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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    11

    Can you tell me about these Lenses?

    I have two lenses that came with my Minolta Maxxum 400si. One says: AF Zoom 0.5m/1.6ft AF 35-70. It also says the following in the front of the lens around the glass Minolta AF 35-70 1:3.5(22)-4.5 49mm.

    The second Lens says: AF 70-210 Around the Lens it says: Minolta AF Zoom 70-210mm 1:4.5(22)-5.6 49mm.

    Are these good lenses? I am considering purchasing a new camera and wonder if these lenses should be part of a deciding factor for getting a Sony Alpha? I'm torn between the Sony and the Canon.

    I am new to this DSLR stuff, and didn't use the Maxxum for very long. Though I thought the quality of the pictures were so much better than any of the cameras I had previously, I never had other 35mm cameras to compare it to. It wasn't long after I got the Maxxum that I jumped to digital and I am now ready to jump to DSLR.

    Now I just need to know if these are quality lenses, or will I need to purchase new lenses anyway? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Thumbs up Excellent start!

    Quote Originally Posted by mmerry View Post
    I have two lenses that came with my Minolta Maxxum 400si. One says: AF Zoom 0.5m/1.6ft AF 35-70. It also says the following in the front of the lens around the glass Minolta AF 35-70 1:3.5(22)-4.5 49mm.

    The second Lens says: AF 70-210 Around the Lens it says: Minolta AF Zoom 70-210mm 1:4.5(22)-5.6 49mm.

    Are these good lenses? I am considering purchasing a new camera and wonder if these lenses should be part of a deciding factor for getting a Sony Alpha? I'm torn between the Sony and the Canon.

    I am new to this DSLR stuff, and didn't use the Maxxum for very long. Though I thought the quality of the pictures were so much better than any of the cameras I had previously, I never had other 35mm cameras to compare it to. It wasn't long after I got the Maxxum that I jumped to digital and I am now ready to jump to DSLR.

    Now I just need to know if these are quality lenses, or will I need to purchase new lenses anyway? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    To be honest, you are way ahead of the game, as far as your lensing needs go. The 35-70 & the 70-210 cover nearly all your normal needs. I would add the Tokina AF 19-35mm f/3.5-4.5 to allow you your normal indoor wide angle work. You can get one of these on ebay with little trouble or cost.

    Now, while these are not the "brightest" lenses available, they should be excellent if coupled with a good flash, indoors. I would recommend the Minolta 5600 HS (D), which also can be had for a very reasonable price on ebay.

    For the time being, f/2.8 lensing will probably be "third party", until SONY releases theirs. That means lenses like the TAMRON 17-50mm f/2.8 and the SIGMA 70-200 f/2.8 are your high end choices.

    But, sure ... what you have is a terrific and recommended start. Just get that lower end covered and you will be all set. All APS-C sensor cameras (which is what most DSLR camera are these days) have a Digital Cropping Factor (DCF). The DCF is a multiplicative factor for the focal length of the lens to covert what you used to see on the 35-mm film SLR to what you will now effectively see on the DSLR (due to the smaller area of the digital sensor).

    This graphic will kind of provide an idea of the area we are taking about:
    Name:  image_circle.jpg
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    Since the sensor is smaller than the Full Frame/35mm-film image area and is still seeing the same image circle, it provides an apparent zoom in on the actual image, since we are only seeing a smaller, center portion of it. It just looks ... bigger.

    In the case of the SONY A100, the DCF is 1.5x

    Therefore ... your 35-70mm effectively becomes a 52.5-105mm

    Your 70-210mm effectively becomes a 105-300mm lens.

    Well, as you might have noted ... your 35mm wide-angle ... just became a normal 52.5mm. That is the reason why you need to get the 19-35mm ... because once it is on the SONY A100, it's effectively like looking through a 28.5-52.5mm. The wide angle you enjoyed before is restored, plus a little more.

    There you have it, a three-lens bag ... I have one myself.

    BTW: the "49mm" you stated was on the lens ring is the size of the filter to go on the front of each lens. I recommend getting a UV and a circular polarizer (CP). At 49mm, they are quite affordable. The UV will save your lens' coating from dust and fingerprints. It can be a bear fishing out dust from the corners of the glass. The polarizer will make for sharper skies and clouds, as it removes glare and reflections when adjusted.

    I hope this helped a little and was not confusing.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 04-20-2007 at 11:47 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    11
    Thank you so much for your reply! That helps me a lot. I was torn between the Canon and the Sony, but I think that after reading your informative reply as well as many of the posts in the Sony DSLR forum, I think I've decided to get the Sony. My lenses are virtually brand new (based on how much I've used them) and I'd like to I think the image stabilization will be a big plus. Thanks again.

    By the way, will the lens that comes with the Sony cover the areas that my lenses are lacking? It says that it's an 18-70? Though I've heard not very good things about the kit lens... Or should I try to purchase the Body only and think about buying the lens you suggested?
    Last edited by mmerry; 04-09-2007 at 04:16 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    32

    right on

    I might not add much as Don nailed it right on. But...(not really a "but" as much as "and") if you like portraits, you might want to get your hands on a Minolta 50 mm f/1.7, which you might find on e-Bay for around 50-70 bucks. It is a great lens for available light, portraits, really fast and great bokeh.
    Ti eukolon? To allo hupotithestai

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Talking Go for the Minolta-glass

    I hate being brutal, but the only thing the 18-70mm "kit" is good for is a "door stop", because in my estimation, it makes for one lousy lens.

    The only reason I keep mine is because it comes up in conversation so much. It would never get mounted, otherwise. The images are poor and dark. Almost any other lens I have is better than this ... this ... kit.

    I've shot through a lot of glass and if you are relying on the "kit" for your images ... you are selling out your camera. The A100 is capable of some seriously good looking shots ... but if you are putting this piece of "kit" glass on it ... you ruin that capability.

    Enough ... forget the "kit" ... get a Tokina 19-35mm f/3.5-4.5 or the Tokina 20-35mm f/3.5-4.5 and use it with your other lenses. The overall results will be sharper and for the $30-$50 you'll drop for it, it's worth it's weight, for sure.

    If you need wider, though, the price does go up. The TAMRON SP AF11-18mm f/4.5-5.6 DiII LD Aspherical (IF) is the only third party UWA (Ultra-Wide-Angle) lens available for the SONY mount. I use this lens on my Canon EOS 20D and it does just fine.

    When it comes to PRIME lensing (fixed focal length), I have a Minolta AF 50mm f/1.7 and the AF 28mm f/2.8. These lenses also share the same 49mm-filters that your zooms do, so you can save big bucks by acquiring them. They will offer you the added "brightness" when shooting indoors that the zooms don't. You will just have to learn the MANUAL ZOOM DANCE ... back and forth, to properly frame your shot. Think of it as "legwork for light."

    Overall, the SONY DSLR will save scads of money, if you stay off the SONY-lens bandwagon, and use the older Minolta-glass with the camera. You can't get away with that kind of thing with Canon. You will get stung again and again, for their lens, because most of them are new.

    My advice, get on ebay and buy up the lenses you need to fill the bag, before the new round of SONYs come out and drive the hunt even harder. At $50 a lens, you can have all the lenses you need for about $300. That's about the price of one Canon zoom lens.

    Good hunting ...
    Last edited by DonSchap; 04-09-2007 at 09:13 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    32

    Not true

    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    ... but the only thing the 18-70mm "kit" is good for is a "door stop"
    Not true!!!, mine has done a great job... as a paperweight. Other useful applications I found:

    2) unique baby rattler...you might be surprised how sturdy it is
    3) rare candle holder
    4) one of a kind soccer ball...what? it rolls very nicely
    5) most excellent, lightweight and practical hammer... it does not pull the nails out, but what do you want?
    6) gravity teaching tool...just roll it down the stairs or let it drop, it's a beauty

    There are many more things to do with it. But I'll let you all share a little.All and all, when you come to think of it it's a bargain

    I think we got a legit thread going... name your uses...for "the kit".
    Ti eukolon? To allo hupotithestai

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    11
    Thanks for the replies! You have been very helpful. I look forward to learning a lot by reading more on this site. Can't wait to get my camera... maybe tomorrow.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Smile Glad to hear ...

    Glad to hear you received your new camera. The excitement must be incredible.

    I was just thrilled when I plucked my A100 from it's box ... put the SONY DT18-70 on the front, popped the shutter-release, looked at the resulting image and said, "What?"

    At that point, my level of excitement went from thrilled to concerned. Happily, I had an entire bag of older Minolta-lensing available to me, from my 35mm-film Maxxums. I quickly placed each alternative lens on the A100 and shot at the same settings I had with the DT18-70 and found there was nothing wrong with the A100 ... it was that awful piece of glass they added as the kit lens.

    The DT18-70 know collects dust ... and I am using alternative glass options to supplement my shooting.

    Good luck with your camera.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

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