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Old Jan 3, 2009, 7:37 PM   #1
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Ok I realize why the lens is considered so good. It is very dreary outside here in Alabama (storms rolling in due to the fact that the temp is constantly changing from 50-70 every few days lol)Since I have had my camera (I've only had it since last wednesday) there as been very little sunshine. So today I realize why the beercans f4 at the long end is so desired. The kit lens looked as if I shot the pic in the dark and my shutter speed was like 200 or so. I found a 100-200 beercan that I may get. But I was wondering two things, first just out of curiousity, with a range of 70-210, besides maybe a wide lens or something like that, what other lens would a person need. Now my next question is the tech one, is there another lens comparable to the beercan even if not as good that is more available and cheaper? Thanks
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Old Jan 4, 2009, 9:38 AM   #2
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There are a number of lenses that go by variations on 'Beercan' but the 70-210mm f/4.0 actually looks like a beer can. It has a distictive cylindrical shape. The 'Big Beercan' is the first generation 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6. It isalso a fine lens, and has the distictive cylindrical shape, but not the constant aperture. The 100-200mm f/4.5 is often called the 'Little Beercan'. It is a contemporary of the other two, and has the distictive cylindrical shape, and while it is a very good lens, it isn't quite as good as the other two.

The 'Beercan' moniker has been hung on other lenses, but they don't share the distictive cylindrical shape, nor do they enjoy the optical and built quality of these three.

The 'Big Beercan' is hard to find, but there are (regular) Beercan's all over, going for less that $200, and are bargains at that. (eBay generally has between 15 and 20 listed at any given time.Ignore the Buy-It-Now listings; they're overpriced.) There are other very good lenses that cost more, but the price of the 'Beercan' is lower because of the considerable number of them available on the used market.

What other lenses you might want or need depends on what you want to shoot, but you've already discovered the advantage of a large aperture, and the Minolta 50mm f/1.7 is very nice and goes for less than $100. It is very sharp, and is very good for indoor photography without a flash. It is mostly useful for adult portraits and children's environmental portraits, but can work for small group shots if you've got the room.
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Old Jan 4, 2009, 10:40 AM   #3
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NOW, I understand what is meant by "beercan", I bought a six-pac of beercans and couldn't get a good picture so I bought another six-pac of beercans, every scene in the viewfinder was blurry! I didn't realize that it was just the name of a lens.
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Old Jan 4, 2009, 11:29 AM   #4
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In addition to the softness of the image, I find that Miller beer cans add a yellowish color cast to the image as well. Did you try Coors?
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Old Jan 4, 2009, 6:53 PM   #5
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Thanks again for the feedback. There are so many lenses, it can be a bit challenging. Any particular lens to stay away from? for instance I see lens by Quantray (sp) tokina and tamron. Should any or all of these be avoided at all costs?
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Old Jan 4, 2009, 7:14 PM   #6
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antonlmo wrote:
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Thanks again for the feedback. There are so many lenses, it can be a bit challenging. Any particular lens to stay away from? for instance I see lens by Quantray (sp) tokina and tamron. Should any or all of these be avoided at all costs?
Every manufacturer makes some good lenses and they make some clunkers (Minolta and Sony included) so don't go by a particular brand. Check the reviews before you buy.

Excellent sources of info on A Mount lenses are Dyxum.com User Reviews, PhotoZone.de Test Results and User Reviews, and the test results and User Reviews onSLRGear.com and PhotoDo.com.
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Old Jan 8, 2009, 7:24 AM   #7
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I had a similar dilemma last year with an alternative to the Beercan and posted the question on this forum, with an overwhelming response.

In the end, I opted for the Tamron AF70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD, and am really pleased with the results on my A200.

I don't know how to paste links, but search for my name, or the post title "Not another zoom lens post!?" to see all the help I got.
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Old Jan 8, 2009, 1:39 PM   #8
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Big4heD wrote:
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I don't know how to paste links, ...
Like this:

Not another zoom lens post!?
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Old Jan 8, 2009, 11:33 PM   #9
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Thanks to the both of you for the link!
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Old Jan 16, 2009, 7:43 AM   #10
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Thanks for the advice. I went and purchased the tamron 75-300 di ld. Hopefully if should be here by the middle of the week if they go on and ship it today.
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