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Old Sep 24, 2005, 2:34 PM   #11
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Well, keep in mind that I don't even own a 5D or 7D (yet). So, take my opinion with a grain of salt. I have spent a lot of time comparing features and images from these models, though (and I have taken the opportunity to use a 7D). I'd suggest doing the same thing yourself.

I'd encourage you to "test drive" cameras in a store to make sure you're comfortable with one (ergonomics, control layout, viewfinder, menus, etc.). I'd also compare images from them taken in similar conditions. Let your eyes be the judge of how well a camera performs.

Also, I'm a bit perturbed at Nikon right now anyway. They're encrypting the metadata related to White Balance in some newer models (D2X, D50, D2HS). So, I've decided to place Nikon on my "avoid" list for personal purchases, based on principal alone (even though I already own some Nikon gear, including some Nikkor lenses).

Most users probably wouldn't care much about this issue (as there are some workarounds, and even Adobe has worked out a solution with Nikon for decrypting the data in it's next release).

But, even without the encryption issue, I'd probably still lean towards a KM, if I were buying a camera from scratch without any lens investment (because I like to take photos in low light and antishake would have it's benefits in those conditions).

The 50mm f/1.7 that came with the Maxxum 7000 I bought on Ebay should work just fine with the 5D. Many users bought Maxxum models with this lens as it's "kit" lens.

Any Minolta lens you see that's being sold as AF, Autofocus, Maxxum or Dynax should work (all Maxxum/Dynax cameras use the same Autofocus lens mount).

KM does make more than one version of many lenses, though. Newer lenses are ADI (Advanced Distance Integration) compatible. You'll see these marked with a (D) suffice in the description.

ADI compatible lenses give more precise focus distance information to the camera that it can use for flash exposure purposes. But, I've yet to see any tests showing that flash exposure is actually better with an ADI compatible lens. So, I don't know if that really makes a difference or not.

As for a zoom lens, there are many available. I'd suggest following some of the lens links on this page to get a better idea of what's available. The mkohner link you see will also contain photos of Minolta AF lenses (so you can tell the difference between the newer style and older style lenses).

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

A lot would depend on how much size, weight and cost you're willing to tolerate to get the desired focal range/brightness/focus speed/quality in a zoom.

For example, the Minolta 70-200mm f/2.8 APO G SSM (D) Autofocus Lens would probably be super for sports. But, it's large, heavy and expensive (around $1,800.00 discounted when you can find one).

Sigma's 70-200mm f/2.8 EX is another popular choice (around $850 discounted new).

Zoom lenses in this range that are not this bright are going to be lower cost (as well as smaller and lighter).

There are lots of them from Minolta, Tamron, Sigma, Tokina and others.

I'd ask around on the KM DSLR forum for what others are using for sports (although we don't have a lot of KM DSLR owners here yet, since KM was "late to the party" entering this market niche compared to Canon, Nikon, etc.).

Another good source for feedback on lenses is http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html

Scroll down to where you see the "User Performance Surveys". Then, select Minolta AF lenses. This menu choice will take you to a page where you can query the database. Just leave everything at the defaults at press Start Query button to see all lenses with user ratings (you'll see things like optical performance wide open and stopped down, flare resistance, AF speed, distortion, etc., graded). 3rd party lenses will also be included in the list if you use the defaults.

I'd also make sure to try out lenses you consider in a store to make sure you're comfortable with their design (size, weight, construction quality, layout/design for AF, zoom ring, etc.).

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Old Sep 24, 2005, 3:19 PM   #12
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Thanks, Jim. I will take all this into consideration before I make my purchase. I live about a mile from a local camera store and I know they are sick of me coming in there and asking to look at the cameras. Plus they work on commission and taking time for a browser with fiddy million questions isn't exactly making them any money. You've answered some of my questions that the sales people were unsure about.

The zoom lens is not something I'd need for indoor sports, so I won't need to goas bright as f/2.8. Plus I amon a smaller budget at this point in the game. I just want something good forportrait or just all around. I may just look for something comparable to the zoom that comes in the Nikon D50 2 lens kit: a 55-200mm f/4-5.6 or something like that.
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Old Sep 24, 2005, 3:47 PM   #13
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If you shop around the used market, you'll see lots of zooms in the 70-200mm range for under $100.00.

Check out your local Pawn shops, too (an often ignored source of inexpensive lenses).

My favorite online vendors for used lenses are these:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com(very reputable vendor).

http://www.keh.com(a great source located in Atlanta). Note that they tend to be conservative with their ratings, too. For example, I recently bought a Tamron 35-105mm f/2.8 from them that arrived in like new condition (even though it was sold as being in "Bargain" condition). YMMV.

http://www.adorama.com(not as conservative with ratings but a good used lens selection).

and of course

http://www.ebay.com

Again, check out the lenses carefully (in person if possible). You want to make sure you're comfortable with their size, weight, construction, etc. I'd also pay attention to things like closest focus distance so that you don't find out later that a lens you want to use in close quarters has a 6 foot minimum focus distance. ;-) Things like filter size, if the front filter rotates or not, etc., also come into play when shopping.

And, check out user ratings for them as well as asking about how users like them in the forums.


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Old Oct 5, 2005, 10:23 PM   #14
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Jim, all....

Thanks again for all the advice. I finally took the plunge and purchased the KM 5D this week. The price was so good at Circuit City I just had to get it now. I'm combing ebay now for lenses and I've already found a couple of the ones you recommended: 50mm 1.4 and 70-210mm 4. Still looking for a good macro lens, such as a 100mm 2.8 or 50mm 2.8.

At this point I am just messing around with it, learning the different settings. My dog makes a good model. As soon as I get some good stots off, I'll post . Right now, I just want to get the hang of the thing before we see the leaves turn for fall and I try to capture some the Ohio Autumn.
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