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How good is old Minolta AF glass?


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My project is to buy a SEL24240, for occasional AF needs on my A7S.

I use my A7S mainly with manual lenses and I like that, just some occasions where my APS-C can not follow in ISO, I would like to have the A7S as AF alternative.


Since I want to safe money, I thought to look into legacy glass.


1) Shops offering second hand had no high quality old glass (reference from Dyxum) it seems, so gave up on that.

On an other forum (in an other language) I already got confirmation of this idea best is SEL24240 = one simple modern good working lens.


2) Afterwards I found hobbyist sellers had something else to offer; to use with a LA-EA4:

A ) First seller: Minolta AF 35-105mm F3.5-4.5 (I expect metal first version) + Minolta AF 100-300mm f4.5-5.6 APO (Not D)

B ) Second seller: Minolta AF 35-70mm f4 Macro + Minolta AF 75-300 mm f4.5-5.6D

C ) Combination: Minolta AF 35-70mm f4 Macro (from second) + Minolta AF 100-300mm f4.5-5.6 APO (from first or wait till I find a D)


My project is to buy a SEL24240, does it make sense to replace that with an adapter + 2 lenses legacy glass and about 45% cost saving?


P.S.: I do have not AF alternatives under 35, which suits me fine.

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The Maxxum lenses of the "professional" level

are the same as Canon or Nikon or Pentax etc.

IOW, usually excellent but seldom miraculous.


The problem is you hafta use common sense

to sort the goats from the sheep. Nikon clearly

segregated their lower line as "E-Series" as

Minolta did with the "Celtic" series. But the

Celtic series was pre-Maxxum, pre-AF. In the

Maxxum line there is no clear segregating of

lens series.


Knowing the fully specs and features helps.

The 28/2.8 was disproportionally cheaper than

the 24/2.8. If that wasn't enuf of a hint, you

would also note that the 28 has unit focusing

but the 24 is internal focusing.


Problematically, each lens-in-hand easily fell

into its appropriate "series" by its look and

feel. But those lenses were sold new in the

days before eB4y and Am I Zon.


So you're now kinda left to go by features and

specs. Any midrange zoom limited to 35mm

for its short end is categorically a budget lens.

By the same principle, the 20/2.8, 85/1.4, etc

are "pro grade". "Features" means differences

such as unit focus vs internal focus, or zooms

with non-rotating front cells. The "D" feature

is not a quality indicating feature, it's just an

evolutionary or chronological indicator. A "D"

lens can be budget or premium grade. Just as

a Nikkor may be "AI" or "AIS" evolutionarily but

both lenses are otherwise alike.


The midrange zooms you listed should be OK

IQ-wise despite being budget lenses, simply

because it's not at all challenging to design

and build a lens of such conservative specs.


If IQ of your long lens is significant to you, the

Maxxum lenses you mention are going to be

superior to the 24-240 FE lens. Never expect

great IQ from the long end of any wide-to-tele

zoom with a 10:1 zoom factor ... any brand.



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I agree in the last point with "Golem": From a WW-telephoto zoom with a zoom ratio of 10:1, you can not expect miracles. In my experience this is true both for the short as well for the long end. The Sony EF 28-240 mm is no exception. I would try it. When the power is Ok for you, keep it. Maybe there will be soon an alternative to the Sony EF 28-240 mm (press conference in early January 2016 ?).

Among the alternatives mentioned: All lenses mentioned here I've used formerly. In my opinion is the
Minolta AF 35-105mm F3.5-4.5 (first version) better than the Minolta AF 35-70mm f4 Macro and the
Minolta AF 100-300mm F4.5-5.6 APO much better than the Minolta AF 75-300mm f4.5-5.6D.

Also helpful are the user ratings on the relevant pages of "http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/index.asp".


Note also that you associated with the Minolta lenses on the A7S no image stabilization available!

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Thank you for the input.


Minolta AF 35-105mm F3.5-4.5 (first version) with Minolta AF 100-300mm F4.5-5.6 APO, will give some advantages in IQ, but no miracles. Still interested but not a priority in the budget.


I looked further in primes this weekend and the very good Minolta glass type 85mm f1.4, sitll goes very good prices as well, as it should.

Adapters is an other point I was checking and I'm not convinced about those. (could maybe use Canon glass)


Still going back to my original idea:

- Hexanon MF when quality is the most important (need time for set-up)

- SEL24240 for flexibility and speed situations (simple 1 piece option, but more expensive and with some limitations 35-135mm range should be great though)


To invest in the "right stuff": type SEL34F14, SEL55F18, SEL90M28 will depend on the itch, but does not seem justified for my use in that range at the moment.

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  • 2 months later...

I think on the A7s the SEL24240 is good. It's quite big, but I bet you already know :-)

With a higher resolution body the quirks of this lens would be more obvious - but still good for family/internet shots, small prints etc.


AF with the A7s is not very good anyway, and I don't think it will help with an adapter. I would stick with the E Lens.

I tried a lot to avoid the pricey 90mm macro - and I am very happy with it now :-). This E Mount lenses work great.


I also looked after the 24240 for my use - but I will stick with APS-C for zoom action and double it with the A7s and 35/2.8 for low light or 90/2.8||85/2 for portrait.

Maybe the A6300 gives some low light advantage in APS-C (looks like) - this could be an alternative when price goes down.

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  • 3 months later...

I have bought and I am returning the 24-240. It is sharp and nice but  too big, heavy, and out of balance. Also I am worried that zooming may damage the mount, as the zoom ring is stiff. It also has AF issues past 100mm.


I like a lot the 24-70 f4 which is a bit limited in range for travel.


I have the LA-EA4 adapter. I bought the Minolta 70-210 f4 beercan. It is sharp but heavy and long with the adapter. I would use it for specific shoots but it adds to much weight for traveling light.


I think an A6000 + 55-210mm is a good combo and lighter than the 24-240 alone.

So one option is carrying the A7 and the A6000 with the tele zoom.


I ordered the Minolta 100-200 and 100-300 (non APO). The images on Flickr seem good. Not sure if it should be worth investing on the APO version.


Anyway the 24-240 is too much a jack of all trades and master of none. Too long and heavy.


I wish Sony made instead a 24-135 or 24-120 f4-4.5 or 5.6 smaller and snappier rather than a beast. I used to shoot Nikon and I was happy with the 24-120 f4. There seem to be more difference between 70mm and 120mm than from 120mm and 240mm. A little crop is better than all that weight.




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