Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Choosing DSLR camera lenses: take a shoot before buying

For those who take Sony A100 as first DSLR camera and for those who look for easy life I advice the old fashion Konica-Minolta kit SAL-75300 - f/4.5-5.6 Telephoto Zoom Lens that costs $230. This compact, lightweight 4X zoom lens is of really great value and the ideal choice for travelers. It’s a good choice for covering outdoor activities and sports action, even in large stadium locations. Its wide zoom range of 112.5mm to 450mm (35mm equivalent) handles both middle-ground subjects and portraits shot from a relaxing distance, so people won’t be nervous -- even capturing intimate details and natural wonders close at hand.
Min Focus Distance: 4’ 11” (1.5 m)
Maximum Magnification: 0.25X
Lens Construction: 13 elements in 10 groups with 7 aperture blades
Filter Diameter: 55 mm
Dimensions: 2-13/16 x 4-13/16” (71 x 122 mm)
Weight: 1 lb. 2 oz (460 g)
In any case I’m writing for amateurs because pro photographers have made their choice (Canon or Nikon) before their own birth. Now the main distinction of pro is that he earns money where others get pleasure. I think that 75-300mm Telephoto lens for two hundred is a good choice for a beginner. You can throw a big stone to me if I am wrong!
For the last bite I had some lenses from one’s Carl Zeiss. I was already tired of telephoto but it was a chance to authorize my blog title: to make a comparison of all Sony Tele. It was SAL-135F18Z - Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm f/1.8 Telephoto Lens for $1400. It can be really a high-performance telephoto lens with the widest aperture in its class. Whether you shoot a distant island or a beautiful girl’s face at an arm length, this telephoto lens provides amazing image quality. Its f/1.8 aperture can make it the brightest telephoto lens in its class -- and with 35mm-equivalent 202.5mm focal length plus the ability to focus tightly on the objects closer than three feet away, it can cover an amazing range of photographic assignments.
Wide aperture for amazingly bright telephoto shots
Superb sharpness with Sony Super Steady Shot system
Close-up focusing capability (less than three feet)
Internal Focusing to speed auto-focus response
2 ED Glass elements for sharp clear long shots
Min Focus Distance: 2’ 5” (72 cm)
Maximum Magnification: 0.25X
Lens Construction: 11 elements in 9 groups with 9 aperture blades
Filter Diameter: 77 mm
Dimensions: 3-1/2 x 4-5/8” (88.5 x 115 mm)
Weight: 2 lb 5 oz (1050 g)
But the ultimate all-in-one zoom lens SAL-1680Z - Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 which designed especially for DSLR imaging brought me back from telephoto world. It is the first grade 5X zoom lens especially designed for APS-size CCD image sensors -- providing incredible precision in a single compact, easy-to-carry lens that takes you from 24mm wide-angle to 120mm telephoto (35mm equivalent). Its price of $700 is not as high as it is an excellent device. And its universality is a good reason for choosing it.
Superb performance from wide-angle to telephoto
2 Glass-Molded Aspherical Lenses for extra precision
Circular Aperture for pleasing defocused effects
Auto Clutch to stop manual focus ring rotation
Wide focus ring for a solid feel in manual focusing
Min Focus Distance: 2.4” (62 mm)
Maximum Magnification: 0.24X
Lens Construction: 14 elements in 10 groups with 7 aperture blades
Filter Diameter: 62 mm
Dimensions: 2-7/8 x 3-3/8” (72 x 83 mm)
Weight: 15.5 oz (440 g)
I was interested in DT 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 High Magnification Zoom lens because of its low price of $500 and extensive ability. Its 35mm-equivalent range of 27mm wide-angle to 300mm telephoto excels at capturing faraway subjects, sports events, dramatic landscapes and intimate close-up views.
Specifications: DT Lens Design for optimum DSLR performance Excellent wide-angle to long telephoto shots Fast Internal Focusing -- lens length does not change 3 Aspherical Lens Elements for wide-angle accuracy 2 ED Glass Elements for sharp, clear long shots Circular Aperture for pleasing defocused effects Min Focus Distance: 1' 6" (45 cm) Maximum Magnification: 0.27X Lens Construction: 15 elements in 13 groups with 7 aperture blades Filter Diameter: 62 mm Dimensions: 2-7/8 x 3-3/8” (73 x 85.5 mm) Weight: 14.3 oz (405 g)
I don’t know where the pictures which I took with 50mm F1, 4 are and next lens but the rest of the work was made with my cheap DT18-70mm F3.5-5.6. I am sure it succeeded.
What can I say about other lenses is that I did not have enough time to take a closer look at all could crash my face because they were furious with me so much. And I left the Sony hall very quickly. But I was able to get away with many good pictures taken by my camera.To gain a better understanding of a specific character of lenses choosing I made a Digital SLR optical systems glossary.
P.S. What about myself - I have a very special problem with my Sony A100 and lenses - I'm writing a blog about Saunas, Hamams and Russian banyas. And I'm in need of special lenses and cases for shooting in the hot and damp bath rooms. To get a result like this one.
P.P.S. In the title of the previous post I’ve promised to reveal How to shoot with 10 great Sony Alpha lenses and not to be beaten by salesmen. It’s not a problem to throw dust at Sony guys’ eyes and taste lenses without any purchase: I know much more about Sony Digital SLR cameras and I am extremely talkative…


Paul said...


Just came across your blog - please feel free to post any photography-based articles to www.photographyvoter.com

fototramp said...

OK, I'll try. Please feel free to post comments to my blog.

Anonymous said...

Do you really sure that your cheap 18-70 kit is so good?

fototramp said...

This is not my opinion: ‘This superb standard lens for the Sony A100 camera handles the full range of shots you’ll take most often -- but there’s nothing “standard” about its advanced optical design. In 35mm equivalent, it covers wide-angle 27mm to 105mm midrange telephoto for snapshots, portraits, interiors and more -- an excellent all-around lens to travel with’.

Dave said...

You overrate 18-70mm and 75-300mm lenses. They are not more than old cheap Minolta kits. What is your opinion about new DT18-200mm f3.5-6.3?

fototramp said...

It’s a great device for $380. The DT 18-200 is specially designed for digital cameras such as Sony A-100.
It is the standard zoom lens that brings you closer to your subject with superior all-in-one lens performance for everyday shooting. Its 35mm equivalent range of wide-angle to telephoto excels at capturing faraway subjects, sports events, wonderful landscapes and intimate close-up views. Specs.: focal length 35mm equivalent - 18-200 mm; min focus distance - 1 feet 6 inch (45 cm); aperture maximum - f3.5-6.3 aperture minimum - f22-40; maximum magnification - 0.27x lens construction - 15 elements in 13 groups with 7 aperture blades filter diameter - 62 mm; dimensions - 2 7/8 x 3 3/8 inch (73 x 85.5 mm); weight - 14.3 ounces (405 gram). I’d buy it instead of my kit but it’s too late.

Martina said...

This choosing camera lenses and these are all nice every picture take a shoot before buying.