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Thread: Lens collection

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Lens collection

    What would be considered a must have collection of lenses....that is to say, what sizes of lens are found in an average collection??
    Sony A100 Alpha purchased 11/21/06
    SAL 18-70mm

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Des Plaines, IL

    Lightbulb May I suggest ...

    For the past year, this has been kicked around several times ... and if I am correct, it fell out something like this:

    • Walk-about lens: Either the 17-50mm f/2.8 ($449) (or the 28-75mm f/2.8 ($389) if you buy an Ultra-wide angle lens too)
    • Telephoto: 70-300mm f/4-5.6 ($159)
    • Ultra-Wide angle zoom: 12-24mm f/4 ($500)
    • Prime lens: 50mm f/1.7 or 35mm f/2.8 or 28mm f/2.8 (prices vary)

    The first two lens suggestions (walk-about & tele) are where you will get the most work (or "must have") for your money. The second pair are optional for the occasional exceptional shots.

    If you really want to play rough, though, and if you can find one ... take a look at the ...

    This very versatile lens has incredible reach and delivers a pretty smooth light-level all the way through the focal range, for around $500. It really is a bargain with some serious power. It weighs (35.9 oz) a little more than the 70-300mm (15.3 oz), but gives so much more back in the process and is a heck of a substitute.

    TAmROn has a nice selection for the SONY/Minolta mount.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 12-31-2006 at 09:50 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. #3
    teds12 Guest

    Lens collection

    Neon, Don
    Sorry to be a "stick in the mud" but the lenses I have in the closet for my Minolta 7000i SLR are: 50mm F1.7, 24-50mm F4, 35-105mm F3.5-4.5 and 100-200mm F4.5.
    Since I lean to the wide-angle side, I always used the 24-50mm as my "walk around" lens.

    I bought the A100 with the 18-70-kit lens (SAL-1870) in September. Since this is equivalent to a 27-105mm 35mm SLR lens, I quickly found it wide enough to satisfy my wide-angle side and all encompassing enough on the telephoto end. I just came back from a 2-week trip to Germany and France wherein I only brought the SAL-1870 and resisted the temptation to just add the 100-200mm lens from my stock.

    Here are my findings:
    1. Of about 600 full 10.2MP shots in Europe, I missed the 100-200mm lens perhaps a dozen times (say for 25 shots). Since I am still getting the feel of the A100, I didn't miss the 24mm (16mm for digital) end at all.
    2. Before the trip, I compared (as best as I could) the SAL-1870 with my 50mm F1.7 (75mm F1.7 digital) prime lens and if anything I lean to the resolution of the SAL-1870 at wide aperture compared to the same setting on the prime.
    3. I am VERY IMPRESSED with the picture taking ability and quality of the SAL-1870. If there's one lens I am lusting for it will likely be the somewhat broader range Zeiss SAL-1680 (24-120mm equivalent) lens when it finally comes onto the market in 1H'07.
    4. I keep reading about the Nikon D80 and, except for lower noise above ASA 800, I really cannot imagine how the Nikon aficionados can be so close-minded whenever the A100 is brought up. The SSS, at the very least, buys me back the high ASA noise on my camera. I am so happy that I bought mine!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Des Plaines, IL

    Thumbs down The SONY "Kit" lens?

    My initial experience with the SONY 18-70mm was a total disappointment. The lens lacks any serious contrast and did a relatively POOR job compared against a 20-year-old Minolta AF 50mm f/1.7

    Did I just get a bad copy? After some discussions with other people who unfortunately also have this lens, it must be a 90% bad copy thing. If the lens had been tke only thing I could base my image results on, I'd have probably returned the whole she-bang. Of course, I knew better, because after putting a quality lens on the body ... the A100 shot just the way it should ... most excellently.

    As a result, I will probably never use this particular lens, again, to waste my time taking images with it. It has been relegated to "the shelf", a place of dust gathering history. It was effectively a freebie when I bought the A100, so it really will not be missed, but I won't sell it to another user either, because I believe we should all take BETTER images, if we can, and avoid using use cola-bottle bottoms to do it with. I figure it's better on "the shelf", than on someone's camera.

    In my current SONY bag, I have a:
    • Minolta AF 28mm f/2.8
    • Minolta AF 50mm f/1.7
    • Tokina AF 20-35mm f/3.5-4.5
    • TAmROn AF28-200mm f/3.8-5.6
    • TAmROn AF70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD (1:2)
    • Bower 2x Teleconverter
    • Phoenix 0.45x Teleconverter

    Despite its wide range and five-foot minimum focus distance, the TAmROn 28-200mm clearly outclasses the SONY 18-70mm six-ways-to-Sunday, so it gets used nearly 75% of the time. The images it turns out are a far cry better than anything I can get with the SONY "kit" lens. You should compare them, yourself. I believe you can get this version of the 28-200mm at just about any camera shop, and probably for a terrific price to boot.

    If I need a sharp-looking, studio image ... I reach for either prime. If I'm indoors or out knocking about, the 28-200mm (which is normally the lens I keep mounted). Outdoors, the 70-300mm gets the call. Too close and need Ultra-wide, I just slap the 0.45x T/C on the 28mm f/2.8 and I have effectively a 20mm f/3.3 lens ... or for a little quicker grab, the 20-35mm f/3.5-4.5 can do the trick. Unfortunately, any 2x T/C will kill the autofocus on the longer focal lengths (unless you shoot a straight f/2.8 or f/4 lenses = high $) and you will have to resort to manual focus. But then again, when you are popping for a 600mm shot... there are some real or merely acceptable costs involved. Not too many AF 500mm lenses out there, to be honest.

    Admittedly, I do have other Minolta lenses that I use occasionally, but these are the heavy hitters for most work.

    Even when shooting the old stuff ... through the old stuff.
    Attachment 18799
    SONY A100 w/ TAmROn AF28-200mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 28mm - f/4 - ISO-400
    Super SteadyShot -> "ON" - Ext. SONY Flash

    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-04-2007 at 08:55 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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Winnipeg Manitoba
    I currently just have the 2 lenses that came with the kit. This is my first dslr, so I couldn't be happier with it so far.

    I am looking at getting this lens. http://www.sonystyle.ca/commerce/ser...=100267n100269

    Who else has checked out this lens? And what sort of shots do you primarily take with it? I am trying to figure out which order I should begin collecting lenses.
    I would love to see some shots that people have taken with it before I buy it though. I've had a chance to briefly play with it in the store, but I haven't seen the shots on a computer.
    Last edited by Vegaboy; 01-05-2007 at 01:25 AM.

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