Do you mind changing lenses? Sony zoom 18-135mm or 18-250mm or CZ16-80 or CZ24-70

Started Dec 12, 2012 | Discussions thread
Allan Crowson Regular Member • Posts: 208
Re: Could the Sony 18-135mm lens meet most of your needs?

Robsphoto wrote:

Allan Crowson wrote:

Robsphoto wrote:

The 70-200mm lens seems to be a good choice for your birding and the 20mm/2.8 sounds great. I just wonder how many A57 / A77 users would find that the Sony 18-135mm lens meets most of their needs and would just crop in Photoshop for the times when greater than 135mm is needed?

Good question. A57 users can also use the Clear Image Zoom. I know there's quite a bit of back and forth on that, but in my experience, at the long end of the 18-135, it is as good as what I would do on the computer.

Laying aside considerations such as image quality and so forth, and sticking just to lens choice…some photographers like the way a certain lens performs and use it exclusively or nearly. I used to do this with my Olympus 4/3 camera and the 14-54mm zoom. Although I had a telephoto zoom, the 14-54 stayed on the camera 95% or more of the time. The attraction of an interchangeable lens camera, for some, it not so much that you can have many different lenses, but rather than you can find a lens that fits what you want to do. And sometimes that need can be met with just one or two.

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Allan Crowson

Thanks Allan, I wonder whether an advantage of "clear image zoom" (compared with cropping in Photoshop) is that the "zoomed" image will have the same image size as an "unzoomed" image, that is, 4912 x 3264 pixels, is that correct? But, once you crop in Photoshop to gain extra reach, the image size can be reduced considerably.

I don't have a camera that has the clear image zoom function, but it sounds to be really useful. If you have an 18-135mm lens on the camera, and have the lens at 135mm, does the clear image zoom 2x give you the equivalent of 270mm without a reduction in the 4912 x 3264 pixel image size?

Thanks for your help.



Comparison of pixel size and reach of the A57 compared with the full frame A900


Yes, the advantage claimed for Clear Image Zoom is that the final image is the same 16 megapixel size. The camera does the cropping, and then extrapolates the crop back up to the original size, using some kind of database designed to help in this purpose. Some like it. Some don't. I'm mostly satisfied with it. Yes, I can pixel peep and recognize the difference between a 100mm shot and a 50mm shot with Clear Image Zoom applied. I suspect that the nature of what is in that database makes it possible that some kinds of situations will have better results than others, but we cannot say without knowing what is in the database. For what it's worth, the DPR review that just came out on the A99 addresses this. The example they provide indeed does not look all that great, especially because they really are looking at it very closely. I wouldn't trade cameras just to get that feature. On the other hand, if I only rarely need a longer focal length, I will be sorely tempted to use the Clear Image Zoom and save my cash for other things.

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Allan Crowson

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