I have a Minolta MC Macro Rokkor-X QF 1 : 3.5 f = 50 mm lens along with a set of extension tubes (12 mm – 20 mm – 36 mm) and auto bellows 1 – all Minolta. Is there a digital camera body that these would work on? I would like to use these for various types of macro photos. The body they came with is a film SRT 101 – I am not interested in film – I would like to go digital. Any suggestions would help.


1 Answer 1


Yes, lenses with a Minolta SR-mount (to which the MC mount is backwards compatible) can be used on digital bodies with an adapter. There is a large variety of adapters available to almost any digital body, see for example here and select "Minolta MD" in "Lens Fitting (Female)". Roughly speaking, there are two basic cases depending on the flange focal distance of the digital body.

If the flange focal distance of the body mount is (significantly) smaller than that of the mount the lens is intended for, the adapter can be a purely mechanic device and so you will be using the lens "as is" (in particular, you can focus to infinity). Generally, this is the case for mirrorless system cameras, making them an attractive choice for adapting old lenses. Mirrorless system cameras often also offer nice support for these manual lenses, e.g., focus peaking and similar, see Is it practical and worthwhile to fit old SLR lenses to mirrorless digital cameras?

In the second case, when the flange focal distance of the body mount is similar or larger than that of the mount the lens is intended for (typically, these would be DSLR bodies), there are two different subcases:

If you need the ability to focus to infinity, the adapter needs an additional optical element to make up for the flange focal distance that is too large, for an example of such an adapter see here (generally, you will recognize them by the piece of glass in the adapter and it should say "focus to infinity" somewhere). Of course, the additional optical element will have some effect on the image quality, but that's another story.

If you don't need the ability to focus to infinity (which is the case, if you only want to shoot macros), the adapter does not require an additional optical element, thus the adapter is again a purely mechanical device. For an example of such an adapter see here (as you will see, these don't have a piece of glass, they are also marketed as "macro adapters" and sometimes you find the words "glassless adapter"). In fact, as pointed out in the comments, the adapter already acts like an extension tube for the lens.

In summary, almost any digital body will work and you need to get an appropriate adapter (Warning: These are just rough guidelines, carefully check that your chosen combination actually works!):

  • if you get a mirrorless system camera, any adapter from the Minolta SR-mount (also called MD or MC mount) to the mount of the camera chosen should work and allow general purpose usage of the lens,
  • if you get a DSLR and you want to do only macro photography, a macro adapter is sufficient,
  • if you get a DSLR and you want to use your lens for general purposes, you need an adapter that allows focus to infinity.
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I'd upvote if I could. One thing: it's only distant focus you'd lose with a long flange distance; apart from that you get more macro, so to speak, since you have the equivalent of a short built-in tube. \$\endgroup\$
    – user38275
    Apr 14, 2015 at 15:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user38275 Why not register, and then upvote? You've been around for a while with some great, helpful answers and you're well on the way to the site privileges that come with that. (And you don't really need to provide much info when you register, so you're not compromising anonymity if that's important to you.) \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Apr 14, 2015 at 15:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user38275 Thanks for the hint, I've expanded the answer to give more details regarding the "macro" specific element of the question. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 15, 2015 at 8:31

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