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Old Sep 16, 2009, 7:40 AM   #11
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Boy oh boy - You guys really know about what I have and not... Scary thought!!!




You are both correct as I didn't buy this A900 for birding, that contraption on top of the camera is the skyport interface for my studio strobes. I also decided on this A900 for my upcoming overseas trip since this combo rebate with the Zeiss made it a no-brainer over the new A850!

IMO it is kind of foolish to compare this $600 lens with a $6000 as I will probably get a 7D later to use with my EF-500 f/4L again. There's a great incentive for using an APS-C camera in birding because of the crop and Canon does have a great advantage in pricing as their super-teles cost a lot less than Nikon (or Sony)

With all that said however there's a lot to like about this unique Sony lens. There's no doubt about it, it is sharp: http://forums.steves-digicams.com/wi...y-new-toy.html
The D300 with the same type of lens: http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ni...-8-reflex.html
In fact sharpness is not an issue with this lens (nor CA). Its 'donough' can be controlled as well by varying the camera position as I've shown. The biggest problem with this lens as far as I can determine is its light fall-off or vignetting especially on a full-frame (also lessen on cropped cameras)

There's also an issue with logistic and lifestyle as Jim has pointed out - Unlike 'Pro' I usually don't go to events and 'park' my gear as most birders I went out with usually would set-up a tripod and wait.

This is my way:




I believe anyone can appreciate the weight saving after a few miles paddling upstream...
-> Plus my 500 f/4L would tip the boat over when panning
I also do a lot of biking on weekend with the D300/Bigma on a backpack... and after 1/2hr of pedaling you'll certainly feel the weight and this 500mm lens weights less than the 24-70 (not much bigger either)!
-> I've spent extra for a carbon bike and then to offset it with a camera is kind of self-defeating isn't it?


The bottom line is this lens is a lot of fun and contrary to most other 500mm, it's is relatively inexpensive for what it does (and is image stabilized). Other folk may agree too: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re.../sony500.shtml
"But there are some optical gems, such as the superb Zeiss Vario Sonnar 24-70mm f/2.8, the Sonnar 135mm f/1.8, and now the 500mm f/8 Reflex as well."

Last edited by NHL; Sep 16, 2009 at 7:48 AM.
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Old Sep 17, 2009, 7:51 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by NHL View Post
...There's a great incentive for using an APS-C camera in birding because of the crop and Canon does have a great advantage in pricing as their super-teles cost a lot less than Nikon (or Sony)
If you look at used Minolta AF lenses, they're priced competitively. For example, you can find the Minolta 400mm f/4.5 High Speed AF lens for around $3k now (probably less than you'd pay for a used Canon 400mm f/4 DO, and the Minolta weighs less, too). With a 1.4x TC on it, that would bring you out to 560mm with 24MP of resolution to work with. Here's one for sale priced at $2999:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Minolta-400mm-f-...d=p3286.c0.m14

Of course, it was less brand new from Konica Minolta. But, Sony didn't include it in it's new lineup.

You could also use a Bigma on your A900 (again, with 24MP of resolution to work with at 500mm, which means you could still have around 11MP after cropping for an APS-C sensor size). It would also be stabilized on your A900.

Likewise, the Minolta 600mm f/4 High Speed lens isn't priced badly compared to the Canon 600mm f/4. B&H has two of them in stock now. That would give you 24 Megapixels of detail with a lens equivalent to an 840mm f/5.6 if you used a 1.4x TC on it. I sure wouldn't want to lug one around, though. lol

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._f_4_0_n_.html

We'll have to wait and see what Sony has in mind for Super Telephoto lenses (as they really haven't introduced anything in that lens niche yet). They had a mockup of a Sony/Carl Zeiss Super Telephoto lens on display at PMA, but no details have been released yet.

With your A900, you'd be capturing 24MP, leaving room for cropping compared to a lower resolution sensor.
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Old Sep 17, 2009, 3:10 PM   #13
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The DOf in the second shot makes it look almost 3-D!
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Old Sep 17, 2009, 4:11 PM   #14
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...Likewise, the Minolta 600mm f/4 High Speed lens isn't priced badly compared to the Canon 600mm f/4. B&H has two of them in stock now. That would give you 24 Megapixels of detail with a lens equivalent to an 840mm f/5.6 if you used a 1.4x TC on it. I sure wouldn't want to lug one around, though. lol
This is exactly why I picked the 500mm f/4L in the 1st place
(BTW the Nikon's are the lightest in this weight category )

Shooting with a 600mm (or a 400mm f/2.8) automatically requires a tripod (and compulsary gimbal head) which further add to their inconvenience especially when you go overseas, like on my next trip. The 500mm is about the limit one can carry-on as you don't want to be checking in anything - This is quite important if your final stay is not in the same destination city as the local airport because if your luggages do not come out on the same flight you're done for!

-> I stop carrying my 500 f/4L islands hopping mainly because of this and why the smaller Bigma is so convenient... Also in some countries a Tercel is classified as midsize so if you're starting the family trip to the airport with the luggages in an SUV, you're going to have problem fitting @ the other end...
BTW there's also this: anytime you walk around at any vacation resort with a big white lens people will automatically associate you to a 'professional' peeping Tom! (or else you really have to have some thick skin to withstand all the staring and finger pointings)

Last edited by NHL; Sep 17, 2009 at 4:35 PM.
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Old Sep 25, 2009, 5:50 PM   #15
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minolta 500f8

Last edited by bernabeu; Jun 27, 2015 at 4:25 PM.
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