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Old Jul 29, 2008, 9:35 AM   #1
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looking for a bit of advice

i have a sony a200 went out and bought a sigma 70-300mm DL lense

but recently reading allot of forums etc regarding the old 70-210mm minolta (beercan) lense ....

having read the forums im wondering wether its going to be worth my while and money to buy a beercan to use as my telephoto lense and sell my sigma .

every forum regarding the beercan rates this lense 110%

i know i will loose some zoom but the quality of the photos will be far better with the beercan so ive read . is this true

any comments will be appreciated

Martin (a newbie in dslr world)
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Old Jul 29, 2008, 10:04 AM   #2
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The Beercan is sharp and has good contrast and color throughout its range. And it has a constant f/4.0 maximum aperture.

Most reasonably priced 70-300 lenses are pretty soft and have a lot of CA past 200mm.

I've read complaints from some that say the Beercan's autofocus is slow, but I haven't found that to be the case. I do a lot of continuous shooting at equestrian events; I've had the Beercan focus on the horse and rider in one shot, focus on a trainer (that is closer to me) in the next, and focus on the horse and rider againinthe next shot, all without missing a beat.

I tried two copies of the Minolta 75-300 before I got my Beercan.

It's bigger and heavier, but it's a better lens. It doesn't have the range, but from my experience, that additional range isn't worth having.
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Old Jul 31, 2008, 7:51 AM   #3
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I'm in a similiar boat- I'm not a very advanced photographer but I feel the need to get a reasonable tele lens (having none but the kit 18-70 at the moment).

Either a 70-300(http://www.dyxum.com/reviews/lenses/...asp?IDLens=221 - Sigma 70-300 DG APO) or 70-210 ( 'small beercan') for tele.

The thing is that the Sigma can be gotten for around 100e and is generally seen as rather sharp, if not in possession of precisely as good a bokeh or colors as the beercan (as per the dyxum reviews)
whilst the minolta 70-210 f4 auctions on ebay (can't get one anyplace else) seem to end up at around 150e, excluding freight, and who knows how many are genuine (as in the right version of the minolta 70-210)?

Would still be worth it to gun for the 'can?
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Old Jul 31, 2008, 3:17 PM   #4
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Lindinblade wrote:
Quote:
I'm in a similiar boat- I'm not a very advanced photographer but I feel the need to get a reasonable tele lens (having none but the kit 18-70 at the moment).

Either a 70-300(http://www.dyxum.com/reviews/lenses/...asp?IDLens=221 - Sigma 70-300 DG APO) or 70-210 ( 'small beercan') for tele.

The thing is that the Sigma can be gotten for around 100e and is generally seen as rather sharp, if not in possession of precisely as good a bokeh or colors as the beercan (as per the dyxum reviews)
whilst the minolta 70-210 f4 auctions on ebay (can't get one anyplace else) seem to end up at around 150e, excluding freight, and who knows how many are genuine (as in the right version of the minolta 70-210)?

Would still be worth it to gun for the 'can?
While the Sigma APO and the Tamron Di LD (btw, of the two, I'd go for the Tamron) do go longer than the Beercan, the Beercan is faster and sharper where the ranges overlap, and where they don't, the others are soft and have a lot of chromatic aberation. So they aren't as good as the Beercan, and aren't veryuseful where they extend beyond the range of the Beercan.

Take a look at http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/Othe...%20/%20Surveysfor the Sony Alpha lenses.

My advice is to get the Beercan before it gets more expensive!
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Old Jul 31, 2008, 7:35 PM   #5
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You may also want to consider a Minolta 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 APO lens. Make sure it's the APO version for best results (lower CA, better sharpness, etc., based on user reviews I've seen).

It's around $300 used with hood and caps, depending on the condition and exact version (the newer D version designed to report distance info to the camera is usually a bit more).

A good place to shop for used glass is http://www.keh.com

I'd suggest avoiding the Sigma 70-300mm lenses, since I've seen a number of reports of stripped gears in the A200 and A700 with this lens, apparently because the build quality can't handle the faster AF motor in these cameras. With the A700, you can change the AF motor speed to slow via a menu option to help prevent damage to cheaper quallity lenses. But, the A200 doesn't have that ability.
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Old Jul 31, 2008, 9:39 PM   #6
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I have both the beercan and a Sigma 70-300 APO. The Sigma is just as sharp as the beercan But the colors are better with the beercan. The stripping gears problem with Sigma is now becoming a big deal. I sent my first Sigma back 5 times for this problem before they finally sent me a new one. This problem occured with both the A100 and A700. So far the replacement lens has lasted 6 weeks with no problems but it is optically inferior to my first Sigma. My beercan is now suffering from a stuck aperture but it's probably 20 years old. I am going to send it in for repair. If this happened to the Sigma I would junk it. Get the beercan and just keep the Sigma for times when you need the additional range. You would'nt get much for it anyway. C. W.
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 12:37 PM   #7
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Interesting discussion....

I'm currently considering either the A200 or A700 (not likely with my budget) and was planning to acquire the 70-300 G SSM f4.5-5.6 as I'd use it mostly for soccer, air shows, and wildlife. From what I've seen in galleries and read in reviews its' control of CA is excellent at the long end (>200mm).

I like the end-to-end f4.0 of the beercan but think its reach may not be enough for soccer. Also, it seems to be more susceptible to CA at the long end.

I've also considered the 18-250 f3.5-6.3.

From my experience with my Panasonic FZ20 a good third of my soccer photos are close to the max zoom permitted (432mm) and I crop most of those.
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 5:23 PM   #8
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NewsyL wrote:
Quote:
I'm currently considering either the A200 or A700 (not likely with my budget) and was planning to acquire the 70-300 G SSM f4.5-5.6 as I'd use it mostly for soccer, air shows, and wildlife. From what I've seen in galleries and read in reviews its' control of CA is excellent at the long end (>200mm).
Just to keep everything in context, NewsyL is talking about an $800 lens.

NewsyL wrote:
Quote:
I like the end-to-end f4.0 of the beercan but think its reach may not be enough for soccer. Also, it seems to be more susceptible to CA at the long end.
Not in my experience. The Beercan suffers less from CA at 200mm than the 2 Minolta 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lenses (a 'D' anda'New')that I tried. (The Minolta 'D' is identical to the Sony SAL-75300. The non-G version.) And 200mm in those lensesis before the CA gets really bad.

I've heard that the Beercan can suffer fromflare, but I use the lens hood and I've never seen it.

NewsyL wrote:
Quote:
I've also considered the 18-250 f3.5-6.3.
... which can also suffer from significant amounts of CA, vignetting, softness and distortion.
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Old Aug 2, 2008, 11:14 AM   #9
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NewsyL wrote:
Quote:
I'm currently considering either the A200 or A700 (not likely with my budget) and was planning to acquire the 70-300 G SSM f4.5-5.6 as I'd use it mostly for soccer, air shows, and wildlife. From what I've seen in galleries and read in reviews its' control of CA is excellent at the long end (>200mm).
The A700 has a bit better Autofocus. But, if you go with an SSM lens, that may not make much difference in better lighting.

If you don't like CA, as I mentioned in my previous post to this thread, you may want to consider a used Minolta 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 APO Macro. The latest D version of it (which reports distance info to the camera for flash exposure purposes) runs around $350.00 in Excellent Condition with hood and caps at vendors like http://www.keh.com (look under the 35mm, Minolta Autofocus Zoom Lenses Section).

You can see some user reviews of it here from KM and Sony dSLR owners. Keep in mind that the latest A200 and A700 models have faster AF compared to the older Sony A100 and KM dSLR models that most reviewers were probably using this lens with. Note the comments about CA in the user reviews:

http://www.dyxum.com/reviews/lenses/....asp?IDLens=65

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Old Aug 3, 2008, 4:45 AM   #10
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Depending on what you can get for what, I would go for the Beercan if you were able to get a good price for it. I paid $50 dollars (half off!) for one at a pawn that is excellent condition haven't thought twice about selling it, (I also bought their second one and sold it to buy the other "legend" 28-135mm he-he-he) and I find the "cons" of the lens not all that bothersome.

For one, I love the weight of it. It is not too heavy to be a burden to me, and it is not too light to feel like a toy. On cheap zooms, you can feel that shake and wobble when you are extending at long focal-lengths, but the all metal design of the beercan, combined with internal-zooming really makes it feel nice to work with.

The auto-focus speed really has not been too big of an issue. It's not blazing fast, but it isn't a tortoise either. I haven't missed too many shots with it.
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