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Minolta 100-300mm xi keep or...?

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Carl View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Carl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2013 at 07:54
How much range at the wide end are you after? If you're planning on shooting <100mm then the 55-300 is going to be worth it over the 100-300 on that alone.
 



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battleaxe View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote battleaxe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2013 at 08:38
About 100mm at the wide end.

I read both reviews of the 55-300mm and it has now me leaning a bit more towards it, but still not sure on a few things. How does the overall IQ and AF compare to the 100-300mm APO? Will the focus tracking be better on this or the 100-300mm APO?

Edited by battleaxe - 16 January 2013 at 08:47
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Blame View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Blame Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2013 at 09:32
DO NOT buy a sigma 400mm f/5.6 unless it is the telemacro version. All the earlier versions had extremely weak gears.

You do have to think carefully about what you plan to use this lens for. If you intend to use it as a general purpose long zoom then a 70-300mm is ideal. You should go longer ONLY if the lens is exclusively for wildlife.

Make sure any tests you do are at the long end where you will need it. Long zooms are usually a lot more blurred there.
A900, Min 24-105, 35-105, Samyang 14/2.8, 35/1.4, Sig 70/2.8 Macro, ISCO Ultra 125/2, Tam 180/3.5 Macro, Sig 400/5.6 TeleMacro
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Post Options Post Options   Quote waleskeg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2013 at 14:45
Originally posted by Blame Blame wrote:

DO NOT buy a sigma 400mm f/5.6 unless it is the telemacro version. All the earlier versions had extremely weak gears.


Sigma and gears.........how many posts upon posts upon posts have there been about Sigma plastic gears stripping?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TheEmrys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2013 at 18:15
I think for the non-telemacro version of the 400/5.6, $100 might be an overcharge. Tried one out at a camera store. Only thing that I liked was that it was a 400mm. Knew it would be trouble when the store owner offered it as a throw-in with a MinO 28-135.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kerrath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2013 at 20:40
Originally posted by waleskeg waleskeg wrote:

Sigma and gears.........how many posts upon posts upon posts have there been about Sigma plastic gears stripping?

Recently a lot, and not a few of them have been my own. I recently contacted Sigma inquiring as to the availability of gears for two 28-200mm lenses I have from the film era. They have none. Really helpful.

Originally posted by TheEmrys TheEmrys wrote:

I think for the non-telemacro version of the 400/5.6, $100 might be an overcharge. Tried one out at a camera store. Only thing that I liked was that it was a 400mm. Knew it would be trouble when the store owner offered it as a throw-in with a MinO 28-135.

The 400mm non-tele-macro APO is not bad optically for the price. It's not the sharpest gun in the west, but it's inexpensive ($100-200 depending on stuff.) But besides the huge issue with stripping gears (the ones in mine did not strip in the week I used it on my A580) they are prone to fungus, cement degradation, sticky paint, and to top it all off they have a really awful internal construction to do any repairs on.
 



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Blame View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Blame Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2013 at 22:01
On the other hand the telemacro version is great. The gears have been known to disintegrate but they are all metal and I would guess reliability is no worse than any other high quality lens.

Even at a typical Ebay final bid of £300 it is a real bargain for the IQ.   
A900, Min 24-105, 35-105, Samyang 14/2.8, 35/1.4, Sig 70/2.8 Macro, ISCO Ultra 125/2, Tam 180/3.5 Macro, Sig 400/5.6 TeleMacro
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Post Options Post Options   Quote battleaxe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2013 at 04:55
Good to know about the Sigma 400mm. I will mostly be using this for wildlife, and the related.

I am thinking maybe just go for the 100-300mm APO to practice and learn how to shoot wildlife with my new camera, which would also allow me to save up for the the Tamron 70-300mm USD or 200-400mm LD.

Maybe I missed it, but out of curiosity how is the 200-400mm in terms of AF/performance? Thank you all.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote craig66 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2013 at 07:50
Originally posted by battleaxe battleaxe wrote:

Maybe I missed it, but out of curiosity how is the 200-400mm in terms of AF/performance? Thank you all.


I have a Tamron 200-400 and Tamron 200-500. On an A65 I haven't really noticed a whole lot of difference between the AF on the lenses. The 200-500 is maybe a little quieter. I suppose you could describe the AF as "satisfactory".

In other respects the 200-500 is a substantially better lens than the 200-400 and by a margin more than the Dyxum scores would indicate. The 200-400 can exhibit quite a bit of purple fringing in the wrong situations. Among it's virtues are robust build (I dropped mine on a gravel pathway with no harm done), good tripod collar and of course value for money.   
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Post Options Post Options   Quote battleaxe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2013 at 08:28
The 200-500mm would be out of my budget. Under what situations would the 200-400mm CA, and fringe? Would the Tamron 70-300mm USD or Minolta 100-300mm APO also suffer in the same situations?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote craig66 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2013 at 09:04
Originally posted by battleaxe battleaxe wrote:

Under what situations would the 200-400mm CA, and fringe? Would the Tamron 70-300mm USD or Minolta 100-300mm APO also suffer in the same situations?


I realize that the Tam 200-500 is outside your budget, but I think the following comparison may be helpful in showing what you do (or don't) get for your money.

Notice the purple fairy dust on the water reflections on this shot with the 200-400



Compare with the Tamron 200-500 with essentially no PF on the water droplets on the Grebe's feathers:


I haven't used the other two lenses, but I expect they would have better PF performance than the Tamron 200-400.
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rosspa29 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rosspa29 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2013 at 11:13
The copy of the 200-400 tamron I had was really bad for PF. Particuly bad on white birds.
I eventually graduated to a 70-400g.
I found that for shooting birds the best thing was to spend time getting closer to the subject.
Birds that are used to being fed are good subjects As they come close after a free feed. In fact one spot we stopped at a few years ago I had to remove the 70-400 in favour of a 90mm Tammy macro as the birds settled down on the table with us, well inside the minimum focus distance.
I have also found the car makes a good hide. The main thing is relax quietly in the right spot and let them come to you.
Regards Ross
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TheEmrys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2013 at 16:01
I haven't seen much in the way of PF with my 200-400. But it might be what I shoot and where. Here are a couple of shots I had with it.

@400mm in Very bright sunlight, at noon.



@400mm in very bright sunlight, at noon.



@200mm Model train with odd interior lighting.



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Post Options Post Options   Quote battleaxe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2013 at 08:42
The 200-400mm has me impressed, I need to see if there is anywhere local I can see one in person to make a final judgement on the speed and handling of the lens.

How would 200-400mm compare to the Tamron 70-300mm USD in terms of IQ and PF/CA performance?
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