Sony LA-EA5 on A7 IV

Brownie

Top Veteran
Finally got the adapter to use my Maxxum lenses on the 7 IV. Had only a short time to test as the light faded tonight. Tried out a 50/1.7, 70-210 and 75-300. It works very well, probably better than on an original Maxxum body. AF is much snappier than I expected, and yes, tracking works as advertised. Somewhat more limited in coverage across the lens but it was able to follow an airplane no problem. No DMF, but not surprising with a screw-drive lens. Well worth the outlay. I bought a really nice Minolta AF 80-200 APO HS G on eBay today, can't wait for it to show up and give it a try.
 

Brownie

Top Veteran
Pretty good, I think. Better than anticipated and much better than the naysayers predicted. I did some test shots last winter using a $17 adapter to make sure they would. At that time I decided to just use the manual adapter since these would be used more as a novelty (thread in here somewhere), but my later decision to get the 70-200 APO HS G changed that. Here are some samples. No photographic marvels, I just wanted to see how they'd do if processed in my normal manner.

The 50/1.7. Typical wonderful Minolta color.
50 1.7.jpg
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28-135 in Macro, which like most lenses of this ilk isn't macro, but it does a credible job for closeups.
28-135 macro.jpg


The 35-105. This is supposed to be sharper than the 28-135, but I'm not sure. I've compared them apples-apples before and think the 28-135 wins by a slight margin.
35-105.jpg


The little 100-200/4.5 Compact and light, ridiculously small.
100-200.jpg
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The 'legendary' 70-210/4 Beercan
70-210.jpg
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The 75-300.
75-300.jpg
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When you consider that the investment in all six lenses is less than the cost of the adapter...

Unlike the manual adapter, the LA-EA5 recognizes the lens and records the exif.

One thing of note, or word of caution if you decide to get some A-Mounts, all of my copies are the first version. Almost without fail, the first version were the best. As time went on and the other manufacturers caught up to Minolta's AF technology, things got cheaper and cheaper. There are a few standouts, like one of the 50's where the later version is better. The 70-200 I purchased was a second version and is better than the first, with high speed AF and a focus lock button.
 
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Oh yeah, I remember seeing those somewhere here! Quite decent at least scaled down to internets-size.

The adapter itself isn't exactly cheap, ~300€ here in Finland, so I was wondering whether there was any point to it unless you already own a bunch of old A-mount glass. I took a quick peek at the eBay prices of some old Minolta AF lenses, and some are indeed rather affordable. Which ones of those are any good, I've no idea. I've never really had much any interest in Minolta gear, though I briefly had an SRT-101b in the film days. My grandfather had one of the single digit Dynaxes (Maxxum elsewhere) AF bodies when I was a teenager, and I didn't like the controls on that one. When I worked a summer job at a camera store, we had a Dynax 505 on the shelf, but I don't remember really playing around with that. I was more of a Nikon person back then.

But I'm more just curious than really interested in an investment here. I really hate fiddling with adapters, that's one reason I ditched the EOS R for Sony; much better native lens selection. And the 30mpix of the EOS R was already enough to bring out the softness in some of my EF mount lenses, like the EF 50/1.4 and the 85/1.8. While those were still sharp enough for the 20mpix of the 6D I had before the R, that seemed to be the upper limit of the capabilities of those film era lenses. The 50/1.4 especially was soft wide open, and had some noticeable astigmatism. Though stopped down to landscape apertures it was really sharp...

But are there any old Minolta lenses that are so special on their own as to warrant the extra cost of the adapter?
 

Brownie

Top Veteran
Oh yeah, I remember seeing those somewhere here! Quite decent at least scaled down to internets-size.

The adapter itself isn't exactly cheap, ~300€ here in Finland, so I was wondering whether there was any point to it unless you already own a bunch of old A-mount glass. I took a quick peek at the eBay prices of some old Minolta AF lenses, and some are indeed rather affordable. Which ones of those are any good, I've no idea. I've never really had much any interest in Minolta gear, though I briefly had an SRT-101b in the film days. My grandfather had one of the single digit Dynaxes (Maxxum elsewhere) AF bodies when I was a teenager, and I didn't like the controls on that one. When I worked a summer job at a camera store, we had a Dynax 505 on the shelf, but I don't remember really playing around with that. I was more of a Nikon person back then.

But I'm more just curious than really interested in an investment here. I really hate fiddling with adapters, that's one reason I ditched the EOS R for Sony; much better native lens selection. And the 30mpix of the EOS R was already enough to bring out the softness in some of my EF mount lenses, like the EF 50/1.4 and the 85/1.8. While those were still sharp enough for the 20mpix of the 6D I had before the R, that seemed to be the upper limit of the capabilities of those film era lenses. The 50/1.4 especially was soft wide open, and had some noticeable astigmatism. Though stopped down to landscape apertures it was really sharp...

But are there any old Minolta lenses that are so special on their own as to warrant the extra cost of the adapter?
Since I have no intention of printing any of these shots in wall size murals, not sure why they'd need to be presented any larger.

The 80-200/2.8 AOP HS I just ordered for $450 is rated @ 4.88 out of 5. Comparing that to Sony's $2,000 70-200/2.8 E mount at a perfect 5, it holds up well, especially at less than 1/4 the cost. Any of the old Minolta primes, like the 600/4 are excellent, and at a few thousand dollars rather than well over $10k US. Minolta's 500/8 Reflex is very highly rated for that sort of lens.

But it's not just Old Minolta A-Mount, it's all of them. All drives from screw to in-lens, Tamron, Sigma, Sony, Minolta and all the rest. There are hundreds of them, and remember Sony was still developing A-Mount glass right up until a few years ago. Most of Sony's early glass was simply rebranded Minolta. Having said all of that, I'm not advocating them for critical photography, just for fun or the odd need. All of this old glass is still old glass. In the case of the 80-200, it's not a lens I use much, but there may be a need for it if I get stuck out at the track at night. I didn't want to spend $2k for a lens that won't see much use so this is a viable alternative. There too, I'm not a prime shooter. I have one in E-Mount, a 35/1.4. The adapter lets me use the Minolta 50/1.7 for those few times I'll want one.

If you've never visited the Dyxum lens database, you should. You can browse, search, look at user reviews, image samples, internet lens reviews from places like Munger, Ephotozine, Rockwell, etc. Lenses are ranked by sharpness, flare control, color, build, etc., then the rankings are averaged. They even put an eBay link on each page that takes you to a search for that lens so you can see the going prices. It's a valuable resource for anyone looking for info on both A and E mount lenses.

 

Brownie

Top Veteran
Well, this is a bit surprising. The first image is a SOOC jpeg with the 75-300 at full extension, full resolution, uncropped 33MP.

DSC01627.JPG
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This is just a tad over an 80% crop. I'm at work so the little bit of processing is courtesy of MS Photo. It is cropped to 1.33MP

DSC01627 (2).JPG
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I don't know how it looks to you, but I think it looks pretty good. It's getting a little soft, but I am astounded at the amount of detail still left after this huge crop, especially out of a jpeg. I've seen worse posted in bird threads (and have probably done so myself). Color is typical Minolta. Can't wait for Mama to lay eggs and Dad to show up!

This lens cost me $14.
 
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Well, for the price of a bodycap, it's quite good. But the harsh light has certainly provoked a fair amount of CA in the lens.
If you've never visited the Dyxum lens database, you should. You can browse, search, look at user reviews, image samples, internet lens reviews from places like Munger, Ephotozine, Rockwell, etc. Lenses are ranked by sharpness, flare control, color, build, etc., then the rankings are averaged. They even put an eBay link on each page that takes you to a search for that lens so you can see the going prices. It's a valuable resource for anyone looking for info on both A and E mount lenses.

This is a really good resource! Massive amount of stuff there. That Zeiss 135/1.8 looks interesting, but with the adapter a used copy would be about the same price as a new native Samyang 135/1.8 AF, so that alone would make little sense. Maybe, that Zeiss seems to have a nice rendering. But for keeping a bunch of those A-mount lenses still running, 300€ might not be that much after all. Interesting option, at least.
 

Brownie

Top Veteran
Here's the same crop with a little sharpening/etc. using Flickr's program.

52004813559_b6d811b8e3_o.jpg
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DSC01627 (2) by telecast, on Flickr

Well, for the price of a bodycap, it's quite good. But the harsh light has certainly provoked a fair amount of CA in the lens.

This is a really good resource! Massive amount of stuff there. That Zeiss 135/1.8 looks interesting, but with the adapter a used copy would be about the same price as a new native Samyang 135/1.8 AF, so that alone would make little sense. Maybe, that Zeiss seems to have a nice rendering. But for keeping a bunch of those A-mount lenses still running, 300€ might not be that much after all. Interesting option, at least.
This lens is known for CA.

Yes, this makes no sense for one lens. But if you plan to add to your set, it makes perfect sense. Just make sure you get the right adapter for the camera. The LA-EA5 only works with a few of the newer models for screw drive, but will work with SSMs. I can't use this adapter on my R III with a screw drive lens.
 
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