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  1. #1
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    Jun 2008
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    Sony FF and Lenses Versus the Rest: Price Comparison


    All prices from either Amazon or Adorama, cheapest was chosen at the time of writing

    The items listed are pretty much what I have in mind of my final setup. The ones in black and in bold I already have. The lenses in green indicate what I deem to be better.

    Let me explain the greens:
    • Sony F58AM for its bounce-shift feature.
    • 24-70mm F/2.8 for CZ features and stabilization
    • 105mm VR for it's 4-stop VR and incredible IQ
    • 50/1.4G for it's better IQ and AF speed over the SAL50F14 (Sony), though it's not quite fair since this is newere and much more expensive. I can live with the Sony just fine.
    • 70-200mm VR, again for it's VR (4 stops)
    • 14-24mm is kinda a tossup, not too crazy about the front end of this lens as it can't use filters, but it has +2mm on the wide end as compared to the Zeiss 16-35mm which looks amazing.
    • 70-400mm goes to the Sony for it's IQ


    As far as the items go:

    1. Full Frame Camera
    2. Vertical Grip
    3. High end flash
    4. 24-70mm F/2.8
    5. ~100mm Macro
    6. 50mm F/1.4
    7. 70-200mm F/2.8
    8. UWA Zoom
    9. Lastly at the bottom a 400mm zoom


    Positives for Nikon that come to mind (for me):
    • 105mm F/2.8 VR, 70-200mm F/2.8 VR
    • Lens availability (b&m stores, more choices, though this is my ideal setup)
    • High ISO (on a camera like the D90)


    Positives for Sony that come to mind (again, for me)
    • In body stabilization for all lenses (24-70, 50mm prime, UWA, etc....)
    • 24.6 MP! (WOW) I love resolution.
    • Zeiss Alpha glass


    Originally this started out as a Nikon vs Sony for me. Threw in Canon just to see. Not crazy about any of their glass (IQ wise after reading photozone on these lenses), but I did notice that the entire setup was a LOT cheaper. So much so, you could throw in another body. The only piece of Canon glass that interests me is the MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro. Anyways....

    So it turns out, Nikon and Sony are very even in terms of price (I would compare the D800 when it comes out and would expect it to be at the $3,000 mark). Glass wise, Nikon seems to have a slight edge, although pricier, slightly.

    So, in conclusion, looks like I will be sticking with Sony for FF. Until I see the D800, the A900 is the clear winner for me for a full frame ~$3k level FF camera. As for APS-C, I'd love to see the D400 vs the A800, that will be quite interesting. I'd imagine they'd be close, with the a800 only trailing slightly in high ISO performance. Sony in my case is also cheaper because I have a few pieces already, know the system fairly well, and like the community.


    Mistakes above:
    VG-C70AM should be VG-C90AM obviously, and it's ~$305 at Amazon.com
    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

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr4gon View Post
    Threw in Canon just to see. Not crazy about any of their glass (IQ wise after reading photozone on these lenses).
    MTF charts are only one part of the equation so dont rely on those to be the be all and end all in judging performance. not to mention that according to the PZ site..."Please note that the tests results are not comparable across the different systems!"

    why ? well one main reason is that the canon tests are mostly at 8mp, nikon at 10 and sony at 12 so the numbers for nikon and especially for sony are inflated in comparison to canon due to the resolving power of the sensors.
    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
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rooz View Post
    MTF charts are only one part of the equation so dont rely on those to be the be all and end all in judging performance. not to mention that according to the PZ site..."Please note that the tests results are not comparable across the different systems!"

    why ? well one main reason is that the canon tests are mostly at 8mp, nikon at 10 and sony at 12 so the numbers for nikon and especially for sony are inflated in comparison to canon due to the resolving power of the sensors.
    Yeah, I got that and compared relatively speaking, taking into account other factors (CA, distortion, etc.). And their final ratings.
    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

  4. #4
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    Canon also has the 16-40 f/4 if you don't want the weight and price of the 16-35 for UWA. I don't even have a UWA right now (nor do you) so I expect I could fudge speed a little in that range. Plus you could get a used 5D Mk I right now and save a lot of money, if budget is an issue, and you would like to move to FF soon. It will have the same res as the D700, but it is much older feature wise. One thing to bear in mind is how heavy these lenses are. And Rooz says the Nikon 24-70 is kinda awkward. It looks that way in pictures.

    If you can realistically afford this stuff soon, Sony is pretty much the clear choice. Esp since you already have a couple of lenses, and your Tamron 70-200 could hold you over for a while on that end. Plus the CZ glass is arguably the best. If it is going to be a while out you might want to go Nikon, if res is important, and I expect the D800 may be around 20-25. If price is more of an issue, I think Canon is going to be the best choice. Thats a big part of why I went Canon.
    Jason Hamilton
    Selective Frame

    EOS 5D - Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 35 f/2, EF 50mm f/1.8 Mk II, EF 70-210 f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro, Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 (with EOS adapter), 430EX, Canon S90
    Nikon FE - Nikkor 35mm f/2 AI'd, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AI, Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 AI, F to EF adapter, 2xVivitar 285, other lighting stuff
    Mamiya C220 - 80mm f/2.8

    Gear List flickr

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by laydros View Post
    Canon also has the 16-40 f/4 if you don't want the weight and price of the 16-35 for UWA. I don't even have a UWA right now (nor do you) so I expect I could fudge speed a little in that range. Plus you could get a used 5D Mk I right now and save a lot of money, if budget is an issue, and you would like to move to FF soon. It will have the same res as the D700, but it is much older feature wise. One thing to bear in mind is how heavy these lenses are. And Rooz says the Nikon 24-70 is kinda awkward. It looks that way in pictures.

    If you can realistically afford this stuff soon, Sony is pretty much the clear choice. Esp since you already have a couple of lenses, and your Tamron 70-200 could hold you over for a while on that end. Plus the CZ glass is arguably the best. If it is going to be a while out you might want to go Nikon, if res is important, and I expect the D800 may be around 20-25. If price is more of an issue, I think Canon is going to be the best choice. Thats a big part of why I went Canon.
    That's kinda what I was thinking. This would be a goal to work towards, not something to buy all of a sudden.

    It's interesting that Rooz was considering getting a Canon 5DII for FF. Eventually I may get a Nikon for APS-C and keep the Sony for FF. But as you said, with the Tamron 70-200mm, it should hold me over for a little bit because optically it's great, just lacking in the AF (could really use a focus limiter). I don't plan on moving to FF just yet. Glass first then a new FF camera in about a year's time when the A900's replacement comes out. There are a couple features, the A900 is lacking (high iso improvements, HD video, etc...) that will come in time so I can wait.
    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

  6. #6
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    A sobering thought when you price it all out.
    Still if you spend $8000 on the best available lenses, presumably you will never need to change unless you break one or it wears out.
    So the total cost of ownership is $8000/20years = $400 a year which doesn't sound as bad. Providing these modern lenses will last 20 years.

  7. #7
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    Peter ... most excellent, you have rationalized the "top stop" for DSLR photography ... unless you go nuts with specialized optics. This hobby really does have its limits ... and they are not that outrageous for the "common" shooter. Until I pop for the next round of really "top drawer" lenses, I have covered "the basics."

    Unlike film, which just keeps costing money ... as you need chemicals and a dark room for processing.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 03-26-2009 at 12:13 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

  8. #8
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    i would hold off on FF for now. just because I personally believe it has not been perfected yet by any manufacturer unless you go for the Pro bodies.
    i'm not a fanboy of any brand and i will switch anyday if i feel like it.
    i think the D700 is the best semi-pro FF available now although it lacks in resolution.
    i'm sure the D800 would sort that out.
    the a900 is nice, but the lack of pop up flash is a negative especially since you need the 58 to perform the master function for wireless.
    as for the Canon, i think it does not have enough focus points for a semi-pro body.
    Canon EOS 7D

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    FLUIDR

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elisha82 View Post
    i would hold off on FF for now. just because I personally believe it has not been perfected yet by any manufacturer unless you go for the Pro bodies.
    i'm not a fanboy of any brand and i will switch anyday if i feel like it.
    i think the D700 is the best semi-pro FF available now although it lacks in resolution.
    i'm sure the D800 would sort that out.
    the a900 is nice, but the lack of pop up flash is a negative especially since you need the 58 to perform the master function for wireless.
    as for the Canon, i think it does not have enough focus points for a semi-pro body.
    5DII is decent, great budget FF IMO.

    D800 will likely be pretty nice, not sure about resolution.

    A900's lack of a popup probably won't bother me too much. I don't use the popup for flash, just wireless. Not a huge deal breaker for me. I'm pretty sure Sony (or at least I hope) will introduce a compact flash to address this. They only have 2 right now after all.
    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

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