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Andrew's vintage lens guide


ShaunC
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On 5/22/2021 at 10:38 PM, newfoundmass said:

I used to be all about vintage lenses but these days the value isn't there as much. Seems most 50mm lenses are still pretty reasonably priced (I imagine because they're more plentiful), but a lot of other focal lengths have sky rocketed in price. I still keep my eyes open for bargains on Minolta lenses, since they're my favorite. I still use my 50mm 1.7 for portraits and for some interviews, since it's a 100mm equivalent on my GH5. 

If the value isn't there as much why are the rocketing in price?

It's due to rarity.

Plus the fact that most modern lenses just look boring and clinical.

They are all obsessed with making bright corners and sharpness that makes your eyes bleed!

Leica M lenses vignette like hell and it's all part of their charm.

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On 5/23/2021 at 7:38 AM, newfoundmass said:

I used to be all about vintage lenses but these days the value isn't there as much. Seems most 50mm lenses are still pretty reasonably priced (I imagine because they're more plentiful), but a lot of other focal lengths have sky rocketed in price. I still keep my eyes open for bargains on Minolta lenses, since they're my favorite. I still use my 50mm 1.7 for portraits and for some interviews, since it's a 100mm equivalent on my GH5. 

I have no love for old Minolta MC/MD lenses.    Nothing wrong with them really (I did not like the MC lens 85 I had in how it opened up after stopping down but workable) ok but nothing special to me, I still have an old MD 50 f2 but no adapter for it right now.  

The one Minolta MC lens I would love to try is that 24mm VFC with variable field control though rare and expensive.   Mind you, if I found a cheap 35 tilt shift I would give it a go too.

Minolta A mount lenses on the other hand are absolute bargains right now and if only the LA-EA# adapters were not such lumps I would still use some (I still have a 180 5.6 Sigma I also can not use right now).      Are there any adapters yet for Sony A mount lenses on Canon/Nikon mirrorless cameras? 

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I should say I did sell that Minolta 85 on Ebay for multiple times what I purchased it for at a pawn shop so I liked it for THAT (it was ok optically but not much different optically to several other 85s I had. 

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7 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

If the value isn't there as much why are the rocketing in price?

It's due to rarity.

Plus the fact that most modern lenses just look boring and clinical.

They are all obsessed with making bright corners and sharpness that makes your eyes bleed!

Leica M lenses vignette like hell and it's all part of their charm.

The value isn't there in that lenses that were once ridiculously affordable are now not at all affordable. It's not an indication of their quality, it's that for many of us the initial appeal was how cheap they were to buy. You could create a set for a couple hundred dollars, now you can't. Are they worth what they're going for now? Most are, but now they're out of a lot of budget filmmakers price ranges. It's only gotten more so since they're getting snapped up by companies that re-house them into cine lenses and charge an even greater premium for them. 

The market has sadly shifted from empowering budget filmmakers to being mostly for those that have a lot of money.

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3 hours ago, noone said:

I have no love for old Minolta MC/MD lenses.    Nothing wrong with them really (I did not like the MC lens 85 I had in how it opened up after stopping down but workable) ok but nothing special to me, I still have an old MD 50 f2 but no adapter for it right now.  

The one Minolta MC lens I would love to try is that 24mm VFC with variable field control though rare and expensive.   Mind you, if I found a cheap 35 tilt shift I would give it a go too.

Minolta A mount lenses on the other hand are absolute bargains right now and if only the LA-EA# adapters were not such lumps I would still use some (I still have a 180 5.6 Sigma I also can not use right now).      Are there any adapters yet for Sony A mount lenses on Canon/Nikon mirrorless cameras? 

I love my Rokkors and when I bought them they had arguably the best cost for quality ratio out there. FD prices had taken off, but Rokkors hadn't. The Rokkor X 50mm 1.4 stands up to some Leica lenses I've used, for instance. 

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The Rokkors even stand up on medium format.

Damned good glass and best ever for the money.

One of my favourite posts about this:

https://jonasraskphotography.com/2017/08/16/minolta-x-fujifilm/

The later A-mount Minolta autofocus stuff ain't bad either. They really were pioneering trailblazers in the 80s, with lenses like the 35mm F1.4 G

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I've got some old glass in the GH2/GH3 days - Andrew's advices in that time were extremely helpful. Got the FD 35mm F/2 (the thorium one) for around $150, FD 135mm f/2.5 for $120, nFD 50mm f/1.4 for $50, Vivitar Series 1 105mm f/2.5 (this lens is amazing) for $70, and the best deal ever, a Contax Zeiss 135mm F/2.8 almost mint for around $100.

Seeing the prices now, was the best investment (both in image as in money) ever. 🙂

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5 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

The Rokkors even stand up on medium format.

Damned good glass and best ever for the money.

One of my favourite posts about this:

https://jonasraskphotography.com/2017/08/16/minolta-x-fujifilm/

The later A-mount Minolta autofocus stuff ain't bad either. They really were pioneering trailblazers in the 80s, with lenses like the 35mm F1.4 G

I love them so much and still keep an eye out to finish my set. What really impressed me was how good they are wide open and overall how sharp they are without being too sharp like a lot of modern lenses are. I think I paid $90 shipped for the Rokkor-X 50mm f1.4 and it saddens me that the days of finding deals like that are long gone! 😂

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On 6/7/2021 at 7:53 PM, Andrew Reid said:

The Rokkors even stand up on medium format.

Damned good glass and best ever for the money.

One of my favourite posts about this:

https://jonasraskphotography.com/2017/08/16/minolta-x-fujifilm/

The later A-mount Minolta autofocus stuff ain't bad either. They really were pioneering trailblazers in the 80s, with lenses like the 35mm F1.4 G

 

Yeah, I've been building a basic set of Minoltas for awhile now and I swear by them. They never let me down. 

Heck, one of the more memorable films I've seen this year (Identifying Features) was almost entirely shot on a set of vintage Minolta Rokkors! 

And if there's one thing that every review I've read has in common with this film, it's that the cinematography is gorgeous.

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