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Old Apr 12, 2006, 3:10 AM   #1
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I got this lens new from Cameta on ebay for $79. While the initial feedback in these forums was less than lukewarm when I first ordered the lens, I am very pleasantly surprised. I did some comparison shots and cropped them and the lens can hold its own and in some cases surpasses the Minolta 70-210 4.5-5.6 and Sigma 75-300 4.5-5.6 to which I compared it. Here are some crops. The results are similar throughout the zoom and aperture range. Definitely no clear loser here.

Actually take your guess on which is which, to avoid any pre-conceived notions.

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Old Apr 12, 2006, 3:11 AM   #2
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Old Apr 12, 2006, 3:11 AM   #3
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Old Apr 12, 2006, 6:14 AM   #4
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The order in which you have posted the images is also my quality ranking. The Sigma lense has simply the best colors and steeper contrast. Unfortunately the pictures hardly contain any thin lines or curves to evaluate sharpeness.
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Old Apr 12, 2006, 2:41 PM   #5
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They are in this order:

1) Sigma

2) Vivitar

3) Minolta

I thought the writing on the fixtures gives a pretty good measure stick for sharpness.

I did a lot of other tests with different lenses, and I have found that the Minolta lenses are consistently softer than their3rd partycounterparts. For example, the Minolta 18-70 kit lens is horrendous compared to my Sigma 28-70. I am just going to keep it for wide angle shots. It scored the worst of all lenses I tried. I can post some comparisons if anyone is interested.

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Old Apr 12, 2006, 3:59 PM   #6
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That's a pretty strong statement to which I'm sure you'll find lots of arguments.
KM 18-70 kit lens below.

rduve wrote:
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I did a lot of other tests with different lenses, and I have found that the Minolta lenses are consistently softer than their3rd partycounterparts.
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Old Apr 12, 2006, 5:59 PM   #7
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Well, all I can tell you is that I took about 60 shots comparing 6 or so different lenses last weekend at different focal lengths and apertures, shooting the exact same subject. I compared the Minolta 18-70 kit lens, a Sigma 28-70 3.5-4.5, a Minolta 28-100 4.5-5.6, a Minolta 70-210 4.5-5.6, a Sigma 75-300 4-5.6, and the Vivitar 70-210 2.8-4 lenses. I have tons of shots at different settings and I can crop them down for close analysis. And my opinion is based on those tests. Would you not agree that the 3rd shot is the softest? That's the one with the Minolta 70-210. And out of the three Minolta lenses that one was the sharpest.

I cannot post all the different comparison shots here, but let me know which lens you would like to see compared to which other lenses at which aperture and focal length and I can post them by request.

One thing I can clearly say though: The Vivitar holds its own in the test, and the old Sigma 75-300 lens that I have is top of the line. And without a doubt, the Minolta 18-70 is the weakest of the bunch. Naturally it would not show in a resized image like the one you posted, Nooner, but comparatively the kit lens is very soft. That might not be a big deal for your screen shots, 4x6 or even 8.5x11 prints, but the difference shows in side-by-side crops. Not trying to start an argument. I went into this test without any prejudice, just trying to decide which lenses to keep and which ones to resell.

Gorgeous, dynamic, sharp and well composedphoto, by the way, Nooner. What settings did you use?


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Old Apr 15, 2006, 10:56 PM   #8
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Here is why I made the bold statement about the KM 18-70 lens. Same shot, same crop:


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Old Apr 15, 2006, 11:00 PM   #9
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...and just in case anybody thinks it's no a fair comparison to compare a 18-70 zoom lens at its highest tele-end to 70-210 lenses and their lowest zoom, here is the same shot taken with an old Sigma 28-70 at 70mm (by the way, both at their widest aperture, 5.6 and 4.5 respectively). The difference is dramatic, I find.
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Old Apr 15, 2006, 11:01 PM   #10
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And the KM5D does not score any better at the wider angles either in comparison.
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