Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

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Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

Postposted on Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:25 pm

So I was a bit curious to see what I could find that would be compatible with my A230 lens wise just to have some fun with it. I found in a pawn shop here (not that im pawner lol) this lens. http://www.dyxum.com/reviews/lenses/rev ... ?IDLens=17 for $45.00. It looks to have been sitting there for awhile since it (and well over 300 other film/camera lenses) had collected a good amount of dust. At first glance it didn't appear to be scratched or haze, nothing damaged on it. I'm curious what I could expect from this lens. I was looking for something I could use for Night shots, and this being a 1.7 prime I figured it might make things easier on me, as well as be a nice portrait lens. Whatcha guys think?
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Re: Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

Postposted on Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:53 pm

Funny you should mention this lens. I went to the local botanical gardens today with my dad & threw this lens on my A300. Here's a couple of pictures. They're cropped, so if you want the full picture, let me know & I'll send some to you. I think you mentioned about taking landscape shots with it. If I get a chance I'll see if I can get out & take some shots for you to see.

Image
Image

edit - $45 for that lens is a good deal. Take your camera with you & take a few pics with it in the shop to see what you think. Pawn shops are a great source for steals on lenses. I picked up an 85mm prime for $40, the thing's worth upwards of $1000 on eBay. :o
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Re: Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

Postposted on Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:16 pm

Yes please on the 100%'s :). Nice color and clarity, would love to see what they look like fully blown. Yeah, im thinking of going over to the shop after work and bringing along something to clean it up before I drop it into my camera. I may very well take some pictures of the lenses they have there to see if there are any other steals, or something I could turn for a profit on eBay.
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Re: Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

Postposted on Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:29 pm

I recommended the Minolta AF 50mm f/1.7 in your other thread. $45 is an excellent price for this lens.
Another good old Minolta Maxxum lens for your Sony α camera would be the AF 70-210mm f/4 "beercan". A 100mm f/2.8 macro would be a good catch, too.
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Re: Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

Postposted on Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:20 am

@Hoser : very nice shots. Looks like a lovely lens.

@ Welch: Just be aware that no lenses are tack-sharp at f/1.7. For night shots, you're better off stopping to f/5.6-11 and using a long exposure on a tripod anyway. But fast primes are still great for low light shooting in general, and the 50 would probably make a very good portrait lens.
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Re: Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

Postposted on Wed Mar 17, 2010 6:25 am

Voldenuit wrote:@ Welch: Just be aware that no lenses are tack-sharp at f/1.7.

Except for the Panasonic 20mm f1.7, due to the close registration of the sensor to the back of the lens. No comma effect and very little loss of contrast from reflections.

Yes, get that lens, I have it's fore-father (70's era) and it is great.

I have some legacy fast Minolta glass which is all manual focus. Sometimes I wonder what the fixation is with auto-focus when I use that glass. The only time I miss AF is when taking wildlife (not often) and taking pictures of my son (too often). Otherwise for landscapes, flowers, insects, etc. Manual focus I find to be easier. You just don't spend the time fiddling with trying to get the AF on a point of interest.

My 50mm f1.4 has a lot of comma and poor contrast wide-open, but it is still fun. However I will still stop-down to f4.0 and smaller during night shots because it is darned impossible to get good focus in low light due to the narrow DOF. Having a smaller aperture makes it more likely to get everything tack-sharp. The example night shots in another thread had to use a very large aperture since fireflies aren't exactly bright, and they don't sit in one spot. Those shots were tougher than it looked!

I can't wait for spring to play with these old lenses again on the new flowers.

I would go back to that shop and see what other goodies that have and buy it up. Much of it you can market to the new crowd of u4/3 and likely make money on it if you don't want to keep it yourself.

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Re: Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

Postposted on Wed Mar 17, 2010 6:43 am

liquidsquid wrote:
Voldenuit wrote:@ Welch: Just be aware that no lenses are tack-sharp at f/1.7.

Except for the Panasonic 20mm f1.7, due to the close registration of the sensor to the back of the lens. No comma effect and very little loss of contrast from reflections.


Hehe, I actually have that lens, and yeah, it's pretty frickin' sharp wide open.

My only real issue with the lens (apart from the godawful useless focusing ring) is that the pictures it delivers are quite clinical.

It's not something I can readily put my finger on, but my favourite lens on my GF1 is a 40-year old SMC-Takumar 50/1.4 on an adapter. The pictures look more pleasing, and the bokeh feels more dreamy, despite being a very sharp lens at f/2 and smaller. Then again, the SMC-Tak is a classic with a strong cult following and is known for pleasant bokeh (I have a friend with an EOS 20D that has a SMC-Tak mounted on an adapter).

Don't get me wrong, the 20/1.7 is one of the best primes around, it's just that I hunger for some old-school charm sometimes, you know? Sometimes, I wonder if lens manufacturers are making ever technically better lenses, but neglecting their "personality"* (something many old-school lenses have in droves).

* Although to be fair, the 20/1.7 is capable of some very interesting portraits at close quarters. Not necessarily flattering, mind you, but very interesting.
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Re: Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

Postposted on Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:58 am

You know I whole-heatedly agree with current lenses. Much of the masses out there are so intent on "tack sharp" at 100% on a super-high resolution sensor that they forget the real art of capturing an image isn't just the subject or their nose pores. Unfortunately new massed-produced lenses are designed for the larger market... which is largely uneducated in what good bokeh is. Then that drives people who want that "charm" into either old lenses, or really exclusive optics.

Example is the G1 kit-lens, 14-45mm. Super-tack sharp, even at 100%, but it really lacks appeal in the OOF areas. When I first purchased the camera, I was trying to point the blame on the sensor, but once I put on the old Minolta I realized it was the lens. When I came from the Sony-R1, that lens/camera was simply spectacular on all optical fronts and I was having a tough time moving to the G1 with the kit lens (my son broke my R1).

These were all taken with the 50mm f1.4 Rokkor-X, and you can see the appeal in the OOF areas.
http://picasaweb.google.com/wymanfamily3/NYNatives#, and man, look at that bokeh.

I think a lot of bokeh appeal stems from what appears "natural" to our eyes... what we are used to experiencing. We definitely are not used to seeing big dinner-plates of lights or double-images of nastiness. We expect to see nice, smooth transitions from one object to the next. Of course with only one lens-element in our eyes, there is not much room for getting weird bokeh effects.

Some I also think is from training. Since I grew up seeing my dad's slides using these same Minolta lenses, I think I have come to expect that "look" they produce.
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Re: Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

Postposted on Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:43 pm

Sent you 6 pictures from yesterday. I think I might have given you 1 that isn't 100%, but the other 5 are 100%.

Lemme know what you think.
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Re: Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

Postposted on Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:57 pm

Hoser wrote:Sent you 6 pictures from yesterday. I think I might have given you 1 that isn't 100%, but the other 5 are 100%.

Lemme know what you think.


Yep, I got them and compared to the Kit-Zoom lens photo's you sent. I can see the clarity on the subject and much more of a DOF effect using the Minolta. One of the other things I noticed was colors were much more vivid on the Minolta, softer and much more appealing as well. I'm hoping to stop by that shop today to try it out, and if it checks out (no mold or anything) and it works fine, ill buy it up. While I'm at it I think I might write down a few of the other lenses they have. Like I said before, they had well over 300 lenses or so, I'd find it hard to believe that I can't find a few diamonds in the rough. I'll get back to you guys with the results :)
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Re: Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

Postposted on Wed Mar 17, 2010 6:00 pm

50mm lenses are usually the best quality for the price because of their simple optics. Its the best beginner lens by far.
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Re: Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

Postposted on Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:05 pm

A little OT, but my wife has 4 Minolta Maxxum lenses (and the body), and we were looking at finding a digital camera that could take the lenses. We're not very good at the whole photography hobby, but as close as we are to a national park, it'd be fun to learn. What digital camera accepts these lenses?
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Re: Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

Postposted on Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:18 pm

TheEmrys wrote:My wife has 4 Minolta Maxxum lenses. What digital camera accepts these lenses?
Any Sony α camera accepts Minolta Maxxum lenses.
http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/sto ... oryId=3768

The α850 and α900 have a full-frame sensor that would produce the same field of view as your wife's 35mm film camera. The less expensive models have an APS-C size sensor that captures only the middle portion of the image passing through the lens, providing a narrower field of view, as if the lens focal length were 1.5X as long.

You'll probably want a new lens to cover the wide angle, considering the 1.5X field of view crop factor. The 18-## kit lenses or a good general-purpose zoom lens like the Tamron Di-II 17-50mm f/2.8 would cover that range, while your wife's existing lenses would handle the middle and long ranges.
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Re: Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

Postposted on Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:40 pm

Well I did as promised and went over to the pawn shop right after work and nabbed that Minolta prime :D. I also ran past the foto shop (yeah thats how they spell it... good thing its not a booc store :P), and got some cleaner and went to town on this thing. I cleaned up VERY nicely and looks fairly new. However, I noticed that it looks like there is something inside the lens that I didn't notice before, it almost looks like it could be a piece of dust, but it appears bright and I can only see at certain angles...... am I seeing some refraction by chance, its only on one side of the glass (Camera side) and in one corner of the glass as well.... What would be a good background to shoot this lens against to check or look for imperfections?

Aside from that it shoots quite nicely and AF's quite fast (I think even faster than the kit-zoom that came with the camera). If you'd like to see the pics i've got of random things laying around my house as a test, and would like them as 100's to check for the dust, let me know.

@TheEmrys

If you've already got a fair collection of lenses and would be interested, go for it :). I'm having fun learning the tricks of the trade. You may have gotten the hard part out of the way (buying stuff after already having dropped 500.00 on just a body). I like my A230 so far, but im just a novice at best at this point, I figured 495.00 to get into this wasn't too bad, that included a camera bag, UV filter, camera with kit-zoom lens and the LCD screen protector (399.00 for the camera/kit)

If you do decide to give it a go, I'd recommend http://www.michaelthementor.com for the starting lessons, he has videos setup for each photography concept and down-loadable pdf files with homework... yes I said homework. The assignments are a bit fun for a beginner, helps to practice some of the basic concepts of photo composition. I moved almost directly into the intermediate as my biggest trouble comes from the lighting and settings "Department". You'll notice that most of his videos are shot sort of "Fly by the seat of your pants" which I think makes the experience a little more relaxed. It feels more like a friend sitting down explaining things to you instead of taking a photography class with a teacher. I haven't put entirely too much stock in their forums just yet as they....

1.) Aren't nearly as active as TR
2.) Are nice people but I'm not so sure I'd get the "tough" love that I need when asking opinions of my shots.
3.) They don't have anyone that I know of over there that really shoots Sony, so all Sony related questions get unanswered.
4.) The TR members seem to be much more knowledgeable about some of the higher end stuff and are a bit more enthusiast about it.
5.) I love TR and would prefer to have it be my one stop shop.

This isn't to say that I wont try and use their forums from time to time, im still in the skeptical phase ATM.
Last edited by Welch on Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

Postposted on Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:46 pm

Welch wrote: However, I noticed that it looks like there is something inside the lens that I didn't notice before, it almost looks like it could be a piece of dust, but it appear bright and I can only see at certain angles...... am I seeing some refraction by chance, its only on one side of the glass (Camera side).... What would be a good background to shoot this lens against to check or look for imperfections?


It's not unusual for old lenses to get some dust into their internals. 99% of the time, you will not see any effects from the specks, unless you stop down to f/16 or so.
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Re: Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

Postposted on Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:02 pm

The 50mm f/1.7 is a well-regarded lens, especially for the price. You should be able to shoot indoors without a flash with that lens.

Did you see any other Minolta Maxxum lenses at the pawn shop, or did you protect your wallet by keeping your eyes tightly closed? :wink:
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Re: Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

Postposted on Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:09 pm

I browse http://www.thephotoforum.com/ reasonably often. Other than the typical Nikon/Canon trolling, the forum is pretty helpful. I'm also a member at http://photography-on-the.net/ which is much larger and more active. There are some very knowledgeable pros who post comments and criticism there, as well as impressive photos. However, if I spend too much time looking at the comments at POTN, I begin to lament how clumsy and lazy I am with post-processing software.

I'll recommend Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure as a good introductory book.
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Re: Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

Postposted on Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:30 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:The 50mm f/1.7 is a well-regarded lens, especially for the price. You should be able to shoot indoors without a flash with that lens.

Did you see any other Minolta Maxxum lenses at the pawn shop, or did you protect your wallet by keeping your eyes tightly closed? :wink:


Ehhhhhhhh, there were quite a few of them over there actually. The Minolta section alone had well over 30 i'd say, and they had another "Misc" section that i'm unsure whether they had misplaced some compatible lenses in. I'd like to get a feel for this one first to see what i can do with it before grabbing onto anything else. Although I did see a few telephoto lenses :), but they actually had those labeled 100.00 or so and i'd probably tell the lady i'd give her 50.00 for it and she would go for it. I'm not too much in a rush about it since most of the lenses appear to have been there for a good 15+ years based on dust accumulation.


OK.... as promised, here is a sample pic taken with the new lens. Sorry I didn't have any beautiful flowers or wildlife, or streams of water to take a picture of. I do like the way the field of depth really makes the subjects pop into focus, will be lots of fun and well worth the $45.00 when it comes to portraits.

1/100, F2.2, +0.00 EV, ISO 100 and of course 50mm. I shot about 3 feet if that from the can, and manually focused although it was focusing just fine with AF, wanted to try it out *shrug* The room had maybe one light on so with no EV and at 1/100 im impressed at how bright that came out. In the middle of the bottle inside the DOF you'll notice a slight blur, at first I thought this was the dust I thought was inside the lens but soon realized its the tape that held the blower straw onto the can ahaha :P.
Image
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Re: Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

Postposted on Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:27 am

The plane of focus seems to be behind the bottle (the straw looks sharper than the text).

It's a shame split-focusing screens aren't standard anymore - they made manual focus a cinch.

EDIT: PS, As a rule, I use a manual blower instead of canned air if I ever need to clean camera equipment. Canned air can cause condensation as the air cools when it expands outside the nozzle.
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Re: Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

Postposted on Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:19 am

Voldenuit wrote:The plane of focus seems to be behind the bottle (the straw looks sharper than the text).

It's a shame split-focusing screens aren't standard anymore - they made manual focus a cinch.

EDIT: PS, As a rule, I use a manual blower instead of canned air if I ever need to clean camera equipment. Canned air can cause condensation as the air cools when it expands outside the nozzle.


Yeah, this was the very first shot I took with the new lens, I THINK I had it on manual, maybe it was AF. Either way I was snapping them really fast and at one point to watch how/what it was focusing on, i was shooting from the hip lol.

No worries, the Canned air was for my laptop that was sitting about 3 inches to the right :D. I wasn't sure if that bittering agent would leave any residue on the sensor or lenses. If you even spray near your fingers with that stuff and then touch them on your mouth you can taste it, or spray say a video card and touch it a few minutes later and then touch your mouth, that stuff stays on the surface. I wouldn't imagine that would be such a good thing to have on the glass.

So, I also nabbed a lens filter while I was at the pawn shop and added it onto the lens, and was charged the same $45.00 I was promised. While cleaning it the damn glass (or I think plastic in this case) started to move. Its a Cokinlight Skylight 1A (France) and it feels really cheap. Never really heard of that brand, are they cheapos or a company from a time long past? I was able to take the "Retention Ring" out and remove the glass, but no matter how I put it back in the glass will not stay sturdy in there. For right now I'm just using it to protect the lens until I can get a real UV filter.
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Re: Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

Postposted on Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:50 am

Welch wrote:So, I also nabbed a lens filter while I was at the pawn shop and added it onto the lens, and was charged the same $45.00 I was promised. While cleaning it the damn glass (or I think plastic in this case) started to move. Its a Cokinlight Skylight 1A (France) and it feels really cheap. Never really heard of that brand, are they cheapos or a company from a time long past? I was able to take the "Retention Ring" out and remove the glass, but no matter how I put it back in the glass will not stay sturdy in there. For right now I'm just using it to protect the lens until I can get a real UV filter.


Cokinlight is actually made by Cokin, which is a well respected filter maker. They were famous in the film era for their soft-focus filters which were used in portraits and glamour shots (so much so that their name is almost synonymous with them these days, although they make many different types of filters). The French ones are supposed to be their better made stuff, it's possible you got a dud or faulty unit.
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Re: Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

Postposted on Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:26 pm

If it feels cheap, it probably is, although that may just be the fact that a newer revision seems to be available.

Suggestion: Try mixing up a batch of 15-minute epoxy and then making about six-odd tack points around the perimeter of the ring, using a toothpick so there won't be any excess to squeeze out and corrupt the filter surface. Then reinsert the filter into the ring and let the epoxy set for at least a few hours before attempting to clean the filter and reinstall it. It won't be a permanent hold in the long-term, and the epoxy tube will cost almost as much as the filter, but everyone should have some around anyway :wink:
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Re: Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

Postposted on Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:01 pm

Ahahah, nice Ludi :P, as appealing as that sounds, I think i'll pass and just buy a new 15.00 filter. This particular one when i looked online was something like 3-4 bucks, its got to be a cheapo. Its scratched too so its only good right now as a protector as far as i'm concerned.

Image
This is a quick (and ugly) shot into my room. I know its blurry but the interesting thing to note about it is that the shot was taken from the doorway into the room when it was completely dark in the room. I took this by hand on auto just to test this against the zoom lens, what a difference in low light. Same settings (auto anyhow) and the camera couldn't make this anywhere near bright enough to make out anything in the picture.


EDIT: I've got a few more actually in focus items i'd like to post but this program "Free Photo Viewer" sucks. I attempt to save as with a Jpeg and it takes a moment to render a quality setting preview and the image isn't displayed, instead pinkish noise (similar to white noise on a tv) is displayed across the entire thing. Anyone know a good piece of FREE .arw viewer/converter that I can get my hands on. At work ATM otherwise i'd use the Sony software.
Last edited by Welch on Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

Postposted on Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:34 pm

I have filters for all my lenses for the purpose of protection as well as function. I just gotta find a ND filter now.
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Re: Minolta 50mm/1.7 - $45.00

Postposted on Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:07 am

Here is another slew of photo's taken with the new lens now that i could finally convert them. I took some pictures of the crazy lens collection the pawn shop here has going. These are only PART of the Minolta's, they have a much larger Nikon, Cannon, Nichon (Or Something) and some other brands i've never heard of, and some Olympus too..... the whole wall stretches well over 40 feet with nothing but cameras/lenses and equipment.

Image
Lots and lots of old Film Minoltas.... just sitting there collecting dust.

Image
The list of "Beer Can" sized lenses they've got.

Image
Some of their smaller one... I noticed that they actually have about 4 or 5 more of my 50mm/1.7's there :P so if someone wants one, let me know :)

Image
African Violet in my office. I attempted to get direct sunlight on it so that you could notice the little hairs the flower and plant have that glitter in the sun, but under exposed the rest of the plant.

Image
This is with the blinds closed to give a much soft look to the flower while using a little bit of exposure compensation to make it look lively.


As for the UV filter that was broken as heck, I went back to that shop today to see if I could find any more of the lenses that would work well with my Alpha and didn't find any of the lenses on this awesome little list made by an ebay member. http://reviews.ebay.com/Top-Minolta-Len ... 0007572656

While there though I made a note to pick up the cover that went with the lens I bought and also switched out the broken UV filter for another one. This one seems much more sturdy and reads "Ambico UV R-8730" *USA*. The ring itself has a much more solid feel and is much heavier than the previous filter. I'm also sure this is actually glass unlike the last one which was plastic for sure. So i'm happy, i've got my investment protected on both ends. I'm using the plastic cap that came on my kit zoom 18-55 for the camera side glass.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
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Welch
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