Old Minolta Lenses, Quality?

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TC6969

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I bought an old Minolta 50mm 1.7 and it turned out to be a VERY nice lens, and now it has me on the hunt for some more hidden treasures!

Did Minolta have different levels of quality and performance like SONY does?

How can I tell one lens from the other?
 

Kevriano

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They did and had some high end stuff at the time. I used to own that 50mm 1.7, super sharp and bright lens. It's a bit of a minefield, but stick to the stuff from the 80's and you should be good. The 100-200 and 100-300 AF lenses were fab. They g=had some nice primes too.
 

TC6969

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That's my problem.

How to identify the 80's lenses.

SONY throws things in their descriptions like "Sonnor" or "Zeiss" or "Art" so you can sort of tell what you're getting.

Not so with Minolta.
 

TC6969

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Brownie

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For an extensive list of Minolta A-Mount lenses and Sony A-Mount and aftermarket, and dang near every lens that was ever made for A-Mount visit the Dyxum lens database. Dyxum is a forum pretty much dedicated to the A-Mount, although E is now discussed for obvious reasons. The listings include specifications, ratings, reviews (most by reputable sites like Ken Rockwell), user ratings and reviews, links to eBay for that lens, etc. It's searchable by FL, Manufacturer, apertures, zoom, prime. If you open a lens listing, say the Minolta 50/1.7, within it are links to other versions of that lens.

What I found while searching for lenses is that for the most part (and almost without exception) the first-version Minolta Maxxum lenses were the highest rated. There are a few with a subsequent version being more highly rated, but very few. As a rule if I'm looking for Minolta Maxxum glass I look for the first version, typically early-mid '80's. The style of the lens with the angle-ribbed grip rings and glossy exterior is immediately recognizable. The white crud that shows up on the rubber is a product of the day, something to do with the material Minolta used. I never see it on any other lenses but it's common on Maxxum cameras and lenses of the period. It will come right off with a stiff toothbrush. Sometimes I just scrub it with a dry toothbrush, sometimes with a rubber/cleaner protectant.

Click the link and look at the listings on the left. The second link is lenses. From there you'll have more choices, it's a very short learning curve.

For the record I am not a fan of the forum. It is far too regimented and stiff for my liking. Photo contests require you post post in multiple links, like failed shots, thumbnails, etc. Too much work for me. But the lens resource section is unparalleled.

 
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a77Minolta

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I too really like to 50/1.7

I’m also really fond of the 28-135 and I hear the 28-105 is quite good and less heavy. The 28-135 is a beast.

I also like the 70-210 F4. I just picked up a 28 f2.8 but haven’t played with it

I second the dyxum site for reviews
 
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Brownie

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I too really like to 50/1.7

I’m also really fond of the 28-135 and I hear the 28-105 is quite good and less heavy. The 28-135 is a beast.

I also like the 70-210 F4. I just picked up a 28 f2.8 but haven’t played with it

I second the dyxum site for reviews
I have the 28-135 and the 35-105. The 35-105 is supposed to be the better of the two, but I think my 28-135 outshines it.

The 70-210/4 is affectionately referred to as 'The Beercan' and is legendary. I have it and the wonderful little 100-200. Also the 75-300.

When I bought my Minolta Maxxum 7000 in 1985 or so I had the 50/1.7, the 35-70/4, and the 100-200/4.5. I have repurchased the 50 and 100-200, but left the 35-70 in favor of the aforementioned 28-135 and 35-105.
 
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a77Minolta

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I have the 28-135 and the 35-105. The 35-105 is supposed to be the better of the two, but I think my 28-135 outshines it.

The 70-210/4 is affectionately referred to as 'The Beercan' and is legendary. I have it and the wonderful little 100-200. Also the 75-300.

When I bought my Minolta Maxxum 7000 in 1985 or so I had the 50/1.7, the 35-70/4, and the 100-200/4.5. I have repurchased the 50 and 100-200, but left the 35-70 in favor of the aforementioned 28-135 and 35-105.
Have you any experience with the min 100-400?
 

pointreyes

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I normally check this site for old glass used on the A7 camera series.

Lots of information on that site including Canon FD and Olympus OM.
The site even addresses how to handle ultra-wide lenses on the Sony cameras that are affected by the thicker sensor stack (like M-mount lenses).
 
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Brownie

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Have you any experience with the min 100-400?
No, sorry. Other than the 75-300, the only long glass I have in A mount is a Tamron 200-500.

The Minolta A mount 500mm mirror is supposed to be a real cut above the average. From samples I've seen, I'd have to agree.
 
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spudhead

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I bought an old Minolta 50mm 1.7 and it turned out to be a VERY nice lens, and now it has me on the hunt for some more hidden treasures!

Did Minolta have different levels of quality and performance like SONY does?

How can I tell one lens from the other?
So maybe my interests subject wise are different to yours but I have always rated the Minolta primes and still have a few and still use them on both a-mount and e-mount I have the 200 2.8 hs which probably close to the best lens I have ever used it is so sharp, I have the 300 2.8 another awesome lens and will not part with it even though I have the sony ssm 300 2.8 and lastly the 400 4.5 hs a stunning lens and all the lenses produce great colours and great images, its so easy to move on to the awesome lenses available now from Sony and others but it all started for sony when Minolta changed the game
 
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