Close
Close
Page 1 of 2 12 Last
  1. #1
    Seeking~Zen is offline I'm new here!
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Guelph area, Ontario
    Posts
    37

    Default Minolta AF lenses - the good, the bad and the ugly?

    So, I'm trying to wrap my head around finding better glass for my a330, but I'm just getting overwhelmed with the sea of minolta lenses out there. I was given the recommendation by a member here to search for a AF 35-135 and a AF 100mm macro. I couldn't get over the sharpness of these lenses in the photos shown in dyxum.com's reviews. I had to have them...until my wallet found out what these sell for used. These two are scarce and pricey. While I'm certainly going to keep these high on my want list, I'm wondering about the plethora of other minolta lenses out there.

    It seems I've heard some so-so things about the 28-80 kit lens. I've located a reasonably priced 35-75(? I think) at a camera shop, but when I suggested I wanted to replace my sony 18-55 kit lens with something better he told me that due to my sensor, the lens he had would be more equal to a 55-100mm. So now I'm wondering if the actual equivalent should be something like the Minolta AF17-35? THEN, I look up the prices. I thought golf and fishing were expensive hobbies!!

    The more I try to read up on the specs, the more confused I get. Are new Sony, Tamron, Sigma lenses designed for digital a better bet? Is there any minolta lenses I should specifically avoid? In the end, I'd like to upgrade my kit lens, buy a macro (above), a fisheye or wide angle and maybe upgrade my 300mm sony (SAL75300). The noisy motors, speed and weights aren't a huge concern for me as much as image quality. I don't mind saving for the *right* lens...I just need to know what *right* is.

    Please feel free to list your faves and not so faves regarding older lenses?
    Last edited by Seeking~Zen; 01-28-2011 at 10:40 PM.
    Sony a330 and Sony DSC-H50

  2. #2
    inkista's Avatar
    inkista is offline Gear Geek Girl
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    San Diego CA, USA
    Posts
    11,014

    Default

    Hate to say it, but I think the dyxum guys are probably going to be more helpful to you than we are.

    Give it some time. It's a lot of information to take in when you start learning about lenses. Just be aware that each lens has an individual character, and that it's that character as much as the specs that you'll want to consider when purchasing a lens.

    Figure out a budget. Figure out the features you want, see what's the best fit for you.

    And yeah, they're just that costly. At least you aren't (yet) looking at the Zeiss ZA prices.

    Between new and vintage glass, the basic tradeoffs are basically more function, newer designs, and better availability and consistent pricing, vs. lower prices, wider selection, and vintage "feel". Just be aware that vintage glass folks are atypical: they'll prize lenses for a drawing quality that most folks may not even be able to see, and they're usually willing to put up with more inconvenience in a lens, and to use one just because they can. I should know. I'm one of them (albeit of the Canon EOS variety).

    And just to make life even more complicated, just wanted you to note that you are not limited solely to Minolta AF and M42 lenses, if you're willing to replace a lens mount with a Leitax kit, you can use Nikon F, too.
    I shoot with a Canon 5DmkII, 50D, and S90, and Pansonic G3. flickr stream and equipment list

  3. #3
    Seeking~Zen is offline I'm new here!
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Guelph area, Ontario
    Posts
    37

    Default

    Thanks very much. As daunting as the list of lenses is on that site, I gave it another read through. Now I have quite a wish list going on, though maybe more new ones than older. The new Sony Vario-Sonnar looks pretty promising, though at my upper budget limit. I had no idea mounts could be changed - I'm afraid to even go there!! Great link though.
    Sony a330 and Sony DSC-H50

  4. #4
    jml79 is offline Confused and Dazed - ?
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    268

    Default

    I have used a mix of Minolta, Sony, Tamron and a few Sigma lenses for the A mount. My walkaround lens is my 28-105. It's a 15-20 year old Minolta lens. It's fairly sharp but it suffers some CA that I have to correct in PP. I find that the lenses made for film can feel a little cramped when shooting inside. 28mm is not wide enough.

    My list for the perfect lens kit for me would be;

    Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
    Tamron 70-300MM F4.5.6 DI USD
    Sony 50mm f/1.4 or Minolta/Sony 50mm f/2.8 Macro

    Collection of older Minolta primes and macro lenses to play with.

    I happen to like Tamron. They are part owned by Sony and make some of the Sony line including some of Sony's higher end lenses. Because of this Sony users don't have to worry about compatibility issues that others may have with Tamron and Sony users have with Sigma (my 70-210 won't work on SLT camera's). They might not be as heavy as some other company's lenses but to me they are a good compromise between cost and features and most seem to have excellent optical qualities.
    Sony A100, Sony 18-70, Minolta 28-105xi, Sigma 70-210 APO. Kata 3N1-20
    Canon Powershot SX20is
    Lots more to buy, no money to spend.

  5. #5
    bono is offline dPS Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Hamburg, Germany
    Posts
    95

    Default

    I have owned quite a lot of old Minolta lenses, here are my recommendations:

    Macro:
    There is actually a very cheap and very good macro but it is really quite rare: The old Sigma 50mm f/2,8 macro (the picture at Dyxum is actually my lens):
    Sigma*50 F2.8 AF Macro* lens for Sony Alpha - Minolta camera mount
    You can also have a look for the older versions of the Tamron 90mm f/2,8 macro. They are very good and very sharp.
    Don't buy the Minolta 50mm f/2,8 macros, they tend to produce sensor reflections. The Tamron 90mm f/2,5 1:2 Macro has the same issue.

    Zoom upgrade:
    The Tamron 17-50 f/2,8 is said to be a good choice. There is a new Sigma 17-50 f/2,8 which should be okay, too if it features HSM. If you prefer a longer range, try the Sony 16-105 which is said to be really good or the old and very heavy Minolta 28-135. If you can find a good copy it is really great.

    Telephoto upgrade:
    This is very expensive. The Sony should be okay, you could try the cheap Minolta 70-210 f/3,5-4,5 or the Minolta 100-300 APO. All faster lenses tend to be very much more expensive. So if you are on a budget just stick to your 75-300.
    Body: Sony Alpha 500Macros: Sigma AF 50 f/2,8 - Tamron SP AF 90 f/2,8 Primes: Tokina AT-X Pro 17 f/3,5 - Minolta AF 50 f/1,7 Zooms: Sony 18-55 - Sigma 21-35 f/3,5-4,2 - Minolta 35-70 f/4 - Minolta 28-135 f/4-4,5 - Minolta 35-105RS f/3,5-4,5 - Minolta 70-210 f/4 - Minolta 75-300 f/4,5-5,6 (VS1) Flash: Metz 54 MZ-4
    http://de.zooomr.com/photos/bono/

  6. #6
    Seeking~Zen is offline I'm new here!
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Guelph area, Ontario
    Posts
    37

    Default

    thanks very much folks, I'm think I'm going to pick up either the Sigma or Tamron 18-50mm 2.8. I'm waiting to see a review of the new Sigma HSM on how it compares to the Sony Vario (CZ) 16-80mm and the Tamron 18-50.
    Sony a330 and Sony DSC-H50

  7. #7
    DonSchap's Avatar
    DonSchap is offline dPS Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    296

    Lightbulb Have a few extra lenses ...

    I am releasing several lenses to accumulate funds to purchase the new SIGMA 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM. This bad boy is seriously priced and I am willing to make a few of my duplicate focal lengths available to a reasonable price, if you are interested.

    Please see my GEAR LIST to get an idea of what's up and drop a line if you are interested.

    Maybe you can find a solution with some decent glass.

  8. #8
    Dodge's Avatar
    Dodge is offline Online Frivolity Tour 97-
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Northumberland, England
    Posts
    544

    Default

    Hi sz,

    Sorry I didn't reply to your PM sooner, I have been away from the forum for longer than I realized, it seems.

    As Inksta said, Dyxum really is the place to check out the lenses. I spend hours on there before ever buying a lens and an much the better off, and wiser for it.

    I think one thing to consider too is that if you do get one of the few 'plum' minolta lenses, although they undoubtedly all have their own little quirks here and there compared to the more modern lenses, you can often be getting a product that will give you much more satisfying results for your money. (ala the 28-135 which really is a bit special imo).

    A good replacement for your SAL 75-300 would be the Sony 70-300 g ssm which I can personally vouch for. It's not cheep, but then again, for a G lens, it's not really expensive by comparison to other G lenses. It does have low light limitations though as it isn't the fastest, but I guess that's reflected in the price.

    Have you checked out the Minolta 70-210 f4 'Beercan'? I haven't owned one, but it was on my 'to get' list until I got the 75-300 G. It seemed a bit frivolous to have both . Not too hard to find one and another quite highly regarded lens. Might be worth checking out.

    The thing is with the used Minolta lenses, if you get one and don't like it, you can easily resell it and recoup most, if not all of what you spent. If you buy new on the other hand, that's unlikely to happen.

  9. #9
    PWhite214's Avatar
    PWhite214 is offline dPS Forum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Gulf Coast, Texas
    Posts
    538

    Default

    I am impressed with the KM 28-85mm. It is not the fastest lens at f3,5-4.5 and 28mm is not real wide on the C sized sensor, but the two copies I have are sharp and give me nice colors. You can find them for around $50 on E Bay.

    Phil
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/pwhite214/

    Sony A77, Sony A700, Dynax 9, Maxxum 7, mostly Minolta lenses

  10. #10
    Seeking~Zen is offline I'm new here!
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Guelph area, Ontario
    Posts
    37

    Default One down, one to go!

    I just got my hands on the Minolta 28-135mm and all I have to say is wow. I LOVE the details & colours these lenses have. I used to tweak the colours in almost every shot taken with the 18-55 kit lens, and now I simply convert from raw. I can live with the limitations (weight, narrower angle and slower speed) with this kind of IQ.

    Thanks for the recommendations on this lens...now to find a copy of the 100mm Macro.
    Sony a330 and Sony DSC-H50

Page 1 of 2 12 Last

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Log in

Log in