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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Thumbs down Torpedoeing the "Flagship"

    SONY has pulled something entirely too crafty to suit my tastes and I'm going to tell you about it.

    With the SONY α900, "The Flagship", due to premeire at Photokina 2008, in September, a lot of slick preparation has been going on under everyone's radar. One of those preparations is in regards to lenses that will be readily available for the FULL FRAME camera.

    I just became recently aware that TAMRON has quietly pulled or is planning to pull the SONY-mount from the following two very significant lenses for the Full Frame camera body:

    SP AF 17-35mm f/2.8-4 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) (SONY-mount "pulled")
    SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO (not pulled, yet. Don't want to be too obvious.)

    The lenses will continue to be produced, but only for the Nikon and Canon mounts (You can check their website to confirm this, under specifications).

    They also have eliminated, entirely, the

    SP AF 14mm f/2.8 LD ... which may be arguable, but still ... there goes the fixed wide-angle, too.

    and then to cinch it, they eliminated the

    TAMRON Adaptall2 adapter ring for SONY/Maxxum, leaving the other camera manufacturers still available, but thereby taking away the "Manual Focus" Adaptall2 alternative lenses from the SONY Alpha line.

    While this may not seem too important, on the outset, you need to be aware that TAMRON has some of the best lenses around, in a rather reasonable price range, especially when mounted on the SONY, basically because TAMRON supplies many of the lenses for SONY (same glass just wrapped in the SONY label and casing). No, not the Carl Zeiss or the high-end G beauties, but the basic DT line.

    Unfortunately, without these two aforementioned lenses on the market, SIGMA becomes the only third party manufacturer of these ranges, as Tokina has not made a SONY-mount lens since 2005. I am not sure how long SIGMA has the license to keep making the SONY-mount, but I am pretty sure it is not "forever."

    SONY is a major share holder in TAMRON. So, the question becomes: Why kill your own mount?

    Answer: To make SONY lenses the only ones available for use on the Full Frame camera. The lenses that will be introduced for the "Flagship" will effectively be the only lenses you will be able to get for it, because TAMRON will no longer produce these two (three) basic wider Di-lenses in the SONY-mount.

    It appears that they will continue to support the APS-C sensors with the Di-II lenses in the SONY-mount, but not the high-end glass. This, my friends, is purposeful PRICE CONTROL and monopolistic practices, which were supposed to be OUTLAWED in the United States.

    They are effectively removing all of the low-cost options to operating the "Flagship." There will be no more $400 alternatives, just whatever SONY releases in their marketing plan.

    If you have any designs on owning an α900 ... and want to arrest your immediate costs, my advice is to rapidly get out the wallet, locate someone that still has the aforementioned glass available ... and buy a pair. The alternative SONY lenses could easily exceed $1000 each.

    Welcome to the world of SONY FULL FRAME.

    Sorry to step up and expose this marketing coup ... but, this kind of thing is just wrong. Consider the whistle BLOWN!

    BTW: Noticeably, the K-M AF 17-35mm f/2.8-4 (D) suddenly disappeared off B&H Video's inventory. Guess who made that one, too?

    SONY has effectively sunk all the opposition before the "Flagship" ever pulled into port.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 07-11-2008 at 08:26 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

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
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    10,424
    add that to sony's price fixing scam for retailers and you guys may be in for a rough ride.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
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    Rooz, I have prepared myself for a lot of this, but others are just going to get "hammered" if they opt for the Full Frame camera. The initial outlay in lenses will be close to $5000, conservatively, just to cover the three basic zooms.

    Don't be too surprised to see SONY offering the 28-75mm f/2.8 and the 17-35mm f/2.8-4 in their own casing ... at significantly more than $400 each. The 14mm f/2.8 is going to be easily near $2000!

    You can be sure that Adaptall2 ring will never see the light of day, again.

    If you ain't payin' ... you ain't playin'

    Man, it is always something with these guys, ain't it? Gas ... Glass ... the prices are soaring.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 07-11-2008 at 08:28 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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
    Posts
    10,424
    in saying that, FF people generally dont mind shelling out for glass...as long as its up to spec.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,760
    not to worry..my next camera wont be another sony

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
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    Apparently SONY doesn't want to see anything but SONY lenses on their Flagship.

    Seems almost ...
    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. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    85

    Unhappy

    This is most disappointing news; thanks Don for informing everyone.

    I understand the desire to control the brand name, and possible issues with quality control, but this is cutting off the future, IMO.

    The Sony series has been the best alternative to come along in a long time, and especially during tough economic times, there are many of us who can't afford to go top shelf right away, in terms of time, money, or knowledge.

    Any high end endeavor needs a path from entry level to ensure a healthy supply of new participants. You don't need the best equipment until you learn how to use the mid-range stuff well enough for their limitations to actually become limitations. And for a lot of us, we need the mid-range stuff to help pay for itself, and then the upgrade.

    This can also discourage the advanced folks (like Don), whose' knowledge and experience are so helpful for those of us learning this stuff, and working our way up.

    I hope Sony hasn't lost sight of the fact that there are many who aren't exclusively photo enthusiasts or professionals. For many, photography is an important part of a bigger picture (no pun intended). IMO, there are probably more customers to be had with a product line that facilitates a gradual upward path that is still of relatively good quality each step of the way.

    Sony had that, and it's why some of us are Sony users now. Lets hope they don't throw that away. Though it wouldn't be the first time in modern industrial history.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
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    I spent the better part of last night searching for a lens that really should have been easily available, on the almighty Internet ... and could not find it. The lens listing had been stricken from Adorama and B&H Video. Not out of stock, mind you. It was as though it had never been made ... at least not for SONY/Minolta-mount. SONY had TAMRON kill the lens and as hard as I tried, there were none to be found ... anywhere. I know a number of people must have seen this coming, because they are sitting on their K-M AF 17-35mm f/2.8-4 (D) just waiting for "opening day."

    I knew when the 14mm f/2.8 disappeared off the TAMRON site, something was desperately strange. If there were one lens that the Full Frame crowd would want ... the WIDE GUY! Now, it's just ... GONE!

    Those who haven't been so advised to this planned obsolescence will pay full freight for the "apparent" exclusive SONY offerings. Judging by the current crop of prices ... that will be a hefty ticket indeed.

    Honestly guys, if this situation does not bother you ... you either have too darn much money or just are a dispassionate soul. You are seeing living proof of a conspiracy in marketing, directed straight the consumer. Nothing new, I suspect, but coldly blatant and should probably be challenged in court with a major class-action lawsuit. The sooner the better and get this out in the open ... for direct explanation and compensation for trying to "corner the market."
    Last edited by DonSchap; 07-11-2008 at 08:54 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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,173
    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    Nothing new, I suspect, but coldly blatant and should probably be challenged in court with a major class-action lawsuit.
    I'm confused, what would be the reason for the lawsuit? Why does Sony or Tamron have any obligation to make specific lenses available for you at a certain price point?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
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    The obligation is common and fair trade practices ... not designer commerce to artificially boost your own sales.

    Manipulating TAMRON to purposely cutoff valid lenses ... because you have a new product and gaggle of your own lenses you want to exclusively push ... I am sorry Dave, that flies in the face of ethical operation. This is pure greed ... and we are really suffering as a nation ... no, as a world, because of it. This is so blatantly obvious, it has to be held up as an example of a problem that is being created ... not because of production, but to purposely manipulate market forces in ways that create mistrust and future decision-making.

    I know I'm having second thoughts about going ahead with my purchase, considering this outrageous and calculated approach to controlling our craft. Business is business, but this is monkey-business.

    Sure, I do not have to buy the product ... but will that solve this practice and stop it from going forward? No ... it has to be handled when it happens, or it just gets a pass and we all take it in the proverbial shorts.

    The proof is there ... you can check the facts yourself. This practice should be stopped and held as an example of what not to do in industry. It is exactly to the heart of a monopoly. Sure, there is Canon and Nikon, as alternatves, but that is exactly what this is NOT about.

    I contend that it is, perhaps, just the initial step to finally eliminate the third-party lens makers altogether. Bits and pieces of the industry needlessly go to dust, leaving everyone paying very controlled prices and having to continue to tolerate the nefarious schemes of the bigger corporations.

    How about this? If this was such a great idea, why didn't anyone say anything about it? The cloak of "behind the scenes manipulation" of an emerging market is wrong on so many levels. Personally, a protest at Photokina would be perfectly justifed about something like this. Bring the public up to speed about how wonderful it is to be "cut-off at the knees", right before they buy their new toy.
    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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