Minolta 24-85mm RS f/3.5-4.5 on Full Frame

Started Feb 1, 2013 | Discussions
cgarrard
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Minolta 24-85mm RS f/3.5-4.5 on Full Frame
Feb 1, 2013

Been a while since I've used mine on the A900.

Curious if any readers here still use this lens on the A99/900/850 cameras at all? My impressions that I recall were that it was nice and sharp in the corners at f5.6 on full frame, and CA's nearly gone at f/8 and the corners and center were nice and sharp (at it's peak there).

My recollection is that it was the best price/performance for a genuine wide angle to mid-telephoto full frame lens in all of the A-Mount available lenses. There are a lot of zooms that start at 24mm but I think this one was the best performer of them all on full frame for under 300.00.

Can anyone comment if you have experience with this lens please?

Thank you!
Carl

Panasonic Lumix DMC-F5 Sony SLT-A99
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Calico Jack
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Re: Minolta 24-85mm RS f/3.5-4.5 on Full Frame
In reply to cgarrard, Feb 2, 2013

I've used it with my A850.  Nice compact lens and a decent performer, but it's a focal range that's competitively covered, but as a no nonsense lightweight short zoom it's very good, though if you want better quality, then open up your wallet, but for what it is, I like it as it doesn't pretend to be anything else other than an honest little pocket rocket that's very affordable and produces the goods.

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Digitalize
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Re: Minolta 24-85mm RS f/3.5-4.5 on Full Frame
In reply to cgarrard, Feb 2, 2013

cgarrard wrote:

Been a while since I've used mine on the A900.

Curious if any readers here still use this lens on the A99/900/850 cameras at all? My impressions that I recall were that it was nice and sharp in the corners at f5.6 on full frame, and CA's nearly gone at f/8 and the corners and center were nice and sharp (at it's peak there).

My recollection is that it was the best price/performance for a genuine wide angle to mid-telephoto full frame lens in all of the A-Mount available lenses. There are a lot of zooms that start at 24mm but I think this one was the best performer of them all on full frame for under 300.00.

Can anyone comment if you have experience with this lens please?

Thank you!
Carl

I have the 24-85 on my a99 most of the time.  I am very impressed for the little money spent, how sharp and colorful the pictures come out.  Lightweight and covers a very useful range.

Dennis

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Gary Friedman
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Re: Minolta 24-85mm RS f/3.5-4.5 on Full Frame
In reply to cgarrard, Feb 2, 2013

I took that lens and my A900 to Hong Kong and Schenzhen a couple of years ago... great performer but the CA started to bug me in this shot (around white areas)

This was the view from my four-star hotel.

Other shots taken with this lens: http://friedmanarchives.com/China/Page5/index.htm

-GF

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cgarrard
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Mr. Friedman sir!
In reply to Gary Friedman, Feb 2, 2013

Gary Friedman wrote:

I took that lens and my A900 to Hong Kong and Schenzhen a couple of years ago... great performer but the CA started to bug me in this shot (around white areas)

This was the view from my four-star hotel.

Other shots taken with this lens: http://friedmanarchives.com/China/Page5/index.htm

-GF

Good to hear from you (and the others too) about this lens. Yep I remember the CA's indeed, yet I think I can work around those (and did when I had it before).

Looks like the overall view is positive of the lens. Be neat to see Sony re-introduce it with an APO element and SAM SSM motor :). A budget wide kit lens for full frame shooters with a better than average performance.

C

p.s. Lets finally see about getting together to shoot or chat soon as I get my A850, deal?

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DavieK
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Re: Mr. Friedman sir!
In reply to cgarrard, Feb 3, 2013

It's my regular lens on the A99, and I have never had CA problems (on the 900 or the 99). It was a new unsold boxed 1999 lens bought in 2008.

David

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Linzthom
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Re: Minolta 24-85mm RS f/3.5-4.5 on Full Frame
In reply to cgarrard, Feb 3, 2013

I know my a580 is crop frame, but I do use this lens on it and find it a fantastic lens. I love using my legacy glass on the a580 and only wish I could afford a ff sony to use it on. That and the Tamron 70-300usd would be great budget combo, I think.

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Dave Oddie
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Re: Mr. Friedman sir!
In reply to cgarrard, Feb 3, 2013

cgarrard wrote:

Gary Friedman wrote:

I took that lens and my A900 to Hong Kong and Schenzhen a couple of years ago... great performer but the CA started to bug me in this shot (around white areas)

This was the view from my four-star hotel.

Other shots taken with this lens: http://friedmanarchives.com/China/Page5/index.htm

-GF

Good to hear from you (and the others too) about this lens. Yep I remember the CA's indeed, yet I think I can work around those (and did when I had it before).

Looks like the overall view is positive of the lens. Be neat to see Sony re-introduce it with an APO element and SAM SSM motor :). A budget wide kit lens for full frame shooters with a better than average performance.

C

p.s. Lets finally see about getting together to shoot or chat soon as I get my A850, deal?

You really are funny Carl.  I remember when you used to have a sig of "currently writing for" your own web site.  Now you are the editor for your own web site.  Congratulations on the promotion.

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cgarrard
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Re: Mr. Friedman sir!
In reply to Dave Oddie, Feb 3, 2013

Technically I was doing all the writing/editing for all of the reviews I wrote for before. So no changes there Dave.

Did I detect sarcasm???

Naw!

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cgarrard
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Re: Mr. Friedman sir!
In reply to DavieK, Feb 3, 2013

Interesting David. It will be fun to check it out when I get it... again :).

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Gary Friedman
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Re: Mr. Friedman sir!
In reply to cgarrard, Feb 3, 2013

cgarrard wrote:

> p.s. Lets finally see about getting together to shoot or chat soon as I get my A850, deal?

Deal!  Just as soon as the A99 book is done and I finish a couple of articles for CameraCraft.

-GF

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Waardij
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Re: Mr. Friedman sir!
In reply to Gary Friedman, Feb 3, 2013

Is this lens much different to the 24-105? from what I have been reading the 24-105 might even be better. Or am I mistaken here and should I have bought an 24-85?

for me it is just a matter of weight. I have the CZ24-70 and that lens is great, but sometimes heavy.

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Keit ll
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Re: Mr. Friedman sir!
In reply to cgarrard, Feb 3, 2013

I have this lens but it has been sidelined to some extent by my preference for using a 28-135mm on my A900 as a general purpose lens. All my older Minolta lenses have taken on a new lease of life thanks to LR 4 which has superior CA & distortion correction facilities. To those who have not adopted LR 4 I would strongly urge them to do so.

The 24-85mm has however found a new role on my Sony NEX 7 + LA EA2 where it performs very well giving me a lens of 36-127mm ( 35mm Equivalent ). This combination is acceptable aesthetically & balances quite well & is not too heavy. Slow shutter speeds & lack of IS restricts its usefulness in low light but it produces very good photos in good light.

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DavieK
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Re: Mr. Friedman sir!
In reply to Waardij, Feb 3, 2013

Waardij wrote:

Is this lens much different to the 24-105? from what I have been reading the 24-105 might even be better. Or am I mistaken here and should I have bought an 24-85?

for me it is just a matter of weight. I have the CZ24-70 and that lens is great, but sometimes heavy.

I had the 24-105mm which had been used on the A700 and previous KM/Sony models with great results. I tried it on the A900 and from day 1 it was clear that the extreme distortion and CA at 24mm, beyond the APS-C zone, were not going to work for professional stuff.

I first bought a mint, as new 28-105mm and then a similarly new 24-85mm. I also had a 24-50mm, and a KM 28-75mm f/2.8. I tested all the lenses and also compared results with my 16-80mm and 16-105mm on A700, and with the 24mm end of my 12-24mm Sigma. Final result: the lens kept is the 24-85mm RS.

In the next four years I also tried a couple of Tokina 24-200mms of which one was very sharp, but both had real problems with contrast/flare/tonal compression. I acquired a 24mm f/2 CZ but I rarely use it; by the time you've stopped the 24-85mm @ 24mm down to a sensible f/8 or f/11 normally required for the correct depth of field in travel/landscape/interiors, there's no benefit. I've also changed the 28-75mm for a new SAM version, and that has shown a small benefit, but the loss of the excellent close focusing of the original Tamron/KM. I also have a new Sigma 12-24mm which is far better at 24mm than the original model.

However, nothing beats having 24mm plus a resonable zoom range on the camera. I've worked with Canon's 24-105mm L plenty of times, and Nikon's 24-120mm in all its versions. None of these come close to the quality of the 24-85mm RS (which might surprise Canon L owners). I've also used the new 16-50mm f/2.8 on A77 and that is a travesty of a lens by comparison; I've used three of these, only owned one, and for technical quality (projection/drawing, flatness of field, corner sharpness, vignetting, frame coverage) the 24-85mm on A99 betters it substantially. I sold my 16-50mm; for the A77, the old 16-80mm I've had since 2006 does a better job.

And yes - I would love a revised 24mm-xx, preferably a 24-120mm scaled up from the CZ 16-80mm with improved build, for FF.

David

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Calico Jack
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So many options to choose from
In reply to cgarrard, Feb 3, 2013

Further to my earlier reply, there are numerous lenses that cover this range, and the other one that extends it would be the highly regarded and much sought after Min AF 24-105 (D).  If the width wasn't a major factor, move it up to the Min 35-70/4 Macro, but in any case, stopping down will eliminate more-or-less all CA/PF and you can always add a PL-CIR filter to these early lenses.  There are too many models to choose from that fit the bill, but whether it's the RS or standard version, it's still a Minolta classic, though depending on factors such as size, price, focal range and weight, you really are spoiled for choice so you ought not to have any problem sourcing something suitable.  On a personal note, I used both the Tamron 28-75/2.8 Di and Tamron 17-35/2.8-4 Di (same as the Minolta versions) but have recently sold one that's often overlooked . . . Sigma AF 28-70mm F/2.8 EX Aspherical.  Very affordable and much smaller and lighter than the bloated Sigma 24-70/2.8 EX DG version, though TBH, the extra DG coating does make a big difference where CA control is concerned.

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john farrar
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Re: Minolta 24-85mm RS f/3.5-4.5 on Full Frame
In reply to Digitalize, Feb 3, 2013

I used it on my film camera and still use it now on my A57 (obviously with the crop).

Look in my siggie in the Sony 18-135 gallery and one of the shots of apples was taken on it. Much nicer for colours.

What i don't like about it is zoom creep (use an elastic band) and I think modern coatings are considerably better.

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Waardij
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Re: Mr. Friedman sir!
In reply to DavieK, Feb 3, 2013

DavieK wrote:

Waardij wrote:

Is this lens much different to the 24-105? from what I have been reading the 24-105 might even be better. Or am I mistaken here and should I have bought an 24-85?

for me it is just a matter of weight. I have the CZ24-70 and that lens is great, but sometimes heavy.

I had the 24-105mm which had been used on the A700 and previous KM/Sony models with great results. I tried it on the A900 and from day 1 it was clear that the extreme distortion and CA at 24mm, beyond the APS-C zone, were not going to work for professional stuff.

I first bought a mint, as new 28-105mm and then a similarly new 24-85mm. I also had a 24-50mm, and a KM 28-75mm f/2.8. I tested all the lenses and also compared results with my 16-80mm and 16-105mm on A700, and with the 24mm end of my 12-24mm Sigma. Final result: the lens kept is the 24-85mm RS.

In the next four years I also tried a couple of Tokina 24-200mms of which one was very sharp, but both had real problems with contrast/flare/tonal compression. I acquired a 24mm f/2 CZ but I rarely use it; by the time you've stopped the 24-85mm @ 24mm down to a sensible f/8 or f/11 normally required for the correct depth of field in travel/landscape/interiors, there's no benefit. I've also changed the 28-75mm for a new SAM version, and that has shown a small benefit, but the loss of the excellent close focusing of the original Tamron/KM. I also have a new Sigma 12-24mm which is far better at 24mm than the original model.

However, nothing beats having 24mm plus a resonable zoom range on the camera. I've worked with Canon's 24-105mm L plenty of times, and Nikon's 24-120mm in all its versions. None of these come close to the quality of the 24-85mm RS (which might surprise Canon L owners). I've also used the new 16-50mm f/2.8 on A77 and that is a travesty of a lens by comparison; I've used three of these, only owned one, and for technical quality (projection/drawing, flatness of field, corner sharpness, vignetting, frame coverage) the 24-85mm on A99 betters it substantially. I sold my 16-50mm; for the A77, the old 16-80mm I've had since 2006 does a better job.

And yes - I would love a revised 24mm-xx, preferably a 24-120mm scaled up from the CZ 16-80mm with improved build, for FF.

Thanks for sharing your experience! Ordered one, lets hope it is a good copy.

Hans

David

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GuyMcKie
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Re: FF sample Min 24-85 RS 24mm at f8
In reply to cgarrard, Feb 3, 2013

PRocessed from raw with ca correction in acr.

FF sample Min 24-85 RS 24mm at f8 A900

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cgarrard
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Hi David
In reply to Waardij, Feb 4, 2013

Yep sounds about the same as my experience too.

Carl

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cgarrard
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Re: FF sample Min 24-85 RS 24mm at f8
In reply to GuyMcKie, Feb 4, 2013

Excellent sample, very much so. Glad I re-bought it instead of something else I've used before. A850 comes tomorrow, should get this lens just after that.

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