Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Sony Alpha dSLR / Konica Minolta dSLR, Sony SLT

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jul 31, 2007, 6:34 PM   #11
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Shop the used market.

I'd keep an eye out for bargains at places like http://www.keh.com

Look under 35mm, Minolta Autofocus, Zoom Lenses (for Minolta Zooms) and Non-Manufacturer Zoom Lenses (for third party zooms from Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, etc.).

You can probably find a a third party 70-200mm (or there abouts) f/2.8 zoom used for not too far off your budget if you're a good shopper. You have to check the listings often and grab a deal before someone else does. lol

Ditto for the brighter primes. Grab a deal at one of the dealers before someone else spots it. lol

I bought all of my Minolta primes used.

I got my Minolta 135mm f/2.8 AF Lens from the used department at http://www.bhphotovideo.com, my 100mm f/2 came from http://www.adorama.com, my 28mm f/2 came from CametaAuctions on Ebay, I got my 50mm f/1.7 from a camera package someone put on Ebay for a "buy it now" price of $49 (including a working Maxxum 7000 and Minolta 1800AF flash). lol

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 31, 2007, 7:11 PM   #12
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

In the meantime, just keep your ISO speed at 800 versus letting Auto handle it for the night games.

Your shutter speeds were moving around a lot in those images from both metering differences and Auto ISO (some were even as slow as 1/20 second, with 1/30 to 1/40 second at around ISO 400 being used in some. You may even want to use manual exposure if the lighting is relatively constant (just use the image review and histogram/blinking highlights features to get an idea of how your settings are working).

I saw some ISO 800 images at f/3.5 at around 1/125 second on the wide end of your kit lens. But, it loses a lot of light as you zoom in more.

Plus motion blur will be more obvious if you use a longer lens and zoom in much (because the movement will occur across a greater distance in the image for a given viewing size)

So, I'd shoot for an f/2.8 zoom if you want to fill the frame more at longer focal lengths versus wider shots like most of those so you'll keep shutter speeds up.

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 1, 2007, 7:08 PM   #13
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

I'd just like to add another take on this. It looks like you're on the field, which is good. One other option to consider is using a flash mounted on a bracket. That same 30 yard distance Mark quoted for using a 200mm lens would also apply to a good flash. With a flash you could use a slightly slower shutter speed and the flash provides the 'freeze' so to speak. You do want to use a braket though - the higher the better to reduce red-eye. The biggest drawback is flash recycle times. But it's not like you really need to rip off 3 or 4 shot bursts. The other key to getting good results is not relying too heavily on flash output for illumination - you don't want your subject showing up stark against a completely black background. I think this is a more reasonable alternative to consider - it would save you the expense of buying a very expensive lens. Definitely something to consider.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 22, 2007, 7:51 AM   #14
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 13
Default

khokhonutt wrote:
Quote:
I suppose budget should enter in here, too. While the pricer options may be something I look into down the road. I honestly think something under $1000 is going to be more realistic for me now. Closer to $500 would be awesome, but I'm willing to hold out for what will work best, if I need to.

Again, I really appreciate everyone's input so far.

Jeff
These days I'm shooting under the lights with a Nikon D200 and Sigma 70200 f2.8. I like that lens a lot. It's about $800 if you can find one in the alpha mount.

However, I did pretty well under the lights with a Minolta "beercan" (70-210 f4) for a couple of years with my KM 5D and 7D. I think you should try the beercan first. You're not going to lose any money with that lens anyway and it's handy in a bunch of situations.

So grab a beercan, shoot in aperture priority and f4 and experiment with ISO 800 and 1600. Post process the pics with Noise Ninja (or Neat Image, etc.). I think you'll get some good shots.
garykohs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 22, 2007, 12:17 PM   #15
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Quote:
However, I did pretty well under the lights with a Minolta "beercan" (70-210 f4) for a couple of years with my KM 5D and 7D. I think you should try the beercan first. You're not going to lose any money with that lens anyway and it's handy in a bunch of situations.
I wish I'd have bought a few dozen of them when you could find them for under $100 all day long a couple of years back. Hindsight. lol But, even at current prices, they're still one heck of a bargain for a zoom with this focal range and build quality that can maintain f/4 (and still relatively sharp wide open, too).

That's one of the reasons I shoot with a KM Maxxum 5D (super lens bargains in the used market). Look at the listings for Minolta AF lenses at dealers. Then, look at the listings for competitors's AF lenses. For example, try to find Pentax AF lenses at better known dealers --- you probably wont' find many (if any at all). You're pretty much stuck with Manual focus lenses if you're looking for bargains in some of the other lens mounts.

http://www.keh.com has multiple beercans (Minolta 70-210mm f/4 Autofocus Lens) listed now for around $200, depending on condition. If you can't afford an f/2.8 zoom, this is probably as good as it gets in a Minolta AF (a.k.a., Maxxum, Dynax, Alpha) mount zoom with f/4 available throughout the entire zoom range..

They also have the Minolta 70-210mm f/3.5-4.5 AF Lens (a newer design that's smaller and lighter compared to the beercan) at around half the beercan's price (I see one now in bargain condition for $84, and one in excellent condition for $126). I've also seen users report that it focuses faster compared to the beercan. YMMV.

Or, if budget is *real* tight, you can sometimes pick up a Vivitar Series I 70-210mm f/2.8-4 APO AF lens for under $100. I found one new in the box with warranty a while back for $79.95. Flare resistance leaves a lot to be desired (not a lens for harsh lighting for sure). But, in a pinch for low light use, I'd probably choose it over the f/4-5.6 Zooms, since it would be twice as bright at most focal lengths, and center sharpness with the aperture wide open isn't too bad for a cheap zoom. It's an older push-pull design and build quality is not the greatest. But, it would work in a pinch as long as your viewing/print sizes didn't need to be very large.

I posted a few snapshots from a concert a while back taken with this Vivitar in this thread:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...amp;forum_id=5

But, for optimum results, I'd probably go with one of the better f/2.8 zooms, or go with primes instead.

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 22, 2007, 4:26 PM   #16
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5
Default

Thanks everyone. I really apprecate all the excellent info.

I'm going to give the beercan a shot and see how it works out. Seems like it do a lot of what I want to do. If I find I need or want better, I'll start saving my pennies.

Jeff
khokhonutt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 23, 2007, 8:04 AM   #17
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 13
Default

Good luck with the beercan. Let us know what you think when you get yours.

I should also have mentioned the Vivitar Series I 70-210 that Jim mentioned. I have that lens also. The beercan is higher quality and some folks don't like the Viv's push-pull, but it does offer the faster speed at the 70 end of the zoom.
garykohs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 6, 2007, 8:58 AM   #18
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5
Default

Hi All,

I got my 'beercan' lens and so far I couldn't be happier. I won't get to test with the band until this friday, but I thought I'd send along some samples I have so far.

The following gallery, mostly taken with the new lens, is from Lowe's Motor Speeway, in Concord, NC. There were a couple of cars running, so I got to play with some high speed shots. I tried to keep my shutter speed down enough to get some motion in the pictures. It's certainly something that will take some practice:

http://www.maekchu.smugmug.com/galle...1849#191003006

The other group I took was at Carowinds Amusement Park (kind of a Six Flags knock off near Charlotte, NC). I'm not a big ride person, (well, I'm I big person, but not a ride person) so I spent a lot of time shooting rides and other stuff.

http://www.maekchu.smugmug.com/galle...1860#191003476

I love the fixed focal length on the lens. It allowed me to jump from location to location on a ride (with different zoom levels) and not worry as much about that change.

There's still a lot to learn, but I'm tickled with the results I get now, compared to the old point and shoot. I was happy with a lot of the pictures we took with the P&S, but I'm getting shots that I used to miss in the past.

I should have some marching pictures this weekend. Again, thanks for everyone's help so far.

Jeff
khokhonutt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 6, 2007, 9:10 AM   #19
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Great. Yes, it's a well liked lens. Let us know how well it works for the band photos.

BTW, the price just dropped on the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8G SSM AF Lens (it's only $1999.95 at sonystyle.com now). ;-)

Only one extra stop of brightness, 10+ times the cost of a used beercan. lol


JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 9, 2007, 9:06 AM   #20
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 13
Default

OK, we're waiting for those marching pictures. The other ones you've posted look really nice.

I pre-ordered an Alpha 700 this week, so I'll be cranking up the beercan again soon.
garykohs is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 8:55 PM.