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AVF Sony Alpha thread

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by senu, Jan 6, 2009.

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  1. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

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    Fair point, shame they don't currently stand up to scrutiny. Sony certainly have the know how and financial power to make decent lenses.
  2. springtide

    springtide Active Member

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    Will I remember, the other one of Sony's plans was to make all of their lenses SSM.

    Yes, there are some pretty poor DT lenses, the 'kit lens' is probably the worse offenders that came from Minolta.

    I think the 16-105 is supposed to be OK, but the 16-80 is a really nice DT lens - sharp wide open with with very little CA's. I owned the 16-80 and the Tamron 17-50, and the Tamron was no match for the Sony. It is a shame that it isn't constant aperture though.


    Onto another subject, Sony lens pricing. I know a number of people have complained about the pricing of the Sony lenses, but if I'm honest I think that it's the shops that are not passing on discounts like you get with Canon and Nikon.

    If you search around the web and look at Canon and Nikon lenses, there is rarely £20 between the different shops. One shop that does seem to be discounting the Sony lenses is RGB Tech. I know I've mentioned these before (and is where I got my A900 from), but just look at how their prices compare. It's not just on one or two items, but almost across the board.

    Before I start comparing the prices, it's worth pointing out that RGB Tech are a Sony Centre of Excellence, so no grey imports etc.
    Sony Alpha DSLR Centres of Excellence : Sony

    Has anyone else from found any other stores as competitive for Sony DSLR and Lenses in the UK? Anyway, here goes....

    Sony 16-80
    RGB Tech: £420
    http://www.rgb-tech.co.uk/product/1573
    Warehouseexpress: £484
    Sony 16-80mm f3.5-4.5 ZA VS T* DT Lens (SAL1680Z.AE) - Warehouse Express

    Sony 16-105
    RGB Tech: £340
    Sony Lens 16-105MM F3.5 - 5.6
    Warehouseexpress: £360
    Sony 16-105mm f3.5-5.6 Lens (SAL16105.AE) - Warehouse Express

    Sony 18-250
    RGB Tech: £350
    Sony Lens DT 18-250mm F3.5 - 6.3
    Warehouseexpress: £400
    Sony 18-250mm f3.5-6.3 DT AF Lens (SAL18250) - Warehouse Express

    Sony 24-70 f2.8
    RGB Tech: £1050
    Sony Lens T* 24-70MM F2.8 ZA
    Warehouseexpress: £1160
    Sony 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Zoom Lens. (SAL2470Z) - Warehouse Express

    Sony 70-200G f2.8
    RGB Tech: £1030
    Sony Lens 70-200mm F2.8 G
    Warehouseexpress: £1240
    Sony 70-200mm f2.8 G Lens (SAL70200G.AE) - Warehouse Express

    Sony 70-300G
    RGB Tech: £460
    Sony Lens 70-300MM F4.5 - 5.6
    Warehouseexpress: £560
    Sony 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 G SSM Lens (SAL70300G) - Warehouse Express

    Sony CZ135 f1.8
    RGB Tech: £840
    Sony Lens 135mm F1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T*
    Warehouseexpress: £1045
    Sony 135mm f1.8 ZA Sonnar T* Lens (SAL135F18Z.AE) - Warehouse Express
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  3. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that's quite surprising. There's a fair difference in every one of those lenses you've listed.

    I think Sony have missed a bit of a trick really with their lens line up. The vast majority of their DSLR users have purchased the lower end models and though there are plenty of lenses out there almost all of the decent ones are more expensive than their lower end bodies.

    Maybe this is why they are releasing a larger DT line up. Sounds good to me anyway, at least they seem to be taking their DSLR business seriously.
  4. springtide

    springtide Active Member

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  5. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

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    Be careful posting that, wars have been started for less.:devil:
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  6. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Member

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    Finally got my A300 today, not had much chance to play with it but very pleased with it, seems a nice piece of kit and I'm looking forward to getting started with it, as an aside never use Pixmania, useless company!
  7. Stinja

    Stinja Active Member

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    My local Jessops are doing these for £329. I just bought one :D I'm hoping it will better than my aging Sigma 28-300 as a walkabout lens.

    Sony DT 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 - Jessops
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2009
  8. springtide

    springtide Active Member

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    BTW, anyone feeling rich??? It looks like the 600mm f4 is for real!!!

    Look at that bad boy!

    [​IMG]

    Price, who knows! Canon and Nikon parts are around £5000-6000 :eek:
  9. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

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    Good god.:eek:

    You'll have the army after you walking round with that behemoth. I bet it's an amzing lens though, 600mm and F4. Insane.
  10. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Member

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    Looking to get a bag for my A300 and I was just wondering what folk thought of the Slingshot AW 100?
  11. springtide

    springtide Active Member

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    I like the Slingshots, started with a 200 and now have the 300.

    Depends on how much you think you'll grow. If I remember the 100 is pretty small, which might be a good or a bad thing.

    I also have a crumpler pretty boy (xxl I think) that will take the camera and an extra lenses (or something else).
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  12. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

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    Fantastic quality bags and very well designed but you may find as your kit expands the AW 100 is a bit small. I've got the AW 300 and even if you don't fill it now, you probably will one day so go for the bigger one. They're really comfy anyway even the bigger ones so don't worry about the size.
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  13. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Member

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    Right now all I have is the A300 and kit lens anyway, in the short term I'm hoping to add a zoom lens of some description, perhaps a 50mm and some cleaning kit, possible a second CF card.
    As long as the bag can hold that and my wallet, mobile, iPod and my earphones I'm happy!
    Edit:
    As an aside are the Slingshot Bags waterproof?
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2009
  14. leaky5

    leaky5 Member

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    If a Lowepro has 'AW' in the title then it will have a water proof cover hidden somewhere.

    The 200 has pockets which would easily hold the bits and pieces you mention, looking at the Lowepro website, I would have thought the 100 would.

    I love Lowepro bags and cases, I have 5 at the moment. The oldest is a laptop rucksack which I have used every working day for about 8 years, hardly showing any sign of wear.
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  15. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Member

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    Cheers for the help folks, I'm going to go for the Slingshot 100, my partner is buying me it as a present!
    I'm sure it will do me for a while anyway until I expand my kit.
  16. pompeylex

    pompeylex Member

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    I've finally got my A200 :D
    My g/f in the states picked it up for a stupid price for my Xmas present.

    I've only just got my bag (sony bag from ebay AMAZING!!) and I got my Hoya skylight filter :smashin: so I'm up and running now :clap:

    It was really hared not to play with the A200 when I was in the States this Xmas......I just had a quick look and waited till I got home!!! Hard to do!!

    My parents 50th this weekend so maybe I'll get a nice pic of them :cool:
  17. Pirate!!

    Pirate!! New Member

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    Ahoy!

    Received the SSM G yesterday 15 days after ordering it from Jessops Online. Anyway, for a full comprehensive in-depth review click here, otherwise, here's my personal take for now:

    Upon seeing the box for the first time, I thought the lens was going to be the size of my former Sigma 100-300 EX APO. On opening, I see Sony (in their wisdom) decided to pack the lens in one half of the box and the lens hood/lens bag in the other half. Why not just reverse mount the hood onto the lens and place in the lens bag and ship in a box half the size?

    On using the lens on A700, I was impressed with the richness of colours produced, IQ, silent AF, lens weight (a fraction of the Sigma 100-300 F4 EX - or so it feels like), buttery bokeh and the overall general feel of the lens.

    Value for money . . is it worth the current retail price? Personally I think it's overpriced at full retail, but for G grade glass (my first ever) I was prepared to invest in the critically acclaimed G lens @ £450.20 delivered.

    I took some samples under changable overcast conditions with the lens hood on and off. I was surprised by the difference in shutter speed in A mode. Maybe the hood is too good - where did the light go?

    F4.5 to F5 was at 85mm (not much - pretty pointless), and F5-F5.6 at 130mm-300mm.

    I miss the constant F4 of the Sigma, but not the size or weight. This G lens should and could've been faster. I will update my findings after it's been thoroughly tested under better lighting conditions.

    Pros:

    IQ
    Bokeh
    Silent AF
    Build quality
    Focus lock button and focus range selector
    Weight
    Ease of use
    CA control

    Cons:

    Packaging
    Should've been constant F4 or better
    Overpriced at full retail
    CPL filter only with hood off
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2009
  18. springtide

    springtide Active Member

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    Thanks v much for the review. Keep more info coming as this is a lens of interest. I'd be interested in what you think of the AF speed compared to the Sig100-300 (was your Sigma HSM???)

    I guess if you wanted this range and the fast aperture it would have pushed the price up some what.

    Just look at the Sigma 100-300 f4, it's around £750 and it's a 3rd party lens (which as we know, most 3rd party lenses are cheaper). I would guess a Sony, Nikon or Canon 100-300 f4 (if they made it) would be at least £1000, if not a little more.

    There isn't an equivalent lens in Nikon or Canon AFAIK (what is Nikon's equiv of 'G' or 'L'??), the nearest I guess is the Canon 70-200 f4 L (Canon EF 70-200mm f4 L USM Lens (2578A009AA) - Warehouse Express) which is a similar price to the Sony (but with 200 rather than 300mm focal length, but f4)

    I think it's priced about right, just like all of the Sony lenses at the moment (the Pro f2.8 lenses are now looking cheaper than the Nikon and Canon lenses, which couldn't have been said a year or two ago)

    The problem that Sony has it that they are selling budget cameras and it's a hard pill to swallow when you find out that the average decent lens costs more than the body.

    I'm suffering with the A900. Once you go FF, the only lenses that make the most of the camera are £1k each. The Nikon and Canon lenses are roughly the same price, but when you are talking £1150 for a 24-70 f2.8 - spending £450 on a 70-300 'G' zoom seems pretty reasonable.

    Currently I would like, CZ16-35 f2.8 (£1250), CZ24-70 (£1150), 70-200G f2.8 (£1100). See the problem? 3 decent lenses and we are talking £3500. £1600 for the A900 body was the least of my worries.
  19. Pirate!!

    Pirate!! New Member

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    Ahoy Springtide!

    AF on both are very quick, hard to separate the two (though the SSM G does have a focus limiter switch which speed things up if shooting beyond the 3 metre range.

    The Sigma 100-300mm EX for Sony is non-HSM (I had the earlier non-DG coated 100-300mm F4 EX APO (full frame) version. HSM is fitted to Canikon versions, though AF is quick enough.

    I left my findings open as having owned both lenses, there are pro's and con's on both. However, I would say the IQ (at least on the non-DG Sigma) tended to show CA wide open, so had to be stopped down. I'm assuming the coated DG version helps to improve this.

    That said, the SSM G is much easier to handle than the APO EX due to physical size and weight. Thus far, I'm most impressed with the SSM G. I can't think of anything else that comes close to either of the above lenses in respect of IQ, price and focal ranges.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2009
  20. Eric55

    Eric55 Member

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    I am getting the A350 next week, on the Sony web site it says you can use Compact Flash Type I / II. What I want to know is can you use Type III and IV with this camera.
  21. Boynielaad

    Boynielaad Guest

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    Yes, I use a Sandisk compact flash extreme III on my new A300
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  22. bodoman

    bodoman Active Member

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    Welcome to the G lens club Pirate, no going back now all future lenses will have to be G now:D
    That 600mm that Springtide posted is very tempting, must buy an extra lottery ticket today:)

    Thanks for the info and link on installing the V4 firmware for the A700, just followed the instructions and worked first time (mine came with V3 firmware)

    Also do you know if the wired remote shutter release for the A100 works on the A700.

    Cheers

    Bodo
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  23. Pirate!!

    Pirate!! New Member

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    Ahoy Bod!

    Thanks for the reply, glad the link helped with V4 :D

    As for the remote . . I've got mine from my A100 and have just tried it and can report that it . . . . . . . . . works just fine :smashin:
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  24. springtide

    springtide Active Member

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    As Pirate!! has given a review of the Sony 70-300G :thumbsup:, I thought I'd do one for the new Sigma 50mm f1.4 HSM!


    Well it arrived, the new Sigma 50mm f1.4 HSM in Sony mount!!! Tested on the A900, with links to the full size images for the pixel peepers.

    Arrived at the shop this morning, just after dropping my Beercan off for repair/clean - sticky aperture probably caused from a little oil on the blades (or so I've been told!)

    The Bad News
    Just as I was paying I thought, lets take a look and give it a try - just in case (knowing what Sigma QC are like!)
    Opened the box, pulled the lens out the EX padded case, pulled off the lens cap... and the front optics fell out of the lens onto the floor :(
    Good old Sigma, seen and heard a few things in my time about lenses, with bubbled in the glass, poor focusing etc. But for the optic to just fall out I was a little shocked!


    The Good News
    Well, luckily (although this shop is not known for stocking Sony mount lenses) they had another two in the shop in Sony mount! Tried the second and was amazed that the optics appear to be properly held together. Build quality of the Sigma 50mm is pretty good if I'm honest (I guess there must have been a retaining clip missing on the first one!). Seems to have the usual EX look and feel to it.

    Focusing is silent and seems accurate even in low light, but it's no speed freak! It's not slow, just not super fast - not an issue for this type of lens.

    Tried out a few test shots with the lens in the garden and kitchen (wide open) and all seems pretty good. Pretty pleased with the Bokeh, although if I'm honest I'm no expert in this area.

    Anyway, here are the few shots that I took:

    #1
    [​IMG]
    FULL@ http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3438/3222779876_6a3fab1178_o.jpg
    Sony DSLR-A900, Exposure: 1/2000, Aperture: f/1.7, Focal Length: 50 mm

    #2
    [​IMG]
    FULL@ http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3349/3222784316_46f7cb40da_o.jpg
    Sony DSLR-A900, Exposure: 1/40, Aperture: f/1.4, Focal Length: 50 mm


    Overall seems a nice upgrade (from the KM 50mm f1.7).
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2009
  25. anthony566

    anthony566 Member

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    I also use a sandisk extreme III 8gig CF card in my A350.
  26. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Member

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    Yeah I use a 4Gb Extreme III card and it works fine, think I will pickup a second as a spare.
  27. Pirate!!

    Pirate!! New Member

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    Ahoy Tidester!

    Curious to know what prompted your decision between the Sigma 50mm f/1.4, Minolta 50mm f/1.4 and the Sony 50mm f/1.4?
  28. springtide

    springtide Active Member

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    It was from the reviews...

    KM 50mm f1.7
    Minolta AF 50mm f/1.7 - LEGACY Test Report

    Sony 50mm f1.4
    Sony 50mm f/1.4 ( SAL-50F14 ) - Review / Test Report
    Sony 50mm F1.4 Lens Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

    Sigma 50mm f1.4
    Sigma AF 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM (Canon) - Review / Test Report
    Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Lens Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

    The Sony f1.4 and the KM are almost identical, apart from the newer Sony has newer lens coatings than the older KM.

    If you read the reviews between the two lenses (DPReview is probably better), the Sigma gives better IQ from 'wide open' upto about f5.6, and this is even more so on FF. The Sigma also appears the better (but more expensive) option to the Nikon or Canon f1.4's.

    It was based on these reviews that make me opt for the Sigma (£300) over the Sony (I was tempted at the Sony for £185 over Xmas).
  29. YorkieBen

    YorkieBen Member

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    Can you imagine how big and heavy a 70-300 SSM f/4 would have to be? It would be massive! I find the the 70-300 'G' kind of conspicuous with the hood on as it is! Although the build and optical quality make me forgot the size whenever I take photos :) The improvement in the 200-300mm range particularly from the Tamron I had is immense
  30. Stinja

    Stinja Active Member

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    So does that mean the KM 50mm will be appearing in the classifieds shortly...? ;)
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