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Old May 22, 2007, 9:53 AM   #1
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Hi all,

I have recently purchased a sony dslr a100 which came with standard 28-70 lens.

Could anyone advise me about some good lens for taking indoors pictures (without flash)? (max. 300 dollars)

I am also looking into some 28-300 lenses, any tip? (max 300-400 dollars)

Cheers,

/N



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Old May 22, 2007, 10:15 AM   #2
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I'm assuming you meant the 18-70mm lens. It's down to a widest available aperture of about f/5.6 by the time you zoom into around 35mm with it. So, it's not very bright for existing light use.

A lens like that Tamron 28-300mm is not bright enough for indoor photos without a flash in most lighting either, unless you're taking photos of stationary subjects (and depending on lighting, you may still need a tripod to pull it off).

You'll want a lens with a larger available aperture (represented by a smaller f/stop number) for better versatility in low light.

What kind of indoor photos without a flash? For faster shutter speeds in low light to give you less motion blur from subject movement, a prime (fixed focal length versus zoom) is your best bet.

You can pick up a 50mm f/1.7 AF lens for around $100 or so used (or sometimes less if you're a good shopper). Of course, that means using your feet for zoom and if you're trying to take group shots, it may not be wide enough. It all depends on what you're trying to shoot. There are a number of other choices around, too (Minolta or Sony 50mm f/1.4, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, Sony or Minolta 35mm f/1.4, Minolta 28mm f/2, 35mm f/2, and others). There are longer primes available, too (85mm f/1.4, 100mm f/2 and more (although some like the 100mm f/2 are harder to find).

If light permits the use of a zoom, you'll want one with f/2.8 available throughout the focal range. Note that f/2.8 is 4 times as bright as f/5.6 (which is where you'd be at with most consumer grade zooms if you zoom in much with one). But, you may find that even f/2.8 is lacking in many indoor conditions unless you're shooting a stationary subject.

If 28mm is wide enough, you may want to look at something like a Tamron or KM 28-75mm f/2.8 AF lens. Or, if it's not wide enough, perhaps something like a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 AF Lens. But, depending on lighting, f/2.8 may not be as bright as desirable. That's where an even brighter prime (non-zoom lens) can help out.

You may also find your money to be better spent on an external flash if you're looking for more focal range in a single lens (none of the "ultra zoom" type lenses are really bright enough for low light use without a flash).

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Old May 22, 2007, 1:13 PM   #3
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newstor wrote:
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*Hi all,

I have recently purchased a sony dslr a100 which came with standard 28-70 lens.

Could anyone advise me about some good lens for taking indoors pictures (without flash)? (max. 300 dollars)

I am also looking into some 28-300 lenses, any tip? (max 300-400 dollars)

Cheers,

/N


As I have repeated on another thread, the 50mm lens f1.7 is excellent. True, you don't have the zoom convenience, but this lens forces you to be close up to the action.
With the kit lens, you would need a good flash. External flash is good for this. Some situations simply don't let you use indoor flash and use something like the kit lens.

28-200mm is versatile and good for trips. Beware of vignetting and distortion at the wide angles though.
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Old May 22, 2007, 3:48 PM   #4
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Everything JimC mentions is what I would agree with. With wide zooms 2.8 is as big of an aperture as your going to get and thats still not going to be enough lots of the time.

If you want to shoot people indoors without a flash then a wide/fast prime is what you want. That gives you the choice of a Sigma 20mm f/1.8 $409 @ B&H, Sigma 24mm f/1.8 macro $339 @ B&H, Sigma 28mm f/1.8 macro $269 @B&H, the nearly impossible to find Minolta 28mm f/2 if you can find at around $350 used, the Sigma 30 f/1.4 $429 @ B&H. The Minolta 35 mmf/2 around $350-400 used. The Minolta 35mm 1.4will exceed you $$ limit.

I understand sometimes you cant use a flash, but having one you will use it alot. It's worth buying.
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Old May 22, 2007, 5:17 PM   #5
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You are right JimC, I actually meant 18-70mm.

I have just looked at some second hand Minolta 1.7 50mm lenses (compatible for both SLR and DSLR) and they are within my budget, I think I will go for one of these.

I will later buy some 28/50/55-200/300 for outdoors pictures. Is there any big difference in quality between Tamron and Sigma? They both seem to have lenses within my budget.

Thanks all for your great help.

/N
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Old May 22, 2007, 8:58 PM   #6
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You really need to look at each lens on a case by case basis.


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Old May 23, 2007, 7:22 AM   #7
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I know you want indoor pictures w/o flash, but try the kit lens with onboard flash. You will be surprised at what the combination can do.
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Old May 23, 2007, 12:26 PM   #8
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What copesaid about the flash is true. To take it even further if you use the 36/5600 flash + the kit lensyou'll end up with some great shots. Plus a great flash that can be used with all your lenses.
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Old Jun 11, 2007, 8:35 AM   #9
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newstor wrote:
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You are right JimC, I actually meant 18-70mm.

I have just looked at some second hand Minolta 1.7 50mm lenses (compatible for both SLR and DSLR) and they are within my budget, I think I will go for one of these.

I will later buy some 28/50/55-200/300 for outdoors pictures. Is there any big difference in quality between Tamron and Sigma? They both seem to have lenses within my budget.

Thanks all for your great help.

/N
the 50mm is very good - it's hard to frame though because it is 75mm on the a100. It works very well w/o flash and is fast.

In my research i have found the tamron 17-50mm is a favorite. cz 16-80 and sigma 17-70 are other options.
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Old Jun 11, 2007, 10:13 AM   #10
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As everyone has said: you need a fast lens (Low f/number).

To get an idea of the focal length you want, use your kit lens with the ISO set to 1600 or 3200. The noise will be at or beyond the limit of useability, but you will get a feel for the focal length you use. As JimC noted, the kit lens is f/5.6 at most useable focal lengths so a f/2.8 lens will allow shooting at the same shutter speed as your high ISO trials with a more useable ISO of 400 or 800.

In short: use what you have pushing it past the point of producing useable images (absurdly long shutter speeds, rediculous ISOs, cropping past the point of pixilation, ...). By doing that you will figure out what the limits of your equipment is, where the limit is, and what you will want in more gear.

In the mean time, you won't regret getting the 50mm f/1.7 unless you figure you might spend a whole bunch more on the f/1.4 real soon.
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