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Minolta 17mm f4 - anything substatially better ?
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is an inexpensive copy of a very fine 17mm lens:

Click here to see on Ebay

It is commonplace to see this lens offered much nearer to US$1000. This copy is less expensive than that probably because of the mount, and perhaps because it is not pristine.

There is a whole lot of glass in that lens . . . a whole lot!


PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking carefully at old "Modern Photography" test (1974) i found that an early version (obviously MC-X) of the MC 4/17mm was said not to have floating focusing, while the newer version (also MC-X!!) was said to have floating focusing:

"Before Minolla redesigned its 17mm lens it did not have the floating-element system, so we were looking for improved corner image quality ..."
And:
"When we included the middle area of the film image we found that the floating-element design indeed represented improvement."

Could that explain some of the discrepancies ...??


Towards the end of the month i will have the opportunity to compare the Tamron 3.5/17mm (51B), the Tokina RMC 3.5/17mm and the Minolta MD-II 4/17mm. Results will be published on artaphot, as usual.

Stephan


PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

guardian wrote:
Here is an inexpensive copy of a very fine 17mm lens:

Click here to see on Ebay

It is commonplace to see this lens offered much nearer to US$1000. This copy is less expensive than that probably because of the mount, and perhaps because it is not pristine.

There is a whole lot of glass in that lens . . . a whole lot!


I've got a Noritar 17 in Canon FD mount, exactly the same as that one on ebay, it's a nice lens - but I think the Tokina 17 is a better lens.


PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another Minolta MD 17mm f4 review and test

(https://photolenses.wordpress.com/2017/09/01/minolta-md-17mm-4/)


PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tf wrote:
Another Minolta MD 17mm f4 review and test

(https://photolenses.wordpress.com/2017/09/01/minolta-md-17mm-4/)


Interesting to see that this guy uses all my carefully scanned and coloured Minolta lens sections (from my "artaphot" site), without asking for permission, of course.

Strange people ...

Stephan


PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:
tf wrote:
Another Minolta MD 17mm f4 review and test


Interesting to see that this guy uses all my carefully scanned and coloured Minolta lens sections (from my "artaphot" site), without asking for permission, of course.

Strange people ...

Stephan


I apologize. But nobody knew that the rights for the optical schemes of Minolta belong to you. You did not even specify the source of this pictures. Are you allowed to upload scanned materials without the permission of the author?
Of course, after you said that these schemes were scanned (stolen?) from books and changed without the permission of the rightholders, they were all deleted.

By the way, our site uses Creative Common-BY license, so if you need anything - welcome! Wink


PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tf wrote:

I apologize. But nobody knew that the rights for the optical schemes of Minolta belong to you.

It's not about the optical schemes - use the Minolta prospects, if you want.

It's a fair amount of work in searching the schemes, scanning and coloring them. Last but not least i keep my website free from advertising and other money-making stuff. I find it disgusting, if others use my work to make money, without asking and without caring at all.

tf wrote:
You did not even specify the source of this pictures. Are you allowed to upload scanned materials without the permission of the author?

That's a good question. Concerning the scans of Minolta/Sony lenses in my large book (2010) i was in contact only with Sony representatives (who took responsability). During Photokina 2010 I was told that the corresponding Minolta people - now working for Sony - had seen the freshly printed book, and that they were very happy about the book and especially the Minolta stuff in there. But you are right, there is no formal written contract concerning the use of Minolta lens sections on my website; i simply relied on the oral arrangements. Your point is a good point, and i will try to re-establish the contacts with Minolta people to make a written deal. If we're lucky this might even result in "new" (insider) knowledge about some vintage Minolta lenses!!

tf wrote:

By the way, our site uses Creative Common-BY license, so if you need anything - welcome! Wink

Thank you, i'm not into that.


PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:
Thank you, i'm not into that.


Let me add a few words:
I absolutely misunderstood the origin of these images, and I was sure that you also took them from official sources. I really regret that it happened, especially since I know the principles of the Internet and never used someone else's property for my own purposes. You made the good site, I liked to consider your tests. Good luck!


PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice site. Hard work!
I suppose you intend to do the whole late (MD) range...
Then, after this, you may put short analysis/comments on strengths and weaknesses.
And why not some conclusions?


PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad. Thank you

I hope to do all New MD range but it's impossible - a few of lenses too rare to find even the photos of them, some another lenses I can't find for reasonable price (and to be honestly - some lenses I can't afford even if it will be sold after tests).
Now target is - to test all New MD prime lenses which haven't specialization (no tele, macro, fisheye, etc) - it's a real to do. Then will continue to find available special lenses one-by-one, don't know how many years it will take
And you absolutely right about strengths and weaknesses information - I have to do it, just need a more time to finish tests before. But I'am not sure that I can be objective Smile
BTW: I'm impressed with your collection!


PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few more images taken with the MD 4/17mm on the Sony A7II, taken this morning i my home town.
The combination of the A7II with the MD 4/17mm feels quite well balanced. Focusing is precise and quite smooth. The aperture ring, made from metal, moves equally precise (much better to use than the Canon FD or Konica Hexanon AR aperture rings).


First image, taken at sunrise (look at the mountains in the background). While some distortion is present, it is hardly visible.



A few moments later, on the other side of the river, in the old part of the town.



A small square, hidden behind ancient buildings. Taken at f4 (wide open); the vignetting helps to keep the sky coloured (at f11 the sky becomes too bright).




Looking from the old town to the other side of the river. The A7II and the 17mm 1:4 do nicely bridge the contrast between the foreground and the brightly lightened building in the center. Pay attention to the skillful correction of the distortion: is is visible only in the extreme corners (where it usually doesn't disturb at all).




Finally the headquarter of our local state bank - there are lots of straight lines, and now in the upper left corner the distortion becomes obvious!

Apart from the Minolta MC/MD 4/17mm I have been using the Canon FD 4/17mm and the Zeiss CY Distagon 4/18mm. Concerning extreme corners, the Zeiss has a slight advantage (which is gone if you crop the Minolta 17mm images to "18mm"); surprisingly, the Minolta has slightly better contrast and better colors than the Zeiss. The Canon's resolution is nearly identical to the Minolta's; the Canon however has a bit duller colours.

Stephan


PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for reviving this old thread, Steve. I'd totally forgotten about it, even though I wrote several comments on the first page of posts. I've become intrigued by all the comments and images about the Schneider 0.7x, so I checked into it further -- because I don't own an FF digital yet -- and I like what I found. So I found a new one very reasonably priced on eBay and bought it just now. I plan to try it out on my Canon FD 28mm and 24mm lenses and see how it works with my NEX 7. Hopefully it will do a good job.

Steve, if you ever get the chance to try either the Tokina or Tamron 17mm f/3.5, you might want to give either a try. They're excellent performers and not too expensive on the used market.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent pictures! Pity this lens is so difficult to find at decent price...


PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:

Steve, if you ever get the chance to try either the Tokina or Tamron 17mm f/3.5, you might want to give either a try. They're excellent performers and not too expensive on the used market.


On Apr 07, 2017, in this thread, i've been publishing two images about Minolta MD 4/17mm vs Tokina 3.5/17mm on 24 MP FF.
I don't know the Tamron SP 3.5/17mm variants, but I suspect it to be better than the Tokina.

Stephan


PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Antoine wrote:
Excellent pictures! Pity this lens is so difficult to find at decent price...


Two years ago, I paid CHF 300.-- for a mint MD-III, here in a local shop and with 3 months of guarantee. It was the first time I had ever seen the lens on sale here in Switzerland! Some months later I met another Minolta collector who had bought his MD-III 4/17 for a mere CHF 70.--, from a user who obviously was eager to get rid of his outdated camera (incl. lens, that is ...).

Such things happen.

Two years ago i got the MD 5.6/250mm for CHF 100.--, also from a local camera shop. They had had it for a few days in their display window, not indicating a price. Finally I was asking, and surprisingly the amount was quite ... OK Wink

Or my new FD 1.2/50mm L: absolutely mint, from the collection of a rich local merchant who simply had bought all the new Canon stuff as soon as it was put on the market - but with a stuck aperture, due to obvious non-use: CHF 150.--.

Stephan


PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coming back to the original title of the tread.

Have acquired a Minolta MD 17mm/F4 earlier this year for the use with my Sony A7R II and compared it with my other rectilinear UWA lens, my Voigtlaender 15mm/F4.5 Series 1 in LTM/M39.
Interestingly the very outer corners are much better with the CV 15mm lens, particularly in infinity landscape sceneries. It's almost impossible to get them tack sharp with the Minolta 17mm lens, independently of used aperture.
However, for users of the "normal" A7 with the old style sensor the old CV 15mm lens is not recommendable due to the well known sensor stack issues (color shift).
Anyway, for users of the newer BSI-CMOS sensor A7/A7R cameras the Voigtlaender lens may be a good or the better alternative. The used prices are quite comparable and the much smaller size and weight in combination with the larger field of view of the CV lens are additional benefits.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually since my original post I did find something better - a Rokinon CV14M-NEX 14mm T3.1 for a curiously low price on Amazon Mexico ! it is free of the often quoted problem of decentering, much more contrast and colour saturation too.


PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hemeterfilms wrote:
Actually since my original post I did find something better - a Rokinon CV14M-NEX 14mm T3.1 for a curiously low price on Amazon Mexico ! it is free of the often quoted problem of decentering, much more contrast and colour saturation too.


Yep, that's true.

But its distortion .... !!!

And, back in 2011 when i was guiding a group of Minolta/Sony photographers in Tuscany/Umbria (see http://www.artaphot.ch/archiv-2011-2013/firenze-assisi-2011), one of the participants did use the lens on the Sony A900. Excellent sharpness at the beginning of the week, mediocre on Wednesday, a disturbing rattle on thursday, and an internal lens doublet becoming loose / falling off on Friday!!

It was fun to watch dissolving the original pride of the owner ...

Stephan


PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I haven't had that problem but I was aware that QC was a bit of a gamble. As for the distortion, well yes it can be quite noticeable but I use a one - click profile in Lightroom. Overall I still think it is the best value ultra-wide for FF. My Minolta 17mm has been unused since I got the Rokinon so I'm tempted to do a side by side comparison.


PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hemeterfilms wrote:
Well I haven't had that problem but I was aware that QC was a bit of a gamble. As for the distortion, well yes it can be quite noticeable but I use a one - click profile in Lightroom. Overall I still think it is the best value ultra-wide for FF. My Minolta 17mm has been unused since I got the Rokinon so I'm tempted to do a side by side comparison.

That would be interesting! I expect a (properly manufactured) Rokinon / Samyang 2.8/14mm to clearly outperform the vintage Minolta 4/17mm, especially when using lens profiles on the Rokinon 14mm.

Stephan