dl767captain
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Lenses For Sony A200

Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:00 pm

Just a couple questions for aviation photographers out there.

1) Does anyone have some suggestions of good lenses for aviation photography for the sony alpha line of cameras?

2) And if anyone has some that they don't want anymore let me know!

I've got the 17-75mm that came with the camera as well as a 75-300mm lens.
 
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dvincent
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RE: Lenses For Sony A200

Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:38 pm

I had written a big shpiel on this the last time it came up, but here's your options for telephotos.

Minolta 70-210 f/4 (old lens), colloquially referred to as beercan. All-metal construction, so-so AF, but has a unique image quality. If you find a good copy, hang on to it! Only found used.

Minolta Original 75-300 f/4-5.6 - colloquially referred to as the Big Beercan. Looks just like the original Beercan, except it extends when zooming and has a focus limiter switch. Only found used.

Minolta 100-300 APO - Avoid non-APO versions of this lens. Can be had relatively cheaply these days as the 70-300 G has depressed prices for used copies. Only found used.

Minolta 100-400 APO - Similar build/IQ to 100-300, except it goes out to 400mm. 400mm is very slow at f/6.3 though. Only found used.

Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 - Tamron's 70-200 f/2.8. Has great image quality but it's screw drive and not silent like SSM options.

Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 HSM - Sigma's version of the venerable 70-200. Has HSM on Sony. Costs a lot less than the Sony SSM lens.

Sony 70-300G SSM - higher quality telephoto from Sony. Has SSM focus, great image quality wide open.

Minolta 80-200 APO - This lens was replaced by the SSM version. Still pretty good but can only be found used. Screw drive focus so it's not silent. Only found used.

Sigma 50-500 - Not HSM for Sony, in my opinion outclassed by the 70-400G.

Sony/Minolta 70-200G f/2.8 SSM - Sony's standard 70-200 f/2.8 zoom.

Sony 70-400G SSM - Big silver lens, brand new, expensive ($1500). Awesome IQ, though.

Minolta 200/300/400/600mm primes - Excellent image quality but can only be found used.

Sony 300mm f/2.8 - Stupidly expensive but awesome image quality. Built like a tank (and weighs like one too).

--

If you're looking for a wider lens (a replacement for your 18-70) consider the Tamron 17-50 or the Carl Zeiss 16-80. The Sony 16-105 is good but the CZ is sharper. There's also old Minoltas like the 28-135 (a true classic) and other 24/28mm starting points but they aren't very wide on crop bodies like the a200.

For a beginner, look for a beercan/big beercan on eBay. If you want a new lens, start looking at the entry level premium options, like the Sig/Tam 70-200 f/2.8s or the 70-300G. Consider reading Dyxum's lens database for reviews. http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/index.asp The forum there can also give you some good advice.

[Edited 2009-06-01 09:39:44]
From the Mind of Minolta
 
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KaiGywer
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RE: Lenses For Sony A200

Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:08 pm



Quoting Dvincent (Reply 1):
Minolta Original 75-300 f/4-5.6 - colloquially referred to as the Big Beercan. Looks just like the original Beercan, except it extends when zooming and has a focus limiter switch. Only found used.

Just remember to bring a wheelbarrow to transport it  Smile I shoot with the big beercan and while it's a decent lens, it sure has some weight to it
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
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dvincent
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RE: Lenses For Sony A200

Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:48 am

The big beercan is still lighter/more compact than the 70-300G, 70-400G, or any of the 70-200 f/2.8s though. It's all relative.  Wink
From the Mind of Minolta
 
AnonymousInSAN
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RE: Lenses For Sony A200

Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:00 am

Hey DL767captain - I'm in SAN too and shoot with the Sony a700. Too bad I sold my f/4 Beercan last year, we could have made a deal! It was an awesome lens in near mint condition. I do have the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G lens and I just bought the Sony 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G lens. Maybe if you pass a background check (just kidding) you could try out my lenses on your camera if you are considering either of these for your kit.

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 2):
Just remember to bring a wheelbarrow to transport it I shoot with the big beercan and while it's a decent lens, it sure has some weight to it

Wimp! Have you picked up the 70-400? Just kidding!
 razz 

Vicky
 
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dvincent
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RE: Lenses For Sony A200

Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:43 pm

The 70-400G may be large but it still weighs a whole pound less than the Bigma... that's why I'm going to get it eventually.
From the Mind of Minolta
 
dl767captain
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RE: Lenses For Sony A200

Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:10 am



Quoting AnonymousInSAN (Reply 4):

Haha those are some nice lenses, i'm not sure if i'm ready to drop about $1,800 on a lens, but it would be fun to try out!
 
AnonymousInSAN
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RE: Lenses For Sony A200

Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:19 am

My husband and I will around this weekend if you want to try the lenses out. Anytime will work except for the hot, hazy middle of the day hours. P.S. - we'll be packing heat. Don't try to roll us for the lenses  wink 

Send me an IM if you want to try the lenses.
 
Hernan
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RE: Lenses For Sony A200

Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:33 pm

The Sigmas 28-105 and 55-200 are very nice and sharp, I use them on my A200.
 
Luftfahrer
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RE: Lenses For Sony A200

Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:32 pm

Hello everyone,

I too am looking for a good lens with a high focal length (~400mm).
Since the Sony 70-400G SSM was mentioned in this thread, would you recommend buying this particular one?
I've got a Sony A200 which came with the kit lens f/3.5-5.6 18-70, so I imagine the above-mentioned lens would be the perfect addition to it.
The price is fairly high, but if it's a high-quality lens, I'd deem it a worthwhile investment.

Thanks for your advice in advance.
'He resembled a pilot, which to a seaman is trustworthiness personified.' Joseph Conrad
 
dl767captain
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RE: Lenses For Sony A200

Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:07 pm

What do you guys think about this one? It seems like a good one for a reasonable price

SAL-70300G
70-300mm f4.5-5.6 G-Series Telephoto Zoom Lens

This one has a good review from an aviation photographer but it's a little pricey...
SAL-70400G
70-400mm f/4-5.6 G-Series Telephoto Zoom Lens
 
topgun3
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RE: Lenses For Sony A200

Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:24 am

I have both the SAL70300G and SAL70400G. I'm willing to sell my 70-300mm G SSM lens since I don't need it any more.

The 70-300mm is a very good range for spotting. The extra range to 400mm is handy sometimes when shooting extreme nose closeups or shooting smaller planes.
I'd rather be flying.
 
dl767captain
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RE: Lenses For Sony A200

Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:59 pm

how much were you thinking of selling it for?
 
topgun3
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RE: Lenses For Sony A200

Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:17 pm



Quoting DL767captain (Reply 12):
how much were you thinking of selling it for?

I sent you a private message.

Let me know if you get it.
I'd rather be flying.
 
jpc11
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RE: Lenses For Sony A200

Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:05 pm

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