I've been GAS-sy lately...

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Amamba, May 15, 2014.

  1. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    No, it's not all that Mexican food ;)

    First, I got me a Beercan. Liked the results so much, I ordered Maxxum 35-70/4 Macro, hoping it will be at least somewhat close in performance to my MD35-70/3.5 Macro (fat chance, I know...) And while waiting for it to arrive from KEH, scored today a minty Maxxum 50/1.7 on the local CL - I need another 50mm like a fish needs an umbrella, but it was only $20 :) couldn't pass.

    So, more testing over the weekend ;)
     
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  2. HabsFan

    HabsFan TalkEmount Veteran

    259
    Apr 10, 2013
    Ontario, CAN
    The 50mm 1.7 is a fantastic little lens. I have 4 large print on my wall when I had that lens for my old A35. I actually owned 4 different copies as it came up for sale for a good price so often. I had an oily aperture in one copy that was easy enough to fix with a little patience.

    I found f2.2 would give you good sharpness for portraits. For $20, it's a no brainier!
     
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  3. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    589
    Feb 4, 2013
    I am a little worried I have been missing out on gems, by focussing on the MDs rather than the autofocus lenses.

    Part of the reason I did was they just seem so much... uglier? Maybe they look worse in pictures than real life. Are they plastic and nasty or made from metal? What is the feel of them like?

    Almost more than the optical quality, I think the physical build quality and feel of old rokkors is why I enjoy using them so much.
     
  4. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    José
    All my AF E-Mount lenses are metal construction. I don't have any issue with them.
     
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  5. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    The MDs are very solid and indeed have a great feel to them, the Maxxums are surprisingly small and light (except the Beercan). The 35-70 came in yesterday and it's hardly half the size of MD version, actually even attached to LA-EA2 it doesn't seem to be longer than SEL1855. I swear it's the smallest zoom lens from any SLR I've seen. The AF is fast, doesn't hunt, IQ is hard to judge in poor light but seems decent (I don't expect it to be on the same level as MD35-70/3.5 Macro, that is one special lens, but I'll settle for Beercan like IQ). MFD is long but the Macro mode kind of makes up for it. The 50/1.7 is also tiny with a fast AF (and noisy so not for video). I will play over the weekend with both lenses & see how they stack up against MD versions, as I said I don't expect 35-70 to match the M-Leica, but I hope 50/1.7 will be same as my two MDs so I can sell / trade one of them.

    My hope is that 35-70 will optically kill 18-55 in it's overlapping range, then I could use it + 19mm as a light travel combo. I used 18-55 exclusively on Bahamas vacation and while there's technically nothing wrong with it, I just don't feel it produces the output I want, especially portraits.

    As to the plasticky feel - I don't think any lens that's still working 30 years later is cheaply built.
     
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  6. HabsFan

    HabsFan TalkEmount Veteran

    259
    Apr 10, 2013
    Ontario, CAN
    A lot of the older Minolta AF lenses have a very solid build. The plastic usually used on the primes is of high quality, especially the original versions of most of the primes. I've used quite a few MD series lenses and Maxxum AF and the build to me is comparable. Manual focusing is not quite as good as these are AF lenses so usually you only get 1/4 turn so they can be touchy. Focus rings are usually small and awkward to use but you will probably use them as AF lenses 99% of the time.

    With the price of LA-EA2 adapters used now, it's not a bad idea if you want an AF lens you can't get in E-mount. The adapter looks bulky in pictures but it's actually not as big as you think and actually handles quite well on the smaller E-mount cameras. I think this is the advantage of E-mount. You can make it as small or large as you want. With the LA-EA2, you are turning into an SLT camera that you have a very large catalog of lenses to choose from. One thing that Tamron and Sigma should do if they are smart is to not remove stabilization for their A mount lenses as many E-mount users would find this a useful feature.
     
  7. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Yes, the size of LA-EA2 is not an issue, it's wide but not long, and makes the body actually easier to hold steady. It does chew up battery charge somewhat faster, but I always carry a spare. The negatives - It adds some weight, it eats up a little bit of light, and the screw drive lenses are noisy so it's not good for video if you have to change focus, but otherwise it's a very useful tool, and the AF with the right lens is fast and accurate. Plus, it opens up new possibilities.
     
  8. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    So, the 35-70/4 is definitely a keeper... very sharp, beautiful Minolta colors, locks AF well (in good light, all Minolta lenses tend to hunt in poor light), seems just a tad soft wide open at f4 but already very sharp stopped down to f5... I can't tell yet if it is as great as the MD version - but it's a very good lens in it's own right. The focal range may not work for everyone, but for me - with my preference for portraits - it's near a perfect walkaround lens. For $39, can't ask for more !

    Here's an example at 50mm f5, the vignette added in post just to be artsy ;)

    14020610108_c658270a3c_c. 20140516-DSC01250 by BugsDaddy, on Flickr

    The 50/1.7 is also very good, but SEL50f1.8 is still sharper wide open and has OSS, so I am not replacing it just yet... but they are close in performance, so for someone on a budget, spending $200-220 on a used LA-EA2 and Maxxum 50/1.7 may make more sense, than getting SEL50f1.8 - as it allows adding more cheap lenses down the line.

    I am afraid I opened a can of worms with these old AF Minoltas... :)
     
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  9. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Well, have been using this lens for about a week and I love it. Yes MD version is a bit sharper and more contrasty - but the real life difference is not really noticeable, and the AF on this lens helps me catch spur-of-the-moment shots that I would miss otherwise. Like this one - I call it "Obey thy sister !"

    14232006682_a68f3d6b2d_c. 20140518-DSC01324 by BugsDaddy, on Flickr

    I think the IQ is way better than 18-55 - the colors pop more, the bokeh is more interesting, sharpness is good and consistent.
     

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