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Alaska Cruise Lens selections

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arrow34 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote arrow34 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Alaska Cruise Lens selections
    Posted: 27 January 2023 at 16:36
Hi All,

Going on a Alaska cruise for the first time in a few months. I am planning on bringing my a7r iv + la-ea5(edit, not enough coffee) + SAL2470Z + Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 + maybe SAL70200G

As far as a zoom goes, I have a minolta reflex 500 that works great with the adapter, but wanted a variable too... I am looking at the

Sony 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM Or Tamron - SP 150-600 F5-6.3 Di USD

Any other suggestions or would the 500 reflex be good enough or 70-400 higher quality? Or maybe get a sony tc?

I have used the Tamron 150-600 with an a99 years ago on safari - sold it right afterwards as i didnt need that zoom...

Edited by arrow34 - 27 January 2023 at 20:59
Sony A7RIV, A99II, Sony 24-70SAL2470Z, Sony 70-200 f2.8, Minolta 17-35, 24-50 f4, 28 f2, 50 f1.4, 35-105, 28-105, 70-210, 100-200, 100-300. Samyang 35 1.4, reflex 500
 



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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: 27 January 2023 at 18:07
Why do you use the LA-EA4? All the lenses you mention have in-lens motors, so, you could get the LA-EA3 (or the LA-EA5) and use the native AF system of your A7r4.

Anyway, did you consider native lenses? Get the Tamron 50-400 and leave the 24-70 home

I feel a 500mm prime might be restrictive. Also, mirrorlenses are always a little soft, the 70-400G will be better. I like the 70-400G, IQ is good and the size is fine. If you think you need 600mm, well, then you know what to get. However, native E-mount lenses are sharper.
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Hezu View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hezu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 January 2023 at 18:13
I have never been in that part of the world, but based on my experience elsewhere if you want to do any photography on outdoor decks on a vessel, you definately want a telephoto lens as your subjects can be some distance away.

Now the question what telephoto you should use/get is slightly harder. I guess 500 Reflex could work ok, albeit being a prime it is somewhat inflexible. Sony AF 70-400G and Tamron SP 150-600 are fairly good zooms, but I have to say that mating those A mount lenses into E mount cameras with LA-EA4 may not be the best combination since AF module in LA-EA4 is quite limited (especially in amount of AF points and area coverage). Personally I would suggest getting a native E mount lens that would offer the best possible AF performance. Possible afordable candidates would be Tamron 50-400, Tamron 150-500 and Sigma 150-600 and perhaps also the slightly more expensive Sony FE 200-600 G and Sony FE 100-400 GM.
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arrow34 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote arrow34 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 January 2023 at 20:59
whoooops, meant la-ea5! Sorry about that slipup - So far I have had really great luck with my a7r iv and amount glass, i have some primes in ef, but most of main lenses are a-mount, since I still have my a99ii and had gotten most of the glass while using the a99 and a99ii. I have taken a look at some of the suggested lenses and will consider them, bit of a sticker shock though. I can get a used Sony 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM for $600... I have 4 months to go, so i have some time. Just wanted advice..

I have taken some amazing shots with the a7r iv + La-EA5(not 4 sigh) + SAL70200G. Snappy and fast. Such a workhorse of a lens and the adapter has only wigged out on a me a few times with the SAL2470Z... If i could justify selling all of my old glass and spending a ton on a new or used ef mount stuff.... I would. But budget isnt there.

Edited by arrow34 - 27 January 2023 at 21:08
Sony A7RIV, A99II, Sony 24-70SAL2470Z, Sony 70-200 f2.8, Minolta 17-35, 24-50 f4, 28 f2, 50 f1.4, 35-105, 28-105, 70-210, 100-200, 100-300. Samyang 35 1.4, reflex 500
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Post Options Post Options   Quote LAbernethy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2023 at 00:03
I never liked the mirror lenses, nice size but the donuts drove me crazy. My Tamron 150-600mm stays in the case most of the time. Maybe I have a bad copy but I find it requires a tripod to get anything useful out of it. I have the SAL70200G and use it with the SAL14TC and SAL20TC for extra reach without weighing down the bag.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hezu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2023 at 10:26
Originally posted by LAbernethy LAbernethy wrote:

I never liked the mirror lenses, nice size but the donuts drove me crazy. My Tamron 150-600mm stays in the case most of the time. Maybe I have a bad copy but I find it requires a tripod to get anything useful out of it. I have the SAL70200G and use it with the SAL14TC and SAL20TC for extra reach without weighing down the bag.
Worth noting that Sony teleconverters and A to E mount adapters do not work together. And another data point: on A mount, lenses with slower apertures won't do AF with teleconverters, while on E mount there is no such limitation, although there are limitations which lenses work with the teleconverters (all compatible lenses are Sonys) and some combinations like Sony FE 200-600G and teleconverters yield slow apertures: with 1.4 TC you get no better than F/9 and then 2 TC allows only F/13.
 



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Phil Wood View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Phil Wood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2023 at 11:55
The choice seems to come down the price: the A mount 70-400 is a good lens, is cheaper than anything in E mount that will out-perform it - and it will work on your A99ii. I haven't experienced the Sony 200-600 but I've seen lots of great shots taken with it - three times the cost of the 70-400. I'd guess you're spending plenty on the cruise, is the extra worth it to better preserve some memories?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote LAbernethy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2023 at 13:03
Originally posted by Hezu Hezu wrote:

Worth noting that Sony teleconverters and A to E mount adapters do not work together.

I did not know that. Is that pure malice on Sony's part? The SAL70200G + SAL14TC is well below the AF specs. If so, I am so happy I skipped E-Mount.
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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: 28 January 2023 at 13:12
malice
/ˈmalɪs/
noun
the desire to harm someone; ill will.

"Pure malice" is a bit hyperbolic I think. I feel Sony couldn't be bothered, so, laziness, not malice.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote LAbernethy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2023 at 13:53
The Sony website lists all the G2 a-mount long lenses as compatible, with it being a Sony product with the modern contacts, not including the TC's would be intentional not an oversight. Hence, malice.


Edited by LAbernethy - 28 January 2023 at 15:01
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Post Options Post Options   Quote AudioDoc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2023 at 15:05
Edward,

I am assuming this will be an Alaska Inside Passage cruise. Though you will spend a lot of time onboard, the ship will dock at various ports like Skagway, Juno, Ketchikan etc. You will have plenty of opinions for shore excursions. What do you like to photograph? That will determine the focal length you will need. If you want to take a wildlife excursion which might be available at places like Haines, there will likely be a lot of eagles. (I think this tours with Tom G was the one I took) Haines Photo Tours
In that case the longer focal length, the better. Your 70-400 should work, a lens like the Sony 200-600 might be even better. You will see a lot of "Float Planes" in the various harbors   Float Plane Tours I think they make great photographic subjects. But you might want to take one of those float plane excursions. I'm sure they will provide a lot of great photo ops!
For most photos your 24-70 will be just fine. On board the ship you might be in tight quarters where your wide angle zoom will work well. I personally would supplement that with a fast prime if you will be will family and friends for portrait shots but your 24-70 will also work.
As a railroad fan myself, a subject I liked was the Alaska Railway at Skagway. That one will take you to beautiful landscape panoramas. It was raining when I was there, so be prepared for precipitation! (might be snow). Make sure you have some kind of water protection for your gear. I was very happy that my bag and a rain cover built in.
I think my favorite subjects were the float planes taking off and landing in those picturesque Alaska harbors.

Regards,
Kelly
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arrow34 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote arrow34 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2023 at 18:57
Hi All,

Thanks for the suggestions and more info on some options. I really like travel photography and that includes landscapes + wildlife. I am leading towards the 70-400, but am open to the 200-600. I had wanted to get something that would work with both my a99ii and my a7r iv + laea5.

I plan on having a waterproof shooting cover that will cover both lens and body.I had a shooting bag cover(clear, with openings at both ends) for my south africa safari that worked well for rain shooting, but it was pretty light.
Sony A7RIV, A99II, Sony 24-70SAL2470Z, Sony 70-200 f2.8, Minolta 17-35, 24-50 f4, 28 f2, 50 f1.4, 35-105, 28-105, 70-210, 100-200, 100-300. Samyang 35 1.4, reflex 500
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Post Options Post Options   Quote AudioDoc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2023 at 21:24
If your ship docks at Haines, you might want to look into the Tom G excursion. (see the link I posted previously) I was able to book it onboard the ship. He was able to point out exactly where the eagles were perched. he also took us to some very nice spots for landscapes I don't have any zoom lenses like the FE 200-600 G but I've read that it is very good. Tamron and Sigma make 150-200mm zoom lenses that might be less expensive. I don't know about A mount lenses. Keep in mind that native E mount lenses might focus a bit better, but I don't personally have much experience with that type of photography or with A mount long lenses, other than the 70-200 f2.8 G SSM. Also I believe those float plane tours will take you to nice spots for landscape and wildlife photos. Places you wouldn't normally be able to get to except by small aircraft. Probably expensive though. Ketchikan might be one of the prettiest most picturesque towns on the Inside Passage. But it's all beautiful. Hopefully your ship takes you to Glacier Bay. I got some nice photos of of the Glaciers with ice slumping off into the bay.   Glacier Bay Probably difficult to imagine how beautiful Alaska is until you've been there. I've also driven there up through BC into Alaska and on to the Kenai Peninsula in our old VW type II Westfalia camper! Lots of fun. Expected to see lots of wildlife like bears and Moose, but only saw otters, eagles and salmon. But you have to be in the right place at the right time. Alaska is so beautiful! Ranks with the Dolomites in Northern Italy as two of my most favorite places. Of course along with my best kept secret, Ely Nevada! And of course my old home town, Heidelberg Germany and my newer home town, Salt Lake City and the Wasatch range of the Rocky Mountains!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Fred_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 January 2023 at 10:37
Originally posted by arrow34 arrow34 wrote:

Hi All,

Thanks for the suggestions and more info on some options. I really like travel photography and that includes landscapes + wildlife. I am leading towards the 70-400, but am open to the 200-600. I had wanted to get something that would work with both my a99ii and my a7r iv + laea5.


My 70-400 works fine on A99ii and A7IV + LA-EA5 for me, so I guess A7RIV will work too
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