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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    85

    Tamron Zoom Question for the Experts

    I've been researching upgrades I can't afford, but maybe soon?

    I'm debating whether the AF 70-300/4-5.6 DI LD (the A17), which is much more affordable than the AF 28-300/3.5-6.3 XR Di LD ASPHERICAL IF (the A61), is enough of an upgrade over the Sony zoom lens I already have to be worth purchasing, given it means delaying (substantially) being able to afford the A61, which would seem to be a big, but worthwhile, upgrade. Or would the improvements with the A17 not be enough to justify it, with saving to get the A61 added to the arsenal sooner be a better decision?

    Usage is primarily sports/action outdoors and indoors on my A200 for newspaper/website use.

    The abysmal economy means making compromises, not making the optimal choices.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,557
    Well ... the actual USEFUL lens would be the TAMRON AF 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 XR DiII LD Aspherical (IF). This lens would cover your 18-70 kit, improve your images and add a decent length for telephoto.

    I believe you would find the 28-300 lacking when you went to use it for a wider shot. When you select 28mm focal length, it actually is more like what you would have gotten out of a 44mm on film SLR. That's considered a "normal" lens ... not wide at all.

    The 18-250, in comparison ... at 18mm, it gives you an effective 28mm film lens shot ... which is a wide-angle ... and much more useable indoors.

    Name:  18-250-+-A100.jpg
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    That's my take on it ... others may differ, but if you are considering just one lens ... the 18-250 may be the better bet for your DSLR and makes better use of your budget.

    Remember: Use of an external flash is a good idea when using a f/3.5-6.3 zoom INDOORS.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 07-09-2008 at 06:47 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
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    85
    Thanks Don; that's excellent food for thought.

    For many of the shots I need, I find the need for a wider angle isn't the problem that often. There is no silver bullet for everything.

    What about the Sigma 28-300/3.5-6.3 67mm? (I've never used a Sigma in difference to reports of it being generally a cut below a comparable Tamron, as the prices indicate.)

    I've an opportunity at an excellent older, used one, originally for a Minolta Maxxum, which should work fine on a Sony, for a lot off. How much is a gamble/flyer on this worth? I'm thinking it could be an interesting experiment, since the price might be right?

    Thanks in advance to all for any thoughts.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,557
    SIGMA has had some issues with its internal focusing gears stripping out, because of the higher torque of the SONY camera body. I'm not really sure if the 28-300 f/3.5-6.3 has had this issue reported, but you can be sure the 70-300 f/4-5.6 has. Just ask "Sparkie1263."

    Of course, you can always be the first to observe this, if it is going to happen. I cannot say.

    The only SIGMA I am currently using was manufactured in the past two years, so these problems have been, hopefully, corrected. It seems the older lenses are more prone to it. I haven't noticed any issue so far, other than being a trifle soft ... close-up.

    Remember: this kind of all-in-one (or utility) lens is basically a good performer OUTSIDE ... but, when you take it INDOORS, use an external flash (not the pop-up) for well-balanced exposures. Normally, there is not enough ambient light to produce well-exposed images ... and you will see noise in the shadows and in wide spans of uniform color areas, like walls and halls.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 07-09-2008 at 07:08 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
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,562
    Don is right about the auto focus gear stripping. It happened on my Quantary 70 -300 lens. I took apart the lens to disable the AF on it and the gears were plastic on the inside of the focus ring. Needles to say I now have a MF lens. I did buy the Tamaron 70-300 and have been getting some great sharp images from it. Here is a seagull I shot the other day at the beach.



    Frank
    Sony A77
    Sony A580
    Sony A 100
    Maxxum 400si.
    Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
    Minolta AF 35-70
    Minolta AF 50 f/1.7
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di LD
    Tamron 60mm Macro
    Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
    Tamron 2x Converter
    Sony HVL-F42AM
    Quantaray 70-300 4.5-5.6 Macro
    Slingshot 200 Bag



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22083244@N06/

    http://s305.photobucket.com/albums/nn219/sparkie1263/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    85
    Understand Don's point about this type of lens and outdoor use, and its very valid. As I noted, shooting sports is what this will be largely used for, outside, or in gyms and arenas, which are always large, poorly to very poorly lit rooms.

    Unless its outside and with good daylight, I'm using the external flash as well all the time. When inside a smaller room, I'll change lens anyway.

    Secondary use would again usually be outside, at distant nature.

    I thought about the issue with stripping the drive gear, as I've read about that before with Sigma, but for these shots, I almost exclusively manually focus anyway. Maybe its just old habits from 35mm film days, but the auto focus seems just too slow for football and basketball most of the time. Only on occasion would I use the autofocus much, so at least it won't get a lot of use.

    That's a great shot of the seagull! Your post doesn't mention, was it shot using autofocus? I'm thinking yes, since birds especially don't pose while you focus!

    Thanks again for all the input. With a little luck, some publishable shots will help fund the eventual upgrade to that 18-250!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    28
    Hi,

    I have the Sigma 70-300 lens. It is great for outdoor sports, a very good range to get close to the action. Any of the lenses mentioned by Don and others will give sharper, punchier photos than the kit lens.

    Cheers,

    JJ

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    155
    I'm not really fan of the super-zooms. They compromise on indoor performance (check out the f-stop as you zoom in). They are what they are: convenient and best known as "travel lenses."

    Beer can lens (70-210) is quite good. Some of the sigmas are good too but i don't have them so i cannot comment.
    Best of Both worlds:
    dSLR: Sony a100 dSLR w/ kit lens (18-70mm)
    Minolta Lens Collection: 28-80mm xi, 70-210mm
    Point and Shoot: Sony DSC-T11

    My photo portfolio

    My Flickr

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