Which lens to purchase for Sony A65?

Started Mar 30, 2014 | Discussions
EvilOne
EvilOne Forum Pro • Posts: 14,333
Re: Which lens to purchase for Sony A65?

jaynbay112 wrote:

I'm snooping around for Cameras and the A65 seems like a strong candidate. I was wondering what lenses to purchase if I were to buy the A65. I would like any suggestions all focal lengths, whatever. (However I do like street photog). Am i better off with a minolta? All recommendations are welcome!

You would be better served to go for the A77 over the A65. as far as lenses go , if you are going to do any video, then you want to stay away from old Minolta lenses with screw drive autofocus because they make too much noise and passively make their noise noticeable on any video you will shoot.

the ideal combo would be the water resistant Sony A77 with the water resistant 16-50 2.8 from Sony.

Its a great start to years of photographic enjoyment. Don't buy cheap lenses... they will collect dust.

I would rather have 1 good lens than 5 or 6 fair lenses. Do enough research to buy quality lenses. Ask questions and do the research before you make a decision, don't come here after the fact and tell people what you did. This place is a great resource but we cant help you if you make the wrong decision. maybe wrong is the wrong word.. I should have said an uneducated decision would not be in your best interest.

Budget is a big concern but most people try to buy the low end of their budget instead of trying to buy a best they can get even if it means just getting one thing now and saving for the next great thing. too many people buy cheap first just to have a lens, or build a collection of fair lenses and brag  that they have 26 lenses, but in fact many have 26 very fair lenses. that one or two good lenses would replace easily and be cheaper over all. that's why I always say "I cant afford to buy anything too cheap " it cost you more money in the long run. You buy cheap, you become unhappy with it quickly then sell it at a loss and buy what you should have bought in the first place.

Good Luck

Bill

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Gary Waugh Senior Member • Posts: 1,736
Re: Which lens to purchase for Sony A65?

Lens database with customer reviews.

http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/index.asp

In my opinion, the "beercan" is overrated.

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Gary in PA

Calico Jack Senior Member • Posts: 2,306
Re: Which lens to purchase for Sony A65?

As the A65 is an APS-C camera, I would advise buying appropriate format lenses (telephoto zoom/prime and/or macro lenses aside), so if you're after a short portrait prime, the SAL50F18 DT or for a standard short WA zoom, a Sigma AF 17-70mm F/2.8-4 DC Macro, Sigma AF 17-70mm F/2.8-4 OS DC Macro or Tamron AF 17-50/2.8 Di-II which are all superior kit lens alternatives and are affordable and give excellent results. Research used prices for best deals.

Check lens types/models on the Dyxum website which should give you far more info than 100 different opinions which will confuse you even more!

It would help to know what type of shooting you intend to do, such as: macro, portrait, telephoto, WA/UWA urban or landscape, fast action etc.  You don't need to spend a fortune of decent optics, but only buy what YOU need and not based on other peoples 'must have' lenses which will generally include legacy Minolta full frame optics.

Also check the Tokina DX range.  In case you're not aware, APS-C (cropped sensor) lenses have the following letter designators:

Tokina: DX - Tamron: Di-II - Sony: DT - Sigma: DC

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Mark (aka Pirate!)

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Calico Jack Senior Member • Posts: 2,306
Re: Which lens to purchase for Sony A65?

Gary Waugh wrote:

In my opinion, the "beercan" is overrated.

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Gary in PA

+1

There are far better options such as the Tamron and Sigma 50-200mm for the intermediate zoom range if that's what the OP needs.  The Sigma OS DC HSM 50-200mm is an absolute treat of a lens which makes the F4 BC look lame in direct comparison, but each to their own, and also, SLT owners need to cross-reference compatibility with their system (facility on specific lens pages on Dyxum).

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Mark (aka Pirate!)

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18diopters Forum Member • Posts: 58
Re: You didn't mention budget...

DT35mm f1.8 for sure!

The Sony 16-50 is good, but the 35mm prime is awesome! Buy the 35mm f1.8 and a Tamron 70-300 f4-5.6 and go from there. You should be able to buy those two for the cost of the Sony 16-50 f2.8, and spend any additional money you have budgeted on a half decent polariser.

For the wide angle Samyangs are excellent, but either of the Sigma 10-20mms are super fun and have automatic exposure. I've had good success with the f3.5 version.

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If you vote, you have no right to complain. People like to twist that around. They say ‘well if you don’t vote, you have no right to complain,’ but where is the logic in that? If you vote and you elect dishonest, incompetent people and they get into office and screw everything up, well, you are responsible for everything they’ve done. You’ve caused the problem, you voted them in, you have no right to complain. I, on the other hand, who did not vote, who, in fact, did not even leave the house on election day, am in no way responsible for what these people have done and have every right to complain as loud as I want about the mess you created that I had nothing to do with. -George Carlin

Agreed. 35 1.8 and tamron 70-300 are the only lenses that I use. Thinking of selling off all my other lenses because they never get any action.

dsquirrel Regular Member • Posts: 302
Re: Which lens to purchase for Sony A65?

Not true at all. The DT35mm f1.8 is superior optically to the kit lens, and I suspect it would be easily noticeable if you did a side by side comparison of the two using a tripod if you like, identical exposure, etc. You may have had good luck with the kit lens, but as far as light transmission/perceived MP the 35mm f1.8 is superior at all f-stops.

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If you vote, you have no right to complain. People like to twist that around. They say ‘well if you don’t vote, you have no right to complain,’ but where is the logic in that? If you vote and you elect dishonest, incompetent people and they get into office and screw everything up, well, you are responsible for everything they’ve done. You’ve caused the problem, you voted them in, you have no right to complain. I, on the other hand, who did not vote, who, in fact, did not even leave the house on election day, am in no way responsible for what these people have done and have every right to complain as loud as I want about the mess you created that I had nothing to do with. -George Carlin

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havoc315 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,620
Re: Which lens to purchase for Sony A65?

Alright well thanks a lot! Can anyone tell me best prime for people? The Minolta 50mm f 1.7 look tempting, and the beercan does too? If I where to have the 18-55 kit, and the two previously listed would I be good to go as an hobbyist?

It would be a good starting set up on a budget.
Many hobbyists start with the 50/1.7.

They are far from perfect lenses. But considering that the 2 lenses are under $200 combined, it's tough to beat for the price.

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havoc315 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,620
Re: Which lens to purchase for Sony A65?

Ok I guess I wasn't clear but I really appreciate the help! I want the cheapest as possible but still decent. I don't mind old Minoltas and stuff, I'm talking like Beercan, Mini beer can and so on. Also the 50mm f1,7? Can anyone tell me about there experience with Minolta lenses on non film cameras, good , bad, witch ones?

I would like AF...

Hows the sony 50mm F.18?

Those are all autofocus.
The Sony 50/1.8 should perform a little better than the 50/1.7. Particularly, less flare and CA.

Whether those improvements are worth the extra cost is a subjective question.
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AlphaTikal
AlphaTikal Senior Member • Posts: 2,140
Re: Which lens to purchase for Sony A65?

I did compare carefully. But I have to do it again. Then post it some day, to proof it. This takes time...
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AlphaTikal
AlphaTikal Senior Member • Posts: 2,140
Re: Which lens to purchase for Sony A65?

That's why I suggest to start with thw kit lens, which is not that bad. Ok there are some bad copies. If you get a good one, so it is the money worth to start with.
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Calico Jack Senior Member • Posts: 2,306
Re: Which lens to purchase for Sony A65?

jaynbay112 wrote:

Ok I guess I wasn't clear but I really appreciate the help! I want the cheapest as possible but still decent. I don't mind old Minoltas and stuff, I'm talking like Beercan, Mini beer can and so on. Also the 50mm f1,7? Can anyone tell me about there experience with Minolta lenses on non film cameras, good , bad, witch ones?

I would like AF...

Hows the sony 50mm F.18?

As the SAL50F18 is a DT lens designed for the APS-C sensor and I would choose it over the MIN50F17.  it's equally as sharp, much lighter with modern optics and coatings and you get full APS-C coverage and not just the centre 66.6% or 75mm focal length @ 1.5x crop factor 35mm equivalent.  As for the F4 BC and F4 mini-BC and you can cover most of this range with a 50-200mm lens or if you must by legacy full frame, a Min 24-105mm (D) for the short-medium zoom range, but there are far better options for similar money in the correct format for APS-C cameras, though you haven't stated what type of togging you're planning to do or have any interest in, so duplicating focal ranges with multiple optics is pointless, albeit with full frame lenses, you won't get the full benefit, and that aside, there are plenty of bad copies of legacy Minolta lenses with fungus, de-laminated front and rear elements, dampened/faulty/oily aperture blades and the list goes on and on.  You need to know what questions to ask and also how to inspect for internal ingress, so be very mindful that you could end up with a collection of lemons.  Those of us who have got the t-shirt could offer guidance, but if this new territory for you, then stick with more modern optics as the chances of getting a duff copy will be much reduced and you don't end up out of pocket or unhappy with the whole thing.

I've posted other replies on this thread, but if you want a 1-2-1, then send me a PM and I'll be happy to explain and talk you through it all so you get the best you can afford and you will no doubt enjoy using the equipment.

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Mark (aka Pirate!)

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K E Hoffman
K E Hoffman Senior Member • Posts: 5,101
Re: Which lens to purchase for Sony A65?

jaynbay112 wrote:

Alright well thanks a lot! Can anyone tell me best prime for people? The Minolta 50mm f 1.7 look tempting, and the beercan does too? If I where to have the 18-55 kit, and the two previously listed would I be good to go as an hobbyist?

If you shoot things like sports from the stands etc.

I would grab and Minolta 100-200 F4.5 It doesn't focus closer than 3M/9ft but for shooting from the stands focuses fast and is the size of a kit lens in design and from my use seems as sharp as the beercan.  And they sell for $60 on eBay

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K.E.H. >> Shooting between raindrops in WA<<
Don't Panic!.. these are just opinions... go take some pictures..

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AlphaTikal
AlphaTikal Senior Member • Posts: 2,140
Re: Which lens to purchase for Sony A65?

The Minolta 100-200mm f/4.5 have similar image quality like the bigger legendary brother Minolta 70-210mm f/4.0. Besides it is smaller and lighter and have little less focal length and focal f-stop. It is a good starting point for tele lenses.

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Calico Jack Senior Member • Posts: 2,306
Re: Which lens to purchase for Sony A65?

jaynbay112 wrote:

I'm snooping around for Cameras and the A65 seems like a strong candidate. I was wondering what lenses to purchase if I were to buy the A65. I would like any suggestions all focal lengths, whatever. (However I do like street photog). Am i better off with a minolta? All recommendations are welcome!

Unless the A65 or the SLT system does something unlike no other that you MUST have other than taking stills, you should also be aware that there are known incompatibility issues with certain 3rd party hardware such as flashguns and the like, so should you need one, you may be restricted to paying 4x as much as necessary for an F43 flash whereas much less for an F42, Sigma, Metz or Minolta flash (this could also include macro ring-flash such as the Delta DRF-14 S. Marumi or Minolta variants).

Have you realistically considered buying an A700 and maybe a vertical grip for portrait? I only ask as this model, like all 3 digit Alpha's have no such incompatibility issues with legacy Minolta, Tokina or current version lenses or 3rd party hardware and if I'm brutally honest, I think this may be the way to go. Used A700's are dirt cheap (as is the VG if you think one is required) and whilst it may be 5 or so years old, it's still a superb intermediate grade mag-alloy chassis body that delivers wonderful results. For reference, take a look at some images I have on Flickr (via Fluidr). Most were with the A700 and apart from some top-self primes, were with affordable lenses, some of which I've eluded to in previous posts on your thread.  I could easily sort you out with an A700, VG-C70AM grip, external flash, macro ring-flash, second battery for the grip, 2 memory cards and 4 lenses to cover 17mm - 300mm range for under US $1000.00 no problem.  I'm a Pirate and it's my job!  If you were to get just one lens, then based on what you've said, a Sigma 10-20mm DC would give you all the width you'll need for close-up urban work such as high buildings and ultra-wide angle (UWA) but at the same time, a Sigma 17-70mm DC or Tamron 17-50mm would be perfect for standard wide-angle zoom (WA) 'street' work.

Anyway you decide on the image quality, and most were taken with the A700 and Sigma 17-70mm DC Macro though there are other lenses used from the superb $50.00 Vivitar/Cosina AF 100mm F/3.5 MC Macro 'plastic fantastic' to the Minolta AF 300/2.8 APO HS G.  See here.  Camera and lens used is on the right side of the image (where I've remembered to input the data).  I currently use the full frame Sony A850 which like the A900 is around the same age as the A700.  I don't need GPS, video, tilting screen, coffee maker, Bluetooth, cell/mobile phone or other gizmo's or gadgets.  One word of advice is don't buy a camera based on useless extras which you won't use and end up paying a premium for.

For most that now use SLT, they would likely have migrated from DSLR and have many years of experience, so will be at least competent with usage and handling.  Unless I've got the wrong 'vibe', I'm guessing you're a novice or inexperienced shooter.  If I'm right, then I would strongly urge you to have a re-think and look at the A700 to cut your teeth on and then after a couple of years after you've moved up to the competent/experienced category, you'll be in a much better position to decide if you stay with the brand, move elsewhere or likely by then, newer models will have been released and you could then make an informed choice to stay with the tried and tested DSLR format or pay over the odds to replace everything you already have with like-for-like kit on a then current system.  Maybe you'll decide to go full frame, and then the doors really will open lens-wise.

Whatever you do, don't jump in with both feet.  Yes, SLT owners will tell you about the system, but if as I think you're making your first steps, then I think erring on the side of caution would be both sensible and more cost effective for you, but this isn't me saying SLT is wrong for you, but for example, have you looked down a digital viewfinder and an optical viewfinder?  It's one detail that can make a lot of difference and there are pro's and con's on both sides, but I'm not pitching DSLR against DSLT, but making sure you fully understand that their the same . . but different for a variety of reasons notwithstanding features, price and compatibility.

Let me know what you make of the sample images.  I have many more on aviation sites and on RedBubble.  The A700 with intermediate quality inexpensive optics really can perform superbly.

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Mark (aka Pirate!)

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Osssis Regular Member • Posts: 378
Re: Which lens to purchase for Sony A65?

How abour checking how much 18-55 kit costs? At least in finland body only packages often cost the same or even more than ones with kit lenses. The kit lens isn't supposed to be very bad either and would give you a good start on seeing if you want better iq, more reach, wider or faster lens.

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enemjii Senior Member • Posts: 1,889
Re: Which lens to purchase for Sony A65?

for now I have settled down on these two. I think these two cover most of routine and some special pictures that I need to take. Now if you are a birding fan, then you need mega zooms.

Sony 35 f1.8

Sony 18-135mm

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EinsteinsGhost
EinsteinsGhost Forum Pro • Posts: 11,977
Re: Which lens to purchase for Sony A65?

Alright well thanks a lot! Can anyone tell me best prime for people? The Minolta 50mm f 1.7 look tempting, and the beercan does too? If I where to have the 18-55 kit, and the two previously listed would I be good to go as an hobbyist?

For prime, my top recommendation would be DT 35/1.8. For 50mm, choices are ample: 1.4, 1.7 and DT50/1.8. And for tighter portraits: 85/2.8 (you could also consider Sigma 70/2.8 or Tamron 90/2.8 or Minolta 100/2.8 macro lenses to double ad tight portrait lenses).

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texascbx Contributing Member • Posts: 645
Re: Which lens to purchase for Sony A65?

Sony 16-50 f/2.8. I see them on CL regularly for around 500. And the Minolta 50 f/1.7, goes for around 90 on CL.

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enemjii Senior Member • Posts: 1,889
Re: Which lens to purchase for Sony A65?

enemjii wrote:

for now I have settled down on these two. I think these two cover most of routine and some special pictures that I need to take. Now if you are a birding fan, then you need mega zooms.

Sony 35 f1.8

Sony 18-135mm

From an colors/sharpness perspective, I see no difference between the two lenses. The advantage I see for the Sony 35 f1.8 is light weight and the capability of a shallow DoF, leading to creamy out of focus.

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Jay
Jay Regular Member • Posts: 156
Re: You didn't mention budget...

Ron Poelman wrote:

even so, it shouldn't send you broke so here's the cheapies..

Walkaround - Minolta 24-85 nice colours, sharpish and MFD is reasonable unlike a lot of Minolta zooms.
Runner up, Tammy 17-50 often ignored, but an excellent alternative to pricey Sony zooms.

Prime - Sony DT35 simply unbeatable at the $200 price. Sharp, good colours, tiny MFD, 1.8 too
Runner Up - A Minolta 24mm or a 20mm if you can stretch to it.
Note: the Minolta 50's are tempting at the price, but 35 is more useful any day in the real world.

Tele - The Tammy 70-300 is probably the best all rounder
Runners Up - Sony 55-300 good bang for buck,
Beercan can give stunning results but it's picky about sun direction and heavy,
best thought of as an enthusiast lens for later down the track.

Fun - The Samyang 8mm although (personally) I might have been happier with the 14mm.

I have the A65 with Sigma 24-70 2.8 EX DG HSM.

I haven't seen anyone recommending this one.  Is there a reason?

I'm just auto jpeg shooter that is just trying to understand the basics.

I had the sal1650 but found the range a little limiting.  Then I found this sigma on dyxum and the ratings seemed very good.  After getting it, I looked on this forum and didn't really see much comment on it.

I'm thinking about going to the a6000 for the AF.  However, I'm hesitant on having to sell my a65 and sigma 2470.  Too much hassle.  I've already had gone through the hassle of selling my sal18135, sal1650, sal35f18, sal85f28.

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