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Old Nov 20, 2008, 11:04 AM   #1
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i currently own a sony a-300 with sony lenses 18-55, 55-200 and 18-200 and a dual purpose tamron slr 28-300. imo, the lenses designed for the smaller sensors of digital cameras are better than film lenses.

that said, i am considering upgrading to the a-350 or getting a digital 18-250mm lens as an all around carry lens. i don't see a 28-300 digital lens for this camera. the advantages of either upgrade seem minimal to me so i thought i would ask you guys which you think would be more to my advantage.

i will cross-post to the sony forum.

tia

ellen fl
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Old Nov 20, 2008, 11:39 AM   #2
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As always, the question is:

What is it about your current gear that isn't getting the job done? Sometimes a body upgrade will improve things, more often a lens upgrade (although superzoom lenses are rarely an 'upgrade'), sometimes it's an accessorry upgrade (flash, tripod) and sometimes it's a skillset upgrade (i.e. very often poor results are our own fault and not the fault of the equipment and learning better techniques often gives greater results than a new piece of equipment).
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Old Nov 20, 2008, 11:50 AM   #3
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I would guess that the 55-200 is the best lens you've got, and is the only lens that would do justice to the 14MP A350. "Upgrading" to the 18-250 wouldn't be, except for the range. The 18-250 is marginally better than the 18-200, but if you need more reach, try the the Tamron 70-300 Di LD instead.

Given your current arsenal of lenses, I'd say you wouldn't see much of an improvement going from the A300 to the A350. The camera isn't the limiting factor.
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Old Nov 20, 2008, 12:53 PM   #4
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ok, i didn't give you enough info . . . mostly i'm just in the mood to buy some gear.

that said, i take late afternoon wildlife pics at my neighborhood pond. i am finding too much noise at iso 400 in the a300. partly that is because of serious cropping, hence the desire for more zoom. i am assuming that the increased resolution means that the a350 handles noise better(?)

tcav, you think the sony 55-200 is better than the sony 18-200 AND the tamron 18-250? i DID like the pics i got from the 55-200 but i cannot take pics of birds that are close to me and they often are (i feed them). i will definitely take that lens to wildlife sanctuaries, however.

i got the 28-300 (non-digital) so i could get pics of critters that were close as well as have the reach for birds in the middle of the lake. i am not especially happy with the pics from this lens and i did not find an acceptable digital 28-300.

so far, i have gotten few bif pics because i try not to use iso 400 and above. would turning off dynamic range or noise reduction help? it's hard to know what features i'm better off not having. :roll: so many features, so few brain cells left!

thanks for your advice.

ellen

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Old Nov 20, 2008, 1:55 PM   #5
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Ok, I see two requirements:
  1. You want to shoot subjects that are close to you but also subjects that are far away. You can get the 18-250 for your A300 and that will help, but the best solution is to have two cameras, one with a telephoto zoom and the other with maybe just the kit lens. Getting another A300 or an A350 (body only!) will help there, if you don't mind carrying two dSLRs around.
    Another possible solution could be the Sigma 50-500 f/4-6.3.[/*]
  2. You want to use lower ISO settings, which means you need faster lenses. All the lenses you've got are about as dim as is permissible and still permit autofocus, so even teleconverters are out. You need some fast telephoto lenses, and they're expensive.
[/*]
Unfortunately, I don't see a way to satisfy both requirements simultaneously.
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Old Nov 20, 2008, 1:57 PM   #6
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Ellen,

Your issues are related to your heavy cropping. Cropping is no substitute for focal length. The question becomes how serious you want to be about taking wildlife photos. Especially with birds in flight or smaller birds at rest, 400mm lenses can be too short. Bird photography is not something you're going to do well with 200-250mm lenses - especially not superzoom lenses. You can get shots where the birds are close - you already know that. But a different lens or different camera is NOT going to allow you to crop away 80% of the frame and get a quality image.

And, of course, the problem with many budget telephoto lenses is the quality stinks at full zoom and wide open apertures (and typically you'll be at f5.6 a lot just to get the shutter speeds you need). What that also means is you're not going to be able to use a single lens to shoot up close birds you are feeding and birds at a distance.

So, time to decide how important it is for you to get decent shots of birds.
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