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

The Best 1985 Vintage Minolta Lenses for 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, as the largest producer of SLR Film Cameras in the world – For 5 years straight.

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 the entire collection of “Like New” 1985 Vintage Minolta A-Mount Lenses, for about the cost of just one 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 lenses use ø49mm or ø55 mm 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 Lenses (L to R): 35–70mm, 24–50mm, 35–105mm, 100–200mm, 28–135mm, 70–210mm, 75–300mm and 50mm 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 for around $30 to $60 each! That’s about 10% of the new price of a new Sony Lens. These 1985 Vintage Minolta Lenses fit All Sony A-Mount Cameras, including Meta’s Sony Digital Cameras and All Sony E-Mount Cameras (Sony LA-EA4 A-Mount Adapter) Required.

These 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 often oxidizes.

Newer Minolta Lenses made in the 1990’s, had cheaper plastic bodies, were shorter and lighter, with a wider and smoother silicon focusing ring with oval indents. The build quality on these Plastic Body Lenses wasn’t 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 Vintage Minolta Owner’s Manuals.

TipSilicon Ring Oxidation, caused by years of UV Sun Damage, is very 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 drop of Silicon UV Protection on the Silicon Focus and Zoom Rings to further protect them from UV Sun Damage.

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 Sony A-Mount Cameras.


TipFinding 1985 Minolta Lenses in Mint Condition isn’t that easy. Common problems like dirt, wear, 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 Used Camera Stores, 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.

Watch a Video

TipA common issue with many Vintage 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 around $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.
Macro Switch at 28mm. Amazing Lens.
Fits in Lowpro 9 x 13cm Lens Case.
1985 Dollars Sales Price: $298 – 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: $149 (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 | Watch a Video Review

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 | 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.
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 – Hard to Find Today
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 “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. 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 | Watch a Video Review
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 Prime 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 f/1.4 Prime Lens for shooting Hummingbirds and Fireworks.
Minimum Focus Distance: 450cm.
1985 Dollars Sales Price: $139 (Sold as a Kit Lens Upgrade) – Buy This Lens!
Fits in Lowpro 7 x 8cm Lens Case.
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specifications

Minolta Maxxum 24mm 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 Prime Lens, which is great for shooting Wide Angle and Landscape Photography.
Minimum Focus Distance: 254cm.
1985 Dollars Sales Price: $299 – Expensive – Buy This Lens!
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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