Author Topic: best lens for shooting at zoos with a57  (Read 10205 times)

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Offline amanda.rivington

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best lens for shooting at zoos with a57
« on: November 30, 2013, 09:52:52 PM »
hi there guys i have a sony a57 just wanting to know what you guys think would be the best all round lens for shooting at zoos many thanks

Offline chappo1

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Re: best lens for shooting at zoos with a57
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2013, 10:21:48 PM »
Welcome Amanda, we are glad to have you on board.
In my view, you need a zoom lens for zoos and wildlife sanctuaries.  Some animals you can get close to and others you need to shoot from a distance.
My wife has the A55 and has the Sony 18-250mm permanently mounted.  She is not into changing lenses and weight of the lens is an issue.

I used to use the A700 but now have an A99.  I always mount the 70-300G when going to zoos or sanctuaries. The 70-400G is another option as is the 70-200G F2.8.

There are also Sigma and Tamron offerings in the zooms.

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Offline CHOLLY

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Re: best lens for shooting at zoos with a57
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2013, 11:06:17 PM »
Amanda, chappo made good suggestions.

Without knowing your budget, let me also suggest a pretty good all purpose performer; the Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5. It gives you wide angle to telephoto coverage with pretty decent image quality and it does it for a good price.

It's one of those lenses like John was talking about; you put it on and just leave it there. ;)
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Offline TheBirdGarden

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Re: best lens for shooting at zoos with a57
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2013, 11:07:18 PM »
Anything really that has a 300mm zoom range

Offline amanda.rivington

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Re: best lens for shooting at zoos with a57
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2013, 08:19:49 AM »
hi there thanks for all the responses i bought a tamron 70-300 with the camera to quickly realize that its just not up to the job !! i dont mind buying a good condition second hand lens but dont really want to spend any more than about £550 i was looking at sigma 150-500 whats your views ?? or even a sigma 120-400 !! thanks for all the help guys i really have loads to learn

Offline Faldrax

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Re: best lens for shooting at zoos with a57
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2013, 01:48:16 PM »
A good starting place when looking to work out what lens to get is the Dyxum lens Database

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

You need to bear in mind that the reviews are by the people who own the lens, so will generally have a positive slant, but if you compare similar lenses, it does give a good idea of the pro's and cons of them.
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Offline amanda.rivington

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Re: best lens for shooting at zoos with a57
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2013, 03:32:16 PM »
thanks very much !!!

Offline DaveH

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Re: best lens for shooting at zoos with a57
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2013, 06:01:58 PM »
Interesting Amanda that you didn't like the Tamron 70-300 - although I guess it depends which of the 2 Tamron 70-300's you tried. If the cheaper LD Macro version, indeed attimes that can be a bit cumbersome compared to the later Di USD version, which is far better. The Tamron 18-270 is a good option, as is the Sony 70-300.  Strangely I have all those lenses (the 18-270 I bought as a "fit and forget", the Tamron 70-300 LD Macro I got with my A700 secondhand, then bought the Tamron 70-300 Di USD to upgrade it (as it is a far better lens) and only used that a couple of times (with excellent results) before I bought my A77 and got a great deal including a Sony 70-300G lens).

Which do I prefer? Well I'll be honest, I do a fair amount of photography up at Colchester zoo, and fit either my 70-210 Beercan or 70-300G, depending on what it is I intend to take on the day.

The Tamron 18-270 I'll take as a walkabout lens if I'm taking my camera out for the day with no idea what I may come across. A very versatile lens I have some excellent shots with it.

You mention the Sigma 150-500 lens. I have that also and it is a smashing lens, but a little on the weightly side. To be honest I think it a little large for zoos, but it depends which zoo. If you are doing a distance shot, then it is excellent, although you may need a mono or tripod if carrying it all day.

Personally? I don't think you'll go far wrong with either the Tamron 70-300 Di USD lens or the Sony 70-300G, both give sharp results and excellent pictures.

Offline amanda.rivington

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Re: best lens for shooting at zoos with a57
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2013, 06:17:17 PM »
hi there thanks for the response it is the cheaper version !! i will have a look into the other tamron is there anywhere you can recommend for buying lens ?? many thanks

Offline DaveH

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Re: best lens for shooting at zoos with a57
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2013, 06:53:25 PM »
Hi Amanda, I tend to buy my lens from WEX who have always given me good service - the link below is direct to the Di USD lens there

http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-tamron-70-300mm-f4-5-6-sp-di-usd-lens-sony-fit/p1520738

I don't think you'll be disappointed with the Di USD lens, it's totally different from the earlier version and gives truly excellent results

Offline amanda.rivington

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Re: best lens for shooting at zoos with a57
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2013, 07:08:29 PM »
thanks for that will have a think it either a a new 70-300 tamron or try and pick up a second hand sony 70-300 g thanks for all the info

Offline chappo1

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Re: best lens for shooting at zoos with a57
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2013, 09:14:45 PM »
Glad to hear that you have found the comments useful.

Be careful with dyxum reviews as Faldrax says, they are written by folks who own the lens.  They are a good guide though.
I have a Sigma 50-500mm but do not use it much.  Too heavy to carry for any distance- I bought it a few years back.  I do not know how it stacks up against the 150-500mm or the newer versions.

Without going on at length- most lenses are fine in the sweet spot but you notice the difference with quality lenses when you are pushing the boundaries.
In many instances you are at full reach and wide open- that is when you want quality glass......john
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Offline amanda.rivington

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Re: best lens for shooting at zoos with a57
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2013, 09:19:25 PM »
i will be thanks !! that was my main worry with the sigma 150-500 so i have decided against it thanks to all the info from you guys !!! this is why im  now  trying to buy quality thanks for the help !! 

Offline Gordon McGeachie

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Re: best lens for shooting at zoos with a57
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2013, 09:42:45 PM »
welcome to the forums Amanda...........

you could use this link to keep up to date with he latest prices on gear.

http://www.camerapricebuster.co.uk/

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Offline amanda.rivington

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Re: best lens for shooting at zoos with a57
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2013, 09:54:11 PM »
thanks for that thats really helpfull !! is there anywhere you lot use for buying 2nd hand gear ?? as there is so much gear that  i would love to buy finances wont allow so buy second hand many be a good option for me thanks again