How good is Minolta 50/1.4 on a99, will Zeiss glass make more pop?

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Anders_Nilsson New Member • Posts: 8
How good is Minolta 50/1.4 on a99, will Zeiss glass make more pop?

Ok, i've got an a99v since 2015. Started with my 24-85/3.5-4.5 and recently bought a 24-105/3.5-4.5. the 24-105 is a bit cooler, but still good colors, nothing like Tamron.

Since I've been less than happy with the low light performance of the kit (inexact af, grain) I just got the Minolta 50/1.4. Today I took some test snaps at 24MP RAW+JPEG with both lenses. Same scene, same time of day, same focal length, same exposure. No UV filter on either lens.

After looking at both raw and jpeg I wonder where the difference is. Yes, the 50 is sharper but nothing eye-pops-out-of-head. Still happy though the since reason for buying the 50 was wider aperture and it sure delivers on that front. BTW I think the Minolta 24-85 and 24-105 are very ignored and underrated lenses.

But is Minolta glass inherently limited or should it look like this? When I see pictures from e g the Sigma 35/1.4 their "acuteness" startles me. When I pixel peep the Minolta pictures then, yes, the resolution is there but in a smooth way rather than the "every pixel is different than its' neighbor" look of the Sigma. Ok, Beijing air is never clean but distance was 100-200 meters.

Maybe You get tired of the Sigma look after a while or is Minolta glass a thing past its' prime? You can still get great pictures with it of course but how is modern glass in comparison?

My next planned purchase is either Sigma ART 35/1.4 or the Sony Zeiss 16-35/2.8. Any lens will be second hand and I can only afford one of them at the same time. the 16-35 is much more expensive even used and I need it more so I will probably get that one. But will it give eye-popping pictures or what can I expect? If it gives bland results then maybe a Minolta 20 and a Samyang 12 would be better. Usage of this lens would be temples in China, Japan and South-East Asia. Maybe also railway stations, markets and the like.

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Canon EF 24-105mm F4L IS II USM Nikon DL24-85 Sony Alpha a99
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