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What works and what does not

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There is some stuff that works, some that doesn't and also some where the jury is still out...


Things that work without reservation

The things here work very well, not necessarily perfect, but still very well.

  • Sony Alpha 900 camera
  • Sony Alpha 700 camera
  • Sony SAL 70-300/4.5-5.6G Lens
  • Minolta 20/2.8 lens
  • RRS L-plates for both camera above
  • RRS Quick Releases
  • RRS Panorama head
  • Velbon Sherpa Pro 630 CF tripod
  • Autopano Pro


Things that work with some reservations

All items here are great stuff, but there are still some reservations about performance vs. price, weight and so on.

  • Sony SAL 24-70/2.8ZA lens. This lens delivers very good performance when stopped down.
    • When fully open it definitevely lacks in the extreme corners at least at full 24 mm.
    • Lateral chromatic aberration at the short end
    • Heavy and expensive
    • Would there be a "professional grade" 24-105/4 for the Alpha 900 I would recommend it instead.
  • Minolta 400/4.5 APO Lens (with 1.4x nad 2.0x extenders). This lens is awesome, has some real benefits but also problems. Greatest advantage is that it works with an 1.4 extender and yields a pretty good image quality even at full aperture. Autofocus works just fine. I have three iisues with this lens.
    • AF has a tendency to hunt
    • Maunual focusing is very difficult
    • Lens hood is a bad design
  • Gitzo 3541LS tripod, this is a "systematic" tripod, whithout center column. The lack of center column essentially eliminates play when aiming long telephotos. There is a long version of this tripod, 3541XLS. The issues are:
    • This is a conventional design, not clear if this is good or bad
    • I use it with the RRS BH40 right now. It's a small head and a tight fit, especially on the Gitzo 3541LS which has a very large diameter mounting plate
    • Locking lever and QR plate can go against the mounting plate
    • Locking mechanism is quite slow.
    • The locking rings are not really smooth and don't really give a positive feedback
    • I'm not sure about the cost/benefit ratio
    • The jury is still out on stability, but it's probably quite OK
  • RRS BH40 ballhead with lever type QR
  • Acratech Ultimate Ballhead. The Acratech is a very special design, you aither love it or hate it. I actually like it, but have a srious issue with the Quick Release. The Pan knob and the QR-knob are very similar and I tend to mix  up. So instead of releasing the pan base I sometimes release the QR. I would strongly advise to buy this head without QR and I like to complement with an RRS quick release!








Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 July 2009 21:55  


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