Arax MC 35mm F2.8 Tilt Shift A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 6   
reviewer#10563 date: Oct-5-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Zeiss 24-70Z
Minolta 50/1.8
price paid:600 USD (new)
positive:Cheap and usefull for aritectural photo. Very robust and built for lifetime.
negative:Typical eastern quality. Hard to move focus ring.
comment:After some time of using, focus ring moves better.
reviewer#7619 date: Jun-27-2010
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 2
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:400€
positive:one of the only affordable Tilt shift
negative:can not rotate in all direction and shift to the max on A900 as hitting the prism
comment:fun to use, but very demanding in term of setup
reviewer#6853 date: Feb-2-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:
missing
negative:
missing
comment:This is not the only tilt/shift option for KM/Sony.
Hartblei has several very high quality, very high priced lenses. There are several very cheap shift and a bit more expensive tilt/shift adapters that take 35mm or 6x6 lenses.
And Minolta once created the Rokkor Shift CA 35mm f/2,8 lens that can be fitted on our digital bodies with an adapter, but it's extremely rare and prices are probably absurd if you find one.

The cheapest and worst option is Lensbaby.

Shift is a very useful option for architecture, and it's relatively simple to build, so I don't understand why Minolta created just one and Sony none. I've seen DIY converted Tamron Adaptall adapters that do a great job.

Tilt can be very helpful in very rare situations but very hard to handle correctly. It's very easy to get everything OUT OF focus, very hard to get the theoretical zero to infinity focus. So my advice, go for shift without tilt.
reviewer#6325 date: Nov-5-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Shift! The only one of its kind, so the best one. Little or no vignetting. Sharp from edge to edge and far beyond at F8-F11, quite good build, nice manual focusing, stopless aperture control
negative:Coma
comment:I have ARSAT H PCS version without tilt function, only shift mechanism. Producer from Ukraine makes good instrument for the price. Two noticeable problems I see are chromatic aberration and coma, while multicoating seems to make its job well for wide angle lens. Read the manual before you use it. When shifted, use F11 (well, F8 on APS-C is enough) to avoid corners darkening and maintain sharpness over whole frame. It is very sharp lens, but wide apertures are usable only when not shifted.
reviewer#2066 date: Mar-27-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 3
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Pentax 6x7 75mm F4.5 Shift; Schneider 35/4 PA-Curtagon; Schneider 28mm f2.8 PC Super Angulon
price paid:425 USD (new)
positive:Sharp in the middle (I've seen 88 lp/mm on Kodak Technical Pan 25ASA B&W film), low distortion, very good build quality - "tractor-tough," as they say.
negative:The periphery of the imaging circle is less sharp than the center (as expected) - visible with extreme diagonal shifts in the corresponding corner of the frame. Color wise, the lens has a slightly warm cast. When wide open, underwhelming sharpness & contrast - but it's not a handicap in actual use, which is stopped down to f/6.7 ... f/11 for DOF reasons.
comment:Sample image: http://karasevstudio.com/photos/general/wallsty2k_m.jpg

ARSAT/Arax MC 35 is the only 35mm shift (and tilt) off-the-shelf lens available in the SONY/Minolta Alpha (AF SLR) mount. For shooting architecture, when conventional non-shift lenses would incur significant camera tilts, using this lens sure beats the "digital perspective correction" approach - e.g. shooting with a regular 24mm instead of 35mm and applying a trapezoid stretch, cropping, and perhaps some cloning to fill in the corners. I do not use the tilt function much (it's used to tilt the focusing/DOF plane relative to film/sensor plane).

Let's not split lp/mm hairs or theorize about unavailable optics or hypothetical situations, or regurgitate the standard "russian lens" commentary we've all heard before (tough but ugly build, surprisingly good but allegedly uneven optical performance). For Minolta/SONY AF SLR mount, in 35mm f.l., this is the only game in town. If you shoot interior or exterior architecture, this lens will give you the options you've been missing.

For the same application, I also highly recommend Schneider 28mm f2.8 PC Super Angulon. It's available in Sony / Minolta AF SLR mount from B&H or directly from manufacturer.
reviewer#774 date: May-11-2006
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:shift and shit
negative:russian quality control
comment:I got a chance to try this lens out for a bit. Its not cheap for a Russian lens and like all Russian lenses its “roulette” on the quality control and the manufacture. If you get a good one then they are great. But if you don’t then who knows what could happen. I’ve read bout bad fitting bayonets that people couldn’t get the lens of their camera etc.
reviews found: 6   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 6
  • sharpness: 4.17
  • color: 3.83
  • build: 3.83
  • distortion: 4.17
  • flare control: 4.17
  • overall: 4.03

to add your review
you need to login

Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania