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Photos By Meta – Meta Reviews the Best 1985 Vintage Minolta Lenses for Newer Sony Digital Cameras

The Best 1985 Vintage Minolta Lenses for Newer Sony Digital Cameras

The Minolta 7000 AF SLR Film Camera was first introduced in 1985, along with an extensive collection of Minolta A-Mount Lenses. The Minolta 7000 AF was the world’s first “In-Body” Autofocus SLR Film Camera, which quickly elevated Minolta to the largest producer of SLR Film Cameras in the world – For 5 years in a row.

But did you know you can still use these 1985 Vintage Minolta A-Mount Lenses on today’s Sony Digital Cameras, including the latest Full Frame Sony a99 II Camera?

When Sony bought Konica-Minolta’s Camera Division in 2006, they re-branded most of the Minolta Lenses as Sony Lenses. All Minolta “Maxxum”, “AF”, “Dyxum” and “Alpha” A-Mount Lenses will fit today’s Sony Digital Cameras, including A-Mount and E-Mount Sony Digital Cameras!

Meta purchased her collection of “Like New” and “Mint” 1985 Vintage Minolta A-Mount Lenses, for about the cost of one brand new Sony Lens! She uses her Vintage Minolta A-Mount Lenses on her Sony Digital Cameras, along with her Professional Grade Sony f/2.8 Camera Lenses. All of her Vintage Minolta Lenses have odd number Blade Apertures, which create beautiful best sun burst effects. Most Vintage Minolta lenses use ø49mm or ø55mm Filters.

Many Film Photographers praise the Legendary Minolta Lens Colors for their warmer and deep colors.

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Meta’s Collection of 1985 Vintage Minolta Lenses

Minolta Lens Collection
Meta’s 1985 Vintage Minolta Lens Collection: 35–70mm, 24–50mm, 35–105mm, 100–200mm, 28–135mm, 70–210mm, 75–300mm and 50mm f/1.4 Prime on Sony Camera
Best Minolta Lenses

Meta’s Collection of 1985 Vintage Minolta Lenses

Meta’s Collection of 1985 Vintage Minolta Lenses were purchased online for between $35 to $70 each! That’s about 10% of the new cost of one brand new Sony Lens. These 1985 Vintage Minolta Lenses fit all of Meta’s Sony A-Mount Cameras, including All Sony Digital Cameras and All Sony E-Mount Cameras, with the Sony LA-EA4 A-Mount Adapter.

The 1985 Vintage Minolta A-Mount Lenses were constructed using metal bodies, were longer and heavier, but had the best build quality of any of the Minolta Lenses. These Heavy Metal Lenses can be identified by the tight ribbed silicon focusing ring, which sometimes oxidizes.

The later Minolta Lenses, made in the 1990’s, had cheaper plastic bodies, were shorter and lighter, with a wide and smooth silicon focusing ring with large oval indents. The build quality of these Plastic Body Lenses wasn’t as good as the 1985 Heavy Metal Lenses. For this reason, Meta recommends only buying the 1985 Vintage Metal Models listed below in the Vintage Minolta Owner’s Manuals.

TipSilicon Ring Oxidation, caused by years of UV Sun Damage, can occur on Vintage Minolta Silicon Zoom and Focus Rings. Clean the exterior of your Silicon Rings with Alcohol Wipes, then use Wooden Q-Tips to scrub the Silicon Rings. Rub a tiny drop of Silicon UV Protection on the Silicon Focus and Zoom Rings to further protect them from UV Sun Damage.

NOTE: Not all Vintage Minolta Lenses are A-Mount Lenses and won’t fit Sony A-Mount Cameras! Only the “Maxxum”, “AF”, “Dyxum” and “Alpha” Lenses will fit. 1984 and older “Rokkor”, “MF”, “MC” and “MD” Minolta Lenses WILL NOT FIT on Sony A-Mount Cameras.


TipFinding 1985 Minolta Lenses in New or Mint Condition isn’t easy. Common problems like dirt, wear, dust, scratches, mold, haze and aperture oil are items to watch out for. Common problems are from inproper storage and abuse. If you purchase used lenses from Camera Stores, like Roberts Camera or KEH, they will be up front with you on the condition of the Lens.

You Can Use Vintage Minolta Lenses on Sony E-Mount Cameras Too

The Sony LA-EA4 A-Mount Adapter. (Photo: Left) allows the connection of all Minolta Lenses to Sony E-Mount Cameras.

This Sony Lens Adapter contains the necessary Focus Drive Motor System and Translucent Mirror, required to Auto Focus these older Vintage Minolta Lenses. This Sony adapter opens up a huge E-Mount Camera market for inexpensive Vintage Minolta Lenses!

NOTE: The Minolta “Zoom xi Motorized AF Lenses” will not Autofocus on the E-Mount Cameras due to their unique design. These Vintage Minolta Lens Models are NOT recommended by Meta.

Watch a Video

TipA common issue with many Vintage Minolta Lenses is Lens Flair, due to the short Stock Lens Hoods. A Simple Lens Flair Fix is to use the longer Stock Lens Hoods from the ø49mm 100–200mm f/4.5 Lens and the ø55mm 100–300mm f/4.5–5.6 Lens! These Longer Minolta Lens Hoods are easily found online for about $10 each.

Meta’s Recommended Vintage Minolta Zoom Lens Buy List – Minolta Lens Specifications, Reviews and Videos

Minolta Maxxum AF Zoom 28–85mm f/3.5–4.5

This handy mid-range zoom gives you great flexibility in handling a variety of subjects.
APS-C Crop Factor: 28–85mm x 1.5 = 42–128mm. Weight: 490gm. ø55mm Filters.
Aperture Change Point: f/3.5 28–35mm, f/4.0 35–60mm, f/4.5 60–85mm.
Lens Flair Fix – Use the longer lens hood from the ø55mm 100–300mm f/4.5–5.6 Lens!
Minimum Focus Distance: 80cm – 25cm.
Optics: 13 elements, 10 groups.
Aperture: 7 Blades, Straight.
Macro Switch at 28mm. Amazing Lens for the money!
Fits in Lowpro 9 x 13cm Lens Case.
1985 Dollars Sales Price: $298 – Very Expensive!
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification

Minolta Maxxum 35–70mm f/4.0 Lens – Kit Lens

Constant Aperture f/4.0 zoom lens offers great versatility in a compact, lightweight lens. This zoom lens has become a 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. Useful Macro Switch at 70mm. This lens was often sold with the 70–210mm f/4.0 Zoom Lens, to cover 35–210mm. This is Meta’s Favorite Walk Around Lens.
APS-C Crop Factor: 35–70mm x 1.5 = 52–105mm. Weight: 256gm. ø49mm Filters.
Lens Flair Fix – Use the longer lens hood from the ø49mm 100–200mm f/4.5 Lens!
Minimum Focus Distance: 1.0m – 32cm.
Optics: 6 elements, 6 groups.
Aperture: 7 Blades, Straight.
1985 Dollars Sales Price: $149 (Popular Kit Zoom Lens)
Fits in Lowpro 9 x 9cm Lens Case.
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification

Minolta Maxxum 70–210mm f/4.0 Lens

Many situations require a Constant Aperture f/4.0 telephoto zoom lens that can isolate specific details from a distance. AKA “Beer Can” Lens. Useful Macro Mode at 210mm.
APS-C Crop Factor: 70–210mm x 1.5 = 105–315mm. Weight: 695gm. ø55mm Filters.
Heavy for Walk Around Use. Amazing Sharp Lens. Good for Macros. Works best at f/11.
Lens Flair Fix – Use the longer lens hood from the ø55mm 100–300mm f/4.5–5.6 Lens!
Minimum Focus Distance: 1.1m.
Optics: 12 elements, 9 groups.
Aperture: 7 Blades, Straight.
1985 Dollars Sales Price: $229 – Buy This Lens!
Fits in Lowpro 9 x 16cm Lens Case.
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification | Watch a Video Review

Photos By Meta - Minolta Maxxum AF Zoom 75-300mm
Minolta Maxxum AF Zoom 75-300mm

Minolta Maxxum AF Zoom 75-300mm

Minolta Maxxum 75–300mm f/4.5–5.6 Lens (Excellent “Big Beer Can” Lens)
When you need a “Very Big Lens”, this versatile 75–300mm zoom lens is ideal for a variety of purposes, from sports action to portraiture, as well as wildlife and macro photography. APS-C Crop Factor: 75–300mm x 1.5 = 113–450mm. Weight: 865gm. ø55mm Filters.
Aperture Change Point: f/4.5 75–100mm, f/5.0 100–135mm, f/5.6 135–300mm.
Useful Macro Mode at 300mm. Long and Heavy for Walk Around Use. Very Sharp.
Minimum Focus Distance: 1.5m.
Optics: 13 elements, 11 groups.
Aperture: 9 Blades, Straight.
1985 Dollars Sales Price: $417 – Very Expensive – Buy This Lens!
Fits in Lowpro 9 x 16cm Lens Case.
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification | Watch a Video Review

Minolta Maxxum 100–200mm f/4.5

For photographers who regularly work at longer distances, the constant aperture of f/4.5, 100–200mm range is an excellent choice. No Macro Mode or Macro Switch.
APS-C Crop Factor: 100–200mm x 1.5 = 150–300mm. Weight: 375gm. ø49mm Filters.
Sharp Telephoto Lens. Cheaper and lighter alternative to the heavy 70–210mm f/4.0.
Lens Flair Fix – Use the longer lens hood from the ø49mm 100–200mm f/4.5 Lens!
Minimum Focus Distance: 1.9m.
Optics: 8 elements, 7 groups.
Aperture: 7 Blades, Straight.
1985 Dollars Sales Price: $159
Fits in Lowpro 9 x 13cm Lens Case.
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification | Watch a Video Review

Minolta Maxxum AF Zoom 28-135mm

This tremendously versatile zoom lens lets you move from wide, sweeping effects to much closer details. Useless Macro Switch at 28mm. AKA “Secret Handshake”.
APS-C Crop Factor: 28–135mm x 1.5 = 42–203mm. Weight: 750gm. ø72mm Filters.
Aperture Change Point: f/4.0 28–40mm, f/4.5 40–135mm.
Minimum Focus Distance: 1.5m – 25cm.
Optics: 16 elements, 13 groups.
Aperture: 7 Blades, Straight.
Heavy for Walk Around Use. Amazing Lens.
1985 Dollars Sales Price: $369 – Very Expensive – Very Hard to Find Todayin Mint Condition
Fits in Lowpro 9 x 13cm Lens Case.
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification

Minolta Maxxum AF Zoom 35-105mm

Very Popular Compact Lens – Easy to Find
APS-C Crop Factor: 35–105mm x 1.5 = 52–158mm. Weight: 495gm. ø55mm Filters.
Aperture Change Point: f/3.5 35–36mm, f/4.0 36–70mm, f/4.5 70–105mm.
Useful Macro Switch at 105mm. Amazing Lens.
Minimum Focus Distance: 1.4m – 410cm.
Optics: 14 elements, 12 groups.
Aperture: 7 Blades, Straight.
Lens Flair Fix – Use the longer lens hood from the ø55mm 100–300mm f/4.5–5.6 Lens!
1985 Dollars Sales Price: $386 – Very Expensive!
Fits in Lowpro 9 x 13cm Lens Case.
Minolta Lens Specification
Photos By Meta - Minolta AF Zoom Maxxum 24–50mm f/4.0
Minolta AF Zoom Maxxum 24–50mm f/4.0

Minolta AF Zoom Maxxum 24–50mm f/4.0

This Wide Angle Zoom Lens is great for Landscape Photography.
APS-C Crop Factor: 24–50mm x 1.5 = 36–75mm. Weight: 285gm. ø55mm Filters.
Lens Flair Fix – Use the longer lens hood from the ø55mm 100–300mm f/4.5–5.6 Lens!
No Macro Mode or Macro Switch.
Minimum Focus Distance: 350cm.
Optics: 7 elements, 7 groups.
Aperture: 7 Blades, Straight.
Fits in Lowpro 9 x 9cm Lens Case.
1985 Dollars Sales Price: $283 – Very Expensive!
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification

Meta’s Recommended Vintage Minolta Prime Lens Buy List

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

APS-C Crop Factor: 50mm x 1.5 = 75mm. Light Weight: 235gm. ø49mm Filters. Built-in Lens Hood, but add a screw on ø49mm Tulip Lens Hood for better lens flair protection. One of the few fast Prime Lenses that can shoot very well at 1/8,000th of a second. This is Meta’s favorite f/1.4 Prime Lens for shooting Hummingbirds, Sunrises, Sunsets and Fireworks. Similar to the Sharp f/1.7 Kit Lens. Meta has two of these great prime lenses.
Minimum Focus Distance: 450cm. Meta has two of these great prime lenses.
Optics: 7 elements, 6 groups.
Aperture: 7 Blades, Circular.
1985 Dollars Sales Price: $139 (Sold as a Kit Lens Upgrade) – Buy This Lens!
Superseded by the $400 Sony SAL-50F14, you can find this lens for around $150.
Fits in Lowpro 7 x 8cm Lens Case.
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specifications

Minolta Maxxum 24mm Wide Angle f/2.8 Prime Lens

APS-C Crop Factor: 24mm x 1.5 = 36mm. Light Weight: 215gm. ø55mm Filters.
Comes with 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 tight Interior shots and wide Landscape Photography. Meta has two of these wide angle great prime lenses.
Minimum Focus Distance: 254cm.
Optics: 8 elements, 8 groups.
Aperture: 7 Blades, Straight.
1985 Dollars Sales Price: $299 – Very Expensive – Buy This Lens!
Stock Twist On Tulip Hood works for Lens Flair.
Fits in Lowpro 9 x 9cm Lens Case.
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification

Minolta Lenses Owner’s Manuals (Click The Manual Covers Below to View)

Minolta Lens Owners Manuals
Minolta Lens Owners Manuals

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