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Author Topic: 16:9 article, "Speculating on Sony"  (Read 7243 times)
bluekorn
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« on: May 08, 2008, 12:39:13 PM »
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Quoting the article, "Speculating on Sony" appearing recently on 16:9.

"The mystery was that Minolta never made a camera to match the professional appeal of the lenses. So pros moved on to Canon and Nikon. And though their loyalty to Minolta glass was broadly supplanted by relationships with optical stars of a different stripe, many working shooters missed the Minolta drawing style: lush colour, smoother-than-smooth bokeh and an appealing rendition that eschews the dramatically contrasty nature of Canon and Nikon lenses in favour of a Leica-flavoured, high-res presentation that gently rolls off the tonal extremes for open shadows and well-tamed highlights."

There is a lot that goes into acheiving a final image no matter the equipment and the process.  Putting all of that aside I want to inquire of those here that might have an opinion on lenses that will give one the opportunity at the outset to a achieve that quality I have always admired about published pictures taken with Leica lenses. I have never heard what has been alluded to as the  "Leica mystique" stated so clearly as in the quote above, "the Minolta drawing style: lush colour, smoother-than-smooth bokeh and an appealing rendition that eschews the dramatically contrasty nature of Canon and Nikon lenses in favour of a Leica-flavoured, high-res presentation that gently rolls off the tonal extremes for open shadows and well-tamed highlights." What is described here has always been apparent to me and yet over the years in discussions of lens quality the lanquage  has always seemed to deteriorate into best versus not best. In the above statement there is finally an eloquent description of how the Leica mystique differs.

My question is simply this. The author at 16:9 makes it sound as if the quality described might now be achieved in digital photos. What lenses would those of you with experience couple with the A700 to most closely acheive this "Leica look"? My interest is wide to moderate telephoto in landscape/nature/old industrail photography and I would be interested in primes as well as zooms. Thank you.
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Fine_Art
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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2008, 11:35:06 PM »
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Minolta made lenses as a subcontractor to Leica. They learned what the Leica look was.
Minolta G lenses have a similar look. The G was for their "Gold" class lenses. If you want that look with your wildlife shots you use a 200G, 300G or 600G. If you want it in portraits you use the 85G on the A700. This is the really high end. In reality most Minolta glass had that look to some degree. Many people love the old "Beercan" 70-210 for that look which you can buy for $100-200 now on ebay. Its a very sharp lens if you get one in good shape. Minolta primes (which I have several) are sharp but not harsh, if you know what i mean.
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aaykay
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2008, 04:12:51 PM »
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After a lot of hemming and hawing, I finally bought the A700 and a couple of lenses.  So I am officially a Sony dSLR owner now !

What sealed the deal for me, was the 24-70 f/2.8 SSM Vario-Sonnar Carl Zeiss lens (which is stabilized due to IS in the body) and the upcoming Full-frame camera.  I also bought the new 70-300 SSM "G" lens.  Note that SSM = Ring-USM in Canon-speak.  I might also buy the 85mm f/1.4 Carl Zeiss Planar and the  135mm f/1.8 Carl Zeiss Sonnar, shortly.  As a rule, I intend to only purchase high-end Full-frame lenses designed over the past couple of years.  Nikon's recent embarassment with the 70-200 f/2.8 on the D3, was a revelation, since it was supposed to be a stellar performer on APS-C crop cameras.

Not interested in buying any of the APS-C-only lenses, even though there are several really good ones in their lineup, including the 16-80 f/3.5-4.5 CZ consumer-grade version and also a 16-105 Sony lens.  Also available is a super-zoom 18-250 and a 11-18 ultrawide.

I am also waiting for them to announce the ultra-wide Full-Frame Carl Zeiss zoom (probably a 16-35 f/2.8 Vario-Sonnar SSM or even a more ambitious 14-24 f/2.8 Vario-Sonnar SSM, a la Nikon), along with a rumored 70-200 f/2.8 SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar which would replace the current 70-200 f/2.8 "G" SSM, as a preparation for the upcoming high-resolution Full-frame. Depending on the reviews, I will pick both of these zooms too. We'll see !
« Last Edit: May 10, 2008, 07:42:26 PM by aaykay » Logged
aaykay
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2008, 04:36:25 PM »
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Some pictures showing the Bokeh from the 24-70 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp...essage=27171693
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bluekorn
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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2008, 05:49:25 PM »
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Some pictures showing the Bokeh from the 24-70 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp...essage=27171693
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=194715\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Thank you for your help in this matter. I very much appreciate the complete list of Minolta lenses. That Zeiss 24-70 is truly amazing, exactly what I'm looking for but alas, I'd never be able to afford a collection of lenses at thatose prices. Thank you again for the direction.
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The View
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2008, 04:16:49 AM »
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I shot with Minolta for about fifteen years (I also had Nikon), and I always liked the character of the images the lenses produced. The "quality of light" was truly astounding.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2008, 04:21:38 AM by The View » Logged

Deserts, Cities, Woods, Faces - View of the World.
The View
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« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2008, 04:20:12 AM »
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Some pictures showing the Bokeh from the 24-70 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp...essage=27171693
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=194715\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I can't see much of the bookeh quality in these pictures.

It would be better to see a good portrait shot with this lens.

That kind of living room photos is about as instructive as driving a racing car around the block thinking one would get a feel for its possible speed.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2008, 04:20:34 AM by The View » Logged

Deserts, Cities, Woods, Faces - View of the World.
bluekorn
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« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2008, 10:34:22 AM »
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I shot with Minolta for about fifteen years (I also had Nikon), and I always liked the character of the images the lenses produced. The "quality of light" was truly astounding.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=194979\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I have been hoping that someone would suggest which lenses they have used from Minolta that offer this quality described so well in the article "lush colour, smoother-than-smooth bokeh and an appealing rendition that eschews the dramatically contrasty nature of Canon and Nikon lenses in favour of a Leica-flavoured, high-res presentation that gently rolls off the tonal extremes for open shadows and well-tamed highlights."
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Kenneth Sky
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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2008, 10:59:07 AM »
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3 that come to mind are the 35mm 1.4 and the 85mm 1.4 and the 28mm f2.0. Even though they're 15-20 years old their value seems to hold up on e-Bay. That says a lot about their performance.
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Brammers
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« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2008, 07:02:02 PM »
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3 that come to mind are the 35mm 1.4 and the 85mm 1.4 and the 28mm f2.0. Even though they're 15-20 years old their value seems to hold up on e-Bay. That says a lot about their performance.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Noooo!  The 35 1.4 and 84 1.4 definately yes, but the 28 2.0 was always noted for its sharpness, but its bokkeh let it down.  The 35 2.0, which I own, is supposedly better in the bokkeh stakes, but still not up to the 1.4.  A lot cheaper though

Quote
I have been hoping that someone would suggest which lenses they have used from Minolta that offer this quality described so well in the article "lush colour, smoother-than-smooth bokeh and an appealing rendition that eschews the dramatically contrasty nature of Canon and Nikon lenses in favour of a Leica-flavoured, high-res presentation that gently rolls off the tonal extremes for open shadows and well-tamed highlights."

Right, this is tricky because I don't know your budget.  However you did say that the new, top end stuff was out of your league, so I'm going to start from the bottom.  You're also after wide-moderate telephoto.

Incidently, all the info I'm going on is taken from here:

[a href=\"http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/index.asp]http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/index.asp[/url]

It lists just about every lens ever made for Minolta (400odd at last count...) and is home to some very knowledgable forum members.

17-35 f3.5 G - This is the top-dog for wide zooms for Minolta, at least until the expected CZ releases this summer.  The most expensive lens I'm suggesting, but probably worth it.  Pay 500/600 for it.

24-50 f4  - Very cheap, one of the original series of AF lenses from the 80s.  Should provide you with 'that' look - designed for full-frame so no worries about sharpness.  Pay under 100.

70-200 f4 - Plentiful and affordable, excellent image quality and beautiful bokkeh.  Watch for CAs and AF speed.  Build quality is fine.  80odd.

If you've got more to spend or want some more reccomendations then shout, but you've not really given me much to work with yet.  I'm a big fan of Minolta's primes - in fact Sony gives autofocus stabilsed f1.4 lenses; that's why I chose them.  You can also get stabilised manual focus f1.2s if that's your thing - it certainly is mine.  So just to throw out a list of primes I'd reccomend on a fair budget:

100/2
35 1.4 original
85 1.4 original
100 2.8 original
50 1.7
24 2.8
135 2.8

Hope that helped
« Last Edit: May 11, 2008, 07:03:36 PM by Brammers » Logged
01af
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« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2008, 07:58:55 AM »
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I have been hoping that someone would suggest which lenses they have used from Minolta that offer this quality described so well in the article "lush colour, smoother-than-smooth bokeh and an appealing rendition that eschews the dramatically contrasty nature of Canon and Nikon lenses in favour of a Leica-flavoured, high-res presentation that gently rolls off the tonal extremes for open shadows and well-tamed highlights."[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=195020\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
That poetic description mostly applied to the old Rokkor lenses. In the AF era, Minolta unfortunately has given up some of those qualities they had been praised for by the connaisseurs because the uneducated masses prefer the Canon/Nikon style. Still, some of the old Minolta characterics is left mostly in the early AF lenses, e. g. the AF 70-210 mm 1:4 (a.k.a. 'the Beercan'), the original AF 75-300 mm 1:4.5-5.6 (a.k.a. 'the Big Beercan,' not to be confused with the current version), the AF 100-200 mm 1:4.5, the AF 28-85 mm 1:3.5-4.5, the AF 100 mm 1:2 (rare today), the AF Apo 200 mm 1:2.8 G. Also, most prime lenses in the 24 - 85 mm range have fairly nice bokeh (with the possible exception of their full apertures, as usual).

And the lens with the world's finest bokeh ever definitely is the Minolta STF 135 mm f/2.8 T/4.5 which today is still available from Sony.

-- Olaf
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bluekorn
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« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2008, 08:45:26 PM »
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That poetic description mostly applied to the old Rokkor lenses. In the AF era, Minolta unfortunately has given up some of those qualities they had been praised for by the connaisseurs because the uneducated masses prefer the Canon/Nikon style. Still, some of the old Minolta characterics is left mostly in the early AF lenses, e. g. the AF 70-210 mm 1:4 (a.k.a. 'the Beercan'), the original AF 75-300 mm 1:4.5-5.6 (a.k.a. 'the Big Beercan,' not to be confused with the current version), the AF 100-200 mm 1:4.5, the AF 28-85 mm 1:3.5-4.5, the AF 100 mm 1:2 (rare today), the AF Apo 200 mm 1:2.8 G. Also, most prime lenses in the 24 - 85 mm range have fairly nice bokeh (with the possible exception of their full apertures, as usual).

And the lens with the world's finest bokeh ever definitely is the Minolta STF 135 mm f/2.8 T/4.5 which today is still available from Sony.

-- Olaf
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=195192\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks again gentlemen. I appreciate your making available this info. When buying used gear on the internet it's impossible to try it out first and knowing what to seek in terms of lenses is truly helpful.
Peter
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Fine_Art
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« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2008, 10:39:33 PM »
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That poetic description mostly applied to the old Rokkor lenses. In the AF era, Minolta unfortunately has given up some of those qualities they had been praised for by the connaisseurs because the uneducated masses prefer the Canon/Nikon style. Still, some of the old Minolta characterics is left mostly in the early AF lenses, e. g. the AF 70-210 mm 1:4 (a.k.a. 'the Beercan'), the original AF 75-300 mm 1:4.5-5.6 (a.k.a. 'the Big Beercan,' not to be confused with the current version), the AF 100-200 mm 1:4.5, the AF 28-85 mm 1:3.5-4.5, the AF 100 mm 1:2 (rare today), the AF Apo 200 mm 1:2.8 G. Also, most prime lenses in the 24 - 85 mm range have fairly nice bokeh (with the possible exception of their full apertures, as usual).

And the lens with the world's finest bokeh ever definitely is the Minolta STF 135 mm f/2.8 T/4.5 which today is still available from Sony.

-- Olaf
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Here is an example used for portraits.
[a href=\"http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/forum_posts.asp?TID=30811&KW=stf&PID=323050#323050]http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/forum_posts.as...D=323050#323050[/url]

Macros
http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/forum_posts.as...285&KW=stf&PN=1

General
http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/forum_posts.asp?TID=11302

This is truly a marvelous lens. Like Olaf said, there is nothing else like it.
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bluekorn
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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2008, 05:13:46 PM »
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Here is an example used for portraits.
http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/forum_posts.as...D=323050#323050

Macros
http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/forum_posts.as...285&KW=stf&PN=1

General
http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/forum_posts.asp?TID=11302

This is truly a marvelous lens. Like Olaf said, there is nothing else like it.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=195369\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

At the beginning of this post I enquired about lenses to couple with the A700. In the interim much has been said about a forthcoming FF A900. Does anyone have an opinion about the Konica/Minolta 7D as an alternative to the more expensive A700 as an entry to Sony/Minolta until the full frame camera appears? I'm thinking of finding a couple of the suggested lenses to experiment with "that look". Would the 7D at 6.1 megapixals be a fair test of the older Minolta AF lenses?
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douglasf13
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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2008, 06:07:31 PM »
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At the beginning of this post I enquired about lenses to couple with the A700. In the interim much has been said about a forthcoming FF A900. Does anyone have an opinion about the Konica/Minolta 7D as an alternative to the more expensive A700 as an entry to Sony/Minolta until the full frame camera appears? I'm thinking of finding a couple of the suggested lenses to experiment with "that look". Would the 7D at 6.1 megapixals be a fair test of the older Minolta AF lenses?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=195576\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

  I don't really think so.  The pixel size of the "A900" will be approximately that of the 10MP A100/A200/A300, so maybe you should start there.  The A200 is quite a good deal.  I have the CZ 24-70 and 85mm 1.4, which are amazing lenses, but I'm a bit nervous to see how my older Minolta lenses hold up on the 24MP camera....especially at the edges.
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MarkWelsh
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« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2008, 07:19:35 PM »
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I don't really think so.  The pixel size of the "A900" will be approximately that of the 10MP A100/A200/A300, so maybe you should start there.  The A200 is quite a good deal.  I have the CZ 24-70 and 85mm 1.4, which are amazing lenses, but I'm a bit nervous to see how my older Minolta lenses hold up on the 24MP camera....especially at the edges.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=195585\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Indeed. We'll be into a whole new era with the Sony flagship. I've been testing a bunch of glass with the super-critical 14.2MP A350 and in many cases well-regarded FF lenses are beginning to look flaky even at the edge of Zone B (an APS-C corner). But the best of the best will shine. If you really want to see what a cheap camera is capable of, stick a Minolta 50mm Macro on the A350 and shooting something on a tripod in RAW at f8 . . . never before have such ravishing 40MB captures been available so inexpensively.
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bluekorn
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« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2008, 08:12:06 PM »
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Indeed. We'll be into a whole new era with the Sony flagship. I've been testing a bunch of glass with the super-critical 14.2MP A350 and in many cases well-regarded FF lenses are beginning to look flaky even at the edge of Zone B (an APS-C corner). But the best of the best will shine. If you really want to see what a cheap camera is capable of, stick a Minolta 50mm Macro on the A350 and shooting something on a tripod in RAW at f8 . . . never before have such ravishing 40MB captures been available so inexpensively.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=195592\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

More good information. Thank you. As I've been tracking down scoops of the various available Sony Alpha cameras I've discovered more than one generalized opinion that the A350 is somehow unworthy. I recall that these notions were offered by owners of the A700 who were anticipating the flagship. Because I'm a serious hobbiest and don't make my living taking photos I'm very interested to look at the lower end of DSLR's in Sony's lineup and to try and find better lenses. You're testing glass with the A350. Do you have the time or the inclination to pass along any findings? Did you test the Zeiss 16-80 zoom? Thank you.
Peter
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MarkWelsh
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« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2008, 08:54:26 AM »
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More good information. Thank you. As I've been tracking down scoops of the various available Sony Alpha cameras I've discovered more than one generalized opinion that the A350 is somehow unworthy. I recall that these notions were offered by owners of the A700 who were anticipating the flagship. Because I'm a serious hobbiest and don't make my living taking photos I'm very interested to look at the lower end of DSLR's in Sony's lineup and to try and find better lenses. You're testing glass with the A350. Do you have the time or the inclination to pass along any findings? Did you test the Zeiss 16-80 zoom? Thank you.
Peter
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
All coming soon . . . meantime, here's one frame from the A350 + 50 Macro combo at ISO100 / f8, put through a proper RAW workflow:
[a href=\"http://www.16-9.net/raw_min50m_f8]http://www.16-9.net/raw_min50m_f8[/url]
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douglasf13
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« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2008, 11:47:34 AM »
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All coming soon . . . meantime, here's one frame from the A350 + 50 Macro combo at ISO100 / f8, put through a proper RAW workflow:
http://www.16-9.net/raw_min50m_f8
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=195684\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


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