Telephoto Recommendations for A99

Started Nov 7, 2012 | Discussions thread
Calico Jack
Senior MemberPosts: 1,877Gear list
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Re: Telephoto Recommendations for A99
In reply to jseamless, Nov 12, 2012

jseamless wrote:

Thanks Pirate! Any other recommendations?

Actually I have a few suggestions depending on focal range and budget. So in no particular order:

Sigma AF 55-200mm F/4-5.6 DC. Lightweight, good IQ, decent colours. This like the equivalent Tamron slips under the radar and both are much better than the F4 Beercan. Also, this is very affordable, especially on the used market.

Tamron AF 55-200mm F/4-5.6 Di-II LD Macro. Lightweight, nice colours, decent IQ and cheap. Don't it the price fool you. It's a very decent budget intermediate zoom lens. This used to be £55.00 new a few years ago, but this is now the average used price.

Tamron SP AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di USD. This is arguably the best of the 'affordable' tele-zooms after the Sigma 100-300/4. I have this lens as well but don't use it much due to the USD being slower than direct screw-drive. This is the trade-off between seed and smoother action and quieter AF. Ideal for most things but to slow for fast action (this is where the 100-300/4 comes into it's own). The offset is 30mm at the short end of the focal range, so this is what makes the 100-300/4 ideal for most situations, though as stated, if budget is a main factor, then the Tamron would be a good choice.

Sigma AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 APO DC Macro (red ring). The best of the budget tele-zooms with a good 1:2 macro feature though the lens has to be fully extended. Cases of gear stripping have been reported, mainly with cameras that have the option for high-speed AF such as the A700, A850 and A900 and has to used in slow AF.  I had no issues when I used it with the A100, though I can't advise with other models.

Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro. A cheaper alternative to the Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro. Fine if IQ isn't a factor. Colours are acceptable but not brilliant, but it is what it is. No apparent issues with gear stripping either. This lens can be bought for around £50.00 used. 1:2 macro feature useful.  Cheapest price I know of new is from OSD (Onestop-Digital).

With exception to the Tamron 70-300mm Di LD Macro, I've owned and used all of the above lenses, so my findings are based on personal experience. The Sigma 70-300mm APO DG Macro for example can be bought new from Onestop-Digital for £141.99 and the Tamron AF 70-300mm Di LD Macro for £103.99. Check this website first if you intend to buy new to price check as they often are the lowest prices available and they will price match if possible.  Not all lenses listed above are stocked by them. I've used them a few times without issue or problems and they also offer the option to buy the Mack warranty with every purchase which is redeemable globally and is the best 3rd party warranty I know of, so no problems about RTB. Their website is: www.mackcam.com

Hope that gives you something to research and consider.

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Pirate!

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Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 Pentax K-5 Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Tamron SP AF 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical (IF) Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di USD +28 more
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