I'm a strong believer more than ever now

AlwaysOnAuto

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I've been slowly working my way up the Sony chain of cameras. Nex-7 > A7ii > A7iii.
I think my search is finally over.
I went to the San Diego Zoo yesterday late afternoon, early evening. I didn't really know which lens to take with me. I don't really like the images I've gotten from the 28-70 Sony lens, maybe I'm being overly pickie. I took my FE28/2. I don't have a flash for the camera(s). I took my A7iii just to see how it would perform in low light.
It did not disappoint.
I'm sure people were wondering what I was shooting, without a flash when taking this pick of a koala bear.
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I could hardly make out the koala with my naked eye it was so dark.
 

AlwaysOnAuto

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Richard Crowe

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I agree that the performance of the Sony 28-70mm lens isn't all that great! OTOH, the more expensive 24-70mm Sony-Zeiss Vario Sonnar's I.Q. isn't that much better than that of the 28-70mm.
What blows me out of the water is the I.Q. of the Tamron 28-75mm lens on BOTH my full frame A7iii and my Sony crop format cameras. That lens is in the price range of the 24-70mm Vario Sonnar and IMO far surpasses the IQ of the Vario Sonnar lens.
I will also use flash in shooting animals because it gives some pop to the image and because it sometimes provides catch lights in their eyes.
I have been told that using flash on gorillas in closeup and/or dark conditions may harm he animals eyes. However, I don't think that the flash used in bright daylight conditions and from a distance will be harmful to the animals...
BTW: I like really long zoom lenses for zoo shooting because they allow me to isolate the animals and to avoid including portions of the distracting enclosures.
I plan on renewing my Zoo membership and to give my Sony cameras a workout at both the San Diego Zoo and the Safari Park. I live near the San Diego Safari Park: AKA San Diego Wild Animal Park. I have previously shot only with my Canon gear at the Zoo and Safari Park...
 

AlwaysOnAuto

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My son and his family live in Poway about 20 minutes from the Safari Park.
I'm on the fence as to whether or not Santa will get me a Tamron 28-75 or the 18-28(?).
We just got a new sewing machine for my wife (yes, another one after two new ones last year) so we'll just have to see what happens. I will admit she makes far better use of her sewing machines than I do of my cameras which is partially why I have no problems getting her more machines.
I'm still on the fence as to whether to get primes vs tele's.
 

AlwaysOnAuto

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From the bridge overlooking Africa Rocks. The waterfall is in the upper left of the image.

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Richard Crowe

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The primes vs. zoom question is one that only you can answer for yourself.

OTOH, so is the choice of a wider zoom or the 28-75mm... It depends on your style of shooting. Some folks really like wider shots while others like longer focal lengths. I am a member of that latter group.

Our dog rescue group had a holiday luncheon at a Disneyland hotel and I threw the 28-75mm f/2.8 lens on the A6400 in my bag. It ended up that I could been more effective with the A7iii and 28-75mm lens since the room in which we were eating was fairly small and the crowd was fairly big. I didn't expect to shoot a group that large in such a tight space. However, I handed the camera to an obliging waiter for a group shot and he did a decent job of capturing the entire group even with the 42mm effective focal length by backing up to the opposite wall...

MRC CHRISTMAS PARTY .jpg
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The advantage of the 28mm (42mm effective) focal length is virtually no distortion at the edges of the image.
 
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AlwaysOnAuto

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And there in lies the problem. I REALLY like the way my old Nikkor 24mm shoots cars. It has the close focus correction that Nikon built into the lens so it doesn't distort when shot close. It is super sharp too, when I get the focus right. Maybe I should look into the 17-28 Tamron more closely. The main reason I shoot the A7iii is because it renders all my manual lenses at their native focal lengths. I hated running into the problem you faced, although it looks like it wasn't a problem after all.
 

Richard Crowe

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I have both the A7iii and A6400 cameras. I tend to grab the A6400 when I know that I will need to do a lot of walking or when photography might not be my main purpose (because of its lighter weight):clapping:
While the A7ii is still a light weight camera in comparison to full frame DSLR models, the A6400 is a joy to carry and it fits quite well in a small camera bag that I own...
Regarding the use of lenses at their native focal lengths vs. when used on a crop camera; the long side of the Tamron is really nice (at 112.5mm equivalent focal length) for head shots...
This shot was captured with the A6400/Tamron combo using 70mm or 105mm equivalent. IMO. 105mm is just about the very best focal length for head shots...

El Dia de los Muertos - Hollywood Forever - 2019_9180.jpg
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However, while I love the Tamron lens for general studio shooting, including shooting portraits, IMO the 75mm is not "quite" long enough "for me" when shooting head shots.
I don' have a comparison between 75mm on a full frame and 85mm or 105mm on a full frame camera but, I like the latter two focal lengths a bit better. It's strange the difference 10mm makes (or at least the way I perceive the difference) between 75mm and 85mm...
 

Richard Crowe

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I bought a Vivitar 135mm f/2.8 M-42 mount lens from Goodwill and I am very happy with my eleven dollar purchase. You not only get some good deals on photo equipment from Goodwill, the purchase goes to a good cause.

BTW, it is quite nice on an A6xxx camera using a Kipon focal reducer which results in an effective 135mm (the focal reducer eliminates the crop factor consideration) f/2.0 lens (the focal reducer results in an effective on stop gain). The lens is not bad on an A7iii either using a dumb adapter...
 

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