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Thread: Long Range Lens

  1. #11
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    Works good on qwackers..
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  2. #12
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    Thing is, Homeland Security think it's a Bazooka, so Steve can't take it far. ROFL


    Switch, Don makes some good points.
    You seem surprised that the cost of a lens should exceed the cost of your camera! Well don't be, it's a fact of life.
    For sure a camera is a disposable item whereas a good lens will last forever, well for a long time.
    A consumer camera has a life cycle of 18 months and an advance amateur/semi Pro camera 3 years or so. Yes, you can continue to use the camera but the lure of a better Sensor usually undoes the best of intentions.
    Buy less than the best lens and surely the lure of that top notch lens remains a temptation to open your wallet again.
    On the other hand, buy the best possible lens in class and the chances are it will outlast several cameras and only expire with old age whenever that is.

    In other words a camera is a disposable item whereas a quality lens is an investment.

    I mentioned my 28-135mm lens in another thread. This is my second oldest AF lens (first is the 50mm kit lens) purchased in 85/86 and still as good as the day I purchased it. I think I paid in the region of 400GBP so the COO (cost of ownership) is about 15GBP per year and counting.
    Allowing for inflation the cost today would be in the order of 1000GBP ($1600); divide by 26(years) and that is still only a paltry 38GBP a year COO.

    Rather than buy an inferior option, my preference would be to wait or go into hock for the best lens in class, particularly at today's low interest rates.

    As for the lenses mentioned, I personally wouldn't buy a Tamron. They seem optically sound but every one I have held feels flimsy by comparison but then I haven't held them all.

    The difference between the two Sony lenses is not in price (undoubtedly there) but in the weight difference which is quite significant.
    You need to decide what is most important to your particular case but don't end up regretting you didn't opt for the extra reach cos then you will end up reaching for you wallet once more.

    Also, with an aperture of f/5.6 at the long end, both of those lenses require a lot of light to deliver the goods and are pretty useless indoors. There is a good argument to be made in favour of the Sony - AF 70-200 F2.8 G SSM, Ok you lose some reach but you do gain two whole aperture stops with the constant f/2.8 which gives you a better chance indoors.

    I know that's not making a recommendation but it's hard when we are talking expensive glass. I can certainly recommend the Sony 70-300mm G SSM, because I have one and can't really fault it. But then I also have a (pretty old) Minolta - AF 80-200 F2.8 HS APO G to fall back on when the going gets tough.

    Whichever way you cut it, photography can be an expensive but rewarding hobby. Miss those shots of the kids growing up and there is no going back.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    I am currently looking to go to the SIGMA 120-300mm f/2.8, which is quite a jump (more like a jump and a half, to be honest). I have "coverage" with my TAMRON SP AF 200-500mm f/5-6.3, so I am willing to part with my relatively new 70-400 G SSM to provide some funding to make that leap, if you are interested. It is a great lens, as I have stated, but I want aperture for indoor work. It costs a bundle to get it.
    Don, that looks like some zoom lens, and you're right about the hole in your wallet.

  4. #14
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    Yeah I would really like the 70-200 f/2.8 if I ever shot weddings or indoor sport events

  5. #15
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    Thumbs up Grabbing for the gusto

    Quote Originally Posted by Peekayoh View Post
    Don, that looks like some zoom lens, and you're right about the hole in your wallet.
    "You only live twice, or so it it seems ... one life for yourself and one for your dreams."

    I figure we only get the one go around, though ... and grabbing a terrific piece of glass to shoot the good stuff with is ... well, depends on your situation. I may be rushing things (ya think?), but if there is one thing I have learned is the rule of practicality, "you cannot shoot it if you do not have the glass ready to go."

    This baby covers a tremendous range ... 120-300mm @ f/2.8 and with built-in stabilization. I, personally, wrote and called SIGMA, specifically asking them to make this particular lens for the SONY mount. I even enlisted the guys over at Dyxum to do likewise. Whether it is a complete coincidence or what, it is still is a piece of change, but they went ahead and did it.

    SONY kind of did the same thing when I carried on and yelled about the need for a slightly cheaper Full Frame ... hence, the market-driven α850, for less than 2-Grand.

    Be careful what you wish for. Anyway, it would seem almost hypocritical not to buy the lens. Reflectively, it also is a condensing of my glass bag, which many people have gone on and on about. "Dom, you have spent so much on individual pieces, why not get one killer lens to cover it. Okay ... here it is.

    Simplifying the zooms does seem the right way to go and when you consider that the SONY 300mm f/2.8 G SSM PRIME weighs about the same and cost double ($6200) ... well, practically speaking, this seems almost like a bargain, in its only weird way, and yes, you can added the SIGMA 2x T/C to it and double that puppy, only increasing it to a f/5.6 base aperture. Still AF all the way to the end, unlike the 70-300mm f/4-5.6. You 2x that lens and you're manual focusing. Go ahead, try it.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 04-23-2011 at 12:24 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

  6. #16
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    Don, I have no quarrel with you buying the best glass you can afford, in fact I applaud it although I doubt you will condense your bag (and why should you).
    I do think, however, that you need a clear imperative for a lens in this price bracket. I'd genuinely like you to share your thoughts on the subject.
    BTW, I'm disappointed that Sigma have chosen not to publish MTFs for the lens neither have I seen an independent review. If someone can link one it will be appreciated.

    You mentioned the SONY 300mm f/2.8 G SSM PRIME of which you know I possess one and which seems to be an outrageous extravagance, at least to me.
    At the time I was looking for a Minolta 400mm f/4.5 HSG which still fetch an extraordinarily high price. I should say that my excellent Sony 70-300mm G is a bit short and rather slow (f/5.6) and also soft in the edges at the long end. My Minolta 200mm HSG gets me to 400mm with a teleconverter but slows it to f/5.6 and you then need to stop down to at least f/10 to recover some contrast so the combination is substantially less than ideal; which was why the 400mm was in the frame and has been for some time.

    The Sony 300mm was offered to me at cost or maybe less, about the price of the Sigma 120-300. It was brand new on a Dealer's shelf gathering dust; I think maybe someone reneged on a deal. I figured that with my teleconverters that would give me a 420mm f/4 and a 600mm f/5.6 and I reckoned I could sell for a profit if I wanted. No intention of selling of course, these were just my justifications for an eye watering, wallet bashing extravaganza but pretty good ones, hey! Also in my minds eye was the long awaited A77 and a 24MP APS-C sensor; if correct, that would offer an equivalent 450mm f/2.8, 630mm f4 and a 900mm f/5.6 although the latter may again be a step too far.

    I expect you're wondering how good is it and was it worth it?
    Well, I haven't really given it a good workout yet but I can tell you that, compared to the Sony 70-300mm SSM which is the only other 300mm I have to hand, the 300mm prime is sharper wide open at f/2.8 than is the other lens at f/11 (absolute sharpest centre res). This is remarkable when you consider that the 70-300mm SSM is a well regarded lens. Even so, the prime does improve with stopping down and at f4 you could cut yourself.

    I'm definitely not an unhappy bunny.

    You might also reflect that this lens is from the legendary Minolta 'G' Stable, simply re-badged as a Sony.

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