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Sony DSLR, SLT, NEX, & Mirrorless Discussion => Full Frame Sony Alpha Camera Discussion => Topic started by: gngracie on August 12, 2012, 05:48:25 AM

Title: New a900 owner - now I need to prioritize accessories - couple questions
Post by: gngracie on August 12, 2012, 05:48:25 AM
I recently received the most fabulous gift - an a900!  Now I need to start accessorizing and I have a few questions.  My former camera is an a700 and I have a Sigma 18-125 f3.5-5.6 and and Sony 75-300 f4.5-5.6.  The 18-125 is not a full sensor lens, so the pictures with this lens on the 900 are cropped.  Here are all of my initial must haves for the 900:

1.  Flash
2.  Memory Card
3.  Tamron 20-200 f2.8
4.  Tamron 28-75 f2.8

I can only get one lens right now.  I'm leaning towards the 70-200 as my initial purchase because my daughter's in a marching band and I'm going to hot air balloon festival in October, so I'm thinking this is definitely my first must-have lens!  I'm still not 100% decided on the Tamron 28-75 f2.8, but it seems to be the best option for my price range.  Anyone here use the 28-75?  Would you recommend this lens?  This will probably be my go-to lens that always stays on my camera.  Is there another lens (in this price range) you would recommend?

In looking at the a900 manual, it looks like the largest memory card I can use is a 16 gb?  Is this correct?  Which memory cards do you all prefer?

Are there any other must haves that I'm missing?

TIA  :-)
Title: Re: New a900 owner - now I need to prioritize accessories - couple questions
Post by: rogprov on August 12, 2012, 06:02:00 AM
Sorry I can't help on the lenses you list but just thought I'd mention two somewhat unregarded ones I've been using with my a900 for the past couple years.

Minolta/Tamron 17-35mm is extremely good and of course you really do get the 17mm with full-frame.
Minolta 35-200mm xi a brilliant lens if you don't mind the power-zoom - difficult to find. Very expensive when first released, Supposed to have been made on the "G" line.
Title: Re: New a900 owner - now I need to prioritize accessories - couple questions
Post by: Faldrax on August 12, 2012, 01:04:09 PM
Congratulations on getting an A900 - they are great cameras.

What I would say is to get the best glass you can afford to use with it - you will see the difference.

Personally I have the Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 HSM, and am very happy with it (the CZ 24-70 is out of my price range at the moment), the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 is a fairly good lens, but the extra few mm at the wide end make a difference.

I've not seen a 20-200 Tamron - do you mean the 70-200 f/2.8? If so, again a good lens - I am currently torn between getting a 70-200 f/2.8 (not sure which) and the 70-400G as my next lens, and there are pro's and con's to each of them (assuming price is a consideration).
Title: Re: New a900 owner - now I need to prioritize accessories - couple questions
Post by: REX (aka TG) on August 12, 2012, 05:44:47 PM
Minolta/Tamron 28-75 f2.8 is a great lens. Go for it you wont regred it
Title: Re: New a900 owner - now I need to prioritize accessories - couple questions
Post by: gngracie on August 12, 2012, 05:56:40 PM
Thank you Roger, Faldrax, and Rex. 

Roger, I did mean the 70-200, not 20-200.  Got that corrected now.  ;-)  I'll be checking out the Sigma 24-70.  I've always been very happy with my Sigma lens and the price of the Sigma isn't too far above the price of the Tamron. 

Faldrax, I'm also going to look into the 17-35 mm, although I have a feeling I'll go for the extra mm.

Title: Re: New a900 owner - now I need to prioritize accessories - couple questions
Post by: Rob aka [minolta mad] on August 12, 2012, 08:52:45 PM
I can second the minolta 17-35. Its an outstanding lens and the copy i have isnt too far behind the CZ16-35 in all but corner sharpness and CA.

It all depends on what your main needs are as to which lens to get first.
The Tamron 28-75 is a very good lens.


Rob
Title: Re: New a900 owner - now I need to prioritize accessories - couple questions
Post by: AScot on August 12, 2012, 10:55:26 PM
I have the Sony 28-75mm f2.8 SAM which, if I understand correctly, is a Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 rebranded as a Sony with a SAM motor added. It is good enough to be my carry around lens (although I sometimes substitute the considerably heavier Minolta 28-135mm f4-4.5).

Both the Sony and the Tamron compare well to the CZ 24-70mm f2.8 at a much lower price and weight, according to this review by Kurt Munger. (http://kurtmunger.com/sony_28_75mm_f_2_8id110.html) (Go to the very bottom of the page for his conclusion and links to reviews of the other lenses). The Tamron is the cheapest and possibly the best buy.

You may find the Sony 75-300 f4.5-5.6 struggles on the A900/A850 quality wise. A much better substitute is the Sony G 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 SSM, if you can afford it. :|

I have used a 32gb CF on the A900/A850 and I believe a 64gb will also work. However I have come to the conclusion that 4gb or 8gb CF cards are the optimum as if you lose the card or it breaks, 32gb is a lot of photos to lose. All my cards are Sandisk CF, Lexar cards may be as good. Try to use cards that are at least 40MB/s to 45MB/s for maximum performance. In continuous shooting mode the cameras buffer will then be the limiting factor, not the card. I would not use Sony memory Stick PRO Duo cards.
Title: Re: New a900 owner - now I need to prioritize accessories - couple questions
Post by: Faldrax on August 13, 2012, 08:54:34 AM
I would not use Sony memory Stick PRO Duo cards.

As a slight contradiction to that, the A900 (like the A700) has a second memory card slot that can only take Memory Stick style cards - I would ALWAYS have a card in that slot - I have an 8GB card in my A900 - if you never use it, it's a small cost in terms of weight and value, if you ever fill the CF card, having the option to quickly switch to another card via menu can be invaluable.

I would agree, however, that I would never use the MS card if I had the option to use the CF card - but sometimes swapping physical cards is just too slow, or not a sensible option (I spent a day on a sailing dinghy when I was using the A700 - when the CF filled, I swapped to MS via menu in preference to opening up the camera and fiddling with cards - the risk of salt water in the camera, or dropping a card overboard, was just not worth it!)
Title: Re: New a900 owner - now I need to prioritize accessories - couple questions
Post by: FarmerDave on August 13, 2012, 06:52:06 PM
I always keep a memory stick in the second slot as well eventhough I don't use it.
I actually forgot to put the CF card back in one time and had to quickly switch to the Sony card.
I assume you already have a spare battery?
Title: Re: New a900 owner - now I need to prioritize accessories - couple questions
Post by: AScot on August 13, 2012, 06:59:57 PM
Faldrax, I agree, the MS cards can be used as a backup but not as your main card. I was referring to the main card when I made that (quoted) statement. I just wish that Sony could have included two CF cards slots and left out the MS slot. But I guess they had to try and push their own product, or perhaps there was not enough room for two CFs?
Title: Re: New a900 owner - now I need to prioritize accessories - couple questions
Post by: Faldrax on August 13, 2012, 11:35:37 PM
I'm guessing it was a bit of both - twin CF cards does take up a lot of space, and Sony do like to try and push MS when they can.

If they had just enhanced the firmware to enable things like RAW ->CF + Jpeg ->MS the MS might have been used more (IE Take advantage of the smaller JPeg file size to allow the MS to keep up).

Title: Re: New a900 owner - now I need to prioritize accessories - couple questions
Post by: REX (aka TG) on August 14, 2012, 07:25:22 AM
I am missing the two slots on a77. That the a700/900 have two slots is great many times when my CF is full in the middle of shooting i just turn it to the MS and with a900 in just two seconds
Title: Re: New a900 owner - now I need to prioritize accessories - couple questions
Post by: gngracie on August 18, 2012, 03:48:31 AM
Thanks for all the feedback.  I wasn't sure about CF vs MS.  I have both and plan on getting a couple extra CFs to keep on hand and I'll keep the MS as backup.  Thank you AScot for the brand/performance recommendation.  I hadn't really looked into the MB/s yet and appreciate you pointing that out so I'm not limiting my camera with the card's processing speed. 

After checking out Sony flash prices I've decided to get a hotshoe adapter so I can use my Canon EOS flash - don't know why I didn't think of that before!
Title: Re: New a900 owner - now I need to prioritize accessories - couple questions
Post by: marc pk on August 25, 2012, 12:46:37 PM
My two cents worth after living with the A900 for over 4 years; extra batteries are a must should you go on trips in the wilderness and a couple of "large" fast memory cards (I always have a 30GB 60 mb/s in the camera and 2 x 15GB (I always shoot raw). Also, I am lucky enough to have a vast aray of lenses and here are the three I use most often (80% of the time):
Minolta 50mm f1.8
Minolta 24mm f2.8
Sony 70-400 SSM
I also use a very old Minolta 70-200 G when indoors and I don't hesitate to push up the ISOs as I am happy with the Apple Aperture (most recent upgrade: 3.3.2) handling of noise levels... Its a bit slow in the autofocus, but results are superb, particulalrly for weddings, inside monuments...

Don't hesitate to look for second hand material...

Title: Re: New a900 owner - now I need to prioritize accessories - couple questions
Post by: gngracie on September 03, 2012, 11:38:56 PM
Thanks Marc.  I have one extra battery and a few extra 8gb (60 mb/s) cards.  It will definitely take a while to save for additional lenses, but I'm working on that slowly but surely.  :-)
Title: Re: New a900 owner - now I need to prioritize accessories - couple questions
Post by: marc pk on September 07, 2012, 03:18:34 PM
Take your time finding lenses (it took me 30 years!). The beauty of the a900 is that when you are using raw at the highest definition with a wide angle, you can crop down your pictures and still have remarkable prints!