Buying old Minolta or similar lens

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by kBm, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. kBm

    kBm
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    People rave about using old glass on mirrorless cameras, but i've noticed the ebay prices can be vary widely from under £20 to over £200. Lens condition apart, is there a difference is performance?

    Minolta couldn't of made the best glass across all the range? Its like Nikon kit lens 18-55 v's f2.8 18-55. They look the same but are world apart in terms of performance. I've found a few website that has some information on the old lens, ratings etc but im lost as what to look for.

    Im ordering a A6000 at the end of the month, and I don't want to take a punt on a lens and it be a waste of money.
     
  2. AMc

    AMc
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    I used a couple of old manual lenses on my Pentax K100D DSLR.
    You have manual aperture and manual focusing so things like autofocus speed aren't relevant.
    Mainly you're looking at image quality and of course with older mechanical devices - stuck blades, fungus and damage.

    I bought a 28mm F2.8 Sigma for £10 from London Camera Exchange in Norwich.

    One thing that genuinely surprised me was a £30 eBay telephoto lens (Sigma F4-5.6 60-200mm) produced much nicer colours and sharper images than the 18-55mm kit lens that came with the DSLR.

    Some of the legacy lens shots.
    [​IMG]
    Acrobatic flips
    by AMcUK, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    If I weren't tied to this tree stump, you'd be dead meat
    by AMcUK, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Pleasure flight - Grandpa's 90th
    by AMcUK, on Flickr

    I think you'd be mad to spend hundreds on a legacy lens without being sure it was originally well regarded but given that the demise of popular film photography coincided with the growth of the internet you'll struggle to research older lenses.

    Camera shops do sell through second hand kit which they take in part exchange and LCE at least were happy for me to take a few shots before I committed to the cost of a lens cap - sorry legacy lens. So I would take a punt on something <£50 on eBay as you can always relist it, but I wouldn't spend hundreds without having my hands on the lens first.
     
  3. Kei86

    Kei86
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    If you're willing to put up with manual focus and stop down metering, there are some excellent lenses out there. I have pretty much exclusively used manual glass for 10 years. I had a preference for olympus OM, nikon AI/AI-s, contax fit carl zeiss, tamron adaptall 2 and mamiya 645. I no longer use my olympus or contax lenses as they only fit canon. The advantage these manual lenses had was that they were dirt cheap to buy. This is no longer the case as the masses have cottoned on and pushed prices up, particularly for those which were superb in their day.
     
  4. kBm

    kBm
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    Minolta 58mm f1.4 in the bag, £35. (87mm equivalent on the A6000). Just need to A6000 to go with it...:D
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2015
  5. eddiewood

    eddiewood
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    If I ever get a NEX I'll be putting a Minolta 58mm f1.2 on it, but that isn't cheap!
     
  6. kBm

    kBm
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    First weekend with the A6000 & Minolta 58mm f1.4, really blown away by how a 30yr old + lens performs. For portaits the lens has great potential.

    [​IMG]Strawberry! by Kirk MacPherson, on Flickr

    (And yes, i know about the distractions in the background).


    However, some shots wide open, f2.8 and wider (i cant remember what f stop was used, no exif data!) have a strange glow/ halo, see above the arms. Ive cropped the image so you can see. It was shot at 1/2500 so its not movement/ motion blur.

    [​IMG]DSC00104-01 by Kirk MacPherson, on Flickr

    Is it the lens? Is it the adapter? I'm aware that the cheaper adapters cant focus to infinity, so is this related?
     
  7. twist

    twist
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    Cant see why the adapter wont focus to infinity, its a piece of pipe and they all do the same thing, even the cheapest. Its the lens, they dont have coatings and contrast like newer lenses in bright light and its especially noticeable in the sun when wide open where they perform quite badly, focus may also be slightly off.
     
  8. Kei86

    Kei86
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    It's spherical aberration which is also referred to as halation. It is common to all ultra fast gauss type lenses. It's inherent to the design, and is why although they have decent resolution wide open, they lack contrast. The faster the lens the stronger the problems get. Coma is another one you will probably encounter as the aspherical glass needed for correcting it wasn't common back then. My nikon 50mm f1.2 suffers from both, doesn't mean it can't produce a damn good picture wide open though.
     
  9. kBm

    kBm
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    So im watching 2 lens.on flebay;

    Minolta Rokkor 135 f2.8
    Minolta 28-85 f3.5 -4.5

    But can't decided!

    This will be for the A6000 to go with the minolta 58 f1.4 and sigma 19mm f2.8. (On top of the Nikon d300 & sigma 17-70).

    Im very tempted with the 135 f2.8, after using the 58mm and seeing the quality it can produce with focus peaking...however, on a crop sensor its more like a 200mm which can get a little wobbly. ..

    The zoom, handy to have the wide focal length and all round walkabout lens. Ive seen decent shots created with the lens. But ive got the focal length covered with the Nikon, and its not a fixed focal length.

    Prime or zoom?

    Edit; forgot to mention i have the kit lens. Nothing wrong with it, just not for me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015

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