Off to Hong Kong in a week - what lenses to purchase?

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Off to Hong Kong in a week - what lenses to purchase?

Postby mic291 on Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:12 am

Hi everyone

I am off to Hong Kong in a week and I am close to eBaying my near new Sony 18-250mm lens which is really a Tamron and buying new kit.

The lens that I REALLY have my eye on is the Sigma APO 50-150mm F2.8 II

I have a f/1.4 50mm lens and I was thinking of maybe having the 17-50mm Tamron 2.8 which should be under $300 and getting the 50-150 2.8 for about $650. The 50-150 seems like a great versatile lens at a reasonable cost.

I was starting to like having a long focal length with the 18-250 but it seems to be a pile o crap....

What do people think? Any other suggestions?

Cheers
Mike
--------------------------------------------------
Sony DSLR A850
Sony 50mm f/1.2 lens
Carl Zeiss f2.4 24mm - 70mm
Tamron 70 - 300mm f/4 - f/5.3
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Re: Off to Hong Kong in a week - what lenses to purchase?

Postby Geoff on Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:03 am

Hi Mike,
The question you need to really ask yourself is 'what sort of photography do I want to do?'. Have a good think about this and then work out what focal length would be suitable. The 50-150 2.8 sounds good, fast too but I don't know much about it. It seems like you've answered your own question in your post though :)
Geoff
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Re: Off to Hong Kong in a week - what lenses to purchase?

Postby mic291 on Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:00 am

Hi Geoff

Yes - very good point and I am going around in circles trying to work this out....

I purchased the 18-250mm thinking it was a lightweight extremely versatile lens and I cant say the quality is that great. I did find it slow and as the day gets on it struggles so a 2.8 is a definate.

I would like a fast lens for some sports type photography, however some length is important for me so the 50-150 sounds great and the reviews I read are supurb. The concern is whether to get maybe a 70-300mm f4-f5.6 Tamron for the longer lengths given the reviews I have seen talk about it being f4 through most of the length and only crossing f5 in the last few mm. Its less that $200 in Hong Kong !!

The wide lens, I have no idea what to do.......

So as you can see, I am no closer to a decision :shock:

To be honest I have only recently started to get really into photography and have been doing some courses at the ACP and will do some of the more advanced courses such as landscapes and portrature which interest me.

Mike
--------------------------------------------------
Sony DSLR A850
Sony 50mm f/1.2 lens
Carl Zeiss f2.4 24mm - 70mm
Tamron 70 - 300mm f/4 - f/5.3
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Re: Off to Hong Kong in a week - what lenses to purchase?

Postby Glen on Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:31 am

Mike,

Geoff's advice is good about deciding what you want to do and you sound like you have a good idea.

Speaking in generalities here, most 18-250 lenses are huge compromises, it is really impossible to expect a Ferrari to go fast, look good and carry 2 adults, 3 kids and 2 pushbikes :D

I think you have bought a great lens in the 50mm 1.4. I think buying a good lens or two is great as it gives you confidence in your kit. I would not feel the need to run out and buy every focal length now, because as you use the camera more your needs may change. Also some of the lenses mentioned like the 70-300 (which can give good results under the right conditions) are regarded as entry level consumer lenses so you may find yourself with more of the same. The 70-300 lens in more common mounts (Canon, Nikon) regularly sell for $100 when people upgrade. HK is very close to here and has a low cost mailing system, don't feel this is your last chance for a bargain.

I would suggest you buy one or two reasonable quality lenses (as you seem to be moving towards a higher quality lens), use them for a while, then decide what your kit is lacking, if anything. The Tamron 17-50 2.8 is decently regarded and so is the Sigma 50-150 2.8 and I think both would be a good start. I would have thought you would pay more like A$400 for the Tamron but you will be able to tell us soon. Those two lenses would give you pretty decent coverage from a wide to a small telephoto, all at 2.8. I would can the 70-300 lens as saving $100 off a $300 lens could still leave you with a $200 lens you don't like.

I would check reviews before you go, not that many places specialise in reviewing Sony lenses, somewhere like http://www.photozone.de does and you can always check the same lens in other mounts as a very rough guide. Other review sites are listed here: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=2888 Those are mainly Nikon based but some have other lenses.

Good luck in your choices.
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Re: Off to Hong Kong in a week - what lenses to purchase?

Postby mic291 on Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:31 pm

Hi everyone

Well I am over here in Hong Kong and took a trip out to Mongkok last night to hit the camera stores.

I decided on the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens as it seems to have better reviews than the Sigma and it is built in Japan. After a little bit of bargaining I was able to get this for AUD$360 on my Visa, so if it does have any faults I dont need to try and haggle with international warranties. Starting taking a few shots last night and I am very happy so far and think that this lens may spend a lot of time on the A700 !!

I didnt have any luck finding the Sigma 50-150mm f2.8 that I was keen to purchase with a Sony mount. Seems to be a popular lens though with every store carrying heaps for Nikon and Canon and costs about $600. Having a look at the lens, I am not sure if the focal length is long enough, I have to decide as I can order the Sony mount and get it before I go.

Seems as though the prices have come down somewhat, except for that Sony / Carl Zeiss 70-200 f2.8 that costs about $2300 !!!!
Cheers
Mike
--------------------------------------------------
Sony DSLR A850
Sony 50mm f/1.2 lens
Carl Zeiss f2.4 24mm - 70mm
Tamron 70 - 300mm f/4 - f/5.3
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Re: Off to Hong Kong in a week - what lenses to purchase?

Postby Glen on Wed Apr 09, 2008 6:05 pm

Mike, great price on the 17-50 but the 70-200 price is enough to surprise anyone
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Re: Off to Hong Kong in a week - what lenses to purchase?

Postby mic291 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:38 am

Your not wrong Glen!! Looks like a nice lens, but WAYYYYY over the top pricing.......

So I just acquired another lens, I couldnt help myself.

I wasnt sure about the Sigma 50 - 150mm f/2.8 and they didnt have any in stock anyway so I wanted to get something long to replace my Sony 18-250 piece o crap. After reading some reviews I purchased a Tamron 70-300mm f/4 - f/5.3 for AUD$180. Several reviews I have read and pictures look very nice, its not the fastest, but stays under f/4.5 pretty much to about 250mm and it will be good for some holiday travel I have coming up along with the 17-50mm f/2.8.


I thought about buying a D300 tonight.....Given the price I paid for my Sony A700 in the states recently, I thought about eBay and buying a D300 tonight. Street price before any discussion was AUD$1700 including a standard kit lens, bag and 4GB mem card. I assume thats pretty good!

Took a few uncreative pics with the 17-50 on the way back from the shops on a very flimsy tripod I borrowed, was windy and I had to try and make sure the camera never fell over so not as clear as I would like buy I am very happy with the lens anyway !!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mic291/2403746324


http://www.flickr.com/photos/mic291/240 ... 4472660909

Cheers
Mike
--------------------------------------------------
Sony DSLR A850
Sony 50mm f/1.2 lens
Carl Zeiss f2.4 24mm - 70mm
Tamron 70 - 300mm f/4 - f/5.3
mic291
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Re: Off to Hong Kong in a week - what lenses to purchase?

Postby Glen on Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:24 am

Mike, nice shot of the harbour. Your post brings up an interesting question, I wonder if the total cost of ownership is higher with a new brand like Sony compared to one of the big two?
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Re: Off to Hong Kong in a week - what lenses to purchase?

Postby mic291 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:21 am

Thanks Glen

You bring up a great point and depending on where you buy the camera, it maybe better to stick with the name brands.

If you are buying Sigma or Tamron lenses, whilst a pain in the butt to source, the price is the same. In some countries the A700 is slightly cheaper than the D300 and in other countries like Australia, you pay a silly price for the Sony.

I purchased my Sony in the US so for me I have paid not far off half the cost from rrp in Sydney.

Mike
--------------------------------------------------
Sony DSLR A850
Sony 50mm f/1.2 lens
Carl Zeiss f2.4 24mm - 70mm
Tamron 70 - 300mm f/4 - f/5.3
mic291
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:07 am
Location: Sydney - Cammeray


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