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

The Best Vintage Minolta Lenses for Sony Digital Cameras

Did you know you can use inexpensive 1985 Vintage Minolta Maxxum Film Camera Lenses on modern Sony Digital Cameras? Vintage Minolta Lenses were sold in the mid 1980’s with Minolta Maxxum Film Cameras, such as the Minolta Maxxum 3000, 4000, 5000, 7000 and 8000 series. These are A-Mount Lenses, the same A-Mount Lenses as Sony uses today.

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

Meta owns the entire collection of 1985 Vintage Minolta Lenses, that she uses on her Sony a77 II Cameras, along with her Professional Grade, Sony f/2.8 Camera Lenses.

Many old Film Photographers often praised the Legendary Minolta Lens Colors, which are warmer and deeper, without being forced, false or over cooked.

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Meta’s Collection of 1985 Minolta Lenses

Minolta Lens Collection
1985 Vintage Minolta Lenses (L to R): 35–70mm, 24–50mm, 35–105mm, 100–200mm, 28–135mm, 70–210mm, 75–300mm and 50mm Prime on Sony a77 II Camera
Best Minolta Lenses

Meta’s Collection of 1985 Vintage Minolta Lenses

Meta’s inexpensive Collection of 1985 Vintage Minolta Lenses were purchased online, many for around $30 to $60 each! That’s about 10% of the new price of a Sony Lens. These 1985 Vintage Minolta Lenses fit All Sony A-Mount Cameras, including Meta’s Sony a77 II Camera and All Sony E-Mount Cameras (Sony LA-EA4 A-Mount Adapter) Required.

First marketed in 1985, these Early Vintage Minolta A-Mount Lenses had a metal body, were longer and heavier, and had the best build quality of any of all the Minolta Lenses. These Heavy Metal Lenses can be identified by the tight ribbed silicon focusing ring, which often oxidizes.

TipSilicon Ring Oxidation, caused by years of UV Sun Damage, is common on Vintage Minolta Silicon Zoom and Focus Rings. Clean the exterior of your Silicon Rings with Alcohol Wipes. Use Wooden Q-Tips and Alcohol 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.

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

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


TipFinding 1985 Minolta Lenses in Mint Condition isn’t that easy. Common problems like dust, scratches, mold, haze and aperture oil are items to watch out for. Most problems are due to inproper or poor storage over the years. If you purchase lenses from a Used Camera Store, like Roberts Camera or KEH, they will be up front with you on the condition of the Lens.

Minolta Lenses for Sony E-Mount Cameras

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 required to Auto Focus these 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. These Vintage Minolta Lens Models are NOT recommended by Meta.

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TipA common issue with many Minolta Lenses is Lens Flair, due to the Short Stock Lens Hoods. A Simple Minolta Lens Flair Fix is to use the longer 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 available online for about $10.

Meta’s Recommended Vintage Minolta Zoom Lens Buy List

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.
Macro Switch at 28mm. Amazing Lens.
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

This very popular zoom lens offers you great versatility in a compact, lightweight size. For many users, this lens has become a “Standard” zoom 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. 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.
1985 Dollars Sales Price: $105 (Very Popular Kit 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 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 – Use a Tripod. Amazing Sharp Lens. Good for Macros.
Lens Flair Fix – Use the longer lens hood from the ø55mm 100–300mm f/4.5–5.6 Lens!
Minimum Focus Distance: 1.1m.
1985 Dollars Sales Price: $172 – Buy This Lens!
Fits in Lowpro 9 x 16cm Lens Case.
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification

Minolta Maxxum 100–200mm f/4.5

For photographers who regularly work at longer distances, the 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. No Macro Mode.
1985 Dollars Sales Price: $98
Fits in Lowpro 9 x 13cm Lens Case.
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification

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.
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.
Heavy for Walk Around Use. Amazing Lens.
1985 Dollars Sales Price: $369 – Very Expensive – Expensive Today and Hard to Find
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.
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 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 “Bigger 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. “Mine is Bigger than Yours!” – Attach the lens hood and it extends almost a foot long!”
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.
Hard to Find in Mint Condition. Useful Macro Mode at 300mm. Heavy for Walk Around Use – Use a Tripod. Very Sharp.
Minimum Focus Distance: 1.5m.
1985 Dollars Sales Price: $417 – Very Expensive – Buy This Lens!
Fits in Lowpro 9 x 16cm Lens Case.
Minolta Lens Review | 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

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.
Fits in Lowpro 9 x 9cm Lens Case.
1985 Dollars Sales Price: $283 – Expensive!
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification

Meta’s Recommended Vintage Minolta Prime Lens Buy List

Minolta Maxxum 50mm f/1.4 Lens

Superseded by the $400 Sony SAL-50F14
APS-C Crop Factor: 50mm x 1.5 = 75mm. Light Weight: 235gm. ø49mm Filters. Built-in Lens Hood. One of the few Prime Lenses that can shoot very well at 1/8,000th of a second. This is Meta’s favorite Fast Prime Lens.
Minimum Focus Distance: 450cm.
1985 Dollars Sales Price: $139 (Sold as a Kit Lens Upgrade)
Fits in Lowpro 7 x 8cm Lens Case.
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specifications

Minolta Maxxum 50mm f/1.7 Lens

APS-C Crop Factor: 50mm x 1.5 = 75mm. Light Weight: 210gm. ø49mm Filters. Built-in Lens Hood.
Minimum Focus Distance: 450cm.
1985 Dollars Sales Price: $59 (Sold as a Kit Lens)
Fits in Lowpro 7 x 8cm Lens Case.
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification

Minolta Maxxum 24mm f/2.8 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 Prime Lens.
Minimum Focus Distance: 254cm.
1985 Dollars Sales Price: $299 – Expensive
Stock Twist On Tulip Hood works fine 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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