Minolta Maxxum 7D - worth an experiment in 2022?

gryphon1911

Hall of Famer
Location
Central Ohio, USA
Name
Andrew
So, back when I first started my own photography business, I was shooting film and was looking to upgrade to digital (2004).

I was really drawn to the the Minolta Maxxum 7D. I thought that would be great for me, liked having the IBIS and all those great buttons!

About a week before I pulled the trigger on one, I saw the announcement that Sony was buying the Minolta camera division. As much as I respected Sony as a tech company, I didn’t want to go down the new camera road with them - chose Nikon instead.

Now, the local camera store has a Maxxum 7D in the case with a bunch of a-mount lenses. I’d probably like to see if they have the 17-35/2.8-4 (I think that’s right) and 75-300 to go along with it.

My fun and experimentation with the Fuji S2 Pro has run its course.

Could trade all that old f-mount glass and Fuji body for the 7D and a few a-mount lenses. Thoughts on this from those who may have some a-mount and specifically Minolta experience. I have none.

If this doesn’t make sense, they also have some interesting Pentax cameras as well and could look at getting into one of those.

They did have a Leica M8 for $2000 in the case…which may be interesting, but not really a “casual purchase”, if you know what I mean. Plus I’m going off on a bit of a tangent.

Thoughts and discussions appreciated and thanks in advance.
 

MountainMan79

😎💩➡️📸
Location
Minnesota
Name
Chris
I never played with one, but used copies have been on my radar for years at this point. Something about them just seems “cool”. I personally wouldn’t part with my S2 Pro for one, but if you really think you’re done with it and won’t miss it when it’s gone, why the hell not?
 
I bought a Maxxum 7000i when it came out (late 80s?) and got a bunch of lenses for it. In maybe 2016, I picked up a Sony A58 for perhaps $300 so I could give the old glass a whirl with some of that new-fangled digital stuff. The AF on all those lenses is absolutely primitive compared to anything we have today, but it does work...slowly. And of course the lenses are still sharp. I've gotten lots of great shots, using both analog and digital!
 

lucien

Legend
So, back when I first started my own photography business, I was shooting film and was looking to upgrade to digital (2004).

I was really drawn to the the Minolta Maxxum 7D. I thought that would be great for me, liked having the IBIS and all those great buttons!

About a week before I pulled the trigger on one, I saw the announcement that Sony was buying the Minolta camera division. As much as I respected Sony as a tech company, I didn’t want to go down the new camera road with them - chose Nikon instead.

Now, the local camera store has a Maxxum 7D in the case with a bunch of a-mount lenses. I’d probably like to see if they have the 17-35/2.8-4 (I think that’s right) and 75-300 to go along with it.

My fun and experimentation with the Fuji S2 Pro has run its course.

Could trade all that old f-mount glass and Fuji body for the 7D and a few a-mount lenses. Thoughts on this from those who may have some a-mount and specifically Minolta experience. I have none.

If this doesn’t make sense, they also have some interesting Pentax cameras as well and could look at getting into one of those.

They did have a Leica M8 for $2000 in the case…which may be interesting, but not really a “casual purchase”, if you know what I mean. Plus I’m going off on a bit of a tangent.

Thoughts and discussions appreciated and thanks in advance.
Andrew do you mean the A7, or is the D a north American designation? I own an A7 that I use for fun and playing around with black and white film. My technical experience nowhere close to your though. But I love the camera. It has a lot of bells and whistles. Like you said back in 2004 that was a fully loaded film camera. I baby mine and take it out in the summers, and I've picked up a few "cheap" lens to go with it. If it's the same body I can be more elaborate I think? Let me know
 

John King

Member of SOFA
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Name
John ...
Andrew do you mean the A7, or is the D a north American designation? I own an A7 that I use for fun and playing around with black and white film. My technical experience nowhere close to your though. But I love the camera. It has a lot of bells and whistles. Like you said back in 2004 that was a fully loaded film camera. I baby mine and take it out in the summers, and I've picked up a few "cheap" lens to go with it. If it's the same body I can be more elaborate I think? Let me know
I think he means this one, Lucien:

Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D (Dynax 7D / Alpha-7 Digital): Digital Photography Review .

@gryphon1911 Andrew, I have got some lovely A2 prints (22x17") from my 5 MPx Olympus E-1 (2003). Anything with more than about a 5 MPx sensor seems to produce great results. Expect rubbish at over ISO 800 though! e.g.

P7211886_USM.jpg
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John King

Member of SOFA
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Name
John ...
Full DPR review is here:


And sample gallery is here:


Some very nice photos in the sample gallery.
 

gryphon1911

Hall of Famer
Location
Central Ohio, USA
Name
Andrew
I didn't expect them to be as inexpensive as they were, so here it is at home with me. I will say that overall camera performance - just playing with it was unexpectedly very good.

Maxxum(Dynax) 7D, 70-210/4, 20/2.8, 50/1.7 AF lenses.
Did better in the low light of my living room than I expected. Can't wait to get them outside in good light and see how they perform.

First shot - processed from RAW.
11-23-2022_test_KM7D_PICT0001-Edit.jpg
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gryphon1911

Hall of Famer
Location
Central Ohio, USA
Name
Andrew
Blessed with good weather, took the Minolta 7D out today with the three lenses.

From everything I’ve read, I would have thought the 20mm f/2.8 would have been the stand out lens. However, had a few hiccups with it. The 50mm f/1.7 was the stand out.

The 70-210 surprised me as well.

Still working on processing the files, but I shot over 150 images and had a share number of 65. A few duplicates in there as well as a bunch shot at different apertures for testing purposes.

All lenses seem very capable wide open which was a bit of a pleasant surprise.
The biggest surprise, in a good way was the responsiveness of the 7D.

This thing responds very well. I love having all the buttons on the body to get to what you want immediately.

Will go through more later once I get some more hands on. Very happy with the kit so far and I may go out on a limb and say that I may prefer it over the Fuji S2 Pro in a few areas.
 

lucien

Legend
I have the model just before your. Aka the analog/film version of the same camera body. I will watch this very closely, if the images come out nicely. I will get the body as well. I eagerly await your results
 

gryphon1911

Hall of Famer
Location
Central Ohio, USA
Name
Andrew
I’ll be putting together a special post with images. I’ve gotten through more images and did some mono conversions as well.

Definitely like what I’m seeing. Very few faults other than the usual CCD noise issues at higher iso and times when I think the white balance could have been more accurate.

I did realize that I had at some point accidentally turned the AF selector switch to AF-C when using the 20mm. I think that might be why I felt I had some issues with it, regarding sharpness.

Still need to go out with it more, but as a good light kit, I’m really appreciating it.

I do go into some questionable areas in the city and I like having a capable yet inexpensive kit for those times. Again, from this one outing, I’m liking this Minolta even more than the S2 Pro, which I didn’t think I would.
 

Brownie

Top Veteran
Blessed with good weather, took the Minolta 7D out today with the three lenses.

From everything I’ve read, I would have thought the 20mm f/2.8 would have been the stand out lens. However, had a few hiccups with it. The 50mm f/1.7 was the stand out.

The 70-210 surprised me as well.

Still working on processing the files, but I shot over 150 images and had a share number of 65. A few duplicates in there as well as a bunch shot at different apertures for testing purposes.

All lenses seem very capable wide open which was a bit of a pleasant surprise.
The biggest surprise, in a good way was the responsiveness of the 7D.

This thing responds very well. I love having all the buttons on the body to get to what you want immediately.

Will go through more later once I get some more hands on. Very happy with the kit so far and I may go out on a limb and say that I may prefer it over the Fuji S2 Pro in a few areas.
Never heard of 'The Beer Can'? The 70-210 is legendary. I am buried deeply into A-Mount. All Minolta, all screw drive lenses, only one not from the original series. I still have 2 Maxxum 7000 bodies. The 7D has been on my radar, if I ever find one for a reasonable price I'll get it just for giggles. I'm using them on my Sony A7M4, and have an adapter coming to use them on my A7RM3.

I have several posts about A-mount glass in the Sony section of this forum. It started with me wanting to duplicate the Maxxum 7000 kit that I had in the mid-eighties when they were newly released, and it kind of built from there.

For the most complete information on A-Mount lenses, check out the Dyxum (Dynax/Maxxum) Lens Database. A-Mount and E-mount Lens Index - Dyxum - Page 1
 

gryphon1911

Hall of Famer
Location
Central Ohio, USA
Name
Andrew
Never heard of 'The Beer Can'? The 70-210 is legendary. I am buried deeply into A-Mount. All Minolta, all screw drive lenses, only one not from the original series. I still have 2 Maxxum 7000 bodies. The 7D has been on my radar, if I ever find one for a reasonable price I'll get it just for giggles. I'm using them on my Sony A7M4, and have an adapter coming to use them on my A7RM3.

I have several posts about A-mount glass in the Sony section of this forum. It started with me wanting to duplicate the Maxxum 7000 kit that I had in the mid-eighties when they were newly released, and it kind of built from there.

For the most complete information on A-Mount lenses, check out the Dyxum (Dynax/Maxxum) Lens Database. A-Mount and E-mount Lens Index - Dyxum - Page 1

Yes, I have stumbled across Dyxum website. It was very informative and used it for research before getting the current setup. Wasn’t sure as I never sabbled in a-mount before.

I’ve heard good things about the Minolta 17-35/2.8 zoom but have not seen any in the wild in my area.
 

Brownie

Top Veteran
Yes, I have stumbled across Dyxum website. It was very informative and used it for research before getting the current setup. Wasn’t sure as I never sabbled in a-mount before.

I’ve heard good things about the Minolta 17-35/2.8 zoom but have not seen any in the wild in my area.
The 2.8-4 zoom isn't terrible cost-wise, but it still going to cost you in the hundreds. For me, A-Mount comes in handy in two circumstances. First, when they're so cost effective that you simply can't say no. Second, when I need or want a lens for a specific application, but it will see limited use. Such was the case with the 80-200/2.8 HS G. I wanted a fast lens in this range, but I knew I'd never use it to the $2000+ price tag of the Sony versions, so the Minolta got the nod.

For fun I tend to lean toward the cheapies like the 70-210, 75-300, etc. Keep an eye out for the 28-135, it and its near cousin the 35-105 are both stellar. The 35-105 can be had for $40, the 28-135 usually runs around $75.

Like most legacy glass these lenses will suffer from CA. I took a shot of a squirrel against a flat white sky that ended up with an almost solid purple tail, couldn't remove it in post. I always sort by sharpness. Build quality was never an issue with Minolta, the aforementioned CA is almost unavoidable, and Minolta colors are always stellar. Sharpness is the one variable that will have an affect. The lowest rated Minolta A-Mount lens I own is the diminutive 100-200/4.5 at around 4.35 out of 5, and it produces good results.

For cost reference, my cheapest are the 70-210 'Beer Can' and 50/1.7, both were free with Maxxum kits that I later sold. Next is the 75-300 which was $14. I bought it because I was $10 away from free shipping at KEH. Then the 100-200, which was about $30. The 35-105 was $45, the 28-135 was $70, the 50 macro was $100, and the 100-400 APO @ $200 is the only one I have from the second generation of lenses. Then comes the incredible 500/8 AF Reflex at $285. You haven't lived until you've played with an AF reflex! Last is the 80-200/2.8, which was $435 shipped from Japan.
 
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gryphon1911

Hall of Famer
Location
Central Ohio, USA
Name
Andrew
The 2.8-4 zoom isn't terrible cost-wise, but it still going to cost you in the hundreds. For me, A-Mount comes in handy in two circumstances. First, when they're so cost effective that you simply can't say no. Second, when I need or want a lens for a specific application, but it will see limited use. Such was the case with the 80-200/2.8 HS G. I wanted a fast lens in this range, but I knew I'd never use it to the $2000+ price tag of the Sony versions, so the Minolta got the nod.

For fun I tend to lean toward the cheapies like the 70-210, 75-300, etc. Keep an eye out for the 28-135, it and its near cousin the 35-105 are both stellar. The 35-105 can be had for $40, the 28-135 usually runs around $75.

Thanks for the tip. Both of those are in my "sweet spot" range for casual street...more so the 28-135 for the APS-C sensor. I used to run a Nikon 35-135 on a D700 for walk about/street and it was one of my favorites
 
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