Sony Digital Camera Forums
Digital Photography Equipment => Lens Talk => Topic started by: AScot on April 21, 2009, 01:59:17 AM
Lens review websites.
Assessing the technical and optical properties of a lens is really beyond the capability of a user who lacks access to measuring equipment. Any review is likely to be biased or purely subjective without the use of such equipment and for that reason the moderators at dynaxdigital are loath to endorse lenses based on our own or other member’s personal opinions.
That is the main reason for this list. It gives a link to a number of quality websites that publish professional and scientific reviews of Minolta/Sony auto focus (AF/Alpha/Nex) lenses. This will allow you to make a truly informed decision on whether to purchase a lens or not. Although highly technical in nature, these reviews can be relied upon to provide accurate and/or informative information. If you do not understand the technicalities (who does?) just read the conclusions, usually at the end of the review. I have included non technical/scientific links also.
If you have suggestions for other websites that can be added to this list, please PM me with the link and I will look after it.
Photozone is a German website that covers all brands and has quite a few popular Minolta, Sony and third party lenses.
Photoclub Alpha, a UK website that used to have official Konica Minolta ’support’ until Konica Minolta closed down in 2006. Reviews are not in technical depth but are very interesting. Covers all aspects of Minolta/Sony, right up to the latest models.
Dyxum.com, a European based website with a huge database of member reviews. You really need to read all the reviews on a lens to get a real idea of it’s worth. One important caveat: Check the Technical websites before making a buying decision, and take note of the warning by Winjeel below.
Theo Kupfer Imaging, another German website that compares a number of Minolta lenses using the MTF50 [LW/PH] graphs.
Fotografia-Michael Hohner, yet another German website. This must be the most comprehensive list of Konica Minolta/Minolta/Sony lenses in existence, complete with pictures and full specifications. No actual reviews as such.
The new Photodo provides news, discussion and in-depth user reviews & ratings on all types of photographic lenses.
Formerly newcamerareview.com, a USA website with excellent Minolta/Sony lens and camera reviews and articles, including cleaning the sensor and Teleconvertors. Well worth your time to look. (Thanks Stef and Rob). Also on the Kurtmonger site is a section where you are able to download various manuals for Minolta lenses. The section is Here (http://www.kurtmunger.com/minolta_af_lens_manualsid44.html).
If you need to repair a lens then this is where you should start. A Great Minolta lens repair site by Pete Ganzel.
The link below is not a lens review website.
The Friedman Archives Press (http://friedmanarchives.com/ebooks/)
Bought a new Sony DSLR, SLT or NEX camera and need help to understand it? Buy a book or download an ebook by the master, Gary L. Friedman. He can explain the most intricate details about the most complicated cameras and features, at a level all can understand. For all cameras he lists his personal camera settings and why. This can be an Invaluable guide to providing your starting point.
Please note that Dynaxdigital is not affiliated in any way with Gary.
Many websites allow users to rate lenses. A belief long-held by some here, is that especially new lens owners will rate their newest pride and joys higher than the actual performance of the lens. Here on the BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8603200.stm is a story about the iPad and the Applications available on it. A representative interviewed by the BBC acknowledges that paid-for applications generally get an inflated rating than free-equivalent applications. I'm sure this aspect of human nature also relates to our situation. Some lens review websites are more notorious for this rating inflation than others. So please consider doing a little of extra research when choosing a lens.