Beercan and A55? Thoughts and pics

Started Feb 25, 2012 | Discussions thread
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cutie07
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Beercan and A55? Thoughts and pics
Feb 25, 2012

Hello to all,

I did buy my A55 with both kit lenses in january 11. Ever since I felt that the 55-200 was delivering not what I was expecting. Colors were dull and focus soft, unreliable and noisy.

So I was looking for something else. Would like an constant 2,8 aperture but money is tight. I did hear from some raving beercan reviews but this lens is over 25 years old!!! How it would perform at modern SLT's? Finally I decided to give it a try. Sold the Sony and bought a Minolta 70-210 F4 in mint condition for just 15 Euros (!) more. After one week now here some thoughts:

1. size and weight: I was surprised about the build quality. It 's heavy and long but that is a plus for me since the weight helps in stabilizing the lens at the long end.

2. AF: I was told that this is one of the first lens with AF from Minolta. I was expecting the worst and was again surprised. It's performing not worse than my tele kit lens, noise is similar and just at low light it hunts a bit more.

3. sharpness: since this a constant F4 aperture the corners should have some softness wide open. But it's already very usable at F4 and stopping down to F5,6 results in tack sharp pics. Dunno about sample variation, but my copy is nice.

4. colors: I can not comment about the good old "minolta colors" (no experience) but I am very satisfied.

5. bokeh: Oh boy. I am just a beginner and not so sure about bokeh and just a blurred backround. So I dunno. Maybe look at my pics below.

6. Fringing; This is the only draw back. Fringing is visible at all apertures. I experienced this level only at my old Canon Ixus and hate it since then. But the good news is that it is easy to correct in pp if you know how. So it is manageable.

In the end this lens turned out to be a real gem, at least for me. Remember the age of it!!! I was looking for better quality and was surprised about the bang for the buck. Constant and usable F4 is very handy and SSS a big plus. Sony does not have a lens like this to offer right now (if so it would come at an insane price tag).

If you are unsure about a cheap tele lens have a look at this beercan.

Now some pics. This little squirrel showed off surprisingly. I made some mistakes here, shutter times could easily lowered resulting in lower ISO. But I was lucky to get the pics anyway. Converted from raw with IDC, heavy crops and a bit noisy:

Again a heavy crop, never expecting the squirrel to eat bird food.

The second series comes from our carnival parade one week ago. The following pics are all made with AF-C. Only a few pics turned out to be out of focus.

This pic is just resized and cropped. How about bokeh? And a perfect example for minolta colors? I dunno. The day was quite cloudy and I was very happy with the results. I did hear a comment to leave this lens at home at dull days. Well ...

At the end my favourite pic of the whole parade:

Thanks for looking. CC, tips and thoughts welcome.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-F5 Sony SLT-A55
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