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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Franklin, WI
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    3

    Minolts lens use on a Sony DSLR?

    I just ordered a Sony DSLRA390L and saw that it used the Minolta A-mount. I own two Minolta SLR's and several lenses, namely 45 and 50 mm Rokkor-X as well as others that use the same mount.
    My question is, of course, can I use my existing lenses with the new Sony? Would I need some sort of adapter?

    Thanks for your time!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,760
    Rokkors are minoltas old style mount(before af)..they make an adapter though they are not high quality optics....they are also available with no lens that you can use but you won't get full use...you can only use the lens for macro and a bit farther...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
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    9,560

    Cool Probably more than you want to know...

    If your lenses have "MC" or "MD" on them, you are really hanging it out for your new camera.

    In the opinion of many, you would be better served by buying the newer A-mount digital lenses. They have the eight (w/ADI) contacts necessary to make the modern flash units work with the lens. When you go with a manual lens, you lose this advantage, autofocus and aperture control. With the line of SONY DSLRs, the ADI enhancement is important to TTL flash use, both with the built-in flash and the external flash units. You will normally find your "fill flash" works properly with one of these eight-contact lenses, rather than a five contact lens.

    But, I will caveat this by saying, "if you are a manual shooter, already, what the heck?"

    The argument for a more modern lens is that α390 has a lot of advantages if you do not "cripple" it with using a manual or old-style lens. IMO, it seems to be almost a waste of money with such "gifted" camera. It would be akin to looking at the side of the camera's box, where it lists all the different features the camera has... and just erasing half of them.

    If you interested in shooting with fixed focal length or "PRIME" lenses, SONY has a low priced line to begin with for the APS-C sensor shooter.

    • 50mm f/1.8 is $149
    • 35mm f/1.8 is $199
    • 85mm f/2.8 is $249


    Between these three lenses, you have a great indoor shooting capability, by nearly 2-f/stops over the usually prescribed TAMRON SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DI LD Aspherical (IF) Zoom.

    Ah, the choices we face. You might also want to read the sticky post about "Got my SONY DSLR camera ... what next?" A lot of decent start information in there.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Franklin, WI
    Posts
    3

    Thanks!

    I appreciate your time and suggestions. Although the thought of using lenses I already own is frugal, it would seem silly at best. So, again, I thank you guys for your asssitance!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560
    Quote Originally Posted by GMWolfie View Post
    I appreciate your time and suggestions. Although the thought of using lenses I already own is frugal, it would seem silly at best.
    Not silly at all... but, if you were to make use of them, it should be as a backup or experimental role, unless they simply deliver outstanding image quality. Manual focusing with the modern DSLR is difficult, due to the fact the DSLR's viewfinder, unlike the SLR's viewfinder, has no focusing grid to speak of. Replaceable grids only exist in a few of SONY's upper end DSLR cameras. They cost roughly $50 each and even they are difficult from time to time.

    Personally, I make use of them with a few MF lenses that I own, but it can be a labor of love as sharp focus, even with these assists, is difficult to obtain and more often than not, require use of a tripod to allow for miniscule adjustments to obtain the true focus of the shot. If the camera is free to move back and forth, at all, you are back to square one with every shot.

    For the lion's share of lens-men, I suggest that you save yourself the grief with the common fair of your shooting choices. Let the camera exact its toll on the lens... not you -> psst, best practices suggest that you use a modern piece of autofocus-capable glass. Experience would offer that you will have more "keepers."
    Last edited by DonSchap; 06-05-2011 at 08:25 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,760
    you can get minolta af lenses fairly cheap anyway...
    it really all depends on you quality expectation level... naturally high quality will cost you more

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
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    Steve,

    please remember that most Minolta AF (A-mount) lenses are 5-contact. That eliminates their use for ADI functionality, which is a key element in any TTL flash photography with these newer camera bodies. High quality has nothing to do with that part. It was a key element in why I sold my Minolta 50mm f/1.4 & Minolta 50mm 1.7 lenses.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,760
    No big deal..can't use ttl on animals anyway...makes them blink...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    Actually, Don, pretty much all of what you said about flash and non-D lenses is incorrect.

    First off, the camera can determine the focus distance even with non-D lenses; it uses parameters from the lens ROM to calculate the focus distance from the number of rotations of the AF drive. Cameras which feature DMF can even track the movements of the focus ring in manual focus; these cameras therefore, can use ADI with non-D lenses even in manual focus mode.

    Having said all that, ADI is pretty well useless IMO. If TTL flash is being fooled by bright objects in the scene, ADI is an alternative and effectively gives you automatic manual flash; in other words it calculates the desired GN for you based on the focus distance and flashes appropriately. The big drawback is that you must have the flash on-camera and it must be pointed straight ahead, try to bounce and the camera reverts to TTL. Same with flash modifiers, you can't use them, so forget about diffusers, snoots or anything that modifies flash output.


    Getting back to the original question, I would agree that the A390 is not the best tool for MF lenses. The viewfinder is far too small and the rear LCD can't be used to magnify the focus area for fine tuning as you can with the NEX and SLT cameras.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
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    9,560
    Quote Originally Posted by Peekayoh View Post
    Actually, Don, pretty much all of what you said about flash and non-D lenses is incorrect.
    Okay, since you are in a challenging mood, Peter, the following is straight from explanation central:


    http://photo.net/equipment/minolta/flash2

    "Starting with the Maxxum/Dynax/Alpha 7 a new flash metering technology (ADI) was introduced. The camera can now base flash output on distance, aperture and film speed. The distance information is provided by new lenses with the (D) characteristic, even in MF mode. New guide number controlled flashes allow distance-based flash exposure. As a result flash exposure is no longer fooled by small, off-center subjects with very high or low reflectivity. The new system also allows for pre-flash metering (using the 14 metering cells usually used for ambient metering). ADI was introduced with the 7, but it's now implemented with all newer bodies, including the lowly 3L. The camera automatically reverts to 4-segment TTL-OTF metering when it detects a situation that prohibits ADI (eg. when no D lens is mounted)."

    We all interpret as we see fit.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

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