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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2

    Sony a700 newbie

    I recieved this camera (sony a700) as a gift for Christmas and need advice on a lens. What I will be taking pictures of is my daughters gymnastics competitions. Flash photography is a definite no. Im leaning toward a zoom lens in the 50-200mm f/2.8 variety. I'll be taking pics from the stands which depending on the venue could be as close as 25 feet or as far away as 100 ft. I read in one of these forums, though I cant find it now, some comparisons between sigma and tamron lenses. Im just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on which would be best suited for the type of photography I'll be doing. Also, any recommended initial settings would also be greatly welcomed. Thanks in advance.

    JscottM

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,559

    Lightbulb Indoor telephoto lenses - no flash allowed

    Well, you have a great camera to try and get your shots with, Scott.

    With the α700's stabilization and a pretty noise-free ISO-1600, you just might be able get away with f/2.8 ... but, your focus better be dead on at that aperture. This would be the case with any camera. The lens I would choose for your shots would be the TAMRON SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD, but it will not be available until June, this year, for around $700.

    Another solid choice, available right now for the SONY DSLR, would be the SONY SAL-135F18Z - Carl Zeiss® Sonnar® T* 135mm f/1.8 (<- click here) Telephoto Lens. Now, this lens is not for the feint of heart, but it will get the shot you want. The price tag is a nifty $1400, but it delivers a bright & fast shot. You will pay dearly for that ... that's the real cost of "no-flash." Think of all the money you will save on batteries, too! The lens provides what you would effectively get with a 200mm mounted on a Full-Frame (FF) or 35mm-film body. It is truly a "hot shot" on an APS-C sensor camera.

    I have a TAMRON Adaptall2 MF 135mm f/2.5 which is a nifty lens ... but manual focus. For action-type shots, it cannot "rocket-autofocus" like the SONY ... with manual, you have to get ahead of your subject and predicitively focus on a mark. What I can do is shoot various distances with a subject and determine what you could expect with a lens of this focal length.

    What I can tell you is that many film photographers were using a 200mm f/2 lens for the Olympics. Based on that, the 135mm f/1.8 would seem to be perfect on the A700 (APS-C sensor) for the same purpose.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 04-02-2008 at 06:58 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. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2
    Thank you for your response, Don. I think I better start saving those bottles and cans. YIKES this is an expensive hobby!

    What I thought I might do is rent a lens for the weekend and just see what works and what doesnt. Given that I dont know what the return policy on lenses is, I dont want to get stuck with a lens that doesnt suit me.

    Could you tell me what lense brands will work with my camera as far as fitting it and working with it. Are there adapters that will fit the camera and allow...say...a canon lens to work on a sony body?

    Thanks again

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,559
    Generally speaking, there are no adapters, Scott. (There are some adapters that can use older Canon FD-lenses on the Canon EF models, but that's about it. Maybe some specialty stuff ... with M42 lenses.)

    TAMRON Adaptall2 lenses are completely "manual" lenses (focus and aperture) and are designed to work on just about any camera body that you have the proper Adaptall2-converter ring for.

    Adaptall Lens Mounts
    Catalog # . . . . Description . . . . . List Price
    C51-300 . . . . . Canon FD . . . . . . . . .$58.95
    C52-300 . . . . . Konica Minolta MD . . . $58.95
    C53-300 . . . . . Konica . . . . . . . . . . . $58.95
    C54-300 . . . . . Olympus . . . . . . . . . $58.95
    C55-300 . . . . . Contax/Yashica . . . . .$58.95
    C55MM-300 . . . Contax MM Program . .$64.95
    C04-300 . . . . . Nikon AI . . . . . . . . . $58.95
    C04PR-300 . . . .Nikon AI w/ Prong . . . $64.95
    C01-300 . . . . . Pentax Universal . . . . $58.95
    C02-300 . . . . . Pentax K . . . . . . . . . $58.95
    C10-300 . . . . . Pracktica . . . . . . . . . $58.95
    C03-300 . . . . . Pentax ES . . . . . . . . $58.95
    C61-300 . . . . . Ricoh XR-P Program . . $64.95
    C08-300 . . . . . Fujica ST . . . . . . . . . $64.95
    C15-300 . . . . . Fujica AX . . . . . . . . .$64.95
    C16-300 . . . . . Mamiya ZE . . . . . . . . $64.95
    C12-300 . . . . . Rollei . . . . . . . . . . . $64.95
    K01-300 . . . . . C-Mount Adapter . . . .$64.95
    K07-300 . . . . . Maxxum Adapter . . . $64.95
    K05-300 . . . . . Nikon to C-Mount Adapter $162.95

    Going this route can save money and the chances of finding a lenses for Adaptall2 are pretty good, but it truly is manual photography. There is no autofocus and the α700 will calculate aperture at a default value of f/1, so use of the "pop-up" ETTL flash or external flash set to ETTL Mode is just about impossible. You will have to use Manual Flash settings to correctly compensate. Look at it this way: Here's an opportunity to learn lighting and camera operation just like a good ol' photographer of yesteryear.

    General rule

    Canon-mount lenses ... only work on Canon bodies.

    Nikon-mount lenses work on Nikon and Fujifilm cameras.

    Pentax-mount lenses work on Pentax and Samsung cameras.

    Minolta-mount and SONY-mount lenses work on Minolta and SONY cameras.

    I do not know of any SONY lens rentals, out there. Since they are relatively new in the market and not having a big call for the professionals, it may be hard to locate someone who does this.

    Good luck and report back any positive findings, in this regard.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 04-04-2008 at 06:44 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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,559
    Remember, Scott ... you are asking for some of the most demanding aspects of photography, with "action" and "low light." Unfortunately, it is priced accordingly ... demanding the large bucks!

    If standard lensed cameras were to operate in this environment, it would be so bright, inside, you would have to wear sunglasses just to see properly.

    You have to consider the aperture f/stop scale.

    f/0 = the light available
    f/1 = 1/2 the light available
    f/1.4 = 1/4 " " "
    f/2 = 1/8 " " "
    f/2.8 = 1/16 " " "
    f/4 = 1/32 " " "
    f/5.6 = 1/64 " " "
    f/8 = 1/128 " " "
    f/11 = 1/256 " " "
    f/16 = 1/512 " " "
    f/22 = 1/1024 " " "
    f/32 = 1/2056 " " "

    As you can see ... even at f/2.8 ... the light is 16 times dimmer than the original light. That's significant, but doable. Anything worse ... usually impacts the image "negatively."
    Last edited by DonSchap; 04-04-2008 at 06:46 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

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