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 Post subject: Long lens ideas?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:00 am 
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Currently my longest lenses are the original Tamron 28-300 and a Centon 500mm reflex. The Tamron, as posted in the other subforum, I did try replacing with a more modern version but that didn't work for me. The Centon just plain sucked and will be going back to ebay when I relist it shortly. On the plus side, having used the reflex, I have decided even if the Sony one is much higher quality, I find the fixed focal length and aperture to be too restrictive for me.

However I still feel a need for better quality at longer lengths mainly for wildlife shots, and to a lesser degree the moon and maybe planets (I'll probably go to a motorised scope later on). The Tamron works, but the sharpness at 300mm has always been lacking. I'd like something to match the 1680Z or Tamron 90mm macro in sharpness, but at 300mm+.

Currently my main consideration is the 70-300 G. I know it's not very bright, but it is comparatively cheap and reviews suggest sharpness is good throughout its range. I haven't really looked at the 3rd party equivalents in this sort of price bracket, any suggestions?

And if I were to lift the budget, what options are there? For example, I could follow Bjorn and look at the 70-200 G, but in my case trade off the brightness with length using a teleconverter. Edit: On a quick search so far, it sounds like the 70-200G with TC suffers sharpness, so combined with it's already high price this doesn't seem an option for me.

Edit2:
Short list considerations after a bit of a search:
£550 Sony AF 70-300 F4.5-5.6 G SSM
£800 Sigma 100-300 mm f4 EX DG IF

The Sony is cheaper, has SSM and a little more on the wide end. The Sigma 100-300 is a bit brighter and still rated for AF compatibility when used with their 1.4x TC should I look for extra range, although I've not looked into the quality of that combo yet.

_________________
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: Sat Aug 16, 2008 6:27 pm 
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Location: The Netherlands
I have the 70-300 G SSM. And I'm very happy with it. The lens feels solid, and i like the IQ. Yes, you need good light. I tried this lens in a zoo, when it was very cloudy. Using the lens a 300 handheld, became problematic (even with Super Steadyshot on).

The Sigma lens I don't know, but Sigma makes some nice tele lenses. Maybe this is one of them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 7:12 pm 
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Thinking some more, I'm leaning more towards the Sony at the moment. I'm not convinced on the cost of the extra brightness of Sigma, and the TC for extra length isn't important regardless of quality. If I need more range later on, the Bigma might be a better option in that case. Alas Sigma don't stick HSM into their Sony mount versions currently, so the SSM of the Sony would be more practical use now.

_________________
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: Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:16 pm 
There is the sony 70-300 G SSM or there is the 70-200 2.8. there is also the sony 300mm f2.8 but thats very expensive!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:22 pm 
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300G - I'll need to sell my car to buy that!
70-200G - too short, and sharpness suffers with TC
70-300G - still my top choice even if not bright.

_________________
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: Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:30 pm 
I quite like the look of both the 70-200 and the 70-300G. From what I have read the 70-300G is a great lens with great results.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:58 pm 
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I think I actually prefer non-white lenses on looks, more 'stealth' :D So the 70-200G isn't really on my radar yet.

I also read up on the 70-300G and it seems to do well, about as expected in its price range with the advantage of SSM. Just a matter of when I can afford it :D More details of the rumoured whatever-400 lens is about the only other that might be considered. Difficult considering it doesn't officially exist yet.

The Sigma or Tamron lenses going to 500 are kinda interesting, but I think I need to get better at hand holding before they're of serious consideration.

_________________
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: Sat Aug 16, 2008 9:35 pm 
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Location: The Netherlands, Ridderkerk
Here's a reply from the Sony-guy, Popo! (I'm still up, it's late (23:31)).
I totally agree that the 70-200mm F2.8G SSM is too short. It work reasonably well with the 1.4x TC, but with the 2x, it, well, s*cks. And the price of the 70-200mm + TC is probably to high for you, especially if it's not on your radar yet (it is on mine, beeping fast, only 43 days to go).
I'd recommend waiting till PhotoKina, see what that Zeiss 80-400mm or whatever it may be is like (and important: what it will cost). It sounds like a super-cool lens, but it will be very expensive too!
The 70-300mm G is a very good lens to consider. High quality glass, the SSM motor (once you've used it, you don't want to spend another day without it, I promise you!) and it looks superb (fully extended + hood, wow, that's looooooooooong).
Too bad I haven't added Sigma and Tamron lenses to my Alpha compatible Lenses and Accessories guide yet, to provide easy links for you. I'm too tired now to look for them (sorry :oops: ), but I can tell you without linking that they're by far not as good as the Sony G or future Super Telephoto Zoom prototype. The sharpness on those is just way better.

Really gotta go to bed now :| ...
- Bjorn -

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Street and documentary photographer | Google+ | Twitter

Leica M9-P (my article on Camera Labs) | Leica D-Lux 5 | 50mm Summilux


Last edited by Bjorn van Sinttruije on Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 9:47 pm 
Bjorn, if you think the 70-200 f2.8 is to short why are you buying it?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:08 pm 
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Bjorn, price wont be an issue if I feel it's worth it. For now, I don't have a burning need for the 70-200G's brightness. And your guide is a great starting point. For now I'm mostly looking at suppliers then looking up what's available on dyxum.

For me, the 70-300 SSM has the longer range and sharpness I want. The only worry I have is I might get an itch to get the 24-70 SSM if I like it too much :D

From what I've seen of rumours so far, the -400 sure isn't going to be a budget lens, but I don't think it'll be super expensive either. More than the 70-300G probably but the range will never be ultra high end.

tobywuk, different people want different things. For my type of application it is too short, however it is very bright and with 1.4x TC that takes it up to 280 while still keeping brighter than that 70-300G.

_________________
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 Aug 17, 2008 6:03 am 
The focal distance of the 70-200SSM is very useful for many situations. Is short? maybe, but in the a700 and other APS-C is a 105-300mm.
The great advantage is the f/2.8.

This lens is for extreme situation. very fast AF, large aperture and large telezoom. To be a f/2.8 is expensive.

The 70-300SSM is other history. very fast AF, large telezoom, but is not bright. Its quality is great, very sharp and more focal than 70-200SSM but less bright than 70-200SSM.

For me the 70-300SSM is the best option price/quality/performance, if I could buy the 70-200SSM + TC, I will do that.

Althoungh the Sony 24-105mm has not the quality that 70-300SSM, I could say that 70-300SSM/70-200SSM is similar to say 24-105mm/CZ 24-70SSM all for FF.

I hope see the new 24-105mm f/4 SSM G:D, this will be a good partner of the 70-300SSM for FF cameras.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:59 am 
I have to say i would love a 70-200 for low light situations such as shows, indoor events etc.. but I would miss that extra 100mm and its about hald the price so I would probably also go for a 70-300.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:44 pm 
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tobywuk wrote:
Bjorn, if you think the 70-200 f2.8 is to short why are you buying it?

There's quite some reasons for that actually. The superb image quality of the lens, which is simply uncomparable to other telezoom lenses made by Sony. The brightness of it, F2.8 is not only good for low-light situations, also for blurred backgrounds. The SSM in the lens is something you do not want to live without once you've used it (WARNING: popo, I'm pretty sure you'll want to buy the Zeiss 24-70mm, that SSM is sooooo great). It's extremely fast, precise, quiet. The feel of the lens. When you're holding such equipment, you feel more challenged to get creative, at least I do. You think: hmmm, I bought this lens for such a lot of money, I'd better make good use of it. The looks of the lens are something I like too, but that's not something that would convince me to buy the thing.
The reason why I'd buy the lens is because I want to buy high quality lenses from now on. My passion for photography is still growing, and I feel that if I buy a lower-end telephotozoom lens, I'd want to replace it in a relatively short time. The lens' 200mm focal length is short, but at this moment I'm used to even less, and so it will be a relief getting to 200mm. Also, the IQ is good enough for cropping smaller parts of the image. And, with the whole buy-good-lenses-from-the-start idea, a fixed focal length telephoto is already on the list. I'm curious to see what the other upcoming prototypes are. A 400mm F4 would be best, F2.8 is out of my league (for some years at least).

I'm sure the 80-400mm, which I assume it will be, not sure of course, will be quite expensive too. From the looks of it, it will be Zeiss, so that will mean a higher price. The price of Nikon's version is about €1250,- here in Holland. If the Sony version has SSM, high quality glass and is as bright as Nikon's version (F4.5-5.6), it will probably be even more expensive than that. But it will be a great lens, that's for sure.

- Bjorn -

_________________
Street and documentary photographer | Google+ | Twitter

Leica M9-P (my article on Camera Labs) | Leica D-Lux 5 | 50mm Summilux


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