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Old 03-07-2013, 07:29 AM   #1
cjstarr
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Sony Lens

I have been reading opinions on what others would get to start their lens collection. I understand the concept to look at lens that fill the need of your shooting style. The camera is a Sony SLT a57 with the kit lens. What I want to do is have a lens that will give me a good wide angle so one lens that I'm looking at is the Tokina SD 11-16 F2,8 (IF) DX. Would this be good or should I look at something like a ? - 50 F2.8. For a long range maybe something like a Tamron F2.8 AF18 - 270. Here again would it be better to have something in a F2.8 AF70 - 300.
I want to keep my selection down to no more then 3 lens overall.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:04 AM   #2
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First of all, the 18-270 (f3.5-6.3) and 70-300 (f4-5.6) are not f2.8 (or fast) lenses. The max aperture at 270mm is 6.3 and the 300 is max 5.6. If your intention is to shoot in low light, I would not recommend either of those lenses. The Tokina UWA is used for different things than a 50mm lens. In the old film days (and somewhat with FF digital), 50mm was the gold standard as far as the lens everyone had to have. If I remember correctly (I've been in digital too long!), it gave a 1:1 relationship. With APS-C cameras that changed because of the crop sensor. The closest to that with the APS-C cameras would probably be a 35mm lens. Now, this gets back to what you acknowledged in your first statement. If you are going to shoot subjects that (in most cases) require you to be closer to your subject and a wide view then the Tokina. The 50 (usually those are f1.8 or greater meaning lower number) can be use for low light, portraits, etc. The Tokina and the 50, primarily, are used for different things. If you are going to shoot sports (and sports many times are shot in lowlight conditions), the first lens I would recommend would be a 70-200 f2.8. It is a very versatile lens for sports. If you are only going to shoot in good light then the lenses you mentioned can work. As you acknowledged, it all depends on what you are going to shoot.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:05 AM   #3
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Gianna'sPapa I guess you can tell then that I am a novice at photography and somewhat at times, what I'm looking for are lens that will cover from a wide angle lowlight for indoor shooting like POTC, PP, and the likes at the MK. If it can go from wide to 50mm and still get good images ok but if not then I would go with a var. 11 to 16mm and find something to cover the 20 to 50mm range. I have had a 50mm prime before but found that I had to keep chasing it to get the shot that I wanted. So I'm not a big fan of the 50mm prime.
The 18-270 (f3.5-6.3) or 70-300 (f4-5.6) would be for wildlife in the evening so again I would be face with a low light condition. This is something I would like to do with no more then 3 lens but if I have to I will get what ever it takes just not all at once.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:40 AM   #4
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If you want the dark rides then, IMHO, the gold standard is the Sigma 30mm f1.4. Right now it is selling for $289 at B & H. I paid $489 a couple of years ago.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...1_4_EX_DC.html

I also am not a fan of the 50mm. As far as your zoom, if you are going to shoot in lowlight then you will need a fast lens. All-in-ones like you mention don't do as well in lowlight conditions and were designed to be exactly what they are, lenses for those who shoot in good light and do not want to change lenses. Fast lenses are not cheap here are a couple options:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search...468+4261208161

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...2_8_EX_DG.html

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...2_8_Di_LD.html

Tamron has a newer version of theirs (more expensive) but is not available yet. Also Amazon has the older version (which I have) of the Sigma:

http://www.amazon.com/Sigma-70-200mm...0-200+for+sony

There is a trade-off when you go to fast glass besides the expense and that is weight. They are larger and heavier.

If you are looking at three lenses to carry to WDW then I would use my kit lens (unless you want to upgrade that to say, Sony's 16-50 f2.8) as my walkaround, the 30 for dark rides and the 70-200 for my zoom. I have shot the nighttime parades with the 30 also and it worked well. That is what I see as your options. Others may have another opinion so I hope this helps.
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:12 PM   #5
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Thank you Gianna'sPapa, it is advice like this that I am after.
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:01 PM   #6
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I shoot with a Sony A55 (previously the Sony A100, and before that, Minolta SLR). I've built up quite a collection of lenses.
One of the great things about Sony dSLRs, kind of a well known secret --- Minolta lenses.
There are some absolutely amazing quality Minolta lenses you can find on ebay, fully compatible with Sony dSLRs. Since Sony's image stabilization is in-camera, you even get image stabilization benefits on these "antique" lenses. Obviously, look for reputable sellers and read descriptions carefully.

A great lens for telephoto reach is the "beercan" -- Minolta 70-210 with a constant f4. It's a bit heavy and built like a tank, but gets amazing shots. And it's the fastest telephoto you are going to get for anything near the price -- ($150-$200 for a excellent condition copy).
For more reach, I also have the Tamron 70-300usd... a very good lens, with a silent focusing motor, very fairly priced.
Other "used" options -- Though I haven't used it, I've heard great things about the Minolta 100-300 apo, under $300 on ebay. There is also the Minolta "big beercan" at 75-300, around $200 on ebay.

I don't have an ultra-wide angle that I can recommend. Of course, it depends on how wide you want to go. For my general purpose kit lens, I use the Tamron 17-50 f2.8. A reasonably fast lens, and I find it wide enough for my needs.

For Sony lenses in general, check out dyxum.com
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:09 PM   #7
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These are my general thoughts on lenses for sony cameras - I'm on my third now so these are generally recommended from my own experiences:

- The Sony 35mm f1.8 is a nice, reasonably priced lens for rides like Pirates etc... 35mm on the A57 should give pretty natural looking pictures in most lights. This will set you back about £150 here in the UK.

- For an all round lens, I've used the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 which gives a pretty nice range (very similar to the standard lens supplied with the camera) while also working well in low light as it's f2.8. This lens runs about £300 here in the UK.

- For wildlife and high zoom, I'd personally suggest one of the cheaper 70-300 lenses to start with. They're not all that great in low light, but they can be bought for a fraction of the price of a 70-200 f2.8 and are much smaller and lighter as well. The Tamron 70-300 USD is very well regarded, although it's a bit more expensive (£300 here in the UK) compared to the cheaper models. The Minolta 100-300 APO lens which I currently have also gets great reviews if you can find one on ebay or similar.

Those 3 lenses are pretty much my go to lenses when I go to Disneyland. If you're relatively new to photography then they're not too expensive (total cost of about £750 if you go for the expensive options) and make a pretty nice set of 3 lenses.

From there you can try out some of the stuff and decide if you like a particular style of photography enough to justify the far more expensive "specialist" lenses like the 70-200 f2.8 (£600), tokina 11-16 (£550) or whatever else.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:50 PM   #8
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If one of the needs you want to meet is shooting lowlight situations like dark rides at Disney, then you need to find one of those Sigma 30mm f/1.4 lenses with a great price right now. I also spent over $400 on mine a few years ago. It's only cheaper right now because they are closing out that model and bringing out a more expensive newer model. It's an awesome deal you will miss if you blink or hesitate long to think about. You WILL kick yourself later if you miss this deal.

2.8 is ok, but not really fast enough for many of the dark rides at Disney. It's a very sharp lens. You will love it for many reasons, not the least of which is its lowlight performance.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2rtk View Post
If one of the needs you want to meet is shooting lowlight situations like dark rides at Disney, then you need to find one of those Sigma 30mm f/1.4 lenses with a great price right now. I also spent over $400 on mine a few years ago. It's only cheaper right now because they are closing out that model and bringing out a more expensive newer model. It's an awesome deal you will miss if you blink or hesitate long to think about. You WILL kick yourself later if you miss this deal.

2.8 is ok, but not really fast enough for many of the dark rides at Disney. It's a very sharp lens. You will love it for many reasons, not the least of which is its lowlight performance.
Some of us are already doing so since the Canon mount version is gone at the places that had it marked down.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:15 PM   #10
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Some of us are already doing so since the Canon mount version is gone at the places that had it marked down.
So you never found one?
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:20 PM   #11
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So you never found one?
Not for less than $350.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:36 AM   #12
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Not for less than $350.
That's a bummer. I hope one shows up at a good price somewhere for you.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:38 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by photo_chick View Post
Not for less than $350.
the cheap price is probably gone forever as B&H, Adorama, etc. are already listing the new Sigma 30mm 1.4 for pre-order
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._4_dc_hsm.html
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:19 AM   #14
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They have it at buydig for $349, but that price includes a lot of extras. Luckily I found it without the accessories, sounds like that version is sold out now.
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Old 03-09-2013, 02:55 AM   #15
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First - I'm a lens addict and have tried lots and lots of them!

My top pick for length - the Sony 70-300mm SSM f/4.5-5.6 G lens. I've loved that lens from the start and have owned it for 4+ years. It has gotten fairly pricey though from when I picked it up but I guess many of the lenses have. This lens will get you looks though. The hood is almost as big as the lens! If budgeting less then I'd second starting with the lower priced 75-300, one of the Minolta lenses like the 100-300 APO or maybe the newer Sony 55-300mm. The high ISO capabilities of the current cameras really allow for slower lenses unless you're positive you want to spend the money and carry the weight of the 2.8's. I do have a 70-200mm 2.8 and use it frequently but rarely for wildlife. I almost always go for the length of the 70-300mm for that.

For wide my first choice would be the Sigma 8-16mm - you can never be too wide IMO!. Or if speed were extremely important then Tokina 11-16mm.

If you do decide to try a prime again then the Sony 35mm f/1.8. I never used my Sigma 30mm 1.4 but do use the Sony a lot since I got it. Very capable, sharp and light weight and a good price too.
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