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

Started Feb 1, 2013 | Discussions
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Waardij
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Re: FF sample Min 24-85 RS 24mm at f8
In reply to cgarrard, Feb 4, 2013

What is the difference, in quality,between the RS and non RS? is it only the looks and the shape of the aperture, or is there more going on?

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jeep
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Re: Minolta 24-85mm RS f/3.5-4.5 on Full Frame
In reply to cgarrard, Feb 4, 2013

A900 + Minolta 24-85mm

Mine lives on my A900 most of the time, performs so much better throughout the range than one would expect. I bought mine new some 10 years ago for very little money when I used it on my Minolta 9xi

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Bosman71
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Re: Minolta 24-85mm RS f/3.5-4.5 on Full Frame
In reply to jeep, Feb 4, 2013

I have replaced my kitlens on my A100 with the 24-85 rs many years ago. I now use it on my A580. I have been looking for a lens that offers the same in color, sharpnes and contrast, but a little wider. I owned a Tamron 17-50 2.8, but sold it again.

The looks of my copy are not that good anymore, but I somehow still am not able to find the perfect replacement for it. The size and weight of the lens are just perfect and make a good pair with the A580.

I have been looking on the internet for some reviews of this lens or comparisons to more modern lenses to see if these reveiws match my feeling about the lens, which is very positive. Unfortunately there is not much to find, but if one of the gents is willing to make some comparisons with the moders stuff I would be happy to see your results. Although the information from David is more then enough for me to keep my copy But in the end its always nice to read that you have made a good decision buying this lens and who doesn't like that.

Thanks guys for your info.

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Calico Jack
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Re: FF sample Min 24-85 RS 24mm at f8
In reply to Waardij, Feb 4, 2013

Waardij wrote:

What is the difference, in quality,between the RS and non RS? is it only the looks and the shape of the aperture, or is there more going on?

RS = re-styled = slight design differences.  You can see them on the Dyxum website, otherwise the same lens.

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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 Bosman71, Feb 4, 2013

I have to agree with you. On my a580 it's the 'bees knees'. My copy is going nowhere . I got it last year for about the equivilent of 80pounds here in NZ. Bought it in anticipation of ff but works really well on crop.

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Habs Fan27
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Re: Minolta 24-85mm RS f/3.5-4.5 on Full Frame
In reply to Bosman71, Feb 5, 2013

I just recently acquired the older version of this lens from KEH.  I had to send my A35 into Sony for a repair so I was not able to test it much.  First few random shots I took looked good though.  I've been using it on my 800si in the meantime and am going to get a couple of rolls developed next week.

Reviews here sound reassuring so I'm excited to get my camera back this week to try it out some more.  I just got a 28-105 xi for next to nothing a week ago that I am going to try out as well which I may or may not keep.  I'll try and post some results when I get my camera back.

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cgarrard
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Finally arrived from S. Korea (as well as other goodies)
In reply to cgarrard, Feb 16, 2013

And it's every bit as good as I remember it to be :). Got a really nice copy too, its like new, all original caps, box, paperwork, manual- everything.

Only a bit of CA's evident at 100%, easily removable in Photoshop.

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Bosman71
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Re: Finally arrived from S. Korea (as well as other goodies)
In reply to cgarrard, Feb 16, 2013

Good to see you are happy Carl.

Please keep us informed about your further experiences with this lens.

Here is one from my A100. taken on the Hautakam in the French Pyrenees. Taken without any filters and no PP straight out of cam jpeg.

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John McMillin
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Lovin' my 24-85 RS
In reply to Bosman71, Feb 24, 2013

One of the true delights of using the alpha system is the variety of midrange zoom lenses available, especially in the Minolta line. Does any other mount offer a choice of walkaround zoom lenses as broad/ There's the the splendid little 35-70/4 "prime zoom", the excellent and massive 28-135/4, the first-gen Baby Beercans, and my own favorite, the 24-85 RS. It's fortunate that the 24-85 is actually an excellent lens, because its light weight and ideal size & range make it irresistible anyhow. PLus a non-rotating front element? Check. A sturdy, petal-shaped lens hood? Check. On my a850, it's just big enough to balance the camera nicely, and keeps the size of the whole package similar to many lesser DSLRs.  And that 24mm setting is indispensable. When you need wider, you really need it. You can't crop more wide into my photos in PP.

The sharpness it gives is noticeable even before enlargement. I may not have the most critical eye, but I've only found one optical flaw with the M24-85. The bokeh can be harsh -- perhaps the result of its two aspherical elements? This lens was the first to use two asphericals, IIRC, so it was stretching the state of the art back in the mid-90s. I've seen in listed in contemporary magazine ads for $450, so it took the place of the Zeiss Vario-Sonnar back in its day. I'm happy to pay $150 for a good used copy, especially since the lenses have gained stabilization in the intervening years!

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tqlla
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Re: FF sample Min 24-85 RS 24mm at f8
In reply to Waardij, Feb 24, 2013

Waardij wrote:

What is the difference, in quality,between the RS and non RS? is it only the looks and the shape of the aperture, or is there more going on?

I think the main difference is the circular aperture blades.

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Waardij
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Re: FF sample Min 24-85 RS 24mm at f8
In reply to tqlla, Mar 10, 2013

As a result of what I read here, I tried three copies of the 24-85. and none of them was as good as I had hoped. It can be that I was simply very unlucky, but I suspect the lens is not as good as I was made to believe. I directly compared one of them with my copy of a Minolta 24-105, and the later is better in the whole range from 24-85 (at f8 and f11). All three copies of the 24-85 had centering problems and varying amounts of field curvature, but even on their 'good' side, they where not great. and compared to the ZA24-70, all of them are mediocre lenses. The ZA is better at f4 then either of the other lenses is at any aperture. The ZA shows both more resolution and more contrast. There is however a thing I really like about my copy of the 24-105; stopped down to f16 it is still very usable. more so than most lenses.

One more point; when used against the light, both the 24-85 and the 24-105 are not great. the ZA is not the best lens with the sun in the frame (the ZA16-35 is much better), but much better than either Minolta zoom.

maybe I am just very critical, and I am sure fine pictures can be made with the 24-85. But expectations must be realistic. it is not a modern high performance zoom.

For the price, it is certainly not bad.

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Calico Jack
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Re: FF sample Min 24-85 RS 24mm at f8
In reply to Waardij, Mar 14, 2013

Waardij wrote:

Maybe I am just very critical, and I am sure fine pictures can be made with the 24-85. But expectations must be realistic. it is not a modern high performance zoom.

For the price, it is certainly not bad.

You're right to be critical as these are just bread and butter lenses, but some are better than others (such as the MIN50F17 and 28-135 Macro) but to name two, though I concur that more modern lenses are undoubtedly better in controlling CA/PF by virtue of the additional lens coatings, though TBH, the older SLR lenses would normally be used with filters in their day whereas they're not required with modern optics (unless for transporting/protection or more specialist types such as ND and CPL for example) as UV, Skylight or similar degrade IQ and can introduce flaring and reflections.

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Bosman71
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Re: FF sample Min 24-85 RS 24mm at f8
In reply to tqlla, 3 months ago

Still people using this lens? If so still happy? Let us see some shots .

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Dannno
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Re: I hardly use mine
In reply to John McMillin, 3 months ago

It's a great little lens. I bought it to use on my A850 for interior photos of my work. (I design and sell custom kitchens). I needed to go wider, so I primarily use a Minolta 20mm prime.

Dan

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oldminoltaguy
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Re: Minolta 24-85mm RS f/3.5-4.5 on Full Frame
In reply to cgarrard, 1 week ago

I bought the 24-85mm when I bought my Minolta 600si. It served me well despite some rough treatment. When I bought my a900 a couple of years ago, the 24-85mm became its standard lens. The last time I checked, it was still a nicely sharp lens.

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tqlla
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Re: FF sample Min 24-85 RS 24mm at f8
In reply to Bosman71, 1 week ago

Bosman71 wrote:

Still people using this lens? If so still happy? Let us see some shots .

I think the lens is good, but the 28-105mm RS lens was noticeably sharper, but on an APSC its not wide enough.   IMO, both were better than the Sony 24-105mm lens.

So to summarize 28-105mmRS > 24-85mmRS > 24-105mmRS

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QuietOC
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Re: FF sample Min 24-85 RS 24mm at f8
In reply to tqlla, 1 week ago

tqlla wrote:

Bosman71 wrote:

Still people using this lens? If so still happy? Let us see some shots .

I think the lens is good, but the 28-105mm RS lens was noticeably sharper, but on an APSC its not wide enough. IMO, both were better than the Sony 24-105mm lens.

So to summarize 28-105mmRS > 24-85mmRS > 24-105mm (D)

24-105 D, 24-85 RS, 28-105 RS sans hoods

I've tried a 24-85, a 28-105, a 24-85 RS, and a 28-105 RS on my A58.

I kept the 28-105 non-RS.

The Minolta AF 24-85 was $500 when released in 1994. The 28-105 was $320 in 1994. Both versions of both lenses I tested performed identically. What variation there is between samples is probably more than any difference between versions. The lenses did get much cheaper as time went on, and they got much closer in price. I don't have the numbers here in front of me, but you can Google old editions of Popular Photography to find old ads. It might be that the earlier one were built better.

The aperture blades are curved in all four lenses. The apertures are slightly different though--the earlier lenses seem to get little notches wide open, but they are definitely curved blades.

The 24-85 has a major problem. I'm not sure what it is, but pictures look hazy. I assume is either sensor refection or veiling haze. It does it indoors too. The 28-105 has a bit of the later wide open but it goes away stopped down just a bit.

The 24-85 has less distortion than the 28-105. I am beginning to think that might be why the more distorted 28-105 is sharper in the corners than the more corrected 24-85. I just tried SAL28F28 and it performs similarly to the 24-85 at 28 mm--except worse. For film and big pixel sensors the 24-85 may be the better lens.

I am a little curious about the original 35-105 which is rated even higher than the 28-105. I have also tried the 28-135 and have no desire to use that lens. The 24-85 is a pretty good lens, the 28-105 is just much better.

A quick survey of what these have recently sold for on eBay:

Range Released Weight Elements Filt MFD Price
18-135 DT 2012 398g 14/11 62 450mm $180-$300
16-105 DT 2007 470g 15/11 62 400mm $225-$300
24-105 2006 432g 12/11 62 500mm $225-$400
24-105 D 2000 432g 12/11 62 500mm $100-$210
28-105 RS 1997 485g 13/10 62 500mm $ 60-$105
24-85 RS 1997 415g 14/12 62 500mm $ 40-$130
28-105 1994 485g 13/10 62 500mm $ 60-$100
24-85 1993 415g 14/12 62 500mm $ 40-$110
35-105 N 1988 290g 12/10 55 850mm $ 20-$155
35-105 1985 485g 14/12 55 1500mm $ 25-$155 'hidden G'

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Keit ll
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Re: FF sample Min 24-85 RS 24mm at f8
In reply to QuietOC, 1 week ago

I use this lens nearly all the time on my A900. It is lighter & smaller than the 28-135mm , has a useful wider end & closer minimum focus distance.

Here is pic of my Grandson.

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Sonolta Shooter
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Have you considered an APS-C format WA/UWA lens option?
In reply to Dannno, 6 days ago

Dannno wrote:

It's a great little lens. I bought it to use on my A850 for interior photos of my work. (I design and sell custom kitchens). I needed to go wider, so I primarily use a Minolta 20mm prime.

Dan

Apart from the Min AF 17-35/3.5 G, there is very little for the A850/A900 in wide-angle (WA), and those that are, apart from the lens above are standard grade such as the Minolta/Tamron 17-35mm, Tok AF 19-35 and Tok AF 20-35/2.8 AT-X, but if you're OK with 11MP, buy something like a Sigma AF 17-70 DC Macro, SAL 16-50/2.8 SSM, Tamron 17-50/2.8 Di-II or other quality APS-C format WA or UWA lenses and set the A850 to APS-C mode, though use the inner rectangle for framing.

There are plenty of excellent WA and UWA optics in APS-C format unlike FF. Why not go to the Dyxum website and insert your search criteria and review the results, user feedback and image samples? It's one of the excellent features of the A850/A900. The standard viewfinder is shown below with explanation of what the markings mean (just in case you weren't aware:

Sony A850/A900 Type G standard viewfinder

Additional info can be found here.

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Mark

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tqlla
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Re: Have you considered an APS-C format WA/UWA lens option?
In reply to Sonolta Shooter, 6 days ago

Sonolta Shooter wrote:

Dannno wrote:

It's a great little lens. I bought it to use on my A850 for interior photos of my work. (I design and sell custom kitchens). I needed to go wider, so I primarily use a Minolta 20mm prime.

Dan

Apart from the Min AF 17-35/3.5 G, there is very little for the A850/A900 in wide-angle (WA), and those that are, apart from the lens above are standard grade such as the Minolta/Tamron 17-35mm, Tok AF 19-35 and Tok AF 20-35/2.8 AT-X, but if you're OK with 11MP, buy something like a Sigma AF 17-70 DC Macro, SAL 16-50/2.8 SSM, Tamron 17-50/2.8 Di-II or other quality APS-C format WA or UWA lenses and set the A850 to APS-C mode, though use the inner rectangle for framing.

There are plenty of excellent WA and UWA optics in APS-C format unlike FF. Why not go to the Dyxum website and insert your search criteria and review the results, user feedback and image samples? It's one of the excellent features of the A850/A900. The standard viewfinder is shown below with explanation of what the markings mean (just in case you weren't aware:

Additional info can be found here.

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Mark

With Crop lenses, you will still have the Crop FOV even on a Full frame camera. None of those APSC lenses will give you wider than the FF 24-85mm lens.

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