I understand ... kind of. There are limits to everything ... and value judgments are part of that.
Your choice of the A300 will, more than likely, serve you well. Whatever you do, though, don't skrimp on the glass you use. It will bite you back ... and hard. Consider that you will keep the glass long after you've change the camera body.
But ... if it were me, I'd consider dumping the SONY 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6, mainly due to image quality concerns, that you simply will not be able to work around ... and replacing it with either:
SONY SAL-1680Z - Carl ZeissŪ Vario-Sonnar T DT 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Zoom lens (~$680)
or to save a few bucks,
TAMRON SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical Zoom lens (~$425).
Don - can you comment on the image quality concerns with the stock Sony lens - and point me to any articles on the topic - that is if you are still talking to me :).
Also i have always heard that its good to keep a UV filter on a lens - not only for filtering UV but also for lens protection - do you agree - and what would you suggest for my currrent Lens?
TAMRON AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Macro telephoto lens (~$180)
do i specifically get the one that says "for Sony" or do i need to know more.
By the way - could you email me at dfenyk at iphase.com i would like to ask you some questions but dont feel like filling up this forum with my back and forth questions.
Filters: A "prophyllatic" filter is a good idea to keep fingerprints and the occasional cap-coming-off problem from screwing up your lens right when you need it most. To be correct, you do not shoot through "unnecessary glass" if you can avoid it. The lens was "tuned" without it. For the most part, a Circular Polarizer (CP) is my preferred filter ... especially on the outdoor shoots. It eliminates a lot of glare and unwanted reflection, while also allowing you to improve the cloud contrast in your skies.
DT 18-70mm review: I can create several side-by-sides that easily demonstrate the problem and done so in the past. If you are going to ask my opinion on this particular lens, then I would recommend you take it for what it is worth ... I been shooting the α100 for two years, now ... and if the camera saw ten minutes of the 18-70mm's use, that was a waste of time, in my opinion.
Here's a 18-70mm review
and here's a comparison of the SONY 16-80Z versus the DT 18-70
You have to ask yourself ... if I had to shoot images ... what kind of image quality is important? Personally ... the 18-70mm has been on the shelf for two years ... and I plan on keeping it there. One other thing you might consider ... how could the third party lens manaufacturers make any money on their lenses, if the kit lens were so ... good? :confused:
70-300mm lens: Yes, chose the one that says "for SONY" and make sure is has "Di" in the lens description.
Why would Sony not try to correct the problem? When they sell a kit you would think they would want it to take the best pictures. How would somebody know it it was the lens or the body. It doesn't make sense for them to try to break into the camera line with a lens that doesn't take good pictures. Just my two cents for what it is worth.
sony arent the only ones guilty of crap kit lens'. canon was doing it for years until the latest kit lens was released. why do it ? simple. you get to have the honour of spending more money on a better lens.
Don - i really am amazed at the comparison photos in your link- it really is night and day- almost as if the kit lens was purposely left out of focus. it actually kind of pisses me off.
You taken your first step into a larger world ... LOL
In other words:
TAMRON AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Macro telephoto lens
Just ordered this - figured it would give me the zoom i need to pull things close. I do want to get a good quality lens next -
What would you say i get next -
the sigma wide angle or a good 50mm/f1.4 lens
or the CZ that you mentioned?
The true value in the SONY or Minolta AF 50mm f/1.4 is sharp image quality and its low-light capability. It does what the zooms simply cannot do ... and that is provide more light, indoors, to the sensor. f/1.4 is a tremendous amount of light compared to f/3.5 or f/4. It also allows for shots you probably could not get without using a flash.
Conversely, if you are planning to do more outdoor stuff, this coming season ... I would suggest going for CZ and dump the "kit" lens you current are using. The "CZ" offers terrific flexibility and a much improved "starting point" for your photography. Having about the best lens for what it does is a leg up that defies description. You simply feel better about the images you take ... and it's kind of hard to put a price or value on that.
The UWA, in my estimation, is a "special use" lens ... when you simply are "trapped" in a shot, where you cannot properly back up (physically obstructed) to get more zoom room in the shot. It is a solution for architectural images ... group shots in a confined area ... or special images you simply cannot get with a 16-80mm lens. When you have your telephoto and your "walk-around" lens needs fulfilled, then explore the UWA lens. I feel confident in saying it is $500 you can spend on other needs, before it really is a problem.
Admittedly, w/o the SIGMA 10-20mm in my bag, I would not have been able to get this rather unique aspect. It was at a very wide 10mm:
But, as I tried to infer, shots like this are rare ... unless you are specifically indoors and, again, interested in architecture. When you are doing group shots, it usually just means you can succesfully cram two or three more people, in the shot, that you would have gotten at 16mm focal length on the CZ.