View Full Version : Buying a new A100...what lens?

08-22-2006, 06:18 PM
I will be buying the A100 and am considering the 18-200 lens. What is the best value in 18-200's ? Any significant differances in Sigma, Tamron etc ? Also I have some old Minolta manual lens dating back to the 70's will they function on the A100?


08-22-2006, 06:34 PM
While I cannot personal vouche for the Sigma version of the focal length, I can say that I've shot the TAmROn Promaster AF 28-200mm f/3.8-5.6 for years on the Minolta-mount. It is an early design, but performed well with film. A little tardy with focus speed, but the newer version is much snappier. I use this older version for my SONY A100. I'm not quite ready to spend another $300 for the upgraded version, since this already works for me.

On my other digital... my TAmROn AF18-200 f/3.5-6.3 XR DiII LD Aspherical (IF) is mounted on the Canon EOS 20D. Is has performed well over the past year and seems to offer generally good shots. There are some distortions at the high and low end, but they are relatively minor. The XR-coating makes the lens relatively short in length and the weight is only 15 oz. It is designed to work exclusively with APS-C sensors, like the A100 has, so there should be good match of this lens to the SONY camera.

Post some of the extreme shots you take, when you can. I'd like to see what the upgraded version shoots like.

09-01-2006, 06:48 PM
Either one is a decent cheapo lens. Some will say one is better, and other will defend the other one. I've read where the Sigma 18-125 is a fairly good lens, and that's the one I would get for a walk around cheap lens if I didn't have the 18-70. I think the 18-70 is pretty good. I carry a 70-210 3.5/4.5 withy me (it's a little smaller than the beercan, which I also have.

The sony lens is also supposed to be good, assuming it's a rebadged KM


09-02-2006, 02:18 AM
The Sigma one is better, both in image quality (less CA and better colours) and in build quality (for instance metal mount versus plastic mount).
Don is a mindless Tamron fan (meaning... he has no reason, it is just that way... he never touched the Sigma for instance yet will tell you the Tamron is better, and if he has to he will bring in the warranty blahblah).

09-02-2006, 08:53 AM
If a SONY 18-200mm lens is available, take the time to mount it and shoot it against a relatively similar TAmROn or SIGMA lens. Use your own CF card and BEFORE YOU BUY, take the test shots home for comparison. It is critical that the settings remain identical for comparison purposes, so that even if you took a set of bad shots... they'd all still be able to be compared for light intensity, contrast and color cast.

In my own experience, the TAmROn 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 is a far sharper lens than the 18-70mm SONY kit lens, so I would suggest seeking a package that has the TAmROn or SIGMA version of the 18-200mm included, rather than the SONY 18-70mm.

I'm not sure what SONY is charging for their own version of the 18-200mm lens... but the 18-200mm range makes for a super "kit" lens with plenty of versatility for the beginning user. Remember to use the A100's built-in flash, indoors, with it... as this type (18-200mm f/3.5-6.3) of lens darkens up when zoomed out beyond 120mm. It's just something that needs to be taken into consideration when setting up your shot.

09-08-2006, 10:41 AM
Hello everyone,

I too have some old Minolta Manual lenses which I would to know if I can use on Sony's A100? Is there any adapter required and which one?

Thanks in advance.

09-08-2006, 03:29 PM
If a SONY 18-200mm lens is available, take the time to mount it and shoot it against a relatively similar TAmROn or SIGMA lens.

If I'm not mistaken, the Sony 18-200 is a rebranded Tamron 18-200 that has the fancy logo slapped on it and is sold for $100 more than the Tamron or Sigma.

09-10-2006, 09:22 AM

to be honest, I personally haven't seen the SONY-version of the 18-200mm, but if that's truly the case... then TAmROn would be my choice. It has been for nearly twenty years.

To answer "uk26's" interrogative, NO adapter is required for Minolta A-mount (AF lenses) glass when used on the SONY A100. Just slap it on and go!

Minolta MD-Mount (Manual lenses from the prior generation of cameras), however, would require an adapter just like they did on the Minolta 7000/9000series, the 5/7/9 series, the i-series and the 5D/7D.

Other than the built-in anti-Quake feature of the camera body, I believe the best part of the SONY A100 is the lack of need to buy brand-new glass for it. In fact, if you need to buy glass from the get go... there is a car load of Minolta-glass (AF-mount) available on eBay, for excellent prices.

(A footnote: It has been my experience, that when it comes to the Minolta's 50mm focal length, the f/1.7 lens shoots far sharper than the f/1.4 version. The f/1.4 I would suggest using for portraiture or soft shots... where DOF & low light is critical. I'd use the f/1.7 for everything else, where sharpness and contrast is necessary. Yes, I do own both. ;) )

But, if new is all you will consider, most, if not all of TAmROn's lenses are already available in the Minolta A-mount, as are many of the SIGMA and Tokina lenses.

09-18-2006, 10:05 PM
Hello everyone,

I too have some old Minolta Manual lenses which I would to know if I can use on Sony's A100? Is there any adapter required and which one?

Thanks in advance.

I just bought my A100 this past week and before buying it I did a lot of research concerning using old Minolta lenses. I spoke with a Sony customer service representative and after doing some research he stated you could use the Minolta Maxxum lens from the last 20 years. All my Minolta lenses are 30 years old or more but I will be trying them to see if they work in manual mode.

10-10-2006, 08:58 PM
I, personally, am stuck on Tokina lenses...
For my old Minolta Maxxum film bodies, I had 5 different Tokina AT & ATX Lenses. I am primarily a Wildlife & Nature photographer so the lens that gets the most work is a Tokina ATX 80-400. It works GREAT on the Sony A100. I walked around our property today taking various shots of birds and got some great ones...
The other lenses I LOVE with DSLR's are the ATX 24-200 & ATX 12-24.
I also have an ATX 300 Pro f2.8, Minolta mount. If you ever can get one of these at a decent price I would highly recommend it! It takes the sharpest photos I have ever taken and I have some top end Canon L series lenses. Hoya makes great glass! I got mine used on Ebay.

11-21-2006, 06:35 PM

I just got the sony A100K,

I too would love to take wildlife shots and shot of horses. would the lens you have that goes to 400mm, do you need to use a tripod for that lens or are you able to hold the camera with that big of a lens on it.

sorry if that sounds stupid, I am just getting into this a bit and want to buy an extra lens for the camera.

do you have any photo you could show us that you took with that lens.

where would I find that lens?


01-30-2007, 03:02 AM
I'm also looking at getting an A100 (was thinking of getting a Canon 400D but then realised how much better image stabilisation would be!).

I'd be interested in acquiring old Minolta glass via ebay. I'm looking for a good walkaround lens at the wider/standard zoom. Does anyone recommend any particular Minolta lenses to look out for or any poor ones to avoid?

01-30-2007, 05:58 AM
As far as a fixed prime goes ... two good lenses to choose from by Minolta:

Minolta 50mm f/1.7
Minolta 28mm f/2.8

TAmROn also makes some excellent "digital" zooms which are almost all designed with a mount to work on the Minolta/SONY mount.

I found Minolta's 35-70mm f/4 w/ Macro was also a nice little zoom if you can get one. Does not take up much room, uses the same size filters (49mm) as the primes do ... and best of all, fixed f/4 aperture from 35-70mm.

All "G" glass is turning out superior perormance ... and it was Minolta's latest release and competing directly with Canon's professional level "L"-glass. Finding this "professional"-glass might be a bit harder and definitely far more pricey. Only you (perhaps your spouse) can determine if your photography budget rates this kind of improvement. SONY has "rewrapped" and released these "G" lenses.

When Tokina releases the AF-D 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 ATX 840 for the SONY/Minolta-mount, then you will have a serious pro-sumer telephoto lens for the A100. Priced around $650, it would seem to easily compete with the 70-300mm f/4-5.6 and offer some serious reach.

Can you shoot 400mm handheld with "in-camera" IS? Sure you can. Check out the 500mm-Reflex test, in this Manufacturer's forum (http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27102).

Also check out Wikipedia entries for Minolta (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minolta_Dynax) and the long list of compatible glass.

01-30-2007, 02:18 PM
Thanks Don.

Is the 70-210mm f4 "Beercan" a worthy purchase for an intial setup as I heard that ts not a bad zoom and you can often pick up decent second hand ones on ebay

01-30-2007, 02:28 PM
Cost is always an important consideration when buying second-hand glass. New stuff can be difficult to negotiate. It usually is what it is, unless you go grey-market. Then all warranty bets are off ... and you are effectively looking at second-hand glass with nearly brand new prices!

I would suggest using second-hand glass for those who are beginning ... and be ready to grab a new and better version if the older one simply does not meet your needs. You can always sell it or loan it to someone else and let them enjoy it, too. :D

f/4 is a tolerable fixed aperture, if you have a good flash to accompany it. Buy the flash new ... second hand flashes notoriously do not last long. :cool:

02-05-2007, 07:56 AM
If you are just starting out with the A100 and want to save a few dollars from the get-go, then instead of the TAMRON 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 (model A014), consider the brand new TAMRON AF18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 (Model A018). That extra 50mm will help this lens close the gap on other 200mm offerings.

This lens offers the very same utility the 18-200 does/did and the same decent aperture, at the low end. In other words, when you zoom from 18-55mm, your maximum aperture will go from f/3.5 to 4.5. That's well within the performance envelope of the standard 18-70mm "kit" lens.

I recommend just purchasing the 18-250mm as your "kit" choice right up front. Forget the 18-70mm entirely.

19867 (http://www.tamron.com/lenses/prod/18250_diII.asp)
(click on image)

It is a good one-lens choice for those who have yet to appreciate the value of swappping lens on their DSLR. Available at the end of February 2007, this is a lens for all seasons. Make it your first one.