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Old Sep 8, 2010, 3:18 AM   #61
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There is the new Sony 50mm f1.8 and there was the original Minolta 50mm f1.7. Not overly fast focusing but you can get one cheap which will at least allow you to start shooting.

If you could afford the 50-150mm f2.8 then forget the Tamron 70-300 as you would still want the wide angle for some shots, 50mm is way too limiting. You can also add (at a later date) a 1.4x tele converter to the 50-150 to gain some reach.

As I'm quite new to this thread and might have missed a few points, can you please list your key needs. I've so far got portraits and basketball? What else would you want to shoot?
I believe the 50-150 is out of my price range. I think I saw it for around 750.

Besides portraits and basketball: landscapes, buildings, animals at the zoo/seaworld, nature/scenery (flowers, trees, water running over rocks), family gatherings (typically indoors)...I think that covers it. My biggest priority is pictures of my kids, 3 & 10.
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 3:21 AM   #62
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Liveview is important do to vision issue. That is why the sony is at the head of the list.
Yes, it is important. Though my new glasses have helped quite a bit. Over the weekend we went to Seaworld again, I really only used the LCD to check some menu settings.
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 3:23 AM   #63
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Yeah the sigma is around 700 dollars.
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 3:28 AM   #64
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the thing with the canon option is you can get some relatively inexpensive primes to cover the indoor sports with decently fast AF. It is just not an option with the sony.

That is the only reason I suggested the 700 dollars lens. It will cover most of your needs, and if you get the a500 with the kit lens. It actually would make allot of sense. As it has 2.8 so you can get a decent background blur for your portraits. And as mack mention. You can add a 1.4x or even a 2x TC to get great reach down the road.

If it was not for the indoor action. The kit lens and sony 55-200 or the tamron 70-300 would be a decent fit.
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 5:48 AM   #65
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If you can get away with using f/2.8 in the gym, Sony just announced an 85mm f2.8 lens that sells for $250. That might do the trick.
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 6:56 AM   #66
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Yep. I'd look at the new Sony 85mm f/2.8 SAM if an f/2.8 zoom is cost prohibitive. If you shoot at ISO 3200, that should work for typical gym lighting (getting your shutter speeds up to the 1/400 to 1/500 second neighborhood). Some vendors are showing an expected ship date of next week for it:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Mid_range.html
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 1:47 PM   #67
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Okay, let me see if I can get this all summed up and in some perspective, at least from a financial point of few.

My options to consider are:

1. A500 w/kit lens plus the 50-150 ~ 1300
2. A500 w/kit lens plus the Tamron 70-300 and the 85 f/2.8 ~ 970
3. A500 with the Sigma 17-70 and the Tamron 70-300 ~ 990
4. A500 w/kit plus the Tamron 70-300 ~ 709

Other accessories, like flash, spare batteries and memory cards are not included because those costs are the same regardless of the body/lens combination.

So of these 4 options, option 1 would produce the best image quality for indoor basketball and suit my other needs fairly well, but at some point I would need to either invest in a teleconverter or another lens for more reach.

Option 2 would not give the same IQ for indoor action but would include the longer reach with the 70-300 and of course the price difference.

Option 3 might work for basketball, but not nearly as well as option 1 or 2 but would serve all my other needs reasonably well.

Option 4 I take a picture of him in his uniform before/after the game realizing that action shots indoors aren't going to be usable at this price point.

Does that sum it up or did I miss something?

- Shoturtle, I have nothing against a Canon setup. I'd have to go reread my "what camera should I buy thread," but the options for the T1i was still 800-900 for a 2 kit lens, then the additional costs of a faster lens for basketball/indoor action? And from I remember, I give up the tiltable LCD, Live View, auto HDR but gain a faster AF system (I'm sure there is more but I don't remember)?
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 2:43 PM   #68
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I'd also take the AF system into consideration, as it's improved with the newer models (A33, A55, A560, A580), as compared to the A500/A550 models.

As for your options above, using an A500 with an f/2.8 lens is about the minimum you'd want for indoor sports (as you'd need to use ISO 3200 to get your shutter speeds up to around 1/400 second in typical gym lighting with a lens that has f/2.8 available). I don't shoot basketball much, but when I do, I tend to use a Minolta 100mm f/2 AF lens (twice as bright as an f/2.8 lens).

Forget using the Tamron 70-300mm for indoor sports. It's not bright enough for that purpose. Your shutter speeds would be down to around 1/100 second at ISO 3200 if you zoomed in much (since you'd only have f/5.6 available), and you'd end up with lots of blurry photos, even at ISO 3200. Note that f/2.8 is four times as bright as f/5.6, allowing shutter speeds four times as fast for the same lighting and ISO speed. f/5.6 is very dim, and not usable indoors without a flash for non-stationary subjects.

In addition, your Autofocus is going to be very slow with that type of lens, as the AF sensors won't be able to "see" well enough for faster focus using a lens that dim (f/5.6 when zoomed in much) indoors.

1/400 second is "borderline" for stopping action if you're filling the frame much (you'll still see some blur from faster leg/arm/ball movement at shutter speeds that fast), and you'll need f/2.8 and ISO 3200 to achieve 1/400 second or faster in most gym lighting.
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 3:03 PM   #69
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I'd also take the AF system into consideration, as it's improved with the newer models (A33, A55, A560, A580), as compared to the A500/A550 models.

As for your options above, using an A500 with an f/2.8 lens is about the minimum you'd want for indoor sports (as you'd need to use ISO 3200 to get your shutter speeds up to around 1/400 second in typical gym lighting with a lens that has f/2.8 available). I don't shoot basketball much, but when I do, I tend to use a Minolta 100mm f/2 AF lens (twice as bright as an f/2.8 lens).

Forget using the Tamron 70-300mm for indoor sports. It's not bright enough for that purpose. Your shutter speeds would be down to around 1/100 second if you zoomed in much (since you'd only have f/5.6 available), and you'd end up with lots of blurry photos, even at ISO 3200. Note that f/2.8 is four times as bright as f/5.6, allowing shutter speeds four times as fast for the same lighting and ISO speed. f/5.6 is very dim, and not usable indoors without a flash for non-stationary subjects.

In addition, your Autofocus is going to be very slow with that type of lens, as the AF sensors won't be able to "see" well enough for faster focus using a lens that dim (f/5.6 when zoomed in much) indoors.

1/400 second is "borderline" for stopping action if you're filling the frame much (you'll still see some blur from faster leg/arm/ball movement at shutter speeds that fast), and you'll need f/2.8 and ISO 3200 to achieve 1/400 second or faster in most gym lighting.
The 560/580 have been delayed. I'm really not sure about the a33. I'd want to wait on some user reviews. It has the improved AF, but I thought that EVF made it harder to track moving subjects? My husband is also a former Sony employee and likes a wait and see approach on newer technology. I think he'd be against the a33 for right now.

I wasn't planning on using the 70-300 for basketball. It's included in my options lists only to sum up all my options that have been discussed so far. I was just trying to get it all straight so I could figure out which compromise I'm going to have to make.
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 3:18 PM   #70
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Actually, the Sony 85/2.8 is new and no one has tested it yet, and its image quality might be quite good. What it wouldn't have is the convenience of the zoom range the Sigma 50-150 has.

Here's how I see it:

The Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.5 1:2.3 Macro is a lot better than the Sony 18-55/3.5-5.6, but is it worth the extra $300?

The Sigma 50-150/2.8 is more convenient than the Sony 85/2.8, but is it worth the extra $400?

The Tamron 70-300 Di LD goes out as far (maybe a little bit farther) than you were going with your H5, so it's reasonable to assume you'll need to go out that far with the A500. You can use the Sigma 50-150 with a $129 Kenko 1.4X teleconverter without losing much image quality, but that will only get out to 210. A 2X teleconverter will get you there, but you'll lose a lot of image quality unless you get a good one (as in ~$300.) You can go with the Sigma 70-200/2.8 for the basketball ($50 more than the 50-150), and you can put a 1.4X teleconverter and still get good image quality for the long stuff, but the 70-200/2.8 is a lot bigger and heavier, so that's probably out. You need to go long, and the cheapest and simplest way to do that is with the Tamron 70-300 Di LD.

So, I think it comes down to the Sony 85/2.8 vs. the Sigma 50-150/2.8, and the Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.5 vs. the Sony 18-55/3.5-5.6.

If I could make it work, I'd pick the A500 with the Sigma 17-70, the Sony 85, and the Tamron 70-300. If I couldn't, I'd drop the Sigma 17-70 and get the kit lens.
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Last edited by TCav; Sep 8, 2010 at 3:22 PM.
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