5x12 pentomino tiling
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How Many Lenses?!

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As I think we've already established I'm a sucker for a legacy lens, especially Minolta SR mount MC/MD lens or which there are lots, so I tend to browse eBay to see what's about. Back in March as the house move was really getting started I came across a listing described as Minolta XD7 35mm SLR Camera with 3 Lenses Rokkor/Tokina/MD + more bundle/lot. Here's the main photo:

XD7 and lenses

The seller's description said:

item look to be in well used condition, camera basic function seems to be working fine (shutter/timer), sadly the main body been poorly stored without lid so there's been a lot of dust/dirt inside. Comes with 3 lenses (2x Minolta 1x RMC Tokina) auto winder (working) and Nikon carry case (not pictured). No reserve price.

Sounded OK at first glance although the lack of any comment on fungus was bit of a worry1 ... but they looked clean enough. What mainly interested me was one item in the bundle, the Minolta 50mm f/1.7 as I didn't yet have a 50mm prime. So my thinking was: if I bought the lot for a reasonable price (as bundles like this tend to go cheaper than individual items) could I then re-coup my investment on the rest of the kit by selling it on?

three lenses

Breaking it down it looked like this:

  • The Minolta XD7 sells for very little on eBay: no one really wants film cameras any more unless they're exceptional.
  • The motor wind however might be worth a bit.
  • The Minolta MD 28-70mm f/3.5-4.8 was a perfectly competent lens, although the 35-70mm f/3.5 was more highly rated and I've already got one of those so that could be sold.
  • The RMC Tokina II 24mm f/2.8 looked fine too, although I knew very little about it so that would probably go too.

On top of this there was that Nikon carry bag and a lens case.

OK, that sounded promising. So I sniped and picked them all up for £43 which to be honest wasn't a bad price just for the 50mm.

When they came it was clear that the body had to go in the bin as the serial number was scratched off(!) and the Nikon carry bag went the same way.

The motor wind I sold on eBay for a massive £1.20 (plus carriage) and Beth bought the zoom off me.

Which left me with the 50mm and the 24mm. The 50mm works fine. With an APS-C sensor it's effectively a 75mm portrait lens and, to prove it, here's Jack.

Jack

But the interesting discovery has been the 24mm. I thought I'd hold onto it and have a play with it before selling it and it's turned out to be a cracking lens. It's a real pleasure to shoot with, easy to use, and it takes good photos. See for example these photos (ignoring the first three) from our trip to Southwold or these from the charity races at Nairn on Sunday.

Of the second set I particularly like this one (this is straight off the camera, as are all the photos in both albums except one which I straightened up a bit):

So I couldn't resist cropping it, sharpening it a bit, lightening the shadow and taking it to black and white thus:

Click on either photo to see it full size.

The only catch is that the coatings on this lens are a bit primitive and even with that lens hood you still get veiling flare if you shoot anyway even vaguely near the sun. I found the best thing was to go old school and ensure that at worse the sun was at my side and ideally it was behind me.

Anyway the Tokina 24mm is definitely a keeper.

(Oh yes, and to answer the question: the total is now eight: the Sony kit lens, five Minolta lenses and two Tokina lens. See here for a full list.)

  1. Most people who know what they're doing always state "no fungus" when listing lenses ... or, if there is fungus, they make that clear and you run a mile if you've got any sense.

Tags: photos, toys Written 06/06/16

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