A question to Pamela about the A900

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A question to Pamela about the A900

Postby Leen Koper » Mon 15 Dec 2008 00:13

Hi Pam.

I have some nice Minolta glass lying around and I am considering buying an Alpha 900. As you allready own one, I 'm asking your advice.
In two weeks I 'll try to "retire" from my daily work and I will return to -mainly- landscape photography. I am used to working from a sturdy tripod, so high ISO performance is not of any importance to me.
For your information, I`m using now a Fuji S5 and an Nikon D80 as my backup camera and I am quite pleased with those.

Would you seriously consider to advice me to buy an Alpha 900 or won't you?
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Re: A question to Pamela about the A900

Postby pam.meier » Tue 16 Dec 2008 17:42

Hi Leen,

is there anything you´d like me to show you? I´m not much of a landscape photographer myself, but I could try to help you with your decision.

I like the A900 a lot. It´s compact, rather light, handles very nicely on tripods, i.e. reaching all the buttons and the light button especially is much nicer than with my D3.

Resolution and acuity is as good as it gets in 35 mm format. Colors and color rendition is excellent. Dynamic range is very good (even though S5 users love the highlight headroom somewhat).

Of course, diffraction is a problem as with DX cameras like the S5 or D80, stopping down to f11 is ok, but beyond it becomes a problem.

So I´ll look through my landscape files and see if I can post some crops for you.

Pam
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Re: A question to Pamela about the A900

Postby Leen Koper » Tue 16 Dec 2008 19:45

No need to post images, although they will be welcome. I am convinced.
I 'll ask Father Christmas if he has some money left over after Christmas.
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Re: A question to Pamela about the A900

Postby pam.meier » Tue 16 Dec 2008 21:10

Hi Leen,

I´m uploading a few RAW files onto my idisk. There is one winter scene taken with the Zeiss 24-70/2.8.
Two autumn shots with a vintage Minolta 24/2.8 and one showing people at a distance, taken with a Macro lens, the Sigma 70/2.8.
This is the link: http://idisk.mac.com/bloomoosey-Public?view=web. Upload will take some time.

If you have trouble opening the Sony RAW files in your preferred converter, converting them to DNG works well.

Pam
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Re: A question to Pamela about the A900

Postby James » Thu 15 Jan 2009 22:33

Hi Pam,

You might think that this is really cheeky but...

Is there any chance that you could post some A900 raw files again please? We spoke before about my father thinking of getting one and unfortunately his A700 was stolen last week so he is looking to either upgrade or replace it before the prices go up too much here in the UK.

If you don't want to that's completely fine and I understand, I just wanted to give him more examples if possible.

Thanks for your help!

James
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Re: A question to Pamela about the A900

Postby pam.meier » Fri 16 Jan 2009 16:52

Hi James, I will upload anything - provided I have such image - what kind of photography does your father do?
Landscape, casual shots ...

Pam
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Re: A question to Pamela about the A900

Postby James » Fri 16 Jan 2009 23:14

That's great thanks, he shoots landscapes and candids most of the time. He's thinking of the 20mm and 50mm primes to start with anything you have would be fantastic, he's looking to buy on Monday

You liked his landscape shots before (www.t2landscapes.co.uk)
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Re: A question to Pamela about the A900

Postby pam.meier » Sun 18 Jan 2009 14:34

I see, James, well my landscape photography is still very lacking. I will see what could help.
Tell your Dad to go for the 50/1.4, I just can´t get myself to like the 1.7.
But I will upload some images now to here:
http://idisk.mac.com/bloomoosey-Public?view=web

In an hour or so, they should be downloadable
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Re: A question to Pamela about the A900

Postby James » Sun 18 Jan 2009 14:39

Thank you so much Pamela, I really appreciate it. I'll pass on your comments about the 1.7, his one was the one he bought with his Dynax 8000i when that first came out (in the early 90s I think).

:oD
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Re: A question to Pamela about the A900

Postby pam.meier » Mon 19 Jan 2009 08:28

James, maybe it is my copy! I´m still waiting for LensAlign to be shipped to me from the States.
I will check for back or front focus and adjust. I might get much better results.
I had an issue with a Nikkor 50/1.8 which was razor sharp on a D80 and back focused on a Fuji S5.
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Re: A question to Pamela about the A900

Postby James » Mon 19 Jan 2009 13:36

That's a lens that I never got on with :o) I hated the Nikon 50mm enough to give it away to someone who asked to borrow it one day... Maybe I should try it again.

Thanks again for the RAW files, there is a huge amount of detail in there and the dog portrait is exceptional. It also looks like there is a lot of dynamic range in the raw - the autumn leaves shot looks blown in the sky in the top left but the colour is there when you play with the exposure.

I'll let you know what he did in the end when I've spoken to him again, apologies now if he never says thank you - he means it even if he doesn't say it!
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Re: A question to Pamela about the A900

Postby James » Mon 19 Jan 2009 16:54

Thanks again Pam :o),

He's gone for the A900 when our local dealer has it in stock with the 50mm f1.4 to start with, he's then looking to see if that can replace his medium format kit in terms of output quality (he thinks from your samples it will be able to). This way he would only be maintaining his SLR and view camera systems instead of 3 as he currently has.
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Re: A question to Pamela about the A900

Postby pam.meier » Mon 19 Jan 2009 17:41

Hi James, I´m happy I could help. I´m looking forward to seeing your Dad´s website with new images from the Sony. I heard the 50/1.4 is a great performer, so it will be apt to judge the A900´s output. It has a very weak AA-filter, so it comes very close to lesser MF backs. It´s hard to compare with MF film, though.

My initial plan was to buy the A900 with minimalistic lenses. A 50 mm, a 24 mm, 90 mm macro and maybe the CZ 135/1.8. I tried a few and was underwhelmed. Then everything went out of hand. I ended up buying the CZ 24-70/2.8, CZ 135/1.8, and Tamron 90/2.8 macro.

Let´s see what your Dad will come up with and if he likes the Sony. Don´t hold me responsible if expensive lens purchases will follow ;) The A900 is a Diva camera, very pretentious and unforgiving.
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Re: A question to Pamela about the A900

Postby James » Mon 19 Jan 2009 18:30

It's all been triggered because his A700 and all of is kit was stolen :(

I don't think he'll be buying a lot for a while, his machine also died last week and he is running from my desktop with his hard drive in - in fact he was considering a Nikon D3x as he could then use my Zeiss 25mm, Voigtlander Nokton 58mm and Nikon 105VR for free - but that's still not a very economical solution and then he also has to fit in with me when he wants to use my lenses :)

I am sure that he will buy more over the coming months though - he was already talking about the Zeiss 24-70 when I saw him today....

But his plan really is to see what he can get from this system then base his lens purchases around that - if he can sell his MF gear and delay replacing the 5x4 gear for a couple of years then that makes a difference of several thousands in cash flow - and he's only part time!

I'll post back or send you some when he's started shooting with it if you like?
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Re: A question to Pamela about the A900

Postby pam.meier » Tue 20 Jan 2009 09:59

It so mean to do that. I once had my D80 stolen and I never got over it ... I still miss it, believe it or not I bond with my cameras.
And then the money spent is lost. My gear is insured for robbery not for theft.

Buying a D3X really would be awkward, since he does landscapes. Carrying such a big body in the field won´t make him happy in the long run. I never considered a D3-type body for my high resolution work and the A900 is light and handy when carrying a tripod, too. The "D700X" will be the camera a lot are waiting to buy. It´s a shame it is not available today, when the 5DII is on the market. Nikon could sell myriads of "D700X", I think.

Maybe your Dad should consider getting the 16-35 for ultra wide angle? Or maybe he will stitch ... then 24-70 make more sense.
Please do post some samples! That would be great.


James wrote:It's all been triggered because his A700 and all of is kit was stolen :(

I don't think he'll be buying a lot for a while, his machine also died last week and he is running from my desktop with his hard drive in - in fact he was considering a Nikon D3x as he could then use my Zeiss 25mm, Voigtlander Nokton 58mm and Nikon 105VR for free - but that's still not a very economical solution and then he also has to fit in with me when he wants to use my lenses :)

I am sure that he will buy more over the coming months though - he was already talking about the Zeiss 24-70 when I saw him today....

But his plan really is to see what he can get from this system then base his lens purchases around that - if he can sell his MF gear and delay replacing the 5x4 gear for a couple of years then that makes a difference of several thousands in cash flow - and he's only part time!

I'll post back or send you some when he's started shooting with it if you like?
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Re: A question to Pamela about the A900

Postby James » Wed 27 May 2009 20:39

Hi Pam,

I've not been around much - in fact this is the first time I've logged in properly in over 3 months! Been busy sorting my life out! I've started at a new place and have been asked to do some product photography as part of my new job role, very exciting and I'm pretty nervous about it as well as I guess I get to see if my photography is good enough for that yet!

My Dad got the A900 in the end with the Sony f1.4 50mm and I think a 20 or 24mm lens too, and then bought the 70/75-300mm G lens. I'll try to get samples from him as promised - he's a bit overwhelmed by the file size, especially as he carries on from the KM 7D days when you had to shoot jpeg + raw if you wanted to see the image on the camera screen, but other than that I think he's ecstatic with the IQ and is not missing his A700 very much at all!

Thanks again for your help!
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Re: A question to Pamela about the A900

Postby pam.meier » Mon 29 Jun 2009 20:40

Hi James, I was also buried under a pile of work for the past months. It´s so hard to take a break when you´re self-employed.
I´m trying to reshift that. Life is too precious to waste it on work.

So good success with your product photography business. I always try to make up for my photography in post processing ;)
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