Newbie needs advise on compatible lenses for the A57

Started Jun 11, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Re: Newbie needs advise on compatible lenses for the A57
In reply to 123Mike, Jun 20, 2012

The 55-200 by itself is definitely a good lens, yes. However, there are certainly other options that should be given consideration for the same price. That might be why it's underrated - better-featured used lenses and third party lenses in the same price range offer some serious competition.

-The Tamron 70-300mm F/4-5.6 offers an additional 100mm of reach and gives 1:2 magnification at the closest focus distance, which is very good for a zoom lens. The Tamron also has a metal mount and a focus distance scale (which are absent on the 55-200).

-The 70-210mm F/4 offers a faster maximum aperture that lets in more light and can put the background farther out of focus for better subject isolation. The 70-210mm F/4 is also much better built, with a metal body, focus distance scale, infrared correction marks, and internal zoom action.

-The Minolta 100-200mm F/4.5 is much cheaper (less than $100 off eBay). It doesn't let in quite as much light as the 70-210/4, but still beats the 55-200 in that department. The biggest drawback for 100-200 would be the rather long minimum focus distance, which gives it a rather low 0.12x magnification. Again, build quality is better than that of the 55-200 (metal mount, distance scale). If you mainly plan on using the lens at long distances, this one should be given consideration too.

The 55-200 is lighter than the other two lenses I mentioned. It also has a built in focus motor that lets you use contrast detect AF if you have a Sony a560 or a580 (although I guess that wouldn't matter if because the OP has an a57, and CDAF probably wouldn't be used often with a telephoto anyways even if his camera had the feature).

Love it ! Another one discovered how absurdly underrated this lens is.

I kind of think that Sony made a mistake with this lens. Normally I'd think they'd want to milk the customer some more before handing out goodies like this.

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