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 Subscribing Member

    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    ... 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.

    Humboldt County Redwoods
    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

    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.

    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.

    Avenue Of The Giants
    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

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

    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

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

    Trinidad Lighthouse
    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

    Big Lagoon at Night
    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

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

    Fern o Rama
    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

    Fern Wall
    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

    Fern Specks
    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

    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.

    Beach Study 1
    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

    Beach Study 4
    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr

    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.

    Middle Fork, Smith River
    by Jeff Addicott, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 12
  2. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    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.
    • Like Like x 5
  3. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    Great series, Jeff! You really captured the essence of that part of the country.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    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
    Nice photos indeed! I think m favourite is "Big Lagoon at Night" though :)
  6. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    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.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Kruschtel

    Kruschtel New to TalkEmount

    Aug 9, 2014
    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/[email protected]/14867774552" title="DSC00597PS _stitchweb by zwoliter, on Flickr"> 14867774552_5f092807fe_s.jpg "75" height="75" alt="DSC00597PS _stitchweb"></a>
  8. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Legend

    Oct 8, 2013
    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 Subscribing Member

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