Rationalising my lenses

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Alan Shaw
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Rationalising my lenses

Unread postby Alan Shaw » Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:49 am

Hi all,
I’m going to inflict some of my thinking about rationalising my lens collection, and would welcome any comments and experiences anyone might have.

Firstly, as I described in my welcome post, I have recently moved from a Minolta 600si to a Dynax 7D, which I purchased body-only. For most of my AF “career” I've relied on a 28mm f2.8, 50mm f1.7 and the 70-210 f4 beercan. More recently, with a growing interest in very wide angle work, I picked up a Tokina 19-35, which I found myself using more and more.

Now I have the 7D, I am considering my options mainly to get back some of the very wide angle capacity I have lost with the change, and, since I’m doing that to rationalise the number of lenses by at least one and possibly to fill in some of the gaps I currently have into the bargain. Needless to say, budget is very much a significant criterion!

I figure that I will keep the beercan as I see no reason to change that lens. With that in mind, as far as I can tell, there is really no way that I can cover the range from very wide to around 70mm in a single lens. However, I could do so if I was prepared to accept say 16mm or 17mm as my widest lens.

I seem to have two major choices:
1. sell all my shorter lenses and replace with either the Sony 16-80 or 16-105
2. sell all my shorter lenses and replace with something like the Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 or the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 XR Di and at a later date consider a very wide zoom.

At this stage I’m tending more to the second choice. I doubt I can justify the 16-80 and, although the eventual two lens option would get me close to the same price, I end up with faster lenses and a larger overall range of focal lengths available to me. Both the Sigma and the Tamron seem to have impressive quality on paper, although I have read about some suspected quality control issues with the Sigma.

In relation to Sony, I’m a bit concerned about the reported corner softness of the Sony 16-105, which in any event seems rather hard to find in Australia. It isn't even listed on the Sony site! Another possibility is the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro which fills in the gaps better, although the reviews are a little guarded about how much quality you actually get for the price.

So here’s my thinking at the moment – sell all my existing shorter lenses and replace with either the Sigma or Tamron 17/18–50 lens for now, with a subsequent wider purchase later. The Tokina 16-50 looks an interesting lens too, but sadly it’s not available for the Sony mount. Yes, I know I have a gap between 50 and 70, but then I have got used to that anyway!

I guess I could also just keep everything I already have and get rid of the 28, and replace it with a very wide zoom at some stage. That is obviously the cheapest option but I’m not sure the 19-35 range of my existing Tokina is sufficient and I do like the idea of a faster lens.

So, how is my thinking? Does anyone have any suggestions or observations about where I might be heading in the wrong direction? One thing I don’t know of course from my reading is how these lenses compare with my existing set up. I’d appreciate any comments on that score too, although I assume that for all intents and purposes that won’t be the issue it may have been a decade ago.

Thanks in advance!

Alan
Brisbane, Australia
Alan Shaw
Brisbane, Australia
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01af
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Re: Rationalising my lenses

Unread postby 01af » Mon Aug 11, 2008 12:49 pm

Alan,

if you like your Tokina 19-35 mm on the Dynax 600si then you won't be happy with a lens starting at 16, 17, or 18 mm on the Dynax 7D. 18 mm on 7D corresponds to 28 mm on 600si; 16 mm on 7D corresponds to 24 mm on 600si.

My advice is---keep the lenses that you currently have and get a super-wide-angle lens for APS-C format! I'd suggest a Tamron/Konica-Minolta/Sony DT 11-18 mm or a Sigma 10-20 mm EX DC (my preference would be the former). If budget compels then you may sell the 19-35 mm. In any event, keep the prime lenses. You will regret selling them!

To cover the medium focal range, buy a standard zoom in the 16-80 or 16-105 range later. For the time being you'll get along with the 28 mm and 50 mm primes. Or buy a cheap 18-70 mm 1:3.5-5.6 kit lens now and upgrade later. It's only a few bucks in the current used market. It's not great but still good value for the money and thus, a viable temporary solution.

-- Olaf

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Greg Beetham
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Re: Rationalising my lenses

Unread postby Greg Beetham » Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:25 pm

Hi Alan,
The nearest lens that I can think of to your 19-35 Tokina for equivalent perspective on APS-C is the Sigma 12-24, it's reasonably expensive but the Sony 11-18 is not cheap either. Really neither the Tamron or Sigma 17-18 -50's on APS-C are an equivalent replacement for the Tokina on FF, (they translate into something like 24-75ish on APS-C)
That leaves a big gap in zoom range if you sell the 19-35, but you could replace that one with the Kit lens as Olaf says (budget option) or go for broke and get the CZ16-80 sometime later, either way, I agree with Olaf I wouldn't sell the two primes if I had them in my kit.
Greg

Alan Shaw
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Re: Rationalising my lenses

Unread postby Alan Shaw » Tue Aug 12, 2008 4:32 am

Thanks Greg and Olaf for your responses.

To continue my public thought processes, I'll stress that the 16-80CZ, while possibly desirable, is out of my budget. The 16-105 Sony may be in my budget but the reported softness worries me a bit, while I'm not sure I'd be willing to give up the speed of my existing set up.

I should also stress my initial interest is to cover the range of my primes - I am aware of the so-called crop factor and indeed it is exactly that which started my musing in the first place! Yes, I would like the ultra-wide end of my existing Tokina back at some stage on the 7D, but if the budget won't stretch then that may have to wait longer. So 16-18mm as the widest end of any new lens will be acceptable, at least to start with.

This brings me back to the Sigma and Tamron I mentioned. They both seem to be fast, which I like, and have both received good reviews for sharpness.

You both suggest hanging on to my primes - do they offer any great improvement over the new zooms, such as the ones I've mentioned? This is a signifiant question for me, and if th eanswer is indeed yes, then perhaps as you say I should be thinking more of replacing the Tokina I already have with a wider zoom suitable for the smaller format, and use my 28 as effectively my new "standard" lens and the 50 as a very nice portrait.

Still, if I can find a suitable replacement that is fast, doesn't require too many compromises on quality and reduces the bits of glass in my camera bag then I'll be happy. Wow, so many possibilities!

Alan
Brisbane, Australia
Alan Shaw
Brisbane, Australia
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bossel
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Re: Rationalising my lenses

Unread postby bossel » Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:13 am

Alan Shaw wrote:To continue my public thought processes, I'll stress that the 16-80CZ, while possibly desirable, is out of my budget. The 16-105 Sony may be in my budget but the reported softness worries me a bit, while I'm not sure I'd be willing to give up the speed of my existing set up.

I wouldn't buy the 16-105. Either save a bit longer for the 16-80 or get the 18-250 as walkaround lens, which is said to be as good as the 16-105 (unless you really need 16mm vs 18mm)!

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Greg Beetham
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Re: Rationalising my lenses

Unread postby Greg Beetham » Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:08 am

I sort of got the impression that you were still keen too have an equivalent wide performance on APS-C, and that would be expensive, (personally I don't think APS-C is all that wonderfull for super wide angle anyway, it's ok, but FF will absolutely moider it), IMHO APS-C is good for sports action, telephoto wildlife, macro, paparazzi snappers like the APS-C format for obvious reasons, sooo if your not overly concerned, I think you could sell the 19-35 and get the Tamron or Sigma DT f2.8 zooms (I think the Tamron stands a chance of being more compatible with KM/Sony), they both are reputed to be very good lenses, but I would still be reluctant to part with the primes, as you say the 28mm is not that far off being and ideal lens on APS-C, good for some pano shots, as real wide angles used outdoors have too much foreground and too much sky for my taste, (but still good for some dramatic effect shots though), and the 50mm would be a handy lens for full length portraiture.
The other option is to get rid of the Tokina and the beercan and replace them both with the 18-250 as bossel said, not such a bad idea either, I have the KM18-200 and it's permanently on my A100.....despite what people say it can take decent photos.
Greg

Alan Shaw
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Re: Rationalising my lenses

Unread postby Alan Shaw » Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:12 am

Hi Greg and others,
Thanks for your thoughts. i'm still mulling over this but the Tamron 17-50 is emerging as the front runner. As you say Greg, and as I thought in my initial post, that will still leave me with the subsequent purchase of a very wide angle at a later date to contend with. However, buying the Tamron allows me to replace up to three of my existing lenses which fulfils one of my criteria. And I will still be marginally better off relatively speaking than I was until I got my interest in very wide angle work.

In the little bit of research I have done I can see little reason to hang on to the 50mm - reviews suggest the Tamron is just as good, or at least that's how I read them. With an immiment FF Sony on the market I hope that prices may move up a bit for these lenses making my total outlay much less. Here's hoping!

Alan
Brisbane, Australia
Alan Shaw
Brisbane, Australia
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Visit my Railgrafx rail photography site:
http://www.railgrafx.id.au

Visit my Moreton Bay Model Railways Site:
http://home.iprimus.com.au/mbmr/index.html


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