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Sony Alpha SAL85F28 85mm f/2.8 A-mount

Discussion in 'Sony Chat' started by SqueamishOssifrage, Jun 19, 2018.

  1. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    Looking through my printed images in Lightroom, by far the largest number were taken with a 24-70mm zoom, with cluster at 24mm and 70mm (thus proving I am too lazy sometimes to change lenses :eek:). When going for a walk in the mountains I have found my full three zoom kit plus 50mm f:1.4 getting pretty heavy later in the day, so I am plotting to fill out the ends with small pocketable lenses, and just take the DSLR with 24-70mm in a holster.

    I can pick up on eBay an old Minolta/Sony 20mm for the bottom end and am consider the Sony SAM 85mm for the top end. The problem with the 85mm is the plastic lens mount - a big problem to me.

    So my questions are, if anyone has this lens, firstly how durable is the plastic mount and secondly, does it look as if it can be removed from the lens and electrical contact strip, and a metal one substituted? I have a few duff lenses I am prepared to cannibalise in pursuit of a lighter load!
  2. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    I did have one for a while, but sold it on, mind all my Sony kit has departed, the reasons are not really relevant.

    Optically it was good (I understand it is essentially a Sonnar computation). The plastic mount didn't really pose any problem, they certainly are smoother than metal, I suspect substituting a metal replacement may not be possible, for fairly occasional use I really wouldn't worry too much about the use of plastic for the mount.
  3. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

  4. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    Thank you very much, gentlemen. I shall give it a try. eBay has some at silly prices, and there is a sensibly priced one on Amazon, but they won't ship it to Cyprus. :mad:
  5. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    Clifton Cameras have them at the same price as Amazon and they do ship outside the UK.
  6. neilt3

    neilt3 Well-Known Member

    I have both the Minolta 85mm f/1.4 and the Sony 85mm f/2.8 and use them both on film and digital cameras .
    Both give good results but are very different lenses .
    Regarding the mount being plastic , it makes no difference .
    It weighs almost nothing , how strong do you need it to be ?
    I bought it when it first came out several years ago , before I had the Minolta , it has no signs of wear to the mount .
    If the lens was heavy fine , you might swap it for a metal mount . But it isn't .
    I also have the 35mm f/1.8 and 30mm macro that also have plastic mounts , same goes for them . Good as new .
    Unless your in the habit of throwing your camera at things lens first , I can't imagine it ever breaking in normal use .

    With regards to your wide angle lenses , have you considered the Minolta 24mm f/2.8 ?
    Or is it the 20mm your needing/want .
    I have both the Minolta 20mm and 24mm , the 24mm gets much more use and has good image quality .
    Cheep too . It get's a lot of use on my film camera's with Rollei Infrared film .

    I never used the Sony 24-70mm though , so I can't compare these to that one .
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  7. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    When I had a Sony A mount system I bought, at a low price a Sigma 24mm f2.8, I was amazed at how good this was, sharp with well saturated colour rendition, very well constructed too.
  8. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that. I am about to go and have a punt!
  9. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your reply - I shall buy with more confidence now.

    I actually have the Sigma 24mm f:2.8 which saw extensive use when my principal zoom was a Tokina 28-80mm f:2.8. The Tokina is an excellent lens stopped down, but as soft as a toasted marshmallow at wide apertures. I now use the Sigma 24-70mm f:2.8 EX DG HSM, which was reviewed by the late Geoffrey Crawley in AP in 2009, against the Sony Zeiss 24-70mm f:2.8. It beat the Sony Zeiss version for vignetting, CA, and corner sharpness, but lost out on centre sharpness - just. They ended up with the Sigma at 92% and the Sony at 93% - but the Sony was twice the price of the Sigma!

    As the Sigma zoom is pretty good at 24mm, I am going for the Minolta 20mm. It seems that the Sony version and the two Minolta versions are exactly the same optically and , surprisingly, the Sony version is not ADI, so I will grab one from eBay purely based on condition (and, of course, seller reputation).

    Thanks for your comments on the plastic lens mount. I do recall that when lenses first started coming out with plastic mounts there many complaints about lugs breaking off, but I now have more confidence to buy.
  10. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your input. I bought the Sigma 24mm f:2.8 when my standard zoom was the Tokina 28-80mm f:2.8, as above. I agree with your comments about the quality of the Sigma with one caveat - that lens hood is really Mickey Mouse!
  11. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the input - tomorrow their last one will be winging its way to me courtesy of Royal Mail 'Signed For'. Result! :cool:
  12. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    Slight change of plan! I was checking out Dyxum.com to see if there was any difference between the various 20mm jobs (Minolta, Minolta RS, Sony) and I mistyped the first 20 in the selection box and typed 2 instead. This gave me a big list of lenses, on which I noticed a Sigma 18mm f:3.5 Zen. Not much about it on the web, but Dyxum rated it up with the Minolta/Sony brands, and if you delete the single review that gave it a one for sharpness, for what was obviously a broken lens, it scored higher than the 20 mms. Quick punt on eBay and it's on the way!

    Just for the record, on a 24.6MP FF sensor the image can be cropped to 23mm equivalent and still be printed on A3+ at full bleed - just!

    Having done the maths, should anyone else want to use one, these are the figures:

    Cropped equivalent DPI for print (19" x 13")
    19mm 294
    20mm 279
    21mm 266
    22mm 254
    23mm 243

    Likewise, the image from the 85mm lens can be cropped to an equivalent 110mm, giving a dpi of 240 - the generally accepted limit before the 'jaggies' set in.

    This exercise will take 1950 grams out of my camera bag, and replace it with 529 grams - more than 3lbs - for a loss of around 5% of photos according to my 10k images in Lightroom. (I didn't count the 1K of images taken at 300mm on specific shoots for kite surfers, flamingos on Larnaca Salt Lake etc. as the car is less than 10 metres away. :cool:)
  13. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I had one from new for my EOS system. Would still have it now if it worked on more recent Canon models (including any digital ones!), but it doesn't. Damn Sigma's reverse engineering!
    Not the very sharpest lens I've ever used, but certainly pretty decent, and no significant optical faults, especially given it being an ultrawide. I liked it an awful lot.
  14. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the encouraging words. I usually check out lens reviews before I buy a lens, but in this case there were none. Mind you, for a hundred and fifty quid it wouldn't be a disaster if it did/does turn out to be a lemon.
  15. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I mentioned it quite a few times on here back in the day, and I referred to the AP test on one occasion - 17 years ago! :
    "I still have (somewhere) the AP test of the Sigma 18mm f3.5, where the estimable Dr Bell says (quoting from memory, so he might not have said it at all!):
    "I used to own a 19mm Vivitar of similar specification but lower optical quality. I loved that lens which died in a fall from a roof". I bought the Sigma on the strength of the review, and I still love it."
    All my other posts of similar vintage go on about how fond of the lens I was, but there's no detail. You can find them ising the forum search facility and "Sigma 18mm f3.5" posted by me, FWIW, which isn't a lot. But I kept using film specifically to use this lens (and my fisheye) until I bought a full frame DSLR and my Sigma 12-24.
    For the sake of completeness, it cost me £300 brand new back in the mid 90s.
  16. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I fancied that lens but it was too rich for my taste back then. I did pick up a 16mm Filtermatic for just over £100 instead and that was a fun lens so long as you didn't run out of subjects that looked good in fisheye mode. When I got into the M43 system I just couldn't resist the Samyang 7.5mm that is pretty much the exact equivalent of the 16mm but without the built in filters. I was using it yesterday as a matter of fact…

    Panasonic GM5_red 8GB 02 P1230369.JPG
  17. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    You're a hero! The mention of the good Dr. Bell drove me to Old Timer Cameras, and they have a comparative review with a bunch of other similar lenses and a dedicated AP review. Ordered immediately!

    My go-to camera bag is a Kata Access PL-16 holster, which is actually a very compact for an FF camera with grip. I will be able to get the 85mm and 18mm together into the long side pocket, and my 50mm f:1.4 and baby flashgun into the other, which means just one small light bag to carry. I shall be leaping up those hills like a mouflon! *

    * https://www.cyprusisland.net/cyprus-fauna/cyprus-mouflon-ovis-gmelini-ophion
  18. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    I could never get on with fish-eye lenses. I have borrowed several over the years, but, as you say, not everything works with a fish-eye. Leave 'em to the fish, I say. :D One of my main uses of a wide angle lens is to photograph traditional Cypriot houses in narrow streets, so I need a rectilinear lens. There is, apparently, some barrel distortion with this lens, but that is easily corrected in processing.
  19. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    I have just realized that somewhere - god knows where - I have an eight pin 1.7x TC, that will further extend my options with the 85mm SAM.

    Now where the devil did I put it... :oops:
  20. neilt3

    neilt3 Well-Known Member

    As long as it's the 8 pin and not earlier 5 pin , your good to go .
    When you find it !

    If it was the 5 pin type , it will still work , you just lose auto focus .
    Aperture would still work as normal .

    Enjoy your new lenses .

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