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The Sony Alpha 900 Experience

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The Alpha 900 is a great camera.

 

I have now used my Alpha 900 for eight months taken several thousands of pictures. My experiences this far:

 

 

  • It may not be the best camera in it's class but it is very good, indeed.
  • What I miss mostly is live view, because it would help with critical focusing.
  • 24-70/2.8 is nice but heavy.
  • The 20/2.8 works really well when stopped down.
  • Keeping ISO down is a good idea whith this camera.
  • SSM-lenses are not the advantage I tought they would be.
  • Image stabilisation works

Lenses

Sigma 12-24/4.5-5.6

  • Somewhat inconsistent results
  • Corners not really acceptable
  • Significant astigmatism

It's a special lens while I cannot really recommend it, based on the sample I have, it serves me well.

 

Sony 24-70/2.8 ZA

This is a "Zeiss" labeled lens. It's generally pretty good. At 24 mm the corners are pretty soft full open and may be a bit soft even when stopped down. In practical work the lens is just fine. Three issues:

  • It's quite heavy
  • Anything but the ultra thinnest filters vignette at 24 mm
  • It's expensive

Sony 70-300/4.5-5.6G

This is one of Sony's top quality lenses. I'd say it's pretty good. It may be a bit less sharp than the 24-70/2.8. It's less sharp on axis than the 80-200/2.8 APO but better off axis and has very little lateral CA.

 

Minolta 20/2.8

This lens never really impressed me on film SLRs but it really works well on the Alpha 900 when stopped down to f/8 or f/11. I often carry it in addition to the Sigma 12-24/4.5-5.6, simple because it's a better lens.

 

Minolta 100/2.8 Macro

Good lens with slow autofocus, solidly built. I'm not that much for Macro nowdays so I cannot say that much about how it performs on close ups. Focusing and dept of field is always a problem when shooting macro. I shot some repro of big technical drawings and that turned out incredibly good, with some very small lateral CA which was esily removed. This lens is probably a close relative of the 100/2.8 SAL macro.

Minolta 80-200/2.8 APO (G)

 

This is the black variant. Very sharp on axis significant lateral chroma of axis, correctable. A very good lens. I'm mostly using the 70-300/4.5-5.6G instead, at least for the time being.

 

Minolta 400/4.5 APO G

 

I used this lens quite a lot, often with 1.4 or even 2.0 extenders. It works generally well. Some issues:

 

  • Autofocus is quite slow and can skip over focus.
  • The lens is very hard to focus manually, because the stroke is very short and the focusing ring has a lot of play.
  • Autofocus works with 1.4X but not with 2.0X

With or without extender the lens is capable of excellent results.

 

 

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 March 2010 07:32  

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