Building on your lens case ...
one of the first "extra" lenses I bought was the TAMRON AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD (yes, the very same) and I quickly moved to the Tokina AT-X 840 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 as its obvious replacement, as soon as I could locate one. There has been no reason to look back on that decision, as the 80-400 is sharper and yeah, it costs more ... but those extra bucks were still well worth the results. Almost ANY lens costs more than the 70-300mm.
The lens really needs to be appreciated by a more inexperienced user, looking to improve or extend their product. Its MACRO capability is also an asset ... and cost nothing more.
One of the drawbacks of the 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 lens is the 8-foot M.F.D. That's definitely outdoor use. The 70-300mm f/4-5.6 M.F.D. is 5-feet, which is still pretty long, but can be tolerated indoors ... with a flash.
The SONY 70-400 f/4-5.6 kind of combines the better aspects of the 70-300 into the 80-400, where it, too, has a 5-foot M.F.D. and that little bit of extra aperture at the widest. But even combined, the total cost of the two lens is only, as the most, $650 ... and the 70-400 is ... egads, $1599! :eek: It even weighs more than both lens combined! Yikes ...
All this ... in an effort for a slightly better image. I am NOT convinced. :( Perhaps might help (<- click on this)
Thanks for the suggestion ...
Well, there we have it, folks ... if you are not spending scads of money on your photography buying high-priced glass ... who cares what comes out? :eek:
Originally Posted by Rooz
Thanks, 'Rooz' ... a real helpful attitude for the rather empty-wallet crowd. :rolleyes:
Minimum Focus Distance ... truly, a recent improvement
Long M.F.D. was tolerated for decades. It was the best that could be hoped for in many cases. It also made for cheaper lensing. Take, for instance the barrier busting, paradigm-shifting TAMRON 28-200mm f/3.8-5.6 All-in-one produced in 1992. M.F. D.? Yeah ... 6.9-feet! It had a close-up filter that took it to about 3.5-feet, but you lost long focus while you had it on. So, while there was SOME flexibility ... it was a lens typical of the time and genre.
Today, the same length lens has been redesigned and the M.F.D stands at 1.5-feet (0.5m). A significant improvement and literally allows indoor/outdoor use w/o any modifier adapter filter. Most modern lenses (within the last five years), except for the 70-xxx line have typical M.F.D.s of the this 1.5-foot distance. MACROs, of course, yank it even closer ... as the physical length of the lens changes dramatically the closer you get ... and if you go with a standard PRIME ... it creeps out the longer you go. Even the highly touted CZ 135mm f/1.8's M.F.D. is 2-feet. Most 200mm PRIMES ... M.F.D. goes right back to 5-feet, because of focus speed considerations.
Jim, you sighting the "how we get there" ... in "grand style" or just basically is a solid argument, up to a point. Optically, we begin to split hairs when the analysis starts to overkill the shot we are taking. While "center" to "edge" pristene focus is a great thing to have, does it render the expression of the artistic aspect any less? The balance between technical perfection and artistic expression ... in a hobby, becomes the artist's choice, not the viewers. In business, the roles are reversed and the photographer loses this choice, as the "customer" usually dictates the needs of the image.
When someone asks, "How can I improve my image or photography" ... the tendency is to offer a hardware-based 'measured' solution to it, reflecting on experience and results that can be easily reproduced. Given a standard set of optics ... instead of blasting your inventory with BIG BUCKS ... simply learning some better technique can change everything.
I contend that there are members of this very forum that have produced very improved work over what they produced on a year ago ... and have done so with the very same equipment they began with. Is it a learning process? Of course. Could they do a better job with significantly improved hardware? The tendency is to say "yes", but consider that these people have to "relearn" that new equipment, so there may actually be a lag in any measurable results for a while.
Anyway, as for me ... based on what I have gleaned from this exercise, I simply do not feel the need to "upgrade" to a heavier, more expensive lens at this time. The Tokina AT-X 840 will remain my optic of choice for "nature walks" and true convenience. As a two-lens solution, coupled with the TAMRON SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD ... I feel it is all you practically need for most work, stumbling around and enjoying the planet. Should I feel the need for a more "luxurious" image ... I know what to do.
It is October 1st ... and while I do not understand all of the "lurkers" who failed to take a chance and get an effectively free lens out this, to the others who did, I say:
"Thanks for your participation in this contest and I will decide and contact the 'winner', through Private Message, tonight."