Telephoto lens question, Sony a6000


TPF Noob!
Mar 9, 2012
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New York
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I'll try to keep this concise. I went to the NY air show Saturday and took some pictures. I'm sorry this doesn't have exif (I did some shadows adjustment in PS and saved it without exif, accidentally). Here's a picture taken with this "basic" Sony 55-210 lens, stabilization 'on', shutter priority and manual focus.

You guys tell me but I don't think it's a horrible picture. I could have lowered the shutter speed to get more realism on the P-51 propeller - but this was hand held so I was cheating a little to maintain focus.

I'd love to get a longer (but excellent quality) lens for this camera, but Sony doesn't make it easy to go beyond 210mm.

I found this pretty expensive lens. But I honestly don't understand (a) if my pictures would necessarily come out any better or (b) given the camera is not FF, if this lens is actually longer or shorter than the "cheap" lens I'm using now, or (c) why this lens is over 4x the price of the other lens.

Any thoughts, advice, admonishment, etc. would be very appreciated!
The G lens has a fixed maximum aperture across the whole focal length range. If you're used to shooting cheap zooms, then this isn't going to be something you'll be too worried about. If you learned on primes, it'll bother the crap out of you.

But, it's not purely preference either. If you compose at one focal length and then go to the extreme, it might mean dropping the exposure from something you don't have to think about to something you do.

It's slightly faster. Has a circular diaphrapgn, so the bokeh will remain round(er) when stopped down. It is moisture resistant, AR coated glass (which is stronger and will flare less), it is probably a bit sharper for pixel peepers. Better sharpness though does mean "better" bokeh as all the aberation and coma that makes an image modeslty softer all blows up when out of focus. The OOF region is probably better separated also - which is something I've noticed on G-lenses.

In this image, it will probably perform similarly There is no details in the corners and the subject is plum in the sweet spot with no direct light source or back-lighting.

And no. Your pictures won't come out any "better". That's kind of up to you no matter what lens you have on board.
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It's 10mm shorter (very, very slightly less magnification) than your current 55-210 lens. This lens is more expensive for a couple of reasons: (1) It's a constant aperture zoom lens (ie, it's maximum f4 all across the focal range), it's got better build quality (more metal, better element coatings, etc), and the optical design is such that it's likely much sharper wide open, and in the "corners" than your current lens.

The difference in quality that this will make to most of your pictures is slight to negligible. It will have better flare resisitance (I assume), and sharpness, and will allow you to shoot at f4 at 200mm, but that's about all.
For a P51 in flight generally something in the 1/200 to 1/320 range will suffice, it will give you a decent amount of motion blur for the prop but is usually fast enough that you don't require panning or very little panning to avoid motion blur on the plane itself.

This was shot at 1/320 as I recall:

20140705 1386 by Todd Robbins, on Flickr

Your shot looks great, if your doing a lot of airshows then a longer telephoto lens might be a good addition if you want to be able to get "closer" to the aircraft when they are further away.

Not sure what all might be available for the Sony A6000 to be honest, that's always been one of the drawbacks to Sony, the lack of native lenses. I'm sure that someone here that shoots Sony can probably give you better advice there than I could.
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trying to get prop blur while panning a plane is just silly. get the shot.

let the plane photographers that are up in the sky in another plane traveling the same speed as the subject get the prop blurred shots.

shot looks fine, you dont want that huge lens hanging off your tiny body for little gains. Your kit lens and your current 210mm produce fantastic shots.
thanks for all the feedback - much appreciated. I'm going to stick with my lens for now and try to learn how to use it more effectively!
I love your shot, good and clean, good job!

As for the Sony f4 lens, I dont get these lenses, a BIG 70-200mm should be constant F2.8 so you can either use it in low light situation or have the option (if you desire) to blur background more then f4.
For some f4 is perfect but for me I LOVE my f2.8, its bigger but to me Soooo worth it.
Shame Sony doesnt offer F2.8, also shame there is no third party lenses for Sony alpha mirrorless cameras (I mean Tamron or Sigma).

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