Test: $20 Minolta MC 1.7/55 vs $1000 Zeiss 1.8/55

55erIn this comparison I want to compare two very different lenses.

The Minolta MC Rokkor-PF 55mm 1:1.7 was introduced in 1968 and it was always an affordable lens. Today it usually sells for around $20 at ebay.com (affiliate link).
I like it because it has very nice bokeh, the nice focusing feel and the small size. I is not one of my sharpest manual lenses, the Canon FD 1.4/50 for example is noticeably sharper but it has very nice character, not far away from the much heavier and more expensive Minolta MC 1.2/58.

The Sony FE 1.8/55 ZA was introduced 45 years later in 2013 and it costs around $1000 or 50 times as much as the Minolta. It has received very positive reviews and is considered to be one of the best normal lenses available today.

The question I try to answer with this test is: How different are the results I can expect from the lenses? I will look at smaller images optimized for the web but also at 100% crops to judge print quality.

All images are developed from raw and I used a tripod unless I mention otherwise. Please click on them to see them in full size (1500px wide).

Scene 1: Bokeh and Sharpness in the center wide open

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The same settings applied to the image taken with the Minolta 1.7/55

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Continue reading Test: $20 Minolta MC 1.7/55 vs $1000 Zeiss 1.8/55

Minolta MD Zoom 35-70mm 1: 3.5 – Review

MD3570

The Minolta MD 35-70mm 1:3.5 is an very affordable, light weight zoom with a very good performance in a limited but handy focal range

Specifications

Diameter 69 mm
Length 68.5 mm
Filter Thread 55mm
Weight 365g
Max. Magnification 0.1
0.25 (Macro Mode)
Close Focusing Distance from the sensor 80cm
33cm (Macro Mode)
Number of aperture blades 7
Elements/ Groups 8/7
Price (June 2015): $80-120 in good condition.
Check current prices at ebay.de or ebay.com (affiliate links).
Also check out my Minolta SR-mount adapter guide.

Image Samples

winterfarben3
Sony a7 | 70mm |f/5.6
magical forest
Sony a7 | 35mm |f/11
the pond
Sony a7 | 50mm |f/8

Continue reading Minolta MD Zoom 35-70mm 1: 3.5 – Review

Minolta MD 50mm 1:2 Review

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The Minolta MD 50mm 1:2 is one of the smallest and cheapest Minolta lenses and most importantly it is also an excellent lens for landscape photography.

Specifications

Diameter 64 mm
Length 36 mm
Filter Thread 49 mm
Weight 150g
Max. Magnification 0.15
Close Focusing Distance from the sensor 45cm
Number of aperture blades 6
Elements/ Groups 6/5
Price (June 2015): $10-30 in good condition.
Check current prices at ebay.de or ebay.com (affiliate links).

Image Samples

 

the last beer
Sony Alpha 7 | Minolta MD 50mm 1:2 | f/2
Spring
Sony Alpha 7 | Minolta MD 50mm 1:2 | f/2
SonnigerMorgen
Sony Alpha 7 | Minolta MD 50mm 1:2 | f/8

Continue reading Minolta MD 50mm 1:2 Review

Canon FD 20mm 1:2.8 Review

The Canon FD 20mm 2.8 is an affordable wideangle lens (around $200 mid 2015) which performs well on the Alpha 7. I have owned and used my copy for more than a year now and wanted to share my experience with you.

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Canon FD 20mm 1:2.8 | Novoflex E-mount adapter attached

Sample Images

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Sony a7 | f/11
DSC04250_1
Sony a7 | f/2.8
Untitled
Sony a7 | f/5.6
Rursee in Flammen
Sony a7 | f8
Lake District
Sony a7 | f/11

 Specifications

 
CANON FD 20 2.8
Length 62mm
Diameter 78mm
Weight 305g
Filter Thread 72mm
Aperture Blades 6
Short focusing distance 25cm

The Canon FD 2.8/20 at ebay.de | ebay.com (affiliate links)

Continue reading Canon FD 20mm 1:2.8 Review

Manual Lenses | Sony Alpha