Hi Till and John, I purchased the Dynax 9 and the 24-85 in March 1999. after one and a half year of use, I still like the 9 very much. The 9 deserves to use with the best possible lens(28-70G). The perfect match of Dynax 9 and thf 28-80G is better than the best .(for myself) The 28-80G is twice heavier and bigger than the 24-85i. It balance very well with the powerful Maxxum 9. After I got the 28-80G, the 24-85i is only used with my Dynax 7--for snap shots.
Minolta makes its own G lenses. The circular aperture and other G lens features help produce a UNIQUE "soft" and natural defocusing effect while mainting good high light detail and sharpness. At widest setting, the circular aperture(9 blades) help smooth out-of-focus area of a scene. From experience, I noticed that this unique defocusing effect blur background of my bird photography evenly and produce very pheasant color(espcially when use long focal lenses). My wife and sisters in law always demand I to use the Minolta to take their pictures; The reason We think because of the slightly soft effect help produce the beautiful portraits.
I only have two Contax G lenses for my G1. The 35 and the 90 are great lenses. They are beautifully made, feather weight, very sharp and nice contrast. Both of the 35 and 90 has high contrast and rich tonality. Most of the pictures I took from these two lenses --kind of like added or enhanced contrastt and have extra warmth. They produce most accurate color while maintaining excellent detail and sharpness. The G system is a good little boutique point and shoot system. I use it mostly for as a back up. It is very important that you don't buy any Contax things from the Grey market. Some G cameras left the factory with bad data stored in their focusing chips which can cause af- focus problems. This focus porblem can be fixed by only sending the camera back to Contax for warranty repair--Otherwise will cause you a fortune to solve the focus problem. I have the G1 for one year aand I have sent it to Contax for recalibrate twice already.
Nowaday, the difference between top-quality zoom lens and top-quality fixed focal length lens is only slight and will only possibly be detected should you enlarge to a massive print size. I display my good pitures (11x14) at the long hallway of my apt. Some of these were taken by Minolta, Canon,Contax G1 and some were taken by my Contax 645. Almost no one can distinguish which one is by which camera.(they are my photography friends.) To me , the camera body is very important. N1 And G1 or G2 are too slow in auto focus. They are as slow as my 15 years old freind ,Canon Ellan I. You need to decide what kind of pictures you want to do. Wildlife, sport and any other fast action activities are not good for any existent Contax cameras--You need to look for Canon ,Minolta or Nikon.
The comparison of Canon ,Canon and Minolta is not a head to head test. Each brand has its own merit.