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Which one do you suggest?
75-300mm 80%  80%  [ 8 ]
55-200mm 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
something else 20%  20%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 10
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:22 am 
ok, so I'm between two lenses right now and I've been lurking the internet a while now trying to figure this out so I thought I should drop in, say hello, and see what you all have to say.

so, to start I may as well note I'm using an a300 with the kit lens (18-70mm) and it's not quite doing it for me as I need to catch shots of birds. see, we have a lot of bird houses and feeders as well as trees in my yard so I need a way to get them without getting close and the 1870 isnt cutting it. I missed this great shot of a baby bird just learning to fly cause I simply could not get close enough (I didnt want to kill it over a photo by scaring it, and having it fall where it wouldnt be able to fly from).

so I've got it down to two lenses, the sony sal75300 and the sal55200. Biggest reason for picking the 75300 is simply it's zoom capability but I wonder if the CA wont interfere with my shots anyway plus it doesnt really meet or overlap my current zoom (I know it's not by much, call it ocd or madness, cause it's not sparta). So I did more research and picked out the 55200 lens. I understand from a lot of reviews that the CA occurs after 200mm on lenses that arent really built for the higher ranges (basically getting too wide a zoom range will result in the jack of all trades, master of none effect). Plus the 55200 seems to get a higher review score, and on top of the fact that it has a lower base zoom means I can pull back further without having to change lenses but I'm not so sure that will be any kind of a real problem for me.

anyway, these are the reviews I'm talking about:

http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showprod ... 986/cat/83
http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showprod ... 203/cat/81
http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/detail.asp?IDLens=416
http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/detail.asp?IDLens=316

also, I'm aware of the tamron lenses but the reviews seem to rate sony higher despite what most users say. I normally side with the general public over 'expert reviewers' but something about them being built using a lot of plastic (or so I've read) bugs me and I'm just overall more impressed with sony's quality over tamron's 6 year warranty. guess it's more of a comfort zone thing. I also have read about sigma's gear stripping too so I'm not interested in them so much either but tamron could win me over if they are really that good but I'd rather spend that little bit more and get that little bit more if thats the case.

oh and I'm on a budget so anything 300+ or so is sort of out of my reach. so stuff like zeiss and G lenses are too much for me.

well, hope thats enough for one post. I thank anyone that got through it. made a poll for those that dont wanna read and just want to cast opinion :). thanks in advance, hope you guys can shed some light for me.

edit: oh and I almost forgot. I also did my homework on the legendary beercan by minolta but for being a ~23 yo lens I can only find it second hand. I did find one for $144 on keh but it was the non AF version. all the others are nearing $300 so it's nearing my cap as well as the fact that you have to buy it second hand kind of turns me away from it. no warranty, and old for that price isnt really acceptable to me for any kind of lens.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:57 am 
The other option is to go for a second hand Sigma 70-300 APO and then save up again for the 55-200.

The best way to get hold of an APO is search Ebay very carefully, you need to look out for sellers who have not advertised them correctly. They sometimes don't mention APO in the title, check the description and try to read any writing on the lens in photos, also check against the Dyxum database. If in doubt get the seller to confirm before you bid on it. I picked one up for £45 in a normal auction.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:40 am 
Hello atomike14 and welcome to the friendly Camera Labs community! :)

I haven't really used many other telephoto lenses but I've found that my SAL75300 is pretty good!

Good parts:
Zooms nice and far, lets you shoot discreetly.
Not too huge and cam has IS so you can use steady hands w/o tripod.
Not a terrible manual focusing ring.
Quite inexpensive.

Bad parts:
Does not fit in semi-hard camera case(but few other Sony lenses do)
Colour fringing when shot against sky and cropped a lot.
75 a little long but its not the lens' fault. Its a telephoto, right?
Sometimes slow focusing, shouldn't be a problem though.

SnS 8)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:00 pm 
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As I found when I was looking, there isn't such a thing as a cheap and super sharp 300mm lens. The 75-300 does sound reasonable for it's price from reviews but I don't have experience of it.

I have the Tamron 55-200, and if you can put aside the quantity of plastic they used in it, I found the image quality to be very good. For the typical street price it's hard to beat on value. I don't know how it compares against the Sony though, but the dyxum user ratings seem to give the Tamron the edge except on build quality. Only negative thing is there isn't that much zoom if you want to fill your frame from a distance. 300mm is 50% more.

For wildlife, I think I'd even like more than 300mm but price for any quality is really starting to hit hard there. I've given up on finding a cheap and sharp 300mm, so I'm debating if I can afford to get the 70-300G now :p

_________________
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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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:59 pm 
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The 55-200mm will offer better quality than the 75-300mm. However, I think 200mm (or 300mm equivalent to 35mm) is a little short for birdphotography. You'd have to crop your images, thereby reducing the quality of your picture. Therefore, I'd go for the 75-300mm if I were you.
However, you really should consider Sigma and Tamron lenses as well. They offer good quality often at lower prices.

- Bjorn -

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:05 pm 
i vote for 75-300mm because better build quality, almost the same image quality as 55-200 and great focal length.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 5:11 pm 
thanks for the responses everyone :). and I think I may consider the tamron lenses more. it seems no matter where I go they get the better votes but a great example with how I am still new to this is I dont see much wrong with the kit lens sal1870 and that lens gets destroyed in reviews. Overall I would like a better build quality mostly but I think I'll stick to my former thoughts on going with the 300mm but maybe I'll grab that tamron everyone keeps talking about. the 6 year warranty would be nice for me, plus the price is lower. I just feel I'll get a better build quality out of a sony lens and I wont notice any real picture difference.

Also, I should note I probably get the sal75300 cheaper still as sonystyle accomodations gives me 40% off for being an employee of circuit city. being a retail grunt pays off somehow or another. just gotta look into it more as I got my a300 that way as well, could be some limitations.

but you guys think there will be a huge difference between the 75300 and the 55200mm in terms of zoom range? maybe I need to skim through this site's reviews or use that tamron lens finder thingy to see the difference between the shots in terms of how close I'm really getting.

again, thank you so much for the advice. I believe I may be sticking around these forums more as I slowly grow into being more and more of an enthusiast. I'm definitly gonna bring that tamron lens back up I think.

edit: ok definitly going for a 70/75 - 300mm lens, now out of sony, tamron or sigma then it sounds like sigma and tamron are a bit more popular. there's a sigma that doesnt go defective/strip it's gears I take it?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:28 pm 
The Sigma lenses are very good quality, but as mentioned, the gears may easily become stripped, so avoid that unless you can find a lens that has a built in AF motor (HSM/SSM).

The Tamron will probably be your best bet. I have the Sony, I don't use it very often, but it's nice. Although I do regret getting the two lens kit sometimes. The Sony 75-300, AF isn't that fast... or very quiet (to me either) at least. So Tamron... and another cool feature on the Tamron and Sigma that the Sony lacks is a 1:2 reproduction ratio. That's one step away from being a certified macro lens. Good luck!!


Quote:
gives me 40% off for being an employee of circuit city

I hate you.............


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:50 pm 
sounds like tamron is my best bet for quality then. and dont hate me too much. If I wanna get at that accommodation I gotta ask a friend cause I bought my a300k with that discount. I cant technically use it again for another year. besides, if anyone has been paying attention to ccity it's become the sinking ship. it's definitly not a good place to work as far as being treated like an employee anymore. but thats another topic :P. thanks again everyone, I think that tamron lens may be my best buy unless I can manage that discount.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:09 pm 
I have the 75 - 300 lense and it makes a nice adiroon to the kit lense. I find the quality good but sometimes it can be a bit slow to focus. Have you ruled out the premium option of the 70 -300 mm g ssm lense? It's more expensive but looks like an awsome lens with good reviews.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:34 am 
I had to unfortunately. I'm on a very strict budget and to be honest my comparison is to a w55 sony cybershot so my ability to see the difference is limited. BUT not to say I'm not far more impressed by the lens, it's just the price isnt something I could ask for christmas.

my budget is essentially $0, and for a beginner I cant justify more than $300 on a lens. I'm sort of just breaking into it. a few years from now when/if I get even more into it ,and I undoubtedly will at this point, then I'll probably be saving up for nicer lenses. I'm getting this lens for christmas, so I cant really ask for a $800 lens no matter how good it is.

way I'm looking at things now is, at my budget I just need to look at features. find the lens that does the job at a good price. overall performance isnt something I can afford at the moment but in the future I'm definitly planning on expanding. probably seems foolish to spend low now and then even more later but I just cant. but it is a gift so maybe I can do something, just feel like I'd be getting over my head with that price.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:17 am 
If you're considering a 70-200, you might be interested in a Minolta beercan! They're 70-210mm and f4 throughout. You'd likely find one on ebay for around 200 USD. Craigslist is great as well.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:28 am 
as good a lens as it is, I'm dont feel too inclined to buy a 23 year old product. I need something with a warranty on it. this lens may be going with me to college, but believe me I did my homework on the beercan. it's unfortunate I couldnt find one in really good condition and if I did they were expensive. I just dont like buying stuff second hand if it comes with no warranty or return policy. obviously the lens has already long outlived it's worth and still shines but I think I need to stick to my comfort zone until I have the disposable income at my fingertips that would allow me to afford such a purchase with any of it's repercussions.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:20 am 
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...40% off...

Can't get that out of my head now. 40%, wow. On any product. I'd be ordering the 70-200mm right away, and might even have some money left.
You're a lucky guy!

- Bjorn -

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


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:06 pm 
well, not any product. their accommodation program has you take these quizzes and you get a discount (usually 40% off) after you take the quiz, which you cant fail the quiz either. then they give you a list of things they offer for 40% off, 30% off or maybe a little less, which changes all the time depending on when stuff comes out. like they're Mylo, it was just the com-1 for awhile then they came out with the com-2 but it took a few months for the com-1's to go out of stock before they put the com-2 on the list. plus you can only use it once a year but it's once a year per category so you can get a TV and a camera. anyway, the only lens I noticed they had was the 75300 but I'll look twice.

vendor accommodations are the only thing that makes working in a retail store (and one thats dieing is even worse) worthwhile.


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