Buying a new A100...what lens?
I will be buying the A100 and am considering the 18-200 lens. What is the best value in 18-200's ? Any significant differances in Sigma, Tamron etc ? Also I have some old Minolta manual lens dating back to the 70's will they function on the A100?
Tamron AF18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 XR DiII LD (IF)
While I cannot personal vouche for the Sigma version of the focal length, I can say that I've shot the TAmROn Promaster AF 28-200mm f/3.8-5.6 for years on the Minolta-mount. It is an early design, but performed well with film. A little tardy with focus speed, but the newer version is much snappier. I use this older version for my SONY A100. I'm not quite ready to spend another $300 for the upgraded version, since this already works for me.
On my other digital... my TAmROn AF18-200 f/3.5-6.3 XR DiII LD Aspherical (IF) is mounted on the Canon EOS 20D. Is has performed well over the past year and seems to offer generally good shots. There are some distortions at the high and low end, but they are relatively minor. The XR-coating makes the lens relatively short in length and the weight is only 15 oz. It is designed to work exclusively with APS-C sensors, like the A100 has, so there should be good match of this lens to the SONY camera.
Post some of the extreme shots you take, when you can. I'd like to see what the upgraded version shoots like.
If a SONY lens is available...
If a SONY 18-200mm lens is available, take the time to mount it and shoot it against a relatively similar TAmROn or SIGMA lens. Use your own CF card and BEFORE YOU BUY, take the test shots home for comparison. It is critical that the settings remain identical for comparison purposes, so that even if you took a set of bad shots... they'd all still be able to be compared for light intensity, contrast and color cast.
In my own experience, the TAmROn 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 is a far sharper lens than the 18-70mm SONY kit lens, so I would suggest seeking a package that has the TAmROn or SIGMA version of the 18-200mm included, rather than the SONY 18-70mm.
I'm not sure what SONY is charging for their own version of the 18-200mm lens... but the 18-200mm range makes for a super "kit" lens with plenty of versatility for the beginning user. Remember to use the A100's built-in flash, indoors, with it... as this type (18-200mm f/3.5-6.3) of lens darkens up when zoomed out beyond 120mm. It's just something that needs to be taken into consideration when setting up your shot.
Old Minolta Manual lenses on Sony A100
I too have some old Minolta Manual lenses which I would to know if I can use on Sony's A100? Is there any adapter required and which one?
Thanks in advance.
18-200mm and other lens stuff
to be honest, I personally haven't seen the SONY-version of the 18-200mm, but if that's truly the case... then TAmROn would be my choice. It has been for nearly twenty years.
To answer "uk26's" interrogative, NO adapter is required for Minolta A-mount (AF lenses) glass when used on the SONY A100. Just slap it on and go!
Minolta MD-Mount (Manual lenses from the prior generation of cameras), however, would require an adapter just like they did on the Minolta 7000/9000series, the 5/7/9 series, the i-series and the 5D/7D.
Other than the built-in anti-Quake feature of the camera body, I believe the best part of the SONY A100 is the lack of need to buy brand-new glass for it. In fact, if you need to buy glass from the get go... there is a car load of Minolta-glass (AF-mount) available on eBay, for excellent prices.
(A footnote: It has been my experience, that when it comes to the Minolta's 50mm focal length, the f/1.7 lens shoots far sharper than the f/1.4 version. The f/1.4 I would suggest using for portraiture or soft shots... where DOF & low light is critical. I'd use the f/1.7 for everything else, where sharpness and contrast is necessary. Yes, I do own both. ;) )
But, if new is all you will consider, most, if not all of TAmROn's lenses are already available in the Minolta A-mount, as are many of the SIGMA and Tokina lenses.