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Thread: For the 1st time in history: ultrasonic motor in the Minolta lens

  1. #21

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    Originally posted by kraterz



    Another diff is with USM you can use AF and MF at the same time without switching. .
    isn't it depand on body? well, at least for Dynax 7, i can use the function (MTF) , it allow me to use AF/MF at the same time without pressing any button. It works for any lens. I think I showed it to CKIANG and YSLEE at JBP last week.

  2. #22
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    Originally posted by sriram
    It is very strange, since the SSM lenses listed are all pro f/2.8 zooms and a 300/2.8, which are more likely to be used by pros with a Dynax 9. Looks like they are going the Nikon way
    It is very strange, I agree. But so far everyone's missing the point. Which is:

    How many of you need piezo-electric motors in your lenses?
    My guess is, very very close to none.

    I know of lots of pros shooting sports at the highest level who don't use AF-S/USM lenses. There's one on this forum in fact, and he uses a majority of manual focus stuff.

    The reason those motors started out in big, heavy professional glass is because [1] it was really only on those lenses that the larger glass elements needed more help to be moved quickly [2] it's really only something a pro needs.

    Unfortunately, like with all the other camera issues, a lot of amateurs have decided they need it. Good for the manufacturers, good for the economy, and good for the self-confidence.

  3. #23

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    Originally posted by Jed

    How many of you need piezo-electric motors in your lenses?
    My guess is, very very close to none
    Sorry I have to disagree. When I shoot macro with my 100/2.8 USM, for the first time in my life I can actually use AF (yeah I can see you guys throwing up your hands in disgust - AF for macro ). Sometimes when the subject is moving, AF tracking is spot on almost all the time, if I select the correct focusing point. If I decide that I need to touch up focus a bit, I just turn the ring.

    Some other useful macro tricks - I move AF to one of the buttons at the back. The shutter button only does AE and fire the shutter. I use the "*" button to AF when I want to, use the focus ring to MF and touch up focus, and fire. Believe me, it is very very convenient and useful.

    Second : When I'm doing street photography (yeah, I know about pre-focusing, etc), USM lenses let me capture the instant NOW, meaning right now, thanks to the AF speed. Having shot with several lenses, including a slower 35 f/2, a 50/1.8 and some faster lenses like the 100 f/2 and 100/2.8 USM, I find myself going back to the USM lenses again and again, only because of the speed.

    So you see, Jed, there are some very specific needs which are addressed by USM lenses. It is not an issue for MF/RF users, but for people like me who have been spoilt by AF, it is great.

  4. #24
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    Originally posted by sriram
    Sorry I have to disagree. When I shoot macro with my 100/2.8 USM, for the first time in my life I can actually use AF (yeah I can see you guys throwing up your hands in disgust - AF for macro ). Sometimes when the subject is moving, AF tracking is spot on almost all the time, if I select the correct focusing point. If I decide that I need to touch up focus a bit, I just turn the ring.
    And I have to disagree with the disagreement If you have the time to touch up focus, you have the time to manual focus. If you have the time to touch up focus, chances are you could also have been using Single servo and re-composing. As to tracking flying things possibly, but otherwise, with the proper definition of macro (i.e. 1:1 or greater), you're joking right? AF sensors are too big to pick out the exact spot you want to measure.

    But the point still stands, if it's moving, you can just use normal AF, fine tuning doesn't come into it. If you're not shooting something that moves, then manual focus is more accurant.

    Some other useful macro tricks - I move AF to one of the buttons at the back. The shutter button only does AE and fire the shutter. I use the "*" button to AF when I want to, use the focus ring to MF and touch up focus, and fire. Believe me, it is very very convenient and useful.
    Nothing in there that can't be done without MF, since you're using MF to touch up anyway. As you said it, because of convenience, and I would throw in laziness without intending any disrespect. Which basically brings me back to my point, you don't need the built in lens motor. It's nice, yes, but I never said it wasn't.

    [B}Second : When I'm doing street photography (yeah, I know about pre-focusing, etc), USM lenses let me capture the instant NOW, meaning right now, thanks to the AF speed. Having shot with several lenses, including a slower 35 f/2, a 50/1.8 and some faster lenses like the 100 f/2 and 100/2.8 USM, I find myself going back to the USM lenses again and again, only because of the speed.[/B]
    Well, that might be because of Canon's tech, I have no idea. But with Nikon stuff on a good body (crap bodies defeat the fast AF argument anyway regardless of lens), such as an F5 or F100, the AF is as zippy for single shots like those you described, on motor driven lenses and camera driven lenses. The real AF speed difference comes when you're tracking a subject that makes erratic movements, the small changes are a lot easier for a piezo-electric motor to make than the gear train of the cameras... but in terms of brute turning a focusing element, the Nikon's have never let me down.

    I will possibly concede the silence issue (which you didn't raise), but if you're doing this focusing thing then you're also holding the camera to the eye and pointing, in which case, the visible aspect is at least as noticeable as the sound of the focusing.

    Furthermore, as I mentioned, I know of sports photographers who have no problems using [1] AF-I lenses, [2] normal Nikon AF lenses [3] heaven forbid, MF lenses. This people need to compete with af-s lenses, and they're still in a job for a reason. And as someone from this forum once pointed out to me... they took perfectly good sports pics before the invention of af-s and usm.

    So you see, Jed, there are some very specific needs which are addressed by USM lenses. It is not an issue for MF/RF users, but for people like me who have been spoilt by AF, it is great.
    I'm afraid I still remain unconvinced. Like I said, there are very few people who need usm type lenses. Sure there're lots of people who'd appreciate one, but need is a different issue altogether.

  5. #25

    Default Personal preference

    Yah Jed it is personal preference. I made the switch from Nikon to Canon last week mainly for the USM lenses, low cost and large range. Since the 70-200/2.8 IS release some time back the older 70-200/2.8 is going cheap and I got a good deal ($1500, exc+ cond). You may get the same perf with screwdriver lens but I just prefer the handling and feel of USM lenses.

    I think its a good thing Minolta is going USM/SSM. Thatz one reason I never seriously consider Minolta.

    One issue you forget. USM lenses are documented to consume much less power than screwdriver lens. Micro-USM consume some power but ring-USM consume less. Anyhow I much prefer my 28-105 USM over the old AF-D 28-105 Nikkor with my F90x. It handles much faster even on the D30 (suppose to have poor AF?) and I will never consider going back to screwdriver lenses.

  6. #26
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    I'm sorry guys but I'm not going to give this one up.

    Originally posted by kraterz
    You may get the same perf with screwdriver lens but I just prefer the handling and feel of USM lenses.
    That is my point, and as you say, it's personal preference. Fact is, you're not claiming you need USM lenses, and as I have been saying, nor to 99% of the people out there. Canon's done a brilliant marketing job into getting people who only have a bit of money to throw at a lens into thinking that they need USM, and that it's good for them. USM is one of those things that if you need, you'll find some way to pay for.

    As above, again, I never said that you or anyone else wouldn't prefer a USM, I'm just very concerned how many people are swayed into thinking you can't take some kinds of pictures without USM; and the general equipment lust/envy present particularly in Singapore. This is not in any way directed at yourself or Sriram, just that as has been said countless times before, the people I've come into contact with overseas tend to quite clearly be photographers first and equipment lovers second. In Singapore, I'm not so sure all the time.

    I think its a good thing Minolta is going USM/SSM. Thatz one reason I never seriously consider Minolta.
    My point exactly. If you accept that 99% of the people out there don't need USM, then that shouldn't be a reason not to use Minolta for 99% of the people out there.

    One issue you forget. USM lenses are documented to consume much less power than screwdriver lens. Micro-USM consume some power but ring-USM consume less.
    No, I didn't forget, I didn't know. But to be honest, this is not an issue. Batteries are easy to carry around, and total camera power consumption is not just dependent on AF. I don't hear anyone, Canon or Nikon users, who cite the huge battery drain of IS as being a reason not to buy IS lenses...

    Anyhow I much prefer my 28-105 USM over the old AF-D 28-105 Nikkor with my F90x. It handles much faster even on the D30 (suppose to have poor AF?) and I will never consider going back to screwdriver lenses.
    Fine, but two issues. First, while the D30 with USM might well be faster, my original question remains. Do you need it any faster AF than what the F90x provides? I'm not talking about do you preference, I'm talking about need. Second, as I mentioned, there are plenty of pros out here in my industry using manual lenses and AF-I lenses and AF lenses who are mixing it out there and still in a job. I know someone using a pair of F90x cameras on a daily basis, and he gets on perfectly fine alongside all those 1Vs and 1Ds and IS USM lenses. I know of someone using a D1 (oh my word... that ancient useless thing?) with a 500/4P and he's selling pictures. Oh and someone using a D1 and a 400/2.8 AIS...

    I'm sorry if this is a bit of a bug bear, but my bottom line, one sentence reply, as was given in my first post in this thread is, how many of you out there really need USM? No need to convince me, honest answers only, and you'll know yourselves.

  7. #27

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    Originally posted by Jed
    Do you need it any faster AF than what the F90x provides?
    Yes. That's the reason I switched to Canon. Not jumped but decide over 1 year.

    I shoot birds at JBP and Sungei Buloh. AF tracking with my screwdriver 80-200/2.8 and F90x could not keep up with the flying bird. My pal who has a slow 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L can manage to track AF continuous on his EOS-30 no probs. I try this a few times last month. Yeah ther eis a difference. And the difference is not small.

    To extend on your logic how many of us need autofocusing? How many need Auto expo and how many of us need motorwinder? So many great news/front-page pix were made with Speedgraphic LF camera. No one use zooms then. In fact there was no zoom lens in those day.

    So we can all be using old non-AF no-meter cameras and no zoom lens. Like mebbe a Seagull ;P ? Or a Speedgraphic?

    Jed it is just technology and it provide convenience. Many of us chose to opt for convenience. You dont want to there's no problem or conflict- youre happy with your stuff and I'm happy with my stuff - I know which is better for me having used Nikons for more than 15 yrs I won't dump and change that easily. So why are you so stressed out b'coz folks like USM ? Live and let live.

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    Default Re: Re: Re: Personal preference

    Originally posted by kraterz
    I shoot birds at JBP and Sungei Buloh. AF tracking with my screwdriver 80-200/2.8 and F90x could not keep up with the flying bird. My pal who has a slow 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L can manage to track AF continuous on his EOS-30 no probs. I try this a few times last month. Yeah ther eis a difference. And the difference is not small.
    Okay, point conceded. But I'll be perfectly honest and say that birds in flight are a fairly straightforward test of AF, and from my experiences with that Nikon combination, it should have no problem.

    To extend on your logic how many of us need autofocusing?
    Very good question. Already hinted at by myself. As I am wont to say, the one true technological advance worth screaming about in the last few decades has been the advances made in TTL flash.

    So we can all be using old non-AF no-meter cameras and no zoom lens. Like mebbe a Seagull ;P ? Or a Speedgraphic?
    Can't say I've used a Speedgraphic, but I have owned a Seagull, and I do own and use LF.

    Jed it is just technology and it provide convenience. Many of us chose to opt for convenience.
    That is my point exactly. I'm not taking a swipe at technology, or of your or anyone else's opting to use it for convenience. I'm stressing that it is convenience and not necessity.

    A lot of people are swayed by bells and whistles, I'm just warning against this. I don't hear of anyone considering a change of brand or equipment because [1] the exposure of the camera is inconsistent and undependable, [2] it isn't water resistant enough, [3] that it cannot operate in low temperatures, [4] the flash system is inconsistent, [5] it cannot take the knocks of professional use. Yet those five are all real reasons to change a camera. Yet there exist no discussions whatsoever about whether brand X provides more consistent exposures in tricky conditions than brand Y.

    WHY? Because no one cares, all they care about is having a flash camera.

    You dont want to there's no problem or conflict- youre happy with your stuff and I'm happy with my stuff - I know which is better for me having used Nikons for more than 15 yrs I won't dump and change that easily.
    Well, that's good for you then, hopefully now you'll be able to take some real photos for a change when you couldn't before. And this is not a challenge of any sort, but hopefully we'll be able to enjoy the results of your birds in flight on this forum. I'll contribute a few too and I'm sure Darren will also keep his flow coming.

    So why are you so stressed out b'coz folks like USM ? Live and let live.
    Again, I say that I am not stressed because folks "like" USM. It's if you think it's a necessity if it really isn't that I get stressed about.

  9. #29

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    I've never used a USM lens before, so I can't compare. I'm very happy with whatever lenses that Minolta has now. So what if my lens is loud and slow? It's not going to scare that tree away...

    Just because Canon and Nikon have lens motors doesn't make Minolta lenses inferior, nor does putting a motor in a Minolta lens make it better. Doesn't make sense at all, especially to those of us who are not being paid big bucks to shoot professionally.

  10. #30
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    Originally posted by munfai
    I've never used a USM lens before, so I can't compare. I'm very happy with whatever lenses that Minolta has now. So what if my lens is loud and slow? It's not going to scare that tree away...
    You said it yourself, you haven't used a USM lens, so you can't compare. Be a little less skeptical, go try out a few USM/AF-S lenses, then come back here and make some comments.

    As for scaring trees away, I must agree, lenses aren't very good at doing that..
    Seriously speaking (and its good that you are happy with Minolta's lens offering), what we need and what we want are often completely not in-line with each other. In your case, it sounds like you are into still-life/landscape type of photography, so yes, you probably DON'T need it, but given the choice, if Minolta follows the footsteps of Canon and introduces SSM lenses (which hopefully like USM lenses, dun cost much more than non-USM ones), would you WANT it?

    Originally posted by munfai
    Just because Canon and Nikon have lens motors doesn't make Minolta lenses inferior, nor does putting a motor in a Minolta lens make it better. Doesn't make sense at all, especially to those of us who are not being paid big bucks to shoot professionally.
    Calm down, nobody's saying that Minolta lenses are inferior (optically at least), whatever gave you that impression?

    And FYI, (in case you missed the rest of the thread) USM is already available in the low-end consumer lenses (and older, discontinued non-USM counterparts dun cost less by any significant amount), you don't have to be paid "big bucks" or a Pro to be able to afford one.

  11. #31
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    Actually Ed, I thought there was a lot of sense in Munfai's post, namely:

    [1] If you're happy with what you're using now, why do you need something better? So what if the lens is loud and slow, if the user is happy with it, why not?

    [2] As to not needing USM type lenses if you're not a professional being paid big bucks, I also agree. I see where your argument is coming from and agree that the low end USM lenses are affordable; however if you look at it from a level of need (Munfai didn't specifically criticise USM type lenses as being expensive), then no, there aren't many amateurs out there who need USM.

    While, as you point out, you don't need to be a pro to afford you, you are unlikely to need one either. I thought that was the thrust of Munfai's argument, not on the cost factor (he was talking about a pro's pay). But like I said, I see your link between pay and cost as well.

    I think the crux of the issue is the one that I've been going on for some length on this forum... that ultimately people just want stuff that they don't really need. It's their money and they can choose to spend it as they will, which is perfectly fair enough, but my contention is that some of them need to own up to the fact that they weren't forced to spend the money because of need, as some of them do have us believe.

    It boils down to the self-confidence to be happy with what equipment you've got, and to know that you can take good pictures with or without the cutting edge technology. Munfai seems to have this self-belief. Quite a few others sometimes don't always appear that way.

  12. #32

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    can anyone of here resist not looking at whatever new equipment there is out there in the stores and drooling over it?

  13. #33

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    Originally posted by munfai
    can anyone of here resist not looking at whatever new equipment there is out there in the stores and drooling over it?
    not me.

  14. #34
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    Originally posted by Jed
    Actually Ed, I thought there was a lot of sense in Munfai's post, namely:
    Just to clarify, I never said nor did I imply in anyway that Munfai wasn't making any sense. I have read and re-read his post several times and I can't help but get the feeling that he's just a little skeptical about why people like and want USM type of lenses.

    Originally posted by Jed
    [1] If you're happy with what you're using now, why do you need something better? So what if the lens is loud and slow, if the user is happy with it, why not?
    I never disputed the fact that if he's happy with what he has, he doesn't need something better. Re-read my post, all I'm asking is whether he would choose to use SSM lenses if Minolta introduces SSM to their whole catalog of lenses just as Canon has done.

    Originally posted by Jed
    [2] As to not needing USM type lenses if you're not a professional being paid big bucks, I also agree. I see where your argument is coming from and agree that the low end USM lenses are affordable; however if you look at it from a level of need (Munfai didn't specifically criticise USM type lenses as being expensive), then no, there aren't many amateurs out there who need USM.
    Again, I'm not disputing this point. For e.g, from a Canon user's POV, why on earth would I go out looking for non-USM lenses just to save a few insignificant dollars when many of these lenses have been discontinued?

    Originally posted by Jed
    While, as you point out, you don't need to be a pro to afford you, you are unlikely to need one either. I thought that was the thrust of Munfai's argument, not on the cost factor (he was talking about a pro's pay). But like I said, I see your link between pay and cost as well.
    Perhaps so, but my point is this: if all that is stopping you from getting USM type lenses is cost, then it doesn't make much sense to go for non-USM type lenses when (and I stress again) the price difference is insignificant (at least in Canon's case). If Minolta is gonna follow Canon's footsteps in this arena, I simply can't understand why you would try to look for a non-SSM lenses (upgrading from a non-SSM lens to a SSM lens is a totally different issue) when these would be probably discontinued and cost almost similar to their SSM brethens.

    Originally posted by Jed
    I think the crux of the issue is the one that I've been going on for some length on this forum... that ultimately people just want stuff that they don't really need. It's their money and they can choose to spend it as they will, which is perfectly fair enough, but my contention is that some of them need to own up to the fact that they weren't forced to spend the money because of need, as some of them do have us believe.

    It boils down to the self-confidence to be happy with what equipment you've got, and to know that you can take good pictures with or without the cutting edge technology. Munfai seems to have this self-belief. Quite a few others sometimes don't always appear that way.
    This I fully agree. As I have said before, what people want and what people need are (unfortunately?) often completely not in-line with each other. However, I feel that this is sometimes justifiable - as in the case of USM vs. non-USM type lenses where costs are insignificant and you are NOT upgrading from the non-USM lens purely for the motor.

  15. #35
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    Ed:

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    Oh man... this is going crazy hee hee...

    Back to translating the site... nothing much... just something like including Ultrasonic motors... Greatly Improve capability, functionability with the ultra sonic motors... First time in Minolta... nothing much....

    The Dimage X's under water casing seems more interesting... Still look as sleek, I guess the designers put in some effort on the look of the casing to suit the look of the beauty.

  17. #37

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    it was already 7 months after the announcement. Now, where is the SSM lens.

  18. #38
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    heh will there be dynax 7 & 9 updates? since the 9 might not be compatible and the 7.. hmm.. for better marketing!








    as for the usm thing, I have the canon 75-300mm USM and I went JBP.... I used MF after around 5-7 shots LOL... the only USM used wd be unsharp mask..

    it's not a holy grail by itself lah... the holy grail is the camera that can shoot a "sun-burnt Dravidian Indian (nothing racist) wearing a white silk gauze robe standing on a seabuoy against a sunrise 500m away under haze" as fast as u can click and give perfect focus+exposure. who cares whether it's S&M/XML/SSL/etc tech...
    "I'm... dreaming... of a wide... angle~
    Just like the ones I used to know~"

  19. #39

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    Originally posted by denizenx
    heh will there be dynax 7 & 9 updates? since the 9 might not be compatible and the 7.. hmm.. for better marketing!







    probably there will be a dynax 9i or dynax 9hi to work with ssm.

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    Originally posted by rueyloon
    I'm not sure if anyone here would agree with me, but just entertain me for a while.... USM is not faster than screwdriver lenses all the time, but USM gives the impression of faster AF due to the lack of sound... what do you guys think ?

    personally i feel that even canon's non usm lenses are quiet enough already!
    Canon 300D, 30D, 5D. 17-40 f4 L, 24-105 f4 L, 70-200 f2.8 L IS

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