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 Post subject: Getting a new lens
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:17 am 
Getting a new strong telephoto lens. Weighing some of the options, created a short list. Granted each has unique general application, they each cover the general intended use I have. That said, optical quality and features are top priority, range coming second only to those.

Minolta 100-400 APO
Tamron 200-500
Sony 70-300 G

So far, the Minolta is winning in my mind. It makes no difference to me that the 100-400 would be used, I know I can get it in pristine condition. Its also just as big as the Sony while adding 100mm on top. It also of course has no CA problem (like the Tamron does).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:41 am 
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Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 9:41 am
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Location: Helsinki, Finland
What about Sony 70-400?

I suppose you have thought that too, but liked to hear the reason why it isn't on the list?

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Last edited by Heikki Taskinen on Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:49 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:28 am 
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:48 pm
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Location: UK
Interesting choice. I don't know enough about the Mino 100-400 but a possible reason for its choice is a comparatively low price. The Sony 70-400 springs into mind as the definitive telephoto zoom choice too, but it's a LOT more expensive, although the listed Tamron is getting towards that direction too.

Personally I'm a fan of SSM so that would swing me towards the 70-300G of the listed lenses.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 5:38 pm
Posts: 104
Location: Netherlands
If optical quality and features are most important to you, I would really put the 70-300G on top of your list. Optically it is very much superiour to the 100-400 APO. SSM, as mentioned earlier is a real upgrade to the more sluggish and not so silent screw-drive focus on which the Minolta will rely. Especially using longer focal distances the difference in focus speed will show up.

The non-D versions of the Minolta 100-300 APOs have rotating focus rings. I think this also counts for the 100-400. If you like to use circular polarizer filters, this may be an issue.

The big advantage of the 100-400 is off course its size. I had the 100-300 Apo before the 70-300G and the sheer size really is a big difference. If you like to travel light, this may be a big advantage.

I'm not sure at what prices the 100-400 sell nowadays, but last time I checked I found prices very steep compared to the 100-300 APO. I think rareness on the market plays too big a part in this.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:28 pm 
Well, I should have clarified with 'features', I think the 100mm gain is a more important feature than AF function. I would rather stay in screw driven motor than lose 100mm on top. I'm also not that convinced that the 70-300G is noticeably optically superior to the 100-400 APO. Has anybody done MTF charts on the 100-400 APO?

The 100-400 is about $550, the 70-300G at ~ $850. Still, I'm very strongly considering the 70-300G.

Yes - its the size of the 100-400 that I found most appealing, but the 70-300G also has that size advantage, so they are on even level regarding that matter. The 70-300G only looks massive because of that huge lens hood, its actually about the same size as the 100-400.

The rotating focus is not a big deal to me either, particularly on such a telephoto lens where I am very unlikely to use polarizer.

Popo - you got it, the 70-400G is of course ideal, even at its size, but its a huge price and I don't think its relatively THAT much better than the 70-300 or 100-400 (meaning, not enough to merit 2-3x price).

Having slept on this now a couple days, and seeing responses, I think the Tamron 200-500 is pretty much dismissed as an option, the most major reason being the huge size.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:11 pm 
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Location: UK
MTF charts for the Mino here.

Having thought about it, the 100-400 has an unusually slow aperture of f/6.7. Ok, it's only half a stop from the more typical f/5.6, but it's not going to help...

Forgot to ask, no Sigma lenses?

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 4:07 am
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Location: North of the 49th parallel
The nice part is that you can return a lens for a full refund if you don’t like it and try another one.
Bird Photography?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:22 am 
Po - The Beercan already does me terrifically from 70-210 at f/4, but there is occasional CA, which is its one downside in my use. I would like the new lens to counterbalance this optical performance, even if it sacrifices resolution to the can. That said, the priorities of optical qualities I'm looking for in the lens are CA performance and Bokeh.

6.7 is not that unusual, not at 400mm. Some of the other strong telephoto's may have 6.3 as more typical, Sony's 70-400G is unusually fast. Because of this though, the Minolta is also unusually small and light.

Anyway - I'm still looking at all alternatives as well. I just recently have been pondering on the Sigma 100-300mm f/4. Probably the best investment at a professional standpoint, Id bet that f/4 constant would prove more useful than Sony's SSM. It is also about double size and weight though... Constant F/4 vs light weight.

Not really bird photography, maybe a little. The use would be quite varied. So I'm really weighing values of faster aperture and smaller and lighter.


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