Can't decide which lenses for the Alpha

Started May 15, 2007 | Discussions
Richard Evans 13 Regular Member • Posts: 187
Can't decide which lenses for the Alpha

Ugh! So many reviews with different answers.

I am trying to decide which to buy:

Tamron 18-250 Good lens but not much use indoors.

Cheap set of Sigmas 18-70/70-300 Not as good overall as above but better indoors.

Used Minolta AF 28-70/70-300 The silver ones for $100-150

The only conclusion I'm sure of is that I don't want the Sony kit lens with a plastic mount. I think the CZ 18-70 ($700) and the Tamron 17-50 ($450) anre both great lenses but with a telephoto I'm way over budget.

Gregory King Veteran Member • Posts: 7,322
Re: Can't decide which lenses for the Alpha

My suggestion for a cheap setup is the kitlens, a beercan, and a 50mm 1.7.

If you need 300mm more than f/4 up to 210mm, then there are a lot of options for 75-300 lenses. All versions of KM are acceptable (see dyxum.com) and the Sigma versions are respected, and (some/all?) provide 1:2 macro capability.

Greg

Zenmervolt Regular Member • Posts: 412
Re: Can't decide which lenses for the Alpha

Nothing wrong with the plastic mount on the kit lens. You'd have to really abuse it to have an issue.
--
Vote Libertarian and win a free country.

cgarrard
cgarrard Forum Pro • Posts: 15,372
Richard

The kit lens is sharper and holds down distortion better than all the lenses you described there less the Zeiss 16-80 and Tamron 17-50 (maybe). It also autofocuses very fast. It is a great lens. Also, the Sigma 70-300 DG APO Macro 1:2 (there are several 70-300s by sigma so be careful) is an excellent lens as well (with the added benefit of real macro images, not quite as good as a prime macro, but very good indeed) and you can get it for about 200 dollars. If you got the kit sony 18-70, and that lens, you could really save some money and have great sharp results. Both are great lenses by any comparison, and the plastic mount is not really anything to worry about. That issue is completely overblown imho. Just because it has a plastic mount, doesn't mean it suffers on image quality or any real durability. In fact, they seem to fit a little tighter as well say over metal mounts, which I like personally. It also makes for a light and very usable lens. If you mustn't have the kit lens, get the Tamron if you are trying to save a buck. The 17-50 is one of the best you can get right now next to the Zeiss 16-80. For the price of the Sigma and the Tamron, you can have near top quality professional lenses for very little $ in comparison, and a very versatile kit.

Good luck in your choice.

Carl
--

'Ask not what your photo equipment can do for you, but what you can do with your photo equipment'

olivegarden
olivegarden Senior Member • Posts: 1,206
Other combo choice

You can try Minolta 35-70/4 & 70-210/4, both are bargain price now.

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Gustav Jensen Regular Member • Posts: 216
Re: Can't decide which lenses for the Alpha

You could also consider a used Minolta AF 24-105mm/3.5-4.5. (around 200 Euro)
Probably the best allround lens for Minolta/Sony

If you want something tele, I can recommend the Minolta 70-210mm/3.5-4.5 (around 70 Euro used), it small and compact and much more handy than the beercan, and delivers good results
--
One new picture, every day !
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Paul07 Forum Member • Posts: 56
Re: Can't decide which lenses for the Alpha

If you want something for indoors, just focus on f/2.8 or less (e.g. 50/1.7, Sigma 24-70/2.8, ...) and see how far your budget gets you.

 Paul07's gear list:Paul07's gear list
Sony RX100 II Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 Sony Alpha NEX-6 Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D +15 more
Paul07 Forum Member • Posts: 56
Re: Can't decide which lenses for the Alpha

Paul07 wrote:

If you want something for indoors, just focus on f/2.8 or less
(e.g. 50/1.7, Sigma 24-70/2.8, ...) and see how far your budget
gets you.

And, re. tele, a second-hand Minolta 100-300 Apo (D) delivers excellent results at a reasonable price. In addition, it is light, compact and well built. I prefer this one over any budget-friendly alternatives like 70/75-210-300.

 Paul07's gear list:Paul07's gear list
Sony RX100 II Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 Sony Alpha NEX-6 Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D +15 more
Paul07 Forum Member • Posts: 56
Re: Can't decide which lenses for the Alpha

I'm sorry Gustav. I pushed the wrong "reply" button.
Just wanted to reply to the original question, not react to your input.

 Paul07's gear list:Paul07's gear list
Sony RX100 II Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 Sony Alpha NEX-6 Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D +15 more
Dan Pidcock Senior Member • Posts: 1,915
Plastic mount non-issue

Gotta agree with this.

The 18-70 only costs you £60. I'm sure you'll get £60 worth of life out of it before the mount fails (if it does). Then you could replace it with one of your other choices.

Dan
--
http://photo.pidcock.co.uk/ - Photography information
http://www.pidcock.co.uk/photos - My photographs

OP Richard Evans 13 Regular Member • Posts: 187
Re: Can't decide which lenses for the Alpha

Thanks for the suggestion. That's what I had in mind. I know where to find a mint Minolta 50mm f1.7. Now I'm trying to decide between the Tamron AF 70-300 F4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 or the Sigma 70-300 APO. Both are about the same price. My impression is that the Tamron is a better built but the Sigma (being APO) probably has less CA.

I got over my phobia about the 'plastic' mount when I found out it's actually polypropylene which is what CD's/DVD's are made of. It's very durable.

I'm so excited! Now after all the frenzy of shopping is nearing an end I can actually start taking some pictures with this wonderful camera.

OP Richard Evans 13 Regular Member • Posts: 187
Re: Richard

Thanks everyone for your help and especially Carl for putting this all in perspective. With just 2-3 lenses my photographic creative skills will be allowed to bloom. I almost went and bought a Nikon D40x because it's so small and light abd the shutter is very quiet but I decided the Alpha really is the best camera in its class. I'll just turn up the volume on my SanDisk Sansa e280 when I'm pressing the shutter to drown out the noise. :> )

KM Glassman Senior Member • Posts: 1,536
Re: Can't decide?: Little gem: 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 Minolta lens

I had the 24-85mm Minolta lens from my film days and was always impressed with it's sharpness, color and contrast. On film it was a little soft at the edges wide open, but on the APS-C sensor it is sharp across the field and I would rate it very good to excellent (when stopped down). In fact, I like it so much on the a100 that I bought another one (RS version) on e-bay recently that was "new" in the box for $150. (Interestingly, the old sticker price tag on the box reads $479.49)! Some people overlook this lens in favor of the greater zoom range of the 24-105mm (KM and Sony), but the Mino 24-85mm is a different and more complex design and IMO, is superior to the 24-105mm in sharperness, contrast, build, flare and with less distortion at the wide end. IMO, this lens is far superior to the kit lens in every respect except zoom range. I really like the compact size of this lens too, it's a great match for the Sony a100 and the AF is fairly fast and smoother than most Mino zooms in manual mode. It's FOV range on the a100 is comparable to a typical 4x point and shoot camera (like my Sony dsc-V3). If you don't want to deal with e-Bay, try KEH.com, they always seem to have them in stock. It's an overlooked great lens at a bargain price!
--
G. Lassman

chych Senior Member • Posts: 1,320
Re: Can't decide?: Little gem: 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 Minolta lens

I agree with the 24-85, absolutely wonderful lens, and has become my kit lens replacement. I consistently get images that are just excellent out of it; color/sharpness/bokeh are just great. I got mine for $120 used, and is a very nice deal.

I also have an old 35-105/3.5-4.5, which is also a good lens that I picked up for $15 (had to fix the aperture though). This one is very sharp on its tele end, even wide open. Though you'll have to give up the wide end a bit, and it is a bit soft wide open at 35, and has a far minimum focus distance.

Michel J Veteran Member • Posts: 4,009
Re: Can't decide which lenses for the Alpha

olivegarden wrote

You can try Minolta 35-70/4 & 70-210/4, both are bargain price now.

I agree with it.

If you would like high end lenses but cheap cheap cheap...

It's the best choice that you can do so far.

And it's sharp as a razor blade from F/4 to ~ F/22

You can ad to the list the big Beercan 75-300mm F/4.5-5.6 but be carefull only the first generations can match an astonishing level of quality (disigned in 1985/1986).

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Michel J

7D+VC7D grip – 7xi — 4 Flashs 5600hs — AF 24mm F/2.8 — AF 50mm F/1.7 – AF 17-35mm F/3.5 G – AF 24-105mm – F/3.5-4.5 AF D – AF 28-135mm F/4.5-5.6 – AF 70-210mm F/4 (Beercan) – AF 100mm F/2.8 macro

 Michel J's gear list:Michel J's gear list
Sony SLT-A77 Sony SLT-A37 Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM Sony 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* +10 more
cgl88 Regular Member • Posts: 383
Re: Can't decide which lenses for the Alpha

Outdoor:
Kit lens 17-80mm (CZ 16-80 if you're rich or have too much money)
Beer lens 70-210

Indoor:
Minolta 50mm f1.4 or f1.7

Vacation lens:
18-200mm

mark moe Senior Member • Posts: 1,446
Re: Plastic mount non-issue--I agree!

Plastic will give plenty of life at the price--the optics are good and that's what counts.

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