Arax MC 80mm F2.8 Tilt Shift A-mount lens review by BenKinetics

reviewer#3096 date: Dec-21-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Hartblei 35mm & 65mm
price paid:200 GBP
positive:Very well made.
Surprisingly easy to use for a beginner.
negative:Can only tilt at right angles to the shift.
Control knobs can sometimes hit the body when rotating the lens.
comment:Although it's a bit long for some situations it's generally very good. With the 7D/A700 in A mode, the camera meters correctly, so all you have to do is focus. It came with a very good padded case and a front lens cap, but no back cap or hood - it definitely needs them. Luckily they're cheap to find.

Build quality is excellent - all metal, controls are very smooth, and the Minolta mount is solid. The only slight issue is that the entire mount rotates, so when you fit the lens you need to make sure the lens is fully on - not a big deal, though.

Compared to the Hartblei lenses, it's quite a bit smaller, and seems less professional - a bit more Heath Robinson. The Hartblei's biggest advantages are the quick adjust rings (no fiddling with little thumbscrews), and the ability to have the tilt at other than 90 degrees to the shift.

Sample Images

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 2
  • sharpness: 4.25
  • color: 4.50
  • build: 4.50
  • distortion: 4.00
  • flare control: 4.00
  • overall: 4.25 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania