Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Sony Alpha dSLR / Konica Minolta dSLR, Sony SLT

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Aug 8, 2009, 6:45 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
MVASteve's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Adelaide South Australia
Posts: 793
Default Macro -Which?

Hi, just wondering if any forum members are able to recommend a macro lens for the a700. I've looked at the Tameron and Sigma both have good reviews, the Sony 100mm is over priced or is it that much better than its competition? Any suggestions would be a huge help, as I've gone into information overload
(My main purpose for the lens would be nature photography -flowers, insects etc.)
MVASteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Aug 8, 2009, 8:19 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,544
Default

There are no bad macro lenses. And while the Sony is better than the others, it's unlikely that anyone would know the difference.

See the SLRGear.com reviews of the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro, the Sony 100mm f/2.8 Macro SAL-100M28, and the Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 SP AF. From those, I'd say that the Tamron has more chromatic aberration than the Sigma, but it's sharper. If you don't want to spend the money on the Sony, then I think it's a toss up.

But longer focal lengths let you be further away to get the same basic composition, and if your subject is timid, you want the longest focal length you can get.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 8, 2009, 8:27 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 324
Default

As you should be aware, in general terms the longer the lens the greater the 1:1 focusing distance.

That said, there isn't enough difference in focusing distance between the Tamron 90mm and the Sony 100mm for most people to choose the the lens based upon the focusing distance.



Build Quality?

The Sony is a classic Minolta, mid-80's design lens. State of the art for relatively lower price lenses of the era... which means plastic is present but not exclusively plastic. Even though the lens has been around forever (as have the Canon/Nikons etc), the lens has been constantly updated to meet modern dlsr requirements.

The Tamron is a much more modern lens design, which means a generous use of plastic. Not that plastic is bad as even Carl Zeiss has been known to use plastic on a lens. The use of plastic does signficantly reduce the weight of the lens which does alter the balance of the lense with the A700 (good or bad depending your idea of the perfect ergonomics).


Distortion, sharpness etc.

The Sony is marginally better. In my opinion, if the Sony scores a 95 on a hypothetical scale of 1-100 then the Tamron scores 92. It is close between these two lenses. The average person would be hard pressed to determine which lens is which on side by side (identical) photos.





Which lens to get? Bang for the Buck? Tamron.


Want to move to Full Frame at some point? The Sony is slightly a better lens because of the marginally better resolution in the center and edges when wide open.

Worth the extra $? I have the Sony 100mm. Grapped it on sale.
StevieDgpt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 8, 2009, 9:17 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
MVASteve's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Adelaide South Australia
Posts: 793
Default

Thanks TCav and StevieDgpt for your views. I might hunt around for a good price on the Sony, if not...I dont think I could make a "bad' purchase as the macros reviewed all have their good points. The Sigma does seem to be rated at a better build quality which I think is important so i think that may be my second choice. Just need to save a couple more $$. thanks again.
MVASteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 9, 2009, 7:08 AM   #5
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

You may want to look around for a used Minolta 100mm f/2.8 Macro, too. keh.com has a couple of them in stock now.
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 9, 2009, 8:57 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,544
Default

The Minolta 100/2.8 that JimC is the same as the current Sony, btw, so if you can get a good price for one in reasonable condition, then that's a good choice.

Here's another monkey wrench for your decision making process. If you're prepared to pay what it takes to get a new Sony, AND you're serious about shooting insects, you might want to consider either the Sigma or the Tamron 180mm f/3.5 lenses. They're not much more, and they let you be further away to get basically the same shot. You'd be less likely to frighten away your subject once you've got the composition you want. But if you're looking for something to take along on an all-day hike, you might not be happy with the size and weight.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.

Last edited by TCav; Aug 9, 2009 at 9:00 AM.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 10, 2009, 4:00 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
MVASteve's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Adelaide South Australia
Posts: 793
Default

Not more monkeys! (-: thanks TCav I'll definately check those lenses. Thanks Jim for the link and info, I'll check that out as well. I hope to have the new lens before spring as we have had a wet winter for a change in the Adelaide area so Im looking forward to the new growth and the possibility of taking a few shots of some native orchids.
MVASteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 18, 2009, 7:28 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
MVASteve's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Adelaide South Australia
Posts: 793
Default

Well after a lot of thought Ive decided to go with the Tameron 90mm macro. I can get a good price on this lens and all reviews have been quite positive. Hopefully I can pick it up tomorrow. I'll post a few of my efforts when I've aquainted myself with the lens. Thanks again for the tips and suggestions.
MVASteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 18, 2009, 8:23 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,544
Default

Good luck with it!
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 18, 2009, 10:33 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 750
Default

I am considering a lens extension tube set from Kenko to use with any of my existing lens.
Is this a viable option?
__________________
A77, 28-75mm f/2.8, 16-50mm f2.8, 18-250mm f3.5, 70-300mm f4.5G SSM
Flying Fossil is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 8:17 PM.