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Old Apr 4, 2008, 9:02 AM   #1
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Looking for some advice. I own an Alpha 700, KM 5D, Minolta 7000 series and down the line back to 1970! Right now I am attempting to determine which 70-200mm lens to purchase for my 5D and 700. I take a lot of indoor basketball shots as well as wildlife photography on occasion. I can spend the $2000 but I would rather not if there is a great alternative on the horizon. I am not a professional, obviously.:?


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Old Apr 4, 2008, 9:28 AM   #2
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For basketball, you'd probably need to shoot at ISO 3200 if you want to use an f/2.8 zoom, unless you're talking pro or college games, where you may have better lighting compared to typical high school gyms.

You may be better off buying a Sony/Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 for that purpose, so you can shoot at ISO 1600 instead, or if you're on a tighter budget, look for a used Minolta instead. You'll want to shoot from the floor versus the stands with this approach.

If you want a 70-200 f/2.8 lens, you're going to have 2 newer choices soon Sigma will have their newest 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM Macro II available in Minolta/Sony mount, and Tamron will have their new 70-200mm f/2.8 available in Minolta/Sony mount. The Sigma will have the benefit of HSM (Hypersonic Motor Focusing). But, we'll have to wait on user reports to find out how these two new lenses perform (as they're not shipping yet).

Adorama.com is taking preorders for both of them now ($799 for the Sigma, $699 for the Tamron).

You've also got the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 SSM lens available new at a much heftier price tag, and it's an outstanding lens, judging from reports and images I've seen.

But, for basketball, a brighter prime is usually a better bet for high school type gyms.

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Old Apr 4, 2008, 9:37 AM   #3
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But, if you don't mind shooting at ISO 3200 (or higher if the lighting calls for it), you could probably get away with using an f/2.8 zoom on the A700.
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Old May 1, 2008, 12:03 PM   #4
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JimC wrote:
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For basketball, you'd probably need to shoot at ISO 3200 if you want to use an f/2.8 zoom, unless you're talking pro or college games, where you may have better lighting compared to typical high school gyms.

You may be better off buying a Sony/Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 for that purpose, so you can shoot at ISO 1600 instead, or if you're on a tighter budget, look for a used Minolta instead. You'll want to shoot from the floor versus the stands with this approach.

If you want a 70-200 f/2.8 lens, you're going to have 2 newer choices soon Sigma will have their newest 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM Macro II available in Minolta/Sony mount, and Tamron will have their new 70-200mm f/2.8 available in Minolta/Sony mount. The Sigma will have the benefit of HSM (Hypersonic Motor Focusing). But, we'll have to wait on user reports to find out how these two new lenses perform (as they're not shipping yet).

Adorama.com is taking preorders for both of them now ($799 for the Sigma, $699 for the Tamron).

You've also got the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 SSM lens available new at a much heftier price tag, and it's an outstanding lens, judging from reports and images I've seen.

But, for basketball, a brighter prime is usually a better bet for high school type gyms.
any word on when the sigma and tamron lenses start shipping? i'm really toying with the idea of stepping up my glass... although for the price, i hear you can pick up an a700 for a few dollars more at BB (provided they still have'um instock).

this is the age old dilema isn't it? keep the camera body and invest in quality glass or invest in newer technology and use existing glass....
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Old May 1, 2008, 1:48 PM   #5
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Sorry, no idea. It looks like both the Sigma and Tamron are still backordered at vendors like adorama with listings for them.


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Old May 1, 2008, 8:06 PM   #6
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About a week ago, or so, I bought the Sony 70-200. In my opinion, I think it's worth every penny. I am far from any kind of pro, but I will say this, the Sony lens is quite a bit sharper and twice/or three times as fast in focusas the original Minolta 70-200G with the Alpha 7 (or Alpha 700) and the Maxxum 9. Colors are very evenly displayed and have a bit of a punch due to the "G" lens coatings. I have always judged a lens on its ability to reproduce clarity and colors with slide film. Preferable film below ISO 50. Fujicrome Velvia 50 shot at 40 and Kodak Kodacrome 25. One thing about slide film: What you take is what you get. In other words, the lab cannot alter much in color, clarity, exposure, etc. A great teaching tool, if I may add. Sigma and Tamron both make really good lenses so only time will tell what they can reproduce. You may want to hold out and see some of the results of the new lenses on the market.
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Old May 3, 2008, 12:16 AM   #7
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no question the sony product is probably the best 70-200 money can buy for the KM/alpha mount right now...

the price is quite steep though. i think i can (just barely) justify the $700 for the sigma... don't think i can swing the $1800 for the sony though :?
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