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Old Sep 3, 2006, 5:43 PM   #1
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This forum seems to be helpful and I have looked through the first couple of pages not finding my specific topic.

I have an old Minolta AF 35mm (1994) and two lenses that will work on the Sony Alpha 100 (I tested them). I have a Sigma UC 70-210 and a Minolta 50 1.7 that work and the AF was faster than my old camera. I have a mid range Sigma zoom that refused to work. With the conversion factor and the kit lens I would have a pretty good range. I realize that this is not great glass but I have taken some pretty good pics and portraits with them so I would use them. I also have a 3500 xi flash which I understand won't work.

If I were starting from scratch I would likely get the Pentax K100D, mainly for price point and the availability of good, fair priced glass. I don't think the MP's are that big of a deal for me. I have also handled the Pentax within minutes of the Sony and ergonomically they are on par. This body and lens would save me at least $270.00.

So, any opinions on going for the Pentax over the Sony and would I be able to surpass the Sony and current Minolta glass with the Pentax and extra $300 for lenses?
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Old Sep 3, 2006, 7:19 PM   #2
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Newdoc wrote:
Quote:
I have a mid range Sigma zoom that refused to work.
Sigma reverse engineers the lens mount technology, so sometimes you find a Sigma lens with a compatibility problem (since Sigma apparently missed things in the protocol between the cameras and lenses). This is a rare problem with anyone elses lenses.

Sometimes, Sigma can rechip a lens so that it's compatible (usually at no charge except for return shipping), depending on the lens (some can be updated, and some can't).

Contact Sigma or CHRIS (an authorized Sigma repair center) and give them information about your lens (model, serial number) and they should be able to tell you if it can be updated or not.

From Sigma's web site:

"Sigma Corporation of America
15 Fleetwood Court
Ronkonkoma, NY 11779

To request assistance by phone in the US, our technicians are available from 9AM to 5PM Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday. Please call: (631) 585-1144.

Customer Service Department call toll free (800) 896-6858.

E-mail: [email protected]

For your convenience, your Sigma product may also be serviced at:

Authorized Sigma Service Center:

C.R.I.S.
250 N. 54th Street
Chandler, AZ 85226
e-mail: [email protected]
Tel: 480 940-1103
Fax: 480 940-1329"



Quote:
I also have a 3500 xi flash which I understand won't work.
No, it won't be fully compatible. Older Minolta strobes will only fire at full power. But, if you don't need a dedicated strobe and don't mind using manual exposure, you can get an adapter to give it an ISO standard hotshoe (Minolta FS-1100 or 3rd party equivalent).

I got one for $16 delivered (3rd party adapter) from a vendor in Hong Kong for use on my Maxxum 5D. Then, I got a Sunpak 333 Auto for $25 in 10 condition (as new in box) from the used department at B&H. It's got 3 Auto Aperture Ranges plus manual power settings, tilt, swivel and a manual zoom head. I also bought a smaller Sunpak 222 Auto for $7 from the used department at KEH.com (OK, so I never claimed to be a big spender). lol You just need to make sure that the trigger voltage isn't too high if you go that route and use an older Auto Thyristor type strobe.

Quote:
If I were starting from scratch I would likely get the Pentax K100D, mainly for price point and the availability of good, fair priced glass. I don't think the MP's are that big of a deal for me. I have also handled the Pentax within minutes of the Sony and ergonomically they are on par. This body and lens would save me at least $270.00.
Ironically, when I decided to get my Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D, I looked at lens prices to help make my decision. At the time (before the 5D was shipping), the Minolta lenses were dirt cheap and readily available at most vendors of used gear. It would have cost me more to go with Pentax based on prices I was seeing for lenses I was interested in (and I was looking at Autofocus Lenses).

But, after Sony's acquisition of Minolta, there was a lot of panic buying in the marketplace and Minolta lenses are a bit harder to come by on the used market right this minute and prices have increased significantly compared to a year go.

There are plenty of them out there though. Minolta has manufactured some 16 Million Lenses in Maxxum mount since 1985. Even Canon has only manufactured some 32 Million Lenses in EF mount (and there are a lot more Canon DSLR owners shopping for lenses). It may or may not be a temporary thing, since we'll be seeing a lot of new Sony DSLR owners shopping for lenses now, too. Only time will tell.

Of course, Sony is now manufacturing lenses (most are just rebranded Minolta lenses), and you also have lenses being manufacturered by Sigma, Tokina and Tamron in Maxxum/Alpha mount.

Quote:
So, any opinions on going for the Pentax over the Sony and would I be able to surpass the Sony and current Minolta glass with the Pentax and extra $300 for lenses?
By most accounts the new K100D is a really nice little camera. If I were shopping for a new DSLR, it would be on my "short list" for sure.

It's going to have lower noise compared to the new Sony Alpha also. Whenever you try to increase the resolution of a sensor without increasing it's size, the photosites for each pixel need to be smaller. As a result, they generate a weaker signal, requiring more amplification for equivalent sensitivity to light (which causes more visible noise as ISO speeds are increased).

So, it's a tradeoff. If you plan on shooting a lot at higher ISO speeds (i.e., you need to ISO 1600 often), then the Pentax would probably be a better bet (and it's got ISO speeds up to ISO 3200). It's Sony 6MP sensor is going to have lower noise compared to the Sony 10MP Sensor used in the Sony DSLR-A100.

But, if most of your shots are going to be in better light, and you need to make larger prints, the higher resolution of the 10MP sensor may come in handy. Noise may not be that visible at typical print sizes anyway (and if you downsize a 10MP print to 6MP, it would even out the differences some by averaging values from adjacent pixels to help smooth it out). It's all a matter of the conditions you plan on using one in more often, the purpose of the images, and the viewing/print sizes needed.

Most users don't really need anything over about 3MP, though. I wouldn't get too caught up in the megapixels part unless you plan on making very large prints and need to extract every last bit of detail. To me, the ability to shoot at higher ISO speeds would be more important.

It's too bad you weren't shopping about a week ago. Wal-Mart had the Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D for only $599, including an 18-70mm kit lens. They sold out fast though. Some of our forum members bought spare bodies when they saw it at that price. It's a much nicer body compared to the entry level models around.

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=84

Hopefully, Sony will release a higher end body, too (as a lot of KM owners want something more equivalent to their 7D before they'll upgrade).


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Old Sep 3, 2006, 11:07 PM   #3
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Great reply.

I was watching the 7D on the WM site and missed out when the price dropped. I'm a little sore about that one.

With the extra savings on the Pentax, would I be able to acquire Pentax lenses that would match the kit lens plus the longer zoom and fixed 50 mm Minolta I have?

The longer Sigma zoom works as I have tried it on an Alpha body already.
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