Sony A350 lenses

Chwadan

Standard Member
Hi, I'm buying a DSLR for work, which will mainly involve taking photos of people (often from afar and in badly-lit areas e.g. churches - great!).

I'm pretty new to photography and after handling one in a shop, I've decided to go for a Sony alpha A350. I'm not sure what to do as regards lenses though. The standard kit lens is an 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 but it's also available from Jessops with an extra 55-200mm lens for £70 more. Is it worth going for (a) both kit lenses (b) just the the 18-70mm or (c) just getting the body and investing in one decent lens (possibly with IS)? If the last option - any suggestions? Yikes :rolleyes:
 

rodman

Active Member
have u tried sony a300 which is £100 cheaper? U dont need IS lens for sony, sony bodies got image stabilisation build in! :):thumbsup:
 

Chwadan

Standard Member
Hmm, no - haven't tried A300. Might give it a go when I go back to the shop! I've heard that IS is better when it's built into the lens - presumably you can use the lens IS if you've got in-body IS too?
 

Mike.P®

Well-known Member
If you want it for taking pictures from afar in badly lit areas I would buy the body and then a decentish fast f2.8 zoom such as the Sigma or Tamron 70-200mm f2.8.
 

eduk

Distinguished Member
Hmm, no - haven't tried A300. Might give it a go when I go back to the shop! I've heard that IS is better when it's built into the lens - presumably you can use the lens IS if you've got in-body IS too?

Spend the money saved by not getting the A350 towards a good lens like Mike.P said. It's all about the lens. If you don't need liveview, you might even get the cheaper A200 as it's the same as the A300 but no liveview.

IS is not available nor required on Sony mount lenses. If anybody says that IS is better in the lens, then they are simply repeating the same old nonsense spread around the web, one of the camera sites/mags proved it to be a myth, but it still gets said :rolleyes:
 

Yandros

Well-known Member
If anybody says that IS is better in the lens, then they are simply repeating the same old nonsense spread around the web, one of the camera sites/mags proved it to be a myth, but it still gets said :rolleyes:

I gather that some of the 'pro' grade lenses with VR are (allegedly) better performing than in-body or the cheaper kit lens VR lenses, but thats about it. There is also MAYBE some difference in performance between in-lens and in-body at different focal lengths, but frankly the whole subject is a minefield. Most of the tests I've seen have suggested that there's not a fat lot of difference.
 

Yandros

Well-known Member
The only possible downside to the Sony's is their tendency to be a bit noisy at higher ISOs (800+) than Nikon/Canon, which might make a difference to you if you're shooting in extreme conditions. (Specifically chroma noise)

I cannot emphasise enough how tricky it is shooting at long focal lengths in a dark church. What exactly are we talking about here? Posed or moving subjects? Have you worked out what length you'll use most?

As Mike says, ideally you want a 70-200mm f2.8, and I'd pair that with the best high ISO performer I could find that within budget, OR shoot RAW and do your own noise reduction. The HUUUUGE advantage of the Sony, which may well offset the noise issue is that you get about 3 stops of anti shake as a freebie on the long lens, and on f2.8 glass that would be worth a lot of money (£500-£600 for Sigma/Tamron f2.8 glass vs £1000+ for stabilised Canon/Nikon versions.)
 

Chwadan

Standard Member
Thanks guys. The subjects will generally be posed or moving a little. The churches/halls where I normally need photos from aren't generally that dark but I wouldn't say they're well-lit either. The photos are generally used for newsletters/website and I try to get up close whenever I can but it's not always possible. I haven't played about with focus lengths but judging from online samples I'd say that 70mm+ would be pretty useful.

Not sure if I can afford justify the price of a 70-200mm f2.8 even if I did go for an A300. Any ideas for the next best thing?
 

Mike.P®

Well-known Member
Not sure if I can afford justify the price of a 70-200mm f2.8 even if I did go for an A300. Any ideas for the next best thing?

How about a fast 1.4/1.7 50mm and move around a lot (if its for a newsletter or similar you can crop heavily as well because you wont need pin sharp IQ).
Maybe you could go for a slower zoom and spend a bit on a flash?

Really couldn't tell you about Sony/Minolta lenses but I'm sure Pirate can advise you.
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member
Just to let you know, the A300 is the same price with or without the lens in jessosp according to there site
 

Yandros

Well-known Member
Mike.P®;9601742 said:
How about a fast 1.4/1.7 50mm and move around a lot (if its for a newsletter or similar you can crop heavily as well because you wont need pin sharp IQ).
Maybe you could go for a slower zoom and spend a bit on a flash?

Really couldn't tell you about Sony/Minolta lenses but I'm sure Pirate can advise you.

Are there cheapo 1.4 to 1.8 fast primes for Sony mount? I had a quick look and I drew a blank for less than 200 quid. In Nikon/Canon mount you've got very cheap (<£100) options at 50mm, and 85mm f1.8 for about £300.
 

eduk

Distinguished Member
Not sure if I can afford justify the price of a 70-200mm f2.8 even if I did go for an A300. Any ideas for the next best thing?

I used my Sony 50mm f1.4 at a wedding with good effect without flash, the Sony Super Steady Shot worked well to give me an extra stop or two, but you'll have problems with subjects walking and you need 70mm+ anyway.

How much are you willing to spend on the lens?
 

eduk

Distinguished Member
Are there cheapo 1.4 to 1.8 fast primes for Sony mount? I had a quick look and I drew a blank for less than 200 quid. In Nikon/Canon mount you've got very cheap (<£100) options at 50mm, and 85mm f1.8 for about £300.

Nope. The closest < f1.8 you'll get cheaply is used on eBay.

The Minolta 50mm f1.7 at around £100. I think the 85mm went for over £200 when I saw one go.

You can get something like the Tamron 90mm f2.8 and Sigma 105mm f2.8 for £180-£220.
 

Chwadan

Standard Member
Say around £400? I'm just a tad wary of going the whole hog and buying a £300 camera and £600-700 lens without having the experience to make the most of good equipment. But perhaps good equipment helps cancel out lack of experience!?

If everything points to the 70-200mm 2.8 I'll go for that (work is paying, not me!) but I just want to make sure I don't have to spend more than I need to. :rolleyes:
 

eduk

Distinguished Member
Say around £400? I'm just a tad wary of going the whole hog and buying a £300 camera and £600-700 lens without having the experience to make the most of good equipment. But perhaps good equipment helps cancel out lack of experience!?

If everything points to the 70-200mm 2.8 I'll go for that (work is paying, not me!) but I just want to make sure I don't have to spend more than I need to. :rolleyes:

The cost of a fast zoom does appear to be excessive for a newsletter IMO.
 

Yandros

Well-known Member
Nope. The closest < f1.8 you'll get cheaply is used on eBay.

The Minolta 50mm f1.7 at around £100. I think the 85mm went for over £200 when I saw one go.

You can get something like the Tamron 90mm f2.8 and Sigma 105mm f2.8 for £180-£220.


I use a 105mm f2.8 macro for portrait type stuff, so yeah, that will work :thumbsup: Only problem of course is a tight field of view and you have to zoom with your feet!

Chwadan, you might want to search the forum for wedding lens discussions, as your needs are very similar. Also, you could pick up the a camera+kit lens and see how you get on, then upgrade to more expensive glass when you get a better feel for what you need.
 

Chwadan

Standard Member
That's great, thanks for all the advice! I'd never have worked out what sort of lens I need otherwise :confused: Will let you know how I get on.
 

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