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Some Minolta MD lenses - opinions ?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Amamba, May 30, 2013.

  1. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    I want to stick with brand for now as I already have an adapter, and like the color rendering of the MD. I have the 70-210/4 (a very mint lens but hard to use handheld, hopefully this changes with EVF) and just got a 50/1.7 which I haven't had a chance to use yet. Seems like 135 would be a good lens to use for portraits, but the ones I keep finding are the "Celtic" variant.

    So, for someone who has experience with Minolta lenses - what is the preferred 135 mm flavor. Mainly will be used for portraits. So great bokeh is a must. Otherwise, I don't care if it's a 2.8 or 3.5, naturally I'd prefer a faster lens if everything else is similar, but I wouldn't want to carry around a much heavier lens if IQ is the same. Also, is "Celtic" line any worse than "true" Minolta ?

    Or, is there any other tele prime that's really good for portraits ? I.e. sharp with great bokeh. I liked my Canon 85/1.8 very much, and I don't think SEL50F18 really approaches it in sharpness or bokeh, even though at first I thought it did... not that it's not a very good lens in it's own right. However getting an $400 adapter or using it wide open is not feasible. There's Rokinon but I don't want to spend another $250 or so on a lens I will only use sporadically. Minolta MD lenses in 85 mm are crazily priced on eBay. What else is out there ?
     
  2. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    I have Tamron 100mm/2.5 that I like but best of luck finding any cheap 85mm-100mm lens these days.
     
  3. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Yep, that's what I figured... :(

    I was initially excited about SEL50F1.8 and still think it's a great lens, however after spending some time with it I can say it's not in the same league optically as my Canon 85 1/8 was. Both in the sharpness / contrast and bokeh. Not to say that it's a bad lens, it's still sharp and has a decent bokeh, just not razor sharp even at f4, and the bokeh isn't really creamy / dreamy / swirly whatever is the right word. It's a good portrait lens overall and great in low light due to OSS, but doesn't seem to be "special". Either that, or I just didn't get a chance to use it in right conditions.

    Anyway, this means I may need to pick up a good portrait lens eventually. At $200+ may as well get the Samyang / Rokinon 85/1.4.
     
  4. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    I am leaning towards Samyang 85mm/1.4 too. I will wait for Lens Turbo price to go down and will wait for user reviews with Samuang 14mm&Samyang 85mm before I make any decisions.

    One possibility is 90mm-100mm macro with high enough aperture. That is about 200 USD/euro too.
     
  5. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    484
    Mar 25, 2013
    Hello Amamba

    Have you tried using the 50/1.7 for portraits? I find it an excellent lens for that, with great bokeh and some flattering softness at 1.7. Stopped down it gets sharp but you still have some nice background blur.

    Also, the Minolta 135mm lenses are no-brainers. They are cheap and sharp and have really smooth bokeh. Any version with four lenses in four groups [4/4] will do, even if it's a Celtic. Use this chart to identify them: Minolta Manual Lens List

    Unfortunately, 85mm or 100mm lenses come at a hefty price premium and if it's only the optical properties that you are after, you can get a 50, 58 or 135mm lens just as well.

    The 135mm manual Minoltas are still among the cheapest legacy lenses you can buy but they are optically top-notch. Both the f2.8 and the f3.5 vesions are equally sharp in [4/4] so it's just a matter of speed versus price.
     
  6. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    Yes, it is bit weird that you can purchase 135 mm/2.8 lens and Lens Turbo for less than a 85mm lens.
     
  7. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    I just bought it last evening, so I won't really have a chance to play with it until the weekend.


    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
     
  8. dshin525

    dshin525 TalkEmount Regular

    67
    Jan 4, 2013
    Seriously...I ended up winning a 85mm/2 from ebay for around $160 I think and I thought i overpaid...until I saw that they regularly sell for closer to $300.
     
  9. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    Yep. I think that it is a supply and demand issue. Samyang 85mm/1.4 sells locally for 300 euros. I think that it gives better bang for buck than used one.
     
  10. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Rokinon / Samyang 85/1.4 is about $250-270 new. Around $200 used. Supposed to be excellent optically. That's below the price of a used Minolta. Even Canon 85/1.8 FD is pushing $200 on eBay. That's only $70-100 less than the modern Canon 85/1.8 that's at least the same optically - probably better due to modern coating - and on top of it has one of the fastest USM AF drives of all Canon lenses. There seems to be little logic in the prices of these 85's.