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Old Dec 22, 2006, 10:35 AM   #1
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I need some help in finding a good portrait lens. I have the good old kit lens that comes with the Minolta 5D (I love my camera by the way - I also have a Maxxum 7 from a couple years back which I have almost abandoned), I also have a Minolta 100mm f/2.8 Macro and a Minolta 11-18 F4.5-5.6 Wide Angle. The latter 2 of the 3 lenses are awesome, especially my 100mm which I know is stupendous for protrait shots - I constantly get compliments about the color and sharpness of the pictures I get from shooting with it.

Now for my question - my only problem with this lens is that when I shoot, I find myself standing too far back for me to be able to get the shots I want. Not to mention that the lens spends some time hunting for focus even with the focus limiter. This is not good when you have a 2 year old running around a playground not stopping for anyone. I am thinking something in the range of 28MM to 50mm and it does not have to be Minolta, but it has to be good - forget about price. My wife and I also have twins on the way and we want to be able to record the moment as best we can. I am not an expert by any means so please keep this in mind. I would like similar results to the 100mm. If it has to be prime, that's fine. I just need some help.

Thank you all and Happy Holidays.
Cesar

PS - I forgot to mention that i have a 3600 and 5600HS(D) flash for the camera too.
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Old Dec 22, 2006, 10:46 AM   #2
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Well.. If you don't already have one in your bag, pick up a 50mm (either the f/1.4 or f/1.7)

They're bright, sharp and inexpensive (the f/1.7 anyway). If you shop around, you can pick one up for under $100.

Heck, I only paid $49 for a Minolta Maxxum 7000, including a 50mm f/1.7 and a Minolta 1800AF. That was before the 5D was shipping though. lol

Now, you'd probably pay a bit more for one. But, bargains are still around.

If you don't want to do Ebay, try http://www.keh.com (look under Camera Store, Minolta AF, Lenses/Fixed Focal Length) and they tend to have a pretty good selection, depending on when you hit the site. Check back often if you don't see what you want (as the better deals don't last long). I see a 50mm f/1.7 AF lens in Excellent condition right now for $99 (and one in bargain condition for $79).



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Old Dec 22, 2006, 11:04 AM   #3
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What would be the major difference and advantages/disadvantages between the 1.4 and 1.7? Is the Macro capability worth the price? Is it the sharpness?
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Old Dec 22, 2006, 11:20 AM   #4
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These are not macro lenses. The main advantage of the f/1.4 is that it's brighter (only about a half stop), and you'd have a shallower depth of field if you really wanted to use it with the aperture wide open. However, even the 50mm f/1.7 is about 3 times as bright as your 100mm f/2.8

I think the aperture design is probably a tad better on the f/1.4 lens, too (and the coatings are likely a bit better). I doubt you'd see a big difference in them (except for the price) in most conditions you'd use one in. I don't have the f/1.4 version to compare with my own eyes.

You may not want to use f/1.4 anyway for a non-stationary subject, as depth of field would be pretty shallow shooting with the aperture wide open.

You can see some user reviews of these lenses here:

http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/results....&offset=20

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Old Dec 22, 2006, 11:26 AM   #5
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P.S.

If you want even wider, the Sony 35mm f/1.4G is probably going to be sweet. At $1,399, it should be. :-)

Sony 35mm f/1.4G AF lens

Look around on the used Market and you may spot a Minolta 35mm f/1.4 from time to time, too.

Sigma makes a 30mm f/1.4 EX DC AF lens ($429 at B&H) that would be worth a look. It will only work on a Digital Camera (and the bokeh isn't as good from it as some primes from what I hear, but it should be a relatively sharp lens).

I've got a Minolta 28mm f/2 for when I need a wider lens in closer quarters (but, sometimes I'd prefer something a bit brighter in very low light, and I've thought about the Sigma from time to time).

The Minolta 35mm f/2 would be another lens to keep an eye out for on the used market. But, they don't show up very often (and when they do, someone will grab them fast).

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Old Dec 22, 2006, 12:27 PM   #6
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mrwizard93 wrote:
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What would be the major difference and advantages/disadvantages between the 1.4 and 1.7? Is the Macro capability worth the price? Is it the sharpness?
The 1.4 is obviously a faster lens, but I have seen a chart that shows the 1.7 focuses twice as fast. My 1.4 is no slouch, but for the lower price, I would get the 1.7.
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Old Dec 22, 2006, 3:57 PM   #7
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Another question i have is, i have been looking around for the 50mm 1.4 and 1.7 but i do not see a (D) version - will this mean that my 50mm lens will actually be a 75mm lens with the lens manification in the camera ... that would not be much of an improvement from my 100mm with regards to angle of view in close quarters. Am i understanding this correctly?
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Old Dec 22, 2006, 4:15 PM   #8
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mrwizard93,

the 50mm f1.7 mounted on a 5D/7D/a100 becomes a 75mm f1.7 which is PERFECT for potrait work

(your 100mm f2.8 becomes a 150, which is too 'powerful')

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Old Dec 22, 2006, 4:47 PM   #9
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mrwizard93 wrote:
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Another question i have is, i have been looking around for the 50mm 1.4 and 1.7 but i do not see a (D) version - will this mean that my 50mm lens will actually be a 75mm lens with the lens manification in the camera ... that would not be much of an improvement from my 100mm with regards to angle of view in close quarters. Am i understanding this correctly?
Every lens you put on your 5Dhas to be multiplied by 1.5 to get theequivalent 35mm focal length. The 50mm 1.7 is an excellent choice as far as focal length and works really well indoors. There are wider lenses out there, but the 50mm should do the trick. It was the weapon of choice for me recently for an indoor Xmas card pose. I have other lensesthat I could have used, but it is the brightest lens in my collection. I didn't use a flash deliberatly because I wanted the effect that the room lighting provided. If you need wider, there is a 35mm F/2 that Minolta used to make but they are a bit more rare therefore much more expensive than the 50mm 1.7.
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Old Dec 22, 2006, 7:48 PM   #10
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I have the minolta 50mm f1.7 and I love it. Excellent for portraits and it's really not that long. I have a small living room and I can get great shots in it. Outside it's amazing!!! the light it lets in is fabulous for sunsets also.
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