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I have an old Minolta Maxxum 7000i AF-SLR camera from early 90s. I have a complete set of lenses, filters, etc., I found out that Sony ultimately ended up buying Minolta, and developing their alpha cameras from Minolta cameras.

I know it is a fat chance, but was hoping to find out if anyone has tried using the Maxxum lenses on the new Sony Alpha series?

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Sony has recently started using the name "alpha" for mirrorless cameras with a different lens mount. All of the information here is correct for the Alpha A-mount cameras, but not for the Alpha E- or FE-mount cameras that were released at the end of 2013. –  mpr Dec 21 '13 at 15:54

4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Yes and they should all work. All of mine certainly do.

The first thing Sony did when acquiring Konica-Minolta's camera division is release DSLRs with the same mount. These were named Alpha which is the same name Minolta used in Japan, they used the Maxxum name in North America and Dynax in Europe. In other words, Sony Alpha mount IS the Minolta Alpha/Maxxum/Dynax mount.

Note that Sony offers two full-frame models, the A900 and A850. With these models, the field-of-view of your lenses will match exactly.

They also have cropped-sensor models such as the A580, A560, etc. With these models the field-of-view is affected by the 1.5 crop-factor. So a 50mm on one of these, will show the same field-of-view as a 75mm on your film camera.

Note that Sony also has non-DSLRs that use the Alpha mount. These are cropped-sensor cameras with a translucent mirror and electronic viewfinder (EVF) which are lighter than DSLRs and have special features like full autofocus during video recording and during 10 FPS continuous shooting. The flagship of these models is the Sony Alpha SLT-A55.

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Are there any limitations in metering or other compatibility with the older lenses? –  mattdm Feb 20 '11 at 21:18
    
@mattdm - No, as long as we are talking about Maxxum/Dynax/Alpha lenses. Minolta had an older mount which predates AF, which is completely incompatible. –  Itai Feb 20 '11 at 21:24
    
What about the A100 Sony and maxxum AF lenses –  Rick Bell Dec 21 '13 at 1:03
    
@RickBell - Same thing as the cropped-sensor models (A580/A560). Just not mentioned because it was not current at the time. –  Itai Dec 21 '13 at 4:05

Minolta Maxxum lenses will work perfectly -- the Sony SLRs are Minolta (Konica Minolta) cameras; that division of Sony was acquired from Konica Minolta.

There are only a couple of caveats, which I don't think will affect you. First is that the xi series of lenses will not work completely -- there's no way to connect the zoom and autofocus in the digital SLRs to maintain subject size. The xi lenses will still function as autofocus lenses with a manual zoom.

Second, some third-party lenses will not work properly. It depends how well the maker reverse-engineered the electronics -- the Tamrons and Sigmas all seem to work from what I've heard, but I know there have been problems with some of the cheaper off-brands.

Apart from that, you should have no problems. Even the venerable 500mm f/8 reflector autofocuses as it should. And the 135 SFT still doesn't autofocus.

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I can only accept one answer, thanks for insight though. I would +1 if I could. –  CMR Feb 20 '11 at 22:15

As long as the lenses are real Minoltas, you should be fine. Oh, unless you have a 200 f/2.8, a 100 f/2 or the 3x-1x Macro zoom. If you have any of these, don't even try to mount them to the camera -- just send them to me, because they really, really won't work! Honest! Just send them to me. Really! :-)

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Don't worry, my Minolta still works :-p –  CMR Feb 20 '11 at 22:12
    
Are you implying that lenses for Minolta by for instance Sigma or Tamron won't work? –  stevenvh Jun 13 at 14:00
    
Some do, some don't. From what I've seen, most Tamron lenses work. Sigma is much more hit and miss--if they're quite new, chances of working are quite good. With an older Sigma...well, good luck. –  Jerry Coffin Jun 13 at 14:13

They will work fine. This web page lists compatibility with Konica-Minolta lenses.

I still have an old 7000i with a kit lens and a Tamron AF 28-300mm zoom. Last year I upgraded to a Sony A57. Both the Tamron and the old Minolta lens work AOK. The A57's image stabilisation works great as well. I have tested the Tamron handheld at its maximum zoom with 4x digital zoom enabled, for an effective focal length of 1800 mm(!) and the resulting shots were usable. Unlike the Canon system, in-body stabilisation does not stabilise the image in the viewfnder though, and at 1800 mm it bounces around A LOT.

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