Minolta 100mm f/2.0

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AJ Gressette
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Minolta 100mm f/2.0

Unread postby AJ Gressette » Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:43 am

What happen to the Legendary Minolta 100 f/2.0 on the Alpha 900? I am not as pleased with this lens as I was with the 700, etc.
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Re: Minolta 100mm f/2.0

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:51 am

Maybe the same as happened with the 28mm f2 and the 100mm f2.8 SF which I own. They are wonderful on the A700 but on the A900, both show more CA and softness to the outer regions of the frame. The 28mm is quite disappointing for architectural work because the barrel distortion is enough to need correction. Both, of course, remain very sharp centrally.

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Re: Minolta 100mm f/2.0

Unread postby AJ Gressette » Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:06 am

I have the 28 f/2 and the 100 f/2.8 soft focus, but I was extremely disappointed as I was with the 100 2. I never experienced this with film at ISO 50 or 25. At first I thought it was the focus setting in the A9 but no matter what I do it is just not as pleasing as the A7.
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Re: Minolta 100mm f/2.0

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:38 am

Yes, it's an odd thing. Some quite cheap zoom lenses which would not have been great on the A700 end up performing well on the A900, and some primes which were nearly perfect on the A700 are very ordinary on the A900. Fortunately one lens which benefits is my 50mm f1.4 - it was never much use on the A700 due to general focusing inaccuracy and consistent back focus when other lenses were OK, but it's perfect on the A900 even wide open. Same goes for the 70-210mm beercan - it was always good on the A700, exceptional on the A350, and now it turns out to be exceptional on the A900. The 28mm f2 may need a focus micro adjustment, so far I have not managed to get the sharpness I want from it even in ideal conditions. I've tried some adjustments without improvement, not very scientific, need to return to this when I have time.

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Re: Minolta 100mm f/2.0

Unread postby sparaxis » Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:06 am

I guess it is something we are all trying to get to grips with.

A lens with very good central performance tends to look good on APS-C, however, edge performance tends to become significant with full frame.
One lens that really surprised me was the cheap ultra compact 28-80 3.5-5.6. You really really really do not want to take pictures at 80mm f5.6.

Stop it down to F8 or 11 and it is spectacular. Shooting on 35mm Ilford delta 100 is as good a test as any.

Bitingly sharp.

But I digress.

There has always been variability with lenses. My "good" 24 mm may be better than your 20mm but the converse may just as well be true. For example our friend at Artaphot who has done many tests with both the A700 and A900 has a very disappointing 24mm. He shows the 20mm to be much better. MJ Hohner in his test of the 17-25G vs primes shows the opposite. My 24mm is really good even at f2.8 across the field. First generation version, "refurbished" from Minolta USA.

It does not help that an 8x10 inch print was regarded as an "enlargement" in the good old days and now everything has to be sharp at 200%.

One interesting thing is that a lot of the older reviews I have show the 20 mm as being mediocre. (Do not feel bad, the Canon and Nikon equivalents were also just as bad) Later reviews show it as relatively good. Did something change in the late 1990s? At least it is better than the 20mm F2.8 MD, which had terrible vignetting problems.

I notice some general trends in most reviews:

The 24 is generally good.
The 28 f2.0 is much better than the f2.8 which is in the "why bother"class
The 35mm f2.0 is a great little lens and better generally than the f1.4. (price/performance)
Of the 50s, the 1.4 is generally better than the 1.7. the f2.8 Macro is best except for a "sensor flare" issue on some older lenses.
Pop Photo called the 85/f1.4 a "near mythical lens". However the "Zeiss" is probably even better.
(If only Minolta had an autofocus version of the 85/f2.0 MD - an absolute gem)
The 100 f2.0 is a gem, but the f2.8 macro may be the sharpest lens Minolta ever made
(except maybe for the 200 f2.8)

Of the main stream film era zooms the best one can say is they seem to have been "less bad" than many of the Canon equivalents.

But don't take my word for anything...I've been known to state the the lens on my 1957 Autocord is as good as anything on a Rolleiflex. (And I have two)

Alan

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As for the 85/1.4,

Unread postby Yagil Henkin » Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:17 am

My brother just bought one (mint condition, in original case, looks as if it was never used) and I used it on my A700. Amazing. sharp even wide open, much more than the 50/1.4. Gets even better at 2.8, and has low CA all the way, except for some extreme situation. I heard that the Zeiss 85 is different - different color rendition, and pepole disagree about the question Is it better than the Minolta version; some preffer it this way, some - the other way around.

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Re: Minolta 100mm f/2.0

Unread postby sparaxis » Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:11 pm

You find a lot of debate in the Leica rangefinder arena with respect to "new" vs "old"

The latest ASP lenses are extremely sharp, but many prefer the older all spherical designs. Generally "good" bokeh is a sign of less correction for spherical aberration. With a spherical lens design there is more of a compromise between full aperture performance, where the steeply curved edge of the lens has more of an impact, and stopped down where the flatter parts do all the imaging. This compromise gives rise to things like focus shift on stopping down.

Coming back to Alpha.

Traditionally lenses like most 50/1.4s and the 85/1.4 were designed for best results stopped down a bit while accepting that open aperture performance would be somewhat less than it could otherwise be. This limits the focus shift and other things.

Minolta tried to design a "better" 85/1.4 in the form of the "Limited". This thing was much heavier and extremely good, but they only made 700 of them. I suspect they were forced into a 85mm redesign as the original definitely included lead bearing glass. For whatever reason they decided the "limited" was not a viable replacement for the old 85mm and who knows what they were planning to do next.

From all I have read the Zeiss is a little sharper and contrastier at full aperture than the old Minolta, but the Bokeh suffers a bit as a consequence. The lens coating is different as well. Either way, both are great lenses. The British magazine "Amateur Photographer" used the results from the 85mm/1.4 as their "Best ever low contrast performance" as a reference on their test reports for a number of years.

I just wish I had managed to snag a new 85 G (D) just before they disappeared off the market.

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Re: Minolta 100mm f/2.0

Unread postby artaphot » Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:40 am

On my a700 i used to prefer the MinAF 1.4/85mm over the MinAF 2.0/100mm. The latter could not been focused to infinity, as many other of my old Minolta AF lenses. And there was backfocus. When the A900 arrived I had the same problems. First I removed the thinnest shim between lens bayonet and lens body, and then I adjusted the a900 AF by setting the Micro-AF value to about -10 (one of the strongest, apart from the 28-70mm G). I had similar problems with infinity using several other old AF lenses (e. g. MinAF 4-4.5/28-135mm, 3.5-4.5/28-85mm, 3.5-4.5/35-105mm, 2.8/20mm, 2.8/24mm, and 2.0/35mm)

Now the MinAF 2.0/100mm lens delivers simply perfect results, even wide open:
http://artaphot.ch/index.php?option=com ... &Itemid=59

Hope this information is useful.

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Re: Minolta 100mm f/2.0

Unread postby Birma » Sat Nov 15, 2008 2:38 pm

Hi artaphot - welcome to the forum. You have a very interesting web site with useful comparisons and some lovely picture - I like the ones of Bhutan especially. Thank you for sharing your research.
Nex 5, Nex 6 (IR), A7M2, A99 and a bunch of lenses.

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Re: Minolta 100mm f/2.0

Unread postby Dr. Harout » Sat Nov 15, 2008 5:27 pm

I didn't know where exactly to post a welcome to Artaphot. And when I saw that Birma has already done that, I thought to join him would be the best idea.
I glanced the site of Artaphot and I'm really pleased. That is a very very important site and database for us all Alpha mount users. I think there should be a link here in this forum.
So a big big welcome to Artaphot. :D
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Re: Minolta 100mm f/2.0

Unread postby pakodominguez » Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:53 pm

David Kilpatrick wrote:Maybe the same as happened with the 28mm f2 and the 100mm f2.8 SF which I own. They are wonderful on the A700 but on the A900, both show more CA and softness to the outer regions of the frame.

Hello David,
Any samples from this lens (100mm f2.8 SF)?
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Re: Minolta 100mm f/2.0

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:01 am

Not yet. I'll find a use soon. I am in Mallorca for week now and only have 12-24mm Sigma (on test), 28-105mm RS and 70-300mm SSM with me.

David

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Re: Minolta 100mm f/2.0

Unread postby pakodominguez » Sun Nov 16, 2008 2:34 pm

Palma?
The Real Mallorca plays in Almeria today (you'll miss a good game...)
I remember a trip to Palma in 1999 or 2000, in febraury: 18 degrees early in the afternoon while in Paris we had 0 degrees! and mallorquis are nice people. Enjoy!
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Re: Minolta 100mm f/2.0

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Sun Nov 16, 2008 6:01 pm

Sitting here with a second beer in the hotel lounge, day out to Valldemossa, Deia and Soller - not too many good shots, but some excellent sunsets (with the first beer!) back at base overlooking a small harbour. Summer visitors would never get the same sunset. Autumn colours are great in the mountain towns.

Forgot, I also have my 50mm f1.4 with me. Frightening thing is that every shot from this looks SO much sharper than anything else even on the camera. Using my EeePC to communicate, not yet transferred or viewed any but shooting raw for economy and probably can not without downloading new GIMP/UFraw stuff.

David

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Re: Minolta 100mm f/2.0

Unread postby bakubo » Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:39 pm

David Kilpatrick wrote:Sitting here with a second beer in the hotel lounge, day out to Valldemossa, Deia and Soller - not too many good shots, but some excellent sunsets (with the first beer!) back at base overlooking a small harbour. Summer visitors would never get the same sunset. Autumn colours are great in the mountain towns.


It is 8:30 AM here so a bit early for a beer, much less a second. :) Maybe later.

Forgot, I also have my 50mm f1.4 with me. Frightening thing is that every shot from this looks SO much sharper than anything else even on the camera. Using my EeePC to communicate, not yet transferred or viewed any but shooting raw for economy and probably can not without downloading new GIMP/UFraw stuff.


By the way, I asked you about the Eee PC sometime back and finally got around to ordering one. I got the new Eee PC 900HA and it should be delivered this week. I ended up only paying US$262 for it: 1.6ghz Intel Atom cpu, 8.9" screen, 1gb ram, 160gb hd, WinXP.


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