Which lens for Konica Minolta 7D?

Discussion in 'Minolta' started by Stanislav Meduna, Sep 6, 2005.

  1. Hi,

    I am speculating to buy a DSLR and having used a Minolta 7Hi,
    the Dynax (Maxxum) 7D is one of the candidates. I am browsing
    through the lens possibilities and have a few questions:

    - Sigma and Tamron catalogues say that some of the lenses
    are ADI- (or D-) compatible, some are not. Which functions
    do I lose when using not compatible lens? I assume that
    one of them is the distance information passed to the
    (external) flash (I have 3600HS). Do I lose something else?

    - Are all original Konica Minolta AF lenses D-compatible?

    Does the following makes sense?

    - body only (no kit lens)
    - Tamron SP AF 28-75 f/2.8 XR Di Apherical IF Macro
    - Sigma AF 70-200mm 2.8 EX DG APO IF (this one is _not_ ADI-compatible)
    - Tamron AF17-35 f/2.8-4 Di LD Aspherical IF (later if necessary)

    Reasons for the Konica Minolta:
    - antishake built in
    - low noise at higher ISOs according to reviews
    - reviews I have read are OK
    - price is OK
    - I already own the Minolta flash (and am not
    comfortable with builtin ones)

    My preferences:

    - I don't need wide-angle too much, but I often use the
    telephoto end. 200 mm-equivalent was acceptable on the 7Hi,
    300 would be nice - so I want +- 200 mm on the 7D,
    but in no case less than 135 mm.

    - I want good quality for acceptable price (who doesn't? :)) -
    the abovementioned 70-200 is already at the top of the
    acceptable price for this kind of lens

    - I don't want to buy lenses that can't be used with 35 mm
    later, in the case I'll want to buy such body later

    - the f/2.8 is not really a must, f/4 would be also OK
    and maybe even preferred because of size and weight,
    but I was not able to find this kind of zoom lens
    in the quality/price range

    Please, only write 'brand X is crap' if you have personal
    experience with similar lenses of that brand and are wanting
    to share the details ;)

    My other candidate is Canon EOS 20D or maybe 350D - but
    I want the image stabilizer for the 100+ mm range and
    this gets too expensive with the better Canon lenses...

    Please, Cc: to my e-mail address, I read this group quite
    regularly, but sometimes I miss a some posts.

    Thanks a lot
    Stanislav Meduna, Sep 6, 2005
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  2. Hi,
    The 'D' qualifier mostly means two things (below items are generic, and
    apply to any brand) :

    1 - the digital sensor size is smaller than the 35 mm film size, thus the
    'D' lenses are optimized for the (smaller) area. Means that their picture
    quality is not necessarily good outside that area. Means that they are
    probably not suitable for film cameras. In other words, you can use a
    regular or a D lens on a digital body, but you should not use a D lens on a
    film body.

    2 - the digital sensor is more sensitive to infrared noise than film. This
    means, usually the 'D' lenses have a specific surface processing on their
    back lens to limit this. This characteristic is not a problem with a film
    body, tho.
    Yes they are. I'm using my Minolta AF 28-105, my Sigma 28/70 f/2.8, my Sigma
    70/210 f/2.8 that I used for years with my 600si & my 9xi without a problem
    on the 7D.

    Note, you probably already heard about the "cropping factor". Its another
    lyric variation on the fact that the sensor size is smaller than the film.
    In the case of the 7D, the factor is 1.5 (which is not that bad, better than
    the 1.67 factor of a 350D for example). This means, a 28 focal "becomes a 28
    * 1.5" in terms of captured picture area. Thus, you gain on the long end,
    and you loose on the short end (wide angle). Thus, it might make sense to
    consider a 18-xx instead of a 28-xx, typically.
    I could not live without it now that I've taken so many pictures without any
    tripod nor flash, which would simply not be possible otherwise (try to shoot
    at 0.5s without IS nor tripod :) (I admit this is a bit excessive, but
    trust me its doable).

    You can also have IS with other brands, but you'll pay for it with each
    lens, so its clearly a + for the 7D (and the new 5D).
    Probably similar as what you can expect from other similar cameras (350D,
    D70 etc), no discriminating factor in favor of the 7D here imo.
    Reviews are always nice : you usually cannot find a negative rating, just
    because the reviewed items come from companies that (directly or indirectly)
    pay the ads, or any other twisted reason.

    I guess the only review that is worth is yours : try the camera (and others)
    if possible. You could even consider my points twisted here, since I myself
    chose a 7D...
    Well, its still on the expensive end in the eyes of many, if you dont take
    into account the value of the builtin stabilizer... which is a major mistake
    imho. Anyway the 5D might fix this, it really removes very little in terms
    of features, while saving a lot of $...

    But there is another benefit of the 7D (and some other cameras from KM, but
    not all), which is *my* primary reason for going KM : it is the very
    straightforward ergonomics : one function, one button.

    The camera looks hairy when compared to a menu driven one à la Nikon or
    Canon, but it is *so* much simpler to press the right dedicated, non
    ambiguously labelled button when you want to change from AF to MF, switch
    white balance, change ISO, change exposure compensation for flash, or for no
    flash, activate bracketing, etc etc.

    When I bought my 600si years ago, I went into a trustable camera shop with
    my stone age film SLR, without having *any* pre made idea of what I was
    going to end up with (I would not even have been able to list the mainstream
    manufacturers at that time), and asked for something that, similar to my
    older toy, I would be able to use without even looking at the manual, for
    selecting full auto, aperture priority, speed priority, fully manual, and
    then with independant rollers for speed / aperture selection, and so on. The
    guy told me back in time, something in the lines of "the current trend is to
    do all settings with menus, to have a clean body layout with just a couple
    of buttons and a wheel ; there is a single camera that does not go that way,
    its the 600si, try it, if you like it you buy it". I went that way, and
    never regretted it. In fact I value that ergonomic smartness so much that I
    am really not worried at the idea of paying for it, given you live with it

    In contrast, I bought later a 2nd hand 9xi, only because I was crazy at that
    time, and was attracted like a bee by a honey pot by the magic words of
    shutter speed, pictures per second etc, where the 9xi is one of the fastest
    ever made. This machine has a cryptic menu / few buttons type ergonomy, and
    I find it totally unusable from that point of view. I still have it, but
    shot way less pictures with it than with my 600si.
    Remember that a 200 for 35 mm film "becomes a 300" (= 200 x 1.5) on the 7D
    thanks to the crop factor, so you win on this end (but loose on the wide
    angle end).
    It is super cool. Mine is the previous version (70/210 f/2.8 APO), it
    already rocked in terms of picture sharpness and general quality (for the
    price, heh, we are not talking about a multi-1000$'er), even tho AF speed is
    slow because of neverending spinning screw from one end to the other ;) An
    ultrasonic version of that lens would be so nice... KM has one but you'd
    have to sell your house to buy it (their 70/200 f/2.8 "SSM").
    Then better avoid the 'D' versions for the reason 1 above.
    Imho, the 2.8 lenses (at least mine) are good... at f/4 :) cause the picture
    is too soft at 2.8, and the depth of field is really ridiculous at 2.8 when
    close focusing ;)
    Plus, you'll have to pay IS for each lens, since its not in the body.

    Stéphane Guillard, Sep 8, 2005
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  3. Hmm.. yes, that is what I was afraid of. Looks like I will have
    to google a bit more to check how big the problem is with
    the particular lenses. Time to do some maths with the MTF
    charts :)
    Nice - that's what I also prefer on a camera.

    Thank you very much.

    Stanislav Meduna, Sep 8, 2005
  4. Minolta's designation for their 'digital' (APS image size) lenses is DT.
    'D' is reserved for lenses with ADI (distance information passed for flash
    and depth of field display on some bodies). Most, if not all, of their newer
    lenses are 'D'. This includes the 'digital' ones, which, I believe, carry
    the dual designation 'DT-D'. Confusing? For sure!
    Don't know about other manufacturers.
    Happy Traveler, Sep 8, 2005
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