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Old 04-08-2013, 09:57 AM   #16
havoc315
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Originally Posted by bob100 View Post
I agree (about the confusion!)
You're not going to find an f1.4 wide angle crop lens if that's what you're asking. The Tamron 17-50 is a good lens but shooting indoors at f2.8 is challenging and usually more light is needed so you will need to bring a flash. If you don't want to use a flash indoors than a large aperture prime (30mm for instance) is required.

here's an indoor shot with the Tamron 17-50 2.8 non-vc (around $250 used) in a school with better than average lighting
(with Canon Rebel XSi/450D)

With the Tamrom 17-50 on the Sony (where I get the benefit of VC without buying the VC lens), I've been able to take "poor/fair light" photographs without flash, but not true low light. And I've had to boost the ISO, even with the 2.8 aperture.



earlyjan-59.jpg by Havoc315, on Flickr

This one was indoors without flash, but lots of daylight coming in from the windows:


lillybday-62.jpg by Havoc315, on Flickr
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:27 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by havoc315 View Post
With the Tamrom 17-50 on the Sony (where I get the benefit of VC without buying the VC lens), I've been able to take "poor/fair light" photographs without flash, but not true low light. And I've had to boost the ISO, even with the 2.8 aperture.

This one was indoors without flash, but lots of daylight coming in from the windows:


perhaps, my advice is still for the OP is to learn to use a flash indoors no matter what lens!
however I have been pleased with the Tamron for window light and higher ISO pics

e.g.

indoors with window light, Tamron 17-50 non-vc
with Canon Rebel XSi /450D at f2.8 - ISO 2500 1/250 42mm


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Old 04-08-2013, 02:01 PM   #18
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I guess what I'm trying to find is a uwa prime, would this be correct, without it becomming a Fisheye.
Do they make a 15mm or a 20mm prime with f/1.8 or better?
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:37 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by cjstarr View Post
I guess what I'm trying to find is a uwa prime, would this be correct, without it becomming a Fisheye.
Do they make a 15mm or a 20mm prime with f/1.8 or better?
Even non-fisheyes have a distortive effect when used for close-up portraits.
In terms of a 1.8 or faster prime, I don't know of anything wider than the 30-35mm range.

I stole this from someone else -- but it is an example of a 14mm (non fisheye I believe) portrait:


Ultra-wide angle lenses are not for portraits! by chris jd, on Flickr

Now, you can get some very interest portrait effects with an ultra wide angle, but you really need to know what you're doing.

Here is an article about it:
http://improvephotography.com/250/wide-angle-portraits/

And one of the better non-fisheye ultrawide angle lenses for Sony, is the Tokina 11-16 f2.8 -- Here is a discussion about using it for portraits:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/tokina1...7632596552442/

Here is a portrait done with the Tamron 11-18 --- This is not a fisheye lens. Notice the distortion effect, the model looks like a bobblehead doll:


Lady in red by salendron, on Flickr

On this very board, we have debated the proper focal length for portraits, but most would agree it is somewhere between 35mm and 135mm (and there is an argument of obtaining great portraits at 200mm+)

Here is 1 of my portraits taken at 180mm:


bensbirthday-24.jpg by Havoc315, on Flickr

And a good example of a 50mm portrait:


tournament-24.jpg by Havoc315, on Flickr

A major downside of using an UWA for portraits --- in addition to distortion, it's harder to get the blurred backgrounds that are generally considered desirable for portraits.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:08 PM   #20
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Not wanting to use it for portraits but for indoor low-light such as shows or rides, ie... Pirates or Alice in Wonderland or other places that require a low-light fast lens. I'm just not sure if a 30mm would be wide enough to get the picture. Take Spaceship Earth for instance, would you be able to capture all of it with a 30mm lens without having to back up so far that others would come between you and the shot?
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:30 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjstarr View Post
Not wanting to use it for portraits but for indoor low-light such as shows or rides, ie... Pirates or Alice in Wonderland or other places that require a low-light fast lens. I'm just not sure if a 30mm would be wide enough to get the picture. Take Spaceship Earth for instance, would you be able to capture all of it with a 30mm lens without having to back up so far that others would come between you and the shot?
Alice is a pretty dark ride. No way is a 2.8 lens going to cut it in there. Pirates you could probably get a few of the brighter shots if you crank the ISO up.

If you really want to shoot dark rides, you're need at least a 1.4 lens and you need a camera that does well at higher ISOs.

I'm comfortable going up to 3200 on my Canon T2i, but even then it's hard to get by on some rides.

Would I rather have something wider than 30mm? Yep. Would I give up some speed on dark rides to get there? Nope.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:35 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjstarr View Post
Not wanting to use it for portraits but for indoor low-light such as shows or rides, ie... Pirates or Alice in Wonderland or other places that require a low-light fast lens. I'm just not sure if a 30mm would be wide enough to get the picture. Take Spaceship Earth for instance, would you be able to capture all of it with a 30mm lens without having to back up so far that others would come between you and the shot?
Getting all of Spaceship Earth into a shot would indeed be a good use for an UWA lens. It's just not a lens you would leave on your camera or use very often.

For the dark rides, the "best" lens for a crop body, may be the Sigma 30mm 1.4. I don't know of any fast primes that really go a lot wider. And that should be wide enough for shots on the ride. (and currently on sale for under $300!)

While I understand all the imperfections of the 50mm, in terms of cost-benefit analysis, I love the 50mm as it is a fraction of the price of 30mm primes.

Anyway... so go the issues of building a lens collection. There are lots of situations that are best handled by a very specific lens, but such a lens may not be used especially often.
So it's really balancing the price of the lens, with how often you would really use it, and to what degree the needs overlap other lenses in your collection.

I don't own an UWA lens --- My widest is 17mm on the Tamron 17-50. A true UWA is on my "wish list" --- But personally, for me, for the way I shoot, it's been my lowest priority.

My lenses, from most used to least used are probably:
Tamron 17-50 -- my kit replacement
Minolta 50mm 2.8 macro (I just love the sharpness and macro ability of the lens)
Tamron 70-300 usd (standby for outdoor telephoto)
Minolta 50mm 1.7 -- indoor low light, occasional outdoor portraits
Minolta 35-105 -- Has a horrible minimum focusing distance making it useless indoors, but it's a phenomenal outdoor portrait lens. And it's a nice outdoor focal length range.
Minolta 70-210 f4 beercan -- Was my telephoto until I got the Tamron, still useful if I need the extra f-stop, and also produces some great telephoto portraits, but it has become my least used lens.
Sony 18-70 -- Sits on a shelf.

My "wish list" would be a 30-35 1.4, and UWA (maybe the Tokina 11-16 or Tamron 11-18), and maybe the Rokinon 8mm fisheye.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:48 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by cjstarr View Post
Not wanting to use it for portraits but for indoor low-light such as shows or rides, ie... Pirates or Alice in Wonderland or other places that require a low-light fast lens. I'm just not sure if a 30mm would be wide enough to get the picture. Take Spaceship Earth for instance, would you be able to capture all of it with a 30mm lens without having to back up so far that others would come between you and the shot?
Just found out that Sigma makes a 20mm 1.8 -- So that's probably the widest fastest prime you will find. It's a little pricey.

Minolta made a 28mm f2 -- so pretty wide and fast. But it's very expensive, even used.
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:51 PM   #24
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Of the original 2 lenses you mentioned, I'd go for the tamron.

The Minolta is an UWA for full frame cameras, where as the tamron is an "all purpose" lens specifically for crop sensor cameras. That's why you get the larger range and constant aperture all in a smaller lens, so unless you have a a850, a900 or a99 I wouldn't even consider the minolta personally.

If you want a fast UWA then try the tokina 11-16 f2.8 - sharp, reasonably fast and constant aperture which is nice and wide.

For shots on dark rides though, I'm generally happy with a 50mm lens (35mm on a standard crop sensor). Ive pulled off some nice pictures that I'm happy with using a 35/500 f.8 - f1.4 is better if you can afford it.
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:18 PM   #25
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Should I buy this lens for $200,
Sigma 18-50mm F2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM for Sony.
It is $140 cheaper then the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8.
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:25 PM   #26
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Should I buy this lens for $200,
Sigma 18-50mm F2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM for Sony.
It is $140 cheaper then the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8.
No, I wouldn't do it. It is worth it to wait if you have to until you can afford one with the constant 2.8.

I know you want the most lens you can get for the money. But if you don't choose the right one now, you'll be back here in a few months wanting advice on what to replace this one with. The most expensive lens is one you have to buy twice.

This lens is possibly going to be on your camera 90% of the time (at least my 17-55 2.8 lens is). It's worth investing a few more dollars to get it right. Even if it means you have to wait to get it.
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:31 PM   #27
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Should I buy this lens for $200,
Sigma 18-50mm F2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM for Sony.
It is $140 cheaper then the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8.
Depends on you're priority. I don't know if it will perform any better than the Sony 18-55 kit lens. It's only a hair faster. So if you're just looking for a kit lens, it may be a reasonable equivalent to the Sony kit lens.

The Tamron is still faster-- there is a big difference between 2.8 and 4.5 at the long end. And while not a big difference, the Tamron is a bit wider-- so you're comparing 25.5mm effective width versus 27mm.
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:31 PM   #28
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No, I wouldn't do it. It is worth it to wait if you have to until you can afford one with the constant 2.8.

I know you want the most lens you can get for the money. But if you don't choose the right one now, you'll be back here in a few months wanting advice on what to replace this one with. The most expensive lens is one you have to buy twice.

This lens is possibly going to be on your camera 90% of the time (at least my 17-55 2.8 lens is). It's worth investing a few more dollars to get it right. Even if it means you have to wait to get it.
Thanks mom2rtk I'll keep looking.

So the TAMRON SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF] Lens Model A16 for $337.99 would be a better choice.
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:42 PM   #29
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Thanks mom2rtk I'll keep looking.

So the TAMRON SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF] Lens Model A16 for $337.99 would be a better choice.
Someone who has used this lens in a Sony version would have to answer your question.

I know that I toiled in a big way about what to replace my Canon kit lens with. In general when I was looking at the Canon options, the Tamron 2.8 lens was said to be sharper than the Sigma, but that once Tamron released the image stabilized version, it lost some of its sharpness. Since you have a Sony, you have in-body stabilization and won't have to worry about that. So unless things have changed since I researched mine a while back, the Tamron should be a good choice.

I do know that a fair number of posters here in this forum have gushed about that lens through the years.
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Old 04-09-2013, 01:14 PM   #30
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BTW... on ebay, there was a Tamron 17-50 Sony that went "buy it now" for $249 the other day...
In the last week, 6 Tamron 17-50s for Sony have sold for between $249 and $299, with 3 being sold for under $260.
You just need to wait for an actual "used" copy to pop up, and be ready to jump on it.
I know when I bought mine, I had to wait a couple weeks of going through bidding and best offers, before finding a good copy at a reasonable price. But persistence pays off.

It seems that nowadays, if someone actually puts up a used copy for bidding format, the bids top off around $260ish.
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