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PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:13 pm 
Hey, fellow CL members, long time no see! My exams are finally over and I'm back with a review of a second-hand lens. :)

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Introduction

For the past couple of weeks, i've been scouring local classifieds listings for a seller. Initially, I thought 24mm would be the ideal focal length for a walkabout general purpose lens, but quickly lost heart when I discovered that its market price (second-hand) was about SGD$360 (divide by ~1.3 to get currency value in USD$), way above my budget of about S$200+. Hey, I'm only a student..

Anyway, after turning my attention to the Minolta 28mm f2.8 (second-hand market price ~S$180) and the Sony 50mm f1.8 (new: S$219; second-hand: ~S$170), Sony greatly gave me false hope by releasing a 35mm f1.8 , and then later listing it for a ridiculously high price of S$369. If you do your math, you'll know that it's absurdly way above the US MSRP of USD$199.

Luck struck and scouring work finally paid off when I found a seller letting go of this lens at a bargain of S$180. It's an incredible deal vis-a-vis its market price (second-hand) of S$360. His reason: "a small scratch on the rear element". It didn't matter to me - I picked up my phone and contacted him immediately. His personal ad had been published just an hour before, but he claimed that he already had another interested party. I upped my offer to S$200 (seriously, it's still a bargain) and hey presto, he agreed to meet me today for the sale.
(He later discovered some 'spots on the lens' and reduced the selling price to S$170 - very honest man, he was)

I inspected every corner of the lens when I met him, and discovered his 'small scratch' was actually a slightly deep, ~0.4cm long abrasion on the rear element. It's actually pretty severe for a scratch on the rear element - but he stated upfront in his ad that the low price was for this 'defect'. Luckily, it was only on the extreme far side of the rear element, bordering the plastic, so I doubt it would drastically affect the image quality all over my pictures.

After taking a picture with my camera (then getting -impressed- by its sharpness at 100% view) and checking out the 'small spots' on the otherwise-clean second-front element, I decided that it was a worthy deal, and the transaction went through.

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I will be bringing out the lens tomorrow for the first time, and will be using it as a walkabout lens - what I intend to use it for. No other lens will be brought along.

Pictures will be posted here later on, I promise, and the rest of this review will be done Thomas-style :D

-SnS 8)


Last edited by SCREAMnSHOUT on Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:53 pm 
Haven't seen you around for a while. Nice find!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:48 am 
Build quality

The little lens felt pretty solid when I first picked it up, and my impression has not changed. Made of a glossy black plastic, it even (falsely) felt heavier than my 18-70mm kit lens on first touch. It is that solid - but made of plastic nevertheless. I dare say it can survive a 1m drop without any damage to the barrel. Can't say the same for the lens elements inside though.

Starting from the back, it has a very hard metal lens mount that appears to not even have a single scratch on it, despite the age of the lens. About 1cm from the mount forward, the barrel reaches another plastic 'section'. In this section, there is a Minolta logo, a focusing distance window :D (makes the lens looks expensive, even though the lower-end 28mm 2.8 has this feature too) with depth-of-field markings for f4, f8, f16 and f22 and a infrared marking for f4. Like many lenses with a focusing distance window, the measurements are thoughtfully given in imperial (ft.) and metric (m) measurements. The last adornment on this section is a short description of the lens: AF Lens / 24. Following that, the rest (about 2/3rd) of this section is a rubber-like textured friction grip. It doesn't work wonders, though, because of little friction due to the scrimping of rubber.

The focus ring's grip is a little disappointing, sadly. For a lens of this price when new, I expected more than ordinary ribbed plastic of about half a centimetre in length. Sony has adopted the Minolta RS (restyled) version of a rubberised grip on this little ring for its 28mm 2.8 and 50mm 1.4 models. Thankfully, the saving grace of this lens is that it feels very smooth when turning. Obviously, you cannot expect "L" quality, but it beats my 18-70mm and 75-300mm kit lenses in fluidity.
Another thing to add is that this focus ring turns when focusing, which startled me a little when i first autofocused because I habitually reached too far forward, and it started turning while autofocusing.

Of 55mm filter diameter, the filter ring is said to not turn during focusing. I have not tried this yet, because I have not invested in a circular polarising filter.

The front of the lens, which you can imagine is wide like any other 24mm f2.8 lens, has the filter diameter, lens brand, and lens name surrounding the front-most lens element.

All the markings on this lens can be said to be printed in quality ink because none of them have been significantly worn off - all are still of a brilliant white.

Still more to come :)

SnS 8)


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