The Best Digital Photography Tips and Techniques For Beginner Photographers

Photos By Meta Reviews The Best Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses For Sony Digital Cameras For Beginner Photographers

The Best Vintage Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses

Inexpensive Digital Camera Lenses – It doesn’t have to cost a fortune when it comes to purchasing Good Quality Camera Lenses! Many Beginner Photographers don’t know that you can use Inexpensive Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses on Sony Digital Cameras, both Sony A-Mount Digital Cameras and Sony E-Mount Digital Cameras (with E-Mount Adapter).

Vintage Minolta Lenses – All “Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses”, “Minolta AF Lenses”, “Minolta Dyxum Lenses” and “Minolta Alpha Lenses” will auto focus on today’s Sony Digital Cameras, including the Full Frame Sony a99 II Digital Camera. Auto Focusing is performed by a Motor Driven Shaft, which is still present in all Sony A-Mount Cameras and Adapter.

Where To Buy The Best Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses

The Best Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses – Meta’s Collection of 1985 Heavy Metal Lenses

Vintage Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses
Meta’s Collection of 1985 Heavy Metal Body Vintage Minolta AF Maxxum Lenses Purchased for Under $500 Total
Photo Left to Right: 35–70mm, 24–50mm, 35–105mm, 100–200mm, 28–135mm, 70–210mm, 75–300mm and 50mm mounted on Meta’s Sony a77 II Digital Camera.

Meta’s Collection of 1985 Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses

1985 Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses – Meta purchased these 8 “Mint” and “Like New” 1985 Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses, (Photo: Above), for just under $500 or about the cost of one Brand New Sony Lens! These Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses have Minolta Front and Rear Lens Caps, plus their original Stock Minolta Lens Hoods!

Many of Meta’s Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses were purchased still attached to Vintage Minolta Film Cameras (many were tossed). This is the best way to buy them, because the online seller is more focused on their Minolta Film Camera and not on the valuable Vintage Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses that are attached or bundled with the film camera.

Meta took the top photo of Mabry Mill with a Minolta AF Zoom 70–210mm f/4.0 Lens mounted on her Sony a77 II Digital Camera. Not Bad for a 1985 Film Camera Zoom Lens!

Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses have odd number Blade Apertures, which create beautiful sun burst effects. Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses contain a ROM (Read-Only-Memory) Chip that stores data about each lens. This data is used by the Digital Camera to provide access Lens Meta Data, auto focus and automatic exposure. Most Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses use either the ø49mm or ø55mm Filters. Only a few Minolta AF Lens use the larger ø72mm Filters.

Note: Meta avoids the XI Power Zoom Lenses, which don’t Auto Focus Properly on the Sony Alpha Digital Cameras.

The History of Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses

Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses – Between 1985 and 2006 (before Sony Bought Minolta’s Camera Division), nearly 17 million Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses were manufactured in Japan by Minolta Company Limited, making Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses easy to very find in “Mint” or “Like New” Condition, and at affordable prices on amazon.com. Many of these Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses were originally sold with Vintage Minolta Maxxum Film Cameras, such as the Minolta Maxxum 9000 Film Camera (Photo: Left). As you can see, the A-Mount Lens Mounts on the Minolta Film Camera and the Sony a77 II Digital Camera (Photo: Top Left) are identical!

For Close-Up Photography, many of the Minolta Maxxum AF Zoom Lenses have a Macro Switch or a Macro Mode. The Macro Switch puts the Minolta AF Lens into Macro Mode (Auto Focusing is Disabled by Design in Macro Mode).

Can Also Be Used On Sony E-Mount Cameras

Sony LA-EA4 A-Mount Adapter (Photo: Top Left) is required to mount Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses to Sony E-Mount Digital Cameras. Sony A-Mount Digital Cameras, such as the Sony a65, Sony a68, Sony a77, Sony a77 II, Sony a99 and Sony a99 II, require no adapter to mount these Minolta AF Lenses!

For Each 1985 Minolta Lens listed below, Meta has included the Minimum Focus Distance (MFD) for each lens (Standard and Macro Mode), which is the distance from the Subject to the Focal Plane Mark Φ on the back of your Sony Digital Camera, and not from the Subject to the Front of the Lens. The MFD is useful for Close-Up Photography.

The Famous Minolta Beer Can Lenses
Famous Minolta AF Beer Can Lenses

The Best Minolta AF Lenses For Sony Digital Cameras

Which Vintage Minolta AF Lenses To Buy – In the early 1990’s, Minolta started producing less expensive lenses, made of cheaper plastic bodies, which were much shorter and lighter. These plastic body lenses can be identified by the wide and smooth silicon focusing ring with large oval indents. The build quality of the 1990’s Plastic Body Lenses wasn’t nearly as good as the Original 1985 Heavy Duty Metal Body Lenses. For this reason, Meta recommends buying the 1985 Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses, such as the Minolta Famous Beer Can Lenses (Photo: Left), which were the Best Minolta Lenses produced.

Note: Not all Minolta Lenses are A-Mount Lenses! Only the “Minolta Maxxum”, “Minolta AF”, “Minolta Dyxum” and “Minolta Alpha” Lenses will fit modern Sony Digital Cameras. Pre-1984 “Rokkor”, “MF”, “MC” and “MD” Minolta Lenses WILL NOT FIT Sony Digital Cameras.

Digital Photography TipsThe Original Snap On Lens Minolta Lens Hoods were a bit short and subject to Lens Flare. One Easy Minolta Lens Flare Fix is to use the longer Snap On Lens Hoods from the 100–300mm f/4.5–5.6 (ø55) or the 100–200mm f/4.5 (ø49). These OEM Minolta Lens Hoods can be easily found online for about $10 each.

Where To Buy The Best Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses

How to Select and Use Minolta SLR Cameras

How to Select and Use Minolta SLR Cameras

– Carl Shipman

A complete handbook for Minolta Maxxum 5000, Minolta Maxxum 7000, Minolta Maxxum 9000 Film Cameras, Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses, Minolta Maxxum Flash Units, Data Backs and Program Backs, and other system accessories and applications! 160 pages with color and black and white illustrations. This book covers many of the Vintage Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses listed below.

First Edition – 1987
Second Edition – 1989

The Best Minolta Maxxum AF Zoom Lenses for Sony Digital Cameras

Minolta AF Zoom 70–210mm f/4.0 Lens – The Famous “Beer Can Lens”

This is The Famous 1985 Heavy Metal “Beer Can Lens”. Many lighting situations require a Constant Aperture f/4.0 telephoto zoom lens that can isolate specific details from a distance. This big boy was often sold along with the 35–70mm f/4.0 Zoom Lens (Below), to cover the full 35–210mm at a Constant Aperture of f/4.0. These are very easy to find in excellent condition. Heavy for Walk Around Use. Great for shooting Hummingbirds and for Close-Up Photography. Amazing Sharp Lens.

Useful Macro Mode at 210mm.
Purchased Price: $67 Mint Condition.

Lowepro 9 x 16 cm Lens Case
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification | Watch a Video Review
1985 Minolta Owner’s Manual

Angle of View
for APS-C
Minimum Focus
Distance (MFD)
Minimum Aperture Size
Lens Dimensions
(Dia x Length)
Lens Weight
Filter Diameter
APS-C
Crop Factor
MSPR
(1985 US Dollars)
23° – 8°
1.1 M
f/32
74 x 152 mm
695 g
ø55mm
105–315mm
$245

Minolta AF Zoom 35–70mm f/4.0 Lens – Kit Lens for Minolta Film Cameras

This Constant Aperture f/4.0 zoom lens offers great versatility in a compact, lightweight lens. This zoom lens has become a very popular kit lens since it covers the wide angle to telephoto range used most often. Its responsive, adapting to most hand held situations in an instant. This very popular kit lens was often sold with the 70–210mm f/4.0 Zoom Lens (Above), to cover the full range of 35–210mm at a Constant Aperture of f/4.0. This is one of Meta’s Favorite Light Weight Walk Around Lens. Great for General Walk Around Lens plus Close-Up Photography.

Macro Switch at 70mm.
Purchased Price: $37.

Lowepro 9 x 9 cm Lens Case
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification
1985 Minolta Owner’s Manual

Angle of View
for APS-C
Minimum Focus
Distance (MFD)
Minimum Aperture Size
Lens Dimensions
(Dia x Length)
Lens Weight
Filter Diameter
APS-C
Crop Factor
MSPR
(1985 US Dollars)
36° – 34°
1.0 M
f/22
42 x 23 mm
255 g
ø49mm
52–105mm
$194

Minolta AF Zoom 100–200mm f/4.5

For Nature Photographers who regularly work at longer distances, this Constant Aperture f/4.5, 100–200mm range Minolta AF Lens is an excellent choice. This lens extends out when zooming. Sharp Telephoto Lens. Cheaper and lighter alternative to the heavy 70–210mm f/4.0, but without the Macro Mode. Great Minolta Lens for Birding.

No Macro Mode.
Purchased Price: $45 Mint Condition.


Lowepro 9 x 13 cm Lens Case
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification | Watch a Video Review
1985 Minolta Owner’s Manual

Angle of View
for APS-C
Minimum Focus
Distance (MFD)
Minimum Aperture Size
Lens Dimensions
(Dia x Length)
Lens Weight
Filter Diameter
APS-C
Crop Factor
MSPR
(1985 US Dollars)
16° – 8°
1.9 M
f/22
70 x 95 mm
375 g
ø49mm
150–300mm
$228
Minolta AF Zoom Maxxum 24-50mm f/4.0
Minolta AF 24–50mm f/4.0 Zoom Lens

Minolta AF Zoom 24–50mm f/4.0

This Wide Angle Zoom Lens has a Constant Aperture of f/4.0 for Astrophotography and Landscape Photography. Fairly Expensive in 1985 dollars.

No Macro Mode.
Purchased Price: $50.


Lowepro 9 x 9 cm Lens Case
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification
1985 Minolta Owner’s Manual

Angle of View
for APS-C
Minimum Focus
Distance (MFD)
Minimum Aperture Size
Lens Dimensions
(Dia x Length)
Lens Weight
Filter Diameter
APS-C
Crop Factor
MSPR
(1985 US Dollars)
56° – 32°
0.35 M
f/22
69 x 60 mm
285 g
ø55mm
36–75mm
$463

Minolta AF Zoom 28–135mm f/4.0–4.5 – “Secret Handshake Lens”

This big and heavy (heavier than the Beer Can Lens), but tremendously versatile zoom lens lets you move from wide, sweeping effects to much closer details. Many Minolta Photographers referred to this lens as the “Secret Handshake Lens”, based on an urban legend that it was a codesigned by Minolta and Leica. This lens also works very well for Close-Up Photography. On a Full Frame Sony a99 II Digital Camera, this Minolta AF 28–135mm f/4.0–4.5 is an excellent walk around lenses. Unlike other Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses, this one has a large ø72mm front element, with the focusing ring in the rear, which takes getting used to. There was no Stock Lens Hood, but this 72mm Snap On Lens Hood works very well. This is becoming Meta’s favorite Walk Around Lens, plus it does very good Close-Up Photography.

Macro Mode Switch at 28mm.
Aperture Change Point: f/4.0 28–40mm, f/4.5 40–135mm.
Purchased Price: $155 Mint Condition.

Lowepro 9 x 13 cm Lens Case
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification
1985 Minolta Owner’s Manual

Angle of View
for APS-C
Minimum Focus
Distance (MFD)
Minimum Aperture Size
Lens Dimensions
(Dia x Length)
Lens Weight
Filter Diameter
APS-C
Crop Factor
MSPR
(1985 US Dollars)
50° –12°
1.5 M / .25 Macro
f/22–f/27
75 x 109 mm
770 g
ø72mm
42–203mm
$525

Minolta AF Zoom 75–300mm f/4.5–5.6 Lens – “Big Beer Can Lens”

The Famous “Big Beer Can Lens” extends almost a foot long with the Lens Hood attached. Versatile 75–300mm zoom lens, f/4.5– 5.6, is ideal for a variety of purposes, from Sports Action to Portraiture, as well as Hummingbirds and Close-Up Photography.

Macro Mode at 300mm.
Aperture Change Point: f/4.5 75–100mm, f/5.0 100–135mm, f/5.6 135–300mm.
Purchased Price: $75 Mint Condition.

Lowepro 9 x 16 cm Lens Case
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification | Watch a Video Review
1985 Minolta Owner’s Manual

Angle of View
for APS-C
Minimum Focus
Distance (MFD)
Minimum Aperture Size
Lens Dimensions
(Dia x Length)
Lens Weight
Filter Diameter
APS-C
Crop Factor
MSPR
(1985 US Dollars)
21° –5°
1.5 M
f/32
74 x 163 mm
865 g
ø55mm
112–450mm
$542

Minolta AF Zoom 28–85mm f/3.5–4.5

This handy mid-range zoom gives you great flexibility in handling a variety of subjects. Can also function for Close-Up Photography.

Macro Mode Switch at 28mm.
Aperture Change Point: f/3.5 28–35mm, f/4.0 35–60mm, f/4.5 60–85mm.
Purchased Price: $35 New In Box.





Lowepro 9 x 13 cm Lens Case
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification
1985 Minolta Owner’s Manual

Angle of View
for APS-C
Minimum Focus
Distance (MFD)
Minimum Aperture Size
Lens Dimensions
(Dia x Length)
Lens Weight
Filter Diameter
APS-C
Crop Factor
MSPR
(1985 US Dollars)
50° –19°
0.8 M / 0.9 Macro
f/22–f/32
69 x 86 mm
490 g
ø55mm
42–128mm
$280

Minolta AF Zoom 35–105mm f/3.5–4.5

Very Popular Compact Lens – Easy to Find. Can also function for Close-Up Photography.

Useful Macro Mode Switch at 105mm.
Aperture Change Point: f/3.5 35–36mm, f/4.0 36–70mm, f/4.5 70–105mm.
Purchased Price: $55 Rare Early Crossed XX Version.




Lowepro 9 x 13 cm Lens Case
Minolta Lens Specification
1985 Minolta Owner’s Manual

Angle of View
for APS-C
Minimum Focus
Distance (MFD)
Minimum Aperture Size
Lens Dimensions
(Dia x Length)
Lens Weight
Filter Diameter
APS-C
Crop Factor
MSPR
(1985 US Dollars)
42° –12°
1.4 M / 0.41 Macro
f/22–f/32
68 x 87 mm
495 g
ø55mm
42–128mm
$350

The Best Minolta Maxxum AF Prime Lenses for Sony Digital Cameras

Minolta AF 20mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide Angle Prime Lens

This Ultra Wide Angle AF Lens provides great depth of field and emphasizes perspective. Its rear focusing system ensures quick, precise focusing and corrects close focus aberrations. Its rubber focus ring provides comfortable manual focusing operation. This is Meta’s only f/2.8 Ultra Wide Angle Prime Lens, which is great for shooting Wide Angle Astrophotography and Landscape Photography. Comes with a Small Twist On Tulip Lens Hood and Small Leather Carrying Case.

No Macro Mode.
Purchased Price: $240 Mint Condition.


Lowepro 9 x 9 cm Lens Case
Minolta Lens Specification
1985 Minolta Owner’s Manual

Angle of View
for APS-C
Minimum Focus
Distance (MFD)
Minimum Aperture Size
Lens Dimensions
(Dia x Length)
Lens Weight
Filter Diameter
APS-C
Crop Factor
MSPR
(1985 US Dollars)
70°
0.25 M
f/22
76 x 53 mm
284 g
ø72mm
30mm
$673

Minolta AF 24mm f/2.8 Wide Angle Prime Lens

Comes with a Small Twist On Tulip Lens Hood and Small Leather Carrying Case. This is Meta’s favorite f/2.8 Wide Angle Prime Lens, which is great for shooting Interior Digital Photography and most of her Astrophotography and Landscape Photography.

No Macro Mode.
Purchased Price: $35 Mint Condition.


Lowepro 9 x 9 cm Lens Case
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification
1985 Minolta Owner’s Manual

Angle of View
for APS-C
Minimum Focus
Distance (MFD)
Minimum Aperture Size
Lens Dimensions
(Dia x Length)
Lens Weight
Filter Diameter
APS-C
Crop Factor
MSPR
(1985 US Dollars)
56°
0.25 M
f/22
66 x 447 mm
200 g
ø55mm
36mm
$242

Minolta AF 50mm f/1.7 Prime Lens – Inexpensive Sharp Kit Lens

This was Meta’s first 1985 Minolta Lens that she paid $25 for. These are very easy to find at affordable prices. This was the Smallest and Lightest Minolta Lens in 1985. Tiny Built-in Useless Lens Hood.

No Macro Mode.
Purchased Price: $15.



Lowepro 9 x 9 cm Lens Case
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specifications
1985 Minolta Owner’s Manual

Angle of View
for APS-C
Minimum Focus
Distance (MFD)
Minimum Aperture Size
Lens Dimensions
(Dia x Length)
Lens Weight
Filter Diameter
APS-C
Crop Factor
MSPR
(1985 US Dollars)
32°
0.45 M
f/22
66 x 39 mm
195 g
ø49mm
75mm
$74

Minolta AF 50mm f/1.4 Prime Lens – Super Sharp Kit Lens

One of the few fast Prime Lenses that can shoot wide open at 1/8,000th of a second. This is Meta’s favorite Super Sharp Prime Lens for shooting Low Light, Hummingbirds, Fireworks, HDR Sunrises and Sunsets. This lens is very similar to the more popular and less expensive 1985 Minolta AF 50mm f/1.7 Prime Kit Lens, but is getting much harder to find. Tiny Built-in Useless Lens Hood.

No Macro Mode.
Purchased Price: $160 New in Box.

Lowepro 9 x 9 cm Lens Case
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specifications
1985 Minolta Owner’s Manual

Angle of View
for APS-C
Minimum Focus
Distance (MFD)
Minimum Aperture Size
Lens Dimensions
(Dia x Length)
Lens Weight
Filter Diameter
APS-C
Crop Factor
MSPR
(1985 US Dollars)
32°
0.45 M
f/22
66 x 39 mm
235 g
ø49mm
75mm
$153

The Best Minolta Maxxum AF Teleconverters for Sony Digital Cameras and Minolta Digital Cameras

Minolta AF 1.4x Tele Converter-II APO

These are less expensive than their equivalent Sony models, but you won’t get auto-focusing on any Sony Lenses (Old 5 pins vs. New 8 pins). These aren’t compatible with Sony’s SSM Auto Focusing System, but they will work on the Sony 70–200 f/2.8 in Manual Focus Only. Minimum Aperture Size is limited to f/4.0 (Half Stop Light Loss).The Minolta AF II APO have updated gearing for High Speed Focusing. This will Auto Focus on select Minolta Prime Lenses. Comes with a nice leather carrying case.

Purchased Price: $198 New.

Lowepro 7 x 8 cm Lens Case
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification

Angle of View
for APS-C
Minimum Focus
Distance (MFD)
Maximum Aperture Size Limited To
Lens Dimensions
(Dia x Length)
Lens Weight
Filter Diameter
APS-C
Crop Factor
MSPR
(1985 US Dollars)
N/A
Same as Lens
f/4.0
64 x 20 mm
168 g
N/A

$550

1985 Minolta Maxxum Lenses Owner’s Manuals

Minolta Lens Owners Manuals
Minolta Lens Owners Manuals

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