I have this old lens (~12 years old). My daughter has a new Sony digital slr (a380), and we want to be sure that this lens is compatible. We've tried it, it works. But I want to be sure we're not risking messing up the electronics or anything?! Thanks for any advice.
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Re: Quantaray 70 - 300mm for Minolta AF (25-166-4546)
Check you manual, but it should be no problem- Sony bought Konica Minolta to have the Minolta lens mount (and engineers). Your old lens doesn't have all the internal electronics (and connections) of the new lenses, but every old minolta AF lens i've tried works fine with alpha
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There are adapters available to fit the old Minolta manual-focus lenses on Sony alpha-series dSLRs as well as Sony NEX-series interchangeable lens cameras. The lenses obviously will not autofocus and, depending on the lens and camera body, you may lose some or all exposure metering capability.
If you have manual focus Minolta lenses, then they are not usable on anything other than other manual focus M35mm Minolta SLR's.
If they have the Minolta autofocus mount then they will physically fit onto any of the current range of Sony Alpha SLR's and also the discontinued Konica Minolta digital SLR's, but there will be some issues:-
there will be a 1.5x magnification factor due to picture cropping caused by the digital image sensor being smaller than a 35mm film frame. As an example, a 70-200mm zoom lens will produce an image equivalent to that of a 105-300mm lens if mounted on a 35mm camera. Lens apertures are not affected by the 1.5 crop factor.
Earlier Minolta AF lenses relied on the camera body providing the autofocus motor. Later Konica-Minolta and Sony models lack this motor so the lens can only be used in manual focus mode.
If you have a later SSM (SuperSonic Motor) equipped lens and want to use it on an Minolta Alpha/Maxxum/Dynax 9 (different model names in different countries), the camera needs a complete additional circuit board which is no longer available.
Later Sony Alpha SLR's have far greater electronic communication with the lenses used. Many Minolta lenses will not be compatible and as Sony don't support legacy products there is no fix.
In short, Minolta MD lenses (manual focus) can't practically be used on any modern digital cameras, and Minolta Alpha (autofocus) lenses will physically fit onto a Sony Alpha digital SLR, but will act as if magnified and may not autofocus or work at all on a Sony SLR. But there's no harm in trying.
Sorry there is no absolutely definitive answer for you, but I hope that you now understand why and that you take a moment to rate my reply.
The old Minolta gear is incompatible with the later Minolta AF mount. The Maxxum AF lenses will work on Sony Alpha (may have some compatibility issues though) but will all behave as if fitted with a teleconverter due to the image sensor being smaller than a 35mm film frame.
Modern lenses are not only designed from the start with digital use in mind, but have all the benefits of the latest computer aided design so are usually optically far better than earlier glass, although the actual build quality is usually unimpressive.
Using your old glass on a new body with an adaptor is like buying a brand new car and fitting it with a motorcycle engine. It isn't always possible, and when it is you'll have all sorts of compatibility and handling issues which will prevent you from using many of the features of your new camera. If you buy a Canon digital SLR then it usually isn't possible at all as the lens register is the deepest of all current brands (completely the opposite to Canon's 35mm SLR's which could use adaptors for most other makes of lenses). Nikon have a similar issue. Four Thirds (e.g. Olympus and Panasonic) mount cameras have the shortest register and can take adaptors for most other lenses, but there will be no data communication at all between the lens and the body and there will be an even greater teleconverter effect: a 24mm wide angle for 35mm film use will have an almost identical angle of view as a 50mm standard (35mm film) prime lens.
All this may seem to be a disadvantage, but it isn't. You are freed from any legacy use concerns of any kind, and can sell your current gear to raise funds for whichever system you prefer!
Optically, they're all more than acceptable and reviews which claim that a lens is poorer than another are true, but in real world amateur use you just aren't going to see the differences unless you regularly use your camera on a tripod and enlarge your images to print at huge sizes.
Just try out a few and see what feels right:-
Canon and Nikon are widely supported but tend to be bigger and bulkier. Both also offer very expensive "full frame" SLR's which have a sensor about the same size as a 35mm film frame: excellent if you're a pro or high-end amateur with a major investment in older lenses. Nikon's have the edge in this respect over Canon as they can still take lenses all the way back to the late 1950's but Canon are limited to lenses made since the late 1980's but it's not a major concern as few want to use glass that old anyway.
Sony have a policy of aggressive pricing, but their offerings are clearly not designed to last any more than a few years (neither are any of the budget/enthusiast SLR's, but Sony haven't made any attempt to pretend otherwise). The curent Sony offerings are also very menu intensive, and fairly basic functions which you'll often need such as white balance tend to need a few button presses rather than the Konica-Minolta approach which was to have a clearly marked and located button.
Four Thirds cameras (and the newer Micro Four Thirds) are very compact and lightweight but have the smallest SLR imagers so the lenses have relatively wide depth of field even at fully open aperture: not good if you like to use narrow depth of field, but can be a creative advantage with other styles of photography. Although I've always been an Olympus user I'm reluctant to invest with them as they left me high and dry with their 35mm range many years ago and then abandoned their 35mm AF system which I'd invested in. Now that Four Thirds has it's own confusing competitor with Micro Four Thirds and there's a limited lens range anyway it's something I'd personally steer clear of but is a superb system if you crave small SLR's and lenses which aren't bulky and heavy.
Pentax seem to be fine and are well priced, they're also best placed to use older K and KA-system lenses albeit with many compromises.
Unless going for Canon or Nikon, don't pay any attention to "in the long run". Digital photography is still evolving at a tremendous pace and so don't expect any equipment to last or be truly useful (some lenses excepted) in six years time.
Buy what suits you now and get shooting: it's far too easy to let the equipment get in the way of that simple aim!
I am pretty sure that your lenses are just fine for your Digital camera(Minolta or Sony only) as they have the same lens mount. I you choose a KM5 or KM7 digital cameras your lenses will be longer by a factor of 1.4x, same goes for Sony cameras except A850 and A900. They will give you the same magnification ratio as your 7000. Minolta was sold to Sony several years ago, and they have been building a great reputation since. Your AF maxxum lenses will work great on any KM or Sony camera(ADI is available on distance integrated Minolta maxxum lenses only. You can tell by looking at a lens marking which will say "D" if it is compatible with distance integration). I find distance integration an extra not a necessity. If you have some great glass that you love and hold dear, then it would be a great idea to buy Sony. Note that another answer by miket756 is mostly wrong. Yes your lenses will get longer on APS sized sensors, but a 28 mm will never become a 150mm equivalent(thats just stupid). It will look more like 40-50mm on APS-C camera. If you got 2000-2700$ for Alpha850 or Alpha900 than your lenses will retain their mag factors. Good luck.
Depending on how new your Minolta SLR film camera was, the lens may or may not work on a Minolta Digital SLR. In many cases, a lens with the correct mount (in this case, a Minolta mount) can be used on the same brand of camera in the digital format.
One thing you should know is that DSLR sensors are, generally speaking, smaller than the size of a 35mm film negative. Long story short, that means that your lens will have a magnification factor on the DSLR. Usually, it is in the range of 150%, so a 70-300 lens from a film camera would cover 105 to 450 on a Digital SLR.
To be sure about the mount, you'll need to seek advice specific to Minoltas -- probably best to take your lens to a local camera shop and see for sure if it fits and what features will work (aperature, auto-focus, etc) and which won't work on the DSLR.
You didn't state whatbrand of camera you have. Nikon, Canon, Pentax and Minolta all make digital cameras that take their old lenses. In the case of Minolta, Sony took over the production. The only things that may not work are the old flashes. The new digital cameras may need upgraded models of the flashes. Never use an old flash on a newer digital model without checking if it could damage the camera. You need not buy a 12 mega pixel to print 4X6 prints. Their older and less expensive models will work just fine.