Will the image quality of the A65 considerably improve...

Started Oct 12, 2013 | Questions thread
Marco Cinnirella
Marco Cinnirella Veteran Member • Posts: 7,239
Re: No

seilerbird666 wrote:

I did not say all lenses are created equal or that there are no crappy lenses. What I am saying is that you can only go so far with sharpness in a lens. For example, I use a Tamron 200-500 for my BIF shots. The common wisdom around here is that the twice as expensive Sony G 70-400 is sharper. That is a bunch of bull. I posted an image taken with my Tammy many times and challenged people to post an image that was sharper and no one ever could post one that beat it. Instead people would complain because I had posted the photo too often. It was just a smoke screen to hide the fact that their very expensive lens was no sharper than my moderately priced lens. So I will post it again. I have never seen a shot taken with any expensive lens that was sharper than this>

Look at the detail in the wing. This was hand held at 500mm, the softest zoom and wide open at f/6.3, the softest aperture. So if you want to spend more money on a lens go ahead, but you won't get one that is sharper.

At the risk of taking the thread slightly off-topic, i thought your interesting post deserved a response. I think that all of us, to an extent, have a tendency to want to justify to ourselves and others our purchases and decisions - as a psychologist I can identify various textbook processes at work here including what's known as cognitive dissonance reduction. In your example, folks who, like me, bought the 70-400G are likely going to want to defend it partly due to the not inconsiderablt outlay. Your assertion that the Tamron 20-500 is as good as the Sony G in terms of sharpness may or may not be true in general, but I imagine few 70-400 owners would like to admit it.

I haad a similar experience when I got a Tamron 70-200 2.8 and posted threads on here extollling how wonderful it was. Most reviews seem to show it is sharper than the equivalent Sony G, but in every thread I posted about it some Sony G 70-200 owner chimes in with a critique of the AF on the Tamron. It's quite natural for them to do so, in defence of their purchase and decision-making. As it happens, my experience with the AF on the Tamron is that it is fine, but anyways...

The thing is though, I've seen so much lens sample variation and FF and BF camera issues over the last 4 or 5 years that I'm beginning to think the only lens tests to trust are those where the testers have obtained or had access to multiple copies of the lens and more than one body to test them on - e.g. lensrentals.com   So, for example, when lens rentals states that the SSM motors in some Sony G lenses have a failure rate a bit higher than you might expect, this makes me sit up and listen.

Although I'm a 70-400 owner I think the Tamron 200-500 is great. When considering my 70-400 purchase I read every review out there on both lenses and felt that a majority said the Sony was better at the long end, but not by that much. My own experience with the 70-400 has been mixed and is partly recorded in the archives of this forum through various threads I started chronicling my trials and tribulatons with it. I'm pleased you got a good copy of the 200-500 - from all accounts a good copy is very good indeed, even at the long end. A good thing also about Tamron is the peace of mind you get with their 6 year warranty.

To the OP - I have the 16-50 and have mixed feelings about it. My copy is very sharp indeed beyond 20mm but not so hot from 16-19mm, with quite soft corners. It should be a lot better than a cheap kit lens but even so, if you are finding your a65 shots (in raw?) are mushy with a kit lens I do wonder if there is an AF issue with your camera or a matter of getting to know how to use it best. Then again, some do say the 24Mp sensor shows up poor glass. Do report back and let us know !

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"When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence." Ansell Adams.

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