Which lens for my Sony a200

ndb0407

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OK so it appears that I am the only person in the world that shoots with a Sony but that is what I have and I will learn everything about it and how to use it before I switch. With that said, I do want a fixed lens. I currently have a 18-70 zoom lens. I prefer to shot kids and families. From my reading I need a 50 mm fixed lens to get the shallow DOF I want. Sony has both the 50mm f1.4 and 50mm f1.8. The f1.4 is more then 2x the cost of the f1.8. Question is is it worth the coast to get the f1.4?
 

jaomul

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I have a canon f1.8 and it is great for shooting portrait family shots. It is the equivalent of the sony probably in all but name. I believe the sony is better built. I am new enough to DSLR world as well but I think the cheaper option is the way to go first, and f1.8 on a 50mm will give a fairly shallow DOF
 

subscuck

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DOF is determined by more than just max aperture of your lens. Focal length, aperture and distance from point of focus determine how shallow, or deep, your DOF is. Google "DOF Calculator" and play around with it a little. With that said, a fast prime is easier to get shallow DOF with. I'm not familiar with the two 50mm's available for the Sony, but as a general rule, if the 1.4 is twice the price, it's built better, has better optical qualities, and may AF quicker and more reliably. You always get what you pay for with lenses. If you have the money, buy the 1.4. Remember also that no lens is at it's sharpest shooting wide open.
 

chaosrealm93

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if you want to shoot kids and family, you might want to go wider than 50mm. keep in mind that your a200 will make the 50mm act like a 80mm. maybe a 35mm or wider?
 

KmH

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The term, 'a fixed lens' refers to a lens that does not have an adjustable lens aperture.
A lens that has only a single focal length is known as a 'prime' lens.

The trouble is a lot of 35 mm lenses distort peoples features. A problem many have with wide aperture prime lenses is a DOF so shallow they cannot get all that they want in focus, in focus. With very shallow DOF it really helps if your camera has a DOF preview function.

The key at shorter than standard focal lengths (less than 50 mm) is how well distortion is controlled by the lens optics. That basically boils down to the manufacturing costs of the lens, which also drives it's retail cost.

Sony is slowly making up market share ground, but most of their camera design features are still leftovers from when they bought Konica/Minolta's camera business back in 2006 as an instant way to enter the DSLR market place.

Sony also inherited the oddball iISO hot shoe design Minolta had for years. Sony still hasn't changed it to the industry standard ISO 518:2006 design.

Another inherent drawback of Sony cameras that effects Sony's (and others) market share, is in-body image stabilization and it's associated limitations when compared to in-the-lens image stabilization.

Many don't realize that most professional portraiture is done at focal lengths from about 85 mm, up to as long as 300 mm.

That's part of why high quality 70-200 mm f/2.8 lenses are used by so many retail portraiture photography pros. Many new shooters aren't aware of the, near zero distortion, background compression, and DOF benefits of using 200 mm.
 

Nikon_Josh

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OK so it appears that I am the only person in the world that shoots with a Sony but that is what I have and I will learn everything about it and how to use it before I switch. With that said, I do want a fixed lens. I currently have a 18-70 zoom lens. I prefer to shot kids and families. From my reading I need a 50 mm fixed lens to get the shallow DOF I want. Sony has both the 50mm f1.4 and 50mm f1.8. The f1.4 is more then 2x the cost of the f1.8. Question is is it worth the coast to get the f1.4?

I had the best bit of advice in the world recently, I wondered if I should get the Nikon 50 1.4. And the Sigma 50 1.4 was recommended to me by a forum member named 'Sleist'.

I'm grateful to him because I have no purchased this lens and I couldn't be happier, this is one heck of a lens! They even say this lens compares to the Canon 50 1.2 L it is that damn good! I wouldn't bother with the Sony 50mm 1.4, get the 1.8. If you want to spend the extra to get a 1.4, get the Sigma.. it is a beautiful portrait lens on a crop sensor.

You get 75mm on a crop camera with a 50mm lens, this is an 'adequate' length for portraits. And as it is well over the standard view which is 50mm, it dosen't distort facial features badly. But as KMH says, longer is slightly better. My photography teacher told me once his favourite portrait length was 135mm, he likes the extra compression.
 

chaosrealm93

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The trouble is a lot of 35 mm lenses distort peoples features. A problem many have with wide aperture prime lenses is a DOF so shallow they cannot get all that they want in focus, in focus. With very shallow DOF it really helps if your camera has a DOF preview function.

The key at shorter than standard focal lengths (less than 50 mm) is how well distortion is controlled by the lens optics. That basically boils down to the manufacturing costs of the lens, which also drives it's retail cost.

i realize that, but the thing is if he's shooting kids and family, i would assume he's not on a portrait assignment and every picture has to flatter the subjects. the bit of distortion from a 35mm wouldn't ruin a family picture imo.
 

chaosrealm93

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haha, the 1.4 is almost always better than the 1.8 of any focal length :p
 

Jan Matis

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Sony also inherited the oddball iISO hot shoe design Minolta had for years. Sony still hasn't changed it to the industry standard ISO 518:2006 design.

I'll leave the rest of your post because I agree. Though I have comment about the part I quoted: "So what ? Did you ever use nikon flash on canon ? (or vice versa ? ) If not then what is this obsession about what hot shoe which vendor uses ? "
 

dxqcanada

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Sony also inherited the oddball iISO hot shoe design Minolta had for years. Sony still hasn't changed it to the industry standard ISO 518:2006 design.

I'll leave the rest of your post because I agree. Though I have comment about the part I quoted: "So what ? Did you ever use nikon flash on canon ? (or vice versa ? ) If not then what is this obsession about what hot shoe which vendor uses ? "

If you ever want to mount anything on the hot shoe (ie microphone), you will need to find one with the special mount ... or find one of those Minolta to standard hot shoe converters.
 

audiobomber

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The term, 'a fixed lens' refers to a lens that does not have an adjustable lens aperture.
A lens that has only a single focal length is known as a 'prime' lens.

Or a fixed focal length lens.

Another inherent drawback of Sony cameras that effects Sony's (and others) market share, is in-body image stabilization and it's associated limitations when compared to in-the-lens image stabilization.

You keep saying this, do you have any evidence? Any review I've ever read lists in-body stabilization as a pro, not a con.

That's part of why high quality 70-200 mm f/2.8 lenses are used by so many retail portraiture photography pros. Many new shooters aren't aware of the, near zero distortion, background compression, and DOF benefits of using 200 mm.

The OP has a Sony crop sensor, so divide everything by 1.5.
 

AUZambo

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The OP has a Sony crop sensor, so divide everything by 1.5.
Actually, you MULTIPLY by 1.5. :p

To the OP, I would look at the Minolta 50mm/1.7 lens. I bought that one off Ebay several years ago and I believe I only paid like $60. It was MUCH more appealing than the $300+ Sony lens.
 

audiobomber

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The OP has a Sony crop sensor, so divide everything by 1.5.
Actually, you MULTIPLY by 1.5. :p

It depends on which way you're converting. You divide by 1.5 to convert from 35mm focal length to cropped. The suggested portrait lens was a 70-200mm f2.8. The equivalent focal length for a 1.5X crop sensor would be a 46-135mm lens. Sigma has a 50-150 f2.8 for A-mount.

The traditionally recommended FL for portrait is 85mm, which translates to a 56mm lens on a 1.5X sensor.
 
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KmH

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Another inherent drawback of Sony cameras that effects Sony's (and others) market share, is in-body image stabilization and it's associated limitations when compared to in-the-lens image stabilization.

You keep saying this, do you have any evidence? Any review I've ever read lists in-body stabilization as a pro, not a con.
1. In-the lens IS can be seen working in the camera viewfinder, so the photographer can know when the image is stable and can release the shutter. In the body IS cannot be seen in the viewfinder.

2. In-the-lens IS can correct for larger movements than can in-the-body IS.
 

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