Photos By Meta - Reviews The Best Vintage Minolta Lenses for Sony Cameras

Meta Reviews The Best Vintage Minolta AF Lenses For Sony Digital Cameras

Getting Started In Digital Photography – It doesn’t have to cost a fortune when it comes to purchasing Multiple Camera Lenses! Many Beginner Digital Photographers don’t know you can use inexpensive Vintage Minolta AF Lenses on all Sony Digital Cameras, both Sony A-Mount Digital Cameras and Sony E-Mount Digital Cameras (with Adapter).

Vintage Minolta Lenses – All “Minolta Maxxum Lenses”, “Minolta AF Lenses”, “Minolta Dyxum Lenses” and “Minolta Alpha Lenses” will Mount 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 present in all Sony A-Mount Cameras and Adapter.

Contact

The Best 1985 Vintage Minolta AF Lenses

Vintage Minolta AF Lenses – Between 1985 and 2006, over 16 million Vintage Minolta AF Lenses were manufactured by Minolta in Japan, making these Vintage Minolta AF Lenses very easy to find in “Mint” or “Like New” Condition, and at Affordable Used Prices on amazon.com. (See Used Prices Meta Paid Below). Many of these Vintage Minolta AF Lenses were sold with Minolta Maxxum Film Cameras, such as the Minolta Maxxum 9000 Film Camera (Photo: Left). As you can see, the Lens Mount on the Minolta Film Camera (Photo: Left) and the Sony a77 II Digital Camera (Photo: Below) are identical!

For Close-Up Photography and Macro Photography, many Vintage Minolta AF Zoom Lenses have a Macro Switch or Macro Mode. This puts the Minolta Lens into Macro Mode, where Auto Focusing is disabled by design.

Save The Old Lenses – Collect The Whole Set – Meta purchased her entire collection of 11 “Mint” and “Like New” 1985 Vintage Minolta A-Mount Lenses, (See List Below) for only $664 or about the cost of one Brand New Sony Lens! All of her Vintage Minolta AF Lenses have their Original Minolta Front and Rear Lens Caps plus Original Lens Flare Hoods!

Meta took the top photo of the Red-Tailed Hawk with a Minolta AF Zoom 70–210mm f/4.0 Lens mounted on her Sony a77 II Digital Camera. Not Bad for a 35 Year Old Lens!

Vintage Minolta AF Lenses have odd number Blade Apertures, which create beautiful sun burst effects.

Most Vintage Minolta AF Lenses use ø49mm or ø55mm Filters.

Sony LA-EA4 A-Mount Adapter (Photo: Top Left) is required to mount Vintage Minolta 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!

For Each Vintage 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. This should help in Macro Photography Focusing and Close-up Photography Focusing.

Where To Find Vintage Minolta AF Lenses

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 these early 1990’s Plastic Body Lenses wasn’t nearly as good as the Original 1985 Heavy Metal Lenses. For this reason alone, Meta recommends only buying the 1985 Vintage Minolta AF Lenses listed below.

Meta’s Extensive Collection of 1985 Vintage Minolta AF Lenses are constructed using heavy metal bodies, are longer and have a Better Build Quality of any of the Vintage Minolta AF Lenses. These 1985 Heavy Metal Lenses can be identified by the tight ribbed silicon focusing ring, which sometimes oxidizes over time. Auto Focus is performed mechanically with a motor driven shaft, which is still present in all modern Sony Digital Cameras, including the latest Full Frame Sony a99 II Digital Camera (Photo: Left).

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

TipOne minor issue with some Vintage Minolta AF Lenses is Lens Flare, due to the shorter Stock Lens Hoods. A Simple Minolta Lens Flare Fix is to use the longer clip on 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.
How to Select and Use Minolta SLR Cameras

How to Select and Use Minolta SLR Cameras

– Carl Shipman

160 pages with color and black and white illustrations. A complete handbook for Minolta Maxxum 5000, Minolta Maxxum 7000, Minolta Maxxum 9000, Minolta Lenses and Minolta Lens accessories, Minolta Maxxum flash units, data backs and program backs, other system accessories and applications!

First Edition – 1987
Second Edition – 1989

The Best Vintage Minolta AF Zoom Lenses for Sony Digital Cameras

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

The Famous “Beer Can Lens”! Many lighting situations require a Constant Aperture f/4.0 telephoto zoom lens that can isolate specific details from a distance. Useful Macro Mode at 210mm. This big lens was often sold with the 35–70mm f/4.0 Zoom Lens (Below), to fully cover the 35–210mm f/4.0 range. These are easy to find in excellent condition.
APS-C Crop Factor: 70–210mm x 1.5 = 105–315mm. Weight: 695gm. ø55mm Filters.
Heavy for Walk Around Use. Amazing Sharp Lens.
Lens Flare Fix – Use the longer lens hood from the ø55mm 100–300mm f/4.5–5.6 Lens!
Viewfinder Magnification on Cropped Sensor: 2.1x – 6.3x
Minimum Focus Distance Φ : 1.1m.
Macro Mode at 210mm.
Optics: 12 elements, 9 groups.
Aperture: 7 Blades, Straight.
1985 Dollars MSRP: $245
Price Meta Paid: $67
Lowepro 9 x 16 cm Lens Case
Set of 3 Tiffen 55mm Filters for Long Exposures
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification | Watch a Video Review

1985 Minolta Owner’s Manual

Great Vintage Minolta Lens For: Birding and for Close-Up Photography at 210mm.

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 together with the 70–210mm f/4.0 Zoom Lens (Above), to cover the full range of 35–210mm. This is one of Meta’s Favorite Light Weight Walk Around Lens, which also does nice Close-Up Photography at 70mm.
APS-C Crop Factor: 35–70mm x 1.5 = 52–105mm. Weight: 256gm. ø49mm Filters.
Lens Flare Fix – Use the longer lens hood from the ø49mm 100–200mm f/4.5 Lens!
Viewfinder Magnification on Cropped Sensor: 1x – 2.1x
Minimum Focus Distance Φ : 1.0m – 32cm in Macro Mode.
Useful Macro Mode Switch at 70mm.
Optics: 6 elements, 6 groups.
Aperture: 7 Blades, Straight.
1985 Dollars MSRP: $194
Price Meta Paid: $37
Lowepro 9 x 9 cm Lens Case
Set of 3 Tiffen 49mm Filters for Long Exposures
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification

1985 Minolta Owner’s Manual

Great Vintage Minolta Lens For: General Walk Around Lens plus Close-Up Photography at 70mm.

Minolta AF Zoom 100–200mm f/4.5

For nature photographers who regularly work at longer distances, the Constant Aperture of f/4.5, 100–200mm range is an excellent choice.
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 Flare Fix – Use the longer lens hood from the ø49mm 100–200mm f/4.5 Lens!
Viewfinder Magnification on Cropped Sensor: 3x – 6x
Minimum Focus Distance Φ : 1.9m.
No Macro Mode.
Optics: 8 elements, 7 groups.
Aperture: 7 Blades, Straight.
1985 Dollars MSRP: $228
Price Meta Paid: $45
Lowepro 9 x 13 cm Lens Case
Set of 3 Tiffen 49mm Filters for Long Exposures
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification | Watch a Video Review

1985 Minolta Owner’s Manual

Great Vintage Minolta Lens For: Birding. Lighter and smaller than the 70–210mm, but without the Macro Mode.
Minolta AF Zoom Maxxum 24-50mm f/4.0
Minolta AF Zoom Maxxum 24–50mm f/4.0

Minolta AF Zoom 24–50mm f/4.0

This Wide Angle Zoom Lens has a Constant Aperture of f/4.0 for Landscape Photography.
APS-C Crop Factor: 24–50mm x 1.5 = 36–75mm. Weight: 285gm. ø55mm Filters.
Lens Flare Fix – Use the longer lens hood from the ø55mm 100–300mm f/4.5–5.6 Lens!
Viewfinder Magnification on Cropped Sensor: 0.7x – 1.5x
Minimum Focus Distance Φ : 35cm.
No Macro Mode.
Optics: 7 elements, 7 groups.
Aperture: 7 Blades, Straight.
1985 Dollars MSRP: $436
Price Meta Paid: $50
Lowepro 9 x 9 cm Lens Case
Set of 3 Tiffen 55mm Filters for Long Exposures
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification

1985 Minolta Owner’s Manual

Great Vintage Minolta Lens For: Wide angle for Landscapes and Small Zooms.

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 the urban legend that it was a co-designed by Minolta and Leica. 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 the other Vintage Minolta AF Lenses, this one has a larger ø72mm front element, with the focusing ring in the rear, which takes getting used to. Meta loves this lens!
APS-C Crop Factor: 28–135mm x 1.5 = 42–203mm. Weight: 750gm. ø72mm Filters.
Viewfinder Magnification on Cropped Sensor: 0.8x – 4x
Aperture Change Point: f/4.0 28–40mm, f/4.5 40–135mm.
Minimum Focus Distance Φ : 1.5m – 25cm in Macro Mode.
Macro Mode Switch at 28mm.
Optics: 16 elements, 13 groups.
Aperture: 7 Blades, Straight.
Very Heavy for Walk Around Use. Amazing Zoom Lens. Comes with no stock lens hood.
1985 Dollars MSRP: $525
Price Meta Paid: $90
Screw on 72mm Rubber Lens Hood works for Lens Flare!
Lowepro 9 x 13 cm Lens Case
Set of 3 Tiffen 72mm Filters for Long Exposures
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification

1985 Minolta Owner’s Manual

Great Vintage Minolta Lens For: Widest Range Zoom Lens for General Walk around and Landscapes.

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, 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.
Long and Very Heavy for Walk Around Use. Very Sharp.
Viewfinder Magnification on Cropped Sensor: 2.3x – 9x
Minimum Focus Distance Φ : 1.5m.
Macro Mode at 300mm.
Optics: 13 elements, 11 groups.
Aperture: 9 Blades, Straight.
1985 Dollars MSRP: $542
Price Meta Paid: $75
Lowepro 9 x 16 cm Lens Case
Set of 3 Tiffen 55mm Filters for Long Exposures
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification | Watch a Video Review

1985 Minolta Owner’s Manual

Great Vintage Minolta Lens For: Birding, especially for Shooting Hummingbirds at 1.5 Meters plus Close-Up Photography at 300mm. F/5.6 needs a lot of sunlight.

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.
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 Flare Fix – Use the longer lens hood from the ø55mm 100–300mm f/4.5–5.6 Lens!
Viewfinder Magnification on Cropped Sensor: 0.8x – 2.6x
Minimum Focus Distance Φ : 80cm – 9cm in Macro Mode.
Macro Mode Switch at 28mm.
Optics: 13 elements, 10 groups.
Aperture: 7 Blades, Straight.
Very Good All Around Lens for the money!
1985 Dollars MSRP: $280
Price Meta Paid: $35
Lowepro 9 x 13 cm Lens Case
Set of 3 Tiffen 55mm Filters for Long Exposures
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification

1985 Minolta Owner’s Manual

Great Vintage Minolta Lens For: General Walk Around Zoom Lens.

Minolta AF Zoom 35–105 f/3.5–4.5

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.
Minimum Focus Distance Φ : 1.4m – 41cm in Macro Mode.
Useful Macro Mode Switch at 105mm.
Optics: 14 elements, 12 groups.
Aperture: 7 Blades, Straight.
Lens Flare Fix – Use the longer lens hood from the ø55mm 100–300mm f/4.5–5.6 Lens!
Viewfinder Magnification on Cropped Sensor: 1.5x – 3.2x
1985 Dollars MSRP: $350
Price Meta Paid: $55 (Rare Early Crossed XX Version)
Lowepro 9 x 13 cm Lens Case
Set of 3 Tiffen 55mm Filters for Long Exposures
Minolta Lens Specification

1985 Minolta Owner’s Manual

Great Vintage Minolta Lens For: General Walk Around Zoom Lens plus Extra Zoom.

The Best Vintage Minolta AF Prime Lenses for Sony Digital Cameras

Minolta AF 24mm f/2.8 Wide Angle Prime Lens

APS-C Crop Factor: 24mm x 1.5 = 36mm. Light Weight: 215gm. ø55mm Filters.
Comes with a small 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 Photography and most of her Landscape Photography.
Viewfinder Magnification on Cropped Sensor: 0.7x
Minimum Focus Distance Φ : 25cm.
No Macro Mode.
Optics: 8 elements, 8 groups.
Aperture: 7 Blades, Straight.
1985 Dollars MSRP: $242
Price Meta Paid: $35
Screw on 55mm Rubber Lens Hood works for Lens Flare.
Lowepro 9 x 9 cm Lens Case
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification

1985 Minolta Owner’s Manual

Great Vintage Minolta Lens For: Landscape Photography. Very Lightweight.

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

APS-C Crop Factor: 50mm x 1.5 = 75mm. This was Meta’s first 1985 Minolta Lens that she paid only $15 for. These are easy to find at very low prices. This was the Smallest and Lightest Minolta Lens in 1985. Weight: 210gm. ø49mm Filters. Tiny Built-in Useless Lens Hood. Minimum Focus Distance Φ : 45cm.
Viewfinder Magnification on Cropped Sensor: 1.5x
No Macro Mode.
Optics: 6 elements, 5 groups.
Aperture: 7 Blades, Straight.
1985 Dollars MSRP: $74
Price Meta Paid: $15 (Came on a Mint Minolta 7000 Film Camera)
Screw on 49mm Rubber Lens Hood works for Lens Flare.
Lowepro 9 x 9 cm Lens Case
Set of 3 Tiffen 49mm Filters for Long Exposures
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specifications

1985 Minolta Owner’s Manual

Minolta AF 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. Tiny Built-in Useless Lens Hood. 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 Super Sharp Prime Lens for shooting Hummingbirds, Fireworks, HDR Sunrises and Sunsets. This lens is similar to the more popular and less expensive 1985 Minolta AF 50mm f/1.7 Prime Kit Lens, but harder to find. Minimum Focus Distance Φ : 45cm.
Viewfinder Magnification on Cropped Sensor: 1.5x
No Macro Mode.
Optics: 7 elements, 6 groups.
Aperture: 7 Blades, Circular.
1985 Dollars MSRP: $153
Price Meta Paid: $160 (New in Box)
Superseded by the $1500 Sony SAL-50F14Z, but you can still find this super sharp lens for around $160.
Screw on 49mm Rubber Lens Hood works for Lens Flare.
Lowepro 9 x 9 cm Lens Case
Set of 3 Tiffen 49mm Filters for Long Exposures
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specifications

1985 Minolta Owner’s Manual

Great Vintage Minolta Lens For: HDR, Sunsets, Sunrises, Street Photography, 1/2 Meter Hummingbird Photography at 1,8000th Shutter Speed. One of the better 50mm lenses ever made.

1985 Minolta Maxxum Lenses Owner’s Manuals

Minolta Lens Owners Manuals
Minolta Lens Owners Manuals

Contact Photos By Meta

Photos By Meta

Digital Photography Tips, Settings, Training and Reviews
PO Box 1571
Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Contact


Western North Carolina Nature Photographers

Photos By Meta

Nature Photographs were shot by Western North Carolina Nature Photographer Meta Gätschenberger of Photos by Meta, with Sony Mirrorless Cameras and Sony Lenses.

Follow Us On:

You TubeFollow Us On FacebookPhotos By Meta
North Carolina Web Design and Photography