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"Mythical Lenses"

Posted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:16 pm
by bfitzgerald
Thought it might be useful for users to share experiences with some of the less well used lenses out there.
This is my list of lenses I have no experience of - maybe people who have used them can comment.

Minolta/Sony 16mm F2.8 fisheye
I can get hold of one of these for a nuts low price, I just wonder if it's a lens I'd use that much
Minolta/Sony 20mm F2.8
Another prime I toyed with getting, but it was costly on the Sony badge - prices on the Minolta version seem fairly good now
Minolta 28-70mm F2.8 G
Prices falling in this one recently - a quick read of my old photo magazine showed a list price of £1000 in 2005!
Minolta 17-35mm F3.5 G
What I've read it's not better than the budget KM/Tamron offering, if that's true remains a mystery ;-) Was also around £1000 in 2005
Minolta 24mm F2.8
Another never used prime on the might try list
Minolta 35mm F1.4 G
Seems some people find this lens to be anything but great from a technical angle, whilst others swear it has a unique "look". I never had this on my list as I find 35mm primes a bit here nor there - ie not wide, not tele
Sony Zeiss 50mm F1.4
When it came out it was expensive - but compared to the new L mount Panasonic 50mm F1.4 it looks like a bargain on the used market and much smaller - is it any good though?
Sony 55-300mm
Using FF not a lens I'd be that interested in, but some say it's sharp puppy for crop users
Sony 70-300mm G
Prices falling on this (first version), with mixed reports on the performance
Sony 70-400mm G
another on the buy list, some decent prices on this one in recent times

Any thoughts on those or any lenses not mentioned, sharing experiences might be useful to other users :mrgreen:

Re: "Mythical Lenses"

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:24 pm
by classiccameras
I used an A mount Minolta 24 - 85 F/3.5 almost exclusively on my A-37, only cost me £39, It was an average performer, but to useful to sell

Re: "Mythical Lenses"

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:33 pm
by classiccameras
Forgot to say, one of my favourite A mount lenses was the Konica Minolta 17-35 F/2.8, it was a re badged Tamron with a few cosmetic changes and was very good optically, but you had to be careful of flare

Re: "Mythical Lenses"

Posted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:24 pm
by bfitzgerald
The 17-35mm...used both Tamron and the KM re-badge. Infinity focus is different position on the Tamron, aside from that it's a cosmetic thing from what I can see. It filled, and still does to a point, a gap in the A mount system, ie an UWA zoom that isn't Zeiss expensive. Sony never made a 16-35mm F4 or variable aperture, hence the choice was a big wallet dent or something like the KM/Tamron. It's quite a good lens for what it is - stop it down and you can get good results across the range.

Prices on that seem to have shot up a bit, perhaps E mount users are digging around for something that isn't expensive. Their F4 16-35mm is about £1000, double that for the F2.8. Some say the Tamron 15-30mm is a great lens, never used it, nor the 17-35mm G - which is also quite expensive still.
KM did use some Tamron's like the 28-75mm F2.8, which Sony copied, added a SAM motor, and increased the price..cough.
I've not tried that either.

Re: "Mythical Lenses"

Posted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:33 pm
by classiccameras
Some say the KM 17-35 F3.5 was a better lens, but its rare to find and a whole lot dearer if you do find one. Some of the earlier Minolta A mount primes were very good, such as the 20-mm & 28-mm, Most Minolta and KM lenses produced some fabulous colours, but I have always felt that after Sony took over, they increased the contrast of the glass/coatings and I was not so impressed

Re: "Mythical Lenses"

Posted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:37 pm
by pakodominguez
bfitzgerald wrote:Minolta/Sony 20mm F2.8
Another prime I toyed with getting, but it was costly on the Sony badge - prices on the Minolta version seem fairly good now

I had two copies of this lens. The first one was poor: even the KM 17-35 performed better at 20mm than the prime.
The second copy (the one I have now) perform much better. I use it on the A900 but also on the A7RIII with the LAEA4 adapter. I wanted to shoot some video with it, with the LAEA3 adapter. But the focus ring is so narrow! Minolta really didn't want us to manual focus the Maxxum lenses.

bfitzgerald wrote:Minolta 24mm F2.8
Another never used prime on the might try list

I also got couple samples of this lens. Weak performer. Like the Minolta/Sony 28mm f2.8. There is a reason why is cheap on the used market...

bfitzgerald wrote:Minolta 35mm F1.4 G
Seems some people find this lens to be anything but great from a technical angle, whilst others swear it has a unique "look". I never had this on my list as I find 35mm primes a bit here nor there - ie not wide, not tele

I thought about this lens (I can get the Sony version with a nice discount). I was also looking for the Minolta 35mm f2.0. I was told (by a guy who wanted to sell me his 35f2.0) that the internet was plagued with reviews of the 35f1.4 saying that it was "soft". I didn't find that many reviews actually. Neither I bought this guy's lens. The prices on the 35f2.0 went down (like many other Minolta A-mount lenses) so I decided to go for the 35mmf2.0. I bought one 35f2.0 and it was actually soft... so I sold it as fast as I could. Later on I found another copy of it and it performs as expected. And yes, this one have a "unique look". And sharp.
I use the 35mm focal as "normal. I only have 50mm lenses that are Macro, in case I have to do something that technically need such lens.

bfitzgerald wrote:Any thoughts on those or any lenses not mentioned, sharing experiences might be useful to other users :mrgreen:
[/quote]

The 100 f2.8 Soft Focus is one of my favorites. Even when I don't use it for the soft focus. The Soft Focus effect become less noticeable if you step down the aperture to 5.6 or 8, but you can still see a difference in bokeh.

Re: "Mythical Lenses"

Posted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:48 pm
by pakodominguez
bfitzgerald wrote:KM did use some Tamron's like the 28-75mm F2.8, which Sony copied, added a SAM motor, and increased the price..cough.
I've not tried that either.

I never used the Tamron version but I remember a lot of complains about the mechanics, many returns...
I had the KM version, that I liked very much. Really nice performer and great at close focus.
I try to replaced it by the SAM version. I didn't do aside-by-side test, but I can tell you that the SAM was faster and more accurate in low light. I didn't kept the SAM because I have the opportunity to get the Sony 24-70 f2.8, and I went for it.

Re: "Mythical Lenses"

Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:32 am
by bfitzgerald
Interesting feedback. Question is though, does the 24-70mm live up to expectations optically?

Re: "Mythical Lenses"

Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 3:22 pm
by pakodominguez
bfitzgerald wrote:Interesting feedback. Question is though, does the 24-70mm live up to expectations optically?

We are talking about the Sony/Zeiss, right?
Well, I didn't "see" the difference on the A900.
In other hand, on the A7R (36M) and the A7RIII (42MP), I definitely see there is something special about this lens.
I also have to say that I like very much the flavor Capture One give on Sony ARW files, much nicer than what I can get with Lightroom. Probably if I run those old A900+Zeiss files on Capture One, I'll see something different.

Re: "Mythical Lenses"

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:57 am
by peterottaway
I have kept quite a few of my older Minolta / Konica Minolta / Sony A mount lenses as I still have Minolta *7 film camera and a A99 II. There is not a lot of demand locally for these without the problems of international postage and its a mainly Canikon second hand market marketplace :wink: At the moment pretty much flooded with the stuff. So complaining about the number of Sony E mount cameras ?

I do have both the KM labelled Tamron and the Minolta G 17 - 35 which is no longer considered as sharp or as dynamic as a lot of the newer stuff on offer but is still as good as I need for a wide zoom. I'm not into the really wide stuff, and I think that the newly released Tamron would need to be a real stunner to replace this lens in my affections. Ok, the EA 4 adapter and the Minolta G don't have the exact level of focus precision but at the apertures I generally use for most of the year even with lowish ISO speeds it doesn't really matter.

I did have a Series 1 Sony 16 - 35 2.8 but it never was one of my favourites in terms of performance or handling. And spending something like AUD 3000 on the off chance that the Sony E 16 -35 2.8 would suit me better just isn't on. If I want something else on E mount then I do have the Loxia 21 and 35 manual focus and a couple of decent tripods.

Re: "Mythical Lenses"

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:20 pm
by bfitzgerald
Just a quick note on...
"So complaining about the number of Sony E mount cameras ?"

It's not just the E Mount bodies, Sony seem to have gone nuts on the RX series too. They might have a lot available, but just like they did with A mount on the DSLR's - too many models and not enough differences between them. Sony have rigidly stuck to the same, and IMO somewhat dated design across the board the FF E mount bodies are almost identical bar slight grip chances, same goes for their APS-C range. They've steadfastly ignored the lack of grip on the RX100 since it was first released.

I'm not a fan of the "shotgun" approach to cameras - Sony look stale and stagnated - rehashing the same thing with more tech. Never once considering that people might want something different and more ergonomic. That's my take and I'm sticking to it! Just throwing out stuff isn't always a good idea.

On the lenses side your feedback is useful. The Tamron looks decent enough - a bit on the pricey side, I suppose they will get it as they are considered good value v the G Master lenses

Re: "Mythical Lenses"

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:36 am
by peterottaway
Everyone sees the world through their own perspective and choices.

I tend to spend my indulgence money sometimes on camera equipment and at other times on a rather peculiar set of Hi Fi. I also spend holiday time in shortish visits to just 1 - 2 areas rather than going on grand tours. Also these days I don't use 300/400/500 mm lenses much at all.

In the future I could very well end up a Fuji X-T plus zooms as a general purpose kit plus something like the Sony 7R iv with say the Tamron 28 - 75 and a set of primes. I also own the original RX 10 camera (and haven't so far seen any need to upgrade to a later model), so I could even leave the 28-75 at home.

But if Sony does release a new RX 10 that appeals to me, then that is more likely to be purchase for next year and I will keep using my current Rii and Riii cameras.

Re: "Mythical Lenses"

Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:59 am
by bfitzgerald
The RX10 line is quite different, never used them myself. I think they appeal to different types of users; possibly a one camera solution or video shooters. The RX100 has been around for some time, and disappointingly (IMO) - very little evolution on design (yes the tripod mount next to the battery/card door is a bug bear), lack of grip even some texture on front is another obvious design oversight. Yes you can get an add on grip, still it shows a lack of thought for ergonomics IMO.
The FF E mount has almost no design variation, and I think longer term they will have to change it. Many users complain about mediocre handling/comfort.

On the long range lenses, I found once I got the 18-135mm lens - I have no desire to try a bridge type camera again. Panasonic still do their FZ models, I'm just not a superzoom kinda shooter anymore; outside the 18-135mm range which satisfies me plenty for a general one lens solution. If I shoot APS-C that is what I would use for a "day trip" lens.

Re: "Mythical Lenses"

Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:21 am
by bfitzgerald
pakodominguez wrote:
bfitzgerald wrote:Interesting feedback. Question is though, does the 24-70mm live up to expectations optically?

We are talking about the Sony/Zeiss, right?
Well, I didn't "see" the difference on the A900.
In other hand, on the A7R (36M) and the A7RIII (42MP), I definitely see there is something special about this lens.
I also have to say that I like very much the flavor Capture One give on Sony ARW files, much nicer than what I can get with Lightroom. Probably if I run those old A900+Zeiss files on Capture One, I'll see something different.



Yes the Zeiss I know it's built like a tank -but wasn't sure what the optics are like if it delivers the goods
I have used the Tamron 24-70mm, the previous one is around on A mount for quite good prices. I only tried the G2 -which is good albeit pretty heavy