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andiwm2003
Jun 6, 2006, 09:46 PM
10 megapixel, aps size, anti dust system, $999.

looks interesting. does anybody with more experience than me know if it's good?

http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/eCS/Store/en/-/USD/SY_DisplayProductInformation-Start?ProductSKU=DSLRA100K&LCID=LCTR_alpha606


edit: Expected to ship on or before July 28th, 2006



cgratti
Jun 6, 2006, 10:06 PM
10 megapixel, aps size, anti dust system, $999.

looks interesting. does anybody with more experience than me know if it's good?

http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/eCS/Store/en/-/USD/SY_DisplayProductInformation-Start?ProductSKU=DSLRA100K&LCID=LCTR_alpha606


edit: Expected to ship on or before July 28th, 2006

What other lenses are available? Looks like it could be a decent starter camera, but I would spend the money on a Canon or Nikon myself. At least with them you know what your getting and what lenses and accessories will be available.

bousozoku
Jun 6, 2006, 10:23 PM
It's a Minolta and it's gotten quite a bit of good press already.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=174483

CanadaRAM
Jun 6, 2006, 10:32 PM
Yeah, I could get behind this (literally...)

I've been shooting with a Minolta 7i for a few years - good macro and zoom, a bit frustrating on the focussing front. Really, really want a camera with IS because almost all of my shooting is handheld in flower gardens, using zoom.

Looking forward to seing the Sony!

thumb
Jun 6, 2006, 10:34 PM
i have been in the market for my first digital slr for a while, and just a few days ago i decided on the nikon d70s (used, $400). the next day, the alpha came out.

while i am very impressed by its potential, i do not regret my decision in the least.

the most compelling thing is the sensor, it is the same one (roughly) that is in the nikon d200 - everyones current camera du jour - but for half the price. lens look good, antishake in camera, etc.

all that said, it will be several years before the sony-KM system will be kink free and able to match the offerings of canon and nikon. don't get me wrong, in a few years, i am quite confident there will be three major players in the digital slr market, and sony might even be number 2 by then.

but dont go out and buy a system based on a single camera. buy a good lens or two, and the cheapest back available. learn how to use that camera until it is the camera that limits your photos, not your skill. then upgrade.

at this moment, imo, that means canon or nikon.

Grimace
Jun 6, 2006, 10:51 PM
I'm shocked no one pointed out that this is TRULY a Rev A product! :p Personally, I'll wait for Rev B (beta) :D

But, one of the more interesting features is Sony's SteadyShot technology (similar to Canon's IS etc.) -- it's built into the camera itself -- all lenses are image stabilzed because it originates from the body. Interesting...

Abstract
Jun 6, 2006, 11:25 PM
all that said, it will be several years before the sony-KM system will be kink free and able to match the offerings of canon and nikon. don't get me wrong, in a few years, i am quite confident there will be three major players in the digital slr market, and sony might even be number 2 by then.


Depending on how well Minolta (or whatever's left of their company) develops lenses for Sony, it may be conceivable that some of us might switch to Sony DSLRs in a few years. In fact, any camera maker who's putting this antishake technology into the camera body itself has the right idea. I just wonder when Nikon will do it? :confused: Having it built into individual lenses doesn't exactly make those lenses cheap. :o

I just don't get it though....is Minolta designing lenses for Sony, or Carl Zeiss, or both? Or did Sony just buy Minolta to get to the lenses Minolta has made in the past? Is Carl Zeiss a good lens maker? I know it's in all of Sony's advertisements, even for their P&S cameras, but do they have a good reputation?

Grimace
Jun 6, 2006, 11:29 PM
Depending on how well Minolta (or whatever's left of their company) develops lenses for Sony, it may be conceivable that some of us might switch to Sony DSLRs in a few years. In fact, any camera maker who's putting this antishake technology into the camera body itself has the right idea. I just wonder when Nikon will do it? :confused: Having it built into individual lenses doesn't exactly make those lenses cheap. :o

I just don't get it though....is Minolta designing lenses for Sony, or Carl Zeiss, or both? Or did Sony just buy Minolta to get to the lenses Minolta has made in the past? Is Carl Zeiss a good lens maker? I know it's in all of Sony's advertisements, even for their P&S cameras, but do they have a good reputation?

IMO, Sony makes fantastic camcorders and p&s cameras. It doesn't have the optics research (like Canon, Nikon, Minolta) so it uses other lenses (Carl Zeiss.) I think a D50/70 or Rebel XT is still a much better buy than the new Alpha, but it will be interesting to see where Sony goes with this.

AvSRoCkCO1067
Jun 6, 2006, 11:36 PM
Yeah, I could get behind this (literally...)

I've been shooting with a Minolta 7i for a few years - good macro and zoom, a bit frustrating on the focussing front. Really, really want a camera with IS because almost all of my shooting is handheld in flower gardens, using zoom.

Looking forward to seing the Sony!

Hey - I've been using the same camera (7x optical, 5.1 MP, right???)

Anyway, I like the camera because it takes pictures rather fast - it's got a terrific UHS mode, which I need because I take pictures of horses jumping all the time.

The color quality, however, is not as decent as my mom's Olympus, which costs half as much :o

CanadaRAM
Jun 6, 2006, 11:41 PM
Hey - I've been using the same camera (7x optical, 5.1 MP, right???)

Anyway, I like the camera because it takes pictures rather fast - it's got a terrific UHS mode, which I need because I take pictures of horses jumping all the time.

The color quality, however, is not as decent as my mom's Olympus, which costs half as much :o
Well, if you mean the colour is not as vivid and exciting, I would agree. If you mean the colour is not as accurate, I would disagree. I do flower photography. Reds, in full sunlight in particular are a real problem for most digicams, and I specifically ruled out the competitive Sony .. what was it 727? 828? at the time because although the pictures were very pleasing, it overhyped the reds. The Minolta is more neutral, which is just what I need.

It's like speakers -- do you want studio reference monitors which are flat and precise, or do you want party speakers with the big boomy bass and an exciting forward upper mid and treble?

AvSRoCkCO1067
Jun 6, 2006, 11:45 PM
Well, if you mean the colour is not as vivid and exciting, I would agree. If you mean the colour is not as accurate, I would disagree. I do flower photography. Reds, in full sunlight in particular are a real problem for most digicams, and I specifically ruled out the competitive Sony .. what was it 727? 828? at the time because although the pictures were very pleasing, it overhyped the reds. The Minolta is more neutral, which is just what I need.

It's like speakers -- do you want studio reference monitors which are flat and precise, or do you want party speakers with the big boomy bass and an exciting forward upper mid and treble?

Absolutely agree...

I do nature photography all the time: http://web.mac.com/c.peters06/iWeb/Site/Nature.html

As you can tell, the color reproduction is just fine...

...my mom's pictures may be gorgeous, but they exaggerate a bit and have almost have a 'fake' quality to them.

bousozoku
Jun 6, 2006, 11:51 PM
Depending on how well Minolta (or whatever's left of their company) develops lenses for Sony, it may be conceivable that some of us might switch to Sony DSLRs in a few years. In fact, any camera maker who's putting this antishake technology into the camera body itself has the right idea. I just wonder when Nikon will do it? :confused: Having it built into individual lenses doesn't exactly make those lenses cheap. :o

I just don't get it though....is Minolta designing lenses for Sony, or Carl Zeiss, or both? Or did Sony just buy Minolta to get to the lenses Minolta has made in the past? Is Carl Zeiss a good lens maker? I know it's in all of Sony's advertisements, even for their P&S cameras, but do they have a good reputation?

Carl Zeiss was known for excellent lenses way back in the 1970s. They've only gotten better over time. I'm still shocked that they would allow their name to be associated with Sony, though.

Nikon need to design digital bodies to add anti-shake technology in the bodies, not re-use 35mm parts and adapt them to serve as digital equipment. That could happen soon since they've declared an end to film cameras but there is another problem. They've already created those special lenses and Nikon certainly believe in preserving the past, good or bad, so it may be a while.

ChrisA
Jun 6, 2006, 11:54 PM
10 megapixel, aps size, anti dust system, $999.

looks interesting. does anybody with more experience than me know if it's good?

http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/eCS/Store/en/-/USD/SY_DisplayProductInformation-Start?ProductSKU=DSLRA100K&LCID=LCTR_alpha606


edit: Expected to ship on or before July 28th, 2006

The pronlem is there is not much of a "system" available for it. For example there is no lenses suitable for sports or wildlife photography and we don't know much about ergonomics or the camera. usability has been sony's weak point. Also we don't yet know about sensor noise. 10 megapixels is a lot for an APS size sensor. Likly this is all OK as they seem to be doing this with Minolta who has a 40+ year history making SLRs. he big problem now is the limited selection of lenses. Not much there and will they _ever_ catch up with Nikon and Canon. Or for that matter will they ever release a high end DSLR body should you want to move up or simply take pictures of birds.

People buy Nikon because Nikon has been building quality camera for 50 years and likely will continue doing so for another 50 years and Nikon has made a public commitment to never change the lens mount. We don't know about Sony and we won't know for many years. They may loose interest or only sell these entry level lenses and never offer pro quality optics. In 20 years they will only have a 20 year history with SLRs with is short.

ChrisA
Jun 7, 2006, 12:01 AM
But, one of the more interesting features is Sony's SteadyShot technology (similar to Canon's IS etc.) -- it's built into the camera itself -- all lenses are image stabilzed because it originates from the body. Interesting...

Pentax uses this same technology in their DSLRs. But Pentax has been making profesion level cameras for many, many years and because the Pentax K100 can use all the older Pentax lenses and all the old third pary optics every made there is hundreds of lenses available for it on day one.

This is really a minola and it looks like Minotla has done it again: Changed the lens mount and obsoleted all the old lenses. Expect this periodically from these guys.

CanadaRAM
Jun 7, 2006, 12:03 AM
The pronlem is there is not much of a "system" available for it. For example there is no lenses suitable for sports or wildlife photography
Confused - Sony claim "20 years of A-series" lenses available
Now I admit I am a n00b to SLR but -- are these the existing Minolta compatible lenses they are talking about?

DPReview Preview (http://www.dpreview.com/articles/sonydslra100/)

"Identical to the Minolta A-type bayonet mount, enabling the use of a large back catalogue of existing Minolta and third party lenses as well as avoiding the development of a whole new system."

"it seems likely that this is the same 23.6 x 15.8 mm CCD used in the Nikon D200."

"the A100 allows you to shoot continuously at three frames per second at any image quality setting (apart from RAW) until the storage card is full"

DCResource (http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/sony/dslr_a100-review/)

bousozoku
Jun 7, 2006, 12:44 AM
Confused - Sony claim "20 years of A-series" lenses available
Now I admit I am a n00b to SLR but -- are these the existing Minolta compatible lenses they are talking about?

DPReview Preview (http://www.dpreview.com/articles/sonydslra100/)

"Identical to the Minolta A-type bayonet mount, enabling the use of a large back catalogue of existing Minolta and third party lenses as well as avoiding the development of a whole new system."

"it seems likely that this is the same 23.6 x 15.8 mm CCD used in the Nikon D200."

"the A100 allows you to shoot continuously at three frames per second at any image quality setting (apart from RAW) until the storage card is full"

DCResource (http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/sony/dslr_a100-review/)

It's a Minolta camera with "Sony" stuck on it. They're not just identical to Minolta parts--they are Minolta parts.

sjl
Jun 7, 2006, 01:22 AM
Nikon need to design digital bodies to add anti-shake technology in the bodies, not re-use 35mm parts and adapt them to serve as digital equipment.
I could be wrong, but I seem to remember reading somewhere that anti-shake technology in the bodies can only go so far, whilst similar technology in the lenses can go a bit further. Anybody know for sure one way or the other? I can see pros and cons to both approaches, but I don't really know anything about the field, so my gut instinct could easily be wrong.

Abstract
Jun 7, 2006, 06:52 AM
For example there is no lenses suitable for sports or wildlife photography and we don't know much about ergonomics or the camera. usability has been sony's weak point.
I'm sure Sony will expand their lens lineup eventually. After all, they have people "backing them up" in that department......namely Minolta and Carl Zeiss.


......The big problem now is the limited selection of lenses. Not much there and will they _ever_ catch up with Nikon and Canon. Or for that matter will they ever release a high end DSLR body should you want to move up or simply take pictures of birds.

The new Sony Alpha takes old Minolta lenses. However, I doubt many people care how many ancient lenses that can't meter or autofocus they can use on their new camera, at least not the part of the market that would be interested in buying a Sony Alpha as their first DSLR. ;)

The people who look into buying the Alpha aren't going to know the history behind companies like Pentax, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, etc, nor do they care. People are starting "fresh." In fact, the entire DSLR market is fresh. Right now, there are a lot of people who want to be "amateur photographers" because digital makes it practical and manageable to own an SLR. Hence, there's very little brand loyalty for the consumer end of the DSLR market since nobody knows the past, or is locked into any one company.

As far as many novices are concerned, Sony has been in the digital photo game for as long as Canon or Nikon, so brand recognition in the DSLR market isn't as big an issue as you'd think. I wanted a Canon 350D badly, but I still went with what I thought was better, because I'm not committed to any company. I looked at Canon first not because of their lens lineup, but because me and my family have owned 5 Canon digital p&s cameras over the past 5 years. I only looked at the lenses available after a month of casually looking around.

Guess what? There are also many people who own a Sony p&s who will turn to Sony when they ponder the thought of moving on to something more advanced.

Abstract
Jun 7, 2006, 06:58 AM
They may loose interest or only sell these entry level lenses and never offer pro quality optics. In 20 years they will only have a 20 year history with SLRs with is short.
Maybe. I'm interested in seeing how well they do in this field, because I think they could be bigger than Nikon eventually if they play their cards right. Nikon is big, but Canon has a much bigger part of the digital camera market right now. When the market went digital, it's almost as if these companies all started fresh.

Now DSLRs are much cheaper than before, and in the DSLR market, its as if these brands are armed only with their reputation in the point-and-shoot market to assist them. The DSLR market is young and small enough that people haven't picked favourites yet.

Like I said before, I don't think the number of ancient lenses in a company's back-catalogue makes a difference to new amateur photographers buying their first DSLR, or first SLR of any sort.

Abstract
Jun 7, 2006, 07:06 AM
Carl Zeiss was known for excellent lenses way back in the 1970s. They've only gotten better over time. I'm still shocked that they would allow their name to be associated with Sony, though.

Ah ok, that was before I was born. :D


Nikon need to design digital bodies to add anti-shake technology in the bodies, not re-use 35mm parts and adapt them to serve as digital equipment. That could happen soon since they've declared an end to film cameras but there is another problem. They've already created those special lenses and Nikon certainly believe in preserving the past, good or bad, so it may be a while.

Well I think both Canon and Nikon won't add VR/IS/Anti-Shake/Super SteadyShot because they probably sell their VR lenses at quite a premium over an equivalent lens without VR. It wouldn't make them any more money to take VR/IS away from their lenses, and just put it in their camera for a one time cost (ie: the cost of the body).

The crazeee thing about it are the price of the Sony/Minolta/Carl Zeiss lenses......$$$Linkety$$$ (http://www.dpreview.com/articles/sonydslra100/page3.asp)

I mean, $2399 USD for a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens? It's not like the lens requires VR or anything of the sort. Even if it had excellent optics, it still shouldn't cost that much. At least Nikon has VR in their lens, so you at least know where some of the money is going, and yet their price is still $1539 at B&H. :rolleyes:

And look at the SAL 135 mm f/2.87 lens....... $1200. :eek: What the hell is f/2.87 anyway?

kwajo.com
Jun 7, 2006, 07:37 AM
The new Sony Alpha takes old Minolta lenses. However, I doubt many people care how many ancient lenses that can't meter or autofocus they can use on their new camera, at least not the part of the market that would be interested in buying a Sony Alpha as their first DSLR.


I just wanted to point out that I think it's silly that these companies are restricting the old lenses like they are in order to force sales of new lenses. Obviously you can't add auto-focus to a manual focus lens, but you can have metering and focus assist. My Pentax for example, if I put even an old screw mount lens from the 60s on it, it still has full metering and the overlayed focus indicator on in the viewfinder still tells me when I've focused properly. There is no reason the other companies can't offer this either, except that they want greater profits off lens sales.


The new Sony Alpha system looks pretty good to me, except for a few things - It's a sony, and The lens prices are quite high, and there is only one body so far. Other than that it looks good, the body looks very capable, a nice mix of features, and the lens range has much to offer. It's almost enough to give me regret on choosing my system - almost ;) Given the capabilities of Sony's PR, I expect this to make a fair splash in the market

Linkjeniero
Jun 7, 2006, 08:25 AM
Well I think both Canon and Nikon won't add VR/IS/Anti-Shake/Super SteadyShot because they probably sell their VR lenses at quite a premium over an equivalent lens without VR. It wouldn't make them any more money to take VR/IS away from their lenses, and just put it in their camera for a one time cost (ie: the cost of the body).

I don't know about that. I'm no expert, but for what I've seen, people tend to keep their lenses a lot longer that their bodies, and that should be specially true with dSLRs, because of the megapixel increase. So it might not be as much of a loss to the brands as you think.

Also, somebody said that VR in the body is worse than VR on the lens. But I don't see why can't both have it? So if you have a beefy VRII lens, you just turn the camera's off; and use it for the cheaper glass. Just like it happens now with AF lenses: some have the good, SWM ones, and the others are moved by the camera. It's certainly worse, but it sure is better than nothing...

thumb
Jun 7, 2006, 09:46 AM
as for the question about the reputation of carl zeiss

not only do they have a good reputation, they might have close to the best reputation. however, as zeiss has shown with sony in the past, their reputation might be the *only* thing going into the lower priced lenses (ie not their engineering). most lower priced zeiss lenses are just kyocera rebranded (well, maybe zeiss designed by kyo manufactured).

that said, due to some of the extraordinary prices of a few of lenses, it is clear to me that it is indeed zeiss manufacturing the top line (or amazing marketing hubris). what this tells me, is that the alpha100 is indeed just the begining, and there will be an impressive pro lineup coming out to match those lenses.

since there is no real reason for dslr to look and be engineerred just like film slrs, and since sony has the least history in film, i bet they will begin to lead the way in designing cameras for being digital from the ground up, rather than fitting digital into the film framework.

jared_kipe
Jun 7, 2006, 09:49 AM
I just wanted to point out that I think it's silly that these companies are restricting the old lenses like they are in order to force sales of new lenses. Obviously you can't add auto-focus to a manual focus lens, but you can have metering and focus assist. My Pentax for example, if I put even an old screw mount lens from the 60s on it, it still has full metering and the overlayed focus indicator on in the viewfinder still tells me when I've focused properly. There is no reason the other companies can't offer this either, except that they want greater profits off lens sales.



I agree, and so it is with Canon bodies. The problem with Nikon is that for their "cheap" bodies they only allow electronic comunication with the lens, so only lenses with chips in them will tell the body what aperture they have, and then the body knows how to meter it.

Older lenses used a little stub thing to mechanically tell the body the same information, thus the expensive bodies have this mechanical couple.

I don't know what would happen if you tried to meter without a lens (screw mount or reverse mount) on any Nikon cameras. I would assume you would have to do full manual without the moving needle to tell you if you're close.

jared_kipe
Jun 7, 2006, 09:51 AM
as for the question about the reputation of carl zeiss

not only do they have a good reputation, they might have close to the best reputation. however, as zeiss has shown with sony in the past, their reputation might be the *only* thing going into the lower priced lenses (ie not their engineering). most lower priced zeiss lenses are just kyocera rebranded (well, maybe zeiss designed by kyo manufactured).

that said, due to some of the extraordinary prices of a few of lenses, it is clear to me that it is indeed zeiss manufacturing the top line (or amazing marketing hubris). what this tells me, is that the alpha100 is indeed just the begining, and there will be an impressive pro lineup coming out to match those lenses.

since there is no real reason for dslr to look and be engineerred just like film slrs, and since sony has the least history in film, i bet they will begin to lead the way in designing cameras for being digital from the ground up, rather than fitting digital into the film framework.
Are the Zeiss lenses they will be using auto focus? Cause When they announced they would start making Nikon mount lenses they only ported manual focus designs.

efoto
Jun 7, 2006, 10:15 AM
Well I think both Canon and Nikon won't add VR/IS/Anti-Shake/Super SteadyShot because they probably sell their VR lenses at quite a premium over an equivalent lens without VR. It wouldn't make them any more money to take VR/IS away from their lenses, and just put it in their camera for a one time cost (ie: the cost of the body).

Someone else commented on this but people hold onto lenses a lot longer than bodies, especially true for digital bodies. If you look at a lot of the pro glass from either side (N or C) you'll notice that the only real changes in years is updates to the VR/IS system itself and rarely a redesign of the elements. Basically, if you can have a sweet hunk of glass that is near-perfect and slap VR/IS on it, you should be set for a lifetime (yadda yadda life expectancies and such).

The crazeee thing about it are the price of the Sony/Minolta/Carl Zeiss lenses......$$$Linkety$$$ (http://www.dpreview.com/articles/sonydslra100/page3.asp)

I mean, $2399 USD for a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens? It's not like the lens requires VR or anything of the sort. Even if it had excellent optics, it still shouldn't cost that much. At least Nikon has VR in their lens, so you at least know where some of the money is going, and yet their price is still $1539 at B&H. :rolleyes:

And look at the SAL 135 mm f/2.87 lens....... $1200. :eek: What the hell is f/2.87 anyway?

The one that freaked me out even more was the TCs :eek:
1.4x TC - $599
2.0x TC - $649

Canon has their TCs at $284.95 and $289.95 (prices from B&H online). Not only SHOULD the prices be similar (which I suppose they are in the CZ case) the Canon ones are less than half the price....LESS THAN HALF!

wtf is in those TCs? :confused:

bousozoku
Jun 7, 2006, 12:24 PM
...
And look at the SAL 135 mm f/2.87 lens....... $1200. :eek: What the hell is f/2.87 anyway?

It's called being precise. A lot of numbers are conveniently changed for the consumer because they (and the marketing people) can't handle too much precision. Look up the formula and you'll find that the numbers aren't that easy to put on the aperture ring.

Mr. G4
Jun 7, 2006, 01:23 PM
I'm shocked no one pointed out that this is TRULY a Rev A product! :p Personally, I'll wait for Rev B (beta) :D


That's because it's not...It's an old Minolta under different name and more add on :D

bousozoku
Jun 7, 2006, 01:31 PM
That's because it's not...It's an old Minolta under different name and more add on :D

Well, if the "Sony" falls off and they suddenly see "Minolta" there, they'll know that it's an Alpha. ;)

peterparker
Jun 7, 2006, 01:43 PM
I found it interesting that it takes CF/Microdrive by default, and Memory Stick via an adapter. If Sony built it from the ground up I would expect nothing but Memory Stick.

[Recording Media: Memory Stick® Duo/Memory Stick PRO™ Duo media (via MSAC-MCF1N adaptor); CompactFlash™ Type I/ CompactFlash Type II / Microdrive™ media]

bousozoku
Jun 7, 2006, 02:26 PM
I found it interesting that it takes CF/Microdrive by default, and Memory Stick via an adapter. If Sony built it from the ground up I would expect nothing but Memory Stick.

[Recording Media: Memory Stick® Duo/Memory Stick PRO™ Duo media (via MSAC-MCF1N adaptor); CompactFlash™ Type I/ CompactFlash Type II / Microdrive™ media]

Their most recent all-in-one prosumer camera has native CompactFlash support. I think Sony is learning a difficult lesson--that the world doesn't revolve around them.

peterparker
Jun 7, 2006, 02:28 PM
Their most recent all-in-one prosumer camera has native CompactFlash support. I think Sony is learning a difficult lesson--that the world doesn't revolve around them.

Ah, ok. That would be nice.

efoto
Jun 7, 2006, 04:22 PM
Their most recent all-in-one prosumer camera has native CompactFlash support. I think Sony is learning a difficult lesson--that the world doesn't revolve around them.

No kidding. I'd buy a lot more, well at least more, maybe, of their products if they didn't have their chewing gum up their asses. I like Sony and think that their styling choices in particular are quite nice....that is such a silly standard though and for a long while they never offered any other support, downright stupid.

bousozoku
Jun 7, 2006, 06:32 PM
No kidding. I'd buy a lot more, well at least more, maybe, of their products if they didn't have their chewing gum up their asses. I like Sony and think that their styling choices in particular are quite nice....that is such a silly standard though and for a long while they never offered any other support, downright stupid.

Sony in the 1970s was so great but they've diverged so much from the rest of the world that they don't seem anything like a Japanese company. If there is consensus, I don't see it. Isn't the man in charge a westerner now?

efoto
Jun 7, 2006, 06:37 PM
Sony in the 1970s was so great but they've diverged so much from the rest of the world that they don't seem anything like a Japanese company. If there is consensus, I don't see it. Isn't the man in charge a westerner now?

No idea but I certainly don't see their direction. I'm trying to convince my dad to get the Sony 32" XBR LCD TV, it's hella-expensive but it has an amazing picture.

I love a lot of their products but often a little research and you can find a similar/equal/better product for less cash....shame shame, I used to like them.

Abstract
Jun 7, 2006, 08:04 PM
It's called being precise. A lot of numbers are conveniently changed for the consumer because they (and the marketing people) can't handle too much precision. Look up the formula and you'll find that the numbers aren't that easy to put on the aperture ring.

I know they round numbers (just like with focal lengths sometimes), but it's just breaking a convention that's actually quite practical. It would be like someone asking for more precise time zones, and then splits the world into 360 different time zones rather than 24 different hourly ones because there are 360 degrees in the Earth's rotation. :confused: It's good that 1 stop is 1 stop, or 1/3rd stop is 1/3rd stop. Is Sony going to give users the ability to change settings more precisely than 1/3rd? Are we going to have f/2.87 and f/4.09 or whatever? It just seems unnecessary.

And yes, Sony is run by someone non-Japanese now, but I remember this change being fairly recent (ie: within the last 2 years), so this change was after the memory stick fiasco that was/is happening.

Chip NoVaMac
Jun 7, 2006, 11:30 PM
To this discussion I will add that many don't understand where the "industry has been over the last the last 10 years. One only has to look at the recent Sony offerings of the 11-18 and the 18-200 to see that they are Sony "spec'd" Tamron lenses.

In the Leica world, we have Cosina building lenses for the Zeiss Ikon RF. If one looks at the recent lenses from Pentax, one can see future offerings from Tokina and others.

In the end one may be surprised as to where their "brand name lenses" came from. :eek:

efoto
Jun 8, 2006, 09:42 AM
To this discussion I will add that many don't understand where the "industry has been over the last the last 10 years. One only has to look at the recent Sony offerings of the 11-18 and the 18-200 to see that they are Sony "spec'd" Tamron lenses.

In the Leica world, we have Cosina building lenses for the Zeiss Ikon RF. If one looks at the recent lenses from Pentax, one can see future offerings from Tokina and others.

In the end one may be surprised as to where their "brand name lenses" came from. :eek:

Does Nikon still make "Nikon" and Canon produce "Canon" or are those thrown off to someone else and maintaining their price-points per a Nike name association scheme?

bousozoku
Jun 8, 2006, 01:11 PM
I know they round numbers (just like with focal lengths sometimes), but it's just breaking a convention that's actually quite practical. It would be like someone asking for more precise time zones, and then splits the world into 360 different time zones rather than 24 different hourly ones because there are 360 degrees in the Earth's rotation. :confused: It's good that 1 stop is 1 stop, or 1/3rd stop is 1/3rd stop. Is Sony going to give users the ability to change settings more precisely than 1/3rd? Are we going to have f/2.87 and f/4.09 or whatever? It just seems unnecessary.

And yes, Sony is run by someone non-Japanese now, but I remember this change being fairly recent (ie: within the last 2 years), so this change was after the memory stick fiasco that was/is happening.

There are a few time zones that are only 30 minutes different, instead of the full 60 minutes. I don't suppose that helps, though.

Considering Minolta's and Sony's recent history, I wouldn't expect that much precision.

To this discussion I will add that many don't understand where the "industry has been over the last the last 10 years. One only has to look at the recent Sony offerings of the 11-18 and the 18-200 to see that they are Sony "spec'd" Tamron lenses.

In the Leica world, we have Cosina building lenses for the Zeiss Ikon RF. If one looks at the recent lenses from Pentax, one can see future offerings from Tokina and others.

In the end one may be surprised as to where their "brand name lenses" came from. :eek:

It's often surprising how a lot of things are made by Kyocera (Kyoto Ceramics) that people would not expect at all. Remember Apple and Kodak's first digital cameras?

Le Big Mac
Jun 8, 2006, 08:22 PM
I'm shocked no one pointed out that this is TRULY a Rev A product! :p Personally, I'll wait for Rev B (beta) :D

.

:)

Except it's a Minolta camera with some reengineered dohickeys. Sony bought Minolta's camera business, including the DSLR technology.

Chip NoVaMac
Jun 8, 2006, 08:38 PM
Does Nikon still make "Nikon" and Canon produce "Canon" or are those thrown off to someone else and maintaining their price-points per a Nike name association scheme?

Quite possible, if I follow you.

efoto
Jun 9, 2006, 08:02 AM
Quite possible, if I follow you.

Alright....maybe I'm still drunk but I don't get it. Is that a yes :confused:

Abstract
Jun 9, 2006, 11:29 AM
Ambiguous answers make me cry.

I think "quite possible" means he's not sure.

efoto
Jun 9, 2006, 05:08 PM
Ambiguous answers make me cry.

I think "quite possible" means he's not sure.

I just don't know what to believe anymore....there is no solid ground these days.

I'm pretty sure Canon makes their stuff (at least L stuff I'd hope) and last I heard Nikon was making their own stuff as well. I guess as long as they are regarded with such high standards people will continue to purchase regardless of who manufactures the glass.

Abstract
Jun 9, 2006, 07:32 PM
I've always wondered whether Nikon, Canon, Olympus, etc, make their own glass, or whether they actually buy the glass, but make lenses from it themselves. :confused: I've always wondered because I wasn't sure whether there were many companies that shared the same glass but created their own unique optics designs, or whether there was actually a difference in glass between Nikons and everyone else, because if the glass that one company used was actually better than another, then lens quality may not be such a subjective opinion, since the quality can probably be quantified in some manner.

efoto
Jun 9, 2006, 08:16 PM
I've always wondered whether Nikon, Canon, Olympus, etc, make their own glass, or whether they actually buy the glass, but make lenses from it themselves. :confused: I've always wondered because I wasn't sure whether there were many companies that shared the same glass but created their own unique optics designs, or whether there was actually a difference in glass between Nikons and everyone else, because if the glass that one company used was actually better than another, then lens quality may not be such a subjective opinion, since the quality can probably be quantified in some manner.

A lot of it is placement/engineering of the positions, angles, thicknesses, etc (I'm assuming)....how they attain their optics for a given focal length/aperture combo. Coatings are another big part....each brand seems to have its signature lens coating that they say is better which I assume is like gasoline (Amoco/BP, Shell, Speedway, etc).

It wouldn't surprise me at all to hear that they all get their "raw glass" from the same supplier and then grind it in-house to their own specifications. I know that the Canon 1200mm is special-order and the glass is ground when you order it....but I don't know where the glass is coming from or who is grinding it ;) :p

Chip NoVaMac
Jun 9, 2006, 09:25 PM
I just don't know what to believe anymore....there is no solid ground these days.

I'm pretty sure Canon makes their stuff (at least L stuff I'd hope) and last I heard Nikon was making their own stuff as well. I guess as long as they are regarded with such high standards people will continue to purchase regardless of who manufactures the glass.

Yep, there is no solid ground today, and perhaps there hasn't been for the last 10 to 20 years. Even more so today

Sorry, I wasn't sure if you meant bodies or lenses.

I will focus in on lenses in this reply.

What I can say for sure is that "consumer" grade lenses are farmed out to the likes of Tamron, Sigma, Cosina, and others. Sometimes, like most any 11-18 DSLR lens, it is made by Tamron.

Other times with lets say the 70-300 zooms, they may be "tweaked" versions of a third party manufacturer. This "tweaking" may be cosmetic, with improved "feel". It may be the requirement to use specific glass or coatings, in order to have that Canon, Nikon, or whoever's "color.

I am certain from what I have been told, that the "pro-level" lenses are "made" by the manufacturer. Meaning that they use their own factories, or in the least they ride the third party manufacturer hard to maintain the quality, and provide the glass needed for those lenses.

The clearest indication of the later is with lenses for the new Zeiss Ikon RF 35mm camera. A few of the lenses are made in Germany by Carl Zeiss; but the others are made by Cosina under license.

One has to look at Leica and their M series lenses (even on their R series lenses, a couple of zooms are said to be made by Sigma). These lenses are super expensive, and are considered to be the best around.

I think and believe that the over $700 mark for the likes of Canon and Nikon mean that they either build it themselves, or had a heavy hand in on who did build it.

The problem in giving a definative answer is that the third party lens companies can not confirm or deny as to who, if they do :) , they build for. Case on point, a few years ago Pentax offered a 28-80 zoom for their SLR 35mm cameras. The only differences between the Pentax lens and the Tamron was purely cosmetic. Just the shell and and rings were different! Putting them side by side they looked like siblings. The optical diagrams were the same, as well as test reports of their performance.

Our Tamron rep at the time was only able to admit that they did build lenses for some manufacturers, with a wink and a nod. I guess the same wink and a nod that Tokina and Pentax will have over their new offerings.

Hope this helps. I hope that you and others know me well enough that I will never try to miss lead. And that if I don't know - I will admit to it. My answers above are based on what I can say, and what I have seen from observations of the industry.

Chip NoVaMac
Jun 9, 2006, 09:42 PM
It wouldn't surprise me at all to hear that they all get their "raw glass" from the same supplier and then grind it in-house to their own specifications. I know that the Canon 1200mm is special-order and the glass is ground when you order it....but I don't know where the glass is coming from or who is grinding it ;) :p

Some truth in this. IIRC, there are only like 3 or 4 MAJOR glass suppliers. There are some like Carl Zeiss in Germany that have their own glass production, and those specific lenses can only be built in Germany from what I have heard.

For the "pro" lenses, and even the "consumer" lenses; Canon, Nikon, and others could require a third party like Tamron to build a lens with that source.

In the end it up to us as consumers to decide the worth of buying name brand verses third party. I personally can't wait to more reports on the 11-18 zoom lens that appears to be a Tamron design, under different names.

As much as I see a difference in my B&W film shots done with my Leica lenses; I have not seen the "color" difference that some speak of comparing manufacturers lenses verses third party lenses.

I own the Tamron 28-75/2.8. This lens has gotten high marks, not just from me, but others. At under $400, it is a third of the cost of similar lenses from Canon or Nikon. It may not have the smooth, noiseless focusing of the Canon USM, or the Nikon AF-S; but for a third of the price of their offerings - I am very happy for my style of shooting.

efoto
Jun 10, 2006, 11:51 AM
I own the Tamron 28-75/2.8. This lens has gotten high marks, not just from me, but others. At under $400, it is a third of the cost of similar lenses from Canon or Nikon. It may not have the smooth, noiseless focusing of the Canon USM, or the Nikon AF-S; but for a third of the price of their offerings - I am very happy for my style of shooting.

To both notes I thank you for sharing. Everything that you said makes sense and was roughly what I assumed was happening behind the scenes.

I too own that Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 and it is a lovely lens (which I have mentioned in another thread was far superior to the Canon 27-70 f/2.8 I had). I would like to believe that there are more differences between the brand names and the third party lenses, more than just motors and casings, but I guess this same re-branding is happening across nearly all of the product lines we use these days. Apple made in China, VW cars made in Mexico....it seems no one truly makes their own products :(

bousozoku
Jun 10, 2006, 01:55 PM
To both notes I thank you for sharing. Everything that you said makes sense and was roughly what I assumed was happening behind the scenes.

I too own that Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 and it is a lovely lens (which I have mentioned in another thread was far superior to the Canon 27-70 f/2.8 I had). I would like to believe that there are more differences between the brand names and the third party lenses, more than just motors and casings, but I guess this same re-branding is happening across nearly all of the product lines we use these days. Apple made in China, VW cars made in Mexico....it seems no one truly makes their own products :(

Why should a camera company maintain a department of glass engineers, a glass "foundry", and all of the expense when there are many glass companies which know more, develop new technologies and can do it more economically?

All we have to know is which items are great and which are better avoided. At least, they're not the exact same pieces for more money, as we sometimes see in other products.

Mr. G4
Jun 10, 2006, 03:38 PM
Found these pictures made by the Alpha...not very impressed :p

Pictures (http://www.pbase.com/davidkilpatrick/sony_alpha_100&page=1)

Chip NoVaMac
Jun 10, 2006, 07:52 PM
Why should a camera company maintain a department of glass engineers, a glass "foundry", and all of the expense when there are many glass companies which know more, develop new technologies and can do it more economically?

Maybe for such things like Nikon's VR-II technology, or maybe even their Nano Crystal Coating technology?

All we have to know is which items are great and which are better avoided. At least, they're not the exact same pieces for more money, as we sometimes see in other products.

In some cases like the 11-18 lens from Tamron, there is little differences between the Minolta and Sony offerings IMO. So in some way it is the same, exact product.

bousozoku
Jun 10, 2006, 08:07 PM
Maybe for such things like Nikon's VR-II technology, or maybe even their Nano Crystal Coating technology?


As with gasoline, they can coat their own later.


In some cases like the 11-18 lens from Tamron, there is little differences between the Minolta and Sony offerings IMO. So in some way it is the same, exact product.

I'm sure if the "Sony" falls off, it will work exactly like the Minolta-branded version. Minolta were never great but they were acceptable. I find their film scanners to be much more than their cameras ever were.

law guy
Jun 11, 2006, 04:42 AM
efoto, I thought you might enjoy this given your question earlier: From a thread awhile back - a tour of L lens production, from mixing the components for the glass to assembly.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=200998

You can click in at any point, but the glass making is - intuitively - upfront. From there you can click through the whole thing.

Here's the starting text:

Raw materials used to make optical glass
Creating optical glass requires the subtle manipulation of refractive index and other various optical characteristics.That is why more than 50 types of raw materials are utilized to achieve the optimum proportion and combination for each type of glass.

peterparker
Jun 11, 2006, 10:23 PM
Mr. Rockwell posted (http://www.kenrockwell.com/sony/a100.htm) his opinion for those interested.

Chip NoVaMac
Jun 11, 2006, 10:32 PM
Mr. Rockwell posted (http://www.kenrockwell.com/sony/a100.htm) his opinion for those interested.

I trust iGary's opinion more than this self described "prophet".

bousozoku
Jun 11, 2006, 11:16 PM
Mr. Rockwell posted (http://www.kenrockwell.com/sony/a100.htm) his opinion for those interested.

If he's constantly making ISO speed adjustments on every shot, it doesn't sound as though he knows how to use film SLRs at all. If he doesn't know to work within the limits, he's not a good one to be giving advice.

It's like he's saying "well, this one doesn't work the same way as the cameras I know, so it's no good."

efoto
Jun 12, 2006, 10:06 AM
efoto, I thought you might enjoy this given your question earlier: From a thread awhile back - a tour of L lens production, from mixing the components for the glass to assembly.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=200998

You can click in at any point, but the glass making is - intuitively - upfront. From there you can click through the whole thing.

That was pretty cool law guy, thanks for sharing that (again). Interesting to see all the steps that go into making the glass itself and a full lens. Almost makes me feel a better about spending so much on lenses now....almost.

Ryan1524
Jun 12, 2006, 10:11 AM
If he's constantly making ISO speed adjustments on every shot, it doesn't sound as though he knows how to use film SLRs at all. If he doesn't know to work within the limits, he's not a good one to be giving advice.

It's like he's saying "well, this one doesn't work the same way as the cameras I know, so it's no good."

Although he does seem to be very pro-Nikon, i think many of his arguments are valid. As for adjusting ISO, I'm no pro, but i think he's doing it cause he does live-action photos a lot. and when things go into shadowy areas, you're gonna have to up the ISO in order to maintain a high shutter speed. That's probly why he changes ISO a lot. and i think he's talking about D-SLRs, not film cameras.

ChrisA
Jun 12, 2006, 12:04 PM
Are the Zeiss lenses they will be using auto focus? Cause When they announced they would start making Nikon mount lenses they only ported manual focus designs.

It looks to me like Sony only bought the brand name. there is no "Zeiss" in sony lenes. I mean are they really even made in Germany? crtainly not.

Zeiss gained its reputation in the years that bordered World War II. Back in those days engeners did not use computers so the company with the smartest designers built the best stuff. Also they did not have computer controled machinning or modern plastics so they depened on the skill of craftmen to build the lens. I have one old Zeiss lens built in Germany in the early 1950's It's on an early 35mm SLR from the same eara (Before Nikon made a 35mm SLR) The lens is nice for it's day. maybe the best available and I'm told was horifically expensive when sold new in 1952 It's a 55mm f/1.4. I also have a 1970's vintage Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens as well as a modern Nikon autofocus 50mm f/1.4 lens. Of the three the 70's version is without any doubt the best build quality and the new version has the same optical quuality but costs moch less (after figuring for inflation) and is much lighter too.) When the japaneese started copying the German designs in the 1960's that did a better job, I thnk. The Nikon F1 was better built then my Exacta/Zies post war vintage camera. (no I'm not that old, the Exacta was old when I bought it.) One more thing. Back in those days one bough a camera and a lens from diffent companies. There where several companys that made "exacta mount" optics. Zies being just one of them. Exacta did not make lenses. I think it was the Japanese companies that were the first to make both lens and cameras and this has been only for the last 40 years. Bot the reputation of these optics companies continues.

bousozoku
Jun 12, 2006, 12:13 PM
Although he does seem to be very pro-Nikon, i think many of his arguments are valid. As for adjusting ISO, I'm no pro, but i think he's doing it cause he does live-action photos a lot. and when things go into shadowy areas, you're gonna have to up the ISO in order to maintain a high shutter speed. That's probly why he changes ISO a lot. and i think he's talking about D-SLRs, not film cameras.

Yes, he's talking about digital cameras since it would have been ridiculous and counter-productive to change the ISO setting on anything but a whole roll of film. It doesn't seem as if he knows photography, just a few recent cameras, to read things like this.

Chip NoVaMac
Jun 12, 2006, 02:41 PM
It looks to me like Sony only bought the brand name. there is no "Zeiss" in sony lenes. I mean are they really even made in Germany? crtainly not.

Evidently you missed the mention of Zeiss lenses in the DPR preview. There will be three of them, a 16-80, 85/1.4, and a 135/1.8.

notjustjay
Jun 12, 2006, 03:10 PM
It looks to me like Sony only bought the brand name. there is no "Zeiss" in sony lenes. I mean are they really even made in Germany? crtainly not.

I remembered reading this too, particularly in recent years as I've watched Sony DV camcorders transition to Zeiss lenses. I had read in Usenet that Zeiss designs them, and Sony has them manufactured to those specifications. I decided to do some digging and found this:

Sony produces digital cameras of different types in extremely high numbers in several factories in Japan. The lenses for these cameras have to come from lens factories near the Sony camera manufacturing facilities to ensure reliable deliveries and minimize the economic risk of interrupted supplies.

ZEISS lenses for Sony digital cameras are developed by lens designers at the Carl Zeiss plant in Oberkochen, Germany. This includes all required quality assurance measures (test methods, test criteria, test devices, test procedures, lens performance target values, etc.) The lenses are then made in a lens production facility jointly chosen by Sony and Carl Zeiss. Quality assurance specialists from the Carl Zeiss plant in Oberkochen implement the ZEISS quality assurance system in the chosen facility. Many ZEISS optic measuring systems are installed. Carl Zeiss audits the lens production areas on a regular basis.

All these measures ensure that ZEISS lenses in Sony digital cameras meet the expectations demanding users associate with ZEISS lenses.

(from the ZEISS website FAQ, http://www.zeiss.de/C12567A8003B58B9?Open)

So, made in Japan, designed and approved by ZEISS. Are they true Zeiss lenses? Sounds like a semantics game.

(By the way, how do you pronounce ZEISS? Like Ice? Ace? Seuss?)

bousozoku
Jun 12, 2006, 03:25 PM
I remembered reading this too, particularly in recent years as I've watched Sony DV camcorders transition to Zeiss lenses. I had read in Usenet that Zeiss designs them, and Sony has them manufactured to those specifications. I decided to do some digging and found this:

Sony produces digital cameras of different types in extremely high numbers in several factories in Japan. The lenses for these cameras have to come from lens factories near the Sony camera manufacturing facilities to ensure reliable deliveries and minimize the economic risk of interrupted supplies.

ZEISS lenses for Sony digital cameras are developed by lens designers at the Carl Zeiss plant in Oberkochen, Germany. This includes all required quality assurance measures (test methods, test criteria, test devices, test procedures, lens performance target values, etc.) The lenses are then made in a lens production facility jointly chosen by Sony and Carl Zeiss. Quality assurance specialists from the Carl Zeiss plant in Oberkochen implement the ZEISS quality assurance system in the chosen facility. Many ZEISS optic measuring systems are installed. Carl Zeiss audits the lens production areas on a regular basis.

All these measures ensure that ZEISS lenses in Sony digital cameras meet the expectations demanding users associate with ZEISS lenses.

(from the ZEISS website FAQ, http://www.zeiss.de/C12567A8003B58B9?Open)

So, made in Japan, designed and approved by ZEISS. Are they true Zeiss lenses? Sounds like a semantics game.

(By the way, how do you pronounce ZEISS? Like Ice? Ace? Seuss?)

Say it like ice.

So, the lenses aren't made directly by Zeiss but have to go through the exact same processes? It sounds as if they should be worthy of the name, as long as Zeiss is randomly checking to see if there has been cheating. Still, it feels a bit like an Isuzu car running around with a Lotus badge because Lotus did some engineering work to fix the car's poor design.