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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    130

    Should I buy it?

    There is a local guy on Craigslist selling a Maxxum film kit, and he had a 50mm in there along with some other lenses. Since I've been wanting to get a prime lens I asked if he would sell it separately, I offered $40 and he said that would work. I'm waiting to here back if it's a 1.4, 1.7, or 2.8 but does it seem like a good deal regardless? He told me that, "Lens is perfect, basically I never used it."

    Should I jump on it?
    Last edited by GotToyota?; 01-21-2009 at 06:33 PM.
    Nikon D40x
    - Nikkor ED 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II

    Give me feedback on Flickr

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560
    For $40 ... sure! If you do not have anything to fight it with (and you obviously do not) ... it's a good deal.
    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
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    788
    Probably.... but a few things to think about.

    I picked up my 50mm in a set off Craigslist, along with a Maxxum 5000 and a 28-85. I ended up using both quite a bit. You may want to check if any of the other lens would be useful, most of the old Minolta glass is good quality. Peek and I both have the 35-70 and love it, although the range is of limited use on APS (but great for portraits) and the 28-85 has pretty well replaced my kit lens. If they are cheap, any of the first gen Minolta lenses are good.

    There are a few things you want to check for, and the biggest advantage to Craigslist is that you can do these checks before buying. My 50mm had tons of oil on the aperture blades, and I was lucky to find a shop that would fix it for $40... most will charge more.

    Take a flash light with you. Shine the flashlight through and look for oil on the aperture blades, or anywhere else, any chips or scratches in the glass, or a lot of dust. A little dust won't be a problem. Also look for spiderweb patterns... very bad news, b/c its fungus. Even if you have fungus cleaned off, it often has already etched the glass.

    Check that there are no rattles, and that both the focus and zoom rings turn smoothly, with a little bit dampened feel. An older lens will have looser rings than your kit lens probably does, but its a good idea for the feel.

    Check that the aperture is snappy. There is a small lever on the back of the lens, and when you slide it the aperture opens, and should quickly snap back into place. Try it on your kit lens before you go to get a feel.

    Finally, bring you camera with you. Put the lens on your camera, check that it takes pictures at a few different apertures, and doesn't really under or over expose.

    Anything but the fungus might be repairable, but if you are putting $40 into the lens, and your repair costs $100, you are coming out worse than buying one off ebay.

    I recently bought a 35-70 RS off ebay from a guy that wasn't a photographer, he just collects junk. It rattled, the zoom only went about 10mm, the focus was jammed, and you couldn't see through the glass because there was so much fungus. I thought about keeping it just because it was such an example of how bad glass can be. He described it as being in good shape. It did have a nice snappy aperture, and no chips out of the glass, but otherwise it failed almost every test here. I sent it back.

    When I bought my 50mm it was in excellent shape, it had just gotten covered in oil. All that had to be done was to open it up, and wash off the blades. Peek did a great thread here on how to do that. I luckily found someone at my local shop who had been Minolta trained back in the day, and he did a great job.

    Best of luck.
    Jason Hamilton
    Selective Frame

    EOS 5D - Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 35 f/2, EF 50mm f/1.8 Mk II, EF 70-210 f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro, Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 (with EOS adapter), 430EX, Canon S90
    Nikon FE - Nikkor 35mm f/2 AI'd, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AI, Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 AI, F to EF adapter, 2xVivitar 285, other lighting stuff
    Mamiya C220 - 80mm f/2.8

    Gear List flickr

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    130
    The guy also has the 35-70, which he said he primarily used. Should I go for that as well? I might be able to get both for $80, seems like it would be a good deal.

    Thanks for the advice, I'll note all of that when I go to look at it.
    Nikon D40x
    - Nikkor ED 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II

    Give me feedback on Flickr

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    788
    Both for $80 is a good deal, if they are both in good shape. I'm happy with my 35-70 because I didn't pay much for it (~$35). It has good IQ, it's very small, and faster than the kit lens in that range. However, its not wide enough to use as a walk around on the APS camera, and the minimum focusing distance is very poor. You can get one off ebay for around that price, so it's not an especially good deal, but if its in good shape, it's worth it. If you are looking for a decent walk around lens to (sorta) replace the kit, get the 50mm, skip the 35-70, and find a good copy of the 28-85 off ebay for ~$60. It's a much more usable range (at the cost of size and wieght) for only $20 more.
    Jason Hamilton
    Selective Frame

    EOS 5D - Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 35 f/2, EF 50mm f/1.8 Mk II, EF 70-210 f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro, Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 (with EOS adapter), 430EX, Canon S90
    Nikon FE - Nikkor 35mm f/2 AI'd, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AI, Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 AI, F to EF adapter, 2xVivitar 285, other lighting stuff
    Mamiya C220 - 80mm f/2.8

    Gear List flickr

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    Thats good advice from Jason.
    There are really only two Minolta lenses the f1.7 and the f1.4, but there are also RS (restyled) versions making four in all, any one of which fetch well over $100. MFD is 0.45M (18").
    As has been said the 35-70mm f4 has a limited 2x zoom range but this contributes to improved IQ as does the long MFD (1.5M)
    There is also a 35-70mm f3.5/4.5; not as good as the f4 but MFD is 0.5M.

    You could also consider the
    Minolta - AF 24-105mm f3.5/4.5 D MFD=0.5M
    Minolta - AF 28-105mm f3.5/4.5 MFD=0.5M
    Minolta - AF 28-135mm f4/4.5 MFD=1.5M
    Minolta - AF 35-105 F3.5-4.5 MFD=1.5M

    All pretty good but more costly. Avoid the 28-100mm or the 28-105mm Xi.
    Last edited by Peekayoh; 01-22-2009 at 06:16 AM. Reason: typo

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    130
    I just got an email back, and it's the 1.7. I'm going to go with this and wait on the 35-70 until I look more into it.

    -Matt
    Nikon D40x
    - Nikkor ED 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II

    Give me feedback on Flickr

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560
    The 35-70 is not going to be all that useful. I have to say you certainly will be better served just buckling down and buying the TAMRON 17-50mm f/2.8 or TAMRON 28-75mm f/2.8 lens. They both minimum focus to 15 inches and offer excellent image quality. The 35-70 is an old idea ... and the MFD just makes it pretty difficult than convenient.

    Use the $40 bucks for a decent circular polarizer filter for your AF 50mm f/1.7
    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    $40, go for the 50/1.7!
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    130
    I just bought the lens today, and here it is:







    It was owned by an older gentleman who had it for his Maxxum film camera but only used it a few select times. Let me tell you, this lens is mint! No scratches, no fungus, and CLEAN blades (with snappy aperture trigger). It auto focuses very quickly, and it is SHARP! Focusing is very precise and I finally have bokeh!



    I decided to compare the focusing and bokeh:


    (focused on hands)


    (focused on face)


    (focused on door)


    (focused on face)

    Overall I'm VERY happy with it, can't believe I got it for $40.
    Nikon D40x
    - Nikkor ED 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II

    Give me feedback on Flickr

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