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Thread: Beginner looking for advice on a lense to choose

  1. #1

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    Beginner looking for advice on a lense to choose

    Hello,

    I am planning to purchase a sony a57, it comes with a 18-55 kit lens and they are offering an additional discount if I purchase 1 of these three lenses.

    1. Sony 75-300 4.5-5.6 $148 SAL-75300
    2. Sony 55-300 4.5-5.6 DT $198 SAL55300
    3. Sony 55-200 4.0-5.6 DT $98 SAL55200/2

    We are planning to take photos of interior architecture (I am a real estate salesperson), hiking/scenic, and family photos of young kids and a high energy pup.

    What 2nd lens would you recommend please?

    Thanks so much for any feedback you can offer.

  2. #2
    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: Beginner looking for advice on a lense to choose

    For real estate you will be using the 18-55 lens and sometimes wishing it would go down to 15mm or even 12mm. However 18mm will just do for most rooms but small kitchens, bathrooms and en-suites are going to be difficult. For the pup and the birds you see I think you will certainly use 300mm if available. The gap between the 18-55 and the 75-300 could be annoying but probably not impossible to live with but personally I would be going for the 55-300.

    The speed difference between f4.0 and f4.5 is so minimal that it does not need to be considered. I cannot comment on any difference in performance as I do not use Sony.

    A extra of flash or two capable of being used as a slave flash is very handy for real estate photography.

  3. #3
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    Re: Beginner looking for advice on a lense to choose

    I do use Sony, however I have only had personal experience with one of the 4 lenses. I for a while had the 75-300. While not a bad lens and super sharp within a short distance, it struggles at 300mm at a distance. The bokeh is not ground breaking but liveable. The main struggle with this lens is the large amount of CA when shooting high contrast scenes. If you were to shoot an Eagle sitting in a tree with a bright but cloudy background, the limbs would glow purple on the edges.

    I suspect that being all three lenses are in the same class this will be the case. Most if not all can be fixed in PP. You really won't get away from these slight issues unless you were willing to spend a bit. If I were to choose between these I would make the same choice as L.Paul.

    One more thing to think about is the 18-55. As I said I have no personal experience with this lens....{I had the 18-70}. The 18-55 is likely the least or one of the least favorite in the sony line up.{Lack of sharpness} I am sure someone whom uses it can give a better account for it than I.
    However, if you can swing the cost, the new 16-50 2.8 is a fantastic bit of glass {what I use now}. The 2.8 and extra couple mm will be nice to have for the real estate images, although if you are going to use it for that you may stick with the 18-55 and down the road look into the Tokina 11-16 2.8. I am going to get this lens partially for this same purpose. On the crop sensor 16mm just is not enough for interior work. The Tokina is about $100 cheaper than the Sony 16-50 2.8 but is limited for range. This is where the 18-55 could fill in.

    I hope this has been helpful and not confusing.
    Paul

  4. #4
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    Re: Beginner looking for advice on a lense to choose

    I may be completely wrong but, it seems like there is a larger variety of lenses available for the Canon and Nikon brand DSLR cameras than for the Sony.

    I did a very quick and informal search on eBay for a lens for a Sony camera wider than 17-18mm and could not find any lens significantly wider. If I were interested in real estate photography, I would definitely want a sharp very wide or UWA lens along the lines of the Canon 10-22mm or the Tokina 11-16mm or even 12-24mm...

  5. #5
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    Re: Beginner looking for advice on a lense to choose

    Quote Originally Posted by MetroRuss View Post
    ....
    We are planning to take photos of interior architecture (I am a real estate salesperson), hiking/scenic, and family photos of young kids and a high energy pup.

    What 2nd lens would you recommend please?...
    This is just me, but I'm not sure any of those telephoto zooms is what you need. Those are consumer-grade lenses (the price tags and max. apertures are a dead giveaway), and they won't be particularly fast to autofocus or fantastic in image quality. They're relatively limited lenses that you are probably only going to be able to use outside on a sunny day. Chances are good they all perform pretty identically to each other, so it's just a matter of how much reach do you think you need? Given the subjects you've stated, I think you could get away with the 55-200. 300 is more required for wildlife and sports where you need more reach.

    Interiors typically require wide or ultrawide lenses (as everyone's saying), so the SAL 11-18mm is the native ultrawide to look at, as well as the 3rd parties like the Sigma 10-20 and the Tokina 11-16/2.8; or consider learning to pano stitch. Landscape (assuming that's what you meant by hiking/scenic) also tends to be a subject for wider lenses (the 18-55 kit lens should be fine here, if you stop it down to f/8).

    For the kids and puppies, I'd actually say start with a fast lens (one with a max. aperture of f/2.8 or larger (smaller f-number)), and then figure out if you want to save up for a fast long lens. The 35/1.8 or 50/1.8 are good low-budget (<$200) fast primes that you can use for portraiture in lower light, and see where you go from there.

  6. #6
    jeeperman's Avatar
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    Re: Beginner looking for advice on a lense to choose

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    I may be completely wrong but, it seems like there is a larger variety of lenses available for the Canon and Nikon brand DSLR cameras than for the Sony.

    I did a very quick and informal search on eBay for a lens for a Sony camera wider than 17-18mm and could not find any lens significantly wider. If I were interested in real estate photography, I would definitely want a sharp very wide or UWA lens along the lines of the Canon 10-22mm or the Tokina 11-16mm or even 12-24mm...
    Richard, this has been the case for a long time being Sony is relatively new to DSLR. However lately they have been adding lenses quickly low and high end. Also there are very few aftermarket companies that do not include Sony in their line up. Sony does have wider than 17mm although the Tokina 11-16 2.8 beats about everything out there for sharpness and they come in Sony mount.

    Lens availability and selection really are no longer a reason to avoid Sony as far as I see.

  7. #7
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    Re: Beginner looking for advice on a lense to choose

    I also noticed that there is a 17-50mm f/2.8 Tamron lens available in a Sony mount. Although it may be a bit more expensive than a kit lens, I would probably get the Sony body and Tamron lens if I were going to build a Sony camera system. I would pair this up with the Tamron 70-300mm f/2.8 VC lens.

    Sony may have better offerings but, I am sure that the two lenses I suggested above will be superior (but, more expensive) than the kit lenses...

    You "gets what you pays for!"

  8. #8

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    Re: Beginner looking for advice on a lense to choose

    Hi and thanks for your feedback.
    I am eying a used sigma 10-20 for under $300
    But I've got to get the wife on board lol.
    I think i need the wide angle for some roi rather than the zoom lens for hobby and fun.

  9. #9

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    Re: Beginner looking for advice on a lense to choose

    Sony took over from Mino;ta and there is a wealth of excellent Minolta A-mount lenses which can be used and are not too expensive. I recently got the 35-70 f4 which was the original kit lens on the Minolta 7000, the first of the autofocus from 1985. The lens is much sharper than the Sony 18-55 and would be a very useful walk around lens which is what I use it for. Its only drawback is that it is not a wide angle, 35mm is the 'standard' lens for APS-C sensors with a crop factor of 1.5 or 1.6

  10. #10

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    Re: Beginner looking for advice on a lense to choose

    Hi Keith

    Ty for the reply
    I have been surfing ebay the last few days and have found some minolta lens. Problem is i don't know lot about them

    Google is my friend

  11. #11
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    Re: Beginner looking for advice on a lense to choose

    Quote Originally Posted by MetroRuss View Post
    Hi Keith

    Ty for the reply
    I have been surfing ebay the last few days and have found some minolta lens. Problem is i don't know lot about them

    Google is my friend
    I have certainly bought a number of used lenses, but never without handling or testing them. I want to make sure the lens hasn't been dropped or used to a point where it is not going to be reliable. I want to make sure that there are no scratches on the optical elements, that the focus and zoom are smooth (no hesitation or grinding) and that the aperture operates smoothly without sticking or abnormal wear on the external surfaces. I look for signs of mould and water damage as well.

    I can't do that via eBay, so I don't buy used camera bodies or lenses that way.

  12. #12

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    Re: Beginner looking for advice on a lense to choose

    Hi grumpydiver great point well received.
    It totally makes sense.

    Thank you

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