Chris Munden Bauer's reviews

  • Sony 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 DT SAM II SAL18552

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Superb image quality and very neat and compact
    Rather poor and cheap plastic construction, but no worse than others brands

    The old 18-55 SAM kit lens was a very good performer, I tested this Mk 2 on a A37 and its even better with new SD glass and reduced flare problems. The image quality is superb, and colours that only Sony seem to get right. No supplied lens hood but its recommended you get a round screw in one that is quite shallow for the wide end so you don't get any vignetting.
    The construction is as expected from a kit lens but its no worse than other manufacturers.
    It has a plastic lens mount but that's hardly a problem considering how light the lens is. Don't lose sleep over that aspect. No lens if perfect but this gets good from F/4. Yes it exhibits all the usual problems that cheap zooms have but in this case they are quite minor problems and its not really any worse than more expensive lenses in the Sony line up.
    Probably one of the best kit lenses optically of any manufacturer. Well done Sony.

    reviewed October 15th, 2013
  • Konica Minolta 17-35mm f/2.8-4 D AF

    9 out of 10 points and recommended

    The Konica Minolta 17-35 F/2.8 was built for Minolta by Tamron as were some other KM lenses. Infact it looks like Sony placed a lot of faith in Tamron as a couple of the Carl Zeiss A mount zooms were made by them as well.
    I tested this lens on a Sony A-37 and the results were stunning, provided you stop down a tad from F/2.8 although that isn't bad either. Flare can be a problem even with the stock hood so I bought a 77-mm Ultra wide screw in hood that seemed to work better, just have some thing that casts a shadow over the front element.
    Its equivelent to 35mm - 55mm on APS-C, so a great standard zoom for your Sony A mount camera. Kurt Munger gave it high marks as well.

    Construction is superior in most cases to Sony's own lenses but its on the heavy side by comparison, its what you get for quality.
    Thoroughly recommended for Sony A mount users
    If you can find one in good condition that is.

    reviewed July 16th, 2013 (purchased for $225)
  • Konica Minolta 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 AF

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    Superb quality, sharp, very little distortion, and wonderful Minolta colours, IQ is much better than the 24-105
    None really, a bit heavy but thats what quality is.

    Excellent walk around lens if you can find one.
    Superb IQ and those lovely Minolta colours.
    Needs stopping down to get the best out of it as wide open at F/3.5 is a we bit soft especially at the edges [but what lens isn't]?, it dramatically sharpens up at F/5.6 F/8 with very little edge distorsion at either end of the zoom range.
    I use this for some of my landscape and general photography most of the time on a Sony A-37.
    It it fairly rare to find, so grab when you see one

    Highly recommended.

    reviewed July 16th, 2013
  • Sony 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 DT SAM SAL18135

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Very useful zoom range, excellent build quality, good value for money
    Edges a little soft but sharpen up at F/5.6 +

    You get a lot of bang for your buck with this lens. I tested it on a A57.
    Sharp centre performance at all focul lengths when stopped down although a tad soft at 135. F/5.6 and above are the best settings. Corners and edges a bit soft at all focul lengths but sharpened up nicely at F/5.6+ It certainly performs better than the 16-105. Its never going to match a prime or even the CZ 16-80 for IQ, but it is surprisingly close and makes you wonder if the extra cost of the CZ was actually worth it?
    Made in Japan and excellent build quality are the pluses and the zoom range makes it an ideal lens for a day trip where you don't want to carry lots of other lenses. Colour rendition stays the same through out the zoom range with typical Sony bright and punchy colours.
    Super lens that out performes some of the Canikons of similar spec and just look at the price.

    reviewed August 14th, 2013 (purchased for $300)