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  1. #21
    Join Date
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    Talking Updates galore

    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    For a little extra reach... consider looking at the[/COLOR] Tokina AT-X 840 80-400mm f4-5.6. This lens really is an all-in-one solution to outdoor telephoto, if you can get one. It weighs and costs quite a bit more than the 70-300mm, but returns an excellent shot... and if you are running around like you say, coupled with the SONY's built-in Super-SteadyShot (Image Stability)... you would be good to go and not need much more in lenses.

    Good Luck and I hope you at least take a look at the glass I have suggested. I really do not feel you will be disappointed.
    Well, I finally was able to get a hold of an older Tokina AT-X 840 80-400mm f/4-5.6 (not the II-model, Tokina will not make it for the SONY-mount *there is something just weird about that* ) for my own lens bag. This lightweight has some reach on it (effectively a 120-600mm zoom).

    Anyway, it is on the way from Japan and I fully intend to see if it is up to par with other lenses in that class. I don't expect it to be as razor-sharp as the TAMRON 200-500mm f/6.9, but it should be on par with the TAMRON 70-300 f/4-5.6 LD.

    Should be here by week's end, I hope.

    With all the new camera's available ... perhaps we need to revisit the WHOLE NEW BAG idea?


    ******************************************

    Let's see ... best camera ... in the bag ... hmmm, yeah ... SONY A700.

    Lenses to have ...

    Utility/Walkaround lens -> TAMRON AF 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 XR DiII LD Aspherical (IF)

    Wide-Angle Zoom -> SIGMA AF 10-20mm f/4-5.6 (D) EX DC

    Short zoom -> TAMRON SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DiII LD Aspherical (IF)

    Long zoom -> SONY 70-200 f/2.8 G (why fight the best?)

    Super zoom -> TAMRON SP AF 200-500mm f/5-6.3 Di LD (IF)


    **************************************
    Last edited by DonSchap; 10-14-2007 at 07:06 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Des Plaines, IL
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    Angry Once burned ... twice shy

    I'm a little miffed by the result I got out of my latest lens ... the SAL 70-200mm f/2.8 G. It was defective, out of the box, in a way I would have never expected. The aperture failed to work. As such, until SONY can safely assure there are no more of these defective lenses floating around ... I simply cannot and will not recommend putting people through what I have gone through ... and, besides, I still don't have my lens back, 14 days after (today, 11/26/2007) the SONY Repair Center received it (on 11/12/2007). It was supposed to be a simple replacement and take no more than 5-10 days. It seems to be becoming far more than the simple replacement I was told of.

    For the time being, I, personally, have no recommendation for a 70-200mm f/2.8 for the SONY/Minolta mount. I suppose if you could get your hands on a 2005 Minolta "original", you might be luckier than I was. After the "rebadging" of these lenses, my worst fear was realized when I received a defective one, possibly "compromised" in the rebuild (rebadging process).

    Going forward, I suppose a SIGMA might be worth a look ... or you could hold out until TAMRON steps up with the one they announced back in March, 2007.

    I had a feeling I was taking a chance with this purchase ... but not having heard too much negative about this particular lens, I figured it was worth a go, even after the "rebadging process." Sadly, I figured wrong. QC (Quality Control) obviously didn't catch this very expensive optic, as it was boxed and sealed, under the SONY label.

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    Seal Intact!
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    Last edited by DonSchap; 11-25-2007 at 05:34 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  3. #23
    Stingr Guest
    Don,

    I am new to the DSLR arena, but am a long time user of an antique Canon AE1.

    I just purchased the new Sony A700 with the 3.5-6.3/18-200 lens kit. Love the camera and the lens!!!

    I am currently taking indoor action photos of ice hockey games that my daughter is participating in. I need to get into the rink corners when I am positioned mid ice as a spectator just above glass height.... I was going to purchase the SAL 70-200 f2.8 that you are speaking of and add the SAL 2.0 Tele-converter lens.
    I am concerned about the issue you had with yours and did Sony have any reply as to their QC on these lenses.

    any suggestions would be great!.


    Thanks in advance, I have enjoyed reading your threads.
    Bob

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Thumbs down Third-rate service ...

    Well ... it's a heck of an investment in glass, to be quite honest. Not one person took any credit for the QC-angle to the entire affair. As far as I can tell, the lens is on its way to Japan for refurb or something ... but then again, no one is quite explaining the process.

    I just received the "replacement" lens, this afternoon. It looks to have been drop-shipped from a local warehouse. I wish they would have done this a week ago, before the holidays, but here it is. Its going back to the vendor I bought it from, unopened. Until I can get a solid "we're looking into these" from SONY ... I won't be too interested in taking another chance on it.

    "Once burned, twice shy."

    I feel someone really needs to get their return policy straight, without all this needless delay, before I go through this again ... and they know who they are. I'm out $50 and a lot of holiday shots. They can keep the lens for now. Had they returned my shipping for returning THEIR out-of-the-box defective, we may have been talking about another try ... but, I won't do it again. Not at $2000 a pop.

    As far as your desire for the lens, have at it. I can only tell of my own experience, first hand. I've been treated better for a heck of a lot less invested.

    Go TAMRON! Third-party with first-rate service. They have yet to spoil my party.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    670
    That sucks, but why refuse a new replacement lens? Isn't it better to be happy and start shooting with your new lens than to go without to boycott Sony, who was never obligated to pay for your shipping or cross-ship you a replacement lens within a guaranteed short timeframe?

    That's fairly typical of most companies -- you have a defective product, you ship it to them on your dime, they send you a replacement unit within a couple weeks. It's not like you're an important commercial account worth x Millions and have signed Service Level Agreements or purchase support subscriptions for x amount per year where you're guaranteed a on-site service and a replacement unit within 24 hours.

    Don't get me wrong, I feel your pain and am not trying to be insensitive here... I simply feel your expectations with respect to the service you deserve from a camera company are a little high for what's typical in this market.

    Nikon: D300, D700, Nikkor: 24-70, 70-200, 70-300/VR, 24/2.8, 35/2, 50/1.4G, 60/2.8G, 180/2.8,
    Sigma: 10-20, 50-150/2.8, 50/2.8, Tamron: 17-50/2.8, 28-75/2.8, Tokina: 12-24, Zeiss: 25/2.8
    Olympus: E-520, E-3, 7-14, 9-18, 11-22, 12-60, 14-35/2, 14-54, 35-100/2, 50-200, 25/2.8, 35/3.5, 50/2
    Panasonic: G1, Leica: 14-50, 14-150, 25/1.4
    Sony: A700, A900, 24-85, 35-70, 70-210/4, 20/2.8, 24/2.8, 50/2.8, T 90 macro, Zeiss: 24-70/2.8, 135/1.8
    P&S: Canon S90, Panasonic: LX3


  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by e_dawg View Post
    That sucks, but why refuse a new replacement lens? Isn't it better to be happy and start shooting with your new lens than to go without to boycott Sony, who was never obligated to pay for your shipping or cross-ship you a replacement lens within a guaranteed short timeframe?

    That's fairly typical of most companies -- you have a defective product, you ship it to them on your dime, they send you a replacement unit within a couple weeks. It's not like you're an important commercial account worth x Millions and have signed Service Level Agreements or purchase support subscriptions for x amount per year where you're guaranteed a on-site service and a replacement unit within 24 hours.

    Don't get me wrong, I feel your pain and am not trying to be insensitive here... I simply feel your expectations with respect to the service you deserve from a camera company are a little high for what's typical in this market.
    Nah ... while I appreciate your sensitivity .. it's my $2000. As a part on my annual income, that's a reasonably large bite. And while I may not be a multi-million dollar company, I expect to be treated with the respect that this kind of expense represents. I merely opened that box to find a defective part. It was SENT to me, from the retailer and fully sealed by the manufacturer. As directed by the black label with white lettering, clearly pasted to the bottom of the box lid, I notified the manufacturer directly of the problem, we tested it together for proper operation and when it was deemed inoperative ... they said, "Send it to us."

    It was their call. If they wanted me to return it to a local SONY retailer, I could have ... and it would have been at significantly less cost. THEY wanted it sent directly to their repair facility. I can tell you this, after further discussion with several stores, this will not happen, again. It gets swapped, immediately ... no manufacturer nonsense.

    No matter what I'm told in this regard, it's going back to the retailer.

    I am sharing this experience to have other people avoid this kind of financial loss. It can be mitigated. One of the problems I was looking at with the retailer I bought it from was, at the time this all happened, they no longer had any more of these in stock ... I checked ("Not in stock") ... I had purchased their last one ... and with the history of this particular lens ... it is a rare find ... so I was kind of stuck ... no lens. Turkey-Day was rapidly approaching and I had some shots I wanted to take with it. Sure, maybe its a situational issue, but then again, aren't they all?

    Anyway, I was unclear as to SONY's intent, because of the extraordinary time it was taking to receive my lens back. It appeared they actually might be stalling to try and repair it. I had been promised a replacement within five-days. Five-days wound up being 14-days, with an overnight shipment in the end. Turkey Day had passed and I'm sorry, but my trust in this deal had been compromised. There is an ethics-issue involved in this. I was promised a rapid replacement (5-7 days), I was counting on it and it did not happen. In fact, several calls for shipping status were placed to the repair facility, over the following week, only to be apparently ignored. I simply will not tolerate it. Woe be unto those who will. A line must be drawn for the customer. Let it begin here.

    I do know, as I actually work in manufacturing, if you do not keep your customer happy with just the normal expectation (nothing extraordinary, I'm not unreasonable), they will find someone who can ... and you will lose their business and perhaps much more (people know people ... and they share stories of distrust and betrayal). As a fledgling company, if you do not quickly learn from your mistakes and tune things up, accordingly, those customers (and potential customers) are gone ... never to return. Any employee of that company, who looks the other way, simply does not seriously have the "health and welfare" of the business at heart ... and should be remediated and/or even terminated. Standards should be maintained, especially if you have INCONVENIENCED the customer through the company's your own fault.

    I know I worked exceptionally hard to carefully pack and return this lens to them, making certain it was tracked all the way in and received. It was then I began to carefully follow and request the return staus and tracking number of the "replacement", to avoid any look of impropriety on their part. Still, no matter how hard I tried, they still made it look exceptionally suspicious with the unnecessary delay in the lens' return.

    Regardless. if you want to pay return shipping charges for defective product, step right up. These larger lenses cost a flippin' fortune to insure and ship ($50 in this case) ... and it's only getting worse with the advancing price of petrol.

    Enjoy your art ... and hopefully this has been a valuable lesson BEFORE you get stung. They can keep their lens. For what I paid, it should have worked right out of the box. That's my expectation and that is precisely what QC (Quality Control: the forgotten art of problem detection) is all about. Having a working aperture is pretty damn basic to lens' operation. It wasn't just chipped paint or something silly. I can't take the chance of going through this ... again. Not for my $2000! How about we do it with ... YOURS?

    I sincerely hope this explains why I passed it back. No more blind purchases from SONY ... of this magnitude.

    I know this sounds like a rant, but it really isn't. I went through all of this and careful measured the pressure points with this "return." Painful as it has been, I realize there are no guarantees even with "the best." We have to be especially careful, when circumstances get beyond your control. The Internet is a wild place to conduct business. We'd like to think it is being managed by people intent on doing "good business", but it really is full of unknowns or ... in a darker mindset, carefully hiddens. Even the most reputible vendors can have issues, they may not even realize. I feel it is incumbant upon all of us to ferret these issues out and bring them to light.

    That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 12-01-2007 at 08:11 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  7. #27
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    670
    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    And while I may not be a multi-million dollar company, I expect to be treated with the respect that this kind of expense represents.
    A reasonable expectation, one would assume, but the market doesn't always work like that, especially when you're dealing directly with a mfr.

    As directed by the black label with white lettering, clearly pasted to the bottom of the box lid, I notified the manufacturer directly of the problem, we tested it together for proper operation and when it was deemed inoperative ... they said, "Send it to us." [...] No matter what I'm told in this regard, it's going back to the retailer.
    And I would do the same. IMO, that's the bulk of the problem right there. For any product that is defective upon opening up the box, the usual practice is to send or bring it back to the retailer and say "this is defective; I would like to exchange it for a new one". The mfr is rarely equipped to handle these kinds of customer service issues quickly and efficiently.

    But as you said, if they explicitly stated to send it back to them, they had better be equipped to deal with it effectively. They didn't, and shame on them.

    There is an ethics-issue involved in this. I was promised a rapid replacement (5-7 days), I was counting on it and it did not happen.
    In my experience, these types of rapid replacement promises are made all the time and rarely delivered on. You can either be upset by them letting you down, or you can figure that 5-7 usually means 10-14 and plan accordingly. That's just the way it is.

    Not that it makes it right, though...

    I know this sounds like a rant, but it really isn't.
    Nah, it's a rant But you are fully entitled to one! And again, I am not trying to begrudge you your frustrations... just trying to help by suggesting that you adjust your expectations a bit -- you'll be a lot less unhappy and disappointed in the future.

    Nikon: D300, D700, Nikkor: 24-70, 70-200, 70-300/VR, 24/2.8, 35/2, 50/1.4G, 60/2.8G, 180/2.8,
    Sigma: 10-20, 50-150/2.8, 50/2.8, Tamron: 17-50/2.8, 28-75/2.8, Tokina: 12-24, Zeiss: 25/2.8
    Olympus: E-520, E-3, 7-14, 9-18, 11-22, 12-60, 14-35/2, 14-54, 35-100/2, 50-200, 25/2.8, 35/3.5, 50/2
    Panasonic: G1, Leica: 14-50, 14-150, 25/1.4
    Sony: A700, A900, 24-85, 35-70, 70-210/4, 20/2.8, 24/2.8, 50/2.8, T 90 macro, Zeiss: 24-70/2.8, 135/1.8
    P&S: Canon S90, Panasonic: LX3


  8. #28
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    Feb 2006
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    Question Pro-style service ... too much to ask?

    e-dawg ... I simply want you to pony up $2000 for a defective lens and have at it. That really is where the rubber meets the road, as far as I am concerned. If you are buying their "best" professional wares ... how about superior or professional support and service to reflect it.

    I suspect "Pros" can't be waiting half a month for this kind of thing. I'm just "Joe Blow" user ... not under the gun, like many of these other photographers. But my money is just as good as theirs and if you, Mr. Manufacturer, want to see more of it ... get in line.

    Anyway ... I'm the wiser for it. Sadder, but wiser.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    670
    Certainly, I would not be happy if I had to deal with the mfr directly. The fact that it cost $2,000 doesn't change things for me. I'd probably be more pissed wasting my time with a $200 lens than a $2,000 lens. It matters to you because you have tied your level of expectations to the amount of money spent, and are doubly pissed as a result. You're only hurting yourself, unfortunately.

    It's easy to say now, but I would not have expected such great service... you don't get it with a $2,000 computer where mfr's are better equipped to deal with such CS issues; I wouldn't expect it with a $2,000 lens where mfr's rarely handle such CS issues... especially someone like Sony. They're a massive conglomerate that sells mass market camcorders, TVs and home theatre, point and shoot cameras, Playstations, and computers to big electronics chains, often on a hundred million dollar account basis (not to individual customers) and run music and video labels. They don't do pro photography, and they don't deal with individual customers on a regular basis.

    Pros? Well most would buy locally from their pro shop and expect good CS from them. If they wanted to save money or get something they couldn't find locally, they would shop online from somewhere like B&H and expect lower, but decent CS from them. I doubt pros would ever bother to deal with a mfr directly. And I doubt pros would shop at a retailer who forced them to send items back to the mfr and not handle it themselves.

    B&H Returns policy
    At B&H our goal is to ensure you are completely satisfied with your purchase. If for whatever reason you are dissatisfied with your purchase, you can return it to B&H within 15 days of receiving the item(s) (Subject to the rules and policies set forth below), at which time we'll gladly exchange it for another item or give you a refund for the full amount of the original purchase price (excluding shipping charges), whichever you prefer.

    Please inspect your purchase carefully. Claims for damaged / missing items must be received within two (2) business days of receipt of merchandise.
    Last edited by e_dawg; 12-02-2007 at 09:30 PM.

    Nikon: D300, D700, Nikkor: 24-70, 70-200, 70-300/VR, 24/2.8, 35/2, 50/1.4G, 60/2.8G, 180/2.8,
    Sigma: 10-20, 50-150/2.8, 50/2.8, Tamron: 17-50/2.8, 28-75/2.8, Tokina: 12-24, Zeiss: 25/2.8
    Olympus: E-520, E-3, 7-14, 9-18, 11-22, 12-60, 14-35/2, 14-54, 35-100/2, 50-200, 25/2.8, 35/3.5, 50/2
    Panasonic: G1, Leica: 14-50, 14-150, 25/1.4
    Sony: A700, A900, 24-85, 35-70, 70-210/4, 20/2.8, 24/2.8, 50/2.8, T 90 macro, Zeiss: 24-70/2.8, 135/1.8
    P&S: Canon S90, Panasonic: LX3


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