I’ve always been a prime lens user, but my re-entry into Minolta (especially autofocus) and purchasing the D750 have made me appreciate a good zoom lens. I can’t recall where I got the idea to pick this particular lens up, but I’m going to assume that it was back during the infamous CCR episode “Zooming Right Along.” where James Lee spoke about the Nikkor 28-80mm kit lens, so I went onto B&H and looked for that lens. Not finding it, I found something that was a bit longer, a one-and-done lens, the 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5D. And this lens has been a helpful tool to carry aroundRead More →

When it comes to Minolta and Konica, both had terrific optical quality throughout their run as separate companies, but at some point in the merger is where they started to lose a little steam. And while there were still some winners, there were also some troublesome lenses. No company can be 100% perfect all the time when it comes to optics. Sure, the Nikon Series E had some winning glass, but that line also had some bad lenses. This is the second Konica-Minolta lens I’ve reviewed, and it is not what I was expecting, and that’s not a good thing. I got this lens asRead More →

I love a good wide-angle lens, and while I have two excellent options in my A-Mount kit, the 17-35mm and the 28mm f/2.8, sometimes you want something a touch wider and in a fast prime. So I kept my eyes out for a 24mm f/2.8 and jumped when I came across one for a good price. I was not disappointed at all; this is a fantastic lens and one that will be used much more than the 28mm when photographing landscapes and urbanscapes. Lens Specifications Make: Minolta Model: Maxxum AF 24mm 1:2.8 Focal Length: 24mm Focal Range: ∞ – 0.25m Aperture: f/2.8 – f/22, 7Read More →

I know, I know. I said I was happy with the Maxxum 50/1.7. But I’ve had a few people comment on that post on how the 50mm f/1.4 is a much sharper lens. The trouble is that a fast prime is often more expensive, but I got a good deal on this one, so who was I to say no? And you know, this lens lives up to everything that folks say about the glass. It’s a clean and professional with nothing overly special about it and delivers quality no matter what situation or aperture you throw its way, plus it behaves much better thanRead More →

We’re used to modern multi-element, multi-group lenses regarding optics. But it hasn’t always been that way; some of the earliest cameras used only a single element. But this often caused quality issues, so adding a second element limited the effects of chromatic and spherical aberration. The earliest applications of these Achromat lenses were in telescopes that trace back to the 18th Century. But Charles Chevalier’s (a noted name in early photographic optics) creation of his Daguerrotype Achromat lens changed the face of photography in those pioneering days. While Chevalier’s lenses are still sought by modern wet and dry plate photographers for us who shoot film,Read More →

In the world of speciality lenses, there is nothing more specialized than perspective-control or tilt-shift lenses. The idea was to give 35mm photographers some movement control that large and medium format photographers used to adjust perspective. While the level of control could never be as discrete as with a large format camera, a perspective-control or PC lens provided some form of tilt and shift to grant a photographer a way to recompose an image without moving the camera body itself. Nikon’s original release in 1962 as part of the Nikon F system presented the world with the PC-Nikkor 35mm f/3.5, a relatively simple lens withRead More →

Minolta certainly got right if there is one thing the number of sleeper lenses in their initial autofocus offerings. Mostly among these sleeper lenses are the zoom lenses, and one of the best is the 35-70mm f/4. Without breaking the bank, a lens with little fanfare or flare can certainly deliver quality images. This lens was my first experience with Maxxum glass, first on a Maxxum 5000 and then again on the 7000. And while this lens looks proper on those two cameras, it is dwarfed on the Maxxum 9, but it doesn’t matter as the image quality is superb. Lens Specifications Make: Minolta Model:Read More →

If there is one type of lens that many photographers look for in a good street photography camera or any compact camera body is a good pancake lens. And while Nikon is not known for producing many ‘pancake’ style lenses, they did have a couple of winners. One of these lenses is the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8, a real winner. In contrast, there have been many versions of this lens, including a long-nose version, the 50mm f/1.8 is a solid performer for the smaller form-factor camera bodies (think FM, FE) and while it may look like a Series E, it is all Nikkor. Lens Specifications Make:Read More →

When it comes to fast Nikon Zooms, the modern trinity is the 14-24/2.8G, 24-70/2.8G and 70-200/2.8G (although I’m sure these have all been updated to the new E-Type lenses by this posting). However, a pair of these lenses have older versions; while the focal lengths are different, the constant f/2.8 aperture is the same. Now in my own lens catalogue I have only a pair of the G-Type in the trinity, the 14-24 and 70-200, but the cost of the 24-70 plus the word being it doesn’t work too well with film (I’ll have to test that) kept me from purchasing the lens. But theRead More →

I’m a sucker for wide-angle lenses. And when it comes to it, sometimes the wider, the better, and while the 28mm is an excellent lens to work with, sometimes you want something that little bit extra. The trouble is that the wider and faster the lens is, the more expensive it is on the used market. And some lenses have a cult following around them, which drives up the price. So often have to compromise on focal length, speed, image quality, or cost. Well, I can certainly say that by going with some of the less expensive lenses in the Nikon manual focus catalogue, IRead More →