Author Topic: 'G' or 'Non-G' lens...?  (Read 5785 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline toscana24

  • Enthusiast
  • *
  • Posts: 13
  • Gender: Male
  • Roaming around Africa....
Re: 'G' or 'Non-G' lens...?
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2009, 07:51:43 PM »
I spend as much of my time on safari as I can, ex our second home in South Africa, with my A900 and my Dynax 7D. My lenses are all Minolta G - a 300 F4; a 200 F2.8; and an 80 - 200 F2.8. I also use a Sony and a Sigma 1.4 TC with the first two and sometimes a Kenko Pro 1.4TC with the zoom. All the G lenses came from EBay in UK at prices between £300 and £850.

My experiences : the zoom is great for the larger animals that are fairly near but much of the action is invariably a fair distance off so the 300 with the 1.4TC (ie 420 equivalent) is usually the best option. Quality wise I do not find the 80 - 200 as good as the fixed length lenses (but I am a being very critical). The 200 with the Sony 1.4 teleconverter is actually just as good as the 300 without (and much smaller and lighter). But my preference is to have the 80 -200 on the Dynax 7D and the 300 with the Sony TC on the A900.

You also need to factor into the mix that most of your game viewing will be done on early morning or late afternoon game drives. In the middle of the day everything is sleeping or hiding. So light will be an issue in the first hour or so in the morning and the last hour or so in late afternoon. So an F2.8 will be better than an F4 although it is sometimes better to trade film speed for a higher aperture and a better depth of field.
NB it is often very dusty in the African bush and you should definitely try to avoid changing lenses whilst out on drives. If you have to, use a plastic carrier bag. For this reason, although it might not be the right thing to admit on this forum, I therefore use my little Sony W220 a lot for scenery or wider angle shots.

Also remember when photographing anything fairly close to turn the autofocus off. For some strange reason the autofocus noise seems to either get animals to shoot off fast or, in the case of elephants to result in the exact opposite - i.e. a rapid charge...(and the drop camera, start engine, reverse fast, sequence of action...).

As others say, always go for a G lens rather than the alternatives; purpose of my post is to say also look at secondhand Minolta G lenses. They will last you a lifetime.

Good luck.

A900 and 7D + Minolta 80/200, 200, 300 G etc. Animals, birds and aircraft......

Offline Mister V

  • Regular Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 206
Re: 'G' or 'Non-G' lens...?
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2009, 11:16:33 PM »
^^ David, thank you so much! What a great and informative post! Thank you!!! :)

I was concerned as to how I am going to change my lenses whilst out on in a dusty environment, looks like I will have to try and shield it somehow from the dust in the air.

Whilst I will probably have the 70-300G lens on for most of the time, I'm sure there will be times that I will switch to the 18-70mm lens.

I actually went to 'test' the 70-300G lens a couple of days ago. Very impressive. I will post up my results from the review soon!

Also David, whilst out on game drives are the animals usually still quite a fair distance away? I.e. will I not really need to change the lens to my 18-70?

Many thanks!



Offline winjeel

  • Past Moderator
  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • *****
  • Posts: 5413
  • Gender: Male
  • Gelight
    • japanesephotos
    • JapanesePhotos
    • JapanesePhotos.Asia
Re: 'G' or 'Non-G' lens...?
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2009, 11:58:00 PM »
Agreed. Interesting read. Cheers. :)
JapanesePhotos.Asia; Some basic photographic how to's.
Sony the200, Minolta 28mm 2.8, 50mm 1.4, 70-300mm Gregarious, 100mm 2.8 macro.

Offline Stef.

  • Past Moderator
  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • *****
  • Posts: 11520
    • Stef's photographs
Re: 'G' or 'Non-G' lens...?
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2009, 12:20:22 AM »
Thanks for this very informative read!
Stef.'s photographs


"Dream as if you'll live forever- live as if you'll die today"

Offline mphotoservices

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 719
  • Gender: Male
Re: 'G' or 'Non-G' lens...?
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2009, 01:15:51 AM »
David loved your read and I know what you mean my 80-200 I will leave in my will to my 6 yr old son.

V  Great choice. You'll appreciate it even more after the trip.
A700 w/VG, A100 w/VG
Minolta 50 1.7, 28 2.8, 80-200 2.8 G,
Tokina ATX Pro 28-80 2.8, Sigma 10-20 4-5.6, Vivitar Series1 17-35 3.5-5.6
Sony 1-F58AM, 1-F56AM  2-Fong Light Spheres
Bogen, Manfrotto 3245, 3216 mono's, 3001, 3021 tri's, 3245 head, Kaiden Kiwi+ Nodel Pano head
Alien Bees 2-1600, 2-800, 4-400
Macbook Pro unibody loaded
And 1/2 a garage of othe

Offline pointblank

  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • *****
  • Posts: 1171
    • loveanda35
    • Love and a 35
Re: 'G' or 'Non-G' lens...?
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2009, 07:08:57 AM »
The big 'turn-off' of the 80-200/2.8 G is that it cannot be used with the original teleconverter if there is a wish to do so. If third party is available, likely but I am not sure. Looking at the current pricing for the 70-200/2.8 G I would always go for the new one.