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Author Topic: New life for old lenses  (Read 5193 times)

pwhodges

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New life for old lenses
« on: 01 Mar 2012, 14:06 »

From the 1970s, I have had Minolta cameras.  I had an XD-7, and an XE, with a range of lenses, and when they were stolen, I built up almost the same collection again, with an XD-11 (the same as the XD-7 in a different market) and an X-700 (the last of the old manual-focus line).  The lenses ranged from a 24mm f/2 to a 250mm f/8 mirror lens, all Minolta except the 24, which was a Vivitar.  My favourite lens of all was the 85mm f/2 - I bought the first in Japan on a business trip, and made sure to replace it after the theft.

I never joined the Minolta autofocus boat, though I got my wife a Vectis S-1 (the APS SLR) which was a lovely camera.

I went electronic with the Minolta Dimage D-7, and later a Dimage A-2 (my wife had one as well).  The best bridge cameras of their time, and a lovely lens (which never needed updating through the life of the range) - but the slow focussing and noisy images at low light levels just got to me in the end.

Then last Christmas I got my wife a Sony Alpha SLT-33, one of the new fixed mirror range (still Minolta in spirit, as Sony bought their camera business).  It's a gorgeous camera, and she is very pleased.  And I got myself a Sony NEX-5, which I am very pleased with; but the main limitation of the NEX range at present is that there are still very few lenses for it. 

SO..., I just got a simple adapter to mount the Minolta MD lenses on the NEX, and all my old Minolta lenses are back in use (except the mirror, which I had sold, thinking I'd never use it again).  The only thing lost over the old Minolta bodies is the automatic diaphragm - but as the viewfinder screen remains as bright stopped down, unlike an optical viewfinder, that seems no hardship.  The focussing with a 7x or 14x magnifier is probably more precise than I could manage with the optical system.  Because of the 1.5x multiplier effect of the APS-C sensor, the lenses all move up one place in usage, but that's fine, as the NEX has a 16mm (24mm equ) with a 12mm (18mm equ) converter).  These are the old lenses I have (35mm equivalent on NEX in brackets):

Vivitar:
24mm f/2 (36mm)

Minolta:
35mm f/1.8 (52mm)
50mm f/1.4 (75mm)
85mm f/2 (127mm)
135mm f/2.8 (203mm)
200mm f/4 (300mm)

Here they are, with the camera wearing the adapter (iPhone picture, as the camera is in the photo!):

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Re: New life for old lenses
« Reply #1 on: 03 Mar 2012, 00:01 »

I love the idea of using an adapters DSLRs.   I use an adapter with an old macro lens and it works really well.  I was inspired by this article originally:

http://www.eventdv.net/Articles/News/Feature/Vintage-Lenses-in-the-DSLR-Age-68120.htm
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