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Your favourite A-mount lens

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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 Topic: Your favourite A-mount lens
    Posted: 11 May 2021 at 06:44
The lights are fading, the curtains are falling, the A-mount, started back in the 80s by Minolta and carried forward for a few more years by Sony, has reached the end of its production cycle.

As we look back on that past, a question comes up.
What of all that production is your favourite, that makes you most glad you shot the A-mount, the lens that stood out from all the rest?
Was it something from the first-generation- those classic lenses whose colours and rendition made up for their odd quirks and flaws? Something from the later years? The Zeiss 135mm f1.8?

Happy to hear your thoughts (and yes, I know I'm cruel setting the standard at just one lens).
a7riii- Voigtländer 15/4.5, 110/2.5 M; Zeiss Loxia 21/2.8, 35/2, 50/2, 85/2.4, Batis 85/1.8, 135/2.8; Sony 24-105/4 G; Sigma 70/2.8 M; Tamron 150-500 f5-6.7

Sony SAL 135/2.8 STF, SAL70-200/2.8 G
 



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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 12:04
For me it was the Sony DT 55-300mm F4.5-5.6 SAM: light, affordable, and just worked well. I almost regret selling it especially as I have another A77II to try again.

Edited by QuietOC - 11 May 2021 at 15:34
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Post Options Post Options   Quote stiuskr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2021 at 12:38
Tough one, just like every other 'favorite' question it's hard to pick just one. Which I can't so for me it's a toss up between the Minolta 35/2 and the CZ 24-70 G2 w/FF body. And with the a77 (never had the II) it would be the SAL70-200 G1.
Rob Suits Jr.
a99M2 a99 a77 a700 KM7D|Min24/2.8 Min35/2 So50/1.4 So50/2.8 Min85/1.4G Tam90/2.8 Tam180/3.5|Tam17-50 CZ24-70G2 KM28-75D So70-200G1 So70-300G So70-400G1| SonyF60 AD200R2
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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.
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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 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 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 QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2021 at 13:20
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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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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.
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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

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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.
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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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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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