Sony/Minolta dSLR/lenses...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mrgreen4242, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #1
    So my aunt is an "old school" photog. She studied PJ in college about 25 years ago and has been shooting the same Minolta 35mm SLR for probably 20 years. She's not the most computer savvy lady, and saw no reason to go digital (shes been just adding a CD of her photos to her developing order the last few years) until her SLR body took a dive.

    I was talking to her over the weekend about cameras and photography, since I just go into the dSLR thing, and she mentioned all of this and wondered if she could replace her body only with a dSLR and keep her 25+ years of lenses around. I told her that was the case with most cameras, but I wasn't sure about Minolta.

    Did some research and found, as I'm sure most of you know, that Minolta sold their SLR business to Sony a few years back, and that it looks like Sony kept the Minolta lens mount for their cameras.

    So, here's the questions: 1) what should she look for on her lenses to see if the are the Sony-compatible "a-mount"? 2) What lenses, if any, will autofocus on the Sony bodies? 3) Are there any Sony bodies that offer more or less "backwards compatibility" with Minolta lenses? 4) Any other advice for a Minolta 35mm user going to digital I can pass on to her? She's on a budget - it doesn't sound like she has to supply her own equipment for her work, so it's mainly for person use, and/or outside contract stuff. But, she will expect 35mm quality, or at least pretty close.

    Thanks!
     
  2. svndmvn Guest

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Italy
    #2
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minolta_AF
    have you checked that list out?
    I guess if she really wants to keep her lenses and not sell them in order to get a whole new kit, you can check for her if her camera is in that list and if there's some new Sony that could suit her needs
    I know Nikon uses Sony sensors, and Minolta used to make wonderful lenses, so I guess a Sony would do,the newer the better
    I was wondering if she could have considered selling everything in order to get a Full Frame that would be closer to the 35mm standard
    or you can also check this out if you haven't, http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonydslra700/
    sorry,the a900 seems to be Sony's first full frame
     
  3. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    VA
    #3
    Which model Minolta did your aunt use? Since you did not specify and you said "25+ years", it could be the case that she had a manual focus camera, in which case none of the lenses will fit on the Sony.

    All autofocus Minolta lenses should mount and autofocus on the Sony cameras. Other specific compatibility issues, I can't comment on.
     
  4. mrgreen4242 thread starter macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #4
    I'm not sure off hand, I'll have to check with her. It's quite possible it's not AF. Would her lenses simply not fit at all, or would they just not AF?

    Thanks for the help everyone.
     
  5. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    VA
    #5
    The mounts are different. It's possible to mount MF lenses with an adapter, but as I understand it the adapter itself causes a slight magnification effect, and the additional optics could impact image quality. And of course it will not make the lens focus automatically. I don't have any experience using this type of setup so I can't comment on how well it works.
     
  6. Chubby Cox macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2004
    #6
    I picked up an adapter like this on eBay a while back for around $50 so that I could use some of my father's old Minolta telephoto lenses on my A100. The results were mediocre at best.
     
  7. mrgreen4242 thread starter macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #7
    Thanks for the input. Are there any DSLRs that can use the Minolta manual focus lenses or is she going to have to either start over again or use a "mediocre" adaptor?
     
  8. yrsonicdeath macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    #8
    My Dad used Minolta SLRs and my first SLR was a Minolta, but when I made the change to digital I left them behind. I still have them though.
     
  9. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #9
    I had to jetison an entire stock of minolta MF lenses when I switched to DSLR. The effort and complications made using the old glass not worthwhile (unfortunately). Her cheapest bet is probably to buy a used Minolta body for cheap and keep shooting film.
     
  10. mrgreen4242 thread starter macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #10
    Looks like that's what's likely to happen, but when I told her there were a couple of dSLRs shooting HD video she was definately intrigued. She's been working with video, not still, primarily the last decade, so being able to comb ine a little B camera and a dSLR into one device on location would be a pretty big deal for her. She shoots lots of corporate stuff, mostly internal stuff for Ford, so it would certainly be good enough for that. She's done some other pretty cool stuff lately, though, like the video montage at Steve Yzerman's jersey retiremen ceremony.
     
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #11
    If her lenses are so old as to be Minolta manual focus she is best to start over. The lens have VERY little value and are no worth keeping. I still own a Minolta Manual focus SLR. I remember when Minolta changed over to auto focus and obsoleted all my lenses. Seeing as there was no way to use my old Minolta lenses I switched Nikon. Nikn did NOT change their mount when they moved from MF to AF. Canon changed their mount too.

    One easy thing she could do is buy an old Minolta manual focus camera on eBay. The cost would be under $100. Other then that she could pick an other brand and start over.
     
  12. dukeblue91 macrumors 65816

    dukeblue91

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #12
    You can go here and check on all the Minolta / Sony and 3rd party lenses.
    Dyxum
     

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