Since getting the Sony RX10 IV and selling my A6000 and most of my manual lenses I have been… busy buying manual lenses for my Sony A7ii. It started with my Loxia 21/2.8 being locked at infinity (or even just beyond infinity) and wanting to get some landscape lenses to tide me over until a repair is practical (it is not exactly an essential service during these strange times), but it has already developed into more broadly getting some bargain lenses on Ebay to play with and review for this site.

I’ve bought another copy of the Tokina AT-X SD 100-300mm f4 for around £40, it is mint condition and in Canon FD mount. I’ve used one previously, but only very briefly. My initial thoughts are that it is fine for wildlife wide open at 300mm, but for landscapes it has significant and hard to remove green fringing and corners / edges are not that good even stopped down. Results at other focal lengths are better. Beautifully built lens though and an absolute bargain for what they go for.

Morning Jay
Tokina AT-X SD 100-300mm f4 @ 300mm, f4

I’ve finally bought a mirror lens after missing out on hundreds of auctions down the years. A first version of the Tamron Adaptall 2 SP 500mm f8 (55B) in mint condition. It is a fun lens, but very difficult to focus and you obviously need plenty of light. Amazingly compact and light though.

Robin hidden in branches
Tamron Adaptall 2 SP 500mm f8 Mirror Lens (55B)

I’ve snagged the tiny little Tamron Adaptall 2 28mm f2.5 (02B) which I have owned before. Can’t say it performs that well on full frame, seems susceptible to flare and corners never seem to get that good.

Falls
Tamron Adaptall 2 28mm f2.5 (02B) @ f11.

I’ve borrowed the well-known Tamron Adaptall 2 SP 24-48mm f3.5-8 (13A) with original hood so I could use ND filters, but sadly you can’t use filters below around 30-32mm as you get reflections in each corner back from the filter of whatever is behind the camera. Very strange, but the filter-in-hood concept just seems fatally flawed. My plan of making this my go-to wide angle lens seems to have been undermined by this.

A Strange Problem
Tamron Adaptall 2 SP 24-48mm f3.5-8 (13A), you can see the issues with flare and open the image to see the filter reflections below 30-32mm

For about £10 I snagged a mint condition Vivitar Series 1 VMC 70-210mm f3.5 lens in mint conditon, but I need a hood before I can really play with it. It is the second, Tokina made version. Very compact and light and very well made.

I also bought my first Minolta lens, the very famous and well-reviewed on full-frame digital MD 35-70mm f3.5 Macro (3rd and final version) in mint condition with original hood for £45. A true bargain as it is every bit as superb as the Internet says it is and I love this range for landscape.

The Valleys
Minolta MD 35-70mm f3.5 Macro (V3) @ 70mm, f8.

To complement this I have this morning snagged an MD mount Sigma 21-35mm f3.5-4.2 wide angle lens (2nd version, 77mm filter), boxed with instructions and original hood for £45 including postage. I’ve owned a copy of this lens before – with hood – and the mk1 two-touch version, but didn’t use it a great deal. I will now have a proper play with it and post a lot of sample shots.

I’ve updated a lot of this website, so the lens review section now has a lot of working links out to my reviews and all of the image galleries, marketing materials and anything vintage I have tracked down is available now for a lot of lenses. I’m adding a few more each week and should be complete soon. I’ve also got hold of some more vintage brochures and price lists that I will be scanning and uploading soon.