Minolta Colors, 28-75 2.8?

Started Feb 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
DavieK Contributing Member • Posts: 705
Re: Minolta Colors, 28-75 2.8?

The whole 1985/6 series of lenses (before any rubber grips appeared on the focusing ring, original beercan style) are closely matched in colour balance. I shot a sequence starting with the 16mm f/2.8 and ending with the 500mm f/8, using all the lenses, on slide film for an AV dissolve show and a book feature. Minolta supplied the entire set of lenses at the time.

The 35-70mm f/4, 28-135mm and 70-210mm f/4 are lower in contrast than the other lenses, mainly because of general veiling glare (diffused flare - present even when there isn't a big patch of it). The reason appears to have been that while Minolta had access to multicoating, they never used it just to kill flare and raise contrast the way Pentax (SMC) and Zeiss (T*) did. Instead, they used the different coatings from single to multi layer to balance colour transmission across the lens range. The combination of very high resolution, low overall contrast, good microcontrast and matched colour made the lenses have one unique 'look' on film. But their contrast does vary, some like the 100-200mm f/4.5 and the 200mm f/2.8 APO have quite amazingly crisp high contrast.

From 1987 onwards, more hybrid aspheric elements were introduced (plastic) and it became very difficult to balance the colour without too much loss of contrast. Then, with the introduction of more zooms (notably the first 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6) Minolta bought in lens designs offered to them by Tokina (Hoya). The best known of these is the 100-400mm APO, for which they signed an exclusive deal apparently, meaning this lens was never made for any other brand and also never appeared as a Tokina. Other kit lenses were being subbed out to contractors, along with the lowest grade stuff. They had entirely different coatings. So from some point during the 'i' series period - and definitely by the 'xi' period - there was no longer any such thing as a Minolta look except in those lenses which survived, and other new lenses from the same Minolta plant.

And... none of it matters much now, digital conversions and WB can imitate almost anything. Also, some of the surviving original designs (16mm f2.8, 20mm f2.8, 28mm f2.8, 50mm f1.4, 50 and 100mm f2.8 macros etc) were given new coatings by Sony to improve flare freedom and overall contrast. Also, to remove internal reflection between the sensor and rear element of the lens, something you may find with classic Minolta glass.


Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow