Long Lens Story

And now, for the official blog entry about my latest lens – the Tamron 200-400mm F5.6 A-mount for Minolta/Sony. Light passes from the lens to a Tamron 1.4x teleconverter and a Kenko 2x teleconverter before entering my Minolta Dynax 7 and going up my right-angle viewfinder. Also added for extra effect is a Sony HVL-F56AM flash.

It collapses to a more subtle size, one-third its extended, hooded length.

400mm F11 1/125s ISO400. 400mm is the bare minimum for bird photography, or birding, in short.

400mm F5.6 1/500s ISO320. If you think about it, 400mm F5.6 is like a 200mm F2.8 with a 2x teleconverter.

1100mm F16 1/15s ISO1600. When you stack teleconverters, the camera refuses to autofocus at F16, but tries unsuccessfully to autofocus at F11. At F8 it can, but finds quite a struggle.

1100mm F16 1/40s ISO800. Chromatic aberration is obvious with this lens. Stopping down one stop solves it.

1100mm F16 1/40s ISO400. Guess what this is!

1100mm F16 1/3s ISO1600. Stairway from Kinokuniya bookstore to Page One, taken from the bottom of KLCC Park.

1100mm F16 1/30s ISO1600. An unsuspecting dude at the 2nd floor cafeteria in KLCC.

1100mm F16 1/8s ISO1600. I should come here in the day to catch people in the Petronas Twin Towers Skybridge.

1100mm F16 1/2s ISO800. Guess what this is!

1100mm F22 1/125s ISO400. This might make it more obvious.

1100mm F16 1/160s ISO400. No? What about this? (Oh, if only somebody would shine a torchlight in his/her face as I took this picture.)

1100mm F16 1/125s ISO400. The moon, handheld!

100% crop.

And yes, Super SteadyShot on the Sony A100 works extra hard for extra long focal lengths. You can hear it compensating vigorously, and it works! I can get sharp shots at 1/125s 1100mm.

I got the lens second-hand, for real cheap; however, a new one wasn’t that expensive either. The tripod mount can be loosened and rotated around; I turn it about so my left hand can hold it like a camcorder, heh.

Ironic, then, that Canon and Nikon fans would brag that they have the most lenses… when I am the only guy I know who has the focal lengths from 8mm to 1100mm covered, on the Minolta/Sony A-mount. That’s a 137.5x zoom!

8 thoughts on “Long Lens Story

  1. Albert Ng Post author

    mee: Nah, it’s not exactly an article. I’ll write a proper one when I have the time.

    Canon Freak: Yes, push-pull. It seems that every lens that reaches 400mm these days is a push-pull, too.

    It is horribly solid and seems to ‘hold’ in place, with no zoom creep. It’s amazing that way.

  2. Albert Ng Post author

    ShaolinTiger: Heh, thanks!

    I have a feeling the Nikon one will have a tripod mounted on its tripod mount at all times. Not just any tripod, a heavy, heavy one. My light tripod hindered its usage more, with a tendency to creep upwards. Still makes a very cheap alternative (RM1400 first hand!) to a Nikkor 200-400mm F4 VR though. 😀


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