Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Sony Alpha dSLR / Konica Minolta dSLR, Sony SLT

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jun 1, 2012, 12:27 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Toronto, OH
Posts: 5
Default Want to buy 500-1000mm zoom lens

I posted my last question on the wrong forum. I want to buy a 500-1000mm zoom lens for my Sony A230. What features and questions should I look for?
sharla is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jun 1, 2012, 2:51 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,544
Default

The Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 is nice, but it's not available for the Sony mount.

There are some super-telephoto zoom lenses that are less than $500, but they use T-Mount adapters, which means they're manual focus and manual exposure. (They're also well known for the copious amounts of chromatic aberration they produce.)

You will probably be better off with a spotting scope.

What do you want to shoot?
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 1, 2012, 5:25 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Toronto, OH
Posts: 5
Default

A spotting scope? Do they look like the one you use on a rifle? I really am a newbee at this! I live in the country and there are a lot of wildlife photos I want to take.
sharla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 1, 2012, 5:54 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,544
Default

A spotting scope is the optical instrument that hunters use to look for game in open country. You can adapt your camera to a spotting scope, but it will also be manual focus and manual exposure, but it would be optically better than the T-Mount lenses I mentioned.

For typical wildlife photography, most people can work well with lenses with focal lengths of 500mm or less. Have you looked through the Wildlife Photos forum to see what others are using to shoot the kinds of wildlife you're interested in?
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 1, 2012, 7:15 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Toronto, OH
Posts: 5
Default

Thanks!
sharla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 1, 2012, 10:10 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 43
Default Digiscoping

Google "Digiscoping", all kinds of info available.
Furd
Furd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 2, 2012, 5:01 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Marawder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Geneva, SWITZERLAND
Posts: 677
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharla View Post
I posted my last question on the wrong forum. I want to buy a 500-1000mm zoom lens for my Sony A230. What features and questions should I look for?
The Sony 500mm f/4 G lens (SAL500F40G) would be perfect for wildlife shooting on your APS-C sensor!
__________________
Sony α
dSLR-A580
Minolta AF 35-70mm f/4
Sony DT 50mm f/1.8 SAM

Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD
Tamron SP AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di USD XLD

Last edited by Marawder; Jun 2, 2012 at 5:03 AM.
Marawder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 4, 2012, 3:09 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
NewsyL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Vancouver, BC Canada
Posts: 231
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharla View Post
I posted my last question on the wrong forum. I want to buy a 500-1000mm zoom lens for my Sony A230. What features and questions should I look for?
LOL.... yes, the Sony 500mm f4 would be amazing for wildlife shots but hanging the A230 off that $14,000 USD lens, while producing beautiful shots, would not be maximizing the potential of that lens.

With the 1.5 crop factor of the A230 body, a 500mm lens gives you the 35mm film equivalent of 750mm focal length (500mm x 1.5 = 750mm).


I suspect that you may be somewhat $$$ budget limited. What can you afford?


You have a couple of options at the mid point price level. I'll start with a lens I know well - I use a Sigma 50-500 DG APO with my Sony A700. Check out my shots with it here....

http://newsy.smugmug.com/Other/New-Images-Public
http://newsy.smugmug.com/Animals

They are ALL post processed in some way, mostly from RAW originals.

...................................


The new Sigma 50-500 HSM will cost you $1600 USD.

A Sigma 150-500 HSM will cost about $1000 USD.

So.... do you need the short end (50 to 150mm) for wildlife shots? Probably not. I went with the 50-500 because at the time it had better image quality than the 150-500 model of that period (3 years ago) and I wanted the 50 to 150 mm range for soccer shots from field side.

The current 150-500 is quite highly rated on Dyxum, a great resource site for Sony/Minolta shooters.

http://www.dyxum.com/index.asp

http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/Sigma-15...S_lens569.html

http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/Sigma-50...M_lens585.html

...................................

There is also the Tamron 200-500. IMHO, this model is slightly sharper than my Sigma 50-500. It is also a lot lighter than the Sigma's. And it is a great price at about $870 USD atm.

http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/Tamron-S...F_lens116.html

...................................


You can also use a 1.4x teleconverter with these lens to extend their reach. I know very little about these devices other than that you will give up a bit of sharpness and an f stop or two of aperture, and with certain models you may lose auto focus. So you will need lots of light to shoot with a TC in line with your primary lens.

With a 1.4 TC and 500mm on your A230 you will end up having a lens with about a 35mm focal length equivalent of 1050mm.

http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/teleconverters.asp

...................................


Optionally, if budget limited, you should consider the Tamron 70-300mm. Many users state it is close to the Sony 70-300G in image quality for about half the price (about $450 USD)

http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/Tamron-S...D_lens595.html

This would give you a 35mm equivalent focal length of 450mm.

Then add a 1.4x teleconverter to get to 630mm.

...................................


Frankly, I think the Tamron 200-500 is your best budget wildlife lens. Once you've had 500mm (x 1.5=750mm) there is no going back.

PS.... you can visit Flickr and see images from these lens to give you an idea of what they are capable of of. It's a good way to check out the sharpness and the "bokeh" of a lens at it's widest aperture (i.e. f4 to f6.3 for my Sigma)

for example: the Tamron 200-500 on Flickr

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=tamron+200-500&s=int

.

Last edited by NewsyL; Jun 4, 2012 at 4:03 PM.
NewsyL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 7, 2012, 7:52 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Streets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Euless, Tx.
Posts: 933
Default

If you are looking for a 1000mm lens you might look for an LZOS 1000mm F10 reflex (Cassagrain) lens. It uses the Pentax M42 screwmount which is easilly adapted to your Sony A230 for about $8.00. I paid $120.00 for mine and it outperforms anyhing else out there. New ones are also available from Russia. The attached photo was taken from 53 feet away with my Sony A200. It is a line fuse for a home electric delivery transformer. The original image was cropped by half and further resized to conform to this forums restraints. It was taken under overcast sky at 6:45 PM. ISO was 100 and shutter was around 1/100th. Manual focus of course and tripod employed.
Attached Images
 
__________________
Sony A57 with 18-55 kit lens, Sony A200 and Sony H70
50mm f3.5 Minolta Maxxum macro
24mm f2.8 Minolta Maxxum
100-300mm Minolta Maxxum APO Zoom
70-300 Sony apo G SSM Zoom
Streets is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 8, 2012, 11:57 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
NewsyL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Vancouver, BC Canada
Posts: 231
Default

Further to Streets post above... here's another post of his showing the set-up and some very impressive moon shots.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/di...ing-setup.html

.
NewsyL is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:38 PM.