Minolta Maxxum 50mm f1.7
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7 July 2009
What a fantastic lens! First things first, Minolta were acquired by Sony a few years which basically means that if you have one of the Sony cameras, the mount should be the same. I say "should" because some of the older "film" lenses will need an adapter (these can also be bought on eBay). HOWEVER, that should not be relevant since the only lens you really want to get is the autofocus (AF) lens anyway. I had read a few reviews of this lens already and was starting to get excited by its potential, but I have been absolutely blown away by the quality of the pictures that it produces. The focal length is meant to be 50mm, however due to the digital conversion, it is a little more like an 80mm...my advice is you just stand a little further away at times! The beauty of this lens is the depth of field, basically this delivers a crystal clear image in the middle, with anything outside in a gentle blur, taking away those distracting background images and allowing you to focus on the subject. This means that it is great for taking portraits. It does take a little getting used to, it responds very quickly to the slightest change and you do have to respond accordingly, but the results are worth it. I have found that by playing a little with the white balance and having "flash off" produces some lovely warm photos. With the aperture of f1.8, this is also a great lens for low-light conditions. Basically, shop around on eBay for a good deal. Most of these lenses in UK and Ireland seem to be going for over €150, however, if you are prepared to pay the customs, there seem to be some great deals in the States, most in the region of €50 cheaper (mine all in was ~€95). Even with the additional customs charges and potentially a little extra postage, they are still significantly cheaper. I was using the standard Sony lens since I enjoyed being able to zoom in and out in pictures...now that I have got this lens I can safely say that this will be the lens that stays on my camera.
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