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DonSchap
08-19-2008, 09:53 PM
After about 6 months of SONY selling the α200, α300 & α350 introductory digital SLRs ... it would be nice if people visiting this particular forum logged in and made their presence known.

I know I am curious as to what difficulties are being experienced and how we, as a collective group, might correct them.

Welcome new users ...

dr4gon
08-20-2008, 04:00 AM
Welcome... :D. Loving the a300 from day 1

frank@BrentwoodLLC
08-20-2008, 01:34 PM
A year ago I bought a SONY DSC-H9 and have been crazy happy with the photos it takes. I purchased SONY's Alpha 350 a few months ago, my sixth SONY camera since 2002, in order to take my amateur photography skills up a notch. My son and I are convinced the Super Steady Shot does not work the same way for the two cameras. With the DSC-H9, SSS puts the image in slow motion, whereas in Alpha 350's Live View the image appears to be no different whether the SSS is turned off or on. For sure, taking clearly focused photos during sporting events - i.e. shooting skiers behind a boat using the Sport setting - is easier by far with the DSC-H9. I began to think my Alpha 350 was defective and I sent it to SONY's repair site in Laredo, TX for analysis and repairs (none needed because the camera was working as designed, according to the repair expert). One more thing. I've noticed that the Alpha 350 Auto Focus (AF) is very sensitive to the position of the center square. Putting that square squarely on the subject makes a big difference, but must the square be so small?
Any suggestions?
Frank
Brentwood, TN

DonSchap
08-20-2008, 03:10 PM
You set your AF area to wide and live with the results. There is a technique, I described in an earlier post, that allows you to shift the frame AFTER you accquire focus on your subject.

frank@BrentwoodLLC
08-20-2008, 04:52 PM
Don,

Your quick response was appreciated.

Hmmmm... set AF as wide as possible. Not sure how, but I'll experiment this weekend. As a newbie to this site, I would be grateful for any clue you can provide to help me find your earlier post on this subject.

Frank
Brentwood, TN

dr4gon
08-20-2008, 05:13 PM
It seems like you just need to get adjusted to your camera's new settings.

This is that post about 10 down:
http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40448

Wide focuses on the closest object (most p&s default to this)
Spot is in the middle
and multi segment is explained in the above thread I linked. ;)

DonSchap
08-20-2008, 05:38 PM
This is from the α700 User Manual, pg 51 ... describing your requested shooting technique. The idea is the same on any SONY DSLR.

39056

Hope this helps. :D

seanhoxx
08-20-2008, 08:02 PM
Have owned the Sony A700 since late June, love it learn something new everyday, making lots of mistakes and having a blast. Was going to go with a A200 or a 300 to "learn" how to use a DSLR. best advice I ever listened to was to go with the A700.
Sean

punga
08-20-2008, 08:37 PM
... Welcome new users ...

I've been lurking and reading Don's helpful posts for a few months as I was researching my new toy that arrived today: an A700. First impressions: very NICE! :D

A little about me: I was a photography major in college before moving into graphic design. Fast forward 15 years, now a Macintosh consultant with a creative itch and I recently started shooting weddings again on the side. I have a decent set up from those years, a 7000i with a few lenses, flash, etc. When I decided to upgrade to a DSLR, I found that Minolta had left me behind, but not out in the cold.

However, I was disappointed tonight to find out that my flash would not work with the new body. I have a Quantaray (don't laugh, I worked Ritz camera during college and got a nice discount) set up with an off camera bracket and handle that held 4 C batteries. It still works with my 7000i and the Alpha even senses it when attached, but no dice when firing the shutter.

So now I'm in the market for a new flash and not finding a lot choices out there. I like having the off camera flash combined with bounce as it gives nicer lighting, extra power options and the extra handle to hold on (potato masher is the old school term I believe). Quantaray doesn't appear to offer an updated module for the Sony/Minolta mount. Do I have any options besides the Sony flashes and a couple of Metzs I saw?

BTW, I've put up a little website here (http://nuptialvision.com) of some weddings I've done in the past. I have a film shoot coming up in 2 weeks, and my first digital near the end of September, so I've got some time, but not much.

Shawn

DonSchap
08-20-2008, 10:30 PM
Well, the SONY HVL-F36AM is going for the cheapest price I have seen for a dedicated flash ($199) on the SONY Style website. I have one, but in my experience, I feel for the α700 ... the much more expensive HVL-F58AM (when it arrives) will offers aspects to your flash that were only enjoyed by having additional brackets.

39069

With this new flash, you don't need a bracket for repositioning in the portrait mode. But, hey ... take a look at it.

39068

39070

csnyder
08-22-2008, 08:41 AM
For my photo needs, I felt the A200 would be a great step up from a Minolta Maxxum slr film camera. I've only had it a couple of weeks and am still learning, but so far, I like everything about it, except the automatic pop up flash. I hope I didn't make a mistake in buying this one. I often use the pre-set scene modes (lazy), but am sorry that the flash is built into these modes. I know I can turn it off by using the Function button, but what a pain to have to do that every time. While using scene modes, I want to use the flash, but it's an invalid function on some of them. Sometimes I think I've taken the shot, but it was just the flash popping up! I wish there was a way to turn the flash off until I decide to use it. Quite annoying...

dr4gon
08-22-2008, 09:37 AM
For my photo needs, I felt the A200 would be a great step up from a Minolta Maxxum slr film camera. I've only had it a couple of weeks and am still learning, but so far, I like everything about it, except the automatic pop up flash. I hope I didn't make a mistake in buying this one. I often use the pre-set scene modes (lazy), but am sorry that the flash is built into these modes. I know I can turn it off by using the Function button, but what a pain to have to do that every time. While using scene modes, I want to use the flash, but it's an invalid function on some of them. Sometimes I think I've taken the shot, but it was just the flash popping up! I wish there was a way to turn the flash off until I decide to use it. Quite annoying...

Welcome! It's definitely a step up! You should start using the A/S/P/M modes more often. They give you huge control over mainly DOF and other things like motion blur if you are panning. WB (white balance) can be adjusted later which is what those scene modes are. Also be sure to set your ISO manually for the best results!

sparkie1263
08-22-2008, 12:47 PM
I use Aperture mode most of the time as long as you keep checking your histogram to make sure you don't blow out any of the highlights. I start with it at f/8 and then adjust it from there.
Frank

DonSchap
08-22-2008, 09:09 PM
There have got to be more than seven (7) SONY DSLR users on this forum ... good gosh! :(

Come on, folks, make yourself heard. We can have a lot of fun ... but, we need to spread the wealth a little. I hope I am being helpful, because it is not that much fun doing it alone.

Let's hear from ya ... login and join in.

Thank you

DonSchap
08-25-2008, 11:24 PM
Anyone know the three basics to good photography?

dr4gon
08-26-2008, 08:18 AM
theme, subject, simplicity? (cheatsheet (http://photography.families.com/blog/elements-of-a-good-photo)?)

or is it what I was thinking along the lines of lighting, composition, and something else?

DonSchap
08-26-2008, 09:23 AM
You are close ... for six guesses ... LOL

1. Decide on your subject
2. Compose the image
3. Expose the image

This webpage (http://www.ctlow.ca/Photo/Photo.html) will explain a great deal and it would behoove everyone to simply read it and try to understand it, as it embodies phoptographic flow and control.

Armed with these practices and your stabilized SONY DLSR ... you should be able to render excellent images ... but, the main point being, YOU are the deciding factor. It is YOUR decision that brings us to step #1.

I'm not saying that the other manufacturer's cameras cannot do it, but WHY BOTHER? Any lens you buy (UWA, normal, telephoto, MACRO, Tilt-Shift, PRIME) will all benefit from the in-the-body stabilization ... and once you've experience its use ... you will wonder WHY anyone would NOT want it. :rolleyes:

dr4gon
08-26-2008, 09:34 AM
Will take a look, thank you!

seanhoxx
08-26-2008, 12:13 PM
aren't they: Watch Wait Shoot, repeat:cool:
There are rules that are required to be followed to make good photographs, Don says something about that concerning the physical and optical laws of the universe:D Then there are "rules" for proper tyoes of photos, action, portrit etc. that address composition, exposure, sight lines etc. and all are good to know, and to try and follow. and once you understand those you can get into the real fun of creating images. as I am finding out there is always something new and different to learn or try!
But man why is it so HARD to learn the basics:confused:

DonSchap
08-26-2008, 12:50 PM
Optically speaking: "We'll have to take a look at that."

seanhoxx
08-26-2008, 09:35 PM
Wow great link Don, printed that off and put in the self help binder. Hmmnn looking at my last post I wonder if I wasn't paying attebtion or if the laptop at work has some sticky keys LOL, sorry about the spelling

DonSchap
08-27-2008, 01:23 PM
I tell ya, it is really getting kind of hard to get with the program that is "hidden" ... and in light of all these other camera announcements going on.

C'mon ... Nikon announces "mid-week?" What the heck? Just too strange.

dr4gon
08-27-2008, 04:31 PM
I must say the nikon's HD recording ability using interchangeable lenses is very cool! I doubt the a900 will have video but it better make up through a better choice of lenses, improved noise control at higher ISOs, more features, and megapixels!

Panda Bear
08-28-2008, 01:27 PM
Getting back on thread, where Don wanted to know about our experiences, there is one thing that would save me a lot of time.

As has been widely discussed, the Sonys do tend to be "soft" on base settings. I know that many advanced shots (should) require manual mode, and setting the individual parameters, which vary every time, but for many of my uses, the ability to use a saved, custom mode, created from baseline with adjustments, OR modify the baseline, would save a lot of time.

Every time the camera is shut off to save batteries, these changes for the prevailing conditions are lost.

I'd like to make a few adjustments for lighting and other conditions, and after a few test and tune shots, save the setup for the duration of an active session shooting some activity.

Unless I've completely missed the boat (always a possibility), I don't find any way to do this, either with the camera, or via software update from my pc.:confused:

Cripes, even my Canon S3 supports this ability!

Birchblaze
08-28-2008, 01:38 PM
I agree. It seems everytime I turn on my a700, I set the creative style to 'vivid' and the ISO to 100. I'd prefer for those settings to be default. I would think there would be a way to do this, maybe I just haven't dug deep enough. When all else fails, read the manual, right?!

Kerry

DonSchap
09-01-2008, 10:01 PM
Birchblaze ...

1) Initially, turn "Mode" knob (top of A700) to whatever mode you want the camera to remember
2) Then set all the particular settings you want the camera to remember for that mode
3) When done with the settings, press the "Menu" button
4) Under the Camera icon ... screen 4 ... there is a selection called "Memory"
5) When you activate it (press shutter halfway) ... a new screen will pop up requesting you select one of the three memory registers
5) Depress the joystick or shutter, when you select which register you want to contain the setting information.
6) Switch the Mode knob (top of α700) to "MR"
7) Pick which one of the three memory registers you immediately want the setting from
8) Operate and modify the settings from that point as you wish.
9) Later on, if you turn the mode knob back to Aperture, Shutter, Manual or Program Mode, the camera should restore whatever setting you were working with under those.
10) Turn the Mode knob back to "MR" whenever you want to use your custom settings, again.

I hope this helps

Panda Bear
09-01-2008, 10:38 PM
Too bad they didn't think to add this until the 700. I'd suspect the total number of 100s, 200s, 300s, and 350s is much greater than 700s in use.

Oh well, at least they eventually got there.

Jimothyy
09-02-2008, 05:43 AM
Hi

I am a recent buyer of an A200, have been mainly on Auto mode so far but just starting to experiment with all the manual and program modes.
Used to understand more about apertures etc when I was young but is all a distant memory.
Good to find a dedicated forum so will do some reading about and look forward to lots of good advice.
Loving the camera, and it can only get better!

Cheers Jim

dr4gon
09-02-2008, 08:33 AM
Hi

I am a recent buyer of an A200, have been mainly on Auto mode so far but just starting to experiment with all the manual and program modes.
Used to understand more about apertures etc when I was young but is all a distant memory.
Good to find a dedicated forum so will do some reading about and look forward to lots of good advice.
Loving the camera, and it can only get better!

Cheers Jim

Welcome. You got to get out of AUTO mode!! What lenses are you using? Switch it to "A" mode and use a lower aperture for more bokeh (blur) and faster subjects. Use a higher aperture (larger number) for slower still subjects that you want more depth of field. Also set your ISO to 100 for daylight for better pictures!

Jimothyy
09-02-2008, 09:20 AM
Welcome. You got to get out of AUTO mode!! What lenses are you using? Switch it to "A" mode and use a lower aperture for more bokeh (blur) and faster subjects. Use a higher aperture (larger number) for slower still subjects that you want more depth of field. Also set your ISO to 100 for daylight for better pictures!

Thanks mate, i'm using the standard issue 18-70 lense at the moment. Have had a good play with manual mode and tried to fast track a bit. The A mode sounds like a good way of getting more experience of aperture and getting my head round it all.
Will keep at 100 in the day as advised then.

dr4gon
09-02-2008, 01:45 PM
With M mode, you really have to experiment with the right exposure. A mode, you set the aperture and it gives a nice auto exposure so the picture will come out fairly close if not right on.

DonSchap
09-02-2008, 03:51 PM
Thanks mate, i'm using the standard issue 18-70 lense at the moment.

Jimothyy ... you should really consider going to the SONY SAL DT 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 (http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&productId=8198552921665233511) lens ... and just get rid of that "kit" lens (give it away). Chances are really good that it will not give you the images you are looking to create with this camera. The 18-250mm covers a much wider range, is a brighter lens ... and eliminates the need to constantly swap lenses, reducing the dirt build up on your sensor.

39394

The flatter the log line, the brighter the lens in comparison. Vertical is not good. That means the lens aperture is closing down rather rapidly, as you zoom in.

The 18-250 is also one of the best lenses for this purpose out there ... so the sooner you make the migration from that rather mundane, lack luster 18-70mm, the better you will feel and perform with your Alpha camera.

Welcome the forum ... let's shoot some pictures. :D

Jimothyy
09-02-2008, 04:57 PM
Well I appreciate what you are saying, and yes, the lens probably is letting me down a bit. However, I may have to wait a while before buying that, am sure I would benefit but, cannot really warrant paying that out just yet. It's more than the camera was! :-)

DonSchap
09-02-2008, 06:14 PM
One thing you simply must realize coming into this hobby is that you cannot classify or justify the cost of your glass based on the cost of the body you slap it on. The bodies will change every year or so, but the glass (quality lenses) stay the same. You progressively move them along ... and they are the one constant in this equation.

I, personally, am using pricey glass from ten years ago. This is the fourth camera that they have been on. Invest in several good lenses will pay you back in solid imaging and continuous control of your light. Using "marginal" glass with give you an image, but usually nothing to brag about. Like anything, it is a degree approach. How interested are you in what you produce?

Similar to a painter with fine brushes, the degree of detail is often reflected in the fineness of the bristles. Good brushes are not cheap, but like the cheap ones, they are still ... "brushes."

You will find that MOST lenses in the SONY line up will cost more than your camera body ... until you finally buy a "high-end" body. To be honest, it will be like that no matter what camera manufacturer you decide upon.

The accepted standard that most veteran DCRP members have agreed to is this:

Superior glass BEFORE a superior body. It just doesn't make sense to put cheap glass on a superior camera. It will do more to expose your lens' failings than any other attribute. The reverse cannot be said, though. Superior glass will usually improve your images, be it on a introductory camera body or a superior one.

One thing is for sure ... good glass will cost you money. What YOU do with that investment is up to you. The 18-250 is not the best lens available, just the best all-aound utility lens for its price. Many, on here, will agree that Using it would be a serious improvement over the 18-70.

Anyway, for what it is worth. Enjoy. :)

dr4gon
09-02-2008, 07:28 PM
I'm surprised you didn't suggest the more superior replacement to the kit lens: the Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 DI-II or the more expensive, marginally better SONY 16-80CZ Lens (shaper, just not as fast).

If you want to notice the difference. Good glass to compare with would be the minolta 50mm f/1.7. It's a very fast lens and is a great deal for the very nice prime lens. Everyone should at least have it or the f/1.4 version (3x the price).

http://photo.net/equipment/sony/18-70-versus-16-80


or maybe you could've got lucky..... :D (see below)

Don have you seen this?>> http://www.mhohner.de/sony-minolta/18-70_vs_17-35.php

DonSchap
09-02-2008, 07:54 PM
Look ... we need to get something clear, here. Most introductory people are looking for a lot of coverage (focal length-wise) and are not going to be too happy swapping higher-end glass, just to get an improvement on aperture. They want "quick and dirty", with the best performance.

Like I said, toss that "kit" lens ... and buy into the 18-250mm. It covers the 17-50mm, the 18-70mm, the 55-200mm and most of the 70-300mm range. Truly a "one-lens-solution" and it was not available at the time the article you referred to was written.

The 17-50mm costs roughly $400 ... so what do you do to get the rest of the focal length. Another $250 for the 55-200mm? Why not cut the loss and merge everything. It is only one lens and when you are ready to improve ... you know what to do, but you will still have this lens as a terrific backup.

Jimothyy seems to be in that position, in my opinion ... and I have been there myself. The 18-250mm is on my A100 (99% of the time), as a grab and go lens. It does a lot of work and fits in a relatively small case.


39397

39398

dr4gon
09-02-2008, 08:03 PM
Yeah true... lol. What's on your A700 most of the time since you do have 2 cameras.

So have you seen this review?:
http://www.mhohner.de/sony-minolta/18-70_vs_17-35.php

I think he just got lucky, I ended up with just an average lens at best. Too much CA in the kit. The 18-250 is probably my next lens to get. Others on my wishlist (probably not going to happen anytime soon) are the 70-200/2.8, Tamron 200-500mm Di, and maybe the 70-300G. :D

DonSchap
09-02-2008, 08:16 PM
Well, I usually carry the α700 in my sling bag ... which includes the 17-50mm f/2.8 and the Tokina 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6.

I may/probably will replace the Tokina with the TAMRON 70-200mm f/2.8 when I obtain it, but that for another time. Usually, the two lenses can handle most issues. I also can slap the 200-500mm f/5-6.3 on the outside of the sling, for the airshows.


39401
Taken with A100 w/ 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3

dr4gon
09-02-2008, 08:42 PM
Cool, you are so prepared!

seanhoxx
09-02-2008, 10:38 PM
Welcome to the forums Jim read listen and learn, and play with all the knobs and buttons, your not "wasting" any film. Dr4gon likes A mode, I like S mode, even pop into one of the scene modes now and then. get off auto or it will become easy just to leave it there. One of the first pieces of advice and one of the best pieces I got was from right here, Don't get a kit lens, and trust in Tamron!! The Sony CZ lenses seem to be amazing!! but the so is the price. The Tamron 17-50 has great color and is a outstanding lens for the price, I really should use mine more, maybe when winter comes and I am inside more. I shoot lots of sports for fun and the Tamron 70-300 works very very well for the money, I feel it is one of if not the best "cheap" lense you can get. good advice get the best glass you can afford. It's interesting that Dr4gon and I have never met outside this forum and in a short period of time have developed and almost identical lense list and purchase plan, centered around Tamron glass. and get the KM 50mm 1.7 whenever you can pick it up, prices have been a bit crazy lately so take your time and watch for one. it's one of the REQUIRED lenses:D just kidding
Sean

Jimothyy
09-03-2008, 02:15 AM
Hi Guys

Thanks for all the advise and I do agree, a better lens would improve a lot of things. For now though it would be a crazy investment to what is a weekend interest at the moment. I'm investing more in time learning the craft and reading / researching / investigating about being a better photographer.
If I can get my head round better use of a camera (With a lot of help from you guys) then when I do invest in a Foxtrot Oscar lens I will really reap the benefits.
I'm only just working out depth of field! :-)

DonSchap
09-03-2008, 08:29 AM
Guys,

I know it's been a good run and all, but I have to say, I came to the DCRP to learn and share. Simply put, I do not have all the answers ... that's responsibility resides in a much higher authority. I can only try and report on the things I have experienced ... and, hopefully, I successfully share that.

As far as what will impact your photography ... avoiding reliance on the "kit" lens is my best advice. How you do that is your decision.

The short list goes like this:

Reasonable alternatives:
"Single lens" solutions (not necessarily by price)
1) TAMRON AF 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF)
2) SONY DT 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3
3) SONY SAL-24105 - 24-105mm f/3.5-4.5

"Twin lens" solutions (medium cost)
1) SONY SAL-1680Z - Carl ZeissŪ Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 & SAL-70300G 70-300mm f4.5-5.6
2) TAMRON SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) & TAMRON SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO

The pricier ideas (termed "professional"):
"Twin lens" solution:
SONY SAL-2470Z 24-70mm f2.8 & SAL-70200G - 70-200mm f/2.8 G

The medium cost "Ultra lens bag" - Four lenses
1) TAMRON SP AF 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di-II LD (IF) or SONY DT 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 (when available)
2) SONY SAL-1680Z - Carl ZeissŪ Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5
3) TAMRON SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO
4) TAMRON SP AF 200-500mm f/5-6.3 Di LD (IF)

I'm not even going to recommend the lesser lenses ... because, I cannot see why anyone would want to buy a new lens to shoot inferior images, if they can avoid it. Sure you can use them ... then complain about results. My feeling is: Spend the extra couple of hundred and "shoot happy." It's a long road ... and just MY opinion. You are eagerly encouraged to have one of your very own. :D

I know there are cheaper ideas on how to do this ... hell, I've tried them, also. But, to be honest ... you wind tossing away up hundreds of dollars on inferior (non-resellable) lenses trying to acheive results that only can be gotten from a much better optic (which usually is resellable). Oh sure, you can try an beat those pixels into submission with Photoshop or whatever else you use, but the bottom line is ... you should just take better (composed & sharper focused) images, to begin with. :eek:

It really is a lot easier, overall. (Yes, I know that I am avoiding the counter-argument: "Well, how good does the image have to be?" and therein lies the rub. That's the part you figure out for yourself. Welcome to YOUR opinion. LOL :D :p)

dr4gon
09-03-2008, 10:41 AM
Guys,

I know it's been a good run and all, but I have to say, I came to the DCRP to learn and share. Simply put, I do not have all the answers ... that's responsibility resides in a much higher authority. I can only try and report on the things I have experienced ... and, hopefully, I successfully share that.

As far as what will impact your photography ... avoiding reliance on the "kit" lens is my best advice. How you do that is your decision.

The short list goes like this:

Reasonable alternatives:
"Single lens" solutions (not necessarily by price)
1) TAMRON AF 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF)
2) SONY DT 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3
3) SONY SAL-24105 - 24-105mm f/3.5-4.5

"Twin lens" solutions (medium cost)
1) SONY SAL-1680Z - Carl ZeissŪ Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 & SAL-70300G 70-300mm f4.5-5.6
2) TAMRON SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) & TAMRON SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO

The pricier ideas (termed "professional"):
"Twin lens" solution:
SONY SAL-2470Z 24-70mm f2.8 & SAL-70200G - 70-200mm f/2.8 G

The medium cost "Ultra lens bag" - Four lenses
1) TAMRON SP AF 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di-II LD (IF) or SONY DT 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 (when available)
2) SONY SAL-1680Z - Carl ZeissŪ Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5
3) TAMRON SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO
4) TAMRON SP AF 200-500mm f/5-6.3 Di LD (IF)

I'm not even going to recommend the lesser lenses ... because, I cannot see why anyone would want to buy a new lens to shoot inferior images, if they can avoid it. Sure you can use them ... then complain about results. My feeling is: Spend the extra couple of hundred and "shoot happy." It's a long road ... and just MY opinion. You are eagerly encouraged to have one of your very own. :D

I know there are cheaper ideas on how to do this ... hell, I've tried them, also. But, to be honest ... you wind tossing away up hundreds of dollars on inferior (non-resellable) lenses trying to acheive results that only can be gotten from a much better optic (which usually is resellable). Oh sure, you can try an beat those pixels into submission with Photoshop or whatever else you use, but the bottom line is ... you should just take better (composed & sharper focused) images, to begin with. :eek:

It really is a lot easier, overall. (Yes, I know that I am avoiding the counter-argument: "Well, how good does the image have to be?" and therein lies the rub. That's the part you figure out for yourself. Welcome to YOUR opinion. LOL :D :p)

Oh whew.... for a second there.... I thought you were leaving us! :eek:

Great advice as always. You should be a mod here since we don't have one specifically for this forum always around so that you can sticky helpful threads!

DonSchap
09-03-2008, 02:32 PM
I lost my objectivity when I got involved in Canon and wound up betrayed. There are others who are not so ... jaundiced ... and would make for a more balanced approach ... based on that ignorance alone. Getting screwed is no fun ... and then watching someone laugh at being ignorant is even worse.

I rather enjoy my experimentation or continued education ... so that is the benefit, but I'm not here to stroke people's egos ... especially people who insist that being WRONG is RIGHT ... or think they are going to benefit siding with a monolithic giant, when that monolith continues to foster a bad idea. Some politics are just poor plans that someone needs to see through. I do not buy into that line of crap and never have.

I try to tell it like it is ... if you don't like hearing it, change the channel. The truth never gets old ... it just is was it is.

BTW: I reserve the right to change my mind. LOL :D

seanhoxx
09-03-2008, 06:20 PM
What we need is more guys and gals to join the forum, ask questions on technique, exposure, composition, camera functions, tips and "tricks" and we need to keep posting pics on things we like, things we tried whether they worked or not:o and share advice on what we like or what we would do different with the photo. Of course there is always room and need for good detailed discussions like this but lets not make it the theme of the forum. I need to much help learning how to MAKE photographs:) but hey thats only my opinion!! And Don I have never thought of you as a ego stroker, based upon my own direct interaction from your advice/directions/comments all I can say is FACTS is FACTS, it worked for me;)
Now if each one of us could "hunt down" another Sony DSLR user and turn them on to this forum, that could be fun eh.
But the one thing we REALLY need, well at least me anyway is my DAMN Tamron 70-200 2.8!!!:D
Man do I like this site........Sean

frank@BrentwoodLLC
09-04-2008, 01:36 PM
Don,
Thanks for the AF tip back on 8-20-08. I'm getting the hang of it (Alpha 350).
Frank
Brentwood, TN
PS: How can I add a photo in a reply to you?

DonSchap
09-04-2008, 02:09 PM
Well, to post an image on DCRP ... the jpeg file can be no larger than 488KB ... which mean most images have to be reduced in size through MS PAINT at the worst, or Photoshop Elements which is a lot better.

You then go to "Post Reply" ... type in your supporting text message and clcik the paperclip-looking icon ... which is the "Attachments" button. Through a number of intuitive steps, using the "Browse..." button, you locate your file and "upload" it.

39484

In the draft portion of you message, it should look like this (eliminate the dashes and the XXXXX are the relative number of your attached image):

[-ATTACH-]XXXXX[-/ATTACH-]


You can upload up to ten images per posting ... but, usually, it is just one or two.

For simplicity's sake, adding the image's EXIF data is appreciated. Similar in format to this:
EXIF Data: A900 w/ CZ 24-70mm f/2.8 lens @ 50mm - f/2.8 - 1/15 sec - ISO 100 - Handheld - Natural lighting

Give it a try and good luck. :)

Jimothyy
09-04-2008, 03:02 PM
Couple of pics I took today using the camera in A mode. APologies for not having all the details, i'll make note next time.
Hand held for the flower and tried to blur the backgroound a bit, odd angle is due to the flower being bent over and me down on one knee.
Sunset is on a tripod 400 iso medium aperture and shutter was fairly quick...so vague!
Any constructive critisim and help with anything appreciated :-)

DonSchap
09-04-2008, 03:56 PM
The DOF (Depth of Field) on the flower is too shallow ... and it is causing the "subject" (the entire flower) to look OOF (Out-of-focus). The aperture should be closed down a stop or two ... when you are this close, otherwise the only thing in focus is dead center.

You could also back up a little and effectively do the same thing. I believe the petals, in this image, need to be sharply in focus.

Jimothyy
09-04-2008, 04:07 PM
Yeah I can see that now i think. Was manually focusing and the wind kept blowing the flower!
I don't wanna sound thick, but when you say down a stop or two do you mean a lower number or a smaller size? Still not got my head around the aperture terminology :-)

DonSchap
09-04-2008, 04:12 PM
The second shot ... had a little too much negative space on the bottom ... and the tree on the right kind of was distracting ... so they were truncated. I then selected the black area with the "magic wand", inversed it, and with curves brough out the clouds and intensified the sunset. (It's a judgement call ... I figured the clouds still had some definition that could be ressurrected, so why not?)

39487

Jimothyy
09-04-2008, 04:12 PM
Ahaa! Just found this, very helpful. I erm, had it backwards so explains why I had no depth of field! lol

www.shortcourses.com/use/using1-9.html

Jimothyy
09-04-2008, 04:16 PM
I like what you've done there! Is it bad then to have say a close by tree in the side?

DonSchap
09-04-2008, 04:16 PM
Yeah I can see that now i think. Was manually focusing and the wind kept blowing the flower!
I don't wanna sound thick, but when you say down a stop or two do you mean a lower number or a smaller size? Still not got my head around the aperture terminology :-)


Okay ... "stopping down" is closing the aperture tighter or increasing the f/stop ... call it "stopping" the light from getting in.

DonSchap
09-04-2008, 04:20 PM
I like what you've done there! Is it bad then to have say a close by tree in the side?

You can frame a shot anyway you like, but the tree was not clearly defined ... so it was, for sake of argument, distracting. The shot tends to look a lot "cleaner" stripped of any kind of border effect, especially only on one side.

Your subject is the sunset ... and the tree contributes nothing to that.

Jimothyy
09-04-2008, 04:24 PM
Ok ta, think I have the aperture the right way round now!

I have taken some with the whole tree in but as you say, really not necessary I guess.
Good advice here Don thanks, i've a hell of a lot to learn!

DonSchap
09-04-2008, 06:15 PM
@Jimothyy: I just want to make mention that Photoshop can take a totally focused image (foreground, subject & background) and with brute force make it look roughly like an f/2.8 image (shallow (depth of field (DOF)). But, you cannot do the reverse. If the subject in the image is OOF (out of focus) ... you are in trouble.

There is a term: "keeper", which are shots that are usable with the intent you set forth. It is rare that OOF images ever get into this category. So, above anything else, you have to make sure you have your focus the way you want it, because it is a terrible, uphill struggle (if even possible) should you not.

So ... DOF should be slightly more than you need, if possible ... just to be sure everything is in focus, from there you can play with and doctor it up for "the perfect shot."

sparkie1263
09-04-2008, 06:26 PM
Don, ever here of the plug-in called Focus Magic? If so does it work?

Frank

DonSchap
09-04-2008, 07:17 PM
I have not used it, Frank

dr4gon
09-04-2008, 07:33 PM
Don, ever here of the plug-in called Focus Magic? If so does it work?

Frank

Wow that looks really cool. Seems gimicky I must say. This is one user's results and it does look promising!

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=44102

Jimothyy
09-05-2008, 02:04 AM
Thanks Don!

wlad78
11-28-2008, 02:23 PM
Hi to all sony users, i'm just starting with all dslr expirience now(i mean in a very very near future), and given all itching my mastercard feels to be used 2 get A350 i have a quick q 2 ask about lenses:
i'm not gonna do nothing pro-like, just family and travel photo but should i get 1680CZ instead of stock and no 70-300 at all, or should i stick with 1 or 2 tamron lenses like 18-250 i'm reading so much about. money r not limited @ this point, but i dont wanna pay and noy use.
tnx wlad

DonSchap
11-28-2008, 07:03 PM
Personally, if I were starting out all over again, and I wasn't trying to be crazy about what I spent and still wanted top drawer imagery ... I would buy the following, without hesitation:


SONY α700 ($999 @ SONY Style, on line)
SONY CZ 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 ($699)
TAMRON SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD MACRO ($699)
SONY HVL-F58AM Electronic Flash ($449)


I would then pick up a TAMRON SP AF 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di-II LD Ultra Wide-Angle lens ($499) to get the wide stuff ... and then for the Super-telephoto, the TAMRON SP AF 200-500mm f/5-6.3 Di LD lens ($799) to finish it up.

There just will be little need to ever upgrade this kit, unless you need superior imaging (inspected by pros). Until you have the first four items in this list, don't even worry about anything else. LOL :) I am just trying to save you some valuable time, if you have the cash for it.

wlad78
11-30-2008, 06:37 AM
tnx don schap 4 advise. i guess i'll go with 1680 CZ lenses for now, and if needed i'll get telephoto from tamron. can u recomend me any books i should read about photografy besides 167p owners manual? :)

Peekayoh
11-30-2008, 08:29 AM
You might want to check this out ...

http://digital-photography-school.com/blog/digital-photography-tips-for-beginners/

Peter

DonSchap
01-15-2009, 10:33 AM
A big ol' WELCOME to the new 2009 SONY DSLR users. Register and participate. Everybody participating is anxious to spread ideas and knowledge to improve what you will get out of your new camera.

For goodness sake, don't be shy. Unlike other forums ... we all seem to be good-natured and friendly. So ... hop in, the water's fine!

seanhoxx
01-15-2009, 09:55 PM
I second the above motion, come on folks there has to be some more folks that got Alpha's for the holidays and are watching and lurking, pick a cool name and jump in!

DonSchap
01-17-2009, 09:13 AM
Well, Mark and SAF got the message ... good stuff. Heck, we may just have enough guys for a baseball team, this spring.

DonSchap
01-17-2009, 09:21 AM
tnx don schap 4 advise. i guess i'll go with 1680 CZ lenses for now, and if needed i'll get telephoto from tamron. can u recomend me any books i should read about photografy besides 167p owners manual? :)

"Wlad" ... there is a book that I would like to recommend as "mandatory reading" when it comes to Photography. Call it a "Primer", of sorts. There is a lot of good information in it and if you simply practice some of the suggestions ... in real time, you can incorporate the lessons into your daily decision making when it comes to different photography subjects.

Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera (Updated Edition) (Paperback) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0817463003/bookstorenow57-20) (<- click on this link) by Bryan Peterson

Grab on to your camera ... carry it around with you ... and just practice ... varying the MANUAL settings ... see what works for something and what does not. Heck, just sit back in your easy chair and shoot up the room in low light. See what limitations you encounter.

Go outside and have a friend drive the car down the street and pass you (@15 mph - nothing excessive)... try and stop the wheels from turning with shutter speed.

Try to understand the value and limitations of the "Super SteadyShot", which is part of the magic of a SONY DSLR.

Indoors, with your camera, sit still in a chair (not at a table), arms free of support
Do not use flash
Turn "off" the SSS (Super SteadyShot)
Put the camera in "S" Mode
Set ISO to 800 or 1600
Start taking images of your subject with a shutter speed of 1/250, try and hold the camera handheld as steady as you can and then progressively up the shutter-speed of the camera 160, 125, 90, 60, 30, 15, 8.
Turn "SSS" back on ... and repeat step 5


Head back to your computer and review each shot. Compare the identical speeds with SSS on and off. Works pretty good, doesn't it?

Good luck and welcome aboard. Let's see some stuff!

Totus
02-06-2009, 04:32 PM
Hi all,

I'm a new Sony DSLR owner. Just had my Alpha 200 last December 28, 2008. Here're my Specs..LOL

Rig:
Sony Alpha 200 DSLR
Minolta Dynax 300si Film SLR

Lens:
SAL1870 18-70mm f3.5-5.6 "Kit Lens"
Quantaray 70-300mm f4-5.6
Minolta AF 75-300mm f4.5-5.6 "Big Beercan"
Minolta AF 35-70mm f3.5-5.6

Also check out my photo blog:
http://totusphotography.blogspot.com

www.flickr.com/totusjoyce14

I'm fairly new to photography, see please comment on my pictures. I need to learn more.

DonSchap
02-06-2009, 05:46 PM
Welcome aboard, Totus. It is just a pleasure to make learning the optical arts fun!

Share what ya got!

seanhoxx
02-06-2009, 10:40 PM
Hi Totus and welcome aboard! Some neat stuff on your pages. Don you want to tell him to trash the kit lens? or have him read through the posts!

DonSchap
02-06-2009, 10:43 PM
Sean ... you may be my guest ... I'm dealing with SONY for a little while. :cool:

seanhoxx
02-06-2009, 10:50 PM
Totus, everything well almost everything we have seen here, compared, tested, and reviewed really indicates the kit lens is a terrible piece of glass, err um plastic. It does you, your camera, your photos no favor what so ever. get rid of it, almost any other D lens 'digital' will do better. The Tamron 17-50 seems to be the common replacement here. Don has a picture he likes to use of shooting the kit lens with a shotgun!
how was that?

Elisha
02-06-2009, 11:03 PM
i would recommend a Minolta 50mm F1.7 as well.

seanhoxx
02-06-2009, 11:08 PM
Agrees 100% with Elisha also.

Totus
02-06-2009, 11:22 PM
Thanks for the warm welcome all! I appreciate you guys taking a look at my photos; and I'm proud that I don't really do much of PP on them. ;)

I've read through the other threads and I agree that the 18-70 Kit lens is a cheap piece of plastic. That's why after just a few days of owning my Sony Alpha... I got discontented and I went to search for other lenses.

Guess what...I got a classic 35-70mm Minolta AF, a collector's item 75-300mm Minolta AF "big beercan", and a Minolta Dynax 300si from ebay. Got the entire set second hand for approximately $200 (Php 9,000). It was a steal! The 75-300mm was PERFECT! It was the lens I was looking for! As you can see, almost all of my shots were taken with the big beercan. The 35-70mm was in mint condition, takes sharp and excellent pictures. And I tested out the Dynax, last weekend it was an awesome piece of equipment (a little limited though).

I'll just replace my SAL1870 with the Minolta 35-70 for "normal indoor/portrait shots". I'm making do with the Kit lens for now because I don't have a wide-angle lens. Any ideas on what wide-angle lens to get on a very limited budget?

Totus

Sony Alpha 200 DSLR
Minolta Dynax 300si Film SLR
SAL 1870 18-70mm f3.5-5.6 "Kit Lens"
Minolta AF 35-70mm f3.5-5.6
Minolta AF 75-300mm f4.5-5.6 "Big Beercan"
Quantaray 70-300mm f4-5.6 DI

http://totusphotography.blogspot.com
http://www.flickr.com/totusjoyce14

DonSchap
02-06-2009, 11:23 PM
Okay, I'm done trying to make my point to the SONY Style forum ... I hope they consider it as a firmware update.

Anyway, here is the link to "GET RID OF THE KIT (http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41530)" and the survey (http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41697)

The TAMRON SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DI-II LD Aspherical (IF) lens is probably the best all-around replacement for a "walk- around", providing effective 28~75mm full-frame width on the A200 APS-C sensor. Its price is what it is ... and I would say you might be hard-pressed to find a cheaply priced one, unless someone is selling theirs to move to the SONY CZ 24-70 f/2.8

The first thread in this forum covers a lot of ground concerning the modern lenses. The older Minolta lenses are in various degrees of quality, so we did not address them in the same way, because the results are so ... haphazard.

seanhoxx
02-06-2009, 11:27 PM
Heads off to Sony style to see what Don is hammering them about!

jonnythe
02-07-2009, 02:30 PM
Hey people.

I'm one of the new Sony dSLR guys. Purchased an A200 just to learn on. Now I'm a little peeved because before buying it several weeks ago I came here looking for opinions but totally missed the dSLR forum (was looking in the normal Sony forum). The camera shop owner convinced me the twin lens kit was pretty good for the price and could take some great shots with the included lenses.

Anyway, I'm not really angry about it. Definitely an easy camera to pick up and shoot away with for someone coming from "decent" P&S's that have full manual control. But I do see the problems you're all talking about on the kit (toy) lenses, especially when compared to photos I've seen from better quality glass on the same camera. So I'm hanging out on ebay a lot waiting for something to show up :)

Just a quick question though. When the metering mode is set to spot or center-weighted, the A200 will continuously meter the scene as you move the camera around with the shutter half-pressed. But in multi-segment mode the metering stays locked to when the button is first half-pressed. Is this by design or a firmware bug? Or is there a setting somewhere in the menus to do with this?

Oh well, time to get back to reading these forums for more tips. Some great info here for a noob!

Dave.

Peekayoh
02-07-2009, 02:54 PM
It is by design, but only in multi segment metered AF-S or AF-A mode.
Otherwise you need to use the "AE Lock" button.

That's on the A700 which is I hope the same on the A200. If not, I apologise.

DonSchap
02-07-2009, 08:28 PM
Dave,

we could write a book ... LOL

Enjoy the discussions and tests. All of it is enough to launch a career.

Feel free to ask questions ... and always ask before you drop any more coin on a new lens.

Welcome to the forum ... and have fun. ;)

seanhoxx
02-07-2009, 08:33 PM
Dave AKA Jonny - hmmn sounds like a story there to me LOL. Dave welcome aboard, a member since 2007? been doing a lot of lurking?

Peekayoh
02-08-2009, 03:21 AM
Lurking in the wrong place.

jonnythe
02-08-2009, 03:58 AM
Lurking in the wrong place.Hmmm, what's that mean? Lurking is a funny thing. If you post heaps of stupid questions that have been asked a million times you get told to search. But if you're good at finding answers without wasting bandwidth and server space, you're a lurker. Well I'm a lurker. I don't have much to contribute that hasn't been said already - it's the way my brain works.

Anyhow, I'll write a proper reply once I get over the emotions of so many people dying in the most atrocious bushfires we've seen in this country so far. Sorry guys. Not very happy today.

Peekayoh
02-08-2009, 05:06 AM
Simply letting Sean know you were in the wrong place seeing as you failed to find the Sony DSLR Forum. Certainly no offence intended.

seanhoxx
02-08-2009, 07:12 PM
Dave no offense, and please don't hesitate to jump in and chat, share you comments and opinions, DCRP and the Sony forum seem to be pretty laid back and easy going compared to some other places. There is some back and forth, and conflict but even then it doesn't get out of hand, and often still holds a bit of humor. I respect your comments as to the situation in OZ. I have watched some online, the wildfires are awful, the loss of life, the destruction, the wildlife the enviroment, a shame and a pity.

DonSchap
02-25-2009, 05:03 PM
I am in total agreement with Sean, here. The more we discuss the aspects of the photos present, the sooner you can truly appreciate what the DSLR can do for you, no matter what the model.

Thriller
03-02-2009, 06:35 PM
First post and the a200 is my first DSLR

I bought the kit for my sister for Christmas and after seeing the pictures, I had to get one for myself :)

I think it's so easy to use and I take it everywhere I go, I don't think the lense that came with the kit is all that bad, but after reading the comments on here, I am looking foward to getting a new one along with a wide angle!

There is atleast 20 pawn shops downtown with mega gear on display.
Would it be wise to buy used or should I break open the wallet and buy new?
any advice would be appreciated!

http://i328.photobucket.com/albums/l352/toastedwhitebread/DSC00270.jpg

laydros
03-02-2009, 07:51 PM
I have happily bought some older lenses used, and been very happy, but they were all fairly cheap. There is a downside to older lenses (pre-digital) because they don't have the coatings that are beneficial to digital. Many are still great lenses though. I have bought a few of the inital (mid-eighties) Minolta lenses and been very happy. I have also bought a bad one from ebay, and was lucky enough that the seller returned it. You have to make sure that the glass is clear, free of fungus (looks like spider web) and that the aperture is oil free and snappy. You can move the little aperture arm on the bottom of the lens with a pencil, or sometimes your finger. Try it out on your camera, and make sure you can adjust the aperture and shoot pictures with it.

However, if you are spending more (like that Tamron 17-50mm you should probably be looking at) you should probably buy new. Tamron in particular because one of the benefits to that brand is the 6 year warranty. In addition you probably won't save a ton by buying used in that class, so it is probably not worth the risk. Glass that is still available for sell (and worth buying) holds it's value very well.

Nice skyline, and welcome. We are glad to have you here.

DonSchap
03-02-2009, 07:53 PM
There is no reason you cannot take your camera with you and evaluate a "used" or new lens. That really is the only way to be sure and, also, it is the only real way you can see what you can do with it.

There are a few wide-angle shots on here, but until you can witness the aspect change as you look through the lens, no one can adequately describe it.

Welcome to the forum, 'Thriller' ... enjoy and read what you can. Lots of good inside info, here.

seanhoxx
03-02-2009, 09:30 PM
isn't Henry's the big name in Canada for new and used equip. maybe check them out. Pawn shops can be a deal if you know what your looking for and know how to tell what if anything is wrong with the item. There will be no gurantee at a pawn shop. a large well established one may have a 3 or 5 day return for trade only NO cash back. it is less likely today to get stolen goods out of a "respected' established pawn shop but if you do as long as they followed the requirements, even if they took a fake name and address off a fake ID YOU are out the cash and the item. Pawn shops will often get 'legit' dumps of counterfit or bootleg merch brought in, depends if the clerk knows enough or cares enough to check it out. But deals can be had, take your camera awith card in and try lenses out.

Peekayoh
03-03-2009, 05:44 AM
........ There is a downside to older lenses (pre-digital) because they don't have the coatings that are beneficial to digital.....

Can we lay this commonly held misconception to rest, it's "Marketing Speak".

A coating is there to cut down on unwanted reflections. The coating sits quietly on the various lens' surfaces doing the job it was designed for and, once the stray light is eliminated (I wish), it matters not a jot whether the remaining light falls on film or on a digital sensor.

That's not to say that all coatings are the same. Minolta pioneered coating technology and had a program in place which saw continuous improvements over the years, so don't expect a lens from 1970 to be as good coating wise as a lens from the 90's

There are issues like the "centre spot" caused by a reflection of the aperture back to the sensor. Because the digital sensor causes a more specular reflection than is caused by film, this can be more of a problem but is a digital design issue and unrelated to lens coating.

There are other more compelling reasons for a "digital" lens relating to the wide angle issue, increased resolution, less chromatic aberration, retrofocus (telecentric) design but none of these relate to COATINGS.

Peekayoh
03-03-2009, 07:26 AM
........Would it be wise to buy used or should I break open the wallet and buy new?
any advice would be appreciated!


There is no single answer to this question. You may be better served by asking about a specific lens (or specific range) rather than in general and you also need to be clear on how much money you want to spend.
I've got plenty of "old glass" collected over the years and I swear by it, even if I do get a bit of stick (good humoured) from some quarters.

laydros
03-03-2009, 07:59 AM
There are other more compelling reasons for a "digital" lens relating to the wide angle issue, increased resolution, less chromatic aberration, retrofocus (telecentric) design but none of these relate to COATINGS.

I was under the impression that the coatings helped with the ghosting/glare bit as well as CA. I guess the CA is more with the glass shape? Aspherical and stuff?

What does telecentric mean? Rear focusing?

Peekayoh
03-03-2009, 09:51 AM
The coatings mostly deal the reflections and scattering occurring at the glass/air interface. When the Sun is in the frame, the direct light is bounced around inside the lens creating the Aperture shaped Ghosts and contrast reducing flare.

CA is a separate issue when different colors to come to focus at different places on the imager (You've seen Prismatic diffraction at work). The color fringing is brighter and clearer than it would be on a film camera with the same lens.

Much was made of the retrofocus, telecentric design of the four thirds format. If you picture the light leaving the lens exit pupil and hitting the centre of the sensor you can see that the orientation will be perpendicular to the surface. As you move towards the edge of the sensor the orientation will be at an increasing angle to the vertical. Whilst this angle is of no consequence to film, the Digital Sensor is more selective and light diverging just 15 degrees can cause up to a 50% loss in sensitivity. The angle is affected by the distance from the lens exit pupil to the sensor (retrofocus) and more distance is better so telefocus lenses suffer less in this regard compared to wide angles.
It is clear that a smaller 2x crop sensor will suffer less from this problem than a 1.5x crop or full frame sensor unless, of course, you make the lens smaller as in the 4/3 system. In this case it was necessary to increase the relative distance of the exit pupil away from the sensor to decrease the angle (telecentric).

DonSchap
03-18-2009, 07:46 PM
Would it be wise to buy used or should I break open the wallet and buy new?
any advice would be appreciated!


Used lenses have one issue that leaves them a little questionable in your work ... someone else used it. Obviously, the older the lens, the likelier the chance it was bounced around a little more. Many older lenses were built heavier and more solidly. They lend themselves better to such treatment, but then there are those that do not and suffer enormously. I recently got one such lens, - USED - from a large retailer that advertises on this forum ... and wound up having to sell it back to SONY for a partial refund. SONY no longer had the parts support for such a lens and made amends, but that kind of thing will not last much longer, as this show gets down the road.

Buying USED is a true gamble. Some will get lucky ... others will get tricked, and it will not necessarily be by a single individual sale. Even buying new, I have found lenses, fresh out-of-the-box, effectively unusable because the lens' focus is off to such a degree, I can not compensate for it. At least with a NEW lens, the manufacturer is totally responsible for delivering a "properly working" lens ... and since the lens' whole mission in life is a sharp, clear focus ... YOU WIN when you send it back for "adjustment." Requesting that of a used lens, usually means ... you lose, having to pay for the adjustment yourself. This can range in costs from $80 to $200. That can be a serious budget strangler, if you are trying to launch your photography.

Anyway ... just some aspects you may want to consider ... before buying USED.

Flip a coin, first.

44927

See what the odds say.

DonSchap
03-25-2009, 08:13 PM
I have noticed we are not seeing much in the way of postings from our newer members.

Come on, folks ... it's Spring! Things worth a look are all over the place. Grab that new DSLR camera and start getting something to look at. Don't let your investment collect dust. The "film" is cheap enough!

We're on the other side of Winter, up here, north of the Equator. See a cool flower, snap it. Mailman biting your dog? Snap it! That's news! :D Noisy bird! Fire away! It is time for Australia to sample the snow!

Then ... to prove you are at least trying ... post it. Show us what we are missing at your end of the network. With a combined effort on POTD (Picture of the Day) .... nothing's safe! :D

DWessel
03-28-2009, 11:53 AM
I just got the A900. Went straight from a fixed lens (no stabilization) to the A900 after looking at the Nikon D700 and Canon EOS 5d-MarkII.

My hobby is photographing old courthouses and architectural details of old buildings. So, I'm faced with a lot of low light situations and can't always set up a tripod. I was tired of having to judge the image I wanted to capture versus the image that could be printed and the high noise levels my fixed lens camera was giving at even low ISO settings.

Since I was starting from scratch without any lenses, I was free to choose between Sony, Nikon or Canon. After several months of looking and comparing, I opted for the A900. I've been very happy with the choice, but am still getting used to the camera and its various settings.

Now, to the issues I've experienced with the A900. When shooting in shaded areas, I sometimes get a bluish tint on grey concrete buildings. It's annoying. :mad:. I think it has to do with the white balance setting and I'm still trying to figure it out :confused:.

sparkie1263
03-28-2009, 01:25 PM
Great choice in camera. You can fix the WB in PS. If you shoot in Raw you will have more control. I am not the best person to advise you on this but you will get some good advice here.
Welcome to the forum

Frank

dr4gon
03-28-2009, 04:03 PM
Welcome

Have you messed at all with the intelligent preview function? You can mess with WB and DRO settings and then retake it again.

DWessel
03-28-2009, 07:48 PM
I have used the preview function. Although, it's location could be better. You need to have a real steady hand because if you're not careful it tends to move the camera when you push down.

picman
03-29-2009, 02:39 AM
Now, to the issues I've experienced with the A900. When shooting in shaded areas, I sometimes get a bluish tint on grey concrete buildings. It's annoying. :mad:. I think it has to do with the white balance setting and I'm still trying to figure it out :confused:.

Congratulations of the A900, it is a wonderful camera!

I think the best you can do is start shooting raw. You can then adapt the white balance, compensate exposure, adapt the tone curve, fix vignetting etc...

I do not know what kind of raw converter you are using at the moment but in your situation where I guess you like to have corner to corner sharpness (even when shooting at maximum aperture) and prefer to be able to eliminate any distortion, I believe you should give DxO a try. You can download a trial for 14 days twice. You can check out on their website whether they support the lenses you are using. They've also got a long list of lenses they are going to support in future. At the moment I am mostly using Capture One but DxO is very rewarding in certain situations such as yours.

Cheers, Bob.

DWessel
03-29-2009, 09:51 AM
Bob,

Thanks for the DxO recommendation. I shoot in both raw and JPEGs. I'm using the raw converter that came with the A900 in combination with PS. Since I don't have a lot of time for post-production, I try my hardest to get the image I want to capture while I'm shooting it.

DonSchap
04-05-2009, 11:49 AM
Since I don't have a lot of time for post-production, I try my hardest to get the image I want to capture while I'm shooting it.

Composition is one thing, but there are (without a doubt) going to be issues in most compositions that probably could use some ... digital modification. In film photography, you would use burning and dodging ... which is time-consuming and rather inaccurate, Say it is a stray reflectance from some 'in-frame' object or a completely obscured part you would like to include, but from your vantage point with at particular shot ... just isn't possible. Tada ... post-processing to the rescue ... and the more practice you have doing it, the better.

Happily, you are not "stuck" with you you see ... you can make the detected improvements and assemble an "improved" and more "refined" image, with post processing. Many have been the portrait where what you see is NOT what you want to get. Blemishes and other uncomplimentary items can be virtually removed and make for a much more pleasant, is not so accurate composition. I have to admit, I am not too keen on accentuating wrinkles. Perhaps one or two, but when they begin do a mosaic on my subject ... that kind of reality is decidedly something most of us can live without.

Call it "the other half" of a good image.

DWessel
04-05-2009, 06:50 PM
Don:

I hear you loud and clear!!! I certainly do touch ups and tweak the images I shoot. I just don't have a lot of time and would much rather be outdoors snapping away!!!

tomr182
08-23-2009, 01:51 PM
hello everybody!

I just purchased the a200 and got a great deal (mainly because it was being discontinued) but im pleased non the less!
already been out and about taking all sorts of pictures and having a play around with various settings to try and understand all about the world of digital photography! most pictures are poor at the moment, but im just having fun seeing the changes between settings and stuff. only on the basic 18-70mm lens so will eventually want something new - my preference is shooting action stuff, cars, sports and things - still i dont expect anything amazing, but would be nice to one day get to shooting decent quality shots.

enjoying the forum so far and the help and support you give looks second to none! i look forward to getting to know you

Tom

jr_rodriguez
08-28-2009, 06:27 PM
Hello everyone!

I am a complete amateur. I purchased an A200 last summer (2008), and have been having a lot of fun with it. My father has been into photography for decades, and is a Nikon person. I started having doubts as to the wisdom of my choice, but he kept saying "Sony is here to stay; be patient". And look at this week's announcements! I see now he was right. Besides, I have so much to learn, the camera does not matter much at this point. But I am going to have a hard time staying away from the the A550.
Glad to see there's a group of Alpha users here.

Juan

dr4gon
08-28-2009, 07:10 PM
Welcome Juan!

DonSchap
08-28-2009, 09:31 PM
Hello Juan and Tom ... we ARE a friendly and most helpful group, I would hazard to say. We occasionally have our "invaders" from other manufacturer's forums, enjoying a cheap shot or a contentious viewpoint when the occasion arises, but for the most part ... good and solid experience is offered ... and if there is none ... we make some! :D

Feel free to post an image that interested you because you either could not get it quite the way you wanted or need some assistance identifying a problem you are having.

The α200 is a popular introductory model to start with, but you will note that eventually you are going to want to expand your capability ... and moving to a higher class camera will be far more ... shall we say, "interesting?"

That being said ... where's that image? :confused:

jr_rodriguez
08-29-2009, 08:03 PM
Thanks, Don.
I've already realized I could use a higher-end camera. The only problem is the budgetary constraint :) Doesn't bother me that much yet because I have so much learn.

Quick question: what size do they like to keep the images posted under? If I ever post one, I don't want to be posting something huge.

DonSchap
08-29-2009, 11:17 PM
Quick question: what size do they like to keep the images posted under? If I ever post one, I don't want to be posting something huge.

Posting around 800x600 or vice-versa usually does the trick and is the "accepted" default size.

jr_rodriguez
08-31-2009, 09:12 PM
Ok Don, here's an image:

Comments?

DonSchap
08-31-2009, 09:24 PM
It a trifle small ... you could post a bit bigger. Just makes it easier to see.

The focus on the bird is right where it should be.

shoeytennis
08-31-2009, 09:57 PM
Ok Don, here's an image:

Comments?

I'd hit a tight crop starting at the birds feathers but to one its own.

jr_rodriguez
09-01-2009, 07:05 PM
Well, here's another try...

DonSchap
09-01-2009, 07:08 PM
That works for me ... good job.

jr_rodriguez
09-01-2009, 07:18 PM
Thanks, Don. I took it with my new SAL-50f18. It's the only lens I have besides the two kit lenses that came with my a200. I know having good glass will help a lot, but I can't afford it right now. I am saving my pennies, though :)
Glad people have been so kind.

DonSchap
09-01-2009, 07:42 PM
Glass is something that requires patience and planning. The worst thing you can do is buy a lens that is not "up to snuff." On the DCRP, we try to suggest lenses that work for the best results ... and are not always the top lens in the pile.

Let's face it, everyone should desire superior glass. I mean, that's the idea ... so you do not have to worry about what your equipment is going to do to butcher an image. The best glass offers the least damage, so to speak.

There are compromises ... and I have listed them in the first posting or "sticky" thread in the SONY Digital SLRs forum. These are reasonably priced lenses for overall shooting. Obviously, if you have specific images you want to create, there are other lenses that deal with that kind of thing. They, too, are listed in the sticky post, but more towards the end of the thread.

I sincerely hope this helps focus your photography in the right direction. ;)

DonSchap
09-01-2009, 07:42 PM
Glass is something that requires patience and planning. The worst thing you can do is buy a lens that is not "up to snuff." On the DCRP, we try to suggest lenses that work for the best results ... and are not always the "top lens" in the pile.

Let's face it, everyone should desire superior glass. I mean, that's the idea ... so you do not have to worry about what your equipment is going to do to butcher an image. The best glass offers the least damage, so to speak.

There are compromises ... and I have listed them in the first posting or "sticky" thread in the SONY Digital SLRs forum. These are reasonably priced lenses for overall shooting. Obviously, if you have specific images you want to create, there are other lenses that deal with that kind of thing. They, too, are listed in the sticky post, but more towards the end of the thread.

I sincerely hope this helps focus your photography in the right direction. ;) It really does pay to do your homework when shopping for a lens. Ask about the resources. Heck, ask about the specific lens you have in mind and listen to the resources cited. But, do not buy a lens UNTIL you have done the leg work ... otherwise, that could be expensive and make for a frustrating experience.

jr_rodriguez
09-03-2009, 08:11 AM
That's good advice. Thanks, Don.
Juan

DonSchap
09-24-2009, 08:05 AM
LURKERS!

Yeah, we know you are out there .... join up. The DCRP is a lot more fun when people ask questions and the other members get a chance to meet you and offer some helpful advice. We are all in this, together, learning through shared experience ... as well as experiencing some of the stranger stuff, personally. We all benefit from this hidden knowledge. Don't keep it to yourself.

The COMMON BOND ... Photography with a SONY DSLR!

If you are waiting around for an invitation ... THIS IS IT!

Let's hear from ya! :D

IdPlease
09-26-2009, 12:30 PM
Hi fellow photographers...

Well, first time owning a Sony DSLR, second time owning a DSLR period.. (first was a Olympus E-410)

Purchased a A700 DSLR on Thursday for a cracking price, but it came with the jamjar lens (18-70), not a patch on my Oly 14-42 .. was so frustrated with the quality of it, thought i'd brought a dog of a camera.

Prior to getting the Sony, I looked into 2 other bodies, but niether suited my needs. I happened to come across DCResource whilst seeking reviews on the Sony. So here I am.

I have ordered a Sigma 17-70 DC f/2.8-4.5 Lens to compliment the Sony. Looking forward to shooting with it.

Apart from the lens (but I got the Sony A700K (new not second user) for a hundred less than the body alone is retailing at the local high stores) the unit it's self is amazing, although I do have a lot to learn. Used it for 2 days, getting to know the features etc but kinda lost a little confidence due to the lens, no matter what I do, it's never sharp, crisp and puncy (not expecting it to be) as it's the bottom of the dregs lens.

As I siad, the unit is a gem, very responsive and always ready to go. I only shoot raw as I want the maximum detail and dynamic range I can get. Sony's software dont or wont work with my vista 64 rig, always messes up some helpxxx.dll and windows not boot (backups are useful).

Manged to get the sony software on the vista 32 laptop, but it's painfully slow.

I'm rambling .. the sony, yes it's really quick, shooting in bracket (3 frames -+2EV to create a HDR then stitch the 5 or more images into a panoramic software) it has heps of buffer, think I get an average of 13 images before the number in the eye piece drops to 0, which in my experance as amazing.

Hoping to share images once I get the Sigma lens, and obviously, pick your brains and experiance's to better help my level of photography. I'm just a level 0.5 beginner :)


Thanks, and be seeing you around..

Carl

sparkie1263
09-26-2009, 01:05 PM
Welcome to the forum.

Frank

DonSchap
09-26-2009, 04:15 PM
Welcome aboard, Carl.

I believe you will see significant improvement in your images once you lose that awful excuse for glass. I have tried to make it clear (pardon the pun) on this forum that the old "kit" lens is perhaps the worst example of proper glassware that has been produced ... and Canon did give it stiff competition with their own EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens.

Anyway ... you are making a wise move.

The α700 is a terrific DSLR and quite a bargain, at this time. It originally sold for $1399 when it was introduced two years ago. Learn how to use it well, as the α850/α900 Full Frame DSLRs are currently very close in operation and options to the α700.

IdPlease
09-27-2009, 01:54 AM
Morning,

Yeah, I know it's an old camera but even said that, it's still far superior to my Olympus E-410. And being a amatuer in the DSLR scene, it has more than ample features for my needs. I could have got a nikon D300 or a Canon 50D (as I looked at them both) but the sony won due to the overall image quality and features I wanted, and obviously the price.

I don't care much for live view nor video, my E-410 has live view, and in the year or so of owning it I perhaps used live view twice.

Don't see me progressing for at least another year or two with a new body. My time with the camera is purely a hobby and nothing gets printed, all viewed on the computer (1920x1050 42" Samsung) and rarely published on the web.

At the moment, I'm just trying to find a good workflow and utlimately find the best raw conversion tool(s).

Not sure if DRO is for me or not yet, as the small experiments i've conducted seems to add noise in the shadows (but it all could be down to the lens). I'm positive an experianced user can make the A700 dance and produce excellent images.

Looking forward to recieving the Sigma lens, as the images i've seen on the web (considering they are jpg and possably been scaled and saved out with high compression) are far cleaner.

bmac
09-29-2009, 07:33 PM
Hi, looks like I am the latest lurker to join the forum. My name is Bob and I live south of Seattle in Tacoma. I have a Sony A200. This is my first DSLR and I like the camera so far. Still using the kit lens....Ducking!! The lens purchase is what I have researching here trying to make a decision. I like the CZ 16-80 and the Tamron 17-50 2.8. Just not sure if it's worth the extra $$ for the CZ. Don mentioned the TAMRON 18-250 f/3.5-6.3 as a good all around lens as well. I need to make a decision soon as I am anxious to park the kit lens. Thanks, Bob

jr_rodriguez
09-29-2009, 07:57 PM
Hi, looks like I am the latest lurker to join the forum. My name is Bob and I live south of Seattle in Tacoma. I have a Sony A200. This is my first DSLR and I like the camera so far. Still using the kit lens....Ducking!! The lens purchase is what I have researching here trying to make a decision. I like the CZ 16-80 and the Tamron 17-50 2.8. Just not sure if it's worth the extra $$ for the CZ. Don mentioned the TAMRON 18-250 f/3.5-6.3 as a good all around lens as well. I need to make a decision soon as I am anxious to park the kit lens. Thanks, Bob

Welcome to the forum, Bob.
Please post your adventures with the new lens, whichever you end up purchasing. I too have an A200, but I just have the two kit lenses plus the 50mm f/1.8. So far I really like the 50mm, and I'm saving my pennies so I can purchase the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8.

Juan

DonSchap
09-29-2009, 08:06 PM
Still using the kit lens....Ducking!!

http://i147.photobucket.com/albums/r289/donschap/funny%20stuff/greatshotJansen.jpg http://i147.photobucket.com/albums/r289/donschap/funny%20stuff/smilies.gif

Sorry, kind of a ... "gut reaction!" :D:rolleyes:

Bob, welcome to the forum ...

Choosing a first real DSLR lens kind of boils down to shooting indoors and outdoors. The 18-250 is the "Mom" lens ... when you want to keep it simple and are chasing down the kids in the yard or in the park ... THAT probably should be your "first" lens, uncontested.

When you go indoors, though ... light is more at a premium and the 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 tends to be too dark to use without some type of flash augmentation. Flash units are not cheap. The darker the lens, the higher the cost. As the chart, below, reveals with the "kit lens" versus the 18-200 class lens:

49409

At 42mm, with the 18-200 class lens, the aperture is already at f/4 (that usually spells "get out the flash") The "kit lens" is already at its maximum base aperture of f/5.6 (the higher the f-number, the darker the image) ... a full stop darker than the 18-200 lens. That right there is reason enough to justify replacing the "kit."


Indoors is where the 17-50mm f/2.8 excels. It is also usable in the great outdoors, you just have to get much closer because it lacks telephoto length. Usually, the 17-50 is part of a basic two-lens solution. The other lens being the cheaper outdoor 70-300mm f/4-5.6 (see latest contest thread that ends on Oct 1, 2009) lens or the more expensive and brighter 70-200mm f/2.8 lens (indoor capability).

For more on these suggestions, you should review the first "sticky" thread in the SONY DSLR forum.

Anyway ... some basic things to consider. Good luck! :D

Peekayoh
10-04-2009, 10:46 AM
................ Sony's software dont or wont work with my vista 64 rig, always messes up some helpxxx.dll and windows not boot (backups are useful).........

DxO Optics Pro works OK with Vista64.
Get a trial version here http://www.dxo.com/en/photo/trial_version

dr4gon
10-04-2009, 11:05 AM
Sony has new RAW drivers for thumbnails that are vista x64 compatible ;).