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Randy Houser BTS ‘we went’ pictures

So I spent the day hiking in the nearby mountains; and got in a little picture taking along the way.  I usually take along a folding 120 camera, this time it was the Ziess Ikon Ikonta, a cheap 6x6 that my dad bought brand new in 1953.  I'm driving down the mountain heading home when I see all these cars and huge buses parked at a pull out called windy point.  It's here I usually stop and take some late afternoon and sunset pictures before it gets dark, and where this comparison was made.  This time it's definitely packed with cars and people, plus some portable generators running and what sounds like some huge speakers blasting music on the west edge of the cliff.

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Revised Sony/Minolta AF 24-105mm F/3.5-4.5 review

With the introduction of the Sony FE 24-105/4 lens, I was reminded that this is the second wide to medium zoom of that focal range for Sony; although the new one gets a new 'FE' mount, a constant F/4 aperture and OSS.  It also gets a hefty price tag of $1300!!

Our second re-visited and revised lens review is the 'a' mount oldie but goodie Minolta/Sony AF 24-105mm F/3.5-4.5 lens, (introduced in about 1999-2000), later to be relabeled 'Sony' in 2006, and discontinued in about 2008/9.  Current value on eBay seems to be $100-200 depending on condition, that's about a tenth of the price of the new lens.

The older Minolta/Sony 24-105mm F/3.5-4.5 worked very well back in the early days of digital, even though it was designed as a film lens; I used mine on the Sony A900 for several years as an everyday walk around lens, and still enjoy many of the pictures I took.  Unfortunately, I don't have the original test pictures from the review to show, however, I did come up with a selection from different focal lengths and apertures to give you a good idea about how it performs on a 24mp camera...

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ILFORD HP5 single use camera review

Our review camera today is the ILFORD HP5 Plus 400 single use camera  (B&H Photo, Ebay, Amazon) which comes loaded with ILFORD HP5 400 black and white film.  Apparently this is ILFORDs attempt to enter the ever-dwindling single use camera market currently dominated by Kodak and Fuji; if so, Kodak and Fuji have nothing to worry about.  These simple little film cameras are supposed to appeal to customers that want something different, and fun.  Some folks may have fun with a really cheap quality B&W camera, and some folks will be angry that they wasted ten bucks.  Based on the results I received, I'm among the latter.

Shall we do a quick walk-around of our review camera?

Film type; black and white HP5 Plus 400.  This is somewhat of a 'classic' B&W film with

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Re-visiting Minolta AF lenses

Do you really want to spend $10,000 USD on a few good lenses to put on your $3000 full frame body?  If you're going to buy the 35/1.4 Zeiss, 50/1.4 Zeiss, 85/1.4 GM, 24-70/2.8 GM and 70-200/2.8 GM lenses, plan on spending just that!

I'm not going to spend that much, even though I run a photography business and can afford to buy every lens in the Sony line-up.  Why would I not buy the best lenses  since I do use the equipment every day?  Well, because I don't think it's necessary. I've never needed more than about 24mp for any finished work, and after re-visiting my images from almost 10 years ago, I honestly can hardly tell the differences from a brand new expensive 'e' mount Zeiss lens from many of the old Minolta AF lens I used and reviewed years ago; so I've decided to go back and dig through some of my test shots and see which lenses I can recommend for the new Sony Mirrorless high megapixel cameras.  The first lens I re-visited was the Minolta AF 135/2.8, see the post below.

Currently there are some big holes in the Sony 'e' mount line-up, and I'll be covering those areas first; so stay tuned for more Minolta AF lens recommendations!

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Revised Minolta AF 135mm F/2.8 review

Tired of paying thousands of dollars for the new 'GM' and Zeiss lenses from Sony?  I am!!!  It's getting freakin ridiculous!  Let's begin to re-visit some of the old Minolta AF lenses and see if we can get some bargains.

I've updated the Minolta AF 135mm F/2.8 review by adding some full resolution shots from the A900 and A580 cameras, go to the bottom of the review and click on the yellow tabs for each camera.

This little lens will fully function on the latest Sony mirrorless camera with these adapters, even auto focus!  This Minolta 135/2.8 offers outstanding performance for the price, eBay runs around $100-$300 USD depending on condition.

When I looked at the full size images a few days ago, I was surprised at  how good this lens performed overall.  It works surprisingly well at F/4, (it can handle a high megapixel sensor), very sharp with only a little color fringing, almost no distortion, and did I mention it's cheap?

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