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Old Jun 30, 2009, 3:37 PM   #11
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I suggest you get the Tamron 70-300 Di LD first, and see how it goes. Maybe you can do what you want with it.
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Old Jun 30, 2009, 4:07 PM   #12
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Most of the newer mirror lenses are probably made at the same factories, with a few cosmetic differences between them. In addition to Vivitar branded lenses, you may want to look at the Samyang branded versions, too. There are a few European based Ebay vendors that have it listed now, including a T-Mount to Sony Alpha mount adapter.

But, if I were you, I'd probably skip the mirror (a.k.a., catadioptric, a.k.a., reflex) lenses and buy a solution with better optical quality that has variable aperture settings with Autofocus. For example, the two choices from your list that I mentioned in my last post to this thread.

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If you go with a Minolta 100-300mm AF lens, make sure to get an APO version. I'd probably get the latest APO (D) version of it for the most up to date lens coatings and electronics. There are reasons the APO versions tend to sell for several times as much as the non APO versions. They have better optical quality, including better control of CA (Chromatic Aberrations), compared to the non APO Versions of it..

That would be my first choice from the lenses in your list (as long as you get an APO version of the Minolta AF 100-300mm).

After that, I'd probably go to the inexpensive Tamron 70-300mm that's in your list (making sure to get the latest version of it).
If you need something longer than 300mm, I'd suggest waiting and save a bit more before spending your hard earned money. There's an old saying that holds a lot of merit when buying lenses:

"Buy cheap, buy twice".

If I had to buy something longer right this minute and absolutely couldn't afford more than a couple of hundred dollars, I'd probably look at a Vivitar 100-400mm f/4.5-6.7 AF lens (also marketed under other brand names like Phoenix). I can remember seeing some comparisons from this lens from one of our members, and it did better than expected for a budget lens.

If I could afford to spend more, I'd look at a Minolta 100-400mm f/4.5-6.7 AF lens (usually selling for around $600 on the used market now). Although it's not going to be quite as good as a new Sony 100-400mm, it's got a pretty good reputation from reputable user reports I've seen

But, keep in mind there are reasons that lenses like the new Sony 100-400mm f/4-5.6G SSM AF lens sell for around $1500. ;-)
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Old Jun 30, 2009, 6:30 PM   #13
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The goal of the mirror lenses have always been:

Cheap (less expensive)

Lightweight

Physically smaller



Combinations of low cost, lightweight and physically smaller are not always the best and compromises, including undesirable compromises, are going to be prevelent. That said, mirrors have their place and sometimes are the best (or only) choice.

Personally, I always wanted a big mirror lens for shooting birds (birds wearing bikinis if you know what I mean), until I tried one. It was a big focusing pain compared to a traditional long lens (even a regular lens with a TC) and the quality really sux'd.
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Old Jun 30, 2009, 7:51 PM   #14
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ok then
i seem to remember i never had any problems with my old camera stuff and the lenses even though it was all manual, so being manual doesn't worry me at all. what about a 70 - 210 beercan with a decent 2x converter that would give me around 400mm which would probably suffice for my needs ?
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Old Jun 30, 2009, 7:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tazkb View Post
what about a 70 - 210 beercan with a decent 2x converter that would give me around 400mm which would probably suffice for my needs ?
I don't think anyone knows what your needs are yet so can't comment, what do you want this sort of length lens for?

Also doing MF on a camera/lens designed specifically for MF is very different to using a dSLR with a lens in MF mode, for example I've not managed to do any MF shooting without using live view and zooming well into the shot and even so it takes only the smallest movement on the focus ring to go from in to out of focus.

Trust me none of us are trying to be awkward or anything we just genuinely don't want someone to make a bad lens choice if at all possible.
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Old Jun 30, 2009, 8:49 PM   #16
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I DON'T THINK ANYONE IS BEING AWKWARD
and I appreciate all the replies i do, I wan't the long lens for wildlife shot's of birds and other wildlife, some times boats as well. so my need is simple i wan't a long-ish lens around 400-500mm that will give me a reasonably good result printed up to A4 it doesn't have to be wow thats brilliant sort of good just hmm that's a nice shot and all witin my smallish budget
thanks
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Old Jul 1, 2009, 7:03 AM   #17
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I have a Beercan, and have tried it with a 2X TC.

First, while the Beercan is a fine lens, it's not perfect. It is sharp, but it does suffer from a little CA. Putting a TC on it magnifies the flaws.

Second, unless you want to spend several hundred dollars, an inexpensive TC will come with more than a few of it's own flaws. I used to have a Quantaray 2X TC that I started referring to as the Purple Fringe Machine. I still have 1.4X and 1.5X TCs that I use occasionally with my Beercan, and have been satisfied with the results, mostly.

If you're serious about longer focal lengths, I think you should look for a Minolta 100-400 APO. They haven't been very expensive lately. But if that's still more than you want to spend, the Tamron 70-300 Di LD is the best choice IMHO.
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Old Jul 1, 2009, 2:06 PM   #18
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Thanks guys I am watching a Minolta 100 - 300mm Xi 4.5 5.6 (gets a good write up in all reviews i have seen) in a pack with a few other bits and have made an offer, it comes with a SIGMA UC AutoFocus Zoom 28-70mm 1:2.8-4
(opps that didn't come out right the skill of cut and paste) anyway it also has a Minolta 500si body in good condition as well, all for a very reasonable price which looks like a good deal so maybe i will try and land that lot, if and when I need a bigger lens i will save up some more

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Old Jul 1, 2009, 3:12 PM   #19
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Actually, the Minolta 100-300 xi isn't very good. See http://www.dyxum.com/reviews/lenses/...asp?IDLens=336

It isn't bad, but there are better choices.
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Old Jul 1, 2009, 3:19 PM   #20
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Yep.... Again, I'd go with an APO version if you want a Minolta 100-300mm lens. The xi version uses a power zoom mechanism that will lower your battery life. It's also softer on it's 300mm end with Purple Fringing at wider apertures from what I can see from some user reports, and I doubt that flare resistance is going to be that great, either.
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