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  1. #111
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    72
    Research will tell you this is an amazing lens; for me that's sufficient research but apparently not for you. Balancing an amazing lens vs. its cost (in weight, or gold, or other lenses abandoned) is really too subjective for me to delve into further. Maybe you should sell the two big ones, keep the 70-300 Di, and really lighten your load? I'd be amazed if that were the answer, but if your shoulder aches right now that sounds mighty nice, doesn't it?
    JimR - gear list changes daily
    http://picasaweb.google.com/alphaPDX

  2. #112
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Red face Building on your lens case ...

    Jim,

    one of the first "extra" lenses I bought was the TAMRON AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD (yes, the very same) and I quickly moved to the Tokina AT-X 840 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 as its obvious replacement, as soon as I could locate one. There has been no reason to look back on that decision, as the 80-400 is sharper and yeah, it costs more ... but those extra bucks were still well worth the results. Almost ANY lens costs more than the 70-300mm.

    The lens really needs to be appreciated by a more inexperienced user, looking to improve or extend their product. Its MACRO capability is also an asset ... and cost nothing more.

    One of the drawbacks of the 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 lens is the 8-foot M.F.D. That's definitely outdoor use. The 70-300mm f/4-5.6 M.F.D. is 5-feet, which is still pretty long, but can be tolerated indoors ... with a flash.

    The SONY 70-400 f/4-5.6 kind of combines the better aspects of the 70-300 into the 80-400, where it, too, has a 5-foot M.F.D. and that little bit of extra aperture at the widest. But even combined, the total cost of the two lens is only, as the most, $650 ... and the 70-400 is ... egads, $1599! It even weighs more than both lens combined! Yikes ...

    All this ... in an effort for a slightly better image. I am NOT convinced. Perhaps might help (<- click on this)
    Last edited by DonSchap; 09-30-2009 at 09:00 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

  3. #113
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
    Posts
    10,421
    perhaps your motto should change from "get the shot" to "get ANY shot."
    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

  4. #114
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Thanks for the suggestion ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rooz View Post
    perhaps your motto should change from "get the shot" to "get ANY shot."
    Well, there we have it, folks ... if you are not spending scads of money on your photography buying high-priced glass ... who cares what comes out?

    Thanks, 'Rooz' ... a real helpful attitude for the rather empty-wallet crowd.

    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. #115
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    8,163
    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    The lens really needs to be appreciated by a more inexperienced user
    Translation:

    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    The lens sucks so bad, only an ignorant and naive newbiphyte wouldn't chuck it in the trash where it belongs
    Ouch.

  6. #116
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    72
    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    Jim,

    one of the first "extra" lenses I bought was the TAMRON AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD (yes, the very same) and I quickly moved to the Tokina AT-X 840 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 as its obvious replacement, as soon as I could locate one. There has been no reason to look back on that decision, as the 80-400 is sharper and yeah, it costs more ... but those extra bucks were still well worth the results. Almost ANY lens costs more than the 70-300mm.

    The lens really needs to be appreciated by a more inexperienced user, looking to improve or extend their product. Its MACRO capability is also an asset ... and cost nothing more.

    One of the drawbacks of the 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 lens is the 8-foot M.F.D. That's definitely outdoor use. The 70-300mm f/4-5.6 M.F.D. is 5-feet, which is still pretty long, but can be tolerated indoors ... with a flash.

    The SONY 70-400 f/4-5.6 kind of combines the better aspects of the 70-300 into the 80-400, where it, too, has a 5-foot M.F.D. and that little bit of extra aperture at the widest. But even combined, the total cost of the two lens is only, as the most, $650 ... and the 70-400 is ... egads, $1599! It even weighs more than both lens combined! Yikes ...

    All this ... in an effort for a slightly better image. I am NOT convinced.
    It's sounds like you have your threshold of maybe both x grams and $y, which the Tokina meets but the Sony doesn't. Had I the cash I might have jumped on one of the 2 Tokinas that were on auction a few weeks back, but I'll survive.
    Your choice reminds me of the endless CZ1680 vs. the 17-50 and 17-70 debates; those who spend rave about the Zeiss, those who don't are very very happy with what they have & are glad they didn't spend the cash. It also reminds me of car debates, where my Huyndai does everything a Lexus can , but to some that's just not the point. When I say that, I mean it drives where I aim it & keeps me dry/warm/cool/comfy - that's all I need a car to do.]

    I'll also be joining you in long-MFD lenses with that Minolta 100-200, that seems to be an issue with many folks.. we'll see.
    JimR - gear list changes daily
    http://picasaweb.google.com/alphaPDX

  7. #117
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Cool Minimum Focus Distance ... truly, a recent improvement

    Long M.F.D. was tolerated for decades. It was the best that could be hoped for in many cases. It also made for cheaper lensing. Take, for instance the barrier busting, paradigm-shifting TAMRON 28-200mm f/3.8-5.6 All-in-one produced in 1992. M.F. D.? Yeah ... 6.9-feet! It had a close-up filter that took it to about 3.5-feet, but you lost long focus while you had it on. So, while there was SOME flexibility ... it was a lens typical of the time and genre.

    Today, the same length lens has been redesigned and the M.F.D stands at 1.5-feet (0.5m). A significant improvement and literally allows indoor/outdoor use w/o any modifier adapter filter. Most modern lenses (within the last five years), except for the 70-xxx line have typical M.F.D.s of the this 1.5-foot distance. MACROs, of course, yank it even closer ... as the physical length of the lens changes dramatically the closer you get ... and if you go with a standard PRIME ... it creeps out the longer you go. Even the highly touted CZ 135mm f/1.8's M.F.D. is 2-feet. Most 200mm PRIMES ... M.F.D. goes right back to 5-feet, because of focus speed considerations.

    Jim, you sighting the "how we get there" ... in "grand style" or just basically is a solid argument, up to a point. Optically, we begin to split hairs when the analysis starts to overkill the shot we are taking. While "center" to "edge" pristene focus is a great thing to have, does it render the expression of the artistic aspect any less? The balance between technical perfection and artistic expression ... in a hobby, becomes the artist's choice, not the viewers. In business, the roles are reversed and the photographer loses this choice, as the "customer" usually dictates the needs of the image.

    When someone asks, "How can I improve my image or photography" ... the tendency is to offer a hardware-based 'measured' solution to it, reflecting on experience and results that can be easily reproduced. Given a standard set of optics ... instead of blasting your inventory with BIG BUCKS ... simply learning some better technique can change everything.

    I contend that there are members of this very forum that have produced very improved work over what they produced on a year ago ... and have done so with the very same equipment they began with. Is it a learning process? Of course. Could they do a better job with significantly improved hardware? The tendency is to say "yes", but consider that these people have to "relearn" that new equipment, so there may actually be a lag in any measurable results for a while.

    Anyway, as for me ... based on what I have gleaned from this exercise, I simply do not feel the need to "upgrade" to a heavier, more expensive lens at this time. The Tokina AT-X 840 will remain my optic of choice for "nature walks" and true convenience. As a two-lens solution, coupled with the TAMRON SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD ... I feel it is all you practically need for most work, stumbling around and enjoying the planet. Should I feel the need for a more "luxurious" image ... I know what to do.

    It is October 1st ... and while I do not understand all of the "lurkers" who failed to take a chance and get an effectively free lens out this, to the others who did, I say:

    "Thanks for your participation in this contest and I will decide and contact the 'winner', through Private Message, tonight."
    Last edited by DonSchap; 10-01-2009 at 11:03 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

  8. #118
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Exclamation And the winner is ...

    Just to eliminate any confusion, the Winner is:

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    jimr-pdx


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    Congrats Jim, you not only upheld the spirit of the contest, but were convincing of the struggle we people go through when "weighing" the obvious.

    Way to go! Contact me ASAP and lets get that lens on your rig!

    BTW: I'm not sure what this means, but this in my 7,777th POST! Weird, huh?
    Last edited by DonSchap; 10-01-2009 at 03:41 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

  9. #119
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    72
    Thanks Don! Glad I kept the balance on that fine line between persuasive and annoying . It will be nice to go beyond 210mm without a TC attached, I'll test out a few lenses at 200mm f/8 to see where it stands there. Sounds like I might need a contest to divest a lens myself; has a tradition been born?

    It was kind of you to skip making a buck or two on this lens, and amusing reading the long and winding thread that came of it. That is indeed interesting, hitting 7777.. you're a bit ahead of me there
    JimR - gear list changes daily
    http://picasaweb.google.com/alphaPDX

  10. #120
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
    Posts
    10,421
    congrats jimr
    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

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