Lens round up on full frame!

Discussion of lenses, brand or independent, uses and merits
Forum rules
No more than three images or three external links allowed in any post or reply. Please trim quotations and do not include images in quotes unless essential.
User avatar
Subsuming Vortex of Brilliance
Posts: 3586
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:48 pm

Lens round up on full frame!

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:20 am

Just a quick note about impressions with the 35mm lenses I have and the A99 thanks to our friend from Scotland Mike ;-)
I plan on doing proper reviews on these lenses, that will take some time - long term project. I've not tested all of them just a few. More info added over time

Minolta 28-105mm (restyled version) - Impressive across the range at 28mm sharp mid and 75% of the frame corners tighten up quite a bit by F5.6, then F8 spot on. Good at tele end wipe open. Very good "go to standard" lens not too many issues CA isn't much and it's a nice focal range to work with. A lens easy to overlook but very capable bit heavier than the 24-105mm.

Minolta 24-105mm - Used this on film and knew it was sharp. Vignetting the biggest area to note, and some CA more so than the 28-105mm. Performance similar at the wide end vignetting still present though less stopped down. Less of an issue tele end, sharp at the 105mm mark like the 28-105mm. You may find the 28-105mm easier to work with for corrections (less distortion, less CA, lot less vignetting) bit it is capable of very good image quality. I have used the Canon 24-105mm, this is an extremely compact much lighter lens, the small F stop difference isn't enough to convince me I prefer the Canon (it's just not as sharp as the Minolta)

Minolta 50mm F1.7 - Shot a fair bit with this on 35mm film, less so APS-C once I got the 35mm F1.7. Sharp wide open and results don't match up to online reviews (edge performance significantly better than they suggest). I always knew I had a good copy as it was holding up nicely on 24mp APS-C, on FF it's right on the money I shoot it wide open often.

Tamron/KM 17-35mm - Well known budget FF lens wants to be stopped down to tighten up the corners (they get quite good F8 and F11 sometimes best to drop it down a bit more). Quite satisfactory for the modest cost no doubt better lenses out there but respectable once stopped down. It's sharp enough middle wide open perhaps usable in low light if corners are not important

Minolta 70-210mm - Always a performer on 35mm I also used this on APS-C quite a bit and had good results even with higher mp sensors. On FF it's spot on sharp wide open across the range..very sharp in fact woudn't hesitate to use at F4. Flaws are well known, well the one obvious one CA can be pretty heavy at times magenta/green. Not always but on high contrast areas if you can deal with that it's a champ and deserving of it's reputation. Blur is also a strong point/rendering ace ;-)

Minolta 100-200mm - Re-bought this lens recently as a "compact" tele lens when I didn't want to carry the bigger beercan. Optics wise about as sharp as the beercan good across the range, CA is quite a bit less, not good for close up shots min focus is long. It's good even wide open and very close to the 70-210mm when both are at F4.5. Doesn't quite have the magic blur of the beercan, but I appreciated it second time around due to the small size. A real bargain

Minolta 70-300mm D - This turned up with the Dynax 60 kit I got ages ago, didn't really use it much the filter I had fitted was bad and softened the images significantly (dud filter). Once that was rectified I found it an OK lens on APS-C for what it is ie a cheapo kit lens. On FF it's decent at 300mm F5.6 not super tack sharp (not got the beercan contrast) but plenty sharp enough to use it at that. CA is the problem here it can rage at times, not always. Very nice smooth rendering at longer focal lengths. Perhaps undeserving of the "hated" lens it's sometimes made out to be.

Minolta 28-100mm D - Another Dynax 60 kit lens, I shot this quite a bit on 35mm. Results to be determined on digital. It was sharp enough stopped down on the 60 film scans, and respectable at the tele end. Lacks the "contrast" of other Minolta's fairly low contrast lens, but it is better than the 28-80mm kit lens by a fair margin (a lens I was never impressed with)

Minolta 28-85mm - An old classic and I found it to be good on 35mm. On digital it's got that much loved contrast and excellent results at 28mm stopped down sharp all over. Good at 85mm F4.5 not quite as good as some of the others but very usable. My results don't match up with Kurt Mungers testing this lens is performer and capable. Hates flare just as much as most of the older Minolta lenses do.

Tokina 11-16mm. Crop lens but at 16mm is usable on full frame. I will look into this more when I get some time. 16mm is the weakest range of the Tokina on APS-C (it is still good, just not as good as 11mm) will be interesting to see I have to test it properly

Tamron 90mm F2.8 - Great performance on APS-C and the same on FF, with the expected trade off ie more vignetting. CA was something that can be a problem, other times not. Always happy with this at F2.8 good portrait lens whilst it doesn't have the speed of the 85mm's it's a compromise if you want a macro that isn't a 50mm. Does well on FF just as it does on APS-C alternative to the 100mm not much in it as I tried both. At the time this was a lot cheaper so made more sense. Ranks close to the 70-210mm for smooth blur always liked this was just as useful on APS-C as it gives a 135mm FOV

More to add over time ;-)

User avatar
Subsuming Vortex of Brilliance
Posts: 3586
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:48 pm

Re: Lens round up on full frame!

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:55 pm

Latest addition and next in my review list is the Sony version of the 28mm F2.8
It was never a lens on my must buy however a "minty" one turned up on ebay for €70 (Sweden) so I nabbed it the lens is as new in every way. And this one was cheaper than the Minolta ones listed

Initial thoughts..the coatings do seem updated v the Purple tint on Minolta lenses it has a green hue as well (as shown in the LED lights), what difference this makes I'm not sure
Despite the many luke warm reviews my initial testing shows it outperforms all the zoom lenses I have used wide open, a good 90% of the frame is sharp and it's tack sharp in the middle by F5.6 it's pretty much there across the frame, and it's resolving more detail than the zoom at comparable apertures from then on (though the zoom lenses are still very good)

Perhaps it wasn't a very exciting lens 28mm is a widely used focal length, the 28mm F2 MInolta is hard to find. Is it worth getting? Probably not if you have full frame F2.8 zoom lenses, but if you have normal zooms staring at F3.5 maybe that bit of extra speed is worthwhile, or if you want to travel lighter. I think the original price was £200 odd or $250. Hard to fault at such a low price - extended testing will reveal more flare is usually a weak point on these older designed lenses, unless the coating makes a difference

DSC00020.JPG (159.16 KiB) Viewed 85 times

Return to “Lens Lore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests