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Minolta AF lenses recommendation needed
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:11 pm    Post subject: Minolta AF lenses recommendation needed Reply with quote

I have some MD & MC lenses and I like them a lot. That's why I have recently decided to expand the AF lenses family for my NEX with some Minolta AF and Sony A Mount lenses and I've ordered a LA-EA4 adapter(still waiting for it to arrive). Investing in the adapter is a good move, I think, as it will still be useful if I'll decide to upgrade my NEX-7 with the new A7-II.
But I have no experience wit the Minolta AF and Sony A-mount lenses. I have read a lot of reviews of different Minolta AF lenses but I appreciate more some advice based on direct personal experience of the forum members.
Till now I have already ordered a 50mm f/1.4 and a little Beercan 35-70 mm f/4. On my wish-list, based on the positive reviews, are the 85 mm f/1.4 and the 80-200 mm f/2.8 zoom, but they are quite expensive and they'll have to wait for a wile.
Which should be my best price/performance ratio options? And if price doesn't matter, which lenses would you recommend?
I'm interested in some good wide(15-35mm range, primes preferred), a tele-zoom and any other Minolta AF high quality lens you recommend? Also, which lenses or variants should be avoided?
I'm trying to make a comprehensive wish-list and any help is welcome.


PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll watch this thread with interest, I have a few Minolta AF lenses but no adapter to the Sony - I fully intend to get one though.

I've picked up with film bodies - 50 / 1.7 the 35-70 / 4 Macro and the legendary AF 500 / 8 mirror lens. The reputation of all three lenses is good, and I wonder if they share the optics with the previous MF versions - the 500 almost certainly does.

Ian has been using some AF Minolta lenses on his Sony DSLR recently, and he's been very keen on them.

I'm wondering whether to get the adapter that has the AF function or the cheaper one? Still undecided. Question


PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 500mm f/8 AF mirror lens + LA-EA4 + the IBIS of A7II could be a top, unique, long-tele combination, indeed!


PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan, ok i am very qualified to answer this, being a Minolta nut and owning a lot of the glass.
Will give you my views on the stuff i own
I also have the LA-EA4 adaptor

The 28-135 (secret handshake) has all the fame and relatively is more expensive but to me a real gem that gets overlooked is the 35-105
1st version
http://www.dyxum.com/reviews/lenses/Minolta-AF-35-105mm-F3.5-4.5_review44.html
I own this lens and it is razor sharp, fast, can be macro modified so AF works in Macro the colours are superb and would be in my top 3 to own
cost around 40-50
If you can't get the 35-105 the 28-85 is also a fantastic lens is almost as good as the 35-105 but not quite colours are better on the 35-105
cost 25-40
The 70-210 F4 Beercan what can i say its a great lens sometimes for me my copy will either produce amazing results sharp as anything or bad results, i find it needs a nice sunny day to work well (maybe its just me) great lens and everybody should own it
The 80-200F2.8 a magnificent lens truly deserves its reputation the lens makes images that seem 3D and will blow you away at the quality i don't regret paying what i paid.
The dark horse of all the lenses the Minolta 24-85 i got this with a camera that i wanted something else from the bundle , and i thought plasticy crap almost tossed to a side and sold. Amazing colours and very nice weight and compact my default choice lens
http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/Minolta-AF-24-85mm-F3.5-4.5_lens29.html
And another dark horse is the 100-200 strange range but is the perfect trackside lens, its AF is super fast, keeps up with the action superb colours sharp wide open at 4.5 and fits anywhere and weighs almost nothing especially compared to 70-210

35-70 F4 good lens not massively used due to odd range on APSC and i have better ranges
some samples from the odd balls





These two from the 100-200 at F6.3



Some from the 24-85 lens



Minolta 80-200 F2.8



PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dan_ wrote:
The 500mm f/8 AF mirror lens + LA-EA4 + the IBIS of A7II could be a top, unique, long-tele combination, indeed!


You only get 3 axis stabilisation on that lens
http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/newsshooter-additional-info-on-the-sony-a7ii-5-axis-doesnt-work-with-all-sony-lenses/


PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/index.asp

if you want cheap and good longer zoom look at 70-210 F4, checkout page I have sent above, check reviews.


PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now this is truly a dark horse but one of my favourite lenses for the A mount is the Sigma 100-300/4.

The 28-75/2.8D is cheap and surprisingly good as is the 17-35/2.8-4D.

The 24-50/4 is fabulous stopped down a bit.

The 100-200/4.5 is a bit clunky but it is tiny and sharp. Some say this lens was mad as a surveillance lens.

Almost all of the higher end lenses are wonderful so I won't even go there.


PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eddieitman
Thanks a lot for sharing your experience with the AF Minolta lenses and for posting the nice sample photos.
The 35-105 1st version looks like a tempting option. I'll look for one at a good price.
The 100-200 zoom looks like a good and sharp cheaper variant to replace the more expensive 80-200 f/2.8, but 80-200 remains my first option, when I'll afford it. Till then I'll stay with my 55-210 mm. Sony E-mount zoom.
The 24-85 zoom looks really sharp and with nice colors. I'll add it to my list.

nurkov
Thanks for the link. The classical Beercan, based on its good reviews, should be an option for anyone looking for Minolta AF lenses.
Yet my feelings about it are mixed. I've owned an as-new Vario-Elmar R 70-210 f/4 and was quite disappointed by that lens. Very sharp but with strong CA, sometimes to a level impossible to be corrected in PP. I had to sell it at a loss. Vario-Elmar R 70-210 f/4 is a Minolta design and it is said to be closely related to the Beercan. I don't know if that is really the case but my mixed feelings remained.

How about Minolta AF primes? No direct user experience?


PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

from what I remember, and it's been few years now, beercan has CA problem but it never was a huge thing for me, lightroom correct it easily.


PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

btw look at Sont AF as well, had a 100 F2.8 Macro and was superb optically, and 50 F1.4 as well


PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

one more thing, thats a good pages to look at, I know that those are not in english but google will help you to translate Smile

http://mkropa.republika.pl/minolta/obiektywy.htm
http://mkropa.republika.pl/minolta/zoom.htm
http://mkropa.republika.pl/sony/sony.htm

http://mkropa.republika.pl/minolta/chart.htm


PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are the ones I have for use on my a850 and Dynax film bodies:

1.7/50 - superb
2.8/28 - excellent
3.5-4.5/28-85 - superb, changed my mind about zooms
3.5-4.5/35-105 - might be even better than the 28-85
4/35-70 - tiny, light, excellent
4/70-210 - superb, one of my favourite lenses, sharp even wide open

I consider all of those 'must haves' as they are so cheap.

If you want to see image samples from any of them, let me know and I'll post some.


PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Minolta AF 2.8/200 APO G - maybe the best 200mm lens
Minolta AF 2/100 - sharper at F2.0 than Minolta AF 2.8/100 Makro at F2.8
Minolta AF 4-4.5/28-135 - outstanding zoom


PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Primes, i have
2x
50mm F1.7 great lens, really nice
Sony 35mm F1.8 that thing is superb all plastic but shoots brilliant results love it
Sony 85mm F2.8 another cracking lens very natural colours
100mm F2.8 Macro superb

A sample from the 35mm F1.8 at wide open controls purple fringing very well



PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

iangreenhalgh1
Cheers Ian,
thanks, the 28-85 and 35-105 zooms are added to my list now. As you say, being so cheap and good they are "must have".
It would be helpful to see some samples from the 35-105 zoom at both wide and tele ends, if you already have some on you HD.

nurkov
Thanks for the links, Nurkov. Very informative.
Sony A mount lenses are certainly to look for, as well.
I've already ordered a Minolta AF 50/1.4, so I'll skip the Sony 50/1.4.
Isn't Sony 100/2.8 the same with Minolta AF 100/2.8? It should be added on my list, I think.

Tedat
Thanks Jan.
Minolta AF 4-4.5/28-135 is added to the list. I'll look for more info on it.
Minolta AF 2/100 should be preferred to the 100/2.8, I think, if I'll afford the price difference.
I read only superlatives about Minolta AF 2.8/200 APO G but, as I intend to get first the 80-200/2.8 zoom, it will have to wait for a wile.

eddieitman
Thanks, the 35/1.8 looks very good, indeed. Clearly to be added to the list.


PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was also interessed some time ago ,thinking about one of the latest Alpha dslr especially with a 35/1,8
By the way , how is the LA E A 4 adapter ?


PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://phillipreeve.net/blog/sony-la-ea4/

Good blog review, the guy covers all the important points.

And - there's the old LA-EA2 which is for the crop sensor cameras, which should be cheaper with the new LA-EA4 being the current model. There's a few LA-EA2 to be found used as well.

http://www.panotwins.de/technical/comparing-sony-la-ea2-and-sony-la-ea4/


.


PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teo wrote:
By the way , how is the LA E A 4 adapter ?

I'm still waiting for it Teo, Hong Kong is far away... Laughing
When it will arrive I'll post my impressions here.


PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me the la-ea4 is great works well, i can adjust lens registration distance to compensate, but the af points are linited to the center mostly can be resttictive i cannot use the adaptor with the ownuser grip for nex7 really a pitty


PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's some samples from the 35-105 on my a850.







PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lovely natural colours from the 35-105 Ian, it looks like a good walkabout landscape lens.


PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot Ian. I really didn't expect it to be so sharp and with such lovely colors. The bokeh looks good, too. I think it is a very nice all-purpose short zoom.
Now I understand why you evaluated it even better than the superb 28-85.
It's in the top of my list.


PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys, it really is as good as a good prime, so I use it a lot. The 28-85 and 70-210 are the other two I use often, they never let me down, they are so well built that even after 30 years and much use, everything still feels tight and as it should.

The bokeh of the 35-105 is very nice, particularly when you use the macro mode, then it is very smooth. The macro mode is very useful, not as good as a real macro lens, but it is the next best thing imho.




PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was given my late friend's Minolta 7000 and the AF35-105. It is a surprisingly nice bit of glass:


Looking for holly par Kris Lockyear, on ipernity


Old pier at Brighton par Kris Lockyear, on ipernity


The old drive, Lamer Park, Herts par Kris Lockyear, on ipernity

Since then I picked up a second 7000 with a AF50/1.4 lens.

I'm trying not to diversify into Minolta too much as my Pentax collection takes up too much room already. Shame the LEDs bleed on the 9000 so much. I don't think I have ever seen one without the bleeding.

Kris.


PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scanned from Carl Shipman's book How to use and select Minolta Maxxum SLR cameras. 1986. There's almost certainly a lot more since then.