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Old Dec 20, 2008, 2:07 PM   #1
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I have the 7D, a Sigma EX 50-500 (4-6.3), Sigma DC 17-70 (2.8-4.5), and a real old Sigma UC 70-210 (4-5.6) from back in the day when I used a Maxxum film camera.

Looking for some advice on what to spend my $$ on next. Though I would love the Alpha 900, $3,000 is a bit steep and I can't justify the purchase to my wife as I am an amateur photographer.

From the following choices, what would be your next purchase and why?

Alpha 700
Zeiss 70-200 2.8 or the comparable 2-8 Sigma
Zeiss 24-70 2.8 or the comparable 2.8 Sigma

Hmmm... I'd also like a couple of pocket wizards but lets stick to the above for now...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts...

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Old Dec 20, 2008, 3:14 PM   #2
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It depends on what you shoot.

Between the 7D that you've gotand the A700, you'd be getting 12MP and 5fps, up from 6MP and 3fps. (Plus some bells and whistles.)

Between the Sigma 17-70 and the Zeiss 24-70, you'd be getting, on average, about an f-stop. (The Zeiss is sharper, but on the 7D, you probably wouldn't notice the difference.)

Between a 70-200/2.8 and the telephoto zooms you've got now, you'd be getting about two f-stops.

If you want higher resolution or faster frames per second, I'd say get the the A700. If you want to use a long lens withfaster shutter speeds and/or shallower depths of field, I'd say get a 70-200/2.8.

Sony's 70-200/2.8 is a 'G', not a Zeiss, but it's still $1,700. But if you opt for the Sigma or Tamron versions, you could save enough to get the A700 too! I think that's what I'd do.
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Old Dec 20, 2008, 9:17 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response. Might you know if the 700 does a better/more consistent job autofocusing accurately in low light than the 7D?
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Old Dec 20, 2008, 10:53 PM   #4
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musicbym wrote:
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Might you know if the 700 does a better/more consistent job autofocusing accurately in low light than the 7D?
I don't have an A700 ora 7D, but I would say yes.

But a lot depends on the lens, and the 'Bigma' is fairly dim.
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Old Dec 21, 2008, 7:46 AM   #5
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What to get is something only you can decide as where I or anyone else might want our photography to go next is probably not the same as you.

I will ask you the same question as I do most people who are looking at spending their hard earned money.

Where are the gaps in your photography, what are you wanting to do but not able to or not as well as you would like.

When it comes to lenses I have 7, 5 zooms and 2 primes, however I use only 2 lenses probably 95% of the time and out of that probably 1 80% of the time with the other (a 70-200mm f2.8 zoom) on a 2nd body when wedding or event shooting. So my advice is spend your cash where it will get best used. I would probably consider the new body as this will be used every shot, but that is only if you are not needing the f2.8 lens options for creative or lower light shooting. Do you have a good flash, this can make a big difference to indoor and outdoor shots.

There is nothing wrong with any piece of kit you have mentioned but they are only going to be any good if they get to see the light of day.
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Old Dec 21, 2008, 8:57 AM   #6
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I'm pretty well set with an excellent quality Metz 54-MZ-4i flash.

I'm thinking that I don't want to make a purchase that will only leave me wanting more in the future (though this is probably not possible) because I am consistently looking to develop my skills and take my photography to higher levels. There may come a time when I may be able to swing an Alpha 900 and I'd hate to have an inferior lens relative to the high quality of the body. With that said, I am now leaning toward the A700 and perhaps a 2.8 70-200 as my current 70-200 is extremely dated and relatively slow. I'm really looking forward to having the opportunity to shoot in low light without the flash
and without having to introduce the noise elements of a higher ISO.

Should I eventually be in the market for an Alpha 900, I'd still have a decent backup in the 700.

Now I'll have to decide which brand, the Sony G or the Sigma EX (leaning toward the G)... big price difference...



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Old Dec 21, 2008, 9:00 AM   #7
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I'm sure you will find the 700 and 70-200mm f2.8 a lovely combination. I've used the Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 on both Konica Minolta when I had a 5D and then after switching to Canon. All I will say is that the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L is a lot stronger lens optically than the Sigma, but even so the Sigma does a good job. I expect the G to be similar quality to the Canon so expect sharp sharp sharp results if you can stretch to it.
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Old Dec 21, 2008, 9:09 AM   #8
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If you don't mind me asking, why did you switch to Canon and what body did you select?

I've also thought about this as well but a part of me wants to believe that the industry needs another major player besides Canon and Nikon. Not to mention that I already dumped a grand on the Sigma EX 50-300 which is a very decent lens for the money...

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts...


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Old Dec 21, 2008, 9:17 AM   #9
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I only switched as I was getting more into sports shooting so wanted to get a 300mm f2.8 lens and 5fps. I opted for the Canon 30D but since then I've added a 5D for portrait/wedding work and then a year ago got the 1D mkIII. Recently I've stopped doing most of my sports work so might switch the mkIII for a 5D mkII, we shall see. Sony is getting there and for me I put them in 3rd behind C and N for body options. Switching systems is not a fun thing to do and as you have the Bigma you probably are in a good position with what you have and are looking at.
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Old Dec 21, 2008, 11:47 AM   #10
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If you're not shooting sports where the benefits of Sony's SSM or Sigma's HSM may offer some advantage, you may also want to consider the new Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8. It's selling for $699 and it's optically superior to the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 from reviews I've seen. In Nikon and Canon mount, this new Tamron relies on a motor built into the lens (which is a bit on the slow side from most accounts). In Sony/Minolta mount, this new Tamron uses the camera body's built in AF motor instead (so a newer camera body with a faster AF motor like the A700 would have it's benefits over your 7D with this type of lens).

You could pick up a Sony A700 for $999.99 right now (marked down from $1299 at most dealers for a limited time), and a Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 for $699 (now in stock at Amazon.com and others). IOW, if you went with that solution, the A700 would give you a newer camera with a much faster focus system and AF motor (not to mention higher resolution, faster frame rate, nicer LCD, better Dynamic Range, etc.), along with a Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 lens for around the same price as a Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 SSM lens would cost you by itself.

The Sony lens with SSM (Supersonic Motor) or Sigma lens with HSM (Hypersonic Motor) should focus faster you're shooting rapidly moving subjects. But, if you're not shooting a lot of sports, you may not care about that part and the optical quality of the Tamron appears to be very good.

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