35-70 f4 - good/bad/indifferent ?

Discussion in 'Sony/Minolta' started by bill_thorlin, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. I cannot resist adding another lens ( or at least thinking about doing so ) to
    my ( mysterious ) collection and one of these has come into the reckoning. It
    comes from the same 1985 vintage as the 70-210 f4 "beercan" which I have grown
    to appreciate.

    Using the 70-210 as a yardstick how does the 35-70 perform and does it have any
    quirks ? - I seeem to recollect that using a polariser could be somewhat iffy.
    Any thoughts ( concise and civil ) on how this old-timer matches up would be
  2. I too was thinking something very similar the other day Bill... ive found the 70-210 f4 lens to be a great performer - though i havent tested it completely yet [shot wide open printed 10"x8" with heavy cropping, meaning only half the negative was used, with absolute clarity, using fuji reala 100]. ive heard very little about the 35-70 f4 regarding its sharpness but i what i have heard has been positive... ive read one reference on here that says it compared to the 'G' lenses but that was one person, and it was probably pushing it a little. I recently purchased the 35-70 f4 and ill get back to you on how its performs [probably a while] in comparison to the beercan.

    As for coming from the same vintage as the '1985 vintage beercan' i think not, as the following link will point out that the 35-70 f4 is not a product of minolta/leica collaboration, where as you will find many references to the 70-210 f4 being made between leica and minolta.


    Do you have the 35-70 f4 lens yet? or just contemplating? Either way, if you get some results that you feel you can come to some conclusion about, it would be very interesting to hear what they are. Or for that matter, if anyone else has had some good/bad experiences with this lens, i'd also be glad to hear about it - im mainly interested in how people find it performs in terms of sharpness.

    Best Regards,

  3. So uh, what's the, uh, "street price" on one of those puppies? Good full frame coverage by any chance?
  4. Richard - still in the thinking about it stage. Did the required googling but did not come up with much that was definitive, at least as far as I could tell. There is so much "urban myth" around these days that you never know what is true and what is not.

    I am not in a rush to spend my money on what could be a whim unless the outlay is minimal. We shall see.

    Craig - cannot find any prices on my street - should I go to an electronics store somewhere ? Full frame - I hope so, in fact I'm sure it will be on my mystery cameras :)
  5. Recommended by me! I've never been one to do proper tests on lenses, but I am fussy about the quality of the pictures that come back and have used dud lenses in my time. At the tele-end and wide open I've noticed some slightly soft pics, but other than that it's great. On a recent hoiday I swapped between this and the 28mm f2.8 and, other than obvious focal length and speed differences, there wasn't much to pick between the photos. Here's a scan of a couple of pelicans with the 35-70. And to add to the above, there's the fact that it's really nice and small...
  6. Full-frame? You bet your sweet booty it is. Like all Maxxum lenses, it was intended for use
    on a 35mm film frame.

    Prices? Good news. This is one of the cheapest lenses you can buy for any camera. If you
    have a range of pawn shops in your area, start hunting. You'll soon find this lens, attached
    to a low-end SLR, for $50 or less.

    I've had one as long as I've had my 7D, but I've hardly used it at all. I find the wider zoom
    range of the 24-85 is valuable. But for backpacking and other lightweight assignments,
    it's just what you want.
  7. Sam - thanks for the info and the shot ( how was the Guiness ? )- you seem to be assembling quite a stable of lenses :)

    John - thanks also ( there was a bit of an "in joke" going on between Craig & myself - in case you think it was an odd posting ).

    Thinking a bit harder now.
  8. Tut, tut Bill: County Cork = Murphy's and Beamish land!

    Glad you like the picture. If you want to see any more scans to help you decide let me know and I'll dig some out.
  9. Sam - I am not bitter and do beam a bit but after the Liffywater in Dublin I cannot imagine supping anything else :)

    Thanks for the offer but you have proved the point already.
  10. As you know, Bill, I have this lens. I can't compare it to the 70-210 f/4 since I have don't have the 'beercan' version of that lens, but here's a picture I've taken with it for you to decide yourself.
  11. Tara - nice one - how are you doing on resisting temptation and avoiding the addiction of adding just one more lens ( or two or...... ) ?

    I am now at the stage of having logged it in the memory bank for future reference ( the bank is a bit empty at the moment as I wait for a new to me lens to arrive ).
  12. Thanks. I haven't bought any new lenses yet, but I think the next one will be a prime. My budget is pretty maxed out right now, after getting my maxxum 5/ remote cord/ manfrotto tripod, so it may be a while. I've heard good things about the 50mm, but I think I'd like something a bit more wide angle. Let us know if you decide to go for the 35-70mm.
  13. My lens purchase decisions are easy. I bought a new bathroom vanity, a new double basin vanity top, an assortment of leaky pipe fittings, two axles, 2 shocks, 2 struts, an alignment, a brake job, and a variety of other bits and pieces of car parts for a vehicle with 95,000 miles on it, orthotics for a 13 year old girl starting high school, senior pictures, an AP test, and insurance for a 16 year old girl driver. And clothes - lots of clothes.
  14. Tara - the 50mm ( either 1.7 or the more expensive 1.4 ) is a good way to start moving into primes and you can always move your feet to change the angle ! Before you make a decision post a question here - you are likely to get some good advice as well as some exotic suggestions.

    Craig - ummm let's see now. My car has done over 95k and does not need all that - moral = buy a VW. Vanity tops & units - lots of vanity here - moral = vanity is not a good trait. Growing children - have seen 3 all the way to adulthood and now have two grandsons who are a pure joy and delight, also involved with 3 more - moral = comes in the category of self-inflicted wounds but the ultimate rewards are just that, a reward - "as ye sow so shall ye reap" :)

    ( PS - nearly forgot - have just bought one - I guess it can always be re-cycled )
  15. Haha, good suggestion, Bill, (50mm 1.7) because that's the one I picked! Here I was saying I can't afford a new lens, and what do I do? I go ahead and buy one! Okay, now I REALLY mean it when I say I won't be buying a new lens for awhile. I haven't received it yet (waiting for shipment off of 'fleabay') but I will post results when I do. Anyways, enough of this, I don't want to hijack your thread anymore than I already have.
  16. "I can resist anything except temptation" - Oscar Wilde.
  17. Back to topic, I'll mention that the 35-70 is really small and compact, more like a normal
    prime than a zoom. And it's cheap- I see them in pawns for $60-60 with a film body
    attached. By itself, you'd probably do better at KEH. It's a cheap date, perfect for long walks,
    ligtweight-style. I'll try to test mine soon and let you know.
  18. John - picked one up on fleabay for a good price - it was one of those understated adverts which sometimes make people wary but from a good source that I in fact knew something about. Turned out to be virtually mint and still with the gold JMDC sticker on it barely rubbed. Had also just got a Minolta UV filter which went straight on - get lucky sometimes.

    Size wise a little bigger than a 28mm and about the same amount smaller than a 24-105. Hoping to give mine a run-through today or tomorrow if the weather fine and I get the garden chores done. From what others have said I am optimistic but we will both soon find out :)

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