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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:52 pm 
Thank you for your replies Bjorn & Pojo.

I think my lens lust for the 70-300 G has been reinforced now. The 70-200 f2.8 ideas are interesting solutions, but I quite like the prestige of owning a 'G' lens, as well as the differences in weight between the Beercan and 70-300 G (very similar), to those 70-200 f2.8 lenses!

'Tis just a question of when then...


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 5:27 pm 
The 70-300G is moderately sized with only a 62 diameter. The bulk of the lens is the massive hood which is almost 50% of the body length. It feels balanced on the a300 if you have a vertical grip attached, but when extended to 300mm, it tips forward.
Personally, you should look into fast zooms like Bjorn and Popo mentioned. If you aren't into specifically wildlife, you will become more and more frustrated later on with the small aperture limitation of the lens, especially in low light.

Check out the Sigma/Tamron 70-200. I do believe the Sigma focuses faster, almost on par with the Sony 70-200G


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:18 am 
I have the 70-300G mounted on my A700. Here are my thoughts of this lens.

This lens, compared to the 70-200G, is surprisingly lightweight. This makes it a great telephoto lens for backpacking. The image quality is everything you wished for: sharp wide open at all focal lengths, lack of aberrations and fringing wide open, even sharpness across the frame, great contrast, and little distortion. It is the best 70-300mm money can buy (and possibly the most expensive compared to Canikon equivalents). AF is practically silent, fast, and accurate. The focus limiter is handy if you're into fast action photography.

I also like the minimum focusing distance because it gives you the opportunity for some close-up work and gives you a very nice defocusing effect with its 9 aperture blades (as opposed to 7 in cheaper lenses).

Now the downsides:

- plastic body (although it is high quality and keeps the weight down)

- finicky focus ring, it is almost too easy to turn and manually override after AF is confirmed

- dust pump, the end of the barrel does extend as you zoom in and out, and I have a couple of dust particles in mine already

- relatively slow aperture

- massive hood that draws attention (although from my unscientific tests it does not make a difference to image quality)

- you will notice decrease in battery life because of the power requirements of the SSM motor

- expensive!

I highly recommend this telephoto lens if you do some traveling, and have some cash to spare. If you're interested what you can do with this lens, I took some shots with the lens, they are indicated on my flickr stream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31973354@N08/ . Note that I did not correct any distortions and colour fringing in any of my photographs.


Last edited by jsiszero on Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:38 am 
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On "dust pumping", front extension is a feature of possibly every lens in this focal length range. I'm not aware of any that have inner zoom at this length. Only some shorter zooms like the 70-200 might have inner zoom.

Hoods, generally only of noticeable impact if you're shooting with a bright light source just outside shot.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:30 am 
Been using this lens since february for sport and various wildlife photography, all I can say is that you will not be dissapointed in this lens, it handles like a dream in the daytime and locks focus very quickly and quietly on any moving subject. A great lens for sport in the day.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:02 am 
Thanks all for your comments. I've been looking at the Sigma/Tamron 70-200 f2.8's, but I think the extra focal distance of the 70-300 is very desirable, having found 210mm on the Beercan to be a little short in my time with it. The f2.8's look brilliant, but maybe something like that will have to be a future purchase for me.

The combined factors of the relative light weight of the 70-300 G, the extra focal distance, the price and the Sony / G branding, all convince me there's only one choice for me at the moment. I think i'll pop into Jessops at some point in the next few weeks, and see if I can try it (and the f2.8's if possible) out on the camera.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:49 am 
the Sigma and Tamron F/2.8's are great lenses, but you'll achieve optimal image quality around F/4 and F/5.6 anyways, which is the fastest aperture that the 70-300G can handle. I consider F/2.8 as occasional use only since images are often soft at this aperture, but it can prove beneficial for certain type of low-light level conditions.

I did also consider the Tamron 70-200 F/2.8 at the time I purchased the 70-300G, but I am for sure that since the G is not a third-party lens, there is a greater chance that I won't encounter focusing issues (back focus or front focus). I also considered the extra reach and weight to be important factors in my decision. If I do alot of wedding or indoor photography then I would go for a F/2.8 lens.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:25 pm 
Picked mine up today at lunch and had a quick little play before I had to go back to work. It is decidedly bigger than the Beercan (especially when fully zoomed!), but is only marginally heavier, and feels equally sturdy to me, despite the plastic vs metal construction.

It was only a very brief little stint with the lens, but I already adore the silent focusing, and the lovely colours and bokeh were very noticeably better than my Beercan. I'm really looking forward to getting out and exploring what this lens can do.

Owning a 'G' lens gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside! :D


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:35 pm 
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Congrats Mikey! That's a great purchase! I hope you'll have some time to shoot with it soon.

alphaMikey wrote:
Owning a 'G' lens gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside! :D

You should pick up a 70-200mm f/2.8 G SSM... :)

- Bjorn -

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:39 pm 
Bjorn van Sinttruije wrote:
Congrats Mikey! That's a great purchase! I hope you'll have some time to shoot with it soon.

alphaMikey wrote:
Owning a 'G' lens gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside! :D

You should pick up a 70-200mm f/2.8 G SSM... :)

- Bjorn -

Thanks Bjorn. I'm pretty reliant on the British "Summer" to allow to test it out properly, which isn't such a good thing! Looks as if this weekend might be fairly decent though...


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:42 pm 
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Received mine today. It makes the old Minolta 100-300mm look like an 18-70 kitlens if you were to judge it on size and weight.

Then there was SSM: fast, silent. What a difference with the screw driven focus of a more-less equally priced Zeiss 16-80. Build quality seems pretty much the same though.

With the laaaaaaaaarge lens hood attached, at full tele, I'm sure a few heads will turn in public places. It's quite...big. Then again, it feels perfectly in balance with the already biggish A700. Nice.

No unboxing videos, but I quickly found a subject willing to participate in a zoom experiment.

Image

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:45 am 
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I have a Sony 70-300mm G lens as well, but I must admit that I don't use it that often. (Mostly I use Tamron 17-50/2.8 lens).

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