Minolta 85mm f/1.4 (and other legacy glass)

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Andromeda143, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. Andromeda143

    Andromeda143 TalkEmount Regular

    47
    Dec 19, 2015
    Melbourne, Australia
    Clive Dickinson
    With the release of the new Sony 85mm lens being announced, one cannot help wondering.. I am sure it will be a better lens than the old legacy lenses. However, is it worth 5 times the price of the Minolta AF 85mm f/1.4?

    Comments are welcomed if constructive, although I don't present these as great photos - just examples of what the Minolta can do.

    DSC01912. DSC01905. DSC01916. DSC01919. DSC01917. DSC01948. DSC01949.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016
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  2. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    These look quite alright. I guess they're not all shot wide-open?
     
  3. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    These are great! I like #5 and #6 ;)
     
  4. Andromeda143

    Andromeda143 TalkEmount Regular

    47
    Dec 19, 2015
    Melbourne, Australia
    Clive Dickinson
    Yes, you are right. the first two are f/4.0, 3 and 5 are at f/2 and 4 is at f/1.6. The last two are at f/7.1
     
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  5. Andromeda143

    Andromeda143 TalkEmount Regular

    47
    Dec 19, 2015
    Melbourne, Australia
    Clive Dickinson
    Thanks, Nick. This is the first time I tried this lens other than to test it when I bought it off Ebay. I am sure that I can improve on these once I get more used to dof estimation and to understand its strengths and weaknesses.
    The problem for me is that I, in my simplistic way, like the results I get from all of my Minolta lenses and so the new Sony and Zeiss offerings, although they look (and I am sure are) excellent, I cannot see my being able to justify their purchase at the prices being asked.
     
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  6. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
    NYC
    Beautiful colors. Yes, used Minolta glass is a great bargain eg beercan is less then $100. Even A mount has some bargains. The newer glass is always more expensive and gets the latest tech updates like newer coatings, corrective glass pieces, the eye-af, etc...
     
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  7. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Obviously not AF, but beautiful results.

    There are a few of these older lenses that stand up very well to modern lenses, but some that put on modern sensors simply don't hold up.

    Sent from my SM-N920P using TalkEmount mobile app
     
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  8. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
    NYC
    I don't know which version he is using but Minolta A mount af glass can be used with LA-EA4 adapter on all Sony nex/A6000/A7's like any other Sony A mount glass. Actually beercan has better low light af then A mount 100mm f2/135mm f1.8 lenses... You can check dyxum database for samples and reviews:
    A-Mount and E-mount Lens Index - Dyxum - Page 1

     
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  9. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    I believe It's an AF lens Dave, don't confuse it with the MF Minolta MD/MC 85mm 1.7/2 ;)
     
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  10. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    547
    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Eric
    Clive,
    I think that only you can answer that --
    does your Minolta 85 autofocus fast enough?
    are the pictures detailed enough?
    is the lens prone to flaring, and if so does it bother you?
    what is the image quality like wide open?
    does the lens have enough contrast when pointed towards the sun?
    would having a manual aperture ring improve your photography experience?
    how would you feel if your photography friends started to call you "G Master"?

    that said, those images are very nice...and other samples I have seen look great. IMO, this is one of the standout (85mm) AF lenses from the film era. I would happily shoot portraits with your lens.

    EDIT: I would love see some more samples! Maybe a couple wide open?
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016
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  11. Andromeda143

    Andromeda143 TalkEmount Regular

    47
    Dec 19, 2015
    Melbourne, Australia
    Clive Dickinson
    Eric,

    I think the AF is quite good, although I do not have the newer ones to compare. I have not experienced flaring with it, but some of the wider lenses I have (eg 28mm f/2) do exhibit flaring. It was a sunny day when most of these photos were taken. I do tweak them in Lightroom, but that is mostly because my manual exposure skills are a bit weak. I do have some manual aperture lenses, although I do not use them as much.
    I am not sure what you mean by "G Master". I find the LA-EA4 a very good adapter to use, although it sometimes 'clunks' when you switch on or off.
    I haven't taken too many shots with this lens yet, but will try to find a couple of wide open ones. I usually start with the lens stopped down to f/2 because otherwise dof is too shallow.
    The point of my op was not to show off my photo skills (which are dubious at the best of times) but to solicit opinions from the community here (whose opinions I respect and value) about this general question of old or modern lenses. I really wonder if Sony are doing the right thing from a marketing point of view, bringing out such expensive lenses. Most of their recent releases have been prohibitively priced (except maybe the 28mm f/2) and I cannot afford them. I would love to be able to put them on my A7RII (which I struggled to afford). However, when I compare them in price to these old lenses I do not see that the improvement I would get would justify a price of 5 times as much.
    Of course, you may tell me that it is because my skills are not up to the level of being able to appreciate the difference or because I am only an amateur and one needs to be a professional to get the value from them. I am sure those criticisms would have some validity. However, does that mean that Sony are only catering for professionals in their offerings?
    Whatever the answer is, I am enjoying using the best camera I have ever owned and am tickled pink to be able to use it with thirty year old lenses and still obtain reasonable pics.

    Thanks to all for their helpful comments.
    Clive
     
  12. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Opps

    Sent from my SM-N920P using TalkEmount mobile app
     
  13. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    547
    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Eric
    Clive, I have to run and will respond in length later...but in no way was I criticizing your photography skills.
     
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  14. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    547
    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Eric
    Clive, the reason why I asked those questions is because those areas are where modern lenses (with their improved coatings, AF design, use of aspherical elements, etc.), tend to perform better with regards to improved AF performance, sharpness when shooting wide open, resistance to flaring, limiting chromatic aberrations, and ability of the lens to resolve fine detail than some older lenses.

    We all see things differently. Only you can say if you find any perceived deficiencies in the Minolta 85 and if you find them to be limiting your creative vision. For me, it isn't about being "only an amateur" vs a professional. Jason Lanier has posted videos of a couple shoots he has done with Minolta AF glass (70-210 f/4 beer can and 50 f/1.7) and had nothing but positive things to say about the Minolta colors, sharpness etc. He chose to use those lenses because their inherent characteristics matched his creative vision.

    I appreciate the innovation in the Sony FE85 but, I would probably pick a Canon FD 85L over the new Sony offering because I prefer manual focus lenses and I can save a pile of money. Sony is going for the pros here (and is trying to make a statement) at the cost of putting it out of reach for most other users.

    With the "G Master" comment I was trying to be funny as I think Sony's new ultimate line of lenses sounds a bit like an 80's rapper.


    Hope this makes sense,

    Eric
     
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  15. Andromeda143

    Andromeda143 TalkEmount Regular

    47
    Dec 19, 2015
    Melbourne, Australia
    Clive Dickinson
    Thanks for that explanation, Eric, and for the words of wisdom. I appreciate both and now I understand the joke about the G Master.
    You have helped me to appreciate more the lenses I have and that makes me resolved to try and get more out of them. I am really grateful for the legacy lens capabilities of the mirrorless cameras. If I had to rely on new Sony lenses and/or Zeiss lenses, I would have far fewer options. Your comment about the Canon FD is interesting. I nearly bought a Canon FD 24mm lens recently. I use manual focus even with the AF lenses under certain conditions and I also contemplated buying an old Olympus 85mm lens which had been converted to e-mount. However, I do not have any feel for how the manual focus lenses compare to the AF Minoltas, for instance. I have read that some of the Rokkors and Canon FDs are very good.
     
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  16. Mus Aziz

    Mus Aziz TalkEmount Top Veteran

    575
    Sep 3, 2015
    Mus
    :rofl:
     
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  17. eastwestphoto

    eastwestphoto New to TalkEmount

    8
    Dec 14, 2015
    I am and have been a big FAN of Minolta glass going back to there early Folding cameras before ww2. These days i find the older beercan series of AF lenses work very well on the Sony LA-EA4 passive AF adapter on the Sony mirrorless cameras that require it! As for the manual 50/1.4 & 85/1.4 in md mount get it fast, its great glass.
     
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