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Thread: Sony Alpha 55-300mm 4.5-5.6 Lens (SAL55300)

  1. #1
    binsurf's Avatar
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    Sony Alpha 55-300mm 4.5-5.6 Lens (SAL55300)

    I finally got my hands on this beauty! It cost me $329.99 here in Canada and it's worth every penny! The focus motor is smooth and quiet, there are few problems at the maximum focal length, nothing that can't be fixed in post. It has a lock button on the right side so you can lock it closed preventing accidental rotation of the zoom ring. Kind of shows how smooth the zoom ring is.

    Overall, I'm very pleased with it and highly recommend it to anyone with a Sony Alpha compatible camera.

    http://www.henrys.com/74316-SONY-ALP...-LENS-SAL.aspx

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    Re: Sony Alpha 55-300mm 4.5-5.6 Lens (SAL55300)

    Hi Jim,
    Are Sony lenses not made by Carl Zeiss?

  3. #3
    binsurf's Avatar
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    Re: Sony Alpha 55-300mm 4.5-5.6 Lens (SAL55300)

    Sure, why?

  4. #4

    Re: Sony Alpha 55-300mm 4.5-5.6 Lens (SAL55300)

    Jim. I purchased the SAL 55300 to complement my 18-55 kit lens for a NEX camera I had recently purchased. I have had a good opportunity to test the lens and for the $325 I am also very pleased with its performance. I get very sharp images with it through out its focal range. I am even impressed with image quality at 300mm. I would recommend it as well to any enthusiast that is looking for quality exceeding the price range. This photo was taken at 300mm hand held. Cheers...

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Sony Alpha 55-300mm 4.5-5.6 Lens (SAL55300)

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    Hi Jim,
    Are Sony lenses not made by Carl Zeiss?
    NO. There are some Sony Zeiss branded lenses, just like there are Leica branded lenses on Panasonic cameras. I even remember seeing some Schneider-Kreuznach branding on some Samsung lenses / cameras. These are all marketing arrangements to give these relatively new entrants into digital photography a bit of a name brand cachet. Leica did have a technician in Japan working with Panasonic, and was involved in the testing of these branded lenses. Don't forget that Sony bought out the Konica-Minolta DSLR business, which includes the lens design and manufacturing facilities.

    Zeiss has not built any small format camera lenses in years. They still do manufacture medium format camera lenses and motion picture lenses in Germany, but the true "Zeiss" lenses for DSLRs (other than the ones found on Sony cameras) are Zeiss designed but are manufactured to Zeiss specifications by Cosina, in Japan.

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    Re: Sony Alpha 55-300mm 4.5-5.6 Lens (SAL55300)

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    NO. There are some Sony Zeiss branded lenses,
    Zeiss has not built any small format camera lenses in years.
    Are you sure Manfred - What is this? http://lenses.zeiss.com/camera-lense...ra_lenses.html
    Last edited by AB26; 6th December 2012 at 02:13 PM.

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    Re: Sony Alpha 55-300mm 4.5-5.6 Lens (SAL55300)

    Andre,

    I also was of the opinion that the Sony lenses with the Zeiss designation are in fact are made (the glass, that is) by Zeiss. But these represent only a few of the Sony lenses, and they certainly are a lot more expensive.

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    Re: Sony Alpha 55-300mm 4.5-5.6 Lens (SAL55300)

    I'm a bit confused about why this is an issue. Was there a problem with Zeiss lenses? Is the value of my lens diminished in some way? So far, I have nothing but praise for this lens from what I've experienced.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Sony Alpha 55-300mm 4.5-5.6 Lens (SAL55300)

    Andre - I am trying to differentiate between the Zeiss branded lenses sold by Sony and the ones designed and marketed by Carl Zeiss.

    Zeiss offers lenses in three different SLR lens mounts; ZE (Canon), ZF.2 (Nikon) and ZA (Sony) as a third party manufacturer, much like Tokina, Samyang, Sigma, Tamron, Schneider-Kreuznach, etc. These Zeiss lenses are all manual focus lenses and are the ones I was referring to as the ones that Cosina builds for Zeiss.

    Cosina also builds the Zeiss-Ikon film camera for Zeiss as well as Zeiss ZM (Leica mount) branded lenses. Their also produce their own Vogtländer ZM mount lenses and Bessa film cameras.

    One thing I seem to have gotten wrong is that Zeiss has exited the medium format market as well and are now only building cine lenses themselves.

    From what I can tell, Hasselblad lenses are now built by Fuji.

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    Re: Sony Alpha 55-300mm 4.5-5.6 Lens (SAL55300)

    Yes Jim, there is one major problem with Zeiss lenses PRICE!
    If you can afford a Zeiss lens you have one of the finest lenses money can buy. I think dubaiphil will vouch for that.

    Manfred I doubt that Carl Zeiss will have their name on any product that does not comply with their own standards. No matter if it is made by Zeiss or not – it should be very good. Sony cameras in general have very good glass.
    With a Panasonic P&S the quality of the Leitz licensed lens shows.

    No matter what, that Sony 55-300 will be a lot beter than any Tokina, Sigma or Tamron lens. And yes Jim, it should be worth every cent you paid for it.

  11. #11
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    Re: Sony Alpha 55-300mm 4.5-5.6 Lens (SAL55300)

    I really don't understand the attraction to expensive lenses. My kit lens (SAL1855) is good. I bought my Sony 50mm 1.8 for $169 CDN and it has amazing clarity and sharpness, and now my 55-300 $329 CDN, which is extraordinary. I have an awesome set of lenses for $500 total. I just don't understand why people go out and by $2,000 glass. How much sharper and clearer can it get? I know high focal length primes are expensive and fast zooms (especially ones with f2.8 in the entire range), but those are out of my reach.

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    Re: Sony Alpha 55-300mm 4.5-5.6 Lens (SAL55300)

    Quote Originally Posted by binsurf View Post
    I just don't understand why people go out and by $2,000 glass.
    Hi Jim,

    ignoring any/all other factors; weather sealing and general robustness. I've had to shoot in conditions that have nearly done for me never mind a non-sealed consumer lens (and body).

    Cheers,
    Ady

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Sony Alpha 55-300mm 4.5-5.6 Lens (SAL55300)

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    Yes Jim, there is one major problem with Zeiss lenses PRICE!
    If you can afford a Zeiss lens you have one of the finest lenses money can buy. I think dubaiphil will vouch for that.

    Manfred I doubt that Carl Zeiss will have their name on any product that does not comply with their own standards. No matter if it is made by Zeiss or not – it should be very good. Sony cameras in general have very good glass.
    With a Panasonic P&S the quality of the Leitz licensed lens shows.

    No matter what, that Sony 55-300 will be a lot beter than any Tokina, Sigma or Tamron lens. And yes Jim, it should be worth every cent you paid for it.
    Andre - I can't comment on the Zeiss / Sony relationship as I have not held a Sony camera in over four years; the last time I looked was when I was shopping around for my first DSLR.

    I can however comment on the Panasonic / Leica relationship, as I've been shooting film Leicas for over 30 years and my Panasonic AF100 mFT video camera takes the Panny manufactured, Leica branded lenses. While these lenses feel better made than the Panny Lumix ones, they are not in the same class, at least mechanically, as the Leica glass. I suspect the same can be said optically, but I did not do any serious testing as I was not in the market for any fixed lenses (I shoot with the 14-140mm Lumix, the 100-300mm Lumix and my Nikon lenses using a Novoflex adaptor. Based on the prices of the Sony made Zeiss lenses versus the ones that Zeiss markets, I suspect the same is true for that relationship.

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