In praise of the Minolta 40mm CLE lens
I recently returned from 7 months travelling through South America from Argentina to Colombia with my kit of an M8 with a Minolta 40mm f2 CLE version as my main lens, and a 90mm I used occasionally.
For insurance reasons I was unable to take my more expensive lenses, so I settled on the 40mm Minolta after reading good things about it.
I have to WOW. This little beauty never missed a beat in 7 months.
Focus accuracy is amoungst the most accurate of all of my lenses, including my 35mm Summicron ASPH. The tab is easy to grab, has nice throw and the aperture ring is nice and snappy. Ergonomically was a pleasure to use for 7 months.
More important - optically this little lens is just brilliant. Properly brilliant.
Definitely a little soft at f2, but even by 2.8 it sharpens up a lot. Very very resistant to flare, even without a hood (unlike my 90mm which flares on cloudy days). It has a nice medium contrast look that stands up well when processed on digital. The bokeh can be a little busy sometimes, but it was rarely enough to be an issue.
It stood up to dust, ice, moisture and extreme altitude without any issue.
Honestly I barely missed my Summicron. The sharpness at f2 and slightly wider 35mm is the only real advantage that lens has over the Minolta.
My South America photos on Flickr (link in my sig) are probably 80% taken with the Minolta.
I think its definately a keeper for me, even now that Im home.
Leica M2, M8.2
Zeiss ZM 25mm f2.8, Summarit 35mm f2.5, Jupiter-12 35mm f2.8, Minolta Rokkor CLE 40mm f2, Konica Hexanon 50mm f2.4 L, Konica Hexanon Titanium 50mm f1.2, Canon LTM 50mm f1.4, Elmar-C 90mm f4, Konica Hexanon 90mm f2.8, Nikkor RF 135mm f3.5