Want a good quality zoom under 1k...plz help

Started Oct 14, 2011 | Discussions
garypaul1256 Regular Member • Posts: 152
Want a good quality zoom under 1k...plz help

I went through my pictures from my newly purchased a55 with kit lens 18-55 mm and noticed that 85% of the time I am using it at max focal length. I now know I need more FL but I don't want to sacrifice quality and low light capabilities. I also need to stay under $1000. Help please my mind is hurting. I have read about 100 reviews and postings and still can't figure this out.

Gary

 garypaul1256's gear list:garypaul1256's gear list
Sony SLT-A55 Sony SLT-A57 Sony DT 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 ZA Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Sony DT 50mm F1.8 SAM
Glenn Veteran Member • Posts: 7,877
Re: Want a good quality zoom under 1k...plz help

well you have a lot of choice in this space. might I suggest a 70-300G it's not a fast lens but you can't beat the quality and you'll have some left over of your 1000 to get a 85 F2.8 sam to give you really low light reach for portraits and such
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http://www.fotosource.com/downloads/flyer/eye_cancer_en_CA.pdf

Peter McNeill Senior Member • Posts: 1,554
Re: Want a good quality zoom under 1k...plz help

Sony/Tamron 18-250, Sigma 18-250 DG OS HSM, Tamron 18-270 PZD, Sony 16-105, or Tamron 70-300 USD in combo with the kit lens. All have there plus and minuses but all will equal and outdo the kit lens. Then there's stuff like the Tamron 70-200 f2.8 and the Sigma 50-150 f2.8 that are under a grand
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TimberWolfQX Regular Member • Posts: 218
Re: Want a good quality zoom under 1k...plz help
imarollingstone Veteran Member • Posts: 3,641
Re: Want a good quality zoom under 1k...plz help

What are you trying to shoot? That would give us an idea of what to recommend. Typically, a fast high quality lens is going to be expensive. If you are willing to compromise on something, you might be able to get something to meet your needs.
--
Shawn

 imarollingstone's gear list:imarollingstone's gear list
Sony RX100 II Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D Sony SLT-A55 Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 +25 more
OP garypaul1256 Regular Member • Posts: 152
Re: Want a good quality zoom under 1k...plz help

Glenn wrote:

well you have a lot of choice in this space. might I suggest a 70-300G it's not a fast lens but you can't beat the quality and you'll have some left over of your 1000 to get a 85 F2.8 sam to give you really low light reach for portraits and such
--
http://www.fotosource.com/downloads/flyer/eye_cancer_en_CA.pdf

Exactly what I was thinking is the Sony 70-300G but I did not consider the purchase of the 85 F2.8 for low light. I will have to check it out. Thx

 garypaul1256's gear list:garypaul1256's gear list
Sony SLT-A55 Sony SLT-A57 Sony DT 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 ZA Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Sony DT 50mm F1.8 SAM
Setter Dog Veteran Member • Posts: 5,275
Re: Want a good quality zoom under 1k...plz help

You are going to get many, many recommendations and probably become more confused than you are right now!

I'm a fairly new a55 owner and had two kit lenses, 18-55mm and 75-300mm. It's important for me to say now that the IQ from those lenses seemed fine to me. Many on this forum will call them junk. My only problem was that I always seemed to have the wrong lens mounted. After a great deal of study and good input from forum members, I bought a Sigma 18-250mm. I like the lens but after one trip to the local zoo with it, I had to admit that it was very heavy and didn't really balance well on the a55. So, my search started for something else for every day use and I decided to put the Sigma away until my next Yellowstone trip. If I buy a new a65 or a77, the Sigma will be attached to it permanently.

Using size and weight as a primary consideration, I bought a Tamron 28-200mm. It hasn't been off my camera since I got it. It looks like it was made for the a55 and the IQ is just fine. I often crop the 200mm images heavily and the quality remains very good.

Since you are buying your first lens, my recommendation is the Tamron 18-270mm. Although I don't have it, it seems to get good reviews and covers pretty much everything. It's a light weight and short lens, compared to many others. Or, you may consider the lens I have, Tamron 28-200mm. It's a good lens.

Good luck,....I can't wait to see the recommendations you get.

Jack

neo_nights
neo_nights Senior Member • Posts: 1,018
Re: Want a good quality zoom under 1k...plz help

You didn't specify what kind of zoom you want but here some options:

For a walk-around zoom, you can buy super zoom like a Tamron 18-270mm, moderate zoom like the Sony 16-105mm F3.5-5.6, Carl-Zeiss 16-80mm F3.5-4.5, Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 (if you don't need anything too wide), Sigma 24-70mm F.28 and a lot more.

For telephoto there are the Sony 70-300G, and also Tamron and Sigma 70-200mm.

If you don't have a problem buying used stuff, you can always buy one of the most worshiped lens from A-mount which is the Minolta 70-210mm (AKA as 'beercan').

From PERSONAL experience I can easily recommend both Sony 16-105mm F3.5-5.6 and the Carl-Zeiss 16-80mm F3.5-4.5, along with the Beercan (Minolta 70-210mm F4).

Also you can check a LOT of lens reviews (users reviews) on Dyxum.com.

With your budget you can buy some very nice lenses (and not only one!)

-- hide signature --

I'm lazy to post my pics here. So you can look at them here:
http://www.zenfolio.com/neonights

 neo_nights's gear list:neo_nights's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 Pentax K20D Pentax K-5 Sony Alpha NEX-6 Samsung D-Xenon 35mm F2 AL +7 more
OP garypaul1256 Regular Member • Posts: 152
Re: Want a good quality zoom under 1k...plz help

imarollingstone wrote:

What are you trying to shoot? That would give us an idea of what to recommend. Typically, a fast high quality lens is going to be expensive. If you are willing to compromise on something, you might be able to get something to meet your needs.
--
Shawn

Well I tried the Tamron 18-270mm but its IQ wasn't up to my standards. The same goes for the Sony 75-300mm the IQ wasn't there.

I want to shoot mostly portrait but I am going to Disney about every year and want versatility while there. Also like I stated before I noticed most of my pics were at the 55mm range and felt I needed more in some cases. Low light quality is important because of night time activities such as parades fireworks and just being there till the late hours through the night. Inside the shop at Epcot are always set with not much lighting also.

 garypaul1256's gear list:garypaul1256's gear list
Sony SLT-A55 Sony SLT-A57 Sony DT 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 ZA Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Sony DT 50mm F1.8 SAM
garykohs
garykohs Veteran Member • Posts: 4,524
Re: Want a good quality zoom under 1k...plz help

If you can find a good copy of the Sigma 50-150/2.8 HSMII you should buy it. It's exactly what you are looking for.

garypaul1256 wrote:

imarollingstone wrote:

What are you trying to shoot? That would give us an idea of what to recommend. Typically, a fast high quality lens is going to be expensive. If you are willing to compromise on something, you might be able to get something to meet your needs.
--
Shawn

Well I tried the Tamron 18-270mm but its IQ wasn't up to my standards. The same goes for the Sony 75-300mm the IQ wasn't there.

I want to shoot mostly portrait but I am going to Disney about every year and want versatility while there. Also like I stated before I noticed most of my pics were at the 55mm range and felt I needed more in some cases. Low light quality is important because of night time activities such as parades fireworks and just being there till the late hours through the night. Inside the shop at Epcot are always set with not much lighting also.

-- hide signature --

Gary

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Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D Canon EOS-1D X Sony a99 II Sony a9 Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM +16 more
OP garypaul1256 Regular Member • Posts: 152
Re: Want a good quality zoom under 1k...plz help

garykohs wrote:

If you can find a good copy of the Sigma 50-150/2.8 HSMII you should buy it. It's exactly what you are looking for.

Exactly why do you think 150mm is enough? Its seems like a great lens but will read more reviews on it. Thank you for the suggestion.

 garypaul1256's gear list:garypaul1256's gear list
Sony SLT-A55 Sony SLT-A57 Sony DT 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 ZA Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Sony DT 50mm F1.8 SAM
Malcolm Turner Senior Member • Posts: 1,332
Re: Want a good quality zoom under 1k...plz help

If you're looking to REPLACE the kit lens, the CZ 16-80 is probably the best "standard" zoom on the market from ANY manufacturer. Cheaper, the Sigma 17-70 is pretty good (I used one before I got the CZ). If you're looking to add to the kit, I also have a Tamron 55-200 which is excellent.

 Malcolm Turner's gear list:Malcolm Turner's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Sony SLT-A77 Sony a99 II Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD
JudyN Veteran Member • Posts: 4,514
Re: Want a good quality zoom under 1k...plz help

If you can explain how these two lenses disappointed you, especially by posting some images, it would probably help people help you decide what lens to get. I think they should be as good as your kit lens, or nearly so...

garypaul1256 wrote:

Well I tried the Tamron 18-270mm but its IQ wasn't up to my standards. The same goes for the Sony 75-300mm the IQ wasn't there.

-- hide signature --
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus E-M5 II Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 70-300mm 1:4.0-5.6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 +5 more
OP garypaul1256 Regular Member • Posts: 152
Re: Want a good quality zoom under 1k...plz help

JudyN wrote:

If you can explain how these two lenses disappointed you, especially by posting some images, it would probably help people help you decide what lens to get. I think they should be as good as your kit lens, or nearly so...

garypaul1256 wrote:

Well I tried the Tamron 18-270mm but its IQ wasn't up to my standards. The same goes for the Sony 75-300mm the IQ wasn't there.

-- hide signature --

When looking at the pics On my pc they both showed bad CA and neither were very sharp at a medium to full focal length. I may have deleted the test pics but will look for them so I can post them later. Thx Judy

 garypaul1256's gear list:garypaul1256's gear list
Sony SLT-A55 Sony SLT-A57 Sony DT 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 ZA Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Sony DT 50mm F1.8 SAM
El Profe Senior Member • Posts: 1,706
Re: Want a good quality zoom under 1k...plz help

Your best choice is to get the Sony 70-300mm. Check review:

http://kurtmunger.com/sony_70_300mm_f_4_5_5_6_gid224.html

If you want something more affordable the Tamron 70-300mm. Check review:

http://kurtmunger.com/tamron_70_300mm_f_4_5_6id290.html

The Tamron is a good lens for the price. And a good combination together with your kit lens.

L R Harner Regular Member • Posts: 256
Re: Want a good quality zoom under 1k...plz help

well you can always rent t o try and see what you like with your style of shooting
i did with a 16-80cz this summer and now i have my own (GF got it for me today )

it could be the best blend of zoom range and F speed while still keeping IQ up that said i here good things of the 16-105 but i wanted a bit faster lens

now that i have this im looking at the tamron 70-300 USD and hopping that sony down the road makes a FF lens that woudl work as a middle range zoom on the crop cams (liek the older "handshake" lens )

the kids football and soccer coudl most days be covered by 40-160 F4 depending on where i set up on the fields

 L R Harner's gear list:L R Harner's gear list
Sony SLT-A65 Sony DT 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 ZA Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Sony DT 30mm F2.8 Macro SAM
OP garypaul1256 Regular Member • Posts: 152
Re: Want a good quality zoom under 1k...plz help

El Profe wrote:

Your best choice is to get the Sony 70-300mm. Check review:

http://kurtmunger.com/sony_70_300mm_f_4_5_5_6_gid224.html

If you want something more affordable the Tamron 70-300mm. Check review:

http://kurtmunger.com/tamron_70_300mm_f_4_5_6id290.html

The Tamron is a good lens for the price. And a good combination together with your kit lens.

It looks as though I want the IQ of the SAL70300G SSM but I also want a fast lens. I dont know if I can get that for under 1k. It doesnt have to be to 300mm either. I think 150mm - 250mm(max FL) would be enough length for me and what I am shooting most of the time.

This is a sample shot from the SAL75300 that I liked and kept. I was about 5' from my subject and zoomed to 280mm and got a great shot. The ones I deleted from this lenses sample shots were from 20 yards away and zoomed to the full 300mm and had a lot of CA in the high contrast areas that I could see at just fitting the picture to my PC screen.

 garypaul1256's gear list:garypaul1256's gear list
Sony SLT-A55 Sony SLT-A57 Sony DT 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 ZA Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Sony DT 50mm F1.8 SAM
dlkeller Veteran Member • Posts: 6,922
Re: Want a good quality zoom under 1k...plz help

I haven't noticed either deficiencey in my Tamron 18-270 PZD. Certainly not the sharpness. If you find it lacking save your money for the Sony 70-300G or 70-400G as I don't think you'll be satisfied with less.
--
Dave

dlkeller Veteran Member • Posts: 6,922
Totally Agree

Even if you decide on even higher quality glass at a later date it will remain an outstanding walkaround/travel lens even with higher quality glass in your bag. I've posted several PZD shots on the forum and they are in my gallery if you want to see what it does.
--
Dave

OP garypaul1256 Regular Member • Posts: 152
Re: Want a good quality zoom under 1k...plz help

I now know I want a faster lens but, Sony doesn't offer the reange I am looking for or its just financially out of reach. I want to have f2.8 or faster in the 100mm or higher range. I will be checking Minoltas on ebay to see what I can come up with.

 garypaul1256's gear list:garypaul1256's gear list
Sony SLT-A55 Sony SLT-A57 Sony DT 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 ZA Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Sony DT 50mm F1.8 SAM
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