24-85mm Minolta

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bakubo
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Re: 24-85mm Minolta

Unread postby bakubo » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:26 am

I bought a Sigma 24mm f2.8 in Tokyo in 1991 and have been using it ever since. It is sometimes considered one of those cheap sleeper lenses. Coincidentally, I even used it today. On the A700 it has a 36mm fov so that is pretty useful for when I want to carry just one small lens. It is also decently fast. I used it at night in Egypt and Japan sometimes while walking around, usually at f3.2 or f2.8. Years ago the photodo site did MTF testing and I recall that it was rated pretty highly there. I just searched and see the site still exists, although it looks different and has other stuff there too. The MTF stuff is still there though.

http://www.photodo.com/product_433_p4.html

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bfitzgerald
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Re: 24-85mm Minolta

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Tue Aug 12, 2014 1:29 pm

Well it's time to re-visit this thread!

After I bought the 24-85mm RS I used it for a few years the odd time (and a bit on 35mm too) and ended up selling it not because it was a bad lens (quite good for the price really) but I was a bit disappointed with the tele end performance (over 50mm) it was a bit too hazy for me and needed stopping down. This is in contrast to the oldie but goodie 28-85mm which was usable at the 85mm end f4.5 (quite good wide open bar closer up shots where you needed to drop it a bit aperture wise)

Wide end the lens did pretty well even on 35mm not tacko sharp corners but respectable though I felt the 28-85mm delivered tasty contrast that was not quite there on the lens. So overall it got a 7/10 for me decent but not quite what I was looking for.

I spotted a brand new boxed (unused) Minolta 24-105mm D on ebay for £105 and nabbed it pretty quick, a cursory glance at some old 2005 photo magazines showed a price from WEX of about £320 odd at the time, and my old lens spreadsheet showed Sony selling it for near the £400 mark. It's ages since I used one (on a film 7 years and years ago) but I'll have a better chance to test it when it arrives.

And if I don't like it I'll simply sell it! Stand by for more details once it arrives I'll do a few tests with it. I have a weakness for boxed minty/new lenses even if they're not on my buy list (this wasn't a priority though 24mm is handy on the 35mm bodies and still of some use on the crop ones) Honestly the 18-135mm should be your first port of call as it has a genuine wide angle for crop bodies, and more reach (albeit with less speed) so I don't expect it to match that optically (it's a sharp lens the Sony) On the other hand £100 isn't a lot for a lens and the Sony is significantly more expensive (bar buying it from far east sellers)

Will post a review once I have the lens to see how it stacks up

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Re: 24-85mm Minolta

Unread postby classiccameras » Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:58 pm

Barry, I have seen a couple of Minolta 24-105 D for sale on a UK used lens site, one for £89 and the other about £69. Just what condition they are in I don't know but they are described as in 'good' condition. I will look forward to your comments on this lens.

Back in my 35mm SLR manual focus film days, you either used a 50mm or 35mm prime on the camera as your walk about lenses, always got good pictures and never yearned for a zoom, well there were not many about in the 60/70 that were any good. I'm very tempted to look for a 20 or 24mm Minolta prime as my walk about lens, on a cropped sensor these would be ideal.

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bfitzgerald
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Re: 24-85mm Minolta

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:48 pm

Well this one is "boxed new" as in never used I'll see on that but the pics showed a basically brand new lens that wasn't used.
If it's up to the acceptable standards I'll keep it (£100 for a new lens that once cost £400) is quite a deal. If it doesn't deliver (relative to what I am looking for) then I'll maybe hunt down a 24mm prime lens at some point. The 20mm looks good too I do like primes but I like the handy aspect of zooms.

I'll start a new thread when it turns up but I'll have to bash a roll of film through it to see what happens on FF. I can get an idea though if I'm happy enough with it on APS-C (ie tele end performance) It's possible I got an ok but not amazing copy of the 24-85mm that lens was mint condition as good as new almost but I found the tele end a bit hazy and needed stopping down. Maybe I'm too fussy but still no point having an f4.5 tele end if you can't really use it

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Re: 24-85mm Minolta

Unread postby classiccameras » Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:52 am

Mike Hohner tested the Minolta 20mm and 24mm primes and he was not very impressed with the 20mm, the 24 in his view was a cracking lens, he also praised the 17-35 F/2.8 D zoom, I have to agree with that, I'm impressed with the 17-35 and when stopped down to F/5.6-F/8 its tac sharp across the frame on a cropped body.
Of course, a lot of these findings can be the result of a good or bad copy as Mike pointed out.

My 24-85 was a mint example although second hand from the LCE, its not bad really and stopped down will produce pretty sharp pictures.

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Re: 24-85mm Minolta

Unread postby Wes Gibbon » Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:31 am

classiccameras wrote:Mike Hohner tested the Minolta 20mm and 24mm primes and he was not very impressed with the 20mm, the 24 in his view was a cracking lens


I agree, at least as far as the 20mm is concerned. It's OK if you want to go that wide on FF (there being a distinct lack of choice!) but for APS-C you're probably better off with an APS-C zoom. The 20mm is quite large and takes a 72mm filter.

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Re: 24-85mm Minolta

Unread postby classiccameras » Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:51 am

Wes, there are different values and performances from a particular lens depending on whether its fitted on a full frame or cropped APS-C camera. Generally these lenses we are talking about were for 35mm/full frame and I suspect in their day were quite good performers on full frame. However, things change when they are fitted to a cropped APS-C body, for a start the focul length changes but also the area of glass the sensor uses is smaller and not right out to the edges that full frame would use, thus the better optical qualities away from the lens edges will be an advantage for APS-C sensors, optically that is. This may explain in some instances why a particular lens on a FF camera gives OK results but on APS-C it gives better results. I think the KM 17-35F/2.8 D is a good case in point.
Like wise, full frame today really needs good glass to do a full frame sensor justice. Even lenses made for the APS-C format need to be chosen carefully.
This is how Kurt Munger explained it.

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bfitzgerald
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Re: 24-85mm Minolta

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:28 pm

Hard to say really the 17-35mm does pretty well on FF (relative to the cost) it requires some stopping down wide end on APS-C too (just the lens design really) where as the 17-50mm does not really (f4 will do it's not even bad f2.8 at 17mm bar the extreme edges) I consider the lenses to be entirely different though the 17-35mm can double duty for APS-C and full frame use, as good as the 17-50mm Tamron is it's APS-C and not a lot of good for FF

I just fancied giving it a bash, if it's not up to expectations I'll just offload it again at that price no loss for the price paid

I'm very cautious of Kurt his tests rarely meet with my own real world experiences of lenses, some do but some of his reviews are a country mile away from what I've found using lenses he's reviewed, some of them some are closer to what I've found, his review of he 28-85mm is way off my own experience I've shot the lens on 35mm for a long time and it's a million miles away from his review sample. Also his 18-135mm is nothing at like my own experience and I consider myself to be on the fussy side. not to knock his work and effort put in, but it would be a very serious mistake to base a buying choice purely on his reviews (like any lens review a single source is risky) I'd look at multiple reviews to get a better overall feel. Had I only ever tried the Sony versions of the 18-70mm DT I would have slammed the lens, but I got a good KM copy and it outperformed the 18-55mm's I had, (I put the test shots up on that quite a difference)

anyway I'll have a look when it turns up and see what this one performs like

I would have kept the 24-85mm as it was pretty good (overall) but the strong veiling haze (over the 35-40mm mark) was a bit disappointing really. The cost of this new 24-105mm is actually less than I paid for the 24-85mm, there are some fine bargains out there if you dig around a bit.

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Re: 24-85mm Minolta

Unread postby classiccameras » Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:35 pm

Barry, some good salient ponts there, Kurt is only one of several areas I use for assessing a lens for purchase. Owners views such as can be found on Dyxum and SLR Gear are more important to me than official reviews, they are concensus based which really can be helpful in making choices especially if you have 200 people reporting on one lens. It will be good to see how your lens pans out, let us know.

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Re: 24-85mm Minolta

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:59 pm

Well again treat with caution though I'm a fan of user reviews the 24-85mm got good reviews on Dyxum maybe I'm more fussy than most ;-)
Kurt's beercan copy is awful CA is a problem but his isn't any good until stopped right down, surprising the variation on some lenses.

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Re: 24-85mm Minolta

Unread postby transiently » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:53 am

I suspect that there was quite a bit of sample variation when these lenses were new, and that for used examples, there is loads, once 20-30 years of use is factored in. I recently bought my second 28-85 (my first had been sold at least 20 years ago!), expecting to be disappointed with it under what I'm calling "digital" scrutiny after reading Kurt Munger and other online reviewers, and guess what? I find it truly excellent on 16MP APS-C. I mean, really very impressive.

My impression of the de-centered 24-85 I am returning to its ebay seller is that the cloudiness at wide apertures starts lower in the focal length range than with the 28-85, and the distortion at 24mm is heavier than the older lens gives at 28. But I'd like to try a good example of the 24-85 sometime.

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Re: 24-85mm Minolta

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:02 pm

Kurt Munger's review of the 28-85mm is another one of his reviews that is completely at odds with my extensive shooting of that lens on film and digital it has it's weaker points (flare being one) but it's a very capable lens and def not mushy in the corners on 35mm and I shot a lot with that lens.

Had I only read Kurts reviews I would have also ignored the 18-135mm as it looks poor, but again this has not been the case with real world shooting. Either Kurt has some truly awful copies of some lenses or his testing methods are flawed. Some lenses are in line with his reports but it would be a very serious mistake to base a buying choice just on one review

I took my Minolta 24-105mm round to a Canon friend who has the 24-105mm F4 L, he was astonished at the size of the lens to put it mildly it isn't a perfect lens but it holds up well v the Canon and it's far far smaller with a slight speed loss at the tele end. IMO a mistake for Sony not to update this lens it's a very well liked focal range for users. He was also slightly fazed by the silly low price I paid for it too, and it's as new condition his Canon has already been repaired once (the common ribbon cable fault aperture blades not working)

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Re: 24-85mm Minolta

Unread postby transiently » Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:21 pm

Yes. We can't totally rely on Kurt.

Although, for whatever reason, it seems the 28-85 no longer seems to have quite the general reputation it used to, compared with, say, the 35-70/4 or first 35-105. It also seems that some of the slightly later lenses like the 28-105 and maybe 24-85 are considered a bit better. I dunno. Minolta obviously sold enough (and at quite a high price, I think) that it was worth their while bringing out the restyled version.

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Re: 24-85mm Minolta

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:44 pm

The 28-85mm has the "classic contrast" that we know and desire. I ran a roll of 35mm with the Minolta against the Tokina 24-200mm I was trying out the Minolta tore bits off that lens the difference was huge the look, micro contrast and resolution were right on the money, but like many of the older lenses CA and flare can be a problem.

In it's range the copy of the 24-85mm wasn't as good as that lens (obviously it went wider and was decent at 24mm) the 24-105mm is different doesn't quite have the look of the older lens, but it's certainly sharp enough for a zoom covering that range. The 35-70mm F4 is just a stonkingly sharp lens I have my minty boxed version it's like a "zoom that's a prime", 35-105mm also another good lens. There are quite a few lenses that cover that range as I have the 24-105mm and the 28-85mm I really don't need another zoom if I wanted more speed I'd pick up the Tamron 24-70 or the 28-75mm F2.8, the 28-105mm is also good I tried that once.

It's not worth me selling the 28-85mm or 35-70mm they are dirt cheap to buy and it would raise so little money the lenses are worth more getting occasional use.

The tricky question is which lens to get if you want a 24 or 28mm to "something" that's a hard one most will only need one zoom lens covering other speeds with primes possibly, that is why the 24-105mm F4 Canon lens is so popular it's a very broad range and you use the primes where you need more speed it's one of the most widely used lenses I've ever seen, some do buy the 24-70mm lenses but that remains a huge seller for Canon. If I were buying on a budget and wanted a normal range but some speed I think the Tamron (or Sony) 28-75mm F2.8 is a cracker for the modest asking price, 24mm is nice though but 28mm is enough most times, then cover the UWA range with another lens.

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Re: 24-85mm Minolta

Unread postby pakodominguez » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:36 am

bfitzgerald wrote:I took my Minolta 24-105mm round to a Canon friend who has the 24-105mm F4 L, he was astonished at the size of the lens to put it mildly it isn't a perfect lens but it holds up well v the Canon and it's far far smaller with a slight speed loss at the tele end. IMO a mistake for Sony not to update this lens it's a very well liked focal range for users. He was also slightly fazed by the silly low price I paid for it too, and it's as new condition his Canon has already been repaired once (the common ribbon cable fault aperture blades not working)

The Canon 24-105 f4 is not a great lens, but works OK on cameras with better AF than the 5D and 5DII. Still, the Minolta 24-105 is "as good" as the Canon (minus the constant aperture). The Minolta 24-85 is really good (for the money...) I used a couple of copies of this lens on A850/A900/A99 cameras. It is good most of the times, a little bit soft, wide open, at 85mm (as we could expect).
Now, if you compare it with, lets say, the Sony Zeiss 24-70, the Minolta is a OK (just) performer on digital, while the Zeiss can deliver more and cleaner detail: well, it is a 1400+ dollars lens, right? so the Minolta cost 1/10 of the price of the Zeiss...
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