Minolta Lenses on Sony Mirrorless


TPF Noob!
Aug 14, 2013
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Hi all,

I recently picked up a few vintage Minolta MD lenses and an adapter. A Kiwi adapter minolta md/mc to nex. The point is that the images I am getting are really not very sharp. Even though I have some of the best Rokkor lenses ever made. I suppose these old lenses can't compete to well with the most modern ones? I sold a Sigma 60 2.8 recently. It is know for being excellently sharp and when I compare it with these old lenses I can see a difference. However, the zoom I have is still sharper than a modern kit lens and with much more interesting and beautiful bokeh. The primes are small and easy to carry around and have a certain look to them which is unique I feel.

Any experience with theses? Any recommendations on which ones you like?
This is strange. Nobody uses Minolta lenses?
I have a few very old Minolta MC lenses adapted to my a7. These are even older than the MD lenses. All of them are quite poor in sharpness wide open. You really need to stop down to f4 or more before they have any decent sharpness. They also lack modern coatings that helps with flare control. Even without direct sunlight in the frame it can still cause huge flaring and significant lost of contrast. Good if you're going for that kind of artistic character, bad if you want a nice sharp picture.

Of all the ones I have I like the 135mm f/2.8 the most. Gives the perfect softness in the headshots and just the right amount of oof background.
Maybe there's a gem of an idea in Jay Vee's comment about photos that benefit from just a touch of softness? From what I've read, old lenses were designed with the idea of a rather thick piece of film at the film plane/focal plane, and the exact depth of focus (not to be confused with depth of field!) that was acceptable on a piece of film that was say, .0039" or 1/10 of a millimeter is simply not good enough for digital sensor use, where the sharply-focused light rays must be presented on an utterly flat surface that has zero film curvature, and zero thickness of film. As noted Leica expert Irwin Puts mentioned recently, this is a factor the lens engineers at Leica are now taking into account as they design new lenses for the digital age, where there is a need for a lens to deliver the light rays to a focal plane filled with pixel wells, which need the rays to come shall we say" straight in" and as close to perfectly perpendicular to the sensor plane as is possible; with film, the light-sensitive crystalline structure is a truly random agglomeration of light-sensing crystals that are suspended in the emulsion layer, which has depth, and which allows light to be recorded well, with not too much of an issue with rays that strike the recording medium at a slight angle. Old-fashioned lenses designed to record to film are not going to be nearly as well-optimized as new lenses designed for optimal performance on a digital recording medium.

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