A Fistful of 28s

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Travis Butler
OP Travis Butler Senior Member • Posts: 1,393
Re: 24mm lenses and why I prefer ultrawide zooms

ProfHankD wrote:

Travis Butler wrote:

(That reminds me of something I've been meaning to ask you, as the local Minolta expert; are you familiar with the Minolta System Handbook by Joseph Cooper? I've found a couple of copies - hardcover and a two-volume set in ring binders - and was wondering how reliable they are.)

No; I don't have a copy of it... and I was a professional user of Minoltas when it came out, so I probably would have it if it were highly technical. Truth is, back in the 1970s, lots of camera marketing literature was, by current standards, surprisingly technical and freely available. I had quite a collection of almost every free document Minolta published in the USA in the 1970s. BTW, my best enlarger lens is even a Minolta from that vintage.

It's kind of a soup-to-nuts book. There's a couple of intro chapters on the basics of SLR design and operation, and basic photographic concepts/composition. There's the lens database, which is about 150 pages. Then chapters on exposure, lighting, macro, 'technical effects' (panoramas, stereoscopic, astro), 'creative variations', and darkroom. Printed on glossy clay paper, which makes it kind of sad that the reproduction on a lot of the B&W photos seems poor.

However, 24mm lenses are a whole different game. They used to be much harder to build than 28mm lenses and often slower lenses went for a higher price. The result is that most old 24mm lenses are not bad, but still are rarer and pricier than they should be. I have a Canon FD 24mm f/2.8 that's great on APS-C (less so on FF), but none of my 24mm lenses really awe me....

Now you've got me wondering. Which 24mm lenses have you tried?

Not many name brand ones because they're overpriced.

Not counting the zooms I have that cover 24mm (I prefer zooms for ultrawide work -- see rant below), my current collection includes Vivitar 24mm f/2, Canon FD 24mm f/2.8 S.S.C., Mitakon MC 24mm f/2.8, Pentax-110 24mm f/2.8, Spiratone Plura Coat 24mm f/2.8, and Auto Tamron 24mm f/3.5. The Canon is the clear winner among those on APS-C, but the Spiratone beats it on full frame (and is "A" quality on APS-C too). Actually, the Spiratone is my favorite lens to use with my tilt adapter on APS-C.

On the other end, the Tamron looks good, but isn't built all that well and is barely a "C" in image quality; my one line summary of it is: "Looks impressive, images captured through it don't."

Huh. Might have to look for that Spiratone, too.

I do have a 'backup' copy of the Zuiko 24; would you be interested in borrowing it? (Or the System Handbook, for that matter?)

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Flickr at https://www.flickr.com/photos/the_prof67/ Warning: Heavy Learning in progress.

 Travis Butler's gear list:Travis Butler's gear list
Fujifilm X20 Nikon Coolpix A Pentax Q Pentax K-50 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 +18 more
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