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Old Aug 9, 2008, 12:29 PM   #11
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Very nice photos, btw.
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Old Sep 13, 2008, 4:43 PM   #12
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Hi folks,

Currently I own the Sony 18-70 F3.5-5.6 kit lens and the Minolta 50 F1.7.

I'm quite happy with the 50 F1.7 for low light use, but to be frank I find the 50mm fixed focal length a bit of a pain -- on my Alpha 200 I find it too "zoomed in" for group photos and obviously no good for shots inside a cathedral or similar. Also I find the depth of field at F1.7 so limited that I'm thinking F2.8 is probably about as fast as is practical.

Also I rarely use the 50-70mm portion of my kit lens. If I do it's normally to take close ups of flowers but I think 50mm is probably close enough.

So, here's my plan.

* Buy the Tamron 17-50 F2.8 (about £270 brand new)
* Sell the Minolta 50 F1.7 (bought brand new for £109 just a few weeks ago, hope I can sell for £90)
* Sell the Sony 18-70 F3.5-5.6 kit lens (sell for £50?)
* If I really need the 70mm, and if the macro facility might be useful, I could get a Minolta 35-70 F4 (mini beercan) off ebay for about £45.

What do you think?? Any alternative suggestions?

Thanks a lot
Phil
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Old Sep 13, 2008, 4:59 PM   #13
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I have the Tamron 17-50/2.8 and like ita lot. (See First shots with Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 on my KM5D)

I'm sorry you're disappointed with your 50/1.7. I like the perspective it gives, though 'zooming with your feet' can be an inconvenience sometimes.

If you get the Tamron 17-50/2.8, there's really no reason to keep the kit lens, especially if you don't use the 50-70 range.
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Old Sep 14, 2008, 8:56 AM   #14
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Thanks TCav, would be interested to hear in what situations you still use the 50 F1.7, when you have the Tamron?

Is there much difference between the two lenses at 50mm and F/2.8?

Cheers
Phil
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Old Sep 14, 2008, 10:17 AM   #15
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The 50/1.7 is very sharp, so I use it when detail is important.

I use it with extention tubes for macro work.

Aside from when the shallow depth of field is desireable, it's a great utility lens, doing jobs that others can't.
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Old Feb 28, 2009, 7:25 AM   #16
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Hi folks. Just to let you know... 5 months later, I now own the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 as well. So I own 4 lenses in total for my Alpha 200.

1. SonyAF DT 18-70 F3.5-5.6 (kit lens)
2. MinoltaAF 50 F1.7 (brand new for £109)
3. TamronAF 55-200 F4-5.6 Di II (brand new for £55)
4. TamronSP AF 17-50 F2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (brand new for £274)

I also bought Hoya Super HMC Pro1 UV(0) filters for the Minolta and the expensive Tamron to protect them.

Here are my thoughts on each lens:

1. Great on a sunny day. General purpose -- landscapes, portraits, closeups of flowers etc all nice. But the F3.5 is misleading as it's very quickly into F5... useless for indoor available light, and outdoor hard to get shallow depth of field for those soft portrait shots due to the limited max aperture. Now I have the expensive Tamron I don't see a situation where I would use this again.. well maybe if I was in a place where there was risk of damaging the lens and didn't want to risk taking the Tamron.

2. Love this lens! Now I have the F2.8 Tamron, I realise how much I need apertures in the range F1.7-F2.8, I could not be without this lens. Also it is so light and compact, so convenient. Essential for indoor available light, perfect for baby/kids/pets.

3. I don't often need this range, which is why I went for a cheap lens, but it seems very good from the one time I've used this (at the beach). Great points: price, very light, stays at F4 until almost at the end of the range. Looking forward to using this next time I go to a zoo / wildlife park.

4. Very new, haven't properly used it yet other than test shots. Much heavier than the other three lenses. However likely to become my main outdoor lens, and indoor when I need to go wider than 50mm.

Now, I've also learned two common situations when available light alone isn't quite sufficient:
a) bright light behind your subject.... unless use fill in flash, subject appears too dark, or if adjusting exposure for subject, background is overexposed.
b) you need a smaller aperture to achieve focus on several subjects at different distances from the camera. E.g. group portraits where some people in front and others further back. But to achieve desired aperture, there isn't enough light.

So I've just bought a Sony HVL-F42AM to play with (£153 at amazon).
:-)

Phil
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