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Your favourite A-mount lens

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4paul View Drop Down
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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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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!
"Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." (Walker Evans)   http://www.flickr.com/photos/waldo_posth/
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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

Olympus Trip 35
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Fred_S View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Fred_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2021 at 19:33
Hard choice. I used to be a 'zoomer', so I don't have many primes.
The use of vintage) primes only grew after joining ths great forum a few years ago.
My 70-400G (M1) is a my beloved walk around nature lens, but the rendering of my 2.8/70-200G is hard to beat and my Sigma 2.8/105 EX DG HSM Macro OS is a great macro lens. It really depends on the purpose.
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Maxxuman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Maxxuman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2021 at 20:21
I recently picked up the 135/1.8 ZA and it's an awesome lens. But the size and weight means I often won't choose to take it with me. For that reason I'd say my favourite is my Minolta 200/2.8, which is so much lighter and also pairs well with the matched Minolta 1.4x and 2x teleconverters. That provides a compact and flexible travel telephoto option, while also delivering beautiful portraits when there's enough working room.

I also love my Minolta 85/1.4(D), which replaced an original version which was just as good but which I unfortunately dropped on a hard church floor. My Sigma Art 35/1.4 is also a great lens when needing something wider.

So while the 135 delivers in terms of overall image quality, it has some stiff competition.
Barry
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dxqcanada View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dxqcanada Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2021 at 21:23
First A-mount lens that I really got attached to ... Minolta AF 28-135mm f4-4.5. This was my walk-around lens.
The Sony SAL 70-400mm G1, Ok this has been the best telephoto zoom I have ever used.
I picked up a Minolta AF 200mm f/2.8 APO (v1) ... and I cannot seem to let it go, even though I have no use for it.
Sony A77mII, A57, Nex-6 | Minolta Maxxum 9000, Autocord | Canon P
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Wētāpunga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wētāpunga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2021 at 22:37
Thanks- this was a good thread to wake up to, and see all the responses. The reasons are engaging reading.

I like that some of you are going for some of those first generation lenses. Nothing wrong with a bit of nostalgia to give a lens a boost.

As for me, while I've shot a lot of classic lenses and quite a few G's, the one I think that stands out is the 135mm STF. It seemed to be the culmination of all those Minolta efforts with colour reproduction, rendering and art, to end up with something that was for years, unrivalled anywhere else. It didn't hurt that you had to go old-school and manually focus the lens. It just added to that whole, creative experience.
a77ii- Sony 135/2.8 STF, 16-50/2.8, 70-200/2.8 G
a7riii- Zeiss Loxia 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2, 85/2.4, Batis 85/1.8, Voigtländer 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Sony 24-105/4 G, Sigma 70/2.8 M, 100-400 f5-6.3.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 2manycamera Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2021 at 23:46
Been thinking, picking, changing my mind, then changing again. I knew it would come down to one of the three F2.0 Minolta's: 28/2. 35/2 or 100/2.

I've had the 35/2 the longest, just about 30 years. It was my walk around lens for Maxxum 9000/600si/9 bodies. Took a back seat on the app-c sensor of the 7D, but right back on with the a850. Always loved the rendering and color. The 28/2 is probably a bit better lens optically overall, but its main advantage for my use was the 42mm "equivalent" field of view on aps-c bodies.

But when all is said and done, it's the 100/2 that still holds my heart. Film or digital, aps-c or FF, A-mount or adapted on E-mount, it does not matter. Beautiful bokeh, good transitions and lovely Minolta colors. I just love what I get from it.
7D a68 a99 a6600 a7Rii 16/2.8 24/2.8 28/2 35/2 50/1.4 100/2 200/2.8 24-70CZ 1.8/135 80-200/2.8 24-105 28-135 300/4 16-50DT 70-300G Tam 90/2.8, E55-210 E2/12 Sig E1.4/16,30 & 56, FE15/4.5V
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lomitamike View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lomitamike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2021 at 00:14
Different lenses for different reasons. To simplify;

Portrait; Minolta 85 f/1.4 G (D). Minolta 100/f2 honorable mention.

Everything else; Sony 70-400G (V1).
A900, A850, A6000, Canon S95, SAL 70-400, 70-200, 35/1.4, 50/1.4. KM 85D, 28-75D, 17-35D,100macroD. Mino 28/2, 35-70. Rok14/2.8. Many flashes, Phottix Odin. E16-50, 18-200LE, 50/1.8, Rokfish 8mm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote LAbernethy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2021 at 01:25
My personal favourite A-Mount lens? Minolta AF 24-105mm F/3.5-4.5 D. I could have and probably should have "one and done" with this lens. Hind sight is 20/20. Everything about this lens is perfect. Size, weight, lens shade, focal range, distortion, colour rendering, sharpness and easy on the pocket book. I've tried the larger, faster, more expensive options and should have saved my money.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote arvind_s Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2021 at 10:30
My first love was 70-210 F4, it did produce classics and a great lens for portrait (yes).

BUT 100MM F2 is by far the best for me, its size, bokeh, sharpness at F2, colour wow .. this is a beauty. Has produced some great photographs.

Have been using 135mm 1.8 for sometime now and this lens is out of the world, the pictures are miles apart from any contemporary lens. Still have not used it as long as 100MM F2 but am sure it will challenge the first place.
Sony a57:Min 70-210(BC): Min 75-300 (BBC): Min 50 1.7: Min 35-105: Min 28-135: Sony 35 F1.8: Sony 18-55:
My Photos (Flickr)
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ABDurbs View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ABDurbs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2021 at 11:24
Without a doubt my Zeiss 85mm f1.4
Regards
Allan
A99 + VG, A77ii + VG, 70-400G, Zeiss 85mm f1.7, CZ16-80, Tamron 70-200 USD Tamron 24-70 USD, HVL-43AM, Godox TT685S & X1T-S, Minolta 8000i, Minolta 50mm f1.7
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paso144 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote paso144 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2021 at 11:34
Seeing all enthusiasm on the 100F2 I guess I need to start shooting with it more. It doesn't see much use time.
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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Miranda F View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2021 at 14:38
Originally posted by LAbernethy LAbernethy wrote:

My personal favourite A-Mount lens? Minolta AF 24-105mm F/3.5-4.5 D. I could have and probably should have "one and done" with this lens. Hind sight is 20/20. Everything about this lens is perfect. Size, weight, lens shade, focal range, distortion, colour rendering, sharpness and easy on the pocket book. I've tried the larger, faster, more expensive options and should have saved my money.

It's my favourite lens on film (600SI), with the 50mm f1.7 as second best due its smooth OOF behaviour.
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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