Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Joined
·
8,152 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My father was big enough of a photographer back in the 70's and 80's to have a really nice Minolta SLR with a smattering of lenses and other add-on hardware.

Having run the idea past a phew photographer phriends in the past, I'm fairly confident that what I'm looking for is not only doable, but very easy.

What I'm getting at is this - we're looking for a digital SLR camera that'll still be useable with the old Minolta lenses. A quick Google search turns up a few Sony cams that are nearly directly bolt-on (small adapter required), but those are quite pricey. I thought Kodak or someone bought the rights to the Minolta hardware and were currently producing digital cameras that were absolutely direct bolt-on with the lenses, no adapter required.

Is such a thing within the realm of possibility? If so, what's the best course of action to ensure that the camera that we buy will fit with his lenses?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,819 Posts
yes adaptors can be pricey... generally you lose autofocus and metering(gotta know the basics), you may get focus confirmation with some. Now I don't know much about Minolta but you do have to worry about lens combo and shutter for some things. You do not want the mechanical shutter to hit any part of the lens. I use Zeiss and Olympus adaptors with my Canon equipment.. no autofocus and no metering. Unless you have some really awesome glass.. i'd venture to say it's not worth the trouble.
 

·
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Joined
·
8,152 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yes adaptors can be pricey... generally you lose autofocus and metering(gotta know the basics), you may get focus confirmation with some. Now I don't know much about Minolta but you do have to worry about lens combo and shutter for some things. You do not want the mechanical shutter to hit any part of the lens. I use Zeiss and Olympus adaptors with my Canon equipment.. no autofocus and no metering. Unless you have some really awesome glass.. i'd venture to say it's not worth the trouble.
So what are the options then? I'm sort of fleshing out some Christmas gift ideas. I know my dad has wanted a DSLR for ages, but would like something that can use his old lenses, or at least something similar.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,819 Posts
Visit fredmiranda.com
The have a section devoted to alternative lens. I have not been there for years. So I don't know how much it has changed.

Like a said .. unless you have some primo vintage glass it's not worth it. Adopt a new system.. canon Nikon Sony Olympus ..
whatever.

I have some old vintage zeiss contax and Olympus lens .. I few of them can be bettered by today's top glass so they is little reason to keep them beside cost of said new glass and nostalgia




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
701 Posts
I would also have to agree with spdntrxi. The technology of lenses have progressed light years; auto-focus, image-stabilization, incredible zoom factor, etc. so as you will be able to accomplish to use the old Minolta lenses, the quality will no longer be on par even with the entry-level equipment available today.

Side story: I use to work on extremely high-end surveillance equipment for the government in the 80's & 90's and the commercial off-the-shelf equipment nowadays will put the equipment I use to work on to shame in terms of every aspect of cost, installation, use, quality, and maintenance.
 

·
Frog Whisperer
Joined
·
40,922 Posts
In my opinion, a lot of the old glass is by far superior to the lower end "stock" lenses coming with new camera kits. I shoot with Pentax, and have since the early 70's, back with universal screw mount lenses, I have an adapter to use them on my Pentax dSLR. Pentax has not changed their bayonet mount since the mid to late 70's so all their old lenses work on the new stuff. Richoh lenses too. Yes you do lose auto focus and aperture on some of them but so what? I have a couple high end light meters. and if you know what you are doing can shoot manual with the onboard metering.

Any one remember the old Leitz lenses on the vintage Leica? None better imo.
 

·
Spicy Dumpling
Joined
·
9,721 Posts
I've done a lot with the sony mirrorless and adapters. The adapters are not that expensive. You should be able to get a good minolta MD adapter for sony for less than 50 bucks. And the Sony mirrorless cameras are a match for DSLR's in the same price ranges. Check out a used Sony A6000 which is a great 24MP camera. And the focus peaking makes manual focus lenses a breeze as it highlights what is in focus. I went with sony about 5 years ago and haven't looked back. With adapters you can use about any lens on the market.
 

·
Spicy Dumpling
Joined
·
9,721 Posts
I would also have to agree with spdntrxi. The technology of lenses have progressed light years; auto-focus, image-stabilization, incredible zoom factor, etc. so as you will be able to accomplish to use the old Minolta lenses, the quality will no longer be on par even with the entry-level equipment available today.

Side story: I use to work on extremely high-end surveillance equipment for the government in the 80's & 90's and the commercial off-the-shelf equipment nowadays will put the equipment I use to work on to shame in terms of every aspect of cost, installation, use, quality, and maintenance.
It depends on the glass. The high end glass back then is high end now. And with mirrorless cameras manual focus is surprisingly easy. I have old and new zeiss glass and it's hard to tell the difference. There is a lot of crappy glass, then and now. But good glass then is still better than the cheaper/mid level stuff of today. I'd say the best lens I've ever used is a 1990's Contax G 45 that kills every new lens I've used except the current Zeiss 55. But my Minolta 50 F1.4 from the 80's was a great lens I got for 60 bucks.
 

·
Off the back
Joined
·
1,850 Posts
My old manual focus Canon L 135/2 and Tokina 300/2.8 gave me some incredible photos, matched with my Panasonic mirrorless micro four-thirds (MFT) GH3 and GH4 cameras. Not enough high-quality choices exist for the MFT market. The adaptor cost about $30 online. The camera retains me to control shutter speed, but you need to select aperture manually.

The biggest drawback is size and weight. My Olympus 40-150/2.8 with 1.5 multiplier weighs a fraction of the old Tokina, with very little lost in photo quality. This Olympus lens cost about a grand, though.
 

·
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Joined
·
8,152 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It depends on the glass. The high end glass back then is high end now. And with mirrorless cameras manual focus is surprisingly easy. I have old and new zeiss glass and it's hard to tell the difference. There is a lot of crappy glass, then and now. But good glass then is still better than the cheaper/mid level stuff of today. I'd say the best lens I've ever used is a 1990's Contax G 45 that kills every new lens I've used except the current Zeiss 55. But my Minolta 50 F1.4 from the 80's was a great lens I got for 60 bucks.
Where does Minolta fit in the spectrum of quality? Obviously, no Zeiss or Leica, but is that a brand that'll hold up to modern equipment?

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
 

·
gazing from the shadows
Joined
·
27,287 Posts
Where does Minolta fit in the spectrum of quality? Obviously, no Zeiss or Leica, but is that a brand that'll hold up to modern equipment?

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
Regardless of quality, the wide angle lenses are likely to be less wide angle on a new body.

For the main question, the internet says....

Minolta brand autofocus lenses for the Maxxum and Dynax series camera work on digital Minolta SLR cameras, Konica/Minolta digital SLRs, and the Sony DSLR cameras.
So if the old lenses are autofocus, you can find a body online and they should work in a reasonable fashion. If they are not Maxxum or Dynax compatible, you should just start from scratch.
 

·
Spicy Dumpling
Joined
·
9,721 Posts
Regardless of quality, the wide angle lenses are likely to be less wide angle on a new body.
Only with an APS-C or M4/3 camera. But the OP sounds like he'd go with something below a Full frame camera.


So if the old lenses are autofocus, you can find a body online and they should work in a reasonable fashion. If they are not Maxxum or Dynax compatible, you should just start from scratch.
The AF Minolta's will work AF with an adapter on the Sony Mirrorless but the adapter is more expensive. The OP mentioned that it was 70s-80's so they are probably all manual focus lenses.
 

·
Spicy Dumpling
Joined
·
9,721 Posts
Where does Minolta fit in the spectrum of quality? Obviously, no Zeiss or Leica, but is that a brand that'll hold up to modern equipment?

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
Depends on the lenses. For zooms, they are rarely as good as modern lenses no matter what the brand.

But for primes their upper tier lenses were pretty good. The 55 1.8 wasn't bad. Here is a link to a recent test against the Zeiss 55 1.8 that I own. Not as sharp in the corners but will that matter to you is the question. That's a $20.00 lens online.

https://phillipreeve.net/blog/test-20-minolta-mc-1-755-vs-1000-zeiss-1-855/

I started out with my sony Nex-7 working almost exclusively with manual focus classic lenses ( I rarely do zooms) and I found that the lenses were consistently better than I was.

I'd recommend something like a used A6000 with kit lens and buy the adapter to see how you like it.
 

·
Russian Troll Farmer
Joined
·
3,420 Posts
..... I thought Kodak or someone bought the rights to the Minolta hardware and were currently producing digital cameras that were absolutely direct bolt-on with the lenses, no adapter required.
....
Hate to burst your bubble, but Kodak went bankrupt about 3-4 years ago, and no longer makes any cameras. They will lease their name out to anybody willing to pay for it, but here in the hometown of Kodak, all they make anymore are printing machines....
 

·
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Joined
·
8,152 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hate to burst your bubble, but Kodak went bankrupt about 3-4 years ago, and no longer makes any cameras. They will lease their name out to anybody willing to pay for it, but here in the hometown of Kodak, all they make anymore are printing machines....
Odd...I would've sworn I just heard about Kodak still making cameras on the radio a few weeks ago. I knew film went belly-up fairly recently, but I had no idea the entire company did. What's next? No more Fujifilm either? :eek::(:thumbsup:
 

·
Banned
Bianchi Nuovo Alloro, Lemond Etape
Joined
·
2,299 Posts
it will help you figure this out if the lenses are MC, MD, or AF. I cannot recall what other types there may have been. Websites and experts can guide you to solutions if you can tell them this.

I think MC had no auto metering, but all MD allowed auto metering; MC will fit and work on MD bodies, but you would not have the auto metering feature.
 

·
Matnlely Dregaend
Joined
·
4,933 Posts
Be aware that if you get a camera with an APS sized sensor, you will have to look carefully at the lenses you buy if you ever want to go up to full-frame (35mm). Many lenses nowadays are made for APS size and won't work very well on full-frame (they will vignette or not work for the full range). For Nikon the DX lenses are designed for APS, and FX for full-frame.

The truth is modern glass is pretty darn good. My F1.8 35mm Nikon was less than $200 and works great for shallow field.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top