Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 21 of 21

Thread: Best non Zeiss lenses for the A900 in Sony

  1. #1
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Best non Zeiss lenses for the A900 in Sony

    I guess the question really is , How are the Sony badged lenses on the market that are of not Zeiss design. As I look into this system for maybe a purchase would like to knowwhat are there best choices. One thing I noticed that sort of bums me out is the new 135 1.8 you can not use with the Teleconverters. I think I would have rather go for the 135 with the 1.4 and not the Zoom 70-200 just because i am not much a zoom guy and the 135 and 1.4 in Canon beat the snot out of there zoom plus some extra length . Wondering here if the 135 2.8 Sony with a 1.4 is a really good combo
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    218
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2

    Re: Best non Zeiss lenses for the A900 in Sony

    www.dyxum.com has lots of opinions on all the lenses that fit the Minolta AF mount.

    There are a lot of them and in most classes Minolta's own offerings seem to outclass the competition. Check out the 28-135 and compare it to the CYZ 35-135 that is highly sought after. The test results on old photodo are almost identical yet the Minolta goes for @$300 in excellent condition while the CYZ demands up to $1k.

    Mike

  3. #3
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bangkok
    Posts
    1,470
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Best non Zeiss lenses for the A900 in Sony

    I did some research on this subject some time ago and here's what I found out:

    70-200G Very good lens except at 200mm which should be avoided.
    70-300G Excellent at all focal lengths but too small max. aperture.
    35 1.4G Nice rendition but not the best sharpness. Never gets sharp borders at any aperture.
    50 1.4 Excellent from 2.8 upwards.
    300 2.8G So-so lens, not as sharp as the Canon L but not bad either.
    50 Macro Excellent from 5.6 upwards
    100 Macro same as 50.

  4. #4
    Goldencode
    Guest

    Re: Best non Zeiss lenses for the A900 in Sony

    Guy,
    IMO the Minolta 200 f2.8 G maybe Minolta's best G lens....and works beautifully with the Minolta 1.4 TC. This is my favorite lens, the IQ is stunning.
    The difference between 200mm and 135mm is 65mm....maybe give the 200G some thought.

    Tom

  5. #5
    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Fife, Scotland (UK)
    Posts
    1,171
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Best non Zeiss lenses for the A900 in Sony

    Pretty much any Minolta G lens is excellent. Some non G stuff is also great - for example the macro lenses.
    David Anderson

  6. #6
    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Fife, Scotland (UK)
    Posts
    1,171
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Best non Zeiss lenses for the A900 in Sony

    I forgot to give honourable mention to the Minolta 100mm/2.8 soft focus lens (has AF).
    David Anderson

  7. #7
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Best non Zeiss lenses for the A900 in Sony

    This is getting interesting . Thanks for jumping in
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles, California, USA
    Posts
    1,965
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: Best non Zeiss lenses for the A900 in Sony

    The 20mm 2.8 is supposedly okay at f8 in the corners. I've got a shoot tomorrow for some interiors of a television show, so I'm gonna test out that theory a bit.

  9. #9
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Royal Oak, MI and Palm Harbor, FL
    Posts
    8,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    44

    Re: Best non Zeiss lenses for the A900 in Sony

    I'm gonna have to totally disagree with Edward on the 70-200G ... at least if he is talking about the 70-200/2.8G APO. Is this assessment and conclusions from actual use?

    This is a great zoom, and is just as great at 200mm. It has more snap and better color rendition than the 70-200/2.8VR Nikon that I just sold, and same with the Canon 70-200/2.8IS I used before the Nikon. It has virtually no CA.

    To be sure about this, I went back to the RAW files from the last few weddings I shot and used the focal length sort function to inspect 140mm to 200mm shots which all had to have been done with that lens. 29 of them were @ 200mm and were indistinguishable from shorter focal lengths.

    I just received the 1.4X to use on this lens, but haven't had the time to try it. I have a job tomorrow that requires a longer lens to compact up the perspective, so it'll try the 1.4X as an experiment if I have the time.

  10. #10
    gtmerideth
    Guest

    Re: Best non Zeiss lenses for the A900 in Sony

    Guy

    It will take you giving them a go and you should, 70-200, 24-70 because this glass is not like any other zoom. I think Zeiss used the Contax N experience and stepped up a notch for the wide to normal zoom. Minolta's
    glass design is different from Leica and CZ in two ways. They balanced the color for the entire line up by changing the coatings and some other tricks and balanced the accutance with the bokeh. They gave the bokeh just as much consideration as the sharpness.

    I'll dig out the article that contains this info if you would like.

    For the prime Guy, two of the most highly regarded Minolta lenses ( other than those mentioned) would be the AF 100/2 and the 135 STF. The STF lens most probably will not work for you in that it was designed for creating exceptional bokeh and is MF. There is a excellent article on it at the Dyxum site.

    gary
    Last edited by gtmerideth; 25th February 2009 at 19:02. Reason: add info.

  11. #11
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Best non Zeiss lenses for the A900 in Sony

    Well this camera system is taking off and I have high hopes for it's future and from the images I have seen from it first the color and rendition is what has me excited being very DMR looking which I loved and also the acutance of the files the tonal range and color separation along with very nice DR is very exciting. The 24-70 is the no brainer as a first lens since this will mainly be for things like events and such. Podium lens is the other a 135mm is workable or even the 70-200. I like the idea of the 135 and a 1.4 converter but that won't work.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,513
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Best non Zeiss lenses for the A900 in Sony

    Guy,
    I know you are not a big zoom fan, but for what you are talking about possibly using the A900 for, it sounds like perfect zoom lens applications. The 24-70 and 70-200 combo of very good lenses (as the Zeiss 24-70/2.8 and Sony 70-200/2.8G APO appear to be) is very tough to beat. And you really are not losing a stop compared to the Sony 135/2.8, but you are gaining a lot of flexibility in use. I find that a lot of my shots with my Canon 70-200/2.8L IS lens are in the 140-200 range, and as a portrait shooter, it really works a lot better than folks give it credit.

    I do think the other part of the "trinity", the Zeiss 16-35/2.8 is a given for anything in close, but you are asking about non-Zeiss glass. Aside from the cost of supporting another DSLR system like this, the Zeiss 16-35/2.8, 24-70/2.8 and Sony 70-200/2.8G APO sound like the perfect kit to cover most things you may shoot. Add the 1.4 teleconverter (lose a stop and maybe a bit of edge sharpness....not sure), and you have a potent kit.

    Now, if you are planning the A900 as a much more encompassing system, then a macro might add something, but really, that would cover the majority of shooting needs, unless like me you have to shoot 400/2.8 stuff, and then all bets are off.

    Just thought to add one more perspective, as this is a kit that even I am considering over my Canons, but I am waiting to see what, if anything Canon does with the 1-series before jumping anywhere just yet. (I still need solid weather sealing, and that is one big plus for the Canon stuff in my kit....all lenses and 1-series bodies that I have do very well in severe dust and rain....not sure how A900 would handle that for me.)

    LJ

  13. #13
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Best non Zeiss lenses for the A900 in Sony

    Yea I know the 70-200 does sound ideal and have not ruled it out at all. really this is the event package 1 body, 24-70 and 70-200 and a flash and it is pretty complete for me and I still have the Phase in the wings
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  14. #14
    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bangkok
    Posts
    1,470
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Best non Zeiss lenses for the A900 in Sony

    Obviously I have never used this lens, I have not used any lens other than Zeiss on the A900, but I had researched some time ago the possibility of using Sony Minolta optics and this is what I found. If I remember well, this is based on MTF figures not actual use. MTF and real life use do not always coincide, fortunately


    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I'm gonna have to totally disagree with Edward on the 70-200G ... at least if he is talking about the 70-200/2.8G APO. Is this assessment and conclusions from actual use?

    This is a great zoom, and is just as great at 200mm. It has more snap and better color rendition than the 70-200/2.8VR Nikon that I just sold, and same with the Canon 70-200/2.8IS I used before the Nikon. It has virtually no CA.

    To be sure about this, I went back to the RAW files from the last few weddings I shot and used the focal length sort function to inspect 140mm to 200mm shots which all had to have been done with that lens. 29 of them were @ 200mm and were indistinguishable from shorter focal lengths.

    I just received the 1.4X to use on this lens, but haven't had the time to try it. I have a job tomorrow that requires a longer lens to compact up the perspective, so it'll try the 1.4X as an experiment if I have the time.

  15. #15
    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles, California, USA
    Posts
    1,965
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: Best non Zeiss lenses for the A900 in Sony

    Gary, FWIW, I believe that Minolta stopped balancing color across the lens line in the '90s.

    LJ, go to the Sony dslr forum, and check out the A900 on Dakar thread. It links to an amazing 5 page Polish review of the A900s weather handling. I wouldn't hesitate to use the camera right along with a 1 series Canon. Sorry to send you to dpreview, but I'm on my cell and can't link.

  16. #16
    nautilus
    Guest

    Re: Best non Zeiss lenses for the A900 in Sony

    I'm not sure if you are interested in buying older used Minolta lenses at all.
    There are several reasons to do so or not.
    To get a better impression of the A mount lens system as a whole you can have a look at this website from Switzerland that offers picture based comparisons between older Minolta and newer Sony lenses, CZ lenses and non CZ lenses.
    At least you can judge some quality factors of lenses to a certain degree by using your own eyes and don't have to rely completely on sometimes inconsistent (non)user opinions.

    http://artaphot.ch/index.php?option=...id=9&Itemid=43

    I hope that helps.

  17. #17
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Royal Oak, MI and Palm Harbor, FL
    Posts
    8,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    44

    Re: Best non Zeiss lenses for the A900 in Sony

    Guy, like you, I viewed this system as the "go to" event kit, so didn't place as much demand on it as others who need a more far reaching, complex system. So the three zooms cover that base seamlessly ... two of which are Zeiss wide angle based zooms ... and IMO outperform Canon optics in those focal ranges (we all know Canon's failings at the wide end of the spectrum.)

    As to system considerations: While I did like my Leica DMR/9, my real long term desire was to replace my defunct Contax N system with it's Zeiss AF optics ... which Kyocera abandoned and the DMR never fulfilled because it lacked AF and TTL flash control. I most certainly could have waited for the Leica R10 (which I believe will be top dog), but to be perfectly frank with you I simply do not want to spend that much money for the intended use I have for a 35mm DSLR. That is cash better invested in expanding my Medium Format system which none of these 35mm DSLRs can ever hope to match..

    I am betting (with a decent investment) that this is just the "real" beginning for Sony ... and hopefully their relationship with Zeiss. Sony has gone to great lengths to position the A900 as a Prosumer level camera ... which leads me to believe they have something up their sleeve in future.

    IMHO, I think they held back on a few things in the A900 so as to leave them for future cameras. One example is that the A900 has a dual slot capability, but you cannot shoot to both cards simultaneously. Now how hard would that have been to accomplish? The other is aggressive weather sealing. But these features would most certainly would have increased the cost some, and I think they wanted to grab sales more in the 5D/D700 range of buyer which is a much wider marketing swath than in 1DsMKIII/D3X territory. Sony is really good at marketing, and has a substantial infrastructure for doing that.

    However, without the Zeiss relationship I would not have given the A900 a second thought. Zeiss was my "in" to the G system ... and I've discovered some pretty decent non Zeiss optics to flesh out certain less demanding needs from a 35mm DSLR. Chief among those is the 70-200/2.8G APO, and the 50/1.4 which is every bit as good as the new Nikon AFS 50/1.4 and is built better than the Canon 50/1.4.

    BTW, the 25 meg resolution makes the 135/1.8 more useful than you may think since you can crop the snot out of these files

  18. #18
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Best non Zeiss lenses for the A900 in Sony

    I agree andwas thinking and do think along the same lines . It is a coverage camera for me . My main is the MF stuff like you and I even thought about the cropping of the 135mm. I do not really need this big resolution . I just like it that way and this is a cheap way in and as much as the D700 but with better glass.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,513
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Best non Zeiss lenses for the A900 in Sony

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    LJ, go to the Sony dslr forum, and check out the A900 on Dakar thread. It links to an amazing 5 page Polish review of the A900s weather handling. I wouldn't hesitate to use the camera right along with a 1 series Canon. Sorry to send you to dpreview, but I'm on my cell and can't link.
    Douglas,
    Thanks for pointing to that article with its series of shots. Looks like the camera and the Zeiss 24-70 got quite a workout/beating from the elements. I am sure that there are seals in the A900, even if Sony is not playing that part up as much. My concerns are still around the lens-body connection, and the Zeiss (or other lenses) internal seals. There was mention of the need to blow dust out with compressed air, and having a control dial get stuck, but then freed. Still, very harsh shooting conditions, and it seemed to make it through....as far as we have been told by the user. It is good to read these sorts of reports....gives a bit more confidence. Would still like Sony and Zeiss to talk a bit more about just how weather sealed their stuff is/is not, rather than folks having to find it out on their own dime.

    LJ

  20. #20
    gtmerideth
    Guest

    Re: Best non Zeiss lenses for the A900 in Sony

    Douglas,

    Of course you are quite correct and thank you, I did not mean to imply that the color consistency was apart of current lenses. However, for those who
    prefer less weight, a kit of Minolta AF 28/2, 50/1.4 and 100/2 will provide some reasonable quality.

    gary

  21. #21
    Senior Member douglasf13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles, California, USA
    Posts
    1,965
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: Best non Zeiss lenses for the A900 in Sony

    I agree totally, Greg. There are some Minolta gems out there. I loved my 50 1.4, although I recently traded for a Sony version for the circular aperture. Even my old beercan gets some use on the A900

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •