NX20 With Minolta MC/MD Lenses

Started Mar 15, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Vorchek
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NX20 With Minolta MC/MD Lenses
Mar 15, 2013

This mattered to me almost more than anything else:  does the NX20 reliably produce quality images with my old Minolta lenses?  I am simply not in the market-- at this moment-- for more lenses, but I desired to get into action without skipping a beat.  This I have done.

I own the following:  Sigma 8:4 fish-eye; Rokkor 16:2.8 fish-eye; Sigma 18:2.8; Rokkor 24:2.8; Vivitar Series One 28:1.9; Rokkor 35:1.8; Rokkor 50:1.2; Rokkor 58:1.2; Rokkor 85:1.7; Vivitar Series One 90:2.5 macro; Soligor 135:2; Vivitar Series One 200:3; Rokkor 300:4.5; Tokina 400:5.6; plus Vivitar 2X and 3X teleconverters.

An excellent assortment of lenses, which has treated me kindly for a long time.  What do I derive from them now?

1) First of all, let me state, with enormous relief, that I had no significant trouble with the three adapters I purchased from Rainbow Imaging.  Having read the various tales, I knew not what to expect.  Never were they a serious deleterious factor.  All three focus to infinity.  They fit properly to the camera and lenses, with one odd exception:  my 35.18 has such a tight fit to the adapters that it will not turn all the way to snap on. Being so incredibly snug, it seems safe anyway, and it works fine as is, but I wonder why it should be so in this single case.  Every other lens snaps to adapter perfectly.

2) The wide angle lenses, extending to some degree up to 35, exhibit ghosting and softness wide open, so much so on the ultra-wides as, for all the world, to simply appear out of focus.  Even a bit of stopping down clears up that problem.

3) The mid-range lenses are decent wide open, could serve as is, given one stop are fine.  At the moment I allow the possibility that intensely narrow depth of field of those fast lenses is the difficulty there.

4) Here is a startling discovery:  except, maybe, at the pixel peeping level, my long telephoto lenses are great performers right away, at least as good as they ever were on the Minolta.  That is more than I bargained for.

5) The issues of 2-4 aside, I am astounded by the dazzling resolution and sharpness I am getting from these lenses.  What really floors me is how well the teleconverters operate.  The 2X was always a good one, but I deplored the 3X, which I considered downright crummy and never used.  Now it works better than okay.  I ask myself if that may have been a manual focus problem in the past.

6) Using my beloved 90:2.5 macro was tricky, mainly because the on-board flash does not reach over the lens barrel when extended to 1:1.  Cranked back to 1:2, it did fine.  I guess I need to buy a flash attachment to perch on the hot shoe.  That, necessarily, is how I always did it with the Minolta.

7) The manual focus assist feature, set at 7X magnification, is a photographer's dream.  I was not sure that anything could replace my trusty split screen in the Minolta optical viewfinder.  This does.  It works, and works better.  I can not say enough in its favor.  So easy to use-- click the button, presto!, focus, click again-- with perfect results; I did not miss the mark once.  My track record with the Minolta, while reasonable, was not so sterling.  Long lenses, especially, did not always behave themselves with the split screen.  I feel like I have gained a lot.

8) The 1.5X magnification, relative to 35mm, bothers me not at all.  After only a few shots I fell into line without complaint.  My circular fish-eye gets noticeably cropped, but not by enough to distress me. I can live with it.  As for the rest, I either lose nothing of consequence, or receive more than before.

So, that is how I see it right now.  It is all looking mighty good.  I hope for more picture-taking outings next week, during which I will learn more to my advantage.

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--Vorchek

Samsung NX20
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