Spending for the "right" equipment
The CZ 135mm f/1.8 is a terrific decision, if you cop to buying a great lens. It covers a tremendous amount of
lighting issues, but I would only make this consideration AFTER I bought the best flash I could as a solution. Going
without a "flash assist" of any kind, in your bag, is just silly (Heck, I carry two flashes in my bag at all times, the
HVL-F20AM and HVL-F58AM). With the a700 (with its built in flash), all I would need is the HVL-F58AM
for most issues.
Let's face it, unless YOU personally did (or observed) the work in setting the stage lighting up, you will never know
(until the moment comes) what kind of actual lighting will be available, and having the entire gamut covered as
well as possible, you cannot blame yourself for not being prepared for any eventuality (let's face it, money or not,
YOU have been adequately warned!).
I have been very comfortable with just the SONY CZ 135mm f/1.8 ($1369), the Rokinon MF 85mm f/1.4 ($259)
and SONY AF 50mm f/1.4($359) for doing the "stage thing" for the past year. Yes, if flash is allowed, that opens
my selection to go with the TAMRON SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD ($600) for a more flexible shot.
With the 135mm f/1.8, no-flash allowed, I was able to render this 8-shot panorama of the across-the-stage "final act."
EXIF: 135mm - f/3.2 - 1/80 sec. - ISO-1000 - Manual - WB: Tungsten - Light Source: Stage Lighting - Panorama
Again, I walked into this scenario with no idea there was a forty-foot wide stage involved or what kind of stage lighting
would be in effect. I brought what I could to deal with it ... and even had some fun just trying some things out.
Thankfully, I had enough lens length to cover the distance. My choice of f/3.2 was for DOF reasons ... deciding that
ISO-1000 was about as far as I dare go with sizzling the sensor and 1/80-second was the shutter speed limit to eliminate
the expected motion blur of standing-still, singing subjects.
The 135mm, mounted on the α850 is a true 135mm shot, but on any of the other SONY DSLR bodies (not the α900),
you would have a much longer shot (effectively 200mm) and the number of shots for this panorama would go up, as you
would have less subject image in frame (due to the longer focal length).
The CZ 85mm f/1.4 would probably be the better option on the APS-C sensor cameras. It is also $100 cheaper than
Hopefully, "dad_of_2wns" ... you are finding this enlightening and useful. A good healthy discussion is very worthwhile before
you agonize by plunking down the cashola! Having the equipment is one thing. Using it ... a whole different matter, entirely.
There are, of course, those who would argue with success, claiming they have "all the answers." I find that most answers
are found when you are in the line-of-fire and have to come up with them yourself. That's where the almighty "bag-o-glass"
settles the score between hero :D and ... zero! :eek:
Glass ... eventually the body!
No, you are doing a monster favor to the α230.
Originally Posted by dad_of_2wns
Look at it this way ... when you buy better lenses, you are "prepping" yourself for the move to a new camera,
all the while. When you finally do make the move, all you do is swap the camera body and learn its nuances
and particulars. You'll already have your glass ready to mount.
The α230 will operate the lens, but I still would consider, very rapidly, going to the α500 or α550 to really
pull the goods out of the lens. Get the real built-in "bang for your buck", so to speak.
In fact, take some notes on how you find the experience and add them to this thread. If the α500/α550
do not improve your overall operation, I guess you return it and move on to the α900.