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TP: Minolta glass list - what to buy and pay

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gipper51 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gipper51 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: TP: Minolta glass list - what to buy and pay
    Posted: 29 April 2007 at 19:21
Hi All,
I posted this on dpreview originally but thought it would be even better off here.

Thought maybe we could start a list thread (if it hasn't been done recently) to help some folks out when searching for used lenses with their new system. As most here know, Minolta is probably the best deal in DSLRs when it comes to cheap, quality legacy lenses. First generation Minolta AF lenses are still great performers and can be had for a fraction of the cost of other brand's equivilents. Below is a short list of what I consider the "quality" old lenses and what you should expect to pay when shopping on Ebay or anywhere else. These are the more common lenses that you can actually find if you shop around. That doesn't mean others not listed are bad, but these are the "golden oldies" of Minolta AF, and some newer ones that are still desireable and practical on KM/Sony DSLRs. Example: the 35-70 f4 is a good lens and is cheap, but the range makes it practically useless on a DSLR so it's not listed. I broke them down into price brackets. I'm just sticking with Minolta glass to keep my list shorter. Please chime in to add other recommendations. Price is based on recent ebay pricing but may not be pinpoint accurate.

1. Need good glass on a tight budget? Consider these:

KM 18-70 kit lense $75 Great range, decent optics for price. Probably the best lens out for the price that's wider than 24mm.

KM 28-85 f3.5-4.5 $50-100 OK range, not that wide, reasonably fast, sharp

KM 28-105 f3.5-4.5 $50-120 (not Xi version) OK range, not that wide, reasonably fast, sharp stopped down

KM 35-105 f3.5-4.5 $70-100: good lens but range is not very practical. Good for portrait work.

KM 100-200 f4.5 under $100: OK telephoto range,small and light, decently sharp stopped down. Good lens if you find the deal.

KM 70-210 f4 (beercan) $150-225: The legend, sharp at all apertures / zoom, nice bokeh, good macro, heavy and built like a tank, slow AF. A must have lens.

KM 70-210 f3.5-4.5 $120-160: Good fast telephoto. Almost as sharp as the beercan (some say as sharp) and alot smaller.

KM 75-300 f4-5.6 (big beercan) $150-225. Big, heavy lens. Good telephoto, pretty sharp especially @f8.

KM 50 f1.7 $75-100 Very fast prime, good for low light and portrait. A must have for the price.

KM 28 f2.8 $100 OK prime, needs stopped down for best results.

2. Got a few more bucks to spend? Here's some "upgrades":

KM 18-200 f3.5-6.3 $300-350: APS-C lenses only, biggest ultrazoom available. Not great optically but for a one lens solution, this is it. Sony continues to make this lens.

KM 17-35 f2.8-4 $275-350: Newer lens, good optics, decently fast and FF compatible. Good replacement for the 18-70 kit if you need the wide angle.

KM 24-85 f3.5-4.5. about $150: Great zoom range and good optics, a classic.

KM 24-105 f3.5-4.5 $250-300: Newer lens, great range, good sharpness. The extra range is not worth twice the price over the older 24-85 IMHO, but still a great lens. Sony continues to make this lens.

KM 28-75 f2.8 $275-350: Newer lens that's already a classic. Fast, sharp standard zoom. Tamron still makes this lens.

KM 28-135 f4-4.5 $150-300: Another legend, first generation ultrazoom, sharp at all apertures, big and heavy. This lens is getting inflated prices on Ebay these days and good copies are rare.

KM 100-300 f4-5.6 APO and APO(D) $275-450. Both great lenses. Sharpest 300mm you can buy for the $$. D version is newer and commands higher prices.

KM 50 f2.8 macro $150-250: Several variants made, all good. Very sharp 1:1 for true macro work. Can double as a fast 50mm portrait lens also.

KM 135 f2.8 $225-275: Another classic. Fast portrait prime, though a bid long on 1.5 crop cameras. Smooth bokeh and sharp wide open. Whenever full frame digital bodies are available, expect the ebay price of this lens to rise fast. Moral? Buy one now while they're cheap.

KM 100 f2.8 macro $450-550: Getting pricey, but arguably the best 100mm 1:1 macro made, period. Still made by Sony


Well that can get things started. It's not all-inclusive but covers the heart of the reasonably priced Minolta lineup. I didn't include the super high end stuff or much of the hard-to-find glass. This list would likely be lenses you could do an ebay search on today and find for auction, so hopefully it will help some newbies looking to build their Sony/KM system.

Gipper

EDIT:

Please do add third party and other KM/Sony glass I didn't list. I just kept my list KM otherwise I would have been typing a while. The plastic fantastic is great, I own one and love it.



Prices mentioned above are now likely to be on the low side as the demand for legacy (cheaper) glass has increased.


Prices reflect the market as it was in 2007




Edited by stiuskr - 13 October 2011 at 23:35
 



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richardn View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote richardn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 April 2007 at 21:47
If third party lenses are permitted I would chime in with the 100mm macro Cosina/Vivitar/Phoenix "Plastic Fantastic". Must be the cheapest macro around if it has the matched macro adapter and is preposterously good for the price, if not preposterously nasty in build! Not a slouch without the adapter, either so if budget is an issue it is well worth considering.

Edited by richardn - 29 April 2007 at 21:47
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Post Options Post Options   Quote polossatik Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 April 2007 at 22:04
Might be a idea to add to the list links to the dyxum lensdatabase and to Dcap's price site for primes: http://www.maxxumeyes.com/UsedPrices.htm ...

Edited by polossatik - 29 April 2007 at 22:06
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Silver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 April 2007 at 22:17
Originally posted by gipper51 gipper51 wrote:


KM 18-200 f3.5-6.3 $300-350: APS-C lenses only, biggest ultrazoom available. Not great optically but for a one lens solution, this is it. Sony continues to make this lens.


Those thinking about this one might want to know that there is a new Tamron 18-250mm avalible. Now ive read somewhere on this forum that there is also a Sony version of this lens in the works.

'Minolta 100-400mm f4.5-6.7 APO' and the 'Minolta 200mm f4 Macro' would be discontinued lenses that I would find interessting.. even thought not cheap ones.
Alpha77, 11-18mm, 16-50mm f2.8, 100mm f2.8 macro, HVL-F58AM.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MostlyHarmless Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 April 2007 at 23:45
Here are my additions. All prices are for used copies in good condition.

Budget:

24-50/4 - $75-125
35-70/4 - $25-50
Both have been discontinued. These lenses were introduced around the same time as the Beercan. The 35-70 is dirt cheap due to its weird range on an APS-C body as well as a "macro" mode that disables AF. However, some folks have recently come up with a simple mod that restores AF in macro mode which may give it some utility. Both lenses are typical of their generation - well-built, dark, and a little soft wide open.

24/2.8 - $200-250
Very compact, a step up from the above two primes and gives you a very useful 36mm equiv FOV on an APS-C body. Not as sharp as it could be when wide open but close it down a stop or two and its razor sharp.

50/1.4 - $200-250
With the 50/1.7 being so much cheaper, its hard to make the case for the 50/1.4 as the price difference usually doesn't justify the incremental increase in optics and speed. Still, it's an excellent lens for portraits and available light. Sony still makes this lens.

Upgrades:

28/2 - $300
35/2 - $300
Both are legends. Compact, superbly sharp. Optically, the downsides are mediocre bokeh and flare resistance. Depending on who you ask and the phase of the moon, one might be slightly sharper wide open than the other and one might be slightly more resistant to flare than the other but for all practical intents and purposes, they are identical save for the FOV. The 28/2 is the more common of the two. Be aware that these lenses often sell for very inflated prices.

100/2 - $450
100/2.8 Soft focus - $450
Two excellent lenses. The 100/2.8 is a misunderstood beast - soft focus can be turned off and you get an excellent 100/2.8 lens. The 100/2.8 is sharp wide open and the 100/2 is even sharper. Flare can be a problem with the 100/2. Both can give beautiful bokeh, especially the 100/2.8 with a touch of soft focus dialed in (although the soft focus ring has detents at 1, 2, and 3, you can set it anywhere in between).

Edited by MostlyHarmless - 01 May 2007 at 00:06
M5D+M5: 20/2.8(O)|28/2(O)|85/1.4(Pre-G)|100/2.8MacD|100-300/4.5-5.6D
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gustavjensen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2007 at 10:18
I agree with the following lenses:
50mm/1.7
70-210mm/3.5-4.5 (Can be found for as little as 50-100$)
35-105mm/3.5-4.5 (Great bargain, for as little as 20-50$)

But the 28mm/2.8 is in my oppinion not worth it, save the money and buy a Sigma/Tamron 28-70/2.8 or similar. The quality is nothing special, I use it rarely

and of course the
Cosina 100mm/3.5

See my statistics here for prices on e-bay:
http://www.gustavjensen.com/blog/index.php?x=minoltalenses
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lockny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2007 at 12:16
Originally posted by Silver Silver wrote:

Originally posted by gipper51 gipper51 wrote:


KM 18-200 f3.5-6.3 $300-350: APS-C lenses only, biggest ultrazoom available. Not great optically but for a one lens solution, this is it. Sony continues to make this lens.


'Minolta 100-400mm f4.5-6.7 APO' and the 'Minolta 200mm f4 Macro' would be discontinued lenses that I would find interessting.. even thought not cheap ones.


http://photo.net/equipment/minolta/100-400

this review is not enthusiastic about the 100-400...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote brettania Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2007 at 12:25

This was suggested previously as a possible Talking Point so I have made it one.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote D-Schap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2007 at 16:45
After using the SONY version of the 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6, I am wholly disappointed in the resulkts from this lens. More than 50% of the time, it is misfocused and tends to flare for no apparent reason.

Honestly, you'd have to shoot about ten shots to get anything close to a "keeper."

The $100 you'd spend on this "default" lens would be better used in the purchase of a TAMRON SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD You'd have better light response throughout the focal range and superior IQ, also. The only thing you'll hurt with the 18-70 is your photographic output. Is that really where you want your money wasted?

Photography is an investment, so plan ahead, you'll be taking better pictures for years to come. Don't settle for substandard images while you are figuring out if you can afford it. Set your astandard a little higher ... because kids get older, parents & grandparents pass on, and the dog runs away. Better photography begins TODAY, with better glass on the front of your rig! Now, go get that quality lens and don't look back ... until you're ready to see the past ... with crystal clarity.
Don Schap - Des Plaines, IL

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Post Options Post Options   Quote JT National Park Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 November 2007 at 05:59
This thread is great information and I just wanted to say thank you!!

A couple more I have on my list that are not previously included.

Tamron 35-105mm SP F2.8 $275+/-
Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro, $400 +/-

Thank you again!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote revdocjim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 November 2007 at 07:19
It would be great if the contents of this thread were made into a table or chart. It would be a lot easier to read.
Gallery A7S, A7Rii, Batis 18/2.8, 25/2 Sony 35/2.8, 55/1.8, 90/2.8M, 24-105/4, Minolta 135STF, 200/2.8 Blog
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Post Options Post Options   Quote infosix Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 December 2007 at 22:15
I do not understand why you consider that the KM 35-70 F4 "has a range makes it practically useless on a DSLR so it's not listed"...
I have an 17-50 Tamron (F2.8) and it's a perfect companion for this lens and a good one for portrait!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dorset Mike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 December 2007 at 18:19
Budget has to include the Tamron 55-200/4-5.6. great value for the money.

I found the kit lens adequate for the price, may main reason to upgrade was the aperture, I went for the Tamron 17-50/2.8 as mentioned by others.

Macro for me must consider the Tamron 90/2.8.

Cheers MIKE
Cheers MIKE,



5D, A350: 50/1.7; 28-75/2.8;80-200/2.8 APO Kit; 500/8; Tam 17-50/2.8; 18-280; 70-300/4-5.6: 90/2.8; MC7 2X; Tokina 11-16/2.8: 80-400/4-5.6; Kenko 1.4X:
Min A200 bridge
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Post Options Post Options   Quote madcat207 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 December 2007 at 23:21
Originally posted by infosix infosix wrote:

I do not understand why you consider that the KM 35-70 F4 "has a range makes it practically useless on a DSLR so it's not listed"...
I have an 17-50 Tamron (F2.8) and it's a perfect companion for this lens and a good one for portrait!

Agreed - usefulness is all up to the shooter. Going against most other people here, anything wider than 24mm is useless for me; simply because I don't use it. You can say it is useless for YOU, but certainly not for everyone..
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