Featured: Hitting the Redwoods with Minolta MD prime lenses by Jeffenator

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Jefenator, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    ... and the Tokina RMC 17mm for ultra-wide duty. Out in the open country I could leave this lens at home. Not so in the Redwood groves.

    14795374191_490e5c7546_c.
    Humboldt County Redwoods
    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

    14798130662_8370164722_c.
    Redwood Grove
    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

    But for non-ultra-wide duty, it was all Minolta MD glass. It was nice to have just one adapter for 4 lenses that are small and light. Not to mention cheap... with one exception: the 85mm 1:2, which cost more than all the others combined. No regrets, though.

    14797668824_f40487e46a_c.
    Grove
    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

    There's no question, the wide lenses got the lion's share of the action. I accidentally left the 24mm at home, last trip - very glad I brought it this time.

    14799669992_304cc30a26_c.
    Avenue Of The Giants
    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

    The less common 35mm 1:2.8 proved its mettle.

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    Canopy
    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

    The "normal" lens if not dominant was nonetheless important.

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    Trinidad Lighthouse
    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

    14613436109_297fa58dc0_c.
    Big Lagoon at Night
    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

    For a restless photo hound, a visit to Fern Canyon is an absolute must.

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    Fern o Rama
    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

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    Fern Wall
    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

    14797760724_d582d6c5da_c.
    Fern Specks
    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

    14805106972_a209b5f41a_c.
    Into The Light
    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

    I didn't object to all the fog too much since I was escaping 100ยบ heat back at home. It was nice to see it burn off eventually so I could sun-dry after a dip in the ocean.

    14803110994_a22fe813f6_c.
    Beach Study 1
    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

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    Beach Study 4
    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

    14803168294_a9be8e9b97_c.
    Beach Moonrise
    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

    On the way home, I killed as much time as possible and discovered some nice swimming holes along the various forks of the Smith River.

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    Middle Fork, Smith River
    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    My take on the various Minolta primes

    Going from wide to long, I guess I'll start with the only outsider.

    Tokina RMC 17mm 1:3.5 (Canon FD Mount): Sometimes capable, the entire right edge is often prone to smearing (though not as much so when the subject there is closer). It doesn't seem to handle flare and contrast as well as a more modern lens should.

    Minolta MD W.Rokkor-X 24mm 1:2.8: A temperamental beast, known for outstanding sharpness in the center (it even kept up with my Sony/Zeiss 24mm on the NEX-7) but the corners get a bit blurry. The field curvature is pretty dramatic - handy for corners in the foreground, a real pain in the butt for distant extremities (like you might encounter, say, on a beach). Still, it has nice character and I got some good frames with it.

    Minolta MD W.Rokkor-X 35mm 1:2.8: Less common and very different from the 24mm. The field seems a lot more flat and the corners are much better-behaved even at wider apertures. Watch out for flare (definitely shield from strong light sources just outside the frame). Contrast seems OK but it doesn't quite have that "snap" that came so naturally with the Sony/Zeiss 24mm [35mm equivalent on APS-C]. The colors seem a tad off from the other lenses - just a minor tint that seems to be easily corrected in Lightroom. Still, a great little lens overall - one could easily spend many times as much and not get corners this tidy.

    Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.4 - the newest offering in this mount: Wide open sharpness is terrible, even stopped down to f/2 it lags behind my 1:2 lenses, wide open. (That's pretty lame...) At landscape apertures, however, it competes toe-to-toe with my prized older MC Rokkor-PG with slightly more contrast and maybe I'm imagining more vivid colors. And it's very small and light for a 1.4 and has the groovy newer 49mm filter size (same many current Sony e-mount primes). Therefore I kept it and used it for the trip.

    Minolta MD 85mm 1:2: This lens was the real star of the show for me. Awesome sharpness, all the way to the corners. Great character, great flare resistance. I got nothing but good surprises - many frames came out much better than anticipated. Cost more than all my other Minolta lenses combined but I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

    Overall, I'm finding the MD mount very friendly to travel with. I use an "L" bracket, which might be iffy with optics that are too heavy, but the MD primes all felt completely fine.
     
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  3. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Great series, Jeff! You really captured the essence of that part of the country.
     
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  4. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    Thanks, Dave! I feel like I got my butt kicked a little in those Redwoods - there's a certain confining effect in that kind of space that makes it a challenge not to do the same old thing 10 000 people have already done before.

    I'd love to go back when the light is different. Just the right amount of fog, with some sun at the right angle, at the right spot... that could really be something.

    Also, just any excuse to go back there. I'm not so much of a forest guy normally, but those Redwoods are really special. It just felt good to be out walking among them.
     
  5. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Nice photos indeed! I think m favourite is "Big Lagoon at Night" though :)
     
  6. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Nice series, my favorites are #6 (the lighthouse) and #9, a simple composition and almost monochrome. Your judgment on the Rokkors closely concides with my experiences in landscape photography.
     
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  7. Kruschtel

    Kruschtel New to TalkEmount

    6
    Aug 9, 2014
    Germany
    Hi,
    don't know if you where in the same radwoods like I was (Muir park), but for me those woods were much brighter :D

    BTW, teh AWB failed big time in the woods, thankfully the A7 has quite a big margin in compensating.

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/72334309@N02/14867774552" title="DSC00597PS _stitchweb by zwoliter, on Flickr"> 14867774552_5f092807fe_s. "75" height="75" alt="DSC00597PS _stitchweb"></a>
     
  8. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Some great shots there...and a question about the bright light from the camp at the Lagoon if you don't mind...was that light from something like a Coleman lantern?
     
  9. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    I think it was just the camp fire.