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  1. #21
    Ralph Javins's Avatar
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    Good morning, Sage;

    Finding a 17 mm or even a 20 mm prime WA lens in the Minolta Maxxum, AF, or "A" mount is going to be a challenge. I have the Minolta Maxxum 9 body, but the competition for lenses by the guys with the Sony Alpha digital cameras (which uses the same lens mount) means that finding used glass is not easy.

    I do have the 17 mm, 20 mm, 24 mm, 28 mm, and the 35 mm Rectilinear WA lenses in the older Minolta SR/MC/MD manual focus mount. The widest lens that seems to be "normal" to use is the 24 mm. The 20 mm is a lens I need to be careful with when using. The strange effects you can get with the 20 mm must be carefully considered. Moving out that silly additional 3 mm down to the 17 mm relegates that lens to a "special purpose lens" category, even though it is still a "rectilinear" lens formula. The next lens down at 16 mm is not in this category; it is a "full frame fisheye lens," and is something that I use only for special effects. Poisson du Jour has given you some sage advice (sorry about that).

    I have found the 24 mm lens to be adequate for photographing the interior of a room for my purposes.

    I have not yet found a zoom lens in this range that I felt gave me the consistent performance of a prime lens at these focal lengths. At the same time, I also admit that I have not tried the latest Carl Zeiss offerrings for the Sony Alpha. Perhaps there may be something to pouring in a sufficient volume of money.

    On the subject of a "normal" lens, I have always felt that the 58 mm focal length gave me the closest image of how I see the world through my eyes. When I raise my eye from the viewing port of the camera, everything stays in the same place; nothing moves.
    Enjoy;

    Ralph Javins, Latte Land, Washington

    When they ask you; "How many Mega Pixels you got in your camera?"
    just tell them; "I use activated silver bromide crystals tor my image storage media."

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Javins View Post
    Good morning, Sage;

    Finding a 17 mm or even a 20 mm prime WA lens in the Minolta Maxxum, AF, or "A" mount is going to be a challenge. I have the Minolta Maxxum 9 body, but the competition for lenses by the guys with the Sony Alpha digital cameras (which uses the same lens mount) means that finding used glass is not easy.
    [..]

    "Sage"!?

    Perhaps there may be something to pouring in a sufficient volume of money.
    There is indeed! The sky's the limit.

    I've never seen optics of e.g. 17mm+++ in the Minolta mount (Nikon, Canon yes), but I suspect Tamron or Sigma has something worth looking at. Of course, the more you spend the more you get, but you have to be sure you're going to use it. My 17mm is rarely used except close-in at waterfalls for example; the 40mm end is commonly used in the studio or for H&S images at weddings. I steer clear of big, heavy, mega-expensive lenses as I also walk very long distances in rainforests and heavy terrain and the last thing I need is a fast monolith of ghostly-white CaF2 weighing me down.

    My normal lens (landscape) is also a 24mm; I do have a 45mm but didn't warm to that immediately so I booted it out to a colleague last December. The 24mm and my 20mm share stints at night sky photography in the outback where it is inky black (new moon phase). Aiming the 20mm into the chandelier above is easier than the 24mm though the whacky distortion from the steep angle looking up makes trees, boulders or what run around the edge of the frame—an effect you either love or hate, but hey, the focus (sorry, pun..) is on what the star trails!!
    Last edited by Poisson Du Jour; 03-14-2009 at 10:02 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #23
    darinwc's Avatar
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    I own a 24mm and a 17mm. The 24mm will get the corners of each room in my house. The 17mm will get the corners plus about 4-5 more feet in to the side walls. However I dont find the side walls add any interest to the pic.

    Also, the 24mm is f2.8 while the 17mm is f4.. that makes a big difference indoors.

    I think either a 24mm f2.8 or a 20mm f2.8 would be ideal for indoor shots.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by darinwc View Post
    I own a 24mm and a 17mm. The 24mm will get the corners of each room in my house. The 17mm will get the corners plus about 4-5 more feet in to the side walls. However I dont find the side walls add any interest to the pic.

    Also, the 24mm is f2.8 while the 17mm is f4.. that makes a big difference indoors.

    I think either a 24mm f2.8 or a 20mm f2.8 would be ideal for indoor shots.
    Astute observations.
    I'm wondering where we are heading. This morning I've viewed a newly-released 17mm f4 TS-E (tilt/shift) optic from Canon, which is bizarre given the limited use of 17mm even in experienced hands, and touted at landscape and architectural photographers. Quite so? With 14 years' experience with TS-E, I much prefer a prime 20mm f2.8 or TS-E 24mm f3.5 99% of the time, even outdoors up close at waterfalls which is where a lot of photography takes place. It probably will have appeal to lens-geeks. Canon did not disclose the retail price of the distinctly fish-eyed look (a reference to the huge bulging asph. front element) of the L-series 17mm f4, remoured to be around AUD$4,700. :o
    Last edited by Poisson Du Jour; 03-15-2009 at 11:11 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Added Av-max for 17mm

  5. #25
    Ralph Javins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour View Post
    Astute observations.
    I'm wondering where we are heading. This morning I've viewed a newly-released 17mm f4 TS-E (tilt/shift) optic from Canon, which is bizarre given the limited use of 17mm even in experienced hands, and touted at landscape and architectural photographers. It probably will have appeal to lens-geeks. Canon did not disclose the retail price of the distinctly fish-eyed look (a reference to the huge bulging asph. front element) of the L-series 17mm f4, remoured to be around AUD$4,700. :o
    Good morning, PdJ;

    Is it possible that Canon may be offering this particular 17 mm f 4.0 TS-E lens in the hope that many of the people with Canon cameras using the APS-C sized sensor (EOS-D30 to 50D) will be buying this lens? With the 1.6 X multiplying factor, that would make it equivalent to a 27.2 mm lens on a full frame 35 mm size sensor.
    Enjoy;

    Ralph Javins, Latte Land, Washington

    When they ask you; "How many Mega Pixels you got in your camera?"
    just tell them; "I use activated silver bromide crystals tor my image storage media."

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Javins View Post
    Good morning, PdJ;

    Is it possible that Canon may be offering this particular 17 mm f 4.0 TS-E lens in the hope that many of the people with Canon cameras using the APS-C sized sensor (EOS-D30 to 50D) will be buying this lens? With the 1.6 X multiplying factor, that would make it equivalent to a 27.2 mm lens on a full frame 35 mm size sensor.
    Yes Ralph, available from May, both the 17mm TS-E f4 and the 24mm f3.5L II are aimed at digital bodies within the Canon range. The existing TS-E line is around 14 years old now and although excellent optics in their own right, they are beginning to look dated. Both lenses (with DC motor drives) have new AF algorithms matched to Canon's current and future D****s, and optimised redesigned coatings on all surfaces (to reduce ghosting and flare). Discussion amongst several skilled TS-E users here yesterday and this morning has not elicited much enthusiasm for either of the new lenses, chiefly because they are AF (as opposed to MF, which is more precise) and pointedly, the legend on the focusing ring (for hyperfocal etc.) is poor, compared to the greatly more legible 24mm f3.5L — the best of the trio in this small detail (the 24mm is best used with HYP technique)

    The lenses are also suitable for other existing Canon EOS bodies though I am waiting on precautions/warnings for some older EOS bodies: the protruding rear element of the 17mm TS-E is believed to interfere with the mirror on some of the older EOS bodies.

    I have no interest whatesoever in Canon's digital cameras.

    • Canon TS-E 24mm f3.5L II




    • Canon TS-E 17mm f4L
    Last edited by Poisson Du Jour; 03-17-2009 at 09:28 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #27
    clayne's Avatar
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    35mm is also my normal lens. I do honestly believe that while 50mm may represent a more "accurate" level of visual magnification - that 35mm easily represents natural viewing width more readily.

    Now for wides, 20mm is my favorite. 14mm and the like are a bit too wide for even my tastes, 20 sits just right at the edge of any ridiculous distortion. Both 24mm and 28mm are also tamer wides that can do double duty as normal lengths as well.

    In order to make use of wides - you MUST get close. If anything, wides are a great tool for encouraging closeness - especially with subjects. They are by NO means relegated only to landscape or architectural use and are quite capable of performing wonderfully with environmental portraits.

    All Nikkor 20mm f/2.8 AIS:







    I personally find Nikkor wides to perform very well with minimal distortion. A lot of shots don't scream "wide angle!"
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by clayne View Post
    35mm is also my normal lens. I do honestly believe that while 50mm may represent a more "accurate" level of visual magnification - that 35mm easily represents natural viewing width more readily.

    Now for wides, 20mm is my favorite. 14mm and the like are a bit too wide for even my tastes, 20 sits just right at the edge of any ridiculous distortion. Both 24mm and 28mm are also tamer wides that can do double duty as normal lengths as well.

    In order to make use of wides - you MUST get close. If anything, wides are a great tool for encouraging closeness - especially with subjects. They are by NO means relegated only to landscape or architectural use and are quite capable of performing wonderfully with environmental portraits.

    All Nikkor 20mm f/2.8 AIS:







    I personally find Nikkor wides to perform very well with minimal distortion. A lot of shots don't scream "wide angle!"
    But...the shot directly above screams both ways: distortion and ultra-wide angle, as illustrated by the pan at lower left. The 2 before are very pleasing indeed.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour View Post
    "A stop greater" is actually a stop slower in terms of Av (aperture).
    A "stop greater" is actually a stop faster in relation to light gathering ability.
    2.8 allows more light to pass in a given time than 3.5.

    In thirty years of dealing within the trade I have never heard anyone refer to an aperture in this manner.

    If you are referring to numeric value engraved on the aperture ring you are correct as 3.5 is a bigger number than 2.8.
    Some might say I have a bad attitude! Too bad.

  10. #30
    Ralph Javins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour View Post
    "Sage"!?


    There is indeed! The sky's the limit.

    I've never seen optics of e.g. 17mm+++ in the Minolta mount (Nikon, Canon yes), but I suspect Tamron or Sigma has something worth looking at.


    The 24mm and my 20mm share stints at night sky photography in the outback where it is inky black (new moon phase). Aiming the 20mm into the chandelier above is easier than the 24mm though the whacky distortion from the steep angle looking up makes trees, boulders or what run around the edge of the frame—an effect you either love or hate, but hey, the focus (sorry, pun..) is on what the star trails!!

    Good morning, PdJ;

    Interesting that you should mention using your 20 mm and 24 mm lenses for wide field astrophotography. I also do that, but with the 16 mm full-frame fisheye and the 17 mm f 4.0 rectilnear wide angle. Usually they are mounted on a Minolta X-700 looking up with the Multi-Function back doing the timing of the shot and an MD-1 Motor Drive advancing to the next frame for me. By the way, the Tamron Type 51B 17 mm lens is an f 3.5; about 1/3 stop more light, and mine is in the Minolta MC mount. Usually I am trying for meteor trails or some similar transient phenomenon. I also used it once to record the clouds for a night by taking a photograph of the sky every 15 minutes.

    Your beloved Outback is of great envy and jealousy here. If I try to take long duration photographs here in Latte Land, the sky glow from all of the lighting limits me to about 5 minutes per exposure until the fog begins to become noticeable on ASA 400 film.

    I know that the original posting was asking about WA lenses for the Minolta A mount, which I also have, but the only thing I have seen for sale here is the Minolta 28 mm f 2.8 AF lens. I know that they made a 24 mm lens for it also, but I have not seen one yet--only photographs. Most of the interest in the alternate lens manufacturers seems to be for zoom lenses. Very frustrating.
    Enjoy;

    Ralph Javins, Latte Land, Washington

    When they ask you; "How many Mega Pixels you got in your camera?"
    just tell them; "I use activated silver bromide crystals tor my image storage media."

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