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Old Dec 2, 2009, 11:55 AM   #1
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Default Best walkabout lens or lens combinations?

I'm sure there are numerous posts on this issue already but with a number of new lenses coming out I thought I would ask the question again. I have a Tamron 18-250mm and this has served as my "all-round walkabout lens" to-date, but, I confess I am wanting something sharper - it is just a little too soft on the edges - especially at wide apertures and at the end of the zoom range. My inclination is to go with two lenses; a 16-105mm and if I can pick up a used bargain - a 70-300mm G which I know I like. Foolishly, I had a G that came with a used kit I bought but I sold it .... arrghhh! I am curious though about what Sigma, Tamron and others in particular have to compete with these lenses and if I could get something equivalent (or better) for less money since price is a factor. Let me know what you think and what you are happy with - especially regarding the Sigma/Tamron/other possibilities in the 16mm to ???mm zooms. Cheers!
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Old Dec 2, 2009, 1:04 PM   #2
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You're not going to find any third party lenses with the focal range from wide to long you'd get with the 16-105mm if you want a lens starting out that wide. Now, it's not the highest quality lens around if you look at reviews. But, it seems to be very well liked by users with very fast Autofocus. Another choice starting out at 16mm would be the Sony/Carl Zeiss 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5. If you don't need 16mm (or need something with as much focal range from wide to long), there are more choices.

As for the Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G SSM, it's got the highest quality of any lens in it's class. If you want to do any better, I'd probably look at the Sigma 100-300mm f/4 (which is a brighter lens, but it doesn't start out as wide). Of course, because it's brighter, it's also larger and heavier. But, it's selling for around $1199 right now at B&H (and it appears that most dealers have increased the price to a bit over $1300 now, probably due to exchange rate changes). The Sony is selling for around $849 now.

In a budget 70-300mm, I'd look at the Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro (it's under $200 right now). But, it's going to be a bit softer on it's longer end, and slower to focus compared to the Sony G lens or the Sigma 100-300mm.

You may also want to look at something like a used Minolta 100-400mm f/4.5-6.7 APO. Most users seem to rate it very highly through 300mm (although like most lenses, it gets a tad softer at it's longest focal length). You can usually find them for under $600 in EX condition with hood and caps. But, I'd make sure you're comfortable with the minimum focus distance on that type of lens. Here's one example:

http://www.keh.com/Product-Details/1...R/MA07/FE.aspx
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Old Dec 2, 2009, 6:40 PM   #3
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The Sony 70-300 'G' and the Sony/Zeiss 16-80 that JimC mentioned are the best lenses of their kind, and would be a substantial improvement over what you've got now. And since you can get a good, albeit used, copy of the 'G', that makes it even more tempting.

And if the 'G' is still too much, the Minolta 100-300 APO and Minolta 75-300 Macro 'Big Beercan' are less expensive alternatives, as well as the Tamron 70-300 Di LD that JimC also mentioned.

But an alternative that JimC didn't mention that I'd like to introduce to this topic is the Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.5. It's almost as good as the Zeiss and a lot less expensive.
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Old Dec 2, 2009, 7:08 PM   #4
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As mentioned the 16-105 seems to be the best lens for the money. Read this.

http://www.kurtmunger.com/sony_dt_16...viewid220.html

His observations are that the 16-105 almost equals the Ziess in some ways.

As for the G lenses. I've used both the 70-300 and 7-400 Gs. And I can definitely say the 70-400G is a far better lens from what I experienced. It wasn't even close.
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Old Dec 3, 2009, 12:00 PM   #5
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Sony 16-105mm f/3.5-5.6 DT SAL-16105 (Tested)

Sony 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 DT Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* SAL-1680Z (Tested)

Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro (Tested)
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Old Dec 3, 2009, 7:06 PM   #6
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Haven't tried all the recommended, but one more vote for the 16-105 I own.
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Old Dec 10, 2009, 12:27 PM   #7
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I have the same quest for a decent lenses combination without breaking my bank for this hobby. After I go through several posts in this forum as well as reviews on the dyxum site, I do a quick test myself with all the lenses I accumulated and here is what my combination:

1. All purpose: Tamron 28-300 (First generation in the Maxxum era, metal mounted, lock ring, 72mm filter size)

2. Lanscape/Portrai/Low Light: Minolta AF 24mm, 2.8 and 50mm 1.7 and Kenko 2X teleconverter backmount plus Olympus A-200 1.5X front mount if neeed

Sold: Minolta 28-85 mm (probably a good portrait but I have the tamron , Sony 18-55mm (new version, suppose to be fast and sharp but not really from my tests)


Some details from my test

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=NRYWCADX

cheer ...
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