New Tamron 70-200
Have a question. I won a brand new Tamron 70-200 from ebay from a real dealer for about $1100. I avoided the sony mainly because the Tamron was half the price (with better IQ according to reviews), both my A99 and A77II have focus limiters in the camera body, and Tamron has a 6 year warranty.
BUT yesterday I was testing the tracking on my dog, who I would call across the yard, and then she would run. I was using center spot and 12 FPS mode on the A77II, and found that maybe the first 2 shots were in focus and the rest wouldn't keep up with her at all. I did this test several times, and each one, once she moved about 5 feet, focus didn't lock at all on her and she was completely unfocused...
Curious about this, I attached my Minolta 300 HS G APO and did the same test, same settings. 90% of the shots were in focus, except when she got too close for the minimum focus distance. Is this normal? Is my lens a dud? Are primes (PRO primes like my Minolta G) better at tracking?
I just can't see how this lens would be good for tracking sports if I couldn't track a dog in controlled conditions. Maybe I should have got the Sony?
I don't have that lens or the a77II, but I would try the same thing using the newer focus mode on that body, the flexible expandable spot or whatever they called it where you pick your subject and then keep the fire button half-pressed. I watched a Gary Fong demo of this on You Tube and it was quite effective at keeping a fast-moving subject in focus even at 12 FPS. He contrasted it with the "local" mode tracking focus and there was a huge difference - the camera gets confused much easier with the way you describe.
I'm interested to see if that helps in your case with the Tamron - let us know!
Here's a link to the video I referenced:
Thanks, I will try that out when I get home. Needless to say, I was shocked at how much faster and better the 25 year old Minolta focused. Hopefully the tracking mode will improve the situation.
Good luck. You may still find that the performance isn't as quick as the old Minolta HS. I've heard they are still very competitive at focus speed.
I have enjoyed the Sony 70-300G for shooting my son's soccer games with an a580 and now a77. It's another very fast focusing camera and renders colors and out-of-focus areas very nicely.
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