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Near-macro telephoto's?

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LAbernethy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote LAbernethy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 September 2019 at 01:00
Originally posted by skm.sa100 skm.sa100 wrote:

Prices are so low for a-mount lenses that I'd encourage you to get a macro plus a tele, if possible.
The MAF 50mm macro is a bit under $100. Small and compact so easy to carry. Good quality 300mm zooms can be had for a good price as well.

That's true. I recently picked up a SAL50M28 for $111.00 CDN and it's probably the most expensive of the 50mm macros. The Sony 55-300mm is much better than the 75-300 budget lenses.
 



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Steve-S View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Steve-S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 September 2019 at 06:35
Just wanted to thank everyone chipping in on this thread!

It's giving me some great options that hadn't previously been on my radar!


A few macro-specific responses:

MinO 200/4 -- yeah, I wish... qv above, "budget." It's on my "when I win the lottery" list (which I'll investigate some time after I begin buying lottery tickets (it may be quite a while)).

I've tried the Tam180. Loved it, but noticed very slow AF... I presume that'd only get worse with a TC-2X on it. Slow focus pretty much rules it out for wildlife.

RE the shorter macro's -- I really prefer more working distance. Even the 90mm I used often felt a bit short for what I wanted, and the 50 and 30 (and Tam60) are shorter that I'd want to go.

Still, the note that prices are coming down is a good note; I may be able to get more than I think. Replacing the Tam90, or getting a Sig105, even Sony/MinO-100, all seem like they might work, maybe...


The Tam 70-200 + TC-2X is an idea I hadn't considered. I see the suggestion that the Vivitar was good; any other (or any to avoid)? I understand that some TC's play better (or worse) with some lens-designs...


RE xx-300 zooms -- I'm really hoping for more reach. -400, -500, even -600 zooms are likely better for my wildlife wants.
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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: 22 September 2019 at 08:12
Originally posted by Steve-S Steve-S wrote:

Just wanted to thank everyone chipping in on this thread!

It's giving me some great options that hadn't previously been on my radar!

A few macro-specific responses:

MinO 200/4 -- yeah, I wish... qv above, "budget." It's on my "when I win the lottery" list (which I'll investigate some time after I begin buying lottery tickets (it may be quite a while)).

I've tried the Tam180. Loved it, but noticed very slow AF... I presume that'd only get worse with a TC-2X on it. Slow focus pretty much rules it out for wildlife.
Sigma also has their 180 mm macro lenses (both F3.5 and F2.8 versions) and 150 mm F2.8 macro and the newest incarnations even sport HSM AF motors, which sure offer much better AF performance compared to the old screw-driven AF on that Tamron 180 macro. I know this as an owner of Sigma 150 macro and Tamron 180 macro (the latter may come on the market some day in near future). And I don't know how easily you can find these lenses for sale.
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skm.sa100 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote skm.sa100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 September 2019 at 13:01
You haven't mentioned a budget, have you?

The 2.8 mid teles are a bit pricey. Nowadays they've come down to about half their peak value. You can have the Sigma 70-200/2.8 for $400 or maybe even less! I got one many years back and it's going very strong still and has produced some memorable pics.

You could get a Sigma or Tokina 100-300 f4 for about the same or a bit less. Find a good matching 1.4x or 2X and you've got a good tele kit. Do read up the TC thread before you make your decision. Good bit of education.

For long reach (500mm or so), maybe the Tamron 150-600 or the 200-500? I got one (though I don't use it much) for about $500 used. Put it on a modern APS-C like an A77ii and you'd have a great combo.

I had (and maybe still have) the Sigma 170-500. Goes for a song and works pretty well as a budget tele that goes REALLY long. Slow aperture, a bit slow focusing but pretty decent image quality and truly bang for the buck! Don't compare it to the Sony 500/f4 and you'll be reasonably satisfied.

Judging but what you've said so far in terms of longer reach and a good macro at a good price, a 100mm dedicated macro might suit you best.

Good luck and let us know which way you go.
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owenn01 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote owenn01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 September 2019 at 12:36
Steve, some interesting thoughts and suggestions here.

Just a few 'cents' from my experience of achieving Macro -like performance when you've not got a suitable lens to hand:

Sony SAL 18250 - for many years when I relied 100% on my A700, this was the lens I had on almost 100% of the time and gave great performance. It's often much maligned but get a good one (like so many times) and it can produce startling results; it's macro performance is perfectly acceptable and is is a great choice for an a77 with the 'crop' sensor.

Sigma 170-500 - I used this for many years and whilst I wouldn't call it a Macro lens per se it's performance, as mentioned above, is often much better than many of the reviews make it out to be. I still have mine and have great affection for it.

Sony 70-400G - A really fine lens and will do well as a 'tele macro'; I've not used mine for that many times but it gives a great performance, especially in the centre to mid centre (which is perfect for the a77). The negative, from my experience, is the weight - it's not a light lens by any means so you are aware you have it with you. Getting the the right level of sharpness of subject versus diffusion of background can be a little bit of a challenge but it can be done.

As someone mentions above, the alternative is to be for a specific Macro lens in A-mount as prices do seem to be lowering still at the moment with the growing impetus of e-mount, so perhaps look at the alternatives (Sigma 105/2.8 Macro is a great performer as well as 'just' a simple replacement of your Tamron?). My experience is that some of the real specialised Tele Macro's (Tamron 180 Macro for example) still maintain a price premium I guess because they are specialised and low-number items.

Plenty to think about - but I wouldn't want to be in your shoes to be doing the thinking!

Good luck and best regards, Neil.
My Mantra: "Comment on other's work as you would wish to have yours commented upon". Go on - it's fun!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Maxxuman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 September 2019 at 18:58
The two Sigma APO Tele Macro lenses mentioned are both very good. I really don't know why they stopped making them. I have the 300.

But as with all older lenses there are sample variations and no repairs available if anything goes wrong (I actually confirmed that with Sigma before buying mine used over 10 years ago). Mine occasionally doesn't stop down with the shutter, so I end up with an overexposed wide open photo instead of what I set the aperture for. I also have the Minolta 300/4, which is better (due to faster focus and mechanical focus limiter) for birds and wildlife, so only used the Sigma for things like butterflies. But the IQ (sharpness and bokeh) are very good and it's quite compact for what it is.
Barry
 



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EKStarzinger View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote EKStarzinger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 October 2019 at 03:45
The Sony 70-300G is not bad a bad choice for a travel kit. I have taken some nice shots of insects with it (as well as whales on the other end of the scale).

EK



A77, A900, Tokina: 17mm f3.5,300mm f4, 20-35 f3.5-4.5, 28-70 f2.8 AT-X Pro II, 100-300 f4 AT-X; MinRS 24 f2.8, 35 f2, 100 f2.8 Macro, MinO 35-105; Min 80-200 APO HS G; Sony 70-300G
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rastapartaman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rastapartaman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 October 2019 at 07:00
You can also get a raynox 250. Good quality and a lot mor versatile than a single lens solution. And it doesn't take much space in your bag. I I've made a DIY version from old binoculars lens. Here paired with Sigma 70-300 APO DG
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Don't think, Just click it!!

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Nordlicht View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Nordlicht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 October 2019 at 10:10
Originally posted by LAbernethy LAbernethy wrote:

The Tamron AF 70-200mm f/2.8 (IF) Macro LD DI SP A001 is actually pretty good. I have paired it with a Vivitar 2X teleconverter for more reach and have been happy with the results.

Hi Lee, does autofocus work with the Vivitar 2x on the Tamron 70-200? I tried the Kenko 1.4x but it was MF only.
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LAbernethy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote LAbernethy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 October 2019 at 16:15
Originally posted by Nordlicht Nordlicht wrote:

Originally posted by LAbernethy LAbernethy wrote:

The Tamron AF 70-200mm f/2.8 (IF) Macro LD DI SP A001 is actually pretty good. I have paired it with a Vivitar 2X teleconverter for more reach and have been happy with the results.

Hi Lee, does autofocus work with the Vivitar 2x on the Tamron 70-200? I tried the Kenko 1.4x but it was MF only.

Yes, the autofocus works just fine. It won't win speed competitions but neither would the Tamron 70-200mm on it's own. The Vivitar I have is the rebranded Tamron F 2X 7 Element 8 pin AF Teleconverter. Yes, I have both. I picked up the Tamron F when I misplaced the Vivitar (since found). And, No, I haven't tried stacking them. I'm sure I'll get around to it but not yet.

Edited by LAbernethy - 03 October 2019 at 16:27
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Nordlicht View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Nordlicht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 October 2019 at 20:34
Originally posted by LAbernethy LAbernethy wrote:


Yes, the autofocus works just fine. It won't win speed competitions but neither would the Tamron 70-200mm on it's own. The Vivitar I have is the rebranded Tamron F 2X 7 Element 8 pin AF Teleconverter. Yes, I have both. I picked up the Tamron F when I misplaced the Vivitar (since found). And, No, I haven't tried stacking them. I'm sure I'll get around to it but not yet.


Thanks, good to know. I'll try to find one in the bay
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LAbernethy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote LAbernethy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 October 2019 at 14:28
[IMG]Black-capped Chickadee by Lee Abernethy, on Flickr[/IMG]
A850 + Lens: Tamron AF 70-200mm f/2.8 (IF) Macro LD DI SP A001 + Tamron-F 2X 7 Element 8 pin AF Teleconverter
f/5.6 330.0 mm 1/320 ISO 1000 Autofocus set to "A"
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Josiel View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Josiel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 October 2019 at 15:21
The Minolta 200/2.8, besides being outstanding on its own, is also a very good 400mm tele with a TC. Great for insect closeups.
Not the lightest, but not big.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 October 2019 at 12:05
Originally posted by Nordlicht Nordlicht wrote:



Hi Lee, does autofocus work with the Vivitar 2x on the Tamron 70-200? I tried the Kenko 1.4x but it was MF only.

That depends on which version you have. Early versions don't work with some lenses. You can take the chip out and reconnect the wires so the camera and lens talk to each other directly.
Miranda F & Sensorex, Sony A58, Nex-6, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras . . .
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