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Your favourite A-mount lens

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Barrin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Barrin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2021 at 18:33
Optically 85/2.8 Sam. I would love it again in E mount.

But in the end, as of range, size, colours and rendering the little minolta 35-70/4 is my preferred one.
Sony A6000|Zony 24/1.8|Sigma 60/2.8

3xi|M35-70/4|M100-200/4.5

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waldo_posth View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote waldo_posth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2021 at 17:52
Excluding the Zeiss A-mount lenses (which for me are in a different competition) I can easily name my favorite(s):
1. Sharing first place are the Minolta AF 200mm F/2.8 APO HS and the Minolta AF 100mm F/2.0 - both deliver an incredible IQ and I just love the rendering of these lenses
2. Sony AF 70-400mm F/4.0-5.6 G SSM II - best tele-zoom I know
3. Sigma 24-135mm F/2.8-4.5 Aspherical IF - it broke much too early. Optically superb!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 4paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2021 at 17:36
I'm a cliche, but mine is "Special Sauce" 50/1.7 (beercan 50).

I am the original owner of my copy; my parents bought it for me when I was a kid, when the kit with the Minolta 5000 was available in the US, probably at Sears (Sears and Roebuck and Co.). So nostalgia is a factor, as is the fact that I have carried around, including on a trip to India, so it is my most travelled friend.

It has flaws, but the flaws are endearing: The tiny grip for the focus ring, the clunky feel of manual focus, the plastic pull out lens hood ... silly, but it has personality.

But whatever "it" is, the lens has "it". My finger won't hover over the delete key, even with a photo that is out of focus, or blown out, or the flash didn't fire ... on any body, Maxxum 7, a900, a7ii ... even with a bad picture, there is "something about it ..." that says "Special".

From these threads about A-mount Not Dead (or this entire forum!) we know there is Something About It. New lenses with fancy piezo-electric focus motors and magnetic apertures won't work at all without a camera connected, and a battery. With A-mount I can jam the aperture open, and spin the focus ring, and I can still use the lens. E-mount lenses, not gonna happen. A-mount isn't as easy as the old Steel and Glass lenses without any electricity, but it's close.

Whatever "it" is, that's why we're here.
There is a difference between a shaky or out-of-focus photograph and a snapshot of clouds and fog banks. - Schrödinger
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mambo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2021 at 17:04
Originally posted by Basil Basil wrote:

While I love my 600/4 for what it can produce when I get it right, my favorite has to be the Sony 70-400 G. This lens lives on my camera when I am traveling.


Hi Basil, I am delighted the 600/4 is being taken for a spin once in a while.
Charles M

A99, Minolta:|200f2.8G|∑35f1.4Art|A6400|A7Riii| Viltrox 85f1.8|SEL200600G|Zeiss32f1.8|Sigma16f1.4|Samyang 45 f1.8; 35 f2.8; 24 f2.8|
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addy landzaat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2021 at 16:53
Originally posted by QuietOC QuietOC wrote:

I posted a little visual comparison of the Minolta 200/2.8 HS APO G with the Canon 200/2.8L USM over at DPReview.
Having owned both, the Minolta is clearly the better lens. No discussion. None whatsoever.

I feel your pictures do not represent the most common use case of these lenses. Flowers are more the realm of the 135STF However, if you look at the red flower overlapping the yellow one, you'll see the transition on the Minolta is nicer. The differences are subtle but noticeable. In some technical aspects, the Canon might be better, but the total picture of the Minolta is nicer.

One remark on the information you provide for the Canon lens. There are two versions of this lens. In 1991 they introduced the original version with a build in hood and they provided the tripod foot (= not optional). In 1996 there was the second version with a normal hood and the tripod foot became optional. The mark II version is the current one.

I feel it is time to add a thread for this lens in the other lens mount sub forum.
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Basil View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Basil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2021 at 14:46
While I love my 600/4 for what it can produce when I get it right, my favorite has to be the Sony 70-400 G. This lens lives on my camera when I am traveling.
To see is to enjoy. To see beyond is to rejoice.

A77Mark II; A850; A700; A100; NEX 6; various film bodies and an ever-changing collection of lenses
 



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mambo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mambo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2021 at 14:16
Originally posted by pegelli pegelli wrote:

For me also the 200/2.8 APO, next to very sharp it has a great rendering, something hard to describe.

As I'm moving from A-mount to E-mount this lens will not be sold, while the 135/1.8 and 80-200/2.8 HS are also great lenses but I've had no trouble letting them go. The only one coming close for me is the 100/2, but I've never owned one, only used it as a loaner for several months.


That is my situation as well. My 200 HS G has lost most of its paint and even has some paint flakes that have found their way inside the lens; but, I love it rendering.
Charles M

A99, Minolta:|200f2.8G|∑35f1.4Art|A6400|A7Riii| Viltrox 85f1.8|SEL200600G|Zeiss32f1.8|Sigma16f1.4|Samyang 45 f1.8; 35 f2.8; 24 f2.8|
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2021 at 14:02
Difficult question. The first A_mount lens I loved was the DT18-55 SAM II because it would make a good job of everything including near macro flower close-ups, and the images were always sharp and full of colour and contrast (unlike most of the film-era zooms I'd tried previously). The 55-210mm DT was my next love because it was even better at nature pics and is always sharp.
Since then I've acquired a lot of Minolta A-mount lenses including the amazing 500mm Reflex, but I think I'd have to plump for the 100-300mm APO because it makes a better job of birding than most other lenses less than twice the size and weight and the 1.1m MFD beats all the big ones hollow when the birds just get *too* close.
Miranda F & Sensorex, Sony A7Rii, A58, Nex-6, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras ...
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pegelli View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2021 at 13:49
For me also the 200/2.8 APO, next to very sharp it has a great rendering, something hard to describe.

As I'm moving from A-mount to E-mount this lens will not be sold, while the 135/1.8 and 80-200/2.8 HS are also great lenses but I've had no trouble letting them go. The only one coming close for me is the 100/2, but I've never owned one, only used it as a loaner for several months.
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QuietOC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2021 at 13:20
Sony A7RIV NEX-5T HVL-F45RM LA-EA5 Metabones-IV Sigma MC-11 Yongnuo EF-E II TLT ROKR MD-NEX KR-NEX DA-NEX
Minolta Maxxum 600si
Pentax Q7 5-15 15-45/2.8 8.5/1.9 11.5/9 AF-P/Q
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Post Options Post Options   Quote paso144 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2021 at 13:11
Ai, difficult one. I love three lenses, my 17-35G, 80-200APO black and Tokina 304AT-X. In the end I guess I would choose the 17-35G although it is under repair right now. Will not count in the 58F1.2 since I converted that one to A-mount, however fantastic lens.
A99, A850, 16fish-eye, 17-35G, 28-70G, 24-105D, 28-135, 50/1.4D, 50macroRS, 58/1.2, 85/1.4D, 80-200/2.8APO black, 100macroD, 100/2, AT-X304, 500mirror, 5600D HS.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2021 at 13:04
Easy, the Minolta 200/2.8G.

Really, this is easy. Never owned or used the Sony 135/1.8, that might be a contender. But the 200/2.8G is so lovely. It is sharp but not the sharpest lens and even has some flaws, but it all comes together when you look at the pictures. Colour and bokeh is unrivalled, rendering is the best I have seen. Other lenses might be technically better, no lens gives you more photographic enjoyment.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote skm.sa100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2021 at 13:00
My first such lens is the humble AF 50/1.7.
My next one is the sublime 85/1.4 G D. The 135/2.8 also features there but it's a specialized use lens and I don't use it as much as the others.
The 100/2.8 macro has helped me a good bit as well.

My fav is the 85/1.4 G D of the lot.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jozioau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2021 at 12:44
@Wetapunga,
This is almost like asking a parent to name their favourite child....
For me lenses are 'horses for courses' tools that are selected to match the subject, and the photographer's vision for the shoot.
I can't think of any of the lenses I've taken some time to acquire as other than a pleasure to use in their own fit for purpose ways.
But in order to conform to your narrowly defined challenge, I'd probably have to say the Carl Zeiss 135mm f1.8 ZA Sonar on a full frame sensor is the one a-mount lens that never fails to delight me with what it can produce. Yes it's big and heavy, its focus mechanism is screw drive, and it's not weather sealed, but the IQ is out of this world.
"Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst" - Henri Cartier-Bresson
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