Minolta 35-105mm

Started Jan 13, 2010 | Discussions
gtexan
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Minolta 35-105mm
Jan 13, 2010

A few questions:

  1. 1: Is this lens as good as it reviews? On Dyxum, it scored an average of 4.71/5 over 57 reviews. Thats one of the highest ratings Ive ever seen, and is higher than many lenses that cost 5x as much money.

http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/detail.asp?IDLens=44

The newer version, which is much more compact, scored a 4.34/5, which is more in line with other lenses Ive seen, but much lower than the older version.
http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/detail.asp?IDLens=45

  1. 2: If buying this lens used online, how can you tell if its the old model or the new model? The older version is obviously much larger, but sometimes the pictures don't seem to indicate which lens it is.

  1. 3: The newer version seems to sell for $50-$75 online. How much does the older one cost? Is it available anywhere?

Thanks!

neo_nights
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Re: Minolta 35-105mm
In reply to gtexan, Jan 13, 2010

Just one tip:

Ask the seller if it's possible to see actual pictures taken with the lens (s)he's selling.

Because I've got the newer version of the 35-105mm but, unlike the vast majority, my version is a complete dud
(probably it's got backfocus issues, but can't find anyone here to fix it)

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I'm lazy to post my pics here. So you can look at them here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/neonights

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pheanix300
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Re: Minolta 35-105mm
In reply to gtexan, Jan 13, 2010

Note the design of the zoom and focus rings. Even on a seriously angled picture, I can usually see either the wide (N version) or narrow grooves on the zoom ring, or the missing grooves on the focus ring of the 'N' version. The older version gets from $75-$125.

I've given up trying to get a good copy of the older one online. All three I've tried had some sort of grease/liquid on the inner element.
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Ed at Ridersite
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Re: Minolta 35-105mm
In reply to gtexan, Jan 13, 2010

I see that the close focusing distance of the old version is about 5 feet - similar to the 28-135mm. That may be a consideration if purchasing.
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al.
al.
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Re: Minolta 35-105mm
In reply to gtexan, Jan 13, 2010

gtexan wrote:

A few questions:

  1. 1: Is this lens as good as it reviews? On Dyxum, it scored an average of 4.71/5 over 57 reviews. Thats one of the highest ratings Ive ever seen, and is higher than many lenses that cost 5x as much money.

http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/detail.asp?IDLens=44

The newer version, which is much more compact, scored a 4.34/5, which is more in line with other lenses Ive seen, but much lower than the older version.
http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/detail.asp?IDLens=45

  1. 2: If buying this lens used online, how can you tell if its the old model or the new model? The older version is obviously much larger, but sometimes the pictures don't seem to indicate which lens it is.

  1. 3: The newer version seems to sell for $50-$75 online. How much does the older one cost? Is it available anywhere?

Thanks!

I've had the 35-105 "New" for a short time. It was a very good copy. I thought about keeping it, but the range didn't suit my shooting style so I sold it.

To tell the difference between the old and new, look carefully at side pictures of the lens. Note the size of the lens and the focus rings. The older one is larger and has a metal ring while the newer one is smaller and has a rubber ring.

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Lyle From Canada
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Re: Minolta 35-105mm
In reply to al., Jan 13, 2010

I own the original 35-105 (metal beercan style) , and have owned the Tamron 17-50, the Sigma 17-70, the Minolta 24-85, the minolta 28-85 and the CZ16-80 and liked the 35-105 better than all of them. It was equally as sharp as the CZ and had the best color, contrast, and bokeh of the bunch. Should have had a "G" stamp imo.
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Sony A300 - Minolta 24-50/4 - Minolta 35-105(old) - Minolta 70-210/4 - Minolta 50/1.7 - Minolta 100-200/4.5 - Minolta 75-300 (new) - Kenko telepro 300 1.4 TC - extension tubes

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Richard Cooper
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Re: Minolta 35-105mm
In reply to Lyle From Canada, Jan 13, 2010

I have 2 Minolta AF 35-105's.
Both older versions with the macro switch and one has the crossed xx logo.

Both lens are very sharp starting at (sweet spot) F7.1 through to F11. I usually shoot at f8 full manual.

I love the lens and I use them both out and inside.

If you get a decent copy it makes good image quality sense.

Mine are used on my A700.

Richard

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DisMaster
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Re: Minolta 35-105mm
In reply to gtexan, Jan 13, 2010

I have the older version of the lens with the macro switch. It does live up to the reviews, it is very sharp especially for the price. True sleeper lens.

Rich
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Richard Cooper
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Re: Minolta 35-105mm
In reply to DisMaster, Jan 14, 2010

Forgot to mention in my previous post, I belive from the reading I have done that

the AF 35-105 was mfg in the same factory as the "G" lenses.

I would say that this maybe the reason that this lens has a high 4.71 out of 5 rating from people who actuall use this lens.

I would rate the lens 4.80 out of 5.

Richard

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martin a musicante
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Re: Minolta 35-105mm
In reply to Richard Cooper, Jan 14, 2010

I have a copy of the old model. It is a very good an very capable lens (a bit odd range on APS-C).

I´ve got my copy for about $20 some 6 years ago and I used it as my walkarround lens for many years, until I´ve got rhe Min 28-70G.

Here is a picture talken with it about a year ago:

Cheers,

Martin
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madecov
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Re: Minolta 35-105mm
In reply to gtexan, Jan 14, 2010

I have the same lens, original version. It is one of the sharpest lenses I own.
I don't use it much since it's not really wide enough.

I got mine for $40.00
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kelstertx
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Re: Minolta 35-105mm
In reply to gtexan, Jan 14, 2010

I'd say it deserves its high review rating, at least according to my copy. I keep trying to find a replacement to get a wider back end and closer focusing, while keeping the sharpness and the long end out to 100mm at least. I'm beginning to think there's no such thing in my price range (under $500). I just received tonight, a Minolta 24-105 used off the bay, which on paper looks like a good candidate - wider on the back end, great close focusing, newer design that includes ADI for improved flash. But just testing it in my room, I can already see the colors aren't as saturated, the contrast is lower, and it doesn't have the detail and sharpness that the 35-105 shows on the same subject. I haven't determined if it's a matter of the AF not hitting the precise focus point as well, but ultimately it doesn't matter. If a lens is CAPABLE of better quality, but never hits it because of focus inaccuracies, then it effectively isn't truly capable of the better quality in actual use.

Funny thing is, I only bought the 35-105 to be a portrait lens so I wouldn't have to switch between the 50mm f1.4 and the 100mm f2.0 during backyard portraits I do each year for Christmas cards. Now it never comes off the camera. In theory, those two primes should be sharper, but the 35-105 really doesn't leave much room for improvement. If there IS any noticeable improvement to using the primes, I'm not sure it's worth giving up the zoom convenience over.

One of these days I'll do a thorough test against the two primes and whatever else I have on the shelf that has the same range. Currently the only candidates to test against in my stock, other than the two primes already mentioned, are the Phoenix 100mm f3.5 macro and the KM 75-300mm.

-Kelly

gtexan wrote:

A few questions:

  1. 1: Is this lens as good as it reviews? On Dyxum, it scored an average of 4.71/5 over 57 reviews. Thats one of the highest ratings Ive ever seen, and is higher than many lenses that cost 5x as much money.

http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/detail.asp?IDLens=44

The newer version, which is much more compact, scored a 4.34/5, which is more in line with other lenses Ive seen, but much lower than the older version.
http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/detail.asp?IDLens=45

  1. 2: If buying this lens used online, how can you tell if its the old model or the new model? The older version is obviously much larger, but sometimes the pictures don't seem to indicate which lens it is.

  1. 3: The newer version seems to sell for $50-$75 online. How much does the older one cost? Is it available anywhere?

Thanks!

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kozmoc
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Re: Minolta 35-105mm
In reply to kelstertx, Mar 5, 2010

Just got the older version for about $100. Hope it is as good as advertised.

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Patrick Corrigan
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Re: Minolta 35-105mm
In reply to gtexan, Mar 6, 2010

I have the old version and it is a great lens.

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kozmoc
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Re: Minolta 35-105mm
In reply to Patrick Corrigan, Mar 6, 2010

I did not really have the need for this range, but for this price and since I got my tax return I figured I would give it a shot. Worries me a little that a lot of these seem to have a fungus or oil on blades problem. Have to wait and see. I think it rates higher on dyxum than all my lenses besides the tam 70 200 2.8. Looking forward to getting it and trying it out.

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jmknights
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Re: Minolta 35-105mm
In reply to gtexan, Mar 6, 2010

I screwed up and ended up buying the 35-105 RS, instead of the old style. It wasn't stated well enough or I failed to read it right. But I'm not disappointed at all wilth the results. Just taken on my A700 RAW.

Date Taken: 2010-03-06 11:23:30
Camera: SONY DSLR-A700
Exposure Time: 0.008s (1/125)
Aperture: f/6.3
ISO: 160
Focal Length: 80mm (120mm in 35mm)

Date Modified: 2010-03-06 11:34:47
Photo Dimensions: 4272 x 2848
File Size: 7.11 MB
Flash: flash fired, compulsory flash mode
Metering: spot
Exposure Program: aperture priority
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Jim in VT

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kozmoc
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Re: Minolta 35-105mm
In reply to jmknights, Mar 6, 2010

Seems the newer model is OK also. My auction showed the old style so I hope that is what I get or I could have paid less for the new one. Not sure if I will try to modify it to allow AF in macro or not. Hate to mess it up.

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jimrpdx
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Re: Minolta 35-105mm (both)
In reply to kozmoc, Mar 6, 2010

I have owned both, beginning with the N model. I thought it an excellent lens for anything but shooting wide open, where it's still decent but not excellent. I tired of the lens for no particular reason, tried to sell it a few times with no luck.

Recently a local shop sold me an original 35-105. It surprised me since I wasn't using the other one which was smaller and lighter - but I had to know what the rave was about. The original definitely beats the N in several areas: better wide open, images seem snappier in color and crispness overall, and the macro setting lets me get closer. Bokeh is wonderful too. I left the N at their consignment desk to help pay for the original.

It should be noted that both my beloved 2nd-gen Maxxums are on that shelf, as a 100-200 took over for my 70-210/3.5-4.5 - again both great lenses, but better shots wide open and something extra in the 100-200 images. The original Maxxi are something special.. just don't let the sun hit the front element, the flare is ruinous to overall contrast unlike lenses with more modern coatings.

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Jim R, A200 & stuff

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Prognathous
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Re: Minolta 35-105mm
In reply to neo_nights, Mar 6, 2010

neo_nights wrote:

Because I've got the newer version of the 35-105mm but, unlike the vast majority, my version is a complete dud

Same here. I have the newer 35-105 (bought it as a kit lens with the 8000i) and it's probably my worst lens. I don't use it any more and probably never will.

Prog.
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AlphaDSLR
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Just picked up one
In reply to kozmoc, Mar 6, 2010

It was the new design, but I got it for almost nothing. The old version is not a great macro lens as it only goes 1:4. The new version focuses a lot closer then the original. I have only taken a couple shots with mine to see if it works, but the results are promising. It may be a keeper.

At 35mm

At 105mm

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