Lens purchase having difficulties.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by IBobby, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. IBobby macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2007
    Show Low, AZ
    I currently have a Sony Alpha A230 with the standard Kit lens 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 and having a real tough time deciding on what lens i want to be my first. I currently have these three in mind.

    Sony Alpha 50mm f1.8 sony brand

    tamron 28-200mm f4-f5.6

    or the

    tamron 70-300mm f4-f5.6

    I really want the 50mm for portraits or the 70-300mm for my phoenix trip next week.

    any opinions?
  2. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    Most 70-300mm lenses are dire, and 28-200s even worse. From what I have read previously, the tamron 70-300 is probably passable if used carefully. We had a nikon 70-300 ED at one point (apparently the same design as the tamron, more or less) and it was very disappointing.

    I personally would get the 50mm, as it's at least a quality item. Also check out the Sony 55-200mm.
  3. glocke12 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    I have the tamron 70-300. Id say its a decent middle of the road lens. You wont get stunning pictures with it all of the time, but you will get decent pictures with it most of the time and once in while you will get something stunning if you work with it. At the far end (200-300), things can tend to be a little soft, but they sharpen up somewhat at f8 or so.

    It is probably also the least used lens in my bag.

    The tamron 180 macro lens is a great lens. It is tack sharp, and is probably one of the best lenses I own next to the NIkkor 12-24 mm in my bag.

    Best thing to do is take your time and read as many reviews as possible on the lenses you are looking at, and try to increase your budget for a lens.
    Also find a retailer that has a liberal exchange policy, and has lens rentals so that you can try before you buy. There are a few places online that allow this.

    When I was looking for a wideangle zoom this is what I did. I tried out a tamron 10-24 and found the results much to soft, so returned it for the Nikkor 12-24....
  4. Grasher macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2009
    I've got the Sony 50mm and a Sigma 70-300mm and I'm pretty happy with both. I'd say the 50mm would be my preference as I think it does portraits better than the 70-300mm does wildlife.

    That said, I'm not a pixel peeper and I don't get too hung up on which is the absolute sharpest lens. I assume that pretty much any lens I get is going to be better than my photographic skills! The main thing to think about is what you want to actually photograph, as at the cheaper end of the market I don't think that there are any particularly outstanding lenses.

    If you can't decide and have a limited budget have you thought about going down the used route and getting both? Once you've decided which type of photography you prefer you can then upgrade that lens as you'll probably be able to sell used for about the same price as you bought it.

    Have a look at Dyxum.com if you want a good resource for reviews on Sony glass. Don't forget that old Minolta lenses work on Sonys too.
  5. IBobby thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2007
    Show Low, AZ
    Thank you guys it is much appreciated :).

    I also agree, i would really like to get into portrait photography, i like the idea of getting creative with people and things around them and putting them into situations, props and such, but would also like a lens for zoom facilities too :).

    I also had the question on the Minolta lenses do i need an adapter for those? ive heard that i cannot get a feature on it but it does not sound like i would need it. Any ideas?
  6. funkboy macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2008
    FWIW, several professionals at the Luminous Landscape find the Sony 70-300G to be excellent.
  7. IBobby thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2007
    Show Low, AZ
    i ended up with the Tamron 70-300mm for $160.00 with amazon prime :). Now this gives me enough for my Sony 50mm YAY! i'll be purchasing that on monday im super stoked.
  8. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    If you were disappointed in the Nikon 70-300, you almost certainly had the cheap "G" version. The ED version was reasonably well regarded, and the newest VR version more so.

    I had the ED version, and its main shortcoming was the lack of VR. :p
  9. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    No, thanks, but it was the ED version, purchased from Grays of Westminster and sold onward shortly afterward. And yes, it was used on a proper tripod with proper technique and everything. At 300mm it was pants. Obviously, there's always a chance of a bad copy, but really the colour and sharpness was not good, even compared to the old 300mm f/4.5 non-ED Nikkor it was supposed to replace. From what I have seen, and I haven't used one, the VR is much better.


    And the first review I checked afterwards concurs: "Softness at 300mm. You probably won't notice the softness as much as the loss of contrast, especially if you compare results obtained with this lens versus, say, the 300mm f/4. Still, in a pinch, the 300mm this lens produces is quite usable, especially at f/8 and f/11." (bythom)

    Why would you want to lug a 300mm around when the results at 300mm are rubbish? You may as well use a something-200 that actually works.

    With regard to the OP's lens though, I'm sure it will be fine!
  10. TheSVD macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2008
    The Jolly Ol' Midlands, England
    i got some fantastic results from a sigma 70-300 i once had if that helps... i would've said the 28-200 would be more practical though. Seems neither are popular! shooting at 300mm handheld is hard though. But the 50mm 1.8 is nice, youd be surprised at how much you can do with that, not just portraits...

Share This Page