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Good WA zoom lens for aps-c

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TheEmrys View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TheEmrys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Good WA zoom lens for aps-c
    Posted: 12 November 2012 at 01:11
First off, I really appreciate the knowledge and advice I've been able to pick up here. Being new to photography, its been a great experience lurking and working here. I appreciate all the help. That being said, I'm looking for a good wide-angle option for my a560. Here is where I am at right now:

Sony 18-55mm (kit lens)
MinO 28/2.8 (oily aperture, but going to do the DIY fix)
MinO 35-105mm
Min 50/1.7
MinO 70-210/4
Min 75-300 II
Tamron 2x TC for the Beercan

I haven't been very happy with the Sony lens, and the 28 just isn't wide enough for some of the stunning landscapes we have here in the Rockies of Colorado. I love the MinO 35-105, 50, beercan, and 75-300, but I would love to part with the Sony and 28/2.8. I know they aren't overly valuable or even sought after lenses, but I'd love to get a something that would put me at either a nice WA, but still get up to either 35 or 50mm. I am not expecting much for the Sony or the 28mm, but somewhere around $100-150 sounds about right to me for both of them (total).

Here is my thought:
Dump both, get 1 good replacement lens and not spend more than I could get for both of them.
Is this reasonable, and if so, what would be a good replacement to get me the range I am looking for?
 



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ratboy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ratboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2012 at 01:24
First of all you have some very stunning scenery in that part of world, I love the Rockies particularly in Colorado !

First of all how wide is wide ? Was the 18mm of the kit lens wide enough ?
I would recommend the Tamron 17-50 if you want to replace the Sony, it's a great lens for the price. However, if you are expecting $100-$150 for your kit lens + MinO 28, I don't think you will cover the cost of this lens unless you buy secondhand of course.

If you need to go wider, a specialist wide angle such as the Sigma 10-20, Sigma 8-16, Tokina 11-16, Sony 11-18 or Tamron 10-24 will be necessary. But from your description these are out of your price range.

What's up with the kit lens ? I happen to think it's pretty good (I am sure I will get slated for saying that).

Also have you tried using longer focal lengths for all that beautiful mountain scenery you have ? Going wide isn't the only way to do landscapes.

Edited by ratboy - 12 November 2012 at 02:21
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Pirate View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Pirate Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2012 at 02:23
The Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 Di-II LD and the Sigma AF 17-70mm F/2.8-4.5 DC Macro are perfect. Both produce sharp results and are very affordable.

I've used the Sigma for many, many years until recently, though I still have the Tamron 17-50/2.8 (it's for sale). You ought to be able to source a copy of either easily via evilBay.

I have samples using the Sigma 17-70 DC taken with the A700 posted online if you want to take a look here. Lens type will be on the right side, though you will have to scroll down a bit first before they're displayed. More image sample on request. As for your existing line-up, I would sell the lot and start again.
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magicman841 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote magicman841 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2012 at 02:28
Sony 16-50 f/2.8

I never leave home without mine.
Mathieu Tremblay
SLT-A77 (x2) | Sigma 10-20 | Sony 16-50 SSM | Sony 16-80 Z | Minolta 50 RS | Sony 70-300 G
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ratboy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ratboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2012 at 02:30
Originally posted by Pirate Pirate wrote:

The Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 Di-II LD and the Sigma AF 17-70mm F/2.8-4.5 DC Macro are perfect. Both produce sharp results and are very affordable.


I have had the Sigma 17-70 F2.8-4.0 DC OS HSM and wasn't that impressed. I think the older version that Pirate has is much better but don't have any experience with that version of the lens.
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Pirate View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Pirate Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2012 at 02:50
Originally posted by ratboy ratboy wrote:

I think the older version that Pirate has is much better but don't have any experience with that version of the lens.

Correct, the Mk 2 version isn't a patch on the Mk 1, plus the Mk 2 OS version doesn't have OS anyway in the A-Mount. It's an excellent bit of kit IMHO.
 



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EarthQuake View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote EarthQuake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2012 at 03:53
Tamron 17-50mm/2.8 for about $300 used is a really good option.
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berlin steve View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote berlin steve Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2012 at 07:53
Originally posted by TheEmrys TheEmrys wrote:

... but somewhere around $100-150 ... and not spend more than I could get for both of them.
Is this reasonable, and if so, what would be a good replacement to get me the range I am looking for?


For the money- luck and digging around classifieds, yard sales or newly posted ebay 'buy it nows' from analogue sellers who don't know the value of kit. It can be done with patience and time.

I bagged me a Tamron 20-40 2.7-3.5 for a price within your budget (approx $130) on such a deal. Far less distortion than kit lens, and precision mechanics made this a bargain-and-a-half, They often sell for double to three times what I paid. I actually wanted the KM 17-35 for 3mm more on wide, which I eventually got. I sold the Tamron (for approx $240) and had a little change left on my 17-35 purchase as a result.

I must honestly admit- if I did not need 17mm, the 20-40 was a nicer lens. But I have a small set up in my cellar, and 3mm extra wide was better for my personal circumstances, and I couldn't justify both in my collection..

I think you might find it hard to get a good wide angle for $150 or less- but you need to keep your eyes open. Have good lenses in mind like Tamron 20-40, Tamron 17-35 (this is identical to Minolta, but somtimes cheaper), etc. Use the database to narrow your choice of goodies, and the patience and lots of hunting. This Tokina (click to lens database) might be the only decent wide in you price bracket otherwise...

The other alternative is buy beercans and 50mm whenever at a price you can sell for a profit. A beercan & 50mm as set might cost $150 on ebay, but seperately, you might make $50 profit... and get yourself a nice 17-50 or even Zeiss with enough good profitable reselling deals.
I'm an Englishman in Berlin...pics and more pics...
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addy landzaat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2012 at 09:06
A good widish for just $150,- will be impossible, just a good copy of the kit will be around that price range.

What are your options? Well not many. I was thinking you could sell your 35-105 and replace it with a Sony 16-105, a good compromise lens imho.
How often do you use your 50mm? If you get something like the Tamron or Sigma 17-50/2.8 there probably isn't that much need for the 50mm. And as you're willing to let the 28mm go, I think you're not a prime person. Also, consider selling the Beercan or the Minolta 75-300 (I'd sell the 75-300) as it is redundant and if money is tight, I would choose a good all purpose lens.

I would try to get enough money for a 16-105 (range, wide angle) or a Sigma/Tamron 17-50 (f/2.8, sharpness).

A true APS-C wide angle (starting at 10/11/12mm) will be impossible for just $150,-, maybe a Samyang prime for a little more would be possible (I picked up a Vivitar 13/2.8 for £165,- from Ffordes).
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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: 12 November 2012 at 10:34
The tamron 17-50/2.8 is your best bet with a little stretching of your budget.

However, if you are really happy with your 35-105mm then perhaps you could back it up with the samyang 14/2.8? MF but it should give you the panoramic high IQ shots you are after. On a FF camera it is good from f/5.6 but on an a560 it won't have any difficult to correct distortion and should have good corners right down to f/2.8.

If your budget can't stretch it might be an idea to think about some more aggressive selling and choose between you beercan and your min 75-300mm.
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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ifreedman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ifreedman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2012 at 16:08
Good advice given already. Much like some others suggested, I'd strongly suggest one of the following:

1. Sell your kit and 28mm (you should get around $100+) and buy Tamron 17-50 2.8 (around $300+ used).

2. If you don't need the "fast" 2.8 aperture, consider selling (or not selling) the 35-105 and get either: (a) sony 16-105 (around $400+ used) or (b) Sony 18-135 (a bit less than the 16-105, although it's a new lens so fewer used copies are available). The 16-105 is regarded as having slightly better IQ and is a bit wider, but the 18-135 has is a longer and has quite possibly the best focusing system I've seen in a lens. It's fast and quiet to focus and can manual focus at any time, without flicking the AF switch. The mino 50 1.7 you have should be good for low-light shooting, although it's not good for low light wide shots.

3. If you really like the mino 35-105 and want an ultra-wide lens to go with it, consider the Tamron 10-24mm ($320+ used). It has a nice range to complement your mino, although it's better at 10mm than 24mm, as are most ultra-wide lenses. The sigma 10-20 is also supposed to be nice, but I think the tamron will be more useful to you if you're hoping to cover the gap to 35mm.

Note 1: Before you make up your mind, be sure to check out the Dyxum lens database and look at the sample images taken with various lenses here or on other sites.

Note 2: almost all of these options will end up costing you $200-250+ out of pocket. If that's too much for you at this time, I'd save up some $ or sell one of the telephoto lenses.

Ian
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rickztahone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2012 at 19:53
I just happened to try the Tokina 17 3.5 this weekend and was very impressed by it on my a77. Food for thought OP.
a99+VG|a77+VG|a55|Nex6|HVL-56/58|minO|58 1.2|24|Tam|90|SAL||16-50|70-200|∑|50 1.4
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TheEmrys View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TheEmrys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2012 at 22:42
At this point, I think I'll just keep the kit lens, and perhaps look to sell the 28/2.8 and bank the proceeds from it for a better bottom end lens. Excellent recommendations on lenses, but as my wife and I are expecting our first, cost-neutral is the only way I can go.
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ifreedman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ifreedman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 November 2012 at 00:08
First of all, congratulations! Children are so much fun to photograph. At first they sit still a lot, so it's really easy to capture pictures of them. However, much of the time will be indoors, so you'll want a relatively fast lens. The mino 50 1.7 will be great at that.

At some point the child will start moving, though. The mino is a great portrait lens for children. But it struggles in tight spaces, and you might eventually think about picking up a 35mm 1.8. I'd say that the 50mm focal length is my favorite, but there are some shots I just can't get without going to a wider lens. Your mino 35-105 is wonderful, but unfortunately not all that great for indoor shooting.

Then the child will get even older, and move around more and more. That's when you come to a tough decision. Prime lenses are nice, but not always well suited for quick moving kids IMO. Either the kids move too quickly for you to photograph them, or they're too impatient to allow yourself to position yourself for effective use of a prime lens.

At that point, you might want to consider either the Tamron 17-50 2.8 - which is also good for indoor photography of families -- or a longer zoom, like the 18-135, which is better for capturing images of kids as they run around, and you simply don't want to always catch up with them. They'll probably come down in price, too, as more used copies circulate.

Although IQ varies considerably, and opinions vary significantly, you might find that a hyperzoom 18-250 (or similar) lens is useful. You can find some used 18-200 lenses -- not always the best quality, but OK -- for $150 or so. Generally speaking, the 18-250 are more highly regarding. Some people love them. Others hate them.

I think, in the long run, you might find the Sony 18-135 as a good all purpose lens with good IQ and a wide range. But it sounds like you're got the patience to take your time, which is good.

When's the baby due, by the way?

Best of luck!
Ian
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