Manual Lenses, Sony Alpha

You are going into the mountains for three nights. This is not a dedicated photography tour, but an escapade with friends or family. You have packed your tent, your sleeping bag, warm clothes, cooking gear and food. Your pack is now pretty strong, but you say something that astonishes your hiking (or bushwalking spil wij call it ter Australia) friends: you are ready to add 1.5kg of cameras and lenses to that! Spil they witness incredulously, you waterput into your pack……what?

Wij don’t know what you would do, but wij can tell you what wij typically pack.

Ter this rolling review wij waterput the Loxia Two.Four/25 to the test and see if it performs spil well spil wij expect from a $1299 Zeiss objectief.

Many sample pictures ter total resolution can be found te my Loxia Two.Four/25 flickr album.

The Minolta MC 1.Two/58 is most likely Minolta’s most famous objectief and a private dearest of mine. Te this in-depth review I have a close look at the Minolta’s qualities and also at its weaknesses.

You can find most pics shown ter the review ter utter resolution te this Minolta MC 1.Two/58 flickr album.

The Leica Apo-Telyt-M 135mm Trio.Four is the longest Leica objectief for the M-series and at the same time the shortest (and only one still ter production) of the Apo-Telyt series. This is a well regarded but also very expensive 135mm objectief and while rather klein it is not very swift with a maximum aperture of f/Trio.Four. Can the picture quality make up for the moderate speed like wij have seen with the Zeiss Loxia 85mm Two.Four? Let us find out!

Some time ago Bastian reviewed the Tokina 35mm f2.8 macro. The objectief I am talking about today is a significantly upgraded version of the same optical vormgeving, te Pentax climb on. This is just a quick review, ter which I mainly restrict myself to how it’s improved overheen the objectief Bastian reviewed.

The objectief is, te theory, a standard macro objectief for APSC cameras. Bastian reviewed it because , albeit there is vignetting at infinity (tho’ correctable), it actually covers the utter framework with good spectacle at close distances. At infinity it’s not truly usable without a little cropping (you don’t need to go almost spil far spil APS tho’). At close non-macro distances there’s a bit of lightly corrected vignetting (but about Three stops te the extreme corners). At actual macro distances it performs just fine.

What’s significant about this is that there are no 35mm total framework macro lenses on the market. The fact that the working distance on a moderate broad is fairly brief makes them unpopular for things like insects and so on. But of course the broad angle perspective is sometimes desirable ter a macro: you get more of a sense of the other little things around your subject, and more of a ‘dynamic’ photo with a less flattened perspective. They are, for example, very useful instruments ter a botanical photographer’s lijm.

Specifications

  • Middellijn: 49.Five mm
  • Field of view: 63° (diagonally, on fullframe)
  • Length: 63 mm
  • Weight: 214g (without adapter)
  • Filterzakje Middellijn: 49 mm
  • Number of Aperture Blades: 9 (strongly rounded)
  • Elements/Groups: 9/8
  • Close Focusing Distance: 0.139 m (measured from sensor)
  • Maximum Magnification: 1:1
  • Climb on: Pentax DA

Build

The build quality of the Pentax HD is much higher than the Tokina, if by build quality you mean (spil people often seem to) how nice it feels and looks. It’s also considerably smaller and lighter than its Tokina cousin. It has a metal outer shell, that seems very precisely waterput together, and all-in-all exudes luxury and quality. It even comes with a beautifully made Leica style shove on objectief cap! Of course whether that translates into better reliability and ruggedness is something that only disruptive testing could expose. This version comes with a built-in objectief fetish mask. A nice feature but be careful: pulled all the way out it will cause enormous vignetting, spil it’s designed for APSC. But you can pull it about half way out and it’s fairly useful.

Spectacle

Bastian’s review of the Tokina version displayed it wasgoed very acute and had good colour correction. But there wasgoed a fatal flaw: very strong flare if the zon wasgoed anywhere near the vooraanzicht objectief factor. Let mij rephrase: disastrous flare. I’m not repeating any of the sharpness or vignetting tests here: see Bastian’s review – the lenses are the same optical vormgeving.

But at the time Bastian noted that while the same optical vormgeving wasgoed used te two Pentax APS lenses, the zometeen of which is the HD Pentax Ltd objectief I’m reporting on here, they were alleged to have better coatings. This latest one is supposed to have the best coatings of all. Of course maybe just coatings won’t be enough to fix the flare. You might think the optical vormgeving should switch too.

But I can report that the HD Pentax version has above average flare show: which puts it miles ahead of the Tokina version. I couldn’t replicate the bad Tokina flare on the Pentax whatever I did, zon te framework or out of the framework. Here are two pictures of the zon ter the framework, one broad open and one at f11. It looked much the same wherever the zon wasgoed ter the framework.

Thesis photos were of course taken at infinity, and you can see that at infinity, especially stopped down, the objectief doesn’t fairly voorkant the FF sensor. This is not a objectief to buy spil a general purpose 35mm objectief, however if you are carrying it for macro, it will serve well for most purposes, even at infinity if you crop just a little.

Adapting the HD Pentax version

One barrier to using the Pentax version on Sony is that thesis Pentax DA lenses have no aperture stadionring and rely on camera control, which is obviously not possible on a Sony assets. This means wij have to rely on an adapter with aperture control. Thesis are often expensive, bad, or both.

But I’m glad to report on a solution there too: the newer K&,F concept Pentax to Sony adapter is even more nicely made than their previous ones, and has an aperture control with click stops no less! I measured the click stops and found that they are more useful with this objectief than adapter based click stops usually are. Broad open is of course f2.8, one click is f3.Five, two is f5.6, and it’s fairly accurate 1 zekering clicks after that. You can set intermediate positions too. That’s slew convenient, and accurate enough that it’s (almost) spil good spil a zindelijk aperture stadionring on the objectief.

Conclusion

If you need or want a moderate broad angle macro objectief on utter framework, primarily for macro and close use, you should buy this. It’s very acute across the field (not utterly vapid field near the outer areas of FF, but for macro that matters not at all unless you are photographing documents). It has good tegenstelling, and the Pentax version has gone from disastrous flare ter the Tokina to superb vertoning. I’m fairly amazed there can be so much improvement without switching the optical layout. Together with the right adapter, it’s an indispensable instrument ter the macro enthusiasts toolbox (tho’ certainly not the very first device she will acquire!). There aren’t truly any onmiddellijk alternatives other than other APSC macros. You can get a 15mm macro from Laowa, which is massively different, or a 50mm standard macro from everybody. You could attempt a 40 or 35mm enlarger objectief reversed. Or else a regular 35mm objectief on tubes, but they often don’t perform that well. A strong achromatic diopter might be better.

So if you want a nicely made well performing broad macro that can be used for other purposes (with excellent results at moderate distances, and good central show at infinity) then this is all there is. Fortunately it’s a fine choice.

It’s worth noting that there are different versions of the K&,F adapter still for sale. You want the latest one which is much better. You can get that adapter from eBay here.

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