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Thread: ? for a230 user

  1. #21
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    Darin, that's a lovely shot of the kids.

    I agree that for a static subject or when using manual focus the Tamron is OK, however, you have the benefit of the A900 viewfinder. Try Manual Focus with the A230 in those conditions, not a hope in hell. I suppose, by trial and error, he may get enough keepers from a session or he could focus on a static object and stop down to increase the DOF but that defeats the object of a fast lens.

    I don't think you read the OP's post thoroughly; apart from the stage shots he wants to shoot "(candid, fast action, sports) " and that's not the forte of the Tamron. Look, I'm not saying the Tamron is a bad lens in all circumstances, just that the OPs intended uses for it make it so; also, with a budget of $1200 + say $400 for the 80-250 he's not far off the price of a top notch lens that will cut the mustard in both his reqs.

    Don't know about the Sigma equivelent but I do know about their QC.

  2. #22
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    Lightbulb Spending for the "right" equipment

    The CZ 135mm f/1.8 is a terrific decision, if you cop to buying a great lens. It covers a tremendous amount of
    lighting issues, but I would only make this consideration AFTER I bought the best flash I could as a solution. Going
    without a "flash assist" of any kind, in your bag, is just silly (Heck, I carry two flashes in my bag at all times, the
    HVL-F20AM and HVL-F58AM). With the a700 (with its built in flash), all I would need is the HVL-F58AM
    for most issues.

    Let's face it, unless YOU personally did (or observed) the work in setting the stage lighting up, you will never know
    (until the moment comes) what kind of actual lighting will be available, and having the entire gamut covered as
    well as possible, you cannot blame yourself for not being prepared for any eventuality (let's face it, money or not,
    YOU have been adequately warned!
    ).

    I have been very comfortable with just the SONY CZ 135mm f/1.8 ($1369), the Rokinon MF 85mm f/1.4 ($259)
    and SONY AF 50mm f/1.4($359) for doing the "stage thing" for the past year. Yes, if flash is allowed, that opens
    my selection to go with the TAMRON SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD ($600) for a more flexible shot.

    With the 135mm f/1.8, no-flash allowed, I was able to render this 8-shot panorama of the across-the-stage "final act."

    Name:  Final Act adj_Panorama1.jpg
Views: 106
Size:  575.5 KB
    EXIF: 135mm - f/3.2 - 1/80 sec. - ISO-1000 - Manual - WB: Tungsten - Light Source: Stage Lighting - Panorama

    Again, I walked into this scenario with no idea there was a forty-foot wide stage involved or what kind of stage lighting
    would be in effect. I brought what I could to deal with it ... and even had some fun just trying some things out.
    Thankfully, I had enough lens length to cover the distance. My choice of f/3.2 was for DOF reasons ... deciding that
    ISO-1000 was about as far as I dare go with sizzling the sensor and 1/80-second was the shutter speed limit to eliminate
    the expected motion blur of standing-still, singing subjects.

    The 135mm, mounted on the α850 is a true 135mm shot, but on any of the other SONY DSLR bodies (not the α900),
    you would have a much longer shot (effectively 200mm) and the number of shots for this panorama would go up, as you
    would have less subject image in frame (due to the longer focal length).

    The CZ 85mm f/1.4 would probably be the better option on the APS-C sensor cameras. It is also $100 cheaper than
    the 135mm.

    Hopefully, "dad_of_2wns" ... you are finding this enlightening and useful. A good healthy discussion is very worthwhile before
    you agonize by plunking down the cashola! Having the equipment is one thing. Using it ... a whole different matter, entirely.

    There are, of course, those who would argue with success, claiming they have "all the answers." I find that most answers
    are found when you are in the line-of-fire and have to come up with them yourself. That's where the almighty "bag-o-glass"
    settles the score between hero and ... zero!
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-23-2010 at 03:56 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. #23
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    Don, nobody's going to argue about the qualities of the three primes you mention but I don't see how they offer a comprehensive solution to the OP. I mean, the Primes would certainly be good for the stage work but quite inappropriate for the action work unless it were wholly indoors. In any case I doubt the OP wants a manual focus 85mm so a zeiss substitute ups the ante.

    Choosing your road, say $1370/1480 for the 85/135mm Zeiss means dadof2wns is lumbered with the 18-250mm for the action work. I think you know my opinion of this lens but, at the risk of repeating myself, beyond 150mm it defaults to f6.3, is sloooow to aquire focus and the resolution is poooor! Anyone would think it's a Tamrom.

    This thread is supposed to be advice to a newbie and young family man with a stated budget of $1200 so can we bear that in mind. I know that my single lens solution SAL-70200G breaks the budget but, guessing a $400 trade in on the 18-250mm, it's close and also meets the OP's brief that the solution should "last say 10 years".

  4. #24
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    Jan 2010
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    Thank you guys for your replies. I appreciate all of your help.

    What do you all think about me keeping the kit lens 18-55mm, purchasing a flash (which one 42 or 58?), and the sony 70-200mm 2.8. Will that do?

    I figure I'll try to get as close to the action when my kids are on the stage with the kit lens and flash. If I can't, then I'll use the sony 70-200mm. When my kids start playing outdoor sports (soccer, baseball, etc.) and indoor sports (basketball, volleyball) the 70-200mm should be capable, right?

    Lastly, I am doing an injustice to the 70-200mm by using the a230?

    Thanks again.

  5. #25
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    Lightbulb Glass ... eventually the body!

    Quote Originally Posted by dad_of_2wns View Post
    Lastly, I am doing an injustice to the 70-200mm by using the a230?
    No, you are doing a monster favor to the α230.

    Look at it this way ... when you buy better lenses, you are "prepping" yourself for the move to a new camera,
    all the while. When you finally do make the move, all you do is swap the camera body and learn its nuances
    and particulars. You'll already have your glass ready to mount.

    The α230 will operate the lens, but I still would consider, very rapidly, going to the α500 or α550 to really
    pull the goods out of the lens. Get the real built-in "bang for your buck", so to speak.

    In fact, take some notes on how you find the experience and add them to this thread. If the α500/α550
    do not improve your overall operation, I guess you return it and move on to the α900.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-24-2010 at 02:20 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

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by dad_of_2wns View Post
    What do you all think about me keeping the kit lens 18-55mm, purchasing a flash (which one 42 or 58?), and the sony 70-200mm 2.8. Will that do?
    Will it do? I'll say, a lot of readers would give their right arm for them, well almost.

    For a kit lens the new 18-55mm SAM isn't too bad for the wide end in the short term but it will be no use for taking your kids on stage because you simply can't get close enough to get the subject a reasonable size in the frame (refer to my previous post and to Don's pictorial example). In any case you'd be better off using your faster 50mm f1.8 at that focal length.

    However, if you have the 70-200mm G SSM, you won't need to bother with either because that lens gives you everything you need to grab anything on the stage plus it's perfect for the sports. Of course you may start hankering after something longer for soccer and baseball but that's some way down the road.

    As for the flash, if you can afford it, the F58AM is the choice because it has better reach, better swivel, built-in diffuser and some other stuff which will come in handy as you progress.

    Lastly, I am doing an injustice to the 70-200mm by using the a230? Thanks again.
    Not a bit, practically any new DSLR will give excellent results with a good lens mounted. At the end of the day it's all about the skill of the Photographer in getting the best out of what he has; the best equipment simply makes it easier for you to achieve that end result. There's no doubt that the A230 has limitations which will become apparent with time, just as you found a problem with lens you were using.

  7. #27
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    Lightbulb Tripod use of big lenses

    You should bear in mind that the SONY 70-200mm f/2.8 G SSM weighs a very serious 53 ounces. Your camera will seem almost feather-like on the end of it. Be careful how you balance it ... and if do you use a tripod for your shots, never use the camera's tripod mount (bottom of camera body) ... but, only the lens' tripod mount.
    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. #28
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    Monmouthshire, UK
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    That's a good point, Don. Handholding a big lens absolutely requires good technique from the user although the extra inertia can help with shake.
    Tips on technique here ... http://knol.google.com/k/how-to-hold...t#Introduction

    Advancing years make it harder for me to control shake and I find a Monopod fitted with a ball head to be an invaluable tool; it works for you youngsters as well and definitely helps when using a big lens for a protracted period giving you a (best guess) 2 to 3 stop advantage over handholding. One thing I haven't quite worked out is whether or not to switch off SteadyShot when using it.
    Have a read of this for tips ... http://www.outdooreyes.com/photo5.php3 ... on how to use one.

    BTW, a monopod is not a substitute for a tripod. It is unobtrusive and allows for quick setup in time-sensitive situations, but in the most crucial instances of image-making it does not compare with a tripod's ability to keep your camera absolutely still.

    Dadof2wns, let us know what you ultimately decide and don't be afraid to post some pics.

  9. #29
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    Jan 2010
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    10
    Thanks again.

    So where should I purchase the 70-200 lens or any camera related gear?
    Amazon, Adorama, BH Photo, Ebay, or local camera shop? Anywhere else?

    Btw, How old is the sony 70-200mm?

  10. #30
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    I think you're in the US (I'm in UK) so someone else needs to chime in.

    SAL-70200G introduced 2006

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