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Old Feb 19, 2009, 10:17 AM   #1
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I have a Minolta film SLR camera with a couple of different lenses. I have heard that some old SLR lenses will fit on the new dSLR cameras. I know Minolta was bought by Sony so I am assuming that the lenses I have would not fit on any new cameras?

Is it feasible for me to sell my old camera? I had someone offer me $10 for it but I didn't think it was worth selling it for that price. It is a Minolta Dynax 505si. I have a Minolta 28-80 lens for it and a Sigma 70-300 lens. If it is possible to sell, what would be a suggested price to ask for it?
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Old Feb 19, 2009, 2:01 PM   #2
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The Dynax 505si is a relatively new 35mm film SLR with many fine features and capabilities, but it has been surpassed by more recent models from Canon and Nikon. You could probably get $50 for it.

Unfortunately, neither of the lenses is worth much by themselves, and while they should work on your Sony, the image quality probably won't be very good. And since they don't have the digital coatings, you may get some odd flare in your photos.
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Old Apr 9, 2009, 9:44 PM   #3
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There's no such thing as a "digital coating" on a lens. Lens makers put the best coatings they can on their lenses, given price constraints.

Those lenses will work fine on a new Sony DSLR, and both of those lenses would give ok results, without being spectacular.

It is a well know fact that some of the older AF Minolta lenses area very good with Sony Alpha DSLRs (e.g. 24-85mm, and the 28-105mm xi)
And some of the Minolta lenses are exactly the same as the Sony ones.(e.g 75-300mm, and the 50mm F1.4)

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Old Apr 10, 2009, 3:16 AM   #4
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dnas wrote:
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There's no such thing as a "digital coating" on a lens. Lens makers put the best coatings they can on their lenses, given price constraints.
This is not really true. In film days there was no light reflection off the sensor to worry about. There are also some differences in digital response that make it worth changing the coatings, digital is more prone to suffering from flare and ghosting, so perhaps within price constraints, a coating that might not have been needed in film days is now essential.

That is not to say that some of the old lenses aren't still very good. And as you point out, the more expensive they were, the better their coatings would have been in the first place.

The real problem with the 28-80 is that it goes from having the field-of-view of a nice standard zoom to an equivalent of 42-120. Which makes it far less useful for most people.


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Old Apr 10, 2009, 6:59 PM   #5
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peripatetic wrote:
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dnas wrote:
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There's no such thing as a "digital coating" on a lens.* Lens makers put the best coatings they can on their lenses, given price constraints.
This is not really true. In film days there was no light reflection off the sensor to worry about. ...
Its both true that, one, there is absolutely no such thing as "digital coating" and, two, that digital cameras add an additional degree of flare problem due to the higher reflectivity of the sensor compared to the film surface (which isn't totally non-reflective BTW). A modest percentage of "old" film era lenses survived on film bodies but fail on digital bodies due to this flare problem. Manufacturers have continually improved lens coatings, though while the newer coatings do help is issues produced by sensor reflections, the main improvement is found elsewhere.

A much higher percentage of the old film era lenses fail to deliver good results on digital cameras for completely different reasons. Digital sensors, particularly earlier versions, are extremely sensitive to the angle that light strikes the sensor. This is what most of the lens redesigns are working to eliminate. Some of the newer designs also pay more attention to the curve of the outside (rear) surface of the rear element with an eye to reducing the likely hood that a sensor reflection would be reflected back onto the sensor in a small spot instead of spread over the whole mirror box.
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Old Apr 10, 2009, 7:01 PM   #6
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Nevertheless, there is no such thing as a "digital coating".

Lens makers put coatings on lenses to stop reflections, any reflections. If there any advantage in their anti-reflection coatings, then they will take it.


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Old Apr 12, 2009, 4:02 AM   #7
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So instead we should all say:

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the most appropriate coating for digital products to cut down flare and ghost caused by digital SLR cameras and to produce the best color balance
Of course once we all understand that this is what is meant by "digital coatings" it becomes a little cumbersome, and we just say two words instead of 25. As is always the way with natural languages some folks will be outraged by the loss of precision. *shrug* Good luck with that.




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Old Apr 12, 2009, 9:17 AM   #8
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dnas wrote:
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Nevertheless, there is no such thing as a "digital coating".

Lens makers put coatings on lenses to stop reflections, any reflections. If there any advantage in their anti-reflection coatings, then they will take it.
Lenses made for 35mm film cameras did not have to compensate for the possiblity of light reflected off the film, and then reflected of the rearmost lens element, adn back at the film, creating flare, so lenses made for 35mm film cameras did not have coatings on their rearmost lens elements.

Digital image sensors are a lot more reflective than 35mm film, so the light reflected by the image sensor can cause flareas it is reflected off the rearmost lens element. The solution was to coat the rearmost lens element. But lens coatings affect the transmission of light, so, in order not to adversely affect the light passing through the lens, yet not permit reflections from the image sensor, the coatings used are unique, and are typically referred to as 'Digital Coatings'.
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