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Old Apr 25, 2008, 12:11 PM   #1
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Hi,

I have a KM5D and am looking for a macro lens. I'm not sure what the best way to go is. I am on a budget, so spending hundreds is not an option. I did find a pretty good deal on this one Sigma 28-105mm f/3.8-5.6 Aspherical Macro Lens for Konica Minolta SLR Camera. Would this one be a good way to start. Is it a waste of money? I guess I'm looking for something versatile and economical. Shooting macro and close-ups is not my most favorite thing, although I do enjoy it when the right opportunity comes along. Therefore, I want to have that option available to me in my bag. Thanks, Deb
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Old Apr 25, 2008, 12:46 PM   #2
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First, there's macro and then there's macro. What do you want to shoot? Flowers or insects? Watches or watch parts?

Second, there are less expensive ways to go macro. For ocassional use, good quality close up lenses might be just what you need. And if you need to get closer still, there are extension tubes. Either of these items will cost a lot less than a good macro lens.

Third, a frequent problem encountered during macrophotography is getting enough light, and I don't think that f/5.6 at 105mm focusing at 50cm is going to do very well in that regard.
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Old Apr 25, 2008, 9:48 PM   #3
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If its a good deal go for it, dont let the purists turn you off. If you can live with its limitations I dont see a problem, its not the best rated lens on Dyxum, but so what. If you really want a good macro, Minolta made 3 versions of the 100mm macro, there hard to find and probably more expensive than you want to go if you find one. Also Sony has a 100mm macro, but its a clone of the Minolta. The Sigma 105 might also be a choice if you can get a good deal on it, Nice thing about 100mm macro's is they also are excllent portrait lenses.
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Old Apr 26, 2008, 12:12 AM   #4
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You might want to look at the Tamron 90mm F2.8. It's a 1:1 macro and an excellent portrait lens. It's more $ than the Sigma but a lot less than the Minolta 100mm. And with a Dyxum.com rating of 4.75, pretty respectable. I found one on E-bay for only $140. I think the bidding ended so low because the seller didn't take Paypal. For that price I was willing to take the chance. BHPhoto has a used one for $269 here:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...O=productListY

Anyway, I absolutely love mine. Actually, haven't even done a whole lot of macro shots but I will say it's my favorite indoor, available light lens. Indoor shots just look so much more natural without flash.
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Old Apr 26, 2008, 3:02 PM   #5
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Thanks you guys for your input. I guess I have alot to consider. Let you know what I end up with. Deb
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Old Apr 30, 2008, 8:43 AM   #6
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Can I tag on here with a question? I hope Deb finds the macro lens she was looking for.

In my local Craigslist there is somebody selling off his Minolta and lenses. If I buy the Sony a300 (which I'm working up the courage to do), will his Maxxum AF lenses be the right mount style for me? And autofocus with the Sony body?

I have for sale a minolta maxxum 7000 with af 50mm 1.7 lens + maxxum af 35-105 zoom + af 2800 flash along cases for the zoom and the flash.

He doesn't give nearly as much info about the lenses as you folks are in the habit of giving (and I don't always understand the f/ numbers that you refer to, though I'm trying hard to learn). But from what he says does it seem like something that would work? It's the 55mm prime that I'd be after, and he's asking $150.
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Old Apr 30, 2008, 9:12 AM   #7
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I've bought two Minolta Maxxum 7000 packages to get the lenses.

I got a Maxxum 7000 with a Minolta 1800AF flash, 50mm f/1.7 AF lens, cases and manuals for a "buy it now" price of $49 on Ebay to get the 50mm f/1.7 (and the camera works fine too, as I've used it from time to time). These deals are getting harder to find now though (since the lens is worth a bit more than I paid for the package).

I got another Maxxum 7000 package with a Minolta 35-70mm f/4 Macro AF lens for $S2 from the used department at keh.com. The lens and camera look at work just fine. lol

That flash you're looking at is not compatible with dSLR models, and the lenses aren't worth a lot. You can pick up a Minolta 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 AF lens for well under $100. Here are two at keh.com for under $50, including one in Excellent Condition for $47:

Listings for Minolta 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 Macro AF lenses at keh.com

The Minolta 50mm f/1.7 AF lens sells for around $100 now. Here's one at $126 in Excellent Condition:

Minolta 50mm f/1.7 Autofocus Lens at keh.com

They have a camera package now with a Minolta Maxxum 7000 and 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 Macro in Bargain condition for $45.00 (and they usually have very conservative ratings).

Maxxum 7000 with 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 AF lens

Just go to http://www.keh.com and look under Camera Store, Minolta Autofocus, Camera Outfits, and you'll a lot of camera/lens packages for sale (plus, they have a 60 day warranty on used gear).

That Minolta zoom is not very popular with digital, hence the low price for it. That's because of it's focal range. Using a dSLR with an APS-C size sensor (as all of the current Sony dSLR models have), your lenses will appear to be 1.5x longer from an angle of view perspective, because the sensor is smaller than 35mm film.

As a result, you'd have the same angle of view using a 35-105mm lens on one of these dSLR models that you would using a 52-157mm lens on a 35mm camera.

So, it really doesn't start out wide enough to be a practical walk around lens with current dSLR models in many conditions (since you can only back up so far to get what you want in the frame). I've got a Tamron SP 35-105mm f/2.8 AF lens I use that is not a bad lens. But, it's not wide enough for a lot of uses (especially in tighter quarters indoors). I still use it though (in fact, I used it Sunday morning to take some photos on the river). So, it's not a useless range. But, you may want to pick up something starting out wider for a more useful focal range.

Note that the Minolta 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 AF lenses (they've got an older and newer version) do get very good user reviews:

http://www.dyxum.com/reviews/lenses/....asp?IDLens=44

http://www.dyxum.com/reviews/lenses/....asp?IDLens=45

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Old Apr 30, 2008, 1:26 PM   #8
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Jim, I think I've been reading almost non-stop since you posted this morning, and the numbers on lenses are beginning to make sense to me. Thanks for helping me learn. Actually it's interesting because it's as I had been trying to read but all the text was very blurry. An amazing amount of jargon. With the help of the forums I feel like things are coming into a focus so that now I can at least read and understand what I'm reading, even if I don't "fully" understand it like the long-time pros do.

A question, though:
Quote:
That Minolta zoom is not very popular with digital, hence the low price for it. That's because of it's focal range. Using a dSLR with an APS-C size sensor (as all of the current Sony dSLR models have), your lenses will appear to be 1.5x longer from an angle of view perspective, because the sensor is smaller than 35mm film.
Does that mean that if I need to do reasonably wide photography (copywork or indoors shots for example), I ought to look even shorter than 50mm on standard prime lenses? If 50mm acts more like 80mm because of the 1.5 APS-C factor, could I use a 28mm f/2.8 AF lens from KEH and have it act like a 50?

I notice that B&H lenses for Sony/Minolta are specifying "D" or "dSLR" . . . which I take to mean that you don't have to do the 1.5 multiplier and the specs they list are already adjusted for digital cameras.

What do you think about using a standard 28mm to achieve 50mm when it's on the dSLR body?

This is what I was reading that made me think it might do well that way (written about a similar lens):
Quote:
Together with the 1.5x cropping factor, it becomes a standard lens of a 52mm on the Sony alpha, a much more versatile focal length than that of the 50/1.4 which becomes almost a tele lens with it's 75mm's cropped!!. I find this one a great portrait lens, but it does some very nice all around photos as well.




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Old Apr 30, 2008, 2:50 PM   #9
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edtech2020 wrote:
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I notice that B&H lenses for Sony/Minolta are specifying "D" or "dSLR" . . . which I take to mean that you don't have to do the 1.5 multiplier and the specs they list are already adjusted for digital cameras.
The D stands for ADI (Advanced Distance Integration), and has nothing to do with whether or not the lens was designed for digital. This feature passes more accurate focus distance information to the camera that it can use for flash exposure purposes, and both newer Minolta 35mm film, and Konica Minolta and Sony Digital Cameras can take advantage of it.

Konica Minolta and Sony DT (different than D) series lenses are the ones designed to work only with Digital Cameras using an APS-C size sensor (you'd get vignetting if you tried to use one on a 35mm camera). The same thing applies to Tamron's Di II lenses, or Sigma's DT lenses (they are designed for an APS-C size sensor, and you'd get vignetting try to use one on a 35mm camera).

But, even with a DT series lens (using a smaller image circle for an APS-C size sensor), you will still need to multiply the focal length of the lens by 1.5x to see what focal length on a 35mm camera would give you the same angle of view (apparent magnification).

Even if a lens is made for digital (with a smaller image circle being projected to help keep the size and weight down), you'll still have a narrower angle of view for any given focal length lens on a camera with a smaller APS-C sensor. The difference is that the lens designed for a 35mm camera originally is projecting a larger image circle, so a larger part of it isn't being used by the camera's sensor (and you can't use the lenses designed for an APS-C size sensor on a 35mm camera without vignetting).

The same formulas for angle of view apply to both lens types. You'll have a wider angle of view for a given focal length lens if you use it on a camera with a larger sensor or film size. You'll have a narrower angle of view for a given focal length lens if you use it on a camera with a smaller sensor or film size. It doesn't make any difference what the size of the image circle being projected is, as long as it covers the film or sensor being used.

Quote:
What do you think about using a standard 28mm to achieve 50mm when it's on the dSLR body?
I use a Minolta 28mm f/2 indoors at family gatherings, etc. It's great for that purpose. But, if lighting permits, I usually prefer the versatility of a zoom.

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Old Apr 30, 2008, 3:23 PM   #10
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Konica Minolta and Sony DT (different than D) series lenses are the ones designed to work only with Digital Cameras using an APS-C size sensor . . . But, even with a DT series lens (using a smaller image circle for an APS-C size sensor), you will still need to multiply the focal length of the lens by 1.5x to see what focal length on a 35mm camera would give you the same angle of view (apparent magnification).
Hmm. Okay, so it's a DT designation that would say that it's designed for APS-C. Thanks!

What resources other than photozone should I check with for feedback on lenses?
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