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minolta 28-70G vs zeiss 24-70 test shots

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Lesuave View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Lesuave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: minolta 28-70G vs zeiss 24-70 test shots
    Posted: 23 January 2013 at 01:48
As some people ask about the pros and cons of the minolta 28-70G and the zeiss 24-70 and which one to buy, I did some test shots with Desmond, my favorite model (she doesn't talk). Hope it helps in making your choice.

This is a side by side comparison between both lenses.
It is nor a scientific test neither a high level a la Kurt Munger test (this guy does a great job btw and deserves our respect).
It's just a representation of how each lens capture a portrait scene in the same conditions of exposure.
All images are rendered raw from lightroom without any adjustment.
The camera is a sony A77 set with aperture priority, spot metering, face detection auto focus, shade WB and ISO 100.
Both lenses were set at 50mm.
The camera was standing on a tripod with steady shot off.

Important: I didn't attach the original hood to the minolta because it's useless. As a matter of fact, it's a shame providing such a bad hood with such a nice and expensive lens.
Instead I mounted a Visionaer EW-78D for canon lens which fits well albeit wobbly when mounting reversed for storage.

Pictures were shot during a sunny caribbean afternoon with some clouds at around 3:20 pm. Desmond stands in the shade of the house.

No animals were harmed during this session.
Thanks again Desmond for your patience.

As english is not my native language, me being short of vocabulary for making nice description so you adding comments please.


The first set is Desmond standing in front of a mid tone background. The sun light comes from the right side.

At f2.8 the zeiss is sharp with a pleasant bokeh. The minolta produces a softer image with a creamy bokeh.




At f4 both lenses render the scene almost the same way though the zeiss is of course a bit sharper.




At f8 the bokeh is more pleasant with the minolta.




You may notice that global contrasts and micro contrast are better rendered by the zeiss.



The second set presents a back lit Desmond.





At all the apertures tested on this set, the minolta fails unless you like this hazy style. The zeiss does well on this difficult lighting.


The third set shows our model with a contrasted background. Sharpness and bokeh behaviors are quite the same as for the first set.






The last comparison is for showing the width you may gain at 24 mm over 28 mm.



Both lenses have quite the same great color rendition (a bit warmer for the minolta). Both have a high quality build.
Both produce pictures of great IQ. It has to be pointed out that Zeiss's barrel extends while zooming.
The autofocus is often hunting with the minolta where the zeiss seldom miss the shot, is waaaaaaaay faster and super silent (a great advantage when shooting video).

So, how to make up your mind ?

If you're not obsessed by sharpness at wide aperture and are not afraid to struggle with focus inaccuracy and lack of fastness, you may get the minolta particularly if you are on a budget. Using focus peaking may help you shooting great portraits.

On assignment like shooting wedding or birthday party with kids running everywhere, the zeiss will live up to your expectations but you'll have to put more money out of your wallet even to buy a used one.

Please feel free to add your comment especially if you own or have owned both lenses.

Edited by Lesuave - 24 January 2013 at 12:48
 



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ifreedman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ifreedman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 January 2013 at 02:44
Nice comparison! Both lenses produce lovely pics, but this makes me admire the Zeiss all the more. FWIW, Kurt Munger looks like he's limiting the lens reviews he does, and lenses like the Zeiss might not be reviewed in the future:

From his site:
"On another note; it looks like I might be soon finished with Sony full frame Alpha lens reviews. There isn't much interest anymore, most of the pageviews here are split between the DT and NEX stuff. I might be coaxed into reviewing the new Sigma 35/1.4 or another FF lens or two, but since time is precious right now, I'm going to concentrate on the more popular products as I just mentioned, plus the exciting micro 4/3 lenses."

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adakshi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote adakshi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 January 2013 at 04:26
Zeiss is sharper and more contrasty right from 2.8. I rented this lens and at f5.6 it is prime like sharp, easily out resolving A900. Another dark horse is Tamron 28-75, it is sharp but not like zeiss and also lacks the micro contrast of Zeiss.

Thanks for the comparison.
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Carl View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Carl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 January 2013 at 09:23
It makes me wonder if any 28-70 owners have opened up their lens and added some light absorbing black felt inside the barrel. It's not an unsharp lens, but the internal reflections cause contrast to take a hammering.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Blame Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 January 2013 at 10:26
There are an awful lot of photo opertunities that are backlit. Especialy birds and trees. Glad to see you test for it.
A900, Min 24-105, 35-105, Samyang 14/2.8, 35/1.4, Sig 70/2.8 Macro, ISCO Ultra 125/2, Tam 180/3.5 Macro, Sig 400/5.6 TeleMacro
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 January 2013 at 20:43
Well, some remarks.
The model isn't the best. The unatural color doesn't do the Minolta justice imho.
The Minolta bokeh is clearly better, or, more accurate, more to my liking.
Why did you do this at 50mm? Also, these 50mm are not equal.
The color of the Minolta at the contrasted background set is much better - it doesn't show in the other sets as much, so there probably was something wrong with the settings with the Zeiss.

So, the results are as I always knew:
The Zeiss is the better lens overall, sharper and better handles flare.
The Minolta has lovely OOF to me.

And what you can't see from these pictures:
I like the Minolta colors better (but the Zeiss colors are still very good)
The total rendering of the Minolta is nicer to me.

So, I don't feel I need to upgrade, the Minolta still is a great lens!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Lesuave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 January 2013 at 22:58
Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:

Well, some remarks.
The model isn't the best. The unatural color doesn't do the Minolta justice imho.


Yes you're definitely right. Meanwhile, as I wanted the pictures to have the same appearance for both lenses at all aperture I chose this model. But for sure, its skin has a slightly olive tone.   

Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:

The Minolta bokeh is clearly better, or, more accurate, more to my liking.


Yes but the zeiss bokeh is also good with the lens wide open. Not as excellent as the minolta but quite good.

Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:

Why did you do this at 50mm? Also, these 50mm are not equal.


I didn't want to spend so much time doing that test at several focal length. So I picked up an arbitrary, intermediate length.
May be I set the zeiss at a bit less than 50mm or the minolta a bit more or both.

Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:

The color of the Minolta at the contrasted background set is much better - it doesn't show in the other sets as much, so there probably was something wrong with the settings with the Zeiss.


Now as you mention it, I think the zeiss was under exposed but I don't know why. May be there was a cloud shading the sun at this moment and the metering screwed up.

Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:

So, the results are as I always knew:
The Zeiss is the better lens overall, sharper and better handles flare.
The Minolta has lovely OOF to me.

And what you can't see from these pictures:
I like the Minolta colors better (but the Zeiss colors are still very good)
The total rendering of the Minolta is nicer to me.

So, I don't feel I need to upgrade, the Minolta still is a great lens!


I agree with your conclusion. If you're fine with your minolta, just keep going with it. I chose to upgrade because I was fed up dealing with the messy auto focus.

May be at the end of this week, I'll make some shots with a living model. Just tell me what focal length would be more accurate than 50mm.

To all: thanks for your comments and to addy landzaat thanks for your analyze.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 January 2013 at 23:18
Oh no focal length in particular, I was just wondering. For headshots 70mm seems appropriate, for environmental portraits 28 or 35mm.

Depending on your style and the subject you tend to shoot, the AF is good enough, bearable or awful - I can really understand you went with the newer lens!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ddoctor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 January 2013 at 23:37
Other than the colour tone and internal zooming mechanism. The Zeiss wins all the way. I got 3 Zeisslenses, but all of them stays in the dry cabinet. Prefer my sigma 50, tamron 28-105 f2.8 and 80-200 G's colour tone right now.
A850, a200, Nex 3, Tokina ATX 17mm f3.5, Tamron 28-105 f2.8, Minolta 135 f2.8
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Lesuave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 January 2013 at 00:59
Originally posted by ddoctor ddoctor wrote:

I got 3 Zeisslenses, but all of them stays in the dry cabinet. Prefer my sigma 50, tamron 28-105 f2.8 and 80-200 G's colour tone right now.


Have you ever heard of the Dyxum Exclusive Sales section of this forum ?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Blame Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 January 2013 at 09:46

I do think that minolta is showing its age here and I am not convinced the problem is soluble with a better black coating to the internal sides. I think modern lens coatings are the explanation. The old coatings alter the color tone at the expense of contrast.

Is it really not possible to get the color tone you like with filters, camera customized colors or PP?

The Zeiss clearly has inferior bokeh but that is the price always paid for wide open sharpness.

All told I think the Zeiss a more usable lens. It justifies its price tag as a professional fast lens for indoor functions. Stoped down there are more economical options.
A900, Min 24-105, 35-105, Samyang 14/2.8, 35/1.4, Sig 70/2.8 Macro, ISCO Ultra 125/2, Tam 180/3.5 Macro, Sig 400/5.6 TeleMacro
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Post Options Post Options   Quote niji Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 January 2013 at 10:57
I came to similar conclusions between the CZ (sharp & fast), M (creamier & nicer colour to my eye) & KM (great great value). It wasn't the IQ that was the deciding factor in me keeping the CZ, like Lesuave, MFD, focus speed and better accuracy were what I needed to snap the kids.

Excellent tip on that lens hood by the way, I toyed with a 3D printer to make a 28-70G hood at one point.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MichelvA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 January 2013 at 10:59
Very good comparison, actually the best i've seen so far. Agree with Addy for the colors. For me/my 28-70G the differences at f/2.8 seem less, but still there. The contrast in back lit situations has been touched by me a long time ago. This is where the Minolta goes down. Unless - as you rightfully mention - if one like the hazy look.
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Lesuave View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Lesuave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 January 2013 at 12:47
Originally posted by niji niji wrote:

...It wasn't the IQ that was the deciding factor in me keeping the CZ, like Lesuave, MFD...


I forgot to talk about the MFD but indeed, this factor has to be pointed out. Actually, besides sharpness and focusing gaining almost 50 cm in MFD encouraged me to upgrade.

Originally posted by niji niji wrote:

... I toyed with a 3D printer to make a 28-70G hood at one point

Did you succeed to get a useful one ?

Edited by Lesuave - 24 January 2013 at 12:50
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