Wildlife setup for a6500?

Discussion in 'Sony Cameras' started by Low_Sky, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. Low_Sky

    Low_Sky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Short version if you don't like reading: Are there any good 300mm (or longer) lens setups for the a6500 that would be in the ~1500 USD price range (new or used), and appropriate for wildlife?

    I'm upgrading from my Canon t3i to an a6500. The camera is in the mail, but I won't be able to get my hands on it until I get home from abroad in July. Reading lens reviews and specs and trying to imagine how they'd work on a camera I've never held is driving me crazy.

    1. The longest/fastest Sony native EF options are way out of my ~1500 USD price range. (70-200 f2.8 GM + TC, or 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 GM).
    2. The 70-200 f/4 G is too short and not compatible with Sony E mount TC's.
    3. The 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 G is at the short end of what I'm looking for, not compatible with Sony E mount TC's. This one's an option, but just barely.
    4. I am completely overwhelmed by Canon/Nikon/Sigma/Tamron/Sony A mount options and lens adapters. I am hoping that the a6500's IBIS, decent ISO range and focus peaking will open up some good options out here in non-native territory, but I have no idea where to start.

    The wildlife photos I want to take are primarily land animals, birds not flying, fish and marine mammals. Birds in flight would be cool, but it's not a high priority for me. The image quality I am looking for are photos that may not stand up to pixel peeping, but would be good enough quality for sharing in the galleries here, printing in amateur-friendly publications like state wildlife department reg books or magazines, outdoor club magazines or newsletters, etc. and more importantly are just generally pleasing for me to look at. If I got a really great shot that didn't require cropping, I'd consider printing something for my wall, but mostly I just look at my photos on my laptop. The image quality I get out of my t3i and Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 is so poor that I don't even enjoy using it, so I'm not looking to repeat that mistake in a higher price bracket.


     
  2. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Like you I also would like to see a native E mount long telephoto zoom that is not extremely priced.

    You could try this combo ... LA-EA3 A-mount adapter + a used Sony 70-400mm G1
    I have the LA-EA2 with that lens on my old NEX-6 and it does a pretty good job.
     
  3. Low_Sky

    Low_Sky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks dxqcanada. I hadn't noticed that the 70-400 G A-mount on my short list was a version 2. Looks like the autofocus speed of the G 1 is a lot slower than the G 2. Do you have any idea how the G 1 would perform with the a6500's more advanced AF system?

    My list of not-extravagantly-priced, weather sealed lenses is pretty short, and when you add mount adapters they start creeping into "just save up and wait for a used 100-400 GM E-mount" territory. Maybe after that lens hits the market there will be some buy/try/returns and demo lenses available.

    Tamron SP 150-600mm
    Sony 70-400 A-mount G v1 or v2.
     
  4. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Well, the G1 is not that slow. I use it all the time on my Sony A77m2.
    I have not upgraded to the G2 as I feel it won't give me more for the price ... the IQ is about the same, just faster AF, but you didn't day that BIF was important.

    You should investigate the usage of the LA-EA1/3 and PDAF on your A6500 ... my LA-EA2 has built in focus system so it does not use the cameras system.
     
  5. Low_Sky

    Low_Sky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a 70-400 A-mount G2 and an LAEA3 reserved for rental when I get back to the US in July. I'll report back on how the combo performs.
     
  6. Low_Sky

    Low_Sky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I had a few days with the A-mount 70-400 G2, and it wasn't a winner for me on the a6500. The autofocus performance with the LAEA3 was poor. Having more practice with the camera (and the custom buttons optimized for it), I think I could have done better with manual focus, but the camera was still brand new to me during my rental period and I didn't have time to research/learn in a controlled environment.

    Other minor annoyance, without zoom lock, the lens would dangle around at 400mm if I didn't keep a hand on the zoom ring at all times.

    Looks like I'll be trying out the new E-mount 100-400mm G next, and if I like it I'll just have to save up for it and keep an eye out for a used one.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yeah, if I went over to e-mount I would just use native mount and avoid the adapters for wildlife stuff.
     

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