Old minolta lenses VS modern

Started Nov 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
Anderton Contributing Member • Posts: 663
Minolta AF

m.holmes wrote:


Sorry if this question has been asked 10^N times, but I need some quick hint from more experienced Minolta people.

I admit I was considering the Zeiss 50mm (yes, I agree it's overpriced), but I found a local shop that sells A LOT of used Minolta lenses (yes, I noticed they are very cheap).

The shopowner, not knowing I was thinking about the Zeiss, was strongly suggesting me a metal-mount AF Minolta 50mm (which would cost ~1/20 of the Zeiss), so I was actually tempted.

Is there any Minolta lens in particular that is worth having and it's competitive with the modern ones?

Minolta lens pricing roughly matches quality and to a lesser extent supply, especially on eBay.

None can compete head to head with modern lenses especially with updated autofocus and lens coatings. Even if you find a mint copy, most will still be behind with at least one or more of the following issues:

* overall sharpness

* flare control

* contrast loss in direct sunlight

* chromatic aberration control (use post processing such as Lightroom to correct)

* focus speed (unless it is one of the rare Minolta telephotos that has a fast motor)

* heavy

* long minimum focal distance

On the other hand, first generation Maxxum AF lens had rock solid build quality, nice Bokeh characteristics, full frame compatiblity and would probably outlast a lot of the newer Sony plastic lens. Some of them can even be hacked to enable autofocus in Macro mode.

For the photographer on a budget that does not shoot professionally, there are a lot of bang for buck bargains to be had. Bonus if you have an APS-C body that can take advantage of the centre sharpness of these lens.

Besides the Dyxum website, a summary of lens can also be found here:


The standout lens for me are the first generation (not second) of the following:


Minolta 85mm f/1.4


Minolta 28-135mm f/4-4.5 "Secret Handshake"

Minolta 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5

Minolta 70-210mm f/4 “Beercan”

For example, the 28-135mm, 35-135mm below in mint copy I would consider to have a lot better sharpness, build quality and Bokeh than the standard 18-55mm DT kit lens - with the 35-135mm at the same price.

The 70-210mm has better sharpness, build quality and a lot better Bokeh than the 55-200mm DT at roughly the same price.

Good luck!


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