Sony a6000 & Safari - Confused

Started 7 months ago | Discussions
XRAY51 Forum Member • Posts: 70
Re: Sony a6000 & Safari - Confused
1

I have had a similar trip to what you are going to take. In Jan. 2020, just before the pandemic, I was in South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique. The animal reserves and parks were the highlight for me.

I took 2 bodies, an A6000 and an A6500. On one I had the Sony 18-200 zoom that you are looking at, and on the other I had the Sony 55-210 zoom that you are also looking at. I also had an Olympus 17x converter mounted on the 55-210mm which gave me additional reach of 70% out to 357MM. If you add the 1.5 crop factor of the APSC format, it gives 535MM equivalent in full frame. I had an old iphone 6+, which I really didn’t use much, except for a few scenics.

Both camera setups worked well. When there was lot of activity going on around close to me, the 18-200 was very good. (Many people on the forum pan this lens, but I am a fan). And the 55-210 and converter combination was effective at getting me closer to the subject when I needed to for the longer shots. It gave excellent results.

So what would I recommend for you? First, do not discount that iphone 13. That can take terrific photos. I have an iphone 12 Pro Max. I bought it purely for its imagery.

You have one camera body, the a6000. Take it. I don’t think you will need another one. Here is why. The new Tamron 18-300M has been providing good results and has a longer reach than the 18-200 from Sony. For less money. I have recently acquired one and am happy with it. But here is one thing that I would add. The Olympus 17X converter lens, which can be screwed right on to the front of the Tamron and will give you even more reach. This is the converter that I was using on the Sony 55-210 in Africa and it worked just fine. It also works fine on the Tamron 18-300MM. Gives you an extra 70% reach when you need it. Just get an adapter ring of 67-55mm so it will screw right on. So you can spend your whole day shooting with one lens on the camera. Just add the converter when you think you need it. Without the converter, the lens goes down to 18MM for wide angle. And up to 300MM long. It is a great combination, which minimizes total weight and complexity, yet can still give some very nice images.

And the iPhone. It is amazing for things that are wide angle to normal to short telephoto. It is also great at giving special effects like water flows, etc. And it is amazing at night. I love mine. I don’t take my wide angle Sony 10-18MM anymore for my camera. The phone is actually a wider angle and does a better job. Its only disadvantage to me is that its screen and form are not as easy to use as a camera.

I hope this helps.

Good luck.

OP ActiveChewy New Member • Posts: 19
Re: Sony a6000 & Safari - Confused

mm wrote:

I did a Botswana safari in 2017--a memorable experience--with an a6000 and an FE70-300. The results were outstanding, an order of magnitude better than the E55-210 I took to India the year before. A caution, however: the plastic lens flanges on the a6000 body aren't up to the heft of the 70-300. The solution is the Fotodiox Tough E-Mount LT, an all-metal replacement, readily available on Amazon. Enjoy and stay safe!

thanks for the tip! Is the Fotodiox Tough E-Mount LT something I can easily swap out on my own camera you think?

OP ActiveChewy New Member • Posts: 19
Re: Sony a6000 & Safari - Confused

XRAY51 wrote:

I have had a similar trip to what you are going to take. In Jan. 2020, just before the pandemic, I was in South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique. The animal reserves and parks were the highlight for me.

I took 2 bodies, an A6000 and an A6500. On one I had the Sony 18-200 zoom that you are looking at, and on the other I had the Sony 55-210 zoom that you are also looking at. I also had an Olympus 17x converter mounted on the 55-210mm which gave me additional reach of 70% out to 357MM. If you add the 1.5 crop factor of the APSC format, it gives 535MM equivalent in full frame. I had an old iphone 6+, which I really didn’t use much, except for a few scenics.

Both camera setups worked well. When there was lot of activity going on around close to me, the 18-200 was very good. (Many people on the forum pan this lens, but I am a fan). And the 55-210 and converter combination was effective at getting me closer to the subject when I needed to for the longer shots. It gave excellent results.

So what would I recommend for you? First, do not discount that iphone 13. That can take terrific photos. I have an iphone 12 Pro Max. I bought it purely for its imagery.

You have one camera body, the a6000. Take it. I don’t think you will need another one. Here is why. The new Tamron 18-300M has been providing good results and has a longer reach than the 18-200 from Sony. For less money. I have recently acquired one and am happy with it. But here is one thing that I would add. The Olympus 17X converter lens, which can be screwed right on to the front of the Tamron and will give you even more reach. This is the converter that I was using on the Sony 55-210 in Africa and it worked just fine. It also works fine on the Tamron 18-300MM. Gives you an extra 70% reach when you need it. Just get an adapter ring of 67-55mm so it will screw right on. So you can spend your whole day shooting with one lens on the camera. Just add the converter when you think you need it. Without the converter, the lens goes down to 18MM for wide angle. And up to 300MM long. It is a great combination, which minimizes total weight and complexity, yet can still give some very nice images.

And the iPhone. It is amazing for things that are wide angle to normal to short telephoto. It is also great at giving special effects like water flows, etc. And it is amazing at night. I love mine. I don’t take my wide angle Sony 10-18MM anymore for my camera. The phone is actually a wider angle and does a better job. Its only disadvantage to me is that its screen and form are not as easy to use as a camera.

I hope this helps.

Good luck.

This is super helpful! Is this the right one? In the reviews it says it fits the a6000 so would I still need an adapter ring? If so is there one you’d recommend?

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/sony-wide-converter-lens-for-select-e-mount-cameras-black/4351502.p?skuId=4351502&ref=212&loc=1&ref=212&loc=1&ds_rl=1268655&gbraid=0AAAAAD-ORIiO5m--OPIWdKdeyOUap3aZo&gbraid=0AAAAAD-ORIiO5m--OPIWdKdeyOUap3aZo&gclid=Cj0KCQiA-qGNBhD3ARIsAO_o7yksyRnPHBb3Uo0JOIvTlDqlcgYMbiYTXcRDtz-2Uf2Ijrv6BcCqDaoaAkb3EALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

OP ActiveChewy New Member • Posts: 19
Re: new A6400 + 18-135 + rent a longer lens

math guy wrote:

ActiveChewy wrote:

Or am I better off just getting the 55-210mm and saving some $, and just using my iphone 13 for landscapes and my a6000 for the animals on this trip.

I've never been on a safari. But I can promise you that if I were going to take an amazing trip like that there is no way in the world I'd use a cell phone for any of the pictures. And my experience with the 16-50 wasn't much better than a cell phone, so I wouldn't be happy with that either.

Ideally, I think you'd probably want two bodies so you're always ready for any situation. If you can afford it, I'd spring for the A6400 + 18-135 kit. The 18-135 is worlds better than the 16-50. You could keep it on your existing A6000 for closer shots, and rent a longer lens like the 70-350 or 100-400 just for the trip to use with the new A6400. That would total around $1500ish depending on which lens you rented (and how long the trip is). Just be careful about getting a lens that is TOO long if you rent. At some point, it becomes difficult to keep it steady. I'm very happy with the 70-350 because the weight isn't too bad, and I doubt I could hold a lens steady if I went much beyond 350mm... at least not without a monopod.

Whatever you decide, have a great trip!!!

EDIT: I re-read this and my comment about cell phones and the 16-50 sounded snooty, which is not my intent. I print a lot of my photos for hanging on walls, so I want lenses that can produce images capable of printing at 11x17 or 16x24. Sometimes cell phone pics look okay on a phone, but they just don't usually hold up well to enlargement. There's a reason good glass costs a lot - physics! And again, I found the 16-50 to be only slightly better than a cell phone. If you don't intend to print any of your images at larger sizes, then you may be fine with the 16-50 for the closer shots instead of adding the 18-135.

No snottiness taken Joe, , I appreciate your perspective and that makes sense re: printing.

XRAY51 Forum Member • Posts: 70
Re: Sony a6000 & Safari - Confused
1

The converter is the Olympus Teleconverter TCON-17X (Black).

https://www.amazon.com/Olympus-V321170BW000-Teleconverter-TCON-17X-Black/dp/B007703QDO

You can sometimes find them new, but a good used one should work fine. There are no movable parts. There is also no loss of light. You set the same F-stops that you would without the converter.

You also need a 67-55MM adapter ring to fit between the lens and the converter. Like this.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/102193-REG/General_Brand_67_55_67mm_55mm_Step_Down_Ring_Lens.html?gclid=Cj0KCQiA-qGNBhD3ARIsAO_o7ymvGrhuu3Z14IFeF3oB-0D297HzV6Wwvy-uL9Uq0Qal0Fz9KYcG-lIaAhpLEALw_wcB

Here are a few shots of the camera, lens and converter.

A6000 with the 100-300MM Tamron retracted with the lens hood.

A6000 with the lens and the converter, lens retracted.

A6000 with 100-300MM fully extended with converter. It is still hand holdable.

Now a couple of images that show the absolute range from 18MM to 510MM (APSC) with using the converter on the long end, but removing it for the short end. That is 28X power.

The short end at 18MM. (APSC) No converter.

The long end at 510MM (300MM X 1.7). (APSC).  With the converter.

And now a couple of shots from the Safari I took in Jan. 2020. These are from South Africa.

A Bull Elephant coming right at us. The driver was backing up as fast as she could. Even she was nervous.  I had the front seat and it was very interesting. This was the A6000 and the 18-200MM. Sometimes you need one for close ups like this.

Lion cubs in the bush. This is the A6500 with the 55-210MM and the TCON 17X converter. It gave me just that extra reach that I wanted. Amazing creatures.

Anyway. I hope that this is helpful. I think that the Tamron 18-300MM should give you some comparable shots with just one body and lens with the converter. Even more range, actually. I hope that you have a great time. If you have any other questions, let me know.

OP ActiveChewy New Member • Posts: 19
Re: Sony a6000 & Safari - Confused
1

XRAY51 wrote:

The converter is the Olympus Teleconverter TCON-17X (Black).

https://www.amazon.com/Olympus-V321170BW000-Teleconverter-TCON-17X-Black/dp/B007703QDO

You can sometimes find them new, but a good used one should work fine. There are no movable parts. There is also no loss of light. You set the same F-stops that you would without the converter.

You also need a 67-55MM adapter ring to fit between the lens and the converter. Like this.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/102193-REG/General_Brand_67_55_67mm_55mm_Step_Down_Ring_Lens.html?gclid=Cj0KCQiA-qGNBhD3ARIsAO_o7ymvGrhuu3Z14IFeF3oB-0D297HzV6Wwvy-uL9Uq0Qal0Fz9KYcG-lIaAhpLEALw_wcB

Here are a few shots of the camera, lens and converter.

A6000 with the 100-300MM Tamron retracted with the lens hood.

A6000 with the lens and the converter, lens retracted.

A6000 with 100-300MM fully extended with converter. It is still hand holdable.

Now a couple of images that show the absolute range from 18MM to 510MM (APSC) with using the converter on the long end, but removing it for the short end. That is 28X power.

The short end at 18MM. (APSC) No converter.

The long end at 510MM (300MM X 1.7). (APSC). With the converter.

And now a couple of shots from the Safari I took in Jan. 2020. These are from South Africa.

A Bull Elephant coming right at us. The driver was backing up as fast as she could. Even she was nervous. I had the front seat and it was very interesting. This was the A6000 and the 18-200MM. Sometimes you need one for close ups like this.

Lion cubs in the bush. This is the A6500 with the 55-210MM and the TCON 17X converter. It gave me just that extra reach that I wanted. Amazing creatures.

Anyway. I hope that this is helpful. I think that the Tamron 18-300MM should give you some comparable shots with just one body and lens with the converter. Even more range, actually. I hope that you have a great time. If you have any other questions, let me know.

Wow! Thank you so much for these photos—it is so incredibly helpful. The lens size is a bit intimidating since I’m used to just shooting with the camera with the kit lens but that is incredible reach!

OP ActiveChewy New Member • Posts: 19
Re: Sony a6000 & Safari - Confused
1

Thank you all SO much! I have learned so much from all of you. I think the Tamron 18-300 will be my best bet. Now comes the bigger challenge—trying to find one! The appear to be out of stock everywhere.

Eightace Regular Member • Posts: 323
Re: Sony a6000 & Safari - Confused
1

I'd imagine the aperture jumps up quite quickly, so maybe at 70mm it will be higher than the sony lens. Not sure on that one.

The sony has longer reach and is better quality. So I feel it has more plus points.

I often take landscape photos on my phone. They are great for that. Due to the trickery arguably better if the light is low.

So id have no issue using the iPhone if you didn't want to lens swap.

I feel 70-350 and iPhone will probably get you better results than the 18-300 and I think 210 may fall slightly short.

Just how I see it anyhow.

OP ActiveChewy New Member • Posts: 19
Re: Sony a6000 & Safari - Confused
2

Just wanted to thank you all again for your help. I got the 18-300 Tamron lens and started practicing with it. I also tried shooting in RAW and wow what a difference, I wish I’d had started sooner. Now just hoping my safari still goes as planned and I can get some great shots. Off to buy more memory cards!

XRAY51 Forum Member • Posts: 70
Re: Sony a6000 & Safari - Confused
1

ActiveChewy wrote:

Just wanted to thank you all again for your help. I got the 18-300 Tamron lens and started practicing with it. I also tried shooting in RAW and wow what a difference, I wish I’d had started sooner. Now just hoping my safari still goes as planned and I can get some great shots. Off to buy more memory cards!

That is great news. It really is an amazing combination. I hope that your trip goes well and you can post some images when you get back.

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads