Benjamin says hi

VLReviews

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Hi E mount talkers,

my name is Benjamin and I was a Minolta user (X-700) long before I got a NEX. I've used a Canon S90 for years and loved its compactness, but often carried the X-700 for longe range shots combined with a Vivitar Series I 70-210 f/3.5. The images were great, but at some point, I was missing the flexibility of a digital camera and was a little tired of always carriyng two chunks of metal. So I got a NEX-5N and was instantly addicted.

As I had the old Minolta lenses laying around, it seemed logical to get one of those 10$ adapters and check them out on the NEX.

View attachment 13275

Since then, my collection of Minolta glass grew a little (a lot) and I started to wonder how good the lenses really were. That's when I printed an ISO 12233 test chart and started shooting away... Because I think that those charts might be interesting for a lot of NEX users out there, I finally put them on a site two weeks ago.

Visit my website vintagelensreviews.com if you're intersted. I review vintage Minolta MC/MD lenses on our beloved NEX. Have a look and let me know, what you think! View attachment 57845




EDIT: Now with RSS feed. Subscribe and keep up to date!
 
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NickCyprus

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A warm welcome from another Minolta fan here, Benjamin :)

I only have a few Minolta lenses though, but there are a lot of members that have a very nice collection (member "addieleman" from The Netherlands for example)

Thanks for the great link ;)
 

VLReviews

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A warm welcome from another Minolta fan here, Benjamin :)

I only have a few Minolta lenses though, but there are a lot of members that have a very nice collection (member "addieleman" from The Netherlands for example)

Thanks for the great link ;)

Thanks. It always starts with "a few", but those things somehow multiply... :)



EDIT: Talking about multiplication of lenses - I've just added the Sony SEL50F18 to my list of reviews, so you can now compare the vintage 50 mm primes to a modern design!
 
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VLReviews

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...
And I second Nick's recommendation of Ad's superb collection. His site has a fair bit of info on a wide range of Minolta lenses as well.
http://home.kpn.nl/dielpeet/minolta/Mainpage.htm
Yes, I like the site very much and have often checked his images to see which version of a lens I was looking at :)

Short Update: I recently added two more reviews. The Sigma 19 mm f/2.8 EX DN E to compare it with the SEL20F28 and the Minolta MD 2x Tele Converter 300-S (in conjunction with a MC Rokkor-PG 50 mm f/1.4) just for fun. Have a look :)
 

VLReviews

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addieleman

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Thanks for that, nice way to start my Saturday with :). These test charts are pretty hard on a lens, in my view the 35/2.8 and 135/2.8 (the still later MD-III version with supposedly the same optical design) belong to the better Minolta lenses. I've used that 135/2.8 a lot with my NEX-6, often at f/4 and I was always pleased with the results; the early 4-element version is too heavy to my taste. The 35/2.8 model you tested, was my standard semi-wide for a while on the A7; stopped down to f/8 or f/11 it was satisfactory for landscape shots.

My workflow is centered around Lightroom and so CA is mostly a moot point as Lightroom automatically corrects for it (set-up during import of raws). You don't say anything about geometric distortion. I'm quite intolerant of it and I correct for it in Lightroom with home-made profiles. This however disturbs my workflow because I have to know with which lens a picture was taken and that's a hassle when nothing about the lens ends up in the EXIF data. Pity that Sony cameras don't offer the option of making notes, however scant.

Anyway, keep 'em coming!
 

Nexnut

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There's a possibility (however remote) of intelligent adapters that translate the position of mechanical parts to Sony's e-mount interface code - one for every (ex-)camera system (Nikon Ai(S), Olympus OM, ...). Even then with most legacy glass we would only have the actual f-stop, in some cases the max. aperture. It shouldn't be too much of a technical challenge though to create programmable adapters that could store and transmit other individual data of the lens in use but Sony would need to cooperate in order to write this data into the EXIF info. Even with a menu based solution (lens type, f-stop, ...) we would need some smart 3rd party software to make use of all the information, e.g. for auto-correction of CA, vignetting, ... I guess Sony rather likes us to simply buy their native glass.
To be honest I personally wouldn't be too interested but will continue to shoot mostly legacy glass on my NEX; treating each RAW file individually - still much less of a hassle than processing Fuji X-Trans RAWs, even if shot with native XF lenses (I rarely use Lightroom these days).
 
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addieleman

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I agree that we won't see too many intelligent adapters for legacy glass. Using native lenses is the most comfortable way of working of course and that's what I mostly do these days when I'm out in the field; however, I sometimes use a Minolta AF 35-70mm 1:4 with the LA-EA3 adapter, so the EXIF contains the lens data, the aperture is automatic and Lightroom automatically applies my home-made profile, so I only give up on autofocus compared to native glass and that I can live with. In the studio at home I use legacy macro lenses, no need for profiles there; no word from Sony so far on a tilt/shift bellows like the Minolta Auto Bellows III or Nikon PB-4... :)
 

VLReviews

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Thanks for that, nice way to start my Saturday with :). These test charts are pretty hard on a lens, in my view the 35/2.8 and 135/2.8 (the still later MD-III version with supposedly the same optical design) belong to the better Minolta lenses. I've used that 135/2.8 a lot with my NEX-6, often at f/4 and I was always pleased with the results; the early 4-element version is too heavy to my taste. The 35/2.8 model you tested, was my standard semi-wide for a while on the A7; stopped down to f/8 or f/11 it was satisfactory for landscape shots.
It's true, the charts show many small defects like stigmatism that won't really bother you in most "real life" images. The softness of the MD-II 135 f/2.8 is extraodinary, though. It might be related to a hazy back element on my copy. That is why I want to clean and retest it soon. Your love of the MD-II 35 f/2.8 is certainly understandable - and it's so small! :)


My workflow is centered around Lightroom and so CA is mostly a moot point as Lightroom automatically corrects for it (set-up during import of raws). You don't say anything about geometric distortion. I'm quite intolerant of it and I correct for it in Lightroom with home-made profiles. This however disturbs my workflow because I have to know with which lens a picture was taken and that's a hassle when nothing about the lens ends up in the EXIF data. Pity that Sony cameras don't offer the option of making notes, however scant.

Anyway, keep 'em coming!
I calculate the amount of geometric distortion for every lens. The value in % is usually given in the third paragraph under "Optical performance on NEX". Isn't that what you are looking for? Or would you prefer the correction value for the LR lens correction filter?
 

addieleman

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I calculate the amount of geometric distortion for every lens. The value in % is usually given in the third paragraph under "Optical performance on NEX". Isn't that what you are looking for? Or would you prefer the correction value for the LR lens correction filter?
My bad, just overlooked the percentage :blush:. These days with correction features in post-processing programs the kind of distortion is at least as important as a simple number. Wavy-line ("moustache") distortion isn't correctable with a simple slider in Lightroom, but needs some form of profiling to get rid of it. Pure pincusion/barrel first-order distortion can be corrected quite effectively in my experience, even for higher amounts like 5 %.

So much has changed since the days of film. I sold my Minolta MD Rokkor 20/2.8 at the time because of its distortion, couldn't bear those curved horizons when not centering them in the frame. Now I correct for it; same for light fall-off and converging verticals/horizontals. Sold my Olympus shift lens yesterday, can do the same thing with a normal lens. Sold my Vivitar Series 1 Close Focussing 90-180mm 1:4.5 because it had too much CA. Ouch, LR would have done away with it. I'm one of those who think all those software-generated correction options are a great thing. Lack of sharpness seems to be the main thing left that can't be corrected really, and flare and ghosting can be a real pain to deal with.
 

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