Top 10 Minolta legacy lenses!

Started Apr 17, 2012 | Discussions
alan900 Regular Member • Posts: 100
I wondered what that was!

Here's the said blue dot, dead centre. It only appeared in this and one other pic from the session - seems very selective. Great lens otherwise.

Sam147 Regular Member • Posts: 156
Re: I wondered what that was!

Do you still get new Milnolta lenses or only used ones?

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WaltKnapp Forum Pro • Posts: 13,857
Re: I lved those lenses

cyainparadise wrote:

WaltKnapp wrote:

I'd throw in the 12.5mm and 25mm Bellows Micro Lenses (high magnification macro) But few will have the opportunity to use these.

I guess I'm one of the lucky few who got to use those lenses. When I was a rep for Minolta, we had a sample case of just about every lens to try out. When the rep above me left, the case was put in my possession, so I could use them when ever I wanted.

I produced a bunch of shots with my then new RD175 which Minolta asked if they could use. They had not thought of photomicrographs and so on and I was routinely using the RD175 for a variety of such things in my scientific photography. I said they could use them but my price was finding those two lenses for me to buy. The rep searched all through Minolta trying to find them. They were not on the computer inventory anywhere. Then he happened to mention to one of the warehouse people what he was looking for. The warehouse guy showed him where they were, several of each brand new. The problem was when they had computerized the inventory those lenses did not get into the computer.

I bought two of each before letting word out about this windfall. And almost instantly all that were left were bought out. Always have wondered what else was lost in the warehouse

I've got the Tamron A mount AF 300mm f2.8 that was nearly a one off. It too came from a rep's samples. I'd have loved to pick through that case you had.

DrLizardo New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Top 10 Minolta legacy lenses!

I scored a perfect 35-70 mini beer can at a flea market a couple of weeks ago, for $10. I put it on the camera and started shooting with it right then. It makes the A900 a much friendlier walkaround camera than it is with the Minolta 28-135mm, which is a superb, but massive lens. The guy also had a Quantaray 24mm f2.8. Plenty sharp, and for $5, a good buy as well. The quantaray has plenty of purple fringing against a bright sky but this goes away if you set the color to Neutral.

asiafish Regular Member • Posts: 412
Re: Top 10 Minolta legacy lenses!

A Mount for my A77  (All original Maxxum versions, pre-G)

85mm F1.4 (my favorite lens of all time)

70-210mm F4 beercan

100mm f2.8 macro (my sharpest lens)

135mm F2.8 (if you can find one - very compact and nice)

100mm F2 (I want one, but can't justify with the 85mm and 100mm macro in my bag)

MD Mount for my NEX 5n (All Rokkors, MC and MD)

58mm F1.4 (1.2 would be better)

28mm F2.5

135mm F3.5

24mm F2.8

*As much as I like the Rokkors, I am in the process of selling them all (still have the 28 and 58) to fund the Sony Zeiss 24mm and Sony 50mm.  I will add an old CY mount Zeiss 85mm F2.8 and call it a day.  For a compact system, I really want autofocus and the ability to set the whole thing to full auto and hand to a stranger.

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Frenske Veteran Member • Posts: 4,180
Re: Top 10 Minolta legacy lenses!

Perhaps an odd one, but it is brilliant: the Minolta 50mm f3.5 macro. Sadly I sold it to finance a real 1:1 macro lens. It was sharp and nice soft bokeh.

I have owned quiet a few Minolta lenses, but I shoot nowadays only with CZ 16-80mm, 70-300mm G and occasionally Sigma 70mm f2.8. I still have a 50mm f1.7 and a 135mm f2.8, but they rarely see the light. I just keep them because in the back of my mind the moment I sell them I need them. At the end is the 28-85mm better than the CZ, can the beercan really compete with a 70-300mm G? I don't think so!

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sensibill Veteran Member • Posts: 5,401
Hope about Top 3?

I've only owned maybe 10 or so Minolta (and Sigma, Tamron, Promaster, etc.) lenses total, and I'd bet that most people reading this thread haven't owned enough legacy glass to select 10 keepers out of however many they've had...

Still, I have three that 'stuck' out of the following: 18-55 II SAM kit (not 'legacy' of course), Tamron/Promaster 70-300 LD (also not legacy), Sigma 75-300, Sigma 35-135, Minolta 35-105 (RS), Minolta 28-80 Xi, Minolta 75-300 New, Minolta 28-135 'Secret Handshake', Minolta 50mm 1.7 'non-RS', Promaster 28-80 Aspherical. I also spent time with a Minolta 75-300 'D' (I think, or it was a 'II').

Of those, the Minolta 75-300 New, 28-135 SH and 50mm 1.7 turned out to be keepers.

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HobbiesAreFun Senior Member • Posts: 2,457
Re: Top 10 Minolta legacy lenses!

Here's my list:

1. Minolta 135mm f/2.8 T/4.5 STF

2. Minolta 400mm f/4.5 APO

3. Minolta 200mm f/2.8 HS

4. Minolta 28-135mm f/4-4.5

5. Minolta 100mm f/2

6. Minolta 50mm f/1.4

7. Minolta 85mm f/1.4 G

8. Minolta 28-70mm f/2.8 G

9. Minolta 28mm f/2

10. Minolta 50mm f/1.7

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fzrTom Senior Member • Posts: 2,277
Re: Top 10 Minolta legacy lenses!

Minolta AF 85mm F1.4
Minolta AF 50mm F1.4
Minolta AF 35mm F1.4 G
Minolta AF 80-200mm F2.8 HS APO G
Minolta AF 100-400mm APO G
Minolta AF 100-300mm APO
Minolta AF 28–75 mm F2.8
Minolta AF 24-105 F3.5-4.5
Minolta AF 70-210mm Beercan F4
Minolta AF 50mm F1.7

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penndragonn2001 Regular Member • Posts: 186
Re: Top 10 Minolta legacy lenses!

Didnt't see the Minolta 28-85 f3.5 macro listed...I have it. it's actually a very good lens

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EXX Contributing Member • Posts: 876
Re: Top 10 Minolta legacy lenses!

I have not owned so many lenses, but I have 3 Minoltas I value:

  • Minolta 70-210 f4 "Beercan. Looks like it has been used in a warzone, scatched and slight superficial damag, but it makes great pictures in low light.
  • Minolta 500 f8 Reflex. So light and handy for a 500mm lens. I use it frequently.
  • Minolta 100 f2.8 Macro D. Not really legacy; Sony still manufactures it.

What I would like to get:

  • Minolta 80-200 f2.8 HS APO
  • Minolta 50 f1.7
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Ionian Senior Member • Posts: 1,271
Re: Top 10 Minolta legacy lenses!

It's not a list of 10, but out of the Minolta legacy lenses I do own here's what I value most.

1) 100 F2  (Pure Magic)
2) STF (Screw the Bokeh - I love this one for it's insane sharpness)
3) 50 3.5 Macro (Always a nice result, even when used as a regular 50)
4) 28-135 (Amazing results for the money.  Great lens - watch for flare, though)
5) 70-200 F4 Beercan (Nice Bokeh on such a low priced lens)
I have some others (50 1.7, 28 2.8, etc.) but nothing stands out like those 5 to me.


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RichV Veteran Member • Posts: 6,178
lots of fun, here ...

I'm glad for all the great suggestions.

My list:


100 macro

100 f/2

135 STF

200 f/2.8

300 f/2.8

300 f/4

500 mirror (for the AF and lightness, not so much for the IQ)


80-200 HS G (I also have the 70-200 SSM, but I think the 80-200 is a better lens in almost all categories (but certainly not in lens noise!))

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Cacophonic Visions
Cacophonic Visions Regular Member • Posts: 166
Re: lots of fun, here ...

Personally use these and love them:

MD Rokkor 85mm f/2.8 VARISOFT

50mm f/1.4 (Sony version)

50mm f/1.7 (crossed X's)

50mm f/2.8 MACRO

35-70mm f/4

70-210mm f/4

Wish list:

500m f/8 REFLEX

100mm f/2.8 VARISOFT

135mm f/2.8 STF

I personally prefer primes over zooms, but I love the detail, color, and bokeh of the two Minolta zooms I have.

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Sony A77, A99, Fujifilm X-Pro1, KM Maxxum 7D

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sinc Contributing Member • Posts: 584
Re: Top 10 Minolta legacy lenses!

The Minolta 100-300 f4.5 APO

Small, light, and sharp.

A whopping 450mm with an APS-C sensor.

Joesph T. Sinclair, Author, San Francisco Bay Area

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Cacophonic Visions
Cacophonic Visions Regular Member • Posts: 166
Re: Top 10 Minolta legacy lenses!

Managed to get my hands on a Minolta 35mm f/2 RS.  A real gem of a lens so far.

Here's one from my A99 with the 35mm f/2.  One of my Japanese dolls playing in the fall leaves.

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Timothy S Broadley
Timothy S Broadley Senior Member • Posts: 2,327
Re: Top 10 Minolta legacy lenses!

heliguy wrote:

Minolta made a lot of good glass both AF and MF. Was wondering what the ultimate top 10 list of Minolta lenses would be. I have the Minolta 50mm f1.4 that should surely make the list, it's my fave legacy lens. I'm not very familiar with the entire product family. What's your Minolta top 10?

I'll break it down ito two groups :(a) AF and 9b) MF






200mm/F2.8 G







28mm/F2.8 VFC

50mm/1.2 (yes there is one)



200mm/f2.8 or F4

250/f5.6 mirror

600mm/F6.3 APO (very rare)

800mm/F8 Mirror (Really sharp although exhibits CA on digital)

I had good luck with these lenses on my 5n



mark 808 New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Top 10 Minolta legacy lenses!

Now that the slt 99 is out here is the time for the Minolta lenses built for full frame to shine.

Here is my top 10 all AF which work very well with the SLT99

Group one:  still fairly expensive but worth it

1. 85mm 1.4 or 1.4 G  This a beautiful portrait lens, easily equal to canon or Nikon versions. If you go for an older optically equal made of metal "non G" version, you can get one in excellent shape for about $500-600.  Photos so far on the 99 are amazing

2. 28-70G 2.8  This is my daily walk around lens- ever so slightly less sharp than CZ 24-70 but better colors and wonderful bokeh  about $600-700 instead of $2k for the CZ

3. 80-200 2.8G  Heavy, but every bit the equal or superior to the Canon, Nikon or Sony 70-210 2.8 lenses.  The black version is a little less expensive and IMHO looks better than the white  version. Bokeh on this one might be the best of all.

4. 17-35 3.5G This is a tougher choice- wide angle for FF camera with Minolta is a bit weak this a great lens but because it is relatively rare costs about $1100 which is still much less than CZ but not as dramatic. Still the pictures on 99 are great so far

Group 2. reasonable price, great performance

5.  28-135 4-4.5  I love the results I have been getting with this lens. With FF it is a great carry around lens and just has that magic quality to the results. Easily equals the canon 24-105lf4.  You could just have this lens and take award winning quality photos.  poor MFD is the one problem as well as needing to get 3rd party hood

6. 70-210 beercan- sometimes the fast zoom is too heavy. This has the same pop and great bokeh as well as good control over DOF  with the ff camera. A great copy can be found for less than $200

7. Minolta 100-300 apo, small very sharp very quick autofocus great if you want a light telephoto and don't need quite as much speed

Group 3. Inexpensive lens, great quality

8.  50mm 1.7  sharp as a tack, made of metal very small and light.

9. Minolta 35-105. Very inexpensive , great colors, not that fast but with the FF you get reasonable control of DOF and the 35-105 is a nice range on the FF

10. a sleeper,  the Minolta 24-105 3.5-4.5 D fairly sharp, very useful range, fast enough for some DOF control, great colors, less than $200 great enthusiast lens. quite underrated IMHO.

Have fun

Sol Veteran Member • Posts: 3,426
Re: Top 10 Minolta legacy lenses!

300 2.8 G SSM

70-200 2.8 G SSM

100 2.8 Macro

85 1.4

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William Curtindale
William Curtindale Veteran Member • Posts: 8,119
100mm f/2 Is Amazing (sharp and creamy smooth bokeh)

The 100mm f/2 is amazingly sharp wide open at f/2 and the bokeh is creamy smooth. Also the nine blade curved aperture yields nice bokeh even when shut down. It is a rare find when you come across one of these (mine is the only one I have ever seen).

You have to use one of these to appreciate what it has to offer. Using a lens of this focal length with an f/2 aperture gives the photographer creative control not found in other lenses of this focal length. It is great for portraits in low light.

Of all my legacy lenses this is the diamond jewel of the bunch. Others are nice but this one is really special.

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A900 w/Zeiss Glass + Sony G

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