Meta's Macro Photography Tips for Beginners - Macro Photography Tips and Digital Photography Reviews

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Meta’s Digital Photography Reviews of the Best Minolta A-Mount Lenses for Sony Alpha Cameras

The Best Minolta A-Mount Lenses for Sony Alpha Cameras

Did you know that you can use Vintage Minolta A-Mount Lenses on Sony Alpha Cameras? When Sony bought Konica-Minolta’s Camera Division back in 2006, they re-branded most of the Minolta A-Mount Lenses as Sony A-Mount Lenses. All Minolta “Maxxum”, “AF”, “Dyxum” and “Alpha” A-Mount Lenses will fit Sony A-Mount Cameras, including the latest Sony Alpha 77 II and Sony Alpha 99 II! Vintage Minolta A-Mount Lenses are very affordable (Many can be found under $50). These Vintage Minolta Lenses also fit Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras, using the Sony LA-EA4 A-Mount Adapter! See Meta’s List of 1985 Vintage Minolta Lenses, where she highlights the Best Minolta A-Mount Lenses!

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Meta’s Digital Photography Reviews of the Best 1985 Vintage Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses for Sony Alpha Cameras

Best Minolta Lenses

1985 Vintage Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses for Sony Alpha Cameras (a65, a68, a77, a77 II, a99, a99 II, etc.)

One of the reasons Meta choose the Sony A-Mount Cameras, over Canon and Nikon, was the huge selection of Inexpensive Vintage Minolta A-Mount Lenses. 1985 Vintage Minolta A-Mount Lenses mount directly to her older Sony Alpha 65 and newer Sony Alpha 77 II Cameras, with no adapter.

First sold in 1985, the First A-Mount Minolta A-Mount Lenses were made of metal, were longer and heavier, and 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 due to years of UV Sun Damage.

Later Minolta A-Mount Lenses, made in the 1990’s, were made of Plastic, were shorter and lighter and had a wider and smoother silicon focusing ring with oval indents. The build quality on these later Plastic Models wasn’t nearly as good as the 1985 Heavy Metal Models. For this reason, Meta recommends collecting the 1985 Vintage Metal Models listed below on the Minolta Owner’s Manual.

Note: Not all Minolta Lenses will fit the 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.

Minolta A-Mount Lenses work on Sony E-Mount Cameras

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

The Sony Adapter contains the necessary Focus Drive Motor System required to Auto Focus these Vintage Minolta A-Mount Lenses. This Sony Adapter opens up a huge E-Mount Camera market for Vintage Minolta A-Mount Lenses!

Note: The Zoom xi Motoroized AF Lenses will not Autofocus on the E-Mount Cameras.

Watch a Video

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.

Meta’s Digital Photography Reviews – Which 1985 Vintage Minolta Maxxum AF Lens to Buy?

Minolta Lens Collection
Meta’s Vintage Minolta Lenses (Photo L to R): 35–70mm, 24–50mm, 35–105mm, 100–200mm, 28–135mm, 70–210mm, 75–300mm and 50mm Prime on Sony a77 II
Meta's Macro Photography Tips for Beginners - Minolta 50mm f/1.7 Fixed Prime Lens
1985 Minolta 50mm f/1.7 Prime Lens

The Best Minolta Lenses from 1985 – Meta’s Recommended Minolta Lens Buy List


Minolta Maxxum 50mm f/1.7 Lens (Photo: Left). This Nifty 50mm Prime Lens was often sold as the “Kit Lens” that came with thousands Minolta Film Cameras, so they’re cheap (under $35) and very easy to find.
1985 Sales Price: $59 (Sold as a Kit Lens).

50mm lenses are considered a “Normal” focal length, because what you see through the lens is what you see through your naked eye – Try it. On an APS-C Camera, this becomes 75mm – A Short Telephoto.

Also available as the Super Sharp 50mm f/1.4 Lens version, but expect to pay upwards of $150 for one in mint condition.
1985 Sales Price: $139 (Sold as a Kit Lens Upgrade). Expensive and Difficult to Find.

Minolta Maxxum 70–210mm f/4.0 Lens, “Beer Can” because of it’s tall beer can shape. This Legendary Minolta Lens has Fantastic Image Quality at a constant f/4.0 Aperture for a bargain price (usually under $75). It’s solid metal construction makes it much heavier than later plastic models, but this lens won’t disappoint you – Meta says buy this Lens! It has some color fringing and chromatic aberration issues, which can be easily corrected in RAW Post Production. On an APS-C Camera, this becomes 105–315mm – A Large Telephoto Lens. At 1.1m away from your subject, this lens takes good Macro Photography Lens when set to 210mm.
1985 Sales Price: $172.

Also available is the similar 75–300mm f/4.5–5.6 Lens, “Big Beer Can”. This hard to find, very heavy lens is long (11.25” fully extended with hood). It has useful Macro Mode at 300mm, great for shooting Macro Photography and Hummingbirds from 1.5m away.
1985 Sales Price: $417 – Very Expensive!

Minolta Maxxum 35–70mm f/4.0 Lens, is a small, lightweight “Kit Lens” with great optics and a constant f/4.0 Aperture. It’s easy to find and very affordable (usually under $35). This zoom lens also has a useful Macro Switch at 70mm, but in Manual Focus only. On an APS-C Camera, this becomes 53–105mm – A Short Telephoto Lens.
1985 Sales Price: $105 (Sold as a Kit Lens).

Minolta Maxxum 35–105mm f/3.5–4.5 Lens is a bit larger and much heavier than the 35–70 with more zoom range, but with similar features, including a Macro Switch at 105mm for Manual Focus only. On an APS-C Camera, this becomes 53–158mm – A Telephoto Lens.
1985 Sales Price: $386 – Very Expensive!

Minolta Maxxum 28–135mm f/4.0–4.5 Lens, aka “Secret Handshake” is one of Minolta’s Legendary Lenses. Rumor has it that this lens was co-developed with Leica, due to its superior image quality and larger ø72mm. It’s actually heavier than the “Beer Can” Lens, has a long minimum focus distance of 1.4m, but with a useless Macro Switch at only 28mm. This lens is getting very expensive and difficult to find online.
1985 Sales Price: $298 – Expensive!

Best Minolta Macro Lenses

• 50mm f/2.8 Macro is a fantastic, flexible super sharp Macro Lens, plus it doubles as a 50mm Prime Lens. It has 1:1 Macro Magnification.

• 100mm f/2.8 Macro is possibly one of the World’s Best Macro Lenses. The longer focal length provides a longer working distance. It also has 1:1 Macro Magnification. This is Meta’s favorite Macro Lens. Meta says the 50mm Macro shoots the Bee, but the 100mm Macro shoots the Bee’s face!

TipMinolta Zoom Lenses suffer from Lens Flair due to their shorter Lens Hoods, which don’t really protect the lens. A simple fix is to replace the shorter Lens Hoods with longer ones from the ø49mm 100–200 f/4.5 and the ø55mm 100–300 f/4.5–5.6 Minolta Lenses. This Simple Minolta Lens Flair Fix has been tested on APS-C Sony Cameras, without any vignetting.

Meta’s Best 1985 Vintage Minolta Maxxum AF – Minolta Lenses Owner’s Manual – Click On Owner’s Manual

Minolta Lens Owners Manuals
Meta's Macro Photography Tips for Beginners - Minolta Maxxum AF Zoom 28-85mm

Minolta Maxxum AF Zoom 28–85mm f/3.5–4.5 (Macro Switch)

Minolta Maxxum 28–85mm f/3.5–4.5 Lens (Sharp All Around Lens)
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.
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.
Heavy for All Day Walk Around Use. Amazing Lens.
Fits in Lowpro 9 x 13cm Lens Case.
1985 Sales Price: $298 – Very Expensive!
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification
Meta's Macro Photography Tips for Beginners - Minolta Maxxum AF Zoom 35-70mm

Minolta Maxxum AF Zoom 35–70mm f/4.0 (Macro Switch)

Minolta Maxxum 35–70mm f/4.0 Lens (Sharp and Compact Lens – Very Easy to Find)
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.
APS-C Crop Factor: 35–70mm x 1.5 = 52–105mm. Weight: 256gm. ø49mm.
Lens Flair Fix – Use the longer lens hood from the ø49mm 100–200mm f/4.5 Lens!
Minimum Focus Distance: 1.0m – 32cm.
1985 Sales Price: $105 (Very Popular Kit Lens)
Fits in Lowpro 9 x 9cm Lens Case.
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification
Meta's Macro Photography Tips for Beginners - Minolta Maxxum AF Zoom 70-210mm

Minolta AF Zoom Maxxum 70–210mm f/4.0 “Beer Can” (Macro Mode)

Minolta Maxxum 70–210mm f/4.0 Lens (Very Sharp “Beer Can” Lens)
Many situations require a telephoto zoom lens that can isolate specific details from a distance.
APS-C Crop Factor: 70–210mm x 1.5 = 105–315mm. Weight: 695gm. ø55mm.
Heavy for Walk Around Use – Use a Tripod. Amazing Sharp Lens. Good for Macros.
Minimum Focus Distance: 1.1m.
1985 Sales Price: $172 – Buy This Lens – A Bargain
Fits in Lowpro 9 x 16cm Lens Case.
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification
Meta's Macro Photography Tips for Beginners - Minolta Maxxum AF Zoom 100-200mm

Minolta AF Zoom Maxxum 100–200mm f/4.5

Minolta Maxxum 100–200mm f/4.5 (Sharp Telephoto Lens)
For photographers who regularly work at longer distances, the 100–200mm range is an excellent choice.
APS-C Crop Factor: 100–200mm x 1.5 = 150–300mm. Weight: 375gm. ø55mm.
Sharp Telephoto Lens. Cheaper and lighter alternative to the heavy 70–210mm f/4.0.
Minimum Focus Distance: 1.9m. No Macro Mode.
1985 Sales Price: $98
Fits in Lowpro 9 x 13cm Lens Case.
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification
Meta's Macro Photography Tips for Beginners - Minolta Maxxum AF Zoom 28-135mm

Minolta Maxxum AF Zoom 28–135mm f/4.0–4.5 “Secret Handshake” (Macro Switch)

Minolta Maxxum 28–135mm f/4.0–4.5 Lens (Very Versatile Walk Around Lens)
This tremendously versatile zoom lens lets you move from wide, sweeping effects to much closer details.
APS-C Crop Factor: 28–135mm x 1.5 = 42–203mm. Weight: 750gm. Wide ø72mm.
Aperture Change Point: f/4.0 28–40mm, f/4.5 40–135mm.
Minimum Focus Distance: 1.5m – 25cm.
Very Heavy for Walk Around Use. Amazing Lens.
1985 Sales Price: $369 – Very Expensive – Still Expensive Today and Very Hard to Find
Fits in Lowpro 9 x 13cm Lens Case.
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification
Meta's Macro Photography Tips for Beginners - Minolta Maxxum AF Zoom 35-105mm

Minolta Maxxum AF Zoom 35–105mm f/3.5–4.5 (Macro Switch)

Minolta Maxxum 35–105mm f/3.5–4.5 Lens (Popular Compact Lens – Easy to Find)
APS-C Crop Factor: 35–105mm x 1.5 = 52–158mm. Weight: 495gm. ø55mm.
Aperture Change Point: f/3.5 35–36mm, f/4.0 36–70mm, f/4.5 70–105mm.
Heavy for All Day Walk Around Use. 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 Sales Price: $386 – Very Expensive!
Fits in Lowpro 9 x 13cm Lens Case.
Minolta Lens Specification
Meta's Macro Photography Tips for Beginners - Minolta Maxxum AF Zoom 75-300mm

Minolta AF Zoom Maxxum 75–300mm f/4.5–5.6 “Big Beer Can” (Macro Mode)

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.
Aperture Change Point: f/4.5 75–100mm, f/5.0 100–135mm, f/5.6 135–300mm.
Very Heavy for Walk Around Use – Use a Tripod. Very Sharp. Good for Macros.
Minimum Focus Distance: 1.5m.
1985 Sales Price: $417 – Very Expensive!
Fits in Lowpro 9 x 16cm Lens Case.
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification
Meta's Macro Photography Tips for Beginners - Minolta Maxxum AF Zoom 24-50mm

Minolta AF Zoom Maxxum 24–50mm f/4.0

Minolta Maxxum 24–50mm f/4.0 Lens (Wide Angle Walk Around Lens)
APS-C Crop Factor: 24–50mm x 1.5 = 36–75mm. Weight: 285gm. ø55mm.
Lens Flair Fix – Use the longer lens hood from the ø55mm 100–300mm f/4.5–5.6 Lens!
Minimum Focus Distance: 350cm.
Fits in Lowpro 9 x 9cm Lens Case.
1985 Sales Price: $283 – Expensive!
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification
Meta's Macro Photography Tips for Beginners - Minolta Maxxum AF Zoom 50-f1.4

Minolta AF Maxxum 50mm f/1.4 Sharp Prime Lens

Minolta Maxxum 50mm f/1.4 Lens (Very Sharp Portrait Lens)
Superseded by the $400 Sony SAL-50F14
APS-C Crop Factor: 50mm x 1.5 = 75mm. Light Weight: 235gm. ø49mm. Built-in Lens Hood. One of the few lenses that can shoot at 1/8,000th of a second.
Minimum Focus Distance: 450cm.
1985 Sales Price: $139 (Sold as a Kit Lens Upgrade)
Fits in Lowpro 7 x 8cm Lens Case.
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specifications
Meta's Macro Photography Tips for Beginners - Minolta Maxxum AF Zoom 50-f1.7

Minolta AF Maxxum 50mm f/1.7 Prime Lens

Minolta Maxxum 50mm f/1.7 Lens (Sharp Portrait Lens – Very Easy to Find)
APS-C Crop Factor: 50mm x 1.5 = 75mm. Light Weight: 210gm. ø49mm. Built-in Lens Hood.
Minimum Focus Distance: 450cm.
1985 Sales Price: $59 (Sold as a Kit Lens)
Fits in Lowpro 7 x 8cm Lens Case.
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification

Meta’s Digital Photography Reviews of the Best Minolta A-Mount Lenses

The Best Minolta A-Mount Lenses

Meta hopes that you found her Reviews of The Best Minolta A-Mount Lenses for Beginner Macro Photography and Close-up Photography interesting and an insight into Meta’s Magical and Miniature World of Macro Photography and Close-up Photography.

If you have any Macro Photography Tips for Beginners or New Digital Photography Products that you would like to see Reviewed on Meta’s website, please Contact Meta.

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“Oh Lord, won’t you Fund Me, a Sony Zeiss Lens?
My friends all use Nikons, I must make amends!”

~ Meta

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