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Which one of these Minolta AF lenses would be the best for me ?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Amamba, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Now that I got LA-EA2, I need to get a couple A-mount lenses to use with it. I want something that would help me to maximize it's advantages (fast AF) and doesn't really overlap with my other lenses in use.

    What I have: Sigma 12-24 in A-mount; Sigma 19/2.8; Kiron MC 28/2; Sigma 30/2.8; Minolta MD 50/1.7; SEL50/1.8 OSS; SEL18-55; Minolta MD 35-70/3.5 Macro; Minolta MD 70-210/4 Macro.

    So, just by looking at this, it seems where I lack the fast AF the most is the mid to long tele range. However, I could probably use a wide - to - mid range fast zoom for kids' karate competitions.

    So, I was thinking of getting either:

    • Minolta AF 50/1.7. It's fast, sharp, and supposedly has fast AF. On the other hand, it's FL is rather limiting - too wide on the inside, too narrow for the outside.
    • Minolta AF 35-70/4 Macro. Cheap ($50 or less anywhere). Much more useful focal range for most situations. However, F4 may be too slow for inside; I don't know if optically it's on par with my manual focus version; I don't know if AF is fast.
    • Beercan (Minolta AF 70-210/4). A bit more expensive. The fast AF may help with tele shots. Optically excellent. However I don't use tele much, and this lens would be useless on the inside.

    What else would you recommend ? I'd like to stay low cost for now, to see if I even like the adapter + lens combo.
     
  2. -et-

    -et- TalkEmount Veteran

    205
    Jan 26, 2013
    Southern California
    Tom
    It's probably a little more expensive than you desire at this point in your experimentation, but it looks to me like a good match for your desires would be the Alpha-mount DT Sony 35mm f:1.8. I have been very satisfied with this lens, both on my Alpha 700 and on my NEX-6 with LA-EA2 adapter.

    FWIW, it's available new from B&H for $218, and currently comes with 4% B&H rewards.

    - Tom -
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Thanks Tom, however I think I may need something longer, in situations where 35 mm is sufficient the Sigma 30/2.8 may still work OK.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk now Free
     
  4. -et-

    -et- TalkEmount Veteran

    205
    Jan 26, 2013
    Southern California
    Tom
    My thought was that this would be a lens for the indoor sports shots that you mentioned, where speed and a relatively wide angle would be useful. The 35mm f:1.8 provides more than a full stop of speed over the 30mm f:2.8 - which is a very nice lens otherwise, IMO.

    - Tom -
     
  5. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    The only lens that makes any sense for you is the 70-210. You already have the Sony 50 1.8 which is far better optically than the Minolta 50 1.7 and you already have a faster 35-70 zoom. Honestly I'd buy no one of the three mentioned lenses if I were you.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Poki,

    The problem here is the AF speed. Or lack of it.

    I agree that SEL50 is a great lens optically, and it's pretty capable of keeping up with running kids in OK light. But inside in dim light, it struggles with AF and I have in the past lost shots because of this. It is still pretty reliably getting sharp shots even in poor light but it needs time to focus, and it needs an object that stands still. Which is why I considered Minolta AF 50/1.7. The problem with this lens is that it is not very cheap, at least relative to performance.

    Same thing about 35-70 - the manual focus lens that I have is absolutely fantastic optically but it is manual focus, so (in my hands at least) almost useless for some situations when there's action and it moves fast around the room (like kids' karate). Which is why I was thinking of getting the AF version, it's fairly cheap (sub $40 delivered) and a very useful range. However, I have no idea of it's optical performance, plus f4 on LA-EA2 will be more like f4.x which is rather slow.

    The Beercan is on my list of things to get, too. But this lens is in high demand so hard to get cheaply, and the range is a bit too long for intended use. However, I will probably get one and sell my MD version, since every source says they are same optically, and I think having AF would help getting sharp shots even without OSS as hands don't get as tired while focusing (even though I am getting much better at it even with the heavy manual zoom).
     
  7. dsiglin

    dsiglin TalkEmount Veteran

    230
    Apr 23, 2013
    Greenville, SC
    I have the 35-70 f4 and I find it's a nice walk around lens during daylight hours. My copy is sharp and the focus is fast enough. Take that as you will.
     
  8. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    The only way of getting faster AF from a 50mm lens on a NEX body is the LA-EA2 with a Sony SSM lens (one of the cheaper A-Moutn 50s for sure has SSM, don't know whether it's the 1.8 or 1.4). I doubt a Minolta lens with a LA-EA1 or even a LA-EA2 would be much faster. And this solution is rather pricey. Personally, I would use MF with peaking in bad light conditions to overcome the slow focusing problem, but that takes a little bit getting used to I admit.
     
  9. dsiglin

    dsiglin TalkEmount Veteran

    230
    Apr 23, 2013
    Greenville, SC
    One thing to consider if you are looking at the 50mm 1.4 vs the 50mm 1.7, the 1.7 is considered by most to be sharper.
     
  10. zemosabe

    zemosabe TalkEmount Rookie

    10
    Jan 3, 2013
    Another lens to consider is the 35-70mm 3.5-4.5. It is small, cheap, quick focusing and surprisingly well regarded. It might break if you look at it wrong but the low weight does make it feel natural on my Nex 6.
     
  11. HabsFan

    HabsFan TalkEmount Veteran

    258
    Apr 10, 2013
    Ontario, CAN
    I was going to recommend the 50mm 1.7 but seeing as you have the 50mm SEL, it would be redundant. Autofocus is fast but it will still hunt in low light. Pretty sharp by f/2.2. I've owned 4 different copies of this lens in the past and all were very good.

    If you want to spend a bit more, the 35mm 1.8 is an great little lens. It feels like a toy but it's a very good lens. I found 50mm was to tight so I ended up with the 35mm which was a very good multipurpose lens. Sold it all off when I moved to NEX.

    Beercan might be a little tough to hold with no image stabilization. You could also try thy the 70-210 3.5-4.5. It's much smaller than the beercan and has similar image quality, especially at the long end. Also cheaper than the Beercan.
     
  12. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    What about 35-105 f3.5-4.5 ? This seems like a sweet focal range, and B&H has them relatively cheap. Seems to be getting decent reviews on Dyxum as well.

    Well, nevermind.. they have the N version which is not all that good.