A SONY "Minimum" configuration
The subject came up, recently, on what would comprise a "Minimum" configuration (or the "little bag") for the SONY A100, that would offer the beginning photographers with this digital SLR the best all-around solution.
With the release of the TAMRON 18-250mm lens, I do believe that this answer is short and sweet. At fifteen ounces and coupled with the A100's Super SteadyShot, it is a lightweight and effective solution.
The earlier 18-200mm, relased by in 2005, represented a excellent value with the ability to swing from reasonable wide-angle all the way to ... about 160mm. It kind of came up a little shy. With the extended 250mm of this newer offering, the lens provides the widest range sweeps in this class of lens available, 13.9x.
You will need an external flash to get the most out of this combination indoors, also. The suggestion is to by-pass the more modest SONY HVL-F36AM DC Flash and go right to the SONY HVL-F56AM DC Flash due to the more powerful flash, selectable light levels and the totally swiveling bounce.
With this set up, you could easily get away with a waist pouch to carry your flash (13.2 oz), your cleaning kit and a few 62mm-filters (UV/Pola/Spec. FX) for the lens. As an on the go configuration, this should get your shot with minimum fuss and reduce the need to swap glass ... eliminating addition dust contamination during lens changes.
This lens also replaces the "18-70mm kit" lens with some very noticable image quality improvements. You will find this same advice shared on many lens manufacturer's web-sites. They are at least making a buck at this. :cool:
My I take your order, please
Okay ... yes, I "ordered" my TAMRON AF18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) from Alpine Camera (Des Plaines), today, because the SONY A100 is the "player" camera and this lens is the one to have for running around town, collecting images ... a not having to tote a camera bag with you.
You might say, this is a way for your to take your dSLR and quickly make it into a quasi-P&S, for the sake of convenience. The best of both worlds ... fast-repeating-shutter and widest-scale focal range.
As soon as that puppy comes in (end of February) ... let the shoot-fest begin! :D
One of things I do miss are the form-fitting camera cases, for this approach to shooting. I don't like running around with a "naked camera." :eek: Oh sure, you can probably get one for a 50mm lens or even that awful "kit" lens attached, but they really need to offer a decent case to handle these slightly large diameter 3.5" lenses.
All the form-fitting cases seem to have gone the way of the kickstand on a bicycle. :rolleyes:
Warning about some deals!
A lot of first-time users are talked into getting the TAMRON AF 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 and TAMRON AF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 LD lenses, which are really designed for use on 35mm-film SLRs, NOT DSLRs. There are a lot of these old film-style lenses in the inventory ... that are new, but effectively obsolete for use on digital SLR cameras. Dealers will let them go for around $200-$300 for the pair.
If you wind up with these early lenses, I recommend you return them and purchase Di or Di-II equivalents. They cost more, but in return they deliver the sharp focus you want and need.
Yes, these old lenses will fit right on to the SONY mount, but the focusing systems are definitely affected adversely. One time you might have a sharp-looking focus (more by accident, than by design) and next two times you won't have anything decent.
You have to be careful about this. :cool:
When it comes to TAMRON lensing, ONLY buy Di and Di-II lenses for your SONY A100 ... not this old bargain stuff! It is no bargain, when you cannot get good focus of your images as a result. Your best, upcoming choice is the TAMRON AF 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) lens. It is designed for the APS-C digital camera from the ground up. Look for the APS-C logo: