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Old May 20, 2010, 11:49 PM   #31
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The tamron is a bit soft imho especially on the long end, I mounted it on my t1i at the stores a couple of time to see how it is for reference. It is more like the best of the bottom of the barrel. Better then most other options in it's price range.

The ef-s 55-250 is actually a better lens, and is worth the extra 80-90 dollar for a telephoto. Think the sony tele is better then the tamron also at a higher price.

But the macro will give you more magnification over what you have now. And since you are not going after true macro. It should work ok for close up work.
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Old May 21, 2010, 12:06 AM   #32
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Thanks shoturtle. So which Sony telephoto lens are you taking about? If you are talking about this lens , these lens don't have the macro option.
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Old May 21, 2010, 12:30 AM   #33
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It is not a bad lens, think that was the old minolta 75-300. It is a older design for slr camera. It is a ok lens but not great either.

But the problem is finding a decent macro that is also a good telephoto. The tamron 70-300 is a good macro, but not a great telephoto.

The 18-250 form sony is the better zooms, but not macro. The better tele are in the 350-400 dollar range. But none are great macros either.

Sony has a ton of megazooms for it, but not to many telezooms. And will not do 1:2 macro
sony 18-250, 18-200
tamron 28-300
and it seems the new sigma 70-300 DG OS is the only other telezoom besides the song 70-300G.
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Old May 21, 2010, 1:15 AM   #34
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Actually I think with a Alpha

If I had to choose a long zoom, and did not want to pay for a G, the sigma 70-300 DG OS would be my first choice follow by a mega zoom like the tamron 28-300 and the 18-250. But with macro, it is a bit harder choice. the lower price sigma and tamron are okay macro, tamron at 1:2, but really soft on the long end of the zoom.

So if you want both good zoom and macro. The tamron 70-300 would make the better macro at 1:2 but will be soft when zoomed out.
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Old May 21, 2010, 2:40 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nevjac View Post
1) How is the focal length of a lens (say, 70-300 mm) related to the focus distance? Is it a pure geometric relationship or does it have some dependance on the lens-make?
There is no relationship between the minimum focusing distance and the focal length. The focal length is a measure of how wide or narrow the angle of view is. The minimum focusing distance is how close something can be and you can still focus on it. The two have nothing to do with one another.

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2) The Tamron 70-300mm has a minimum focus distance of 37.4 inches for macro. This sounds like a good working distance especially when photographing insects. I checked the minimum focus distance of a Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX macro lens and its 12.3 inches. The telephoto lens has a larger minimum focus distance than the macro lens, so does that mean that the telephoto lens is better in this respect? Or is there some optimum minimum focus distance for macro photography?
The Tamron 70-300 Di LD is the best of the low priced telephoto zooms in its range, plus it does 1:2 macro. The Sigma 105/2.8 is a 1:1 macro lens. It has a closer focusing distance but it also has a wider angle of view. It is an excellent lens, a much more capable lens, but from what you've said, it's out of your price range, unless you go to the used market.

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3) Except for the fact that a macro lens takes pictures with 1:1 magnification, are there any disadvantages with using a telephoto lens for macro photography? I believe the macro lenses are faster and sharper. Is that true?
Yes. Macro lenses (like the Sigma 105/2.8) are a lot sharper than the "Macro" lenses (like the Tamron 70-300 Di LD).

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4) I had close up photography in mind and not necessarily true macro. Not being able to get to the pollen is fine with me although if I can't get a clear shot of the pistils and stamens of a flower, I won't be happy. I've attached a sample image to show how close I can get with my 55-200mm.
The Tamron 70-300 Di LD (1:2 macro) can get closer than your 55-200 (1:3.5 macro).

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5) On a side note, if I get the Tamron 70-300mm, can I eliminate the Sony 55-200mm lens? Or do you think the quality of the Sony lens is superior to the Tamron's and hence I should keep it with me.
The Sony 55-200 is actually made by Tamron. Where their ranges overlap, the 55-200 is slightly better than the 70-300, but keeping both of them might be tedious for you.
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Old May 21, 2010, 2:44 AM   #36
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The ef-s 55-250 is actually a better lens, and is worth the extra 80-90 dollar for a telephoto.
FYI, the ef-s 55-250 shoturtle is talking about is a Canon lens, and can't be used on your Sony A300. I think he was referring to it just to relate his experience with the Tamron 70-300. Yes, the Tamron 70-300 isn't as sharp as the Canon 55-250, but that doesn't expand your options any.
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Old May 21, 2010, 2:48 AM   #37
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Thanks shoturtle. So which Sony telephoto lens are you taking about? If you are talking about this lens , these lens don't have the macro option.
Shoturtle wasn't talking about a Sony lens. The one you linked to is Sony's inexpensive telephoto zoom lens in the same class as the Tamron 70-300 Di LD. It costs more, isn't as good, and only does 1:4 macro as opposed to the 1:2 macro that the Tamron can do.
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Old May 21, 2010, 3:02 AM   #38
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I did clearifide that in an earlier post, and I also stated that the better sony does not do macro if you want a good more reaching lens. And I did list all the long reaching zooms, 3 megazoom and 2 standard long zooms.

I also said out of the megazoom and tele zoom, that none of them are good macro lenses. That the tamron is the better macro, but not a great tele because it is especially soft on the long end.

Sony has a problem. Lens support.
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Old May 21, 2010, 3:03 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
It is not a bad lens, think that was the old minolta 75-300. It is a older design for slr camera. It is a ok lens but not great either.

But the problem is finding a decent macro that is also a good telephoto. The tamron 70-300 is a good macro, but not a great telephoto.

The 18-250 form sony is the better zooms, but not macro. The better tele are in the 350-400 dollar range. But none are great macros either.

Sony has a ton of megazooms for it, but not to many telezooms. And will not do 1:2 macro
sony 18-250, 18-200
tamron 28-300
and it seems the new sigma 70-300 DG OS is the only other telezoom besides the song 70-300G.
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
Actually I think with a Alpha

If I had to choose a long zoom, and did not want to pay for a G, the sigma 70-300 DG OS would be my first choice follow by a mega zoom like the tamron 28-300 and the 18-250. But with macro, it is a bit harder choice. the lower price sigma and tamron are okay macro, tamron at 1:2, but really soft on the long end of the zoom.

So if you want both good zoom and macro. The tamron 70-300 would make the better macro at 1:2 but will be soft when zoomed out.
Except for the Sony 70-300 'G', and possibly the Sigma 70-300 DG OS, none of the lenses shoturtle mentioned are as good as the Tamron 70-300 Di LD where their ranges overlap. That's why it is a very popular lens for any camera. It performs as well or better than any lens in its class at as much as twice the price (with the possible exception of the Sigma 70-300 APO, which is a bad choice for the Sony for other reasons.) I excluded the Sigma 70-300 DG OS because there haven't been any independant tests of this lens yet, so we don't really know how good this lens is.

The Tamron 70-300 Di LD isn't great at anything, but it is a great lens for the money, and it can do 1:2 macro.
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Old May 21, 2010, 3:05 AM   #40
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Also there is not to many sony macro lens options in the sub 400 dollar range either 1 30mm and 2 50mm. But I think that your usual suggestion would be the best, find a good used beer can for the macro part. It is better value. And save for a true long macro.
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