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Thread: A900 in Bali report

  1. #1
    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    A900 in Bali report

    I have posted a few shots previously from my trip to KL and Bali. After a few weeks I though it might be useful to mention what worked and what did not (with a few further shots).



    I took

    A900, Zeiss 24-70mm F2.8, Sony 70-300G, Zeiss 85mm F1.4, Sigma 12-24 F4.5-5.6 EX DG, 2 batteries, two 8mb CF cards, lightweight travel tripod and carrybag, Lowepro belt and a Lowepro Toploader 65AW, Polarising filter and set of ND grads and Lee filter holder.

    The A900 performed faultlessly the whole trip. I removed the portrait handgrip that I usually have attached to keep weight down and travelled with a spare batterey and two 8mb CF cards which I backed up to a laptop, and then to DVD's before wiping the cards.

    Biggest issues I had was the weight and lack of reach of the 24-70mm Zeiss. Optically, the Zeiss is excellent but I really missed something that went to 150-200mm as too often I was caught in two minds between choosing to use and have on camera the 24-70mm or the 70-300mm G. I need the equivalent of the Nikkor 28-200 I last used on a Kodak 14nx in Egypt, so I have ordered a Tamron 28-200mm f3.8-5.6 XR Di ASP IF which I hope I don't regret! But its fairy cheap.



    I also discovered the Zeiss 24-70mm was back focusing and I had ti adjust to -9 on the A900 to correct. Odd how I had not notied before.

    Another problem with the Zeiss 24-70mm was - it broke! Well, to be more precise the focus lock button thing on the lens fell out. Lens still works fine but its going to need a trip to Zeiss to get it repaired (so the Tamron will have to stand in for it...a tough ask!)

    Take the trip to the monkey forest, for example of where I was on the cusp of wide angle or telephoto - mostly the latter. This has meant more cropping that I would have liked on occasions.





    The 70-300G was fine but I find it very sensitive to camera shake and better mounted on a tripod than just using Steadyshot (which I find only party effective most of the time and slightly inferior to in-lens image stabilisation). The tripod I took was me was excellent - small and light, easy to carry, welll made and strong enough provided no strong winds



    As for the Sigma 12-24mm, I only used it a few times, including the earlier shot posted on the towers in KL and this below of the associated shopping mall (no tripod, just rested on the railing)

    I hardly used the 85mm F1.4 great lens though it is.



    So to conclude, A900 great, Zeiss 24-70mm also great but proved a tad fragile and now needa repair, Sigma 12-24mm also very good, useful and light too.

    Now I just need to find the time to process more of the images...





    Quentin
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer

  2. #2
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    Terry's Avatar
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    Re: A900 in Bali report

    These look really nice. Not much longer in reach than the 24-70 but a great walk around lens and my best photo buy ever is the Minolta 24-105. Extremely compact and very good quality.

  3. #3
    Jamesmd
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    Re: A900 in Bali report

    great Quentin.

    I use Minolta 28 135 for travel and love it.
    here are some shots from la Coruña , north Spain
    Last edited by Jamesmd; 9th December 2009 at 09:41.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Re: A900 in Bali report

    Yes, 28-100 or 135 is certainly better than 24-70 but I'm hopeful about the 28-200mm Tamron as it has had some good reviews and the reach it just about perfect. If it s anything like the Nikkor 28-200mm which I believe was based on the Tamron design then it will have a lot of pincusion distortion, but that can be corrected.

    Nice shots of la Coruña James. Not been there as yet.

    Quentin
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer

  5. #5
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    Bill Caulfeild-Browne's Avatar
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    Re: A900 in Bali report

    Quentin, I REALLY like that last shot...communicates the atmosphere so well.
    Bill

  6. #6
    Senior Member dhsimmonds's Avatar
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    Re: A900 in Bali report

    Quentin, Some very nice shots and useful and timely advice regarding lens choice too. I am off next week for a month in the Caribbean, visiting 16 countries including Columbia, so I am deliberating about which lenses to take with my A900.

    I also shall have a weight problem as (in theory!!) the airline hand baggage limit is 5kg. I always take a photog jacket to the airport so that I can dump lenses on to my person if necessary, but it is always a concern.

    My line up at the moment is ZA24-70, G70-300, and 100 macro. The latter because it's light and I am hoping to "shoot" some small reptiles, flowers etc.

    I know what you mean about the 70-300, I have found that like most "super zoom" types, you have to stop down and use a very fast shutter speed or a tripod and switch "steadyshot" off. All this then needs plenty of light and I hope that the caribbean will be fine for this. I shall reluctantly be leaving the ZA 16-35 behind, but I will take my vertical grip!!

    If my experience with the Tamron 200-500 is worth anything, you will not be disappointed in your choice of the Tamron 28-200. Many of the later Tamron lenses are doing well in independant reviews against the Sigma and sometimes camera branded equivalents. My 200-500 is quite light for it's size. the image colour renedering of the Tamron is very different from the Zeiss and Sony lenses, much cooler but easily tweaked in C1 or any other good raw conversion program. I am sure that you will like it. Mine is very, very sharp!
    Cheers, Dave
    www.simmondsphotography.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Re: A900 in Bali report

    Hi Bill, Dave

    Many thanks - sunsets can seem a bit, well, cheezy, but this one I quite liked for the reasons you mention.

    Dave, noted about your long Tamron. The big problem with the independents is sample variation. The designs are probably great, the execution sometimes imperfect due to cost contraints. The Tamron 28-200 is a modest superzoom by today's standards and should I hope be fine. I like the sound of the long Tamron you have and may give it a look. I regard the Sony 70-300 as adequate rather than spectacular. Its main virtue is it's compact size. My old Nikon 80-400 VR was slightly better. 25mp ful framepushes the quality of 35mm lenses and the problem will no doubt become more acute if pixel counts rise further.

    Cheers
    Quentin
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer

  8. #8
    vyanush
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    Re: A900 in Bali report

    Quentin,

    I had a short experience with Tamron 28-200 in my "young digital days" some 5 years ago. IMHO it didn't manage with 6MP EOS 300D quite well. So I exchanged it to 28-300 pretty soon. It gave me more reach (though at the expense of incremental softness through 200-300 range) and better sharpness through 100-200mm.
    So that 28-300 Tammy is still with me though I did not use it on 5D2 frankly.
    If you would like to consider it - let me know, i could make small comparison
    vs 24-105L/70-200L/100-400L.
    Yes and there is now new 28-300 VC with in-lens stabilisation (though not in A-mount yet IIRC)

  9. #9
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    Re: A900 in Bali report

    HI Quentin
    These are fine shots - lots of variety - sounds like a great trip too.

    I'm off to Holland next week for 3 days . . . erm work Not quite the same thing!

    I'll be interested to see how you get on with the Tamron - I got one, took one look at the corners and changed it . . . . but perhaps I should have given it more of a chance.

    Terry and I both have the little 24-105 Minolta lens - I think mine cost £125 secondhand, and I love it!

    must get together . .. .

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

  10. #10
    Senior Member dhsimmonds's Avatar
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    Re: A900 in Bali report

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI Quentin..................
    ...................must get together . .. .
    all the best
    I have often thought that it might be good for us Brit. Sony Alpha users to meet up sometime, so your comment to Quentin rang a loud bell in my ears Jono!!

    Over at the LUF forum, a number of us met up about twice a year or so, either in London or Oxford, always in a pub somewhere for lunch and followed up by a "photo opportunity" type of afternoon. I have to admit that since disposing of my "R" gear and DMR back I have not attended any of the gatherings....my little D-Lux-4 is hardly my entrance ticket to this little "club" now! Although I do enter the on-line D-Lux-4 Challenges whenever I can.

    Anyone interested in a Sony Alpha meet sometime in the New Year and if so where would be a convenient town or city? I am away for a month from next week but back mid January 2010.
    Cheers, Dave
    www.simmondsphotography.com

  11. #11
    Senior Member KETCH ROSSI's Avatar
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    Re: A900 in Bali report

    Beautiful and colorful images.

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