Sony LA-EA5, is there any point?

Brownie

Top Veteran
When I first considered getting into Sony E mount I was dead set on getting the correct LA adapter for whichever camera I ended up with. The reason for this was pretty straight forward, to limit initial cost on a new system. A few years ago I had started picking up old Minolta Maxxum glass, which was one of the factors that made me start looking at Sony. Since the lenses were just hanging out in my closet I figured why not? Besides being played around with on a couple old A mount bodies, a Maxxum 7000, and my G9, they've never gotten much use.

I had looked specifically for the highest rated lenses that were reasonably priced. Some of the old Maxxum glass still commands ridiculously high prices. Unless there's some reason to want a particular lens, it makes no sense to me to spend as much as a new E mount lens. One thing learned through the process is that the original issue mid-late 80's lenses are (typically) the most highly regarded. Flare is the usual weak point, not uncommon for the period. Most of the lenses were obtained by picking up kits that had something I wanted, then selling off what I didn't. Eventually, the list ended up:
  • 50/1.7
  • 28-135/4-4.5
  • 35-105/3.5-4.5
  • 100-200/4.5
  • 70-210/4 (Beercan)
  • 75-300/4.5-5.6
Of course things change, and by the time the camera was released I had decided to pick up a few lenses, one even came before the camera. Those are the Tamron 17-28, Samyang 35/1.4, Sony 24-240, and the Sony 200-600.

I never really gave up on the adapter and keep thinking about it from time to time, but now I'm questioning whether it makes any sense to spend the $250. Yes, it will give me full functional access (including, evidently tracking?) to a nice set of vintage glass, but are any of them going to hold up, or will the 33MP sensor magnify their weaknesses?

I've scoured the internet trying to find samples of Maxxum lenses on newer Sony bodies. Most are limited to several years ago with the A7 and A7II. It seems interest waned once the newer cameras came along, probably as much to do with a wider selection of new lenses from Sony and others.

Is anyone using old Maxxum glass on their higher-resolution Sony cameras (or I guess for that matter any higher res cameras), or do you know of sample images or reviews? It's a little too soon to expect any reviews of the A7IV and LA-EA5, and with interest appearing so low no one may bother anyway. I suppose I could order one, try it, and send it back, but that isn't very fair to the store.

Any help is appreciated.
 

AlwaysOnAuto

Veteran
I've only ever had one Maxxum lens (forget which one now) but the guys on the Sony Talkemount site suggested I look at the DXO rating of it before getting too excited about spending money on adapting it. I ended up donating it to the local camera shop's 'free lens' box. Glad I listened to them before jumping in. This is not to say an adapter isn't in your future though. Just my experience, albeit limited to that one lens that I got for free from a friend. The other lens I got was a keeper. A Vivitar 70-150 Close Focusing tele in Nikon F mount. It's a great little lens.
 

Brownie

Top Veteran
Dyxum is the best site for Maxxum lens information. The thing is there were close to 100 Minolta Maxxum lenses, tons of Sony, and several hundred aftermarket. Many of the later Minolta lenses were dreck. If you read my text you'll see I was careful which ones to get. I shot the system in the 80's and have used all of these on other cameras to limited extent, so have research, experience, and empirical evidence. The information I'm missing is how they'll hold up on higher resolution sensors. By 'higher resolution' I mean something north of 24MP, which is the highest MP I have that I can currently mount them to. I almost feel like it'd be worth spending $25 on a Fotodiox A to E (if they make one) just to try them out. They're worth that much anyway.
 

Brownie

Top Veteran
I found a new Fotosay A to E adapter on eBay for $17, shipped. If they aren't worth a hoot, I'm not out much, and I can still use them as vintage glass. Thanks for the response, @AlwaysOnAuto! Sometimes it helps for me to say something out loud. I would've never thought to look for a cheap manual one without your post.

Still interested in seeing other people's samples, if there are any. I found a very nice image made with the 28-135 on an A99II, so plenty of resolution.
 

AlwaysOnAuto

Veteran
I would hazard a guess that if the lenses you have were good on film, they'll be acceptable on your hi res Sony too. I don't think I've run into a lens that wasn't considered good on film that hasn't performed on my Sony's, albeit they are only 24mp cams.
 

Brownie

Top Veteran
The Fotasy adapter came and I shot some photos yesterday, link to an album at the bottom.

The images turned out well, very acceptable. Still, I've decided that since I typically shoot vintage glass as a novelty, the Fotasy is really all I need.

 
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