Help adapting my Minolta Glass to a newer body

Discussion in 'Sony/Minolta' started by joshua_danley, Jul 30, 2017.

  1. Hello everyone. I've been away for a long time but still use my camera regularly, particularly for taking photos of my other hobby. I started out on the Minolta Maxxum series of cameras and have a Maxxum 7 and a 7D that I haven't used in forever. Since the late 1990s, I have accumulated a lot of Minolta glass. When Sony bought Minolta out, I upgraded to a second hand A700 and have been using that ever since. It felt comfortable to me coming from the 7 and 7D. I believe that body is now something like 10 years old. It is working well enough still but I got to wondering....

    The landscape out there seems very different than the last time I checked into the market. There have been a lot of advances and I'm a bit confused about them all. Seems most of these advances have left my legacy Minolta glass in the past. My questions is this... If I were to upgrade my camera body, which Sony model would be my best bet to allow me to continue to use my current lens line-up? I'd rather not have to invest in all new glass. I like the Minolta quality that I get. That warmth is something I appreciate as today's lenses seem more sterile feeling. I'm looking for something with solid performance and a good lay out of controls but I'd rather not have to use adapters. I don't need any of the fancy video capabilities today's cameras have.

    Here is my current inventory of Minolta Glass (as an aside, I haven't bought a new lens in at least 10 years and I love of these all but can't believe the bargain basement prices Minolta glass is going for on eBay these days)

    -24-50mm f4
    -28-85mm f3.5-4.5
    -28-135mm f4-4.5
    -35-70mm f4
    -35-105mm f3.5-4.5
    -70-210mm f4
    -100-200mm f4.5
    -100-300m APO f4.5-5.6
    -28mm f2.8
    -50mm f1.7
    -50mm f1.4
    -100mm f2.8
    -135mm f2.8

    I'd really like to hear your input and thanks in advance.
  2. As an addendum to the above, I've looked into the A77, A77ii, A99, and A99ii. I'm not sure if there are other models that I should be looking into. I believe these all still take the alpha mount lenses. Any opinions on what would be a reasonable upgrade from this batch coming from the A700. Budget is something around $1500-2000 but I could stretch it if there was something compelling for me to do so.
  3. Hello Joshua, well, I'm probably not the best person to answer, as I'm in a similar position to yourself, having somewhat lost track of the changes which have taken place over the last few years. I've got a similar set of Minolta film era lenses, all of which cover full frame, and I decided to invest in a Sony Alpha 900 full frame SLR as soon as they were introduced. You could do a great deal worse, if you are prepared to consider buying a used A850 or A900 . No fancy video, and no live view, but a superb pentaprism viewfinder, large and bright. And a good control system, no doubt similar to that of your A700.

    I expect the newer cameras have better low light capability, and other advantages I don't even know about, but I'm sticking with my A900 for as long as I can.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
  4. Thanks for the response John. The A900 seems to be able to be had pretty reasonably. I'll take a look and see how that stocks up with the other models still taking the alpha mount.
  5. Concerning interchangeable lens cameras, Sony has two mounts: A-mount and E-mount. Both fall under the "Sony Alpha" umbrella. A-mount is the one carried over from Minolta. If you buy a Sony A-mount body (and there are indeed current offerings), you should be able to use all your lenses without worrying about adapters. (An E-mount body is also an option, but here an adapter is essential (and available).)

    Note that Sony doesn't produce real DSLRs anymore - they produce "SLT" cameras - which stands for Single Lens Translucent. Instead of an optical viewfinder, these cameras have an electronic viewfinder. Top of the range is the α99 II. The α77 II would be the spiritual successor to your α700. And the α68 is also a worthy camera worth considering.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
  6. Thanks for the insight Colin. I'll have to take a close look at the SLT line
  7. Looking at the SLT stuff closely, I guess that I'd be deciding between the A77 Mark II or the older A99. The idea of stepping up to full frame is appealing and I don't think that I'd need the bells and whistles (or price tag) of the A99 Mark II. So many decisions...
  8. It might not appeal, but there is a route to using E-mount cameras with legacy A-mount lenses. Sony have produced an adaptor (LA-EA4) that allows autofocusing with these lenses on the E-mount bodies. The A7 and A7 mark II are more affordable full frame cameras - the mark II includes in-body stabilisation.

    The adapter is effectively the focusing module from earlier SLT cameras (equivalent to that used in the A65 I believe). It adds bulk to the A7 body, but I find the adapter a useful grip to hold when taking pictures and it helps balance the small body with larger lenses.
  9. Hello,

    I have the Rokkor X lenses, not as many. I use glassless adapters on the A7R. Works great. (I have it forsale btw). Some lenses work great and others are a waste of time.

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