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Old Dec 29, 2011, 1:26 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the replies. Now I have even more research to do, but it looks like I should be going for good glass first over the camera body. Also thanks for the lens recommendations. That part should be easy now. The hard part will be matching a body to it.
Go to a good camera store and try them out. Except for the Canon, all the ones mentioned here use the same Sony 16MP sensor, so there won't be much difference in image quality. The biggest difference will be how they feel to you.
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Old Dec 29, 2011, 1:28 PM   #12
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Just to confuse you, since it sounds like you're shooting mostly landscapes, you can get the new Sony A65 now for around $899 now. It's got the highest resolution APS-C size sensor on the market (24 Megapixels), as does the A77 (which has the same sensor). The A77 and A65 have been hard to come by for a while, but it looks like Sonystyle.com has them back in stock now:

http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/sto...specifications

It's not quite as good as the Sony 16MP Sensor once you get above ISO 1600. But, it sounds like you're more interested in landscapes, and if you want the most detail possible for larger prints, the new 24MP sensor does have the ability to capture a lot of detail (assuming you're using good glass with it, as a higher resolution sensor like that is going to place more demands on the lens quality needed to get the most out of it).

For example, I noticed that popphoto.com tested the A77 (which has the same 24MP Sensor as the A65) and measured it's resolution at 2770 picture lines per height at lower ISO speeds, and it was still able to capture 2620 lines at ISO 1600 (which is slightly more than the 18MP sensor in the Canon 7D was able to capture at it's lowest ISO speed settings).

http://www.popphoto.com/gear/2011/09...ng-aps-c-dslrs

Also see some of the comments Dave Etchells and crew made about larger prints from the A77 over at imaging-resource.com (scroll down the bottom of the page and you'll see comments about different print sizes at different iso speeds):

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/AA77/AA77A.HTM

So, if you're looking for something that lets you get the most detail possible from landscapes at larger print sizes, you may also want to look at the A65 (which has the same 24 Megapixel Sensor as the A77, but would be more within budget for you). The A65 and A77 also have some neat features if you're looking for night landscapes like the hand held twilight mode (able to take and stack 6 images in a fraction of a second to give you a final image with lower noise levels, automatically aligning them for you to reduce the need for a tripod). Note that the the A580 also has that feature.
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Old Dec 29, 2011, 3:23 PM   #13
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Another feature of Sony's offerings that may interest you, is their Sweep Panorama Mode:
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Capture expansive landscapes automatically. Press the shutter and sweep vertically or horizontally. The camera does the rest, continuously shooting images and stitching them together.
From the Features tab of SonyStyle.com's A35 webpage.
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Old Dec 29, 2011, 3:29 PM   #14
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Ok, I've done some more research and you guys may have swayed me away from both the canon and nikon.

I think I might have narrowed it down to the Sony A580 paired with the Tonika 11-16 f2.8 or the Pentax K-5 with the Tamron 17-50 f2.8.

The cameras seem pretty well paired, the Tonika glass looks like it might have the edge against the Tamron. Thoughts?
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Old Dec 29, 2011, 3:45 PM   #15
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Well,
You're really comparing apples to oranges from my perspective.
The 11-16mm Tokina is a wide angle lens while the Tamron 17-50mm is a medium zoom.

Your 14-45 Olympus lens was effectively a 28-90 mm lens. The Tamron compares favorably with that lens as the 17-50mm is effectively a 26-75mm in full frame format.

The Tokina meanwhile provides a much wider angle of view in full frame terms
it is roughly 17mm to around 25mm.

The Tokina will allow you to take in a much wider angle of view for landscapes while the Tamron will pretty much provide and angle of view similar to what you have. The main difference being it's a much faster lens for low light applications.

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Old Dec 29, 2011, 3:55 PM   #16
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How wide do you really want to go?

To get an idea of the angle of view, multiple the focal length of a lens on a camera using a Sony APS-C size sensor (like the Sony A580, Pentax K-5, Nikon D5100 or D7000) by 1.5x.

For example, a 16-50mm f/2.8 lens on one of the cameras you're looking at would give you the same angle of view as a 24-75mm lens on a 35mm camera.

So, that's going to start out with a wider angle of view than the lens you have on your Olympus (as it's 14mm starting point would would have the same angle of view as a 28mm lens on a 35mm camera, because your Olympus has a smaller sensor in it).

If it were me (and my use for a camera may be different than yours) and I had a $1500 budget with no other lenses to start out with, I'd probably go with a Sony 16-50mm f/2.8 SSM DT lens with the A580 when looking kits for the A580, bringing the cost in at just under budget ($749 for the A580 body + $699 for the Sony 16-50mm f/2.8 DT SSM lens).

That would give you a very high quality lens with the same angle of view you'd have using a 24-75mm lens on a 35mm camera, with a brighter f/2.8 aperture and very fast AF speed, thanks to the SSM motor in that Sony lens.

But, the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 that TCav mentioned is also a very nice lens at a lower price point, leaving you money left over for other purposes. For example, buy a nice Sony HVL-F42AM flash to go with that kind of kit, and you'll be all set for family gatherings and similar indoor events, too.

Personally, I wouldn't consider an 11-16mm lens to have a focal range I'd use often, unless I also had another lens or two to use with it. But, I don't take many landscape photos either.
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Old Dec 29, 2011, 4:21 PM   #17
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Hey guys, I'm well aware of the the focal lengths and the conversion to full frame on the two lenses and my olympus lens. How wide is wide enough is the question, I know. Currently with my olympus, I rarely shoot with anything more than 14mm on my kit lens. I have the 40-150 as well and it is hardly ever on the camera. Sometimes I wish I had a wider lens yet, but I'm not sure how wide I really need. I also understand that a 16mm or 17mm on the APS-C sensor would already be wider than what I have. The reason I was thinking the 11-16 is because I really want to get into the night photography seriously, and I would think, the wider the better to get a good foreground and lots of sky. Also people seem to be getting good starry sky results with the tonika. Also I just moved to the city an eventually might want to expand my horizons to architectural photog, also needing the wide angle. Most of my daytime landscape shots are wide open mountain scenery and such, and the 16mm or 17mm would be wide enough, but I'm not sure going wider would hurt anything as long as there isnt too much distortion. All that being said, I basically was just wondering what you think about the image quality of the tonika at it's widest compared to the tamron at its widest. I'm open to other lenses as well, but they seem like the most bang for the buck in f2.8 range. Also any opinions of one camera over the other. And lastly, the $1500 is just a starting budget. I can live with out a zoom for a while and pick something up later in the year.
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Old Dec 29, 2011, 5:13 PM   #18
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I'm a landscape guy, no way I'd walk away from Canon color and metering. Anyways, I have put up a gallery of different focal lengths. Of course my Canon has a crop factor of 1.6, so the cameras you are considering would be a tiny bit wider.

http://kellycook.zenfolio.com/fieldsofview

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Old Dec 29, 2011, 6:56 PM   #19
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The Tokina 11-16/2.8 has a lot of CA and is prone to flare, but otherwise, it's a very nice lens. The unstabilized Tamron 17-50/2.8 is also a very good lens. Both will work well on either the Pentax K-5 or the Sony A580. But with Sony's Sweep Panorama feature, you could probably do without the 11-16/2.8.

BTW, a nice alternative to the Tokina 11-16/2.8 is the Sigma 10-20/3.5. It's about as good as the Tokina in most respects, but it has a broader zoom range and it has less CA.

Also btw, if you just moved to a city, light pollution may keep you from getting a lot of stars in your skies.
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Old Dec 29, 2011, 7:06 PM   #20
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Also btw, if you just moved to a city, light pollution may keep you from getting a lot of stars in your skies.
Thanks for the suggestions. I'm leaning toward the sony for the lower price, leaves more $$ for glass, but I'm still not a 100% on what glass to get. I'll be doing some more research on that.

I do like the 10-20 Sigma, but I'd like to get the f2.8 for night time.

As far as the light pollution goes, it shouldn't be a problem. I'm in Salt Lake which is super easy to get out of and a whole lot of Utah has miles of unoccupied land. Not to mention I have a lot of time off...

Last edited by hoffam19; Dec 29, 2011 at 7:09 PM.
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