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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560
    This year, I had originally been shooting to get an A900, after all the expensive shifts in the market ... it kind of killed my hobby options. The 135mm wound up in my bag as one of the final purchases prior to obtaining the FF body. Regretfully ... the body is still with the manufacturer, priced out of my (and that of many other's) reach ... for the moment. It appears to be around a $4500 outlay, just to get the base setup, with flash. Maybe the "savior" will have a financial plan to bring it back down ... time will tell ... or not.

    In the meantime, though, the TAMRON SP AF 90mm f/2.8 MACRO is pretty close in Image Quality ... the massive advantage, of course, is the CZ 85mm's f/1.4 aperture. To get brighter and the bokeh, I go with the less-expensive SONY AF 50mm f/1.4 and crawl a bit closer. Maybe the subject won't notice the lesser glass. LOL.

    Overheard at a recent shoot:
    "Oh my God, you're not taking my picture with a $350 prime, are you? I was expecting the $1400 one, at the very least."

    Also, the AF CZ 135mm f/1.8 is the longest, widest lens of its kind, currently available. Mounted on the APS-C sensor camera body, it's effectively a 200mm! Do you have any idea how much a "stabilized" 200mm f/2 shot cost with a Canon FF camera? Look it up ... it is staggering. Oh sure, you can have an EF 135mm f/2 USM lens place on a Canon EOS 50D ... but, you have no stability. You have to have a tripod to milk the slower speeds, indoors. "Lens IS" is not cheap for this puppy. We are discussing a $5000 lens ... and you still need the FF camera body to slap it on.

    Remember, if it doesn't have "Zeiss" stamped on it ... it's probably someone else's lens! Make do.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 11-24-2008 at 09:34 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. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    I figured it was those reasons you listed above. I really want to compare the 50mm F1.4 against the 85mm F/1.4 Zeiss. There has to be a reason in IQ that that Zeiss is much more highly rated than the 50mm. Another thing that gets me is the older Minolta lenses are more favored (dyxum) over the Sony and minolta RS versions. I'm sure there are some inconsistencies with multiple copies of the same lens, but the difference in score is apparent. My goal from now on as far as lenses and camera gear is concerned will be with IQ. I'd rather establish a good bag now and not look back. For exagmple, the MinO 50mm F/1.7 just wasn't cutting it for me. Even at 2.8 and smaller apertures, the Tamron performed better. The bokeh was nice I must admit, so that's why I'm looking at the Sony version. Don, you have both right? How do you think it compares? You offered me the Minolta version, is your Sony one optically better? Or do you just like the build and name of it? It also seems that right now the 135mm is sold out but the 85mm Zeiss is still available.
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560
    Well, I had these:

    Minolta AF 50mm f/1.7 (°49mm) . . . . Minolta AF 50mm f/1.4 (°49mm) . . . . SONY AF 50mm f/1.4 (°55mm)



    The f/1.7 was a very sharp prime, but I sold it, recently. I just didn't need three 50mm lenses in my bag and I figured it
    could be better put to use by someone else who really needed one.

    The M f/1.4 was damaged, somehow, when I bought it. Even the repair depot could not figure out what was wrong
    with it, so I recently, last year, had it gutted and rebuilt. It has been restored back to full operation. I will tell you
    that I paid a pretty penny to get it up and running again. While it was in for repairs, I purchased the SONY f/1.4.

    When the Minolta was returned, I shot them side-by-side and decided, after some really close scrutiny (they were really
    close), the SONY had a bit more contrast in the shots ... the blacks were blacker. The SONY is now the preferred lens,
    in my bag, but I did pay a premium price for it. The Minolta sits pretty idle, unless I hand off my second camera to
    another photographer and they need it. The 50mm was the mainstay of all my film cameras, from day one.

    I tell ya, those f/1.4s were exceptionally hard to find. You have no idea how angry I was to find it defective and be unable
    to use it under f/2.8. f/1.7s were all over God's green acre, but I have only ever owned the one.

    A lot of people shoot precise images, looking for defects. I come from a different school of thought that says, take a
    really mundane shot and then look for defects. That's how you can really tell what you are going to get with a lens and
    whether you want to shoot with it.

    Different strokes, right?
    Last edited by DonSchap; 11-25-2008 at 04:00 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

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560
    One other thing ... you need to consider is the additional expense of filters, not coordinating your lenses.

    The TAMRON SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD MACRO and the UWAs use the same diameter filters as the CZ 135mm f/1.8 -> °77mm.

    The CZ 85 f/1.4 is a °72mm diameter filter ring. Luckily, if I did use that lens, I would be able to use the filters I have for the Tokina AT-X 840 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 or the TAMRON SP AF 180mm f/3.5 Di LD MACRO. Many others are not as fortunate, so you could tack on those costs, also.

    The TAMRON SP AF 90mm f/2.8 DI MACRO uses a °55mm filter, which is the same filter-ring diameter as the SONY AF 50mm f/1.4. That's convenient.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 11-24-2008 at 12:43 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. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,562
    Don I am trying to decide which lens to put on my Xmas list. The three I am thinking about are the Tamron 17-50, Tamron 28-75 or the Tamron 90 Macro. I really wanted the macro bit after reading this post I was think about the 17-50 but I am thinking I should get the 28-75. Decisions Decisions LOL
    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. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Thumbs up Good choices ... camera man!

    Just be careful with the 28-75mm ... I have had to return the ones I had to TAMRON for front focus issues. They were fixed (uh, "adjusted") and work great , but it did take some time. The warranty covers that kind of repair ... you just need to get it to them.



    The 28-75mm f/2.8 is a Di lens (easily identified by the "gold lettering" on the black band around the middle of the lens) and was designed for Full Frame use, so on the α900 ... it would be totally transferable and excellent.

    The 17-50mm f/2.8 is a Di-II lens (easily identified by the "black lettering" on the gold band around the middle of the lens)



    and would only be able to be used in CROP mode, on the α900. Both lenses are great. Obviously, the 28-75mm meets up with the 70-200mm or 70-300mm better, if that is a consideration, but the 17-50mm offers a wider frame, at the other end, except, of course, when mounted on the α900 (in CROP mode), where they would be the same.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 11-24-2008 at 01:06 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

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,562
    So the 90 Macro should be after one of these? I am thinking the 28-75 would be my choice.
    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/

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    35
    Don, i've noticed you send a lot(what seems like a lot to me,only having 3 lenses) in
    to be fixed or adjusted. how does the new guys(myself) know if something just isn't
    right or say not sharp enough? is this just an time will teach you thing or is their little tell tell signs i need to watch for? and is their a routine check up/adjustment time?
    sorry if this seem like a stupid question.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560
    The SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di 1:1 MACRO is a specialty lens, in my opinion. If you are needing to get exceptionally close to objects, it is the lens to have (cost-wise). It is extremely sharp and still requires you to do the "manual zoom two-step" to properly frame.

    The mission of the 17-50 or the 28-75 is basically a general one. They are the walk-arounds and allow you to stand in one place and get relatively wide or rather tight on an object. Some people prefer the 24-105mm f/3.5-4.5 ... which offers an even more dynamic change, but it is rapidly darkening up, on the long end. I feel its IQ truly suffers when the wide apertures are used. A better choice for walking-around, in my opinon, is the utility lens 18-250 f/3.5-6.3. Yes, it compromises aperture, but it is fair in doing so. Outdoors, during the day, it is of minimal impact to brightness. Once again, whatever!

    The solid looking shots, both indoors and outdoors, will come from the f/2.8 lenses ... and most lens reviews will agree with this assessment. If it is a TAMRON and has f/2.8 available to it ... you are going to get a nice, sharp focus.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 11-24-2008 at 01:58 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

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Lightbulb Lens testing ... focus

    Quote Originally Posted by scotts630 View Post
    Don, i've noticed you send a lot(what seems like a lot to me,only having 3 lenses) in
    to be fixed or adjusted. how does the new guys(myself) know if something just isn't
    right or say not sharp enough? is this just an time will teach you thing or is their little tell tell signs i need to watch for? and is their a routine check up/adjustment time?
    sorry if this seem like a stupid question.
    No, a great question.

    The best test that I have seen, which kind of "tells the truth" is this:
    1. Put your camera in "spot focus" mode
    2. Take and place three "AA" batteries on a flat table top, staggered about one-inch apart, front to back, in a diagonal (/).

      "Proper Focus"
      Name:  focus test - lens.jpg
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    3. Set your lens to f/4 aperture
    4. Focus on the center battery
    5. Use a tripod to get a good, steady shot ... or a shutter release cable, if possible (best if you have BOTH), to prevent shaking of the camera. -> Take the image.
    6. On your computer, review the image. Look to see which battery looks in focus. If it is the middle one, great ... test complete. If it is one of the other batteries ... oh, oh

      "Front Focus" -> repair!
      Name:  focus test - lens is off.jpg
Views: 164
Size:  32.4 KB


    Simple, right? You do not even need another lens to see the problem. You can do this type of test with ALL your lenses and determine if the focus is correct ... or screwed up. Just bear in mind the M.F.D. (minimum focus distance) and that your are beyond it. It can range from 8-inches to 10-feet! If you take a moment and click on MY GEAR LIST, in my signature, I have posted M.F.D.s for all my lenses.

    It really is hard for the repair guys to argue with this kind of depicted PROOF!

    I hope this answers your question adequately. It doesn't always have to be hard to be right.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 11-24-2008 at 01:48 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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