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Old Jan 19, 2010, 12:25 PM   #61
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Thanks for all the responses. Leaving for Hong Kong in 2 weeks or so.. I am currently favouring the Sony Alpha A550 body only with the Sigma AF 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro and the Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro. This should give me more than enough camera for me to play with in Asia. I'll definitely be posting my pictures online!
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Old Jan 31, 2010, 12:37 AM   #62
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I just came across the Sigma AF 17-70mm f/2.8-4.0 DC Macro OS HSM and this matched with the Canon 500D would be the same price as the Sony with the Sigma AF 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro. Now with the "OS" it would be stabilized on the Canon? If so I am back to square one unless that lens is not as good as the 17-70 for the sony.
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Old Jan 31, 2010, 1:43 AM   #63
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The sigma is a very good lens. And yes it will be stabilized on the canon, and since it is HSM, it will be a very fast focusing lens.
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Old Jan 31, 2010, 9:15 AM   #64
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Yes, the 17-70 OS will be stabilized on the Canon. Initial anecdotal reports are that the lens is very good, but no one has published any qualitative tests on it yet.

Much earlier, you expressed an interest in macrophotography. While the non-OS version is a 1:2.3 macro lens, the OS version is only 1:2.7.
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Old Jan 31, 2010, 11:07 AM   #65
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Also - it should be stated that for macro photography, the benfits of ant-shake whether in camera or in lens are greatly reduced. Don't expect either to be a substitute for a good tripod for macro work.
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Old Jan 31, 2010, 11:22 AM   #66
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Certainly, people that have tried 1:1 macro handheld on a stabilized system have been disappointed, but that's not what we're talking about.
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Old Jan 31, 2010, 12:03 PM   #67
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Some people have tried 1:1 handheld and been disappointed, but others, including myself, have had reasonable success. Personally, I find it very useful as much of my macro is either hand-held or using a pole to help stabilize the camera, rarely a tripod. Too often I can't get the camera to the right spot with a tripod to do 1:1. It means taking multiple pictures as the success rate is lower than normal, but at least it's possible.

If you are hand-holding, an external flash helps a lot (and means you aren't as likely to need anti-shake). I prefer using the flash wirelessly off-camera but shoe mounted works well too. Forget using the on-board flash for macro - many macro lenses at 1:1 will be too long and will cast a shadow on your subject.

You will be more successful with a tripod, but hand-held macros can be done reasonably successfully, and anti-shake will help make that possible - at least that's been my experience.
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Old Feb 11, 2010, 10:58 AM   #68
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what would be a bang for you buck tripod? landscape photography is growing on me and i think its time to get a tripod. I would like to spend less than $150 if possible. I usually walk so nothing that weighs a ton.

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Old Feb 11, 2010, 11:40 AM   #69
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Carbon Fiber tripods are very light, but they are also expensive.

What you should look for is a tripod with as few leg sections as possible. Fewer sections means it will be steadier. But that also means it will be bigger when you break it down and carry it around. Tripods are always going to be a compromise. A carbon fiber tripod with 5 section legs will be light and easy to store and carry, but it will take longer to set up and break down, and it won't be as steady as a heavier one or one with fewer leg sections. There are a number of good brands to look at, but the differences between them are minor. Find one you can live with.

Another thing I discovered a little while ago is that a metal one will be difficult to use, break down, and carry when it's cold outside.
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Old Feb 11, 2010, 11:46 AM   #70
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To add on to TCAV's post I would say this - a lot depends on the environment you plan on shooting in. The more you have wind the more you need STABILITY. Even if a tripod/head is capable of supportig the load you'll find that if it isn't stable enough and you've got wind or uneven ground you'll have a lot more minor movement which can damage longer exposures. At the low end of the price range where you're at you're not going to get both "light" and "stable". If your shooting conditions are more stable - more even ground, less wind, etc than you can sacrifice stable a bit. If they're not then I would sacrifice 'light' - remember the primary job is to provide stability - if it can't do that in your conditionsn you've wasted your money.
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