Can anyone tell me about this Lens?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Konica 35mm SLRs : One Thread
I located a Quantaray 28-80mm f/3.5 - f/4.5 Macro/Zoom lens the other day, but before I plunk down the cash, can anyone tell me about their experiences and opinions on this lens?
Web searches keep turning up what appears to be a more modern, Nikon-based lens f/3.5 to 5.6, rather than this Konica-mount AR Manual Lens I've come across.
Thanks for your Help!
-- Anonymous, March 24, 2001
Can only tell you what I know about today's Quantaray and their lenses. Todays Quantaray lenses are almost all made by Sigma and are usually the lower version of the lenses such as the 70-300 DL rather than the 70-300 APO. Quantaray is actually a store brand name from Ritz Cameras (www.ritzcamera.com I think). Ritz must of sold a lot of lenses too because their lenses are pretty common everywhere.
Zoom lenses from back then are not as good as today's zoom lenses. I saw a test with the Vivitar Series 1 70-210 f3.5 in Pop Photo vs. the Sigma 70-210 consumer zoom and overall the sigma won. The Vivitar Series 1 was an outstanding top quality zoom lens in the 70's, but it can only match todays consumer zoom lenses. I can almost bet the farm that the Quantaray 28-80mm f/3.5 - f/4.5 lens isn't as "good" as the Vivitar Series 1 from back then.
So while I could be totally wrong here about this lens (I don't own it and only know 3rd hand knowledge) I thought I would put in my 2cents for ya. If you are going to get a zoom, get a Hexanon Zoom, Vivitar Series 1 zoom, Sigma XQ zoom or even a Soligor C/D Zoom lens, they represented the best back then from each manufacturer.
If you do get it, post some photos with it and let us see what it looks like. :)
Mike The Photography Blue Book http://photobluebook.virtualave.net/
-- Anonymous, March 25, 2001
I guess it really comes down to "what do you want to use it for? and how much do you want to spend?".
The extent of Quantaray labelled items I currently use is a set of auto extension tubes. I like them for the lens mount release, which is a small button, similar to the EE/AE lock on Hexanon lenses. I prefer this to the lever that sticks out of the side of Vivitars and most others, because I was concerned that it would catch on something & could potentially cause a lens to fall off or other disaster. In terms of quality, I would rank these tubes no better, no worse than most of the 3rd party accessories. Inexpensive and relatively light construction (don't frop them!). But, they do the job and do it well.
In Mike's posting he says most Quantaray lenses were made by Sigma. Assuming that to be the case (and Mike should know!), in my opinion Sigma built better wide to moderate zooms, like you are looking at, than tele zooms. I have two Sigma lenses which I use & like, but both are fixed focal length: 16mm full-frame fisheye and 200mm macro. They are reasonably sharp, well coated optics, moderately well made, not as "husky" as most Hexanon lenses.
But, back to the lens you are considering.
First, let me say I am very prejudiced against zooms. The only one I own & use infrequently is a 24-40 wide zoom. I do not use the macro features of this lens.
All lenses are by design a compromise of speed, length, cost, features, quality of materials and, most importantly, function. Experimenting with various zooms from the old "manual focus" days, I found them to be more of a compromise than I personally liked. Even the lens hood of a zoom must be compromised to allow for both ends of the lens' length. The wider the range of the zoom, the more compromise.
Now, for someone else, a "do everything zoom" may be the ideal lens and my concerns of no importance. Maybe their favorite film is 400ASA print film, 1 hour processed to 4x6, the double print deal, of course! That's cool. The lens does what they need it to do!
I've been considering a replacement for my old 24-40 Sun (Tokina built, I think), which has seen better days, and have been looking at lenses on eBay and in the mail order houses. I've considered various focal lengths: 20-40, 24-40, 25-55, 28-80, 28-105, 35-70, 35-105.
I would want this lens for travel photography, so I can carry fewer lenses (and leave more room for some of the other stuff: 300mm, macro, flashes, yada yada). But, I set a pretty high standard for my lenses, look for something that will reliably give me sharp 8x10 enlargements (min.) via 35mm transarancies (Velvia, Kodachrome 64, Provia, Ektachrome 100 & 200). Most of my shooting is done with a tripod and some with a monopod, only rarely handheld. However, when I use my old 24-40 that particular lens sees a higher percentage of handheld "grab" shots.
So far my search has turned up 24-40/2.8 Tokina, 28-105/2.8 Tamron. There will likely be others added to my "short" list, maybe a Kiron (great optics, but most are too slow for my taste) or Sigma or Vivitar, but these two have made "the cut" so far.
Yes, I am looking for faster lenses, highly corrected and with sharp, pro grade glass. I'll also be spending $150-$200 or more for this lens, used (and probably a complementary 80-200/2.8 Tokina or Tamron, $300-$400+).
I wouldn't expect too much from the "macro" feature, most zooms are only marginally within macro ranges and the phrase is used too liberally by the manufacturers, IMHO. And, I'd prefer a wider aperture at the long end of the zoom, especially for portraiture where it's so useful to apply shallow depth-of-field to drop out distracting backgrounds (the Hexanon 85/1.8, for example, does this nicely). Finally, I really prefer a wider wide angle lens... 24 or 21mm.
But, hey, it may be the perfect lens for you. I don't want to come off sounding too judgemental or like I'm on a high horse or something. In this case, I just know what I personally would look for because I am pretty ceratain how I would use the lens.
Another consideration, if the price is right, you can always pick it up, try it out... if you don't like it, sell it on eBay!
Incidentally, I often use the advanced search feature on eBay to check closed auctions for specific lenses. This can tell you roughly what they are selling for. But you have to make appropriate adjustments, for example anything that has a Nikon mount sells for more, probably because Nikon users are pre-programmed to spend more!
Mike's web site (I gotta start charging him for these plugs!), the 3rd Party Lens Megasite (http://www.smu.edu/~rmonagha/third/), www.photo.net and www.photodo.com may be helpful to you.
-- Anonymous, March 25, 2001