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Old Dec 22, 2009, 9:45 PM   #1
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Default Sony A100 Accesories

Hello and Thank You for this Forum,

We've enjoyed Steve's thorough reviews for years and bought our Sony A100 a couple years ago based on what we read and liked and purchased our video camera based on the detailed reviews here. So I thought I might find help intelligent help here as I begin the search for accesories for the A100.

1) I am not seeing the colour saturation I would always like to in my nature shots. Often, either the colour of the sky or the ground is sacrificied for one exposure or the other. What filters or filters should I be considering?

2) I've been experimenting with longer shutter times and light. Is an external release button handy in this instance and others?

3) What would a good basic studio lighting kit look like? What do I need as a beginner, and what can I wait for?

4) Is a lens hood going to afford me more options shooting outdoor nature scenes, particularly in the early am or at sunset?

5) Overall, what accesories might I want to take a look at? Does someone offer a good comprehensive starting accesories kit for the Sony A100 for a 72mm size (without an adaptor)?

Please feel free to include links to stores you trust.

Thank you!
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Old Dec 23, 2009, 12:11 AM   #2
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1. Use a graduated neutral density filter when you get the sky blown out and the ground properly exposed.

2. A remote is a must for longer shutter speeds, and use the mirror lock-up option also.

3. Can't give you any suggestions, I'm so clueless when it comes to flash it's not funny. Studio lighting is well beyond me.

4. Lens hoods can do a couple of things - they can protect your lens from being banged, but their primary purpose is to cut down on lens flare when you are shooting more or less into the sun. If the sun is to your back they aren't a big deal.

5. Accessories depend on what you like to take pictures of. Some of my favorite/often used accessories:
a. Tripod
b. Circular polarizer to fit my largest lens and step-up rings for the others
c. Reflector (I use a small one that folds up into a small container and fits easily in my camera bag pocket)
d. Extension Tube and/or reversing ring and manual 50 mm lens for macro.
e. Both a wired and wireless remote.
f. Lots of different lenses!
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Old Dec 23, 2009, 12:45 AM   #3
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A circular polarizer will give you allot more blue in the sky when set to the max position. But it is not ideal for ultra wide angle lenses. It can also let you shoot some thing just under the surface of the water, if the water is clear. I would check out www.dslrtipps.com They have youtube workshops on using a circular polarizer.

As Mtngal said a ND filters are always good to get the composition corrected.

Tripod is a must on longer exposure time, and a remote. Wireless or cable remote will work fine. On the tripod, I would look at one that can be a grounder also, it gives you more abilities. If you want a very stable and pretty light tripod, I recommend the cullman 519 it is about 85 dollars.
http://www.adorama.com/CUM519.html?s...o=cullmann+519

A add on piece for tripod shooting I like are hot shoe levels. They are easier to use then the ones on the tripod. Ebay, 3 dollar for the hot shoe level.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...ht_5669wt_1167

I like using neoprene camera straps, they disturb the weight of the camera better then the regular straps that are included with the camera. This will pay off if you plan on walking around with the camera during hikes.

Camera hoods are one of my favorite accessory, they do a great job in reducing flares, and also protect the lens. Best place to get these actually is on ebay. ei. A hood for my ef 70-300mm lens was 40 dollar form canon, a the after market on for the same lens for 16 dollars, on ebay 4 dollar with free shipping, just have to wait a bit if shipped form HK.

For filters and other accessory I find that adorama.com is very good, and have a huge selection of add ons.

On the flash, I would get one with some reach over 130ft, and that you can do bouncing flash and rotate, and have ettl. The vivtar 383 is not to expensive, and it is a bargain compare to the originally ones with similar features. A higher end one would be a metz 48 af1. I use this one. And I have never hand issues. What ever flash you get, make sure you get a defuser and bounce card.

What do you like to shoot, and which lens do you have?

A marco lens would be good if you like taking flowers and smaller thing.
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Old Dec 23, 2009, 3:15 AM   #4
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Default Thank you!

Thank you both for excellent and detailed answers.

It sounds like I wouldn't go wrong picking up -

a lens hood
a circular polarizing filter
a graduated ND filter
a remote
a better tripod
a flash like the Vivitar 383
a double bubble hot shoe
and more lenses

Right now, I'm shooting with a Sigma 28-70mm high definition 0.45x wide angle lens with a macro. I have this and the lens the camera came with.

I like to shoot clouds, stark landscapes (natural and urban) and images that with the right light and movement appear surrealistic and preternatural. I did a series with tall pines silhouetted against a sunset sky and used camera movements with longer shutter speeds for an interesting effect, streaking the fading light and making the trees appear as if they were in motion.

I welcome any more thoughts or suggestions. What do either of you know about a GND filter?

Thank you again for the great information and links!
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Old Dec 23, 2009, 6:37 AM   #5
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I would get a set of GND filters since you like landscapes. Cokin are pretty good, and have a couple of kits to chose from with holders. They are very good at bring out the clouds depending how you insert the filter. Here is a good link about using gnd filters

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/grads.htm
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Old Dec 23, 2009, 1:12 PM   #6
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Excellent information. Thank you!
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Old Dec 23, 2009, 3:06 PM   #7
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your welcome.
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