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Old Jan 14, 2010, 4:33 PM   #1
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Default 55-200mm V 75-300mm lenses

Hi guys

As some of you might have read from a post a week or so ago, I have stepped up to my first DSLR with the Sony A330.

Still finding my feet really, but I would like to get myself a lens while I have a few spare pennies in my pocket.

I have been looking at the Sony 75-300mm. Its currently on offer with 50 (~$75) cashback from Sony making it only 125 (~$188). There is also the Tamron 70-300mm DI LD which I can get for around 140 (~$210).

Both seem to have generally good reviews which suggest they are good lenses for the price, although both seem to have minor flaws. Ideally I would take my time to do a little more research but I think I need to be quick if I'm to get the cashback offer.

However someone mentioned to me today that I might be better off actually getting a 200mm lens, not 300mm. The Sony DT 55-200mm doesnt have the cashback and would cost around 160 (~$240) - more than the 300mm lens, and the Tamron 18-200mm XR Di II is around the same price.

I know from reading other posts on this forum (I do try and do a bit of reading before posting a new question ) that some of the Sony lenses are rebranded Tamron lenses, so its not so much of which brand (although I'd still like your opinion), more about what size lens. My intention is to buy a lens which I can keep and use over the next 12 months as I learn how to use my camera, I wont be buying another lens until I have a much better understanding of what I'm doing. And most of my photography, particularly using the 200 or 300 lens will be outside. Any suggestions welcome

Thanks

Linus
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Old Jan 14, 2010, 4:47 PM   #2
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I would go with the longer zoom personally. The longer reach helps getting up close with your subject if it is feather away. If Macro photography is something you are interested in, the Tamron 70-300mm has that ability at 1:2 for good for hand held shots, something that the sony does not give you. Giving you the ability to venture into a different aspect of photography.

Last edited by shoturtle; Jan 14, 2010 at 4:53 PM.
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Old Jan 14, 2010, 4:51 PM   #3
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Tamron's 70-300 has a macro switch for close focusing in the 180-300mm range, that lets you get up to a 1:2 magnification ratio. If you are contemplating close up photography, this should be the deal breaker for you. I don't know that the Sony 75-300 is a rebranded Tamron, but the Tamron 75-300 lens is not calibrated for near field work. The only drawback for the 70-300 is that some find it prone to purple fringing in extremely contrasty situations, especially at the long end, although I have not found it a problem under normal conditions, and I have used the lens a lot.
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Old Jan 14, 2010, 5:15 PM   #4
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The Sony 75-300 is pretty bad. The Tamron 70-300 Di LD is much better, though not nearly as good as the Sony 70-300 'G', which is the best lens of its kind.

The Sony 55-200 is good, but optically it's the same as Tamron's 55-200 Di-II LD. The Sony has a built-in autofocus motor, but it costs more and has a shorter warranty.
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Old Jan 14, 2010, 5:22 PM   #5
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I think the sony 70-300mm G is out of the price range the OP is looking at, being 4x more expensive then tamron and other lenses
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Old Jan 14, 2010, 6:07 PM   #6
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Thank you for the replies, much appreciated. And I will have a full read through the linked reviews in the morning TCav. Yes, the 'G' is out of my price range for now, maybe once I'm more confident I can splash out on a better quality lens somewhere down the line. And I'm getting the impression that if a novice with an Alpha330 should have just one lens for the next 6-9 months, a 300mm would be better than a 200mm. Thanks
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Old Jan 14, 2010, 6:54 PM   #7
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I suspected that the 'G' was out of your price range. I was referring to it just to let you know that, while the Tamron 70-300 Di LD is better than the Sony 75-300, it's not a great lens; it's just a great value.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 8:55 AM   #8
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Done quite a bit to reading around today (work is quiet ) and some sites slightly favour the Sony 75-300mm in terms of reviews/scoring, and some slightly favour the Tamron 70-300mm. Clearly both have limitations but seem generally good for the price, and its unlikely I will need to use the lens at full 300mm which is where it seems problems may arise.
Along the way I've also been reading about the Minolta 70-210mm F4 beercan, which I can pick up 2nd hand for about the same price as the Sony 75-300mm. Hmmmmmm
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 8:58 AM   #9
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Linus,

Tcav is a fan of the beercan. It is a good option. And it gives you marco also. But it will not give you the reach of the 300mm lenses.

With the 300mm lenses, most distortion appear about the last 5-8% on the long end. But this is a problem that affects all long zoom.
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 9:20 AM   #10
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Thanks shoturtle. To be honest, the reach isnt the most important factor. I dont think I need 300mm, I'd be happy to start with upto 210mm, but at the moment the Sony 75-300mm is cheaper because of the rebate offer. I'd like a single decent lens, that isnt going to break the bank, and which I can use for the next 12 months or so as I learn to use, and play around with the settings on my first full SLR.
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