/ Lens dilemma

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rallymania 13 Jan 2020

Morning all

Facing a decision about what lens to grab next and narrowed it down to two possibilities for now

Camera is a Sony A7m2 and i currently have the kit 28 to 70 lens and a couple of shortish primes

Now looking for something with a bit more reach so considering either the 70 to 200 f4 or the 70 to 300 f4.5 to f5.6. they are both around the same price, and i'm by no means a pro. I enjoy shooting things that fly (both man made and natural) so the extra reach of the 300mm makes sense, but i don't know if it'll be fast enough to make it easy for my amateur hands.

Anyone (and I realize this is a long shot) have any experience of either of those lenses (or similar lenses from other systems) that has any advice? 

Durbs 13 Jan 2020
In reply to rallymania:

I'm in the same-ish boat - Have a 35mm and 85mm Sony lenses, and some vintage ones too, but want something longer.

Sony lenses are pretty pricey, and only rarely come-up second hand (though if you're on the Talk Photography forums, you occasionally get lucky).

I hired the 70-200 F/4 for a trip to Canada and lover it. By repute, the F/2.8 isn't worth the extra money unless you really need the shallow DOF for portraiture. 

Part of me is leaning towards a Canon lens and an adapter as they can be picked up much cheaper second hand.

The Sigma options aren't that much cheaper than Sony ones these days.

Sorry, not much help - but some comfort in knowing you're not alone?! 

Zubida 31 Jan 2020
In reply to rallymania:

I think you can go for the 70 to 200 f4 because It's an absolute stunner. Very fast focussing and pin sharp. If you have any future plans for photography, you need a bit of extra reach.

Luke_92 01 Feb 2020
In reply to rallymania:

If you're alluding to bird photography in original post; you'll welcome the 300mm and probably want more if you get really interested. My longest lens is 300mm, on a crop sensor, and I'm finding it pretty limiting for less bold birds. It's also F6.3 at the long end, which can be limiting but not fatally. 

ali_colquhoun 01 Feb 2020
In reply to rallymania:

With a camera like that you can use a high ISO without worrying, if speed is what is concerning you I wouldn't be too worried about the difference between 4 and 5.6.  You can just bump the ISO up a stop to compensate and you'll likely never notice. 

Marek 01 Feb 2020
In reply to Luke_92:

Agreed - 200mm (or even 300mm) is pretty useless for birding (in the wild, as opposed to garden feeders). My wife opted for an MFT body with a 100-400mm f4-6.3 lens (200-800mm equivalent on full frame) and that is brilliant. And half the weight of my canon 70-200mm f2.8. On the other hand, in poor light it's not so good, so horses for courses.

balmybaldwin 02 Feb 2020
In reply to rallymania:

I think even with 300 you may lack reach for wild birds.

I use a Sigma 150-600mm Zoom on a crop sensor (£600 immaculate second hand), it's F5-6.3 and it's plenty fast enough for a amateur like me (don't think they do your fitting, but the equally good Tamron version I think do).

Its light enough to hand hold and is really versatile.

Don't be too afraid of higher ISOs if you want to get birds etc noise these days isn't as much of an issue, and when you are shooting into the sky there's normally plenty of light anyway.

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Tom V 02 Feb 2020
In reply to rallymania:

Grateful for this thread since it reminded me that I hadn't actually tried any of my "legacy"  lenses on my M4/3 cameras (I only bought the adapter to try the Contax 50 mm)

The results are quite good: the Vivitar 70-210 is still a monstrous thing but performs well, and the little 35-105 Yashica is actually quite manageable and a lot more usefulnow it has a x2 crop factor.

But I still find that for birds and distant stuff the ease and ergonomics of a decent bridge camera are hard to deny. I'm an amateur, I have no ambitions about publishing or display so I never see the image larger than on a PC monitor and so the size of the sensor is not really a problem. And hand holding at 1200 mm is perfectly feasible (some of the time ;) )


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