June 14 2008 - Photo Jottings

June 14 2008


I added more items to the lens price guide page.  This time accessories, including Minolta/Sony flash units, the ring light, and corded remotes, which are way over-priced by Sony.  Get ’em for a fraction of the retail price by buying online, used or after-market.  Sony sells the long corded remote for $69.99, but you can usually get used Minolta for less than half that.  The short cords are plentiful and sell for a little less than the long, but after-market short cords are under $8.  You may wonder why you need one, especially with the A700, which includes a wireless remote, but keep in mind the wireless remote does not act the same as pressing the shutter button.  If you use the wireless remote in the 2 second timer mode, it will not lock the mirror up as it does with a press, it’ll simply wait 2 seconds and fire normally.  If you want to abate camera movement for super telephoto/long exposure shots, use the 2 second timer with the corded remote.  Don’t forget bulb shooting too!  In the A700 manual, they tell you while in the Bulb mode to press and hold the shutter button for the duration of the shot, not a very smart thing to do. To make matters worse, and more confusing, Sony says as an after-thought, “to reduce camera shake, use the remote commander,” which could mean wireless or corded, and is used interchangeably by Sony.  Basically, don’t use the wireless remote for tripod shooting unless you have sufficiently high shutter speeds.

In other entertaining news, I’ve been noticing a change in Sony DSLRs, lenses and accessories pricing for web retailers. For some reason, most items are now selling for full MSRP, just as the SonyStyle.com site does.  For instance, I bought an HVL-56AM flash unit about a year ago, paying $309 from B&H photo, which was the going web rate then.  Now they sell for $449!  The HVL-36AM has actually been lowered to $199, from $299, possibly to keep some distance from the
more expensive new HVL-42AM, priced now at $299.  Also, most Sony lenses were discounted about $20-$50 off full retail from B&H, Adorama etc, not so anymore.  Maybe Sony is looking to line their pockets a little more.  In Sony’s defence, I think the A200 for $499 is the best bargain out there for current entry level cameras, easily beating the Nikon D40 which doesn’t have IS.  Sony often reduces retail prices very quietly, so you may wind up with a better bargain by going directly to SonyStlye.com.

Did you know Sony has a new gold colored body on the A300 as an option? If you like “bling” this is for you!  Hopefully, this is a short-run trial and won’t catch on.

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