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Digital Photography Reviews of The Best Vintage Minolta Lenses for Sony Cameras

The Best Vintage Minolta Lenses for Sony Cameras

Did you know that you can use Inexpensive Vintage Minolta Lenses on Sony Cameras? When Sony bought Konica-Minolta’s Camera Division in 2006, they re-branded most of the Vintage Minolta Lenses as Sony Lenses. All Minolta “Maxxum”, “AF”, “Dyxum” and “Alpha” A-Mount Lenses will fit Sony Cameras, including the latest Sony a77 II Camera and Sony a99 II Camera! These Vintage Minolta Lenses are very affordable (Many can be found under $50). Vintage Minolta Lenses also fit Sony 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 Vintage Minolta Lenses!

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Digital Photography Reviews of The Best 1985 Vintage Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses for Sony Cameras

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 Vintage Minolta Lenses

1985 Vintage Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses for Sony Cameras

Did you know that you can use Vintage Minolta Lenses on Sony Cameras? When Sony bought Konica-Minolta’s Camera Division in 2006, they re-branded most of the Vintage Minolta Lenses as Sony Lenses (with increased price tags). All Minolta “Maxxum”, “AF”, “Dyxum” and “Alpha” A-Mount Lenses will fit Sony Cameras, including the latest Sony a77 II Camera and Sony a99 II Camera! These Vintage Minolta Lenses are very affordable (Most can be found under $50). Vintage Minolta Lenses also fit Sony E-Mount Cameras, using a Sony LA-EA4 A-Mount Adapter! See Meta’s List of 1985 Vintage Minolta Lenses, where she highlights The Best Vintage Minolta Lenses!

First sold in 1985, 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 Vintage 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.

Later 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 models wasn’t nearly as good as the original 1985 Heavy Metal Models. For this reason, Meta recommends only buying the 1985 Vintage Metal Models listed below in the two Minolta Owner’s Manuals.

Note: Not all Vintage 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” Vintage Minolta Lenses WILL NOT FIT Sony A-Mount Cameras.

Vintage Minolta Lenses also work on Sony E-Mount Cameras

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

Note: The Minolta Zoom xi Motoroized AF Lenses will not Autofocus on the E-Mount Cameras. These Vintage Minolta Lenses are NOT recommended to buy.

Watch a Video

TipA common issue with many Vintage Minolta Lenses is Lens Flair, due to the Short Stock Lens Hoods used. A Simple Vintage 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 available online for around $10.

The Best 1985 Vintage Minolta Maxxum AF – 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.
Useless Macro Switch at 28mm. 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

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.
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 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 Sales Price: $172 – Buy This Lens – A Bargain
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 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.
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

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. 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 - 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. Useful Macro Mode at 300mm. Very Heavy for Walk Around Use – Use a Tripod. Very Sharp.
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 - 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 Sales Price: $283 – Expensive!
Minolta Lens Review | Minolta Lens Specification

The Best 1985 Vintage Minolta Maxxum AF – 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 lenses that can shoot well 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

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 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.
Minimum Focus Distance: 254cm.
1985 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

Digital Photography Reviews of The Minolta Lenses Owner’s Manuals (Click Each Manual to Download)

Minolta Lens Owners Manuals
Minolta Lens Owners Manuals

Digital Photography Reviews of The Best Vintage Minolta Lenses

The Best Vintage Minolta Lenses for Sony Cameras

Meta hopes that you found her Reviews of The Best Vintage Minolta Lenses interesting and an insight into Meta’s Miniature World of Macro Photography.

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