Sony A7 + LA-EA4 + Minolta 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 - Sigma 20mm f/1.8

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Of all the Minolta lenses I've bought for the Sony A7 / A7r the most surprising is the 35-70mm f/3.5 to 4.5. For the £18 I paid for it it's an absolute bargain, but it's actually more than that in that it's a really good lens. 

These 35-70mm's were usually the cheaper kit lens versions for 35mm film cameras, but still have a very useful focal length range. Considering that Sony haven't really managed anything better optically with their 28-70mm e-mount zoom for the FE cameras and in some ways can't even match it (edge and corner sharpness) you can get some idea of just how well these old 35mm film lenses were made. I used it with the A7 yesterday and the adapter and it was a nice light option. I don't actually mind the adapter. It doesn't look great on the camera but in practice it gives a nice support to the lens and it's actually quite comfortable to hold and use. It's certainly opened up a lot more options for me* and these Minolta lenses are providing me with excellent quality at a budget price and pretty decent AF speed too. I do loose about 1/3 to 1/2 stop of light, but all in all it's a good alternative.Which is more than can be said for Sony's poor lens rollout for the FE's. Sony really do have to address this lens issue. They seem to sabotage their innovative camera engineering by continually releasing pretty ordinary lenses. Don't they want to show what their sensors can really do? 

*On the lens front I've just bought a Sigma a-mount 20mm f/1.8. An old lens but a good one. I got it for a good price on ebay so it will be interesting to see how it performs. I had one years ago in Nikon fit and used it with my Kodak Pro 14n. I re-edited a few yesterday and uploaded them to a picture library.

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It's one of those oddball lenses that Sigma come up with, like their amazing zooms (8-16mm, 12-24, 18-35mm f/1.8 etc.) who as well as proving cheaper alternatives to marque lenses do have these unique optics. Who else makes a 20mm f/1.8? Should be interesting to see how it performs on the A7 / A7r. 

These pictures taken on the Kodak actually scrubbed up pretty good. Taken at base ISO of course since the camera was hopeless at any other setting. One of the first 35mm / 'Full-Frame' sensors and it cost me £4500. (Gulp!!) However I'm still selling pictures taken with it including a couple of my best ever sellers. Interesting also that these pictures were taken over 9 years ago and the quality of what I'm using now isn't that much better at the cameras base ISO. Certainly I doubt anyone could tell much difference from current cameras. However it certainly did have it's problems. Incredibly noisy shadows and a lot of noise, but it had no AA filter so produced incredibly sharp images. Plus it was extraordinarily expensive. But remember that the Compact Flash card I used cost over £300 back then. Note singular since I couldn't afford another one!




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