kill you.
I would venture to say the Adaptall lens works best with steady light sources (tungsten) and you judge the exposure with either a handheld light meter or just eyeballing it off the LCD, when you take the test shot. The camera’s automatic calculation is not even close and you would be wise not to rely on it.
So ... is the Adaptall worth all the extra fuss? Well, that's a tough call. If you are strapped for coin, it can get you the image you want with a minimum cost. You simply work a little harder for it. The above shots were with ambient light. Nothing bright, just regular overhead room light. You can tell the intensity from the settings ... as it is the same as any other camera. 1/15th sec, f/2.5 and ISO-400. This is real world lighting ... and what you will be up against, indoors. An f/2.5 lens can only deliver so much ... then you are down to pushing the ISO up or slowing down the shutter or even both.
TAMRON Adaptall 135mm f/2.5 @ f/2.5 - 1/15 sec - ISO-1600 - WB=3200 Manual (MF-only)
I used ISO-1600 to improve the lighting, but I am forcing the camera's sensor to work to improve the image. It's messing the colors up, the contrast fades away and the ultimate result is the introduction of useless noise to solid areas of color. If you keep you image small, they can be hidden, but if you enlarge it ... it can be easily detected. High ISO is not a real answer.
The SONY can manage 1/15th second with pretty consistant results. Any slower and you do lose the bubble. Try taking 1/15 sec handheld shot with a Canon EOS and no IS ... LOL ... now, that's a shot ... that the "trash can" button was made for!
Anyway ... then you finally wrestle up the cash for your TAMRON AF18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) (which has a MFD of 18-inches) and that E-TTL external flash you always wanted, say "To heck with manual", put the SONY A100 in automatic mode, zoom to frame, autofoucus and fire ... and turn out ...
TAMRON AF18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) - in AUTO
"Ahhhh," you say, "convenience at last! Screw low-light!" LOL :D Look at those reds ... those whites ... and the blues ... have to admit, it sure is nice looking. You pays your money and you gets your shot!
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