Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

submit your photo


Hall of Fame
View past winners from this year

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Take the 2-minute tour ×
Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'd like to use selected Minolta & Sony AF lenses on a Nikon — say, a D700.

Can I, and if so how?

  • My first SLR was a Minolta SRT303B and I've used Minolta since. That was manual but I now have a goodish collection of Minolta and Sony AF lenses

  • What I most value is low noise high ISO performance, but Sony don't seem interested. I'm considering jumping ship to Nikon. I consider the D3s/D4 as the epitome of what I want but with a price and weight several times too large. A D700 seems just right and a D800 just might be - jury's still out. So

Of most interest to me is "porting" my Minolta 500mm f8 AF Reflex (mirror) lens as it is, I'm told, the only AF mirror ever made. Reason for valuing it is that while performance is only "good" it is far lighter and more compact than a 500mm AF anything else, so travels with me on business.

I have a few other Minolta lenses that would justify a modest expenditure adapting them — and using more would be nice if there is a one time adaptor cost achievable.

share|improve this question
    
There is a similar to What creative things can I do with incompatible lenses?. You might find some answers there. –  Johan Karlsson Feb 14 '12 at 13:21
    
I feel your pain. My all-time favorite lens, despite all of its shortcomings, was the 250mm/5.6 Rokkor MC Reflex -- it was about the same physical size as an 85mm/2 refractor with three times the reach, and would let me do really intimate, tight shots without making the subject self-conscious (either by getting physically closer or pointing the Hale telescope at them). –  user2719 Feb 14 '12 at 19:38
    
Sony also makes AF reflex lenses for their Alpha-series DSLRs, though since they bought out Minolta it's kind of the same lens series. –  Fake Name Feb 15 '12 at 6:05

4 Answers 4

No adapters on DSLR bodies support autofocus. On mirrorless bodies, there is an autofocus adapter for Sony/Minolta AF lenses on Sony NEX cameras.

Nikon F-mount in general is notorious for not being able to adapt any other 35mm lenses, and retain infinity focus.

share|improve this answer

One way to potentially achieve infinity focus is to use a teleconverter. You'll have at least a 1.4x magnification factor, but this isn't any worse than using your lenses on a DX body. By the time you mount the TC and an adapter, not sure you'll be able to focus at infinity, but I imagine it would be possible.

One interesting possibility: Nikon made a TC-16A teleconverter which takes a manual focus lens and converts it to autofocus. You focus your lens at infinity, and the TC has elements that handle the focus, and to the body it looks like you have an AF lens attached.

There are quite a few issues though:

  • the 1.6x magnification factor, given it's a TC

  • the last camera the TC-16A works without modification on is the D200. If you don't mind some DIY you can switch the pins so that it will work on a D700.

  • The TC-16A only works with AI and AI-modified lenses, so you'll have to find an AI compatible adapter for your lenses.

  • and finally, there is still no guarantee you'll be able to focus at infinity. Quite possibly you will lose close focusing ability, and possibly not be able to focus at infinity either!

Another possibility if you are into DIY is removing the mounting ring from your lens(es) and substituting a thinner reverse lens adapter. See this thread on photo.net: Mounting Minolta lens on Nikon

share|improve this answer

While adapters do exist, they're only really useful if you never want to focus the lens at infinity. The flange distance is different on Nikon and Sony/Minolta cameras, so they don't focus the same -- close focusing works, but the lens will never focus to infinity. I'm sure no adapter will support AF, either.

share|improve this answer

You can get adapters, but you probably won't find any that will also allow you to autofocus.

If you're okay manually focusing that shouldn't be a problem, but considering you made a point about the 500mm f/8 reflex being AF I would say it looks like a problem.

When you say “What I most value is low noise high ISO performance, but Sony don't seem interested.” what do you consider high ISO? I've had very good 1600-3200 ISO performance on my NEX-5N, and the NEX-7 / A77 is suppose to be even better in terms of noise reduction.

share|improve this answer
    
I believe the comment was in regard to full-frame cameras. The α850 and α900 are high-resolution/low ISO cameras similar to the Nikon D3x (they share the same sensor silicon even if the IR and OLPF filters, along with the rest of the camera's chipset, are different). At those resolutions, I've wondered why they don't bin pixels for low-light performance -- a 6MP or 9MP image from a 24MP or 36MP sensor (binned, not cropped) might not be an option you'd always use, but if it gains you 3 stops or so in terms of noise it would be all kinds of handy. –  user2719 Feb 16 '12 at 5:28

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.