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Lens decision

Discussion in 'Sony Chat' started by shaggy, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. shaggy

    shaggy Well-Known Member


    I am thinking of ordering my 'second' lens for my A200 tomorrow. After reading about the issues with Sony and Sigma I have narrowed it down to these:





    As I have put previously, the extra length will be ideal for airshow, and aircraft. However the quality is an issue as I have also read that after 200mm lens the 'cheaper' 300mm lenses seem to suffer a bit?

    Realistically I can't afford a 400mm Sony...as much as I would love one :)
  2. RonM

    RonM Alpha Napper

    The second two lenses you have there 55-200 and 18-200 are basically the same as the equivalent Sony lenses, different coatings as far as I'm led to believe and will give you that extra reach but, for some airshows you are really going to need 300mm, a bit like this

    Taken with the Alpha 900 and Minolta 300 f/4 HS G APO
  3. shaggy

    shaggy Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that. Do you think there is much difference between the 70-300mm and the 75-300mm? Price is pretty similar, aside from the obvious 5mm :D
  4. RonM

    RonM Alpha Napper

    TBH I doubt that there will be much between them if anything, the designs may be very similar and if like most zooms of that 'style' will likely be on the soft side at or close to the 300mm zoom end
  5. DaveG40

    DaveG40 Well-Known Member

    I've had the Tamron 55-200, and currently have the Sony 18-250, which is an enhanced Tamron 18-250, it's better (IMHO than any thing else superzoom wise; 18-200, Tamron 18-250, 28-300, that'll fit my A300).

    The Sigma 70-300 APO only has gearing issues with higher spec Alpha's (A700 & A900) and even then apparently this can be addressed in camera, I have the Sigma and it REPLACED my Tamron 55-200, because, IMHO, it's better and has that all important reach, which is important for aircraft/wildlife use, I use mine for sports and aircraft (a lot of photos), it'a also very good for macro photography.

    It's your choice but don't discount probably the best new sub £200 70-300 lens available, unless you intend to upgrade to a higher spec camera..
  6. LargeFormat

    LargeFormat Well-Known Member

    For the avoidance of confusion and doubt (and I don't know how much the Spitfire shot was cropped) 300mm on a full frame (a900) is about the same field of view as (nearly) 200mm on an a200 (APSc).

    I use the 70-300G on my a900.
  7. RonM

    RonM Alpha Napper

    No crop, straight out/off the CF card, just levels tweaked, resized, sharpened and saved for Web
  8. shaggy

    shaggy Well-Known Member

    To be honest, originally I was dead set on the Sigma, seen some great photos online with it and the build etc and APO is supposed to make it the 'winner' in that price/size. Was just put off by the negative things regarding gears. Excuse my ignorance, are the gears on the lens or the camera? For example if it caused gear stripping does that erm...knacker the camera?
  9. RonM

    RonM Alpha Napper

    The gears are in the lens to drive the AF of the lens, as has been said before it's currently only the Alpha 700 & 900 who are likely to do this to Sigma lenses and in the main to those Sigma lenses that are pre Sony and late Minolta, which I believe were very much built down to a price as well as being reverse engineered. It's the gears in the lenses that are stripped as they were not designed/built to take the torque that the 700 or 900 drive can produce when AF is on the 'fast' setting
  10. Gordon_McGeachie

    Gordon_McGeachie In the Stop Bath

    I use the Sigma 28-300 on my A700 and it does give me good results, but sometimes they are a bit soft at the 300 end, my fixed Sigma 400 does give better results being a fixed focal length,but being nearly 20 years old, it is not as crisp as a more modern (better designed?)lens.

    You see the 400 for sale on Ebay and the some say that they dont work on Minolta/Sony digital bodies without being re-chipped by Sigma, but mine has not been done, and does work on my Minolta Dynax 7d and there is no sign of any gear stripping when used on the A700 when the A700 is set for the fastest focus speed.
  11. shaggy

    shaggy Well-Known Member


    Just been doing some more research and realising the amount of Minolta lenses was wondering whether instead of going for the ones I mentioned earlier I should go for either a 'beercan' lens...I believe they are 70-210mm or I just came across a Tokina 100-400mm lens?

    I can't seem to read a Sony post without hearing about the 'beercan', is it THAT good lol?!!

    I have seen 3 or 4 Minolta lenses with this range on ebay, and I was wondering are they all 'beercans'? A coupe said f/4.5-5.6 where I read said they were f4?

    Appreciate advice on this as considering getting one tomorrow, or the 100-400mm lens if it's any good?
  12. Dorset_Mike

    Dorset_Mike Grumpy Old Fart

    You can find reviews of nearly all lenses made for the Sony/Minolta A mount click here

    The "Beer Can" refers to the 70-210 f4, the 70-210 f3.5-4.5 is not as well thought of although still quite good, of the slower ones one with a part silver finish isonly average, the other (all black) is a bit better, but slow, only f5.6 at the long end.

    I can't find a Tokina 100-400 listed, there are 2 versions of the Tokina 80-400 and also Tokina 100-300s, the 80-400s rate quite well, the 100-300 f4 rates very good, but the slower 100-300s are barely average.
  13. RonM

    RonM Alpha Napper

    Re: Lens decision - example (2 images)

    Is the Beercan that good - YES and the Beercan is the F/4

    here is an example of a recent shot taken with my Beercan on my Alpha 900


    That was a crop from the shot after this one (no crop)

  14. shaggy

    shaggy Well-Known Member

    Re: Lens decision - example (2 images)

    Wow, nice shot there :)

    I think I am going to get the Tokina 100-400mm lens I have seen. Not much info about it but that extra 100mm could be good for the aircraft shots.
  15. LargeFormat

    LargeFormat Well-Known Member

    Re: Lens decision - example (2 images)

    That's just stunning Ron.
  16. RonM

    RonM Alpha Napper

    Re: Lens decision - example (2 images)

    Thank you kindly, I think TBH it's more down to the 900 and combination of good glass that I have managed to acquire over the years, as long as I'm sort of pointing the combination in the right direction I seem to be achieving a better/higher hit rate than I previously achieved with my Dynaxes (film and digi). It does seem to hold true that the 900 will extract the best from good glass, I can see why for many 900 owners it is making sense to purchase Zeiss glass, wish I could afford some myself :(

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