Author Topic: Rationalising and improving my lenses  (Read 826 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline downhearted

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 30
Rationalising and improving my lenses
« on: March 15, 2017, 03:08:38 PM »
I have a Sony A77 camera and the following lenses which I want to improve and rationalise.They have been acquired in an ad hoc way over a few years and I am unhappy with the quality of some of them particularly the 70-300mm Tamron.

I am happy to keep the primes:
Sony DT 30mm macro f/2.8
Minolta 50mm f/1.7
Tamron 90mm SP Di macro f/2.8
and the
Tamron 11-18mm SP AF DiII f/4.5 which seems adequate for my needs.


but the zooms need improving and reducing in number:
Minolta 35-70mm with macro facility f/4
Tamron 55-200mm LD DiII f/4.5
Tamron 70-300mm LD Di with macro facility f/4

I also have a set of 1.7x tele-converter tubes.

I am not convinced I would get much use of a lens with, say, a 600mm reach as I do very little wildlife photography so the tele-converter tubes would probably suffice on a lesser "reach" lens. My main interests are landscapes, flowers, dogs and family portraits.

I was looking at something like the Sigma 24-105mm at the lower end.

Once I complete selling my amateur radio gear I may be able run to £1000 in total.

Any advice/suggestions on lens choices to give me more or less the range I currently have would be appreciated.

Offline Faldrax

  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • *****
  • Posts: 2034
  • Gender: Male
    • Faldrax
    • Faldrax
Re: Rationalising and improving my lenses
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2017, 04:02:44 PM »
My suggestion would be to get either the Sony 16-50 f/2.8 SSM or the CZ 16-80 as your 'walkabout' short zoom, and switch to the better Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 USD

All 3 are reasonable quality lenses - and it's a personal preference on the longer zoom of the CZ or faster aperture and SSM of the Sony.
The USD version of the Tamron is significantly better then the budget (non USD) version you have.

The difference between 16 & 24 on an APS-C body like the A77 is quite significant - I would think for landscapes if you had to choose between the 11-18 & 24-105 you might find yourself having to change lenses more often, with 24 not quite wide enough.
It is difficult to explain to white mice that black cats are lucky...

2 x A900/VG, A6000
CZ 16-35 f/2.8, Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 HSM, Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 Di USD, Sony 70-300G,
Tamron 150-600, Sony 50 f1.4, Minolta 85 f1.4 G RS, Sony 100 f2.8 Macro
Manfrotto 055CXPro3 + 410 Junior Geared head,
Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/36503683@N08/

Offline chappo1

  • Administrator
  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • ******
  • Posts: 9292
  • Gender: Male
  • real name..... john
    • chappo's doodlings-australian wildlife
Re: Rationalising and improving my lenses
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2017, 06:00:43 AM »
I am very happy with the SAL24-70CZ which on the A77 would be 36 to 105.  Probably not in your range "new" but you might be able to find a good quality one second hand.   Great for your portraits, flowers and dogs but probably not landscapes. You have the lower end covered with your 11-18mm anyway  .......john
“Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils."

Hector Berlioz

Offline downhearted

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 30
Re: Rationalising and improving my lenses
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2017, 09:42:14 AM »
The Sony lenses mentioned by Faldrax look like decent ones and they are certainly lighter than the Sigma 24-105 I had been looking at following several recommendations as to its quality. I might be a bit nervous about the Tamron because of my experience with the 70-300 that I have. Having said that I am pleased with the other Tamrons.

John, I think those lenses would be great but probably beyond me! It also looks like it may be a bit heavy too.

The more I think about it the more I favour a lighter lens. AT my age I don't want to be lugging a lot with me.

Offline downhearted

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 30
Re: Rationalising and improving my lenses
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2017, 04:09:54 PM »
Well, for good or ill I have made a decision and taken the plunge. I have had quite a few suggestions both from here and elsewhere and have ended up with - and why do they have such a wide set of shorthand designators!!

Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-4.5 ZA VS T* DT second hand but absolutely immaculate. I ended up with this one as it was the lightest of all the ones I considered and as it will often be my walkabout lens I felt that was important too, especially at my age!

Tamron SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) macro, brand new. I realise that this is at the opposite end of the weight spectrum but will probably always use it on a tripod.

I did not go for a 300mm as, when I looked back, I didn't use that length much.

Offline chappo1

  • Administrator
  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • ******
  • Posts: 9292
  • Gender: Male
  • real name..... john
    • chappo's doodlings-australian wildlife
Re: Rationalising and improving my lenses
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2017, 08:48:34 PM »
Good on you.  Now you can show us all the results of the outlay with some great pics.....john
“Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils."

Hector Berlioz

Offline downhearted

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 30
Re: Rationalising and improving my lenses
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2017, 10:28:05 AM »
Thanks, John, and I hope I get some great pictures!

Offline Faldrax

  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • *****
  • Posts: 2034
  • Gender: Male
    • Faldrax
    • Faldrax
Re: Rationalising and improving my lenses
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2017, 12:06:48 PM »
Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-4.5 ZA VS T* DT second hand but absolutely immaculate.

Tamron SP AF 70-200mm f/2.8 Di LD (IF) macro, brand new. I realise that this is at the opposite end of the weight spectrum but will probably always use it on a tripod.

Both good lenses, I've got the newer Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 USD version - which is even heavier (~1.5kg, rather than ~1.1kg), but almost always use hand-held (removing the tripod foot cuts the weight a bit, they're surprisingly heavy!).
It is difficult to explain to white mice that black cats are lucky...

2 x A900/VG, A6000
CZ 16-35 f/2.8, Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 HSM, Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 Di USD, Sony 70-300G,
Tamron 150-600, Sony 50 f1.4, Minolta 85 f1.4 G RS, Sony 100 f2.8 Macro
Manfrotto 055CXPro3 + 410 Junior Geared head,
Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/36503683@N08/