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Minolta colours?

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skm.sa100 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote skm.sa100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 August 2009 at 23:11
6tyNine, do you primarily only shoot with primes? (pun intended).
Just curious.
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Hobgoblin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hobgoblin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 August 2009 at 23:49
I thought I would throw a spanner in the works here.

It may well be true that Minolta lenses do have a certain colour cast because of the lens coatings but all of the classic lenses were made originally for film cameras.
Unlike digital sensors which should produce consistent results unless some in camera software such as DRO is being used, there were literally hundreds of types of films each of which had its own unique properties.

Some films rendered some colours better than others and saturation varied across them as well. Therefore there can be no definitive Minolta colour because it would vary depending on the film (negative or transparency) being used.
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DavidB View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DavidB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2009 at 00:10
David Kilpatrick wrote an excellent article on Minolta lens design philosophy and colour consistency which has been posted on Dyxum and can also be found here:

http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=207088085&blogId=412656651
davidbannister.zenfolio.com

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Post Options Post Options   Quote mikey2000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2009 at 00:12
All interesting reading indeed.

Given that my A700 can produce so many different colour styles in the Creative Style menu for just JPG, let alone the extra variation possible once shooting in RAW, surely it is then possible to come up with a lightroom preset or something similar that can reproduce Minolta Colours.

I suppose it wouldn't be possible to emulate the bokeh/contrast/sharpness but I was only curious about the colours.

Perhaps someone with proper calibration software could come up with something. I'd also still be interested in a side by side comparison....
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DavidB View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DavidB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2009 at 00:24
I shot primarily Velvia 50 for years, and (still have) a stable of lenses from 20 to 600 mm that are virtually all 1980s vintage. As I would frequently change lenses during the course of shooting a roll of film, and even while shooting the same subject, I know that I really valued that colour consistency.

Particularly for print reproduction, this consistency had great appeal as colour correction was not simply a matter of a few adjustments in Photoshop... you had to discuss them with the film house or printer who did the colour separations. Subsequent changes were never cheap, and could usually only be verified by doing high quality side-by-side printed proofs.

I still feel the consistency has value in a digital world, at least for me. Maybe in intangible ways, just based on experience and familiarity with my range of lenses.

Edited by DavidB - 21 August 2009 at 00:25
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Post Options Post Options   Quote roweraay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2009 at 04:26
I wonder if the color cast introduced by Minolta derived lenses are a good or a bad thing, in this day where there is a preference for accurate colors than have artificially introduced lens-based color casts.

I shoot with both Minolta derived lenses (50mm Macro, 24-105, 100mm Macro, 16mm Fisheye, 135 STF etc) and also Carl Zeiss lenses (135, 85, 24-70, 16-35) and find all of them to be exemplary in the rendered images.

I prefer having a neutral palette to work with (since I only shoot RAW) and thus don't like artificially introduced color casts. I can introduce any additions/deletions during the post-processing process, than have to work at removing needless color casts introduced via the lens route.

I guess this may not be a popular or "expected" answer but just an alternate viewpoint.
A900/2470ZA/85ZA/50f1.4/50f2.8Macro/35-105Mino/70-300G & A7r/2470/55f1.8/35f2.8
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote derettahs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2009 at 04:57
while i cant go into the detail that others have here i can definity say that there is a difference in colours between lens makers,
i had a sigma 50mm macro and it was noticeably cooler than my minolta 50mm.
so much so that my client automatically chose the minolta shot over the sigma.
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ChrBra View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ChrBra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2009 at 09:18
Originally posted by mikey2000 mikey2000 wrote:

I'd also still be interested in a side by side comparison....


If there is any differense (of course it is) it should show up with different brands on the same camera as well?

I can take my Min 200 2,8, BC and my Tokina 55-200 and put up the unedited raw with the same settings and a colourful motive later today, to make it more exiting you can guess witch pic is witch lens

Edited by ChrBra - 21 August 2009 at 09:55
My Gear a6000, SEL 35 1,8, Sigma 60 2,8, Min 200 f2,8, 135 f2,8 Min 50 1,4 RS https://www.flickr.com/photos/chr13bra/



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Post Options Post Options   Quote alpha_in_exile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2009 at 15:36
You can kinda see it in an old comparison I did (particularly, look at the apple in each shot). All shot on manual, with WB locked at the Flash preset.

Apples & Oranges

Not the most scientific test, but the apple is definitely cooler in color shooting with the Tamron lens. The BC and 28-85 have the same colors, but the 28-85 is showing much less contrast. The KM 18-70 demonstrated surprisingly (to me) high contrast, and if anything maybe warmer reds even than the BC. All four lenses seemed to render the color of the onion similarly, but differences in contrast & sharpness/micro-contrast make the onion look a little different, so I'm not sure.

What makes it difficult to replicate Minolta colors, is that we're not talking about just a general warmness, but a slight extra warmth in the reds, different browns, maybe the orange in those shots is a bit yellower with the Minolta lenses than the Tamron, and there were no strong blues in my shots (the "black" backdrop shows some variation, though), and very little green or yellow.

Now, bear in mind, Sony's output does not at all match the output from the old Minolta DSLRs (5D and 7D). And of course, I've never had a 5D or 7D RAW file to play around with.

From a linear RAW conversion I still generally prefer Sony CCD images to Canon and Nikon images. Not sure about Sony CMOS. I also prefer Minolta lenses' colors to the Tamrons and Sigmas I've owned. I just wish Sony DSLRs had Minolta's skin tones. Oh, well. And until the A900, I preferred the A100's output to any camera other than maybe the A350. Marlon, I think, gets excellent skin tones from his A900, but I don't know how much of that is camera output & how much is PP or software used.

The differences are subtle, and perhaps more academic than practical. Not to mention, ACR was recently updated and may or may not handle the greens better, from Sony RGGB Bayer filters...
-- Matt
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dave_Anderson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 August 2009 at 08:52
Originally posted by Heyckendorff Heyckendorff wrote:

I have never compared Minolta lens photographs to e.g Canon or Nikon so I would┤nt be able to tell if there┤s a difference.
But I┤ve heard about those legendary Minolta colours as well. What I wonder is, if it┤s generally acknowledged, also by e.g. Canon and Nikon users, that Minolta lenses has those legendary colours?

A relevant anecdote here -- we had a big event/party at work on Thursday, and several pro photographers were covering it. While I was shooting with my APO, one of them -- an older guy holding a Canon -- maneuvered ~40 ft across a crowded room to ask incredulously, "Wow, is that a Minolta lens?" I gave him a good look at it and he looked impressed. His parting comment was "I bet you're loving that". I smiled and nodded.
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Mave View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 August 2009 at 14:45
Originally posted by ricardovaste ricardovaste wrote:

Does everyone actually love the 'Minolta colours'? I know I don't. A lot of the time with landscapes and especially portraits I have to desaturate because they're just too rich for my taste a lot of the time. But I'd prefer it that way - easier to remove a bit of colour than add some. When you get the right subject with the right balance of colours, it works well, but I don't find that happens frequently for me.


I have had a Nikon D700 + 24/70 combo for a while. Sharpness, handling etc were all fantastic, but I had to work on the colours to get them the same as my 7D did. It could not produce any jpgs the way my 7D did and I don't want to always shoot Raw.
I brought the set back to the shop and am now sitting on my money wondering if a A900 + 24/70 would be any better......
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Eclipse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 August 2009 at 15:04
Speaking with my painter's hat on, warmer colours give more depth, as do subtler tones, and as I prefer depth to sharpness, it's lucky me for going Minolta before I knew camera lenses weren't all the same in this respect!

I'd rather have the warmer colours, and the subtler tones and colours- if I want it sharper, more contrasty and/or bluer later, that's easier to do than the other way round as it is easier to simplify things than to differentiate them once they've all been lumped together.

Having said this, film was mentioned above- my preferences may be to do with the fact that I still use film, keeping to films that can actually record the subtle differences in warm tones that the Minolta lenses can see- like Portra- to make the most of the capacity of the lenses. For my purposes there's no point using a very bluey film that lumps all the reds together again, like some Fuji films do, even if the results do appear sharper.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote zeroone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 August 2009 at 16:28
I feel colour is only part of the Minolta look, and here I am referring to the older first gen AF lenses. They do exhibit a warmer pallete, but they also produce images that with appropriate editing look very 3D. Used in conjunction with my A900 the images really look like medium format film without the deficits. This look is largely a result of low overall contrast which seems to hold up shadow and subtle micro information well and allows for setting an overall exposure that protect highlights from burn out. I don't feel the lenses actually add a false colour at all rather they just render it without the false punch that many other lenses do, especially in the blues. Some of the lenses display moderately high levels of CA (28-85 in particular) but in all cases it is easily fixed in post editing.

There is a lot of info floating around on the net that basically says these oldies are totally unsuited to digital cameras, too much flare etc, frankly I feel that is completely wrong headed, the results are actually quite magical so long as you realise the files must be edited, and this is where they really excel as the files edit beautifully unlike those from many new supposedly digital ready lenses. If you crave the look of film at its very very best, old Minolta AFs, the A900 and RAW DEVELOPER are a match made in imaging heaven, then add grain to taste. Nothing else I have ever used comes close and I won't go into details but my income relies on me knowing about these things.

Of all the old AFs I have the 28-85 is the most compromised out of the box in terms of flare, CA and edge softness at some lengths, yet with post editing actually produces the most naturalistic 3D images I have ever made....strange but true.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paul07 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 August 2009 at 17:20
Originally posted by natamambo natamambo wrote:

It's all about richness and vibrancy. Very hard to explain unless you manage to get an identical shot with and without a Minolta lens.


Or a shot with an older against a younger Minolta AF...

Originally posted by natamambo natamambo wrote:

Even within Minolta lenses some exhibit "it" better than others, the 24-105 is a little colder than the 28-135 for example but still richer than the Canon 24-105 IMO.

Some say it's at the cost of sharpness, but I don't know the slight softness is that evident until you get really large prints (or pixel peep).


I know that is one of the reasons I like the 28-135 that much and I am hardly using another allround zoom nowadays.
And in this case, the Minolta-look was not at the cost of sharpness .
α7-II VG 16-35G 24-70G 70-200G 28/2 35/2.8 90M ~~~ α6000 Nex-5N 10-18 16-70 16-50 18-200 35/1.8 ~~~ LA-EA4 ~~~ α100 50/1.7 85/1.4 24-105 ~~~ HX60V
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