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Old Mar 5, 2010, 10:59 AM   #1
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Default Will my Minolta lens work in a Sony DSLR

I have a Minolta Maxxum 7000i SLR with Maxxum AF Zoom 28-85mm lens, and Maxxum 3200i flash. Will my lens and flash be compatible with any of the Sony DSLRs?

I'm planning a trip to Yosemite soon and am shopping for a decent entry-level DSLR or a supper-zoom like the Fuji HS10 (which may not be out before my trip).

If I can save some money by using my existing equipment, I'd like to go with a DSLR. I need a camera with good Wide to Zoom capabilities without having to lug around a bunch of lenses (since we also have a toddler with us). Also, would like good low-light abilities if possible.

Need some recommendations. Thanks.
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Old Mar 5, 2010, 11:12 AM   #2
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The lens will work, but the flash will not work (it would fire at full power on a Konica Minolta or Sony dSLR model).

You'll need a Minolta 5600 HS (D), 3600 HS (D), 2500 (D), or newer flash model for use on a Sony or Konica Minolta dSLR. Older flash models don't understand the commands needed for a metering preflash (as used by digital cameras, since the reflective characteristics of the imaging sensors makes it too difficult to use other metering methods like off the film metering). So, a Metering preflash is used instead with digital (measuring the light reflected from a weaker preflash to determine the length of the main flash burst needed for proper exposure for a given ISO speed and aperture). In a newer flash model with bounce and swivel, I'd look at the Sony HVL-F42AM.

But, even though your Maxxum lens would work, keep in mind that you'll have a narrower angle of view (more apparent magnification) with entry level dSLR models, because they use APS-C size sensors that are smaller than 35mm film. As a result, you need to multiply the focal length of a lens by 1.5x to see how angle of view compares, to determine the focal length needed on a 35mm camera to get the same angle of view.

In other words, your Maxxum 28-85mm lens would behave more like a 42-128mm lens on a dSLR with an APS-C size sensor.

That's one reason most dSLR models using an APS-C size sensor have a kit lens available with an 18-55mm focal range (since that would give you roughly the same angle of view you'd have using a 27-128mm lens on a 35mm camera (just multiply by 1.5x to see how angle of view compares).

Note that you use 1.5x for Sony, Nikon and Pentax models using a Sony APS-C size sensor. With Canon models with an APS-C size sensor, use 1.6x instead (for example, a 100mm lens on a camera like the Canon T1i would give you the same angle of view you'd have using a 160mm lens on a 35mm camera).

So, it's probably a good idea to get one of the 18-55mm kit lenses with the camera you choose, as you may find that a lens starting out at 28mm may be a bit long in some conditions to fit what you want into the frame if you can't back up far enough.
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Old Mar 5, 2010, 11:34 AM   #3
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So with a kit-lens (18-55mm) plus my existing Maxxum AF Zoom 28-85mm lens, I would be able to cover from about 27-128mm in 35mm equivalent terms.

Will all Sony dSLRs be compatible with my lens or are there exceptions?
What's a good entry level Sony model that I could buy with good IQ and low-light capabilities?

Thanks
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Old Mar 5, 2010, 11:41 AM   #4
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Right, and your Maxxum lens would work fine on any Sony dSLR model (and it would be stabilized, thanks to the built in body based stabilization system found in all Konica Minolta and Sony dSLR models).

As for the best model for your needs, it would depend on what you want to shoot more often. If existing light shooting without a flash at higher ISO speeds is important, I'd probably look at the A500 or A550 models over the entry level models like the A230, A330, and A380. Personally, I shoot with a Sony A700 right now and it's fine for my needs. But, it's now a discontinued model and they're getting harder to come by. I also use a Minolta Maxxum 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 AF lens for a walk around lens with it most of the time. If your 28-85mm is the f/3.5-4.5 version, even better as it's a well liked lens, and it should do fine, as long as the starting focal length is not too long, depending on how much room you have to work with and what you're taking photos of.
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 2:25 AM   #5
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In the same vein I have a Minolta Dynax 5D complete with a Minolta 17-35 and 100-300 lens. Unfortunately the Minolta 5400 flash does not work properly with this body, although I have read there is an adaptor board to make it work.

My question is what Sony body would be equivalent or better tan the Dynax 5D and is there a flash equivalent to the 5400 to go with it?
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 6:17 AM   #6
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I've got one of those cameras, too -- only mine is the U.S. version and is referred to as the Konica Minolta Maxxum (versus Dynax) 5D.

The Sony A100 was based mostly on the 5D body, only they used a 10MP CCD in it. The noise levels were a bit high with that sensor, so I waited until Sony introduced the A700 before upgrading, which is a nicer body (better control layout, better build quality, larger viewfinder) with a better sensor (newer 12MP CMOS Sensor) compared to the 5D. The Sony A700 is my primary camera now.

The closest current body to the 5D right now would probably be the A500 or A550; only they also have a tilting LCD (and a lot of other new features).

The Minolta 2500(D), 3600HS (D), or 5600HS (D) will work with your 5D (or newer Sony models). Note that the Sony HVL-F36AM is the same flash as the Minolta 3600HS (D). The Sony HVL-F56AM is the same flash as the Minolta 5600HS (D). These are now discontinued and Sony has introduced newer flash models like the HVL-F42AM and HVL-F58AM to replace them.

Yes, there is a modification for the 5400. But, it won't work with the latest Sony models (only with the Maxxum/Dynax 5D, 7D; or Sony A100). So, you're probably better off getting a newer flash like the Sony HVL-F42AM or HVL-F58AM.

http://www.voitzsch.net/index.php/en...lash-converter
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 6:28 AM   #7
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Correction. It does appear that the mod with work with the 5400HS on newer Sony models from what I can tell (but, not with the other flash models supported by it):

http://www.voitzsch.net/index.php/en...lash-converter

"Newer Sony Alpha cameras (A700, A200, A350 etc.) are supported on the 5400HS"
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 6:37 AM   #8
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Jim

Thanks for that. Seems like there is not great penalty to using Sony units with the 5D body. So I am going to keep an eye out for a Sony Alpha HVL-F56AM flash to replace the 5400.

Once again thanks for the advice. Hard to keep track of the pace of change in the camera land.
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 6:48 AM   #9
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The problem is that flash metering changed with digital. Due to the differences in the way a digital camera's sensor reflects light, manufacturers abandoned the use of off the film metering and started using a metering preflash instead. So, older flash models don't understand the newer commands the camera is sending to the flash. You'll find the same thing with other camera manufacturers (many older flash models are no longer compatible with digital, due to the way flash metering changed with digital).

You may also want to look at some of the third party flashes around. But, be very careful, as most do not work correctly with digital, even though they advertise that they do. But, a couple you may want to look at are the Metz 48 AF-1 and 58 AF-1. These have USB upgradeable firmware. So, you can download newer firmware and update them for better compatibility with newer cameras.

For example, here is the firmware update page for the Metz 48 AF-1:

http://www.metz.de/en/photo-electron...1-digital.html

Now, just to make things more complicated, Sony has changed the wireless protocol to support ratio control with digital (one of the features that Minolta eliminated when moving to digital originally). So, you'd need to go with a newer HVL-F48AM or HVL-F58AM to take advantage of the newer wireless protocol. With the latest firmware, the two Metz models I mentioned will also support this newer protocol.

You can read more about it here:

http://www.friedmanarchives.com/news...9-01/index.htm

If you look further down on that page, note that you must use a newer setup to get 3 way ratio control.

Not all cameras work with it yet. But, as time passes, I expect that they'll be incorporating that feature into more new models. So, it may be better to go with the newer HVL-F58AM versus the older HVL-F56AM (Minolta 5600 HD (D)), or one of the USB upgradeable Metz models (48 AF-1, 58 AF-1), in order to have a flash that supports the newer ratio control (CTRL + protocol) features should you get a newer body with that feature later and want to work with those features. Right now, only the higher end bodies can use that feature.
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Old Mar 22, 2010, 5:37 PM   #10
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Jim.

Thanks again. I went ahead and ordered the Metz 48.

For a variety of reasons I stopped using the SLR in the past year. Guess I got sick of carrying it round. However when I compared a couple of images shot in low light last night with those from a new compact it reawakened the enthusiasm. These forums are great for advice.
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