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lens choice Sony A57


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#1 rumblefish

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 12:56 AM

Hi all,

what would be the ultimate lens bag for the Sony A57, given the fact that here in The Netherlands, we do a lot of macro photography. 

Your recommendations will be greatly appreciated!

--Rob


Nikon D600, Nikon D80, Tokina 10-17mm FE, Sigma 14mm, 24mm macro, Nikon 60mm macro, Sigma 180mm macro. Nauticam NA-D600, 45° viewfinder, Subal ND80, GS180 viewfinder. Sea&Sea YS350 and YS90. ULCS arms.


#2 Phil Rudin

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 05:47 AM

Still seems to be some misunderstanding as to what should be in the new mirrorless forum and what goes in the DSLR forums. The top topic in DSLR is the Panasonic GH-4 a mirrorless camera and now a DSLR in the mirrorless forum.

#3 rumblefish

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 10:40 AM

I do apologize! I am utterly unfamiliar with Sony cameras...


Nikon D600, Nikon D80, Tokina 10-17mm FE, Sigma 14mm, 24mm macro, Nikon 60mm macro, Sigma 180mm macro. Nauticam NA-D600, 45° viewfinder, Subal ND80, GS180 viewfinder. Sea&Sea YS350 and YS90. ULCS arms.


#4 rtrski

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 05:03 AM

It is a little confusing that the Sony SLT series isn't truly SLR, except for autofocus functionality, isn't it? 

 

Anyway, according to Dyxum and other sources I don't think you can go wrong with either Sony's 50mm f2.8 or 100mm f2.8 macro lenses.  Both get good reviews for sharpness and focus speed and both fit Ikelite ports (not sure what housing you have but guessing since they do offer one).  A slightly cheaper alternative might be the Sigma EX 105mm macro lens, IF you can find an older one that does NOT have the optical stabilization, since the newest version does not fit the Ikelite port diameter.

 

One suggestion: the SLT electronic viewfinder tries to give you a 'what you see is what you get' view by brightening or darkening the scene through the viewfinder or the rear screen based on exposure and aperture settings.  While nice, if the camera doesn't know you have a strobe attached, it goes dark and framing becomes a total blind crapshoot.  There's a menu setting for "Viewfinder Setting Effect" (on or off).  You want to turn this OFF, if you are not using TTL connected strobes (e.g. Ike strobes on an Ike housing).  My SLT-A55 does not have this firmware option as the first generation of the SLTs (along with the A33) and I learned this the hard way with Inon strobes and an Ike housing which is only manual sync.  If you turn this setting off you can still get good framing with any strobe selection, manual sync or TTL.

 

Outside of macro I'm a pretty big fan of the Sigma 8-16mm for wide angle.  I'm less certain what to suggest for a general mid-range lens.  I've used an older Sigma 17-70mm (pre-HSS version) and never been thrilled with it, with or without a diopter, but that might also be a poor port choice on my part since I was trying to avoid packing an 8" dome.  The wonderful Zeiss 24-70mm f2.8 lens for Sony Alpha mounts does not fit Ikelite ports. 


Edited by rtrski, 06 April 2014 - 05:04 AM.

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#5 Phil Rudin

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 10:25 AM

Not to nit pick but just like the A-77 this camera has a mirror and mirror box which makes it a DSLR and for sure not a mirrorless camera. Agree that you have a nice choice of both macro and wide/wide-zooms from both Sony and aftermarket.

#6 rtrski

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 05:49 PM

Not to nit pick but just like the A-77 this camera has a mirror and mirror box which makes it a DSLR and for sure not a mirrorless camera. Agree that you have a nice choice of both macro and wide/wide-zooms from both Sony and aftermarket.

Or, briefer:  "Not to nit pick, but, nit!"

 

Maybe ask WP for the moderator role and start moving posts around if it bugs you so much.  Meanwhile I'll try to help the OP, but of course I'm under no illusions there's any way I can do so as well as you (if you bothered) because I'm just a little guy not a brilliant industry insider, m'kay? 

 

Of course SLT's have a 'mirror' in the sense that the pellicle provides some of the light to a PDAF module.  They do not, however, mirror into any optical viewfinder. Said mirror does not move during the shot to clear the path to sensor - the sensor gets the light all the time...more like in a mirrorless camera or even a point and shoot for that matter.  Behaviorally it's a hybrid between a DSLR, for which one forum is named, and a fully mirrorless camera, for which the new forum is named, hence Sony's choice of something other than SLR in their branding.  Forgive me for trying to cut the OP a little slack.


Edited by rtrski, 06 April 2014 - 05:59 PM.

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#7 rumblefish

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 10:30 AM

Thank you, very helpful,

--Rob


Nikon D600, Nikon D80, Tokina 10-17mm FE, Sigma 14mm, 24mm macro, Nikon 60mm macro, Sigma 180mm macro. Nauticam NA-D600, 45° viewfinder, Subal ND80, GS180 viewfinder. Sea&Sea YS350 and YS90. ULCS arms.


#8 Mark Twain

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 02:21 AM

Hi all,

what would be the ultimate lens bag for the Sony A57, given the fact that here in The Netherlands, we do a lot of macro photography. 

Your recommendations will be greatly appreciated!

--Rob

 

I use the 60mm macro from tamron which is an outstanding lens. If you prefer a longer focal length you could also go for the 90mm Tamron without hesitation or for the Sony equivalent.



#9 Mark K

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 02:34 AM

Having a relative complete set of Minolta / Sony lenses, I will recommend you to have the Sony 50 and 100 macro lenses. Having said that, you should also probably look at newer lenses from Sigma and Tamron. The Sigma 105 macro has OS and HSM. Sigma 70mm macro was regarded once the sharpest lens on earth. Tamron 90mm macro VC was previously well known for its affordability and sharpness. 


Mark K

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