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Old Mar 15, 2010, 4:04 PM   #1
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Default Alpha300, A 350, A380, or A550 with manual focus for 'old glass' - which one is best?

Hello Sony-Folks!

Havin been shooting digital only with Panasonic cameras (FZ-28 and now G1) I am looking for a new challenge. The challenge being a bag full of older (1980's) analogue and manual focus Minolta-mount lenses with my trusted old Minolta XG 9. It would be nice and very interesting for me to use all that old glass I have and use it.The kind of photography I do is 99% landscape with the camera mounted on a tripod, so manual focussing is not so bad in such a situation. I know about the 1,5 crop-factor.

What's in the bag:
- Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm f/ 1.7
- Minolta Zoom 35-70mm f/ 3,5 - 5,6
- Tamron CF Tele Macro BBar MC 80-210mm f/ 3,8 - 4
- Vivitar 28mm MC close focus Wide A f/ 2,8

I wonder which Sony Alpha models will let me focus manually and stop-down metering by using Live View?

I have an offer to buy a 10Mp A300 demo-model from the shop - without the kitlens - for a reasonable $ 300.- and would consider this, if it would let me use the Minolta-glass - or is there a catch to that teory?

If the A300 does not allow manual focus by Live View, I have 4 other offers for later / newer models, all with double kit-lenses. This would then also serve as my next 'seriouse' camera that I am looking for anyway with a new APS-C sized sensor, to replace my LUMIX G1 - which has its restrictions.

- Sony Alpha A350 m/ AF 18-70mm & AF 75-300mm = NOK 6.700,- / 1.180,- $
http://www.japanphoto.no/product/dig...m-af-75-300mm/

- Sony Alpha A350 m/18-70+55-200 = NOK 7.600,- / 1.345,- $
http://www.japanphoto.no/product/dig...-18-70-55-200/

- Sony Alpha A380 m 18-55+55-200 = 6000,- = 1.060,- $
http://www.japanphoto.no/product/dig...-18-55-55-200/

- Sony Alpha A550 18-55+55-200 = NOK 7.500,- / 1.325,- $
http://www.japanphoto.no/product/dig...-18-55-55-200/

Any comments and / or suggestions?

Last edited by Walter_S; Mar 17, 2010 at 3:57 PM.
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Old Mar 15, 2010, 4:10 PM   #2
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Walter,

I would go with the A550 over a 300 series. And with your shooting needs the live view in the sony would be a better match then a canon or nikon option.
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Last edited by shoturtle; Mar 15, 2010 at 4:12 PM.
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Old Mar 15, 2010, 4:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
I would go with the A550 over a 300 series.
Well of course it would make sense if you look at the quality-side only (it always pays to get the best!) - but you are not exactly answering my questions.

The A300-would only set me back 300,- $ to 'play around' with old glass - if it can do the job.

The A500 = 1.000,- $ more.....

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Old Mar 15, 2010, 4:26 PM   #4
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The big problem I had with the 300 series is the view finder, it is really tiny. Though you shoot live view most of the time, if you went to the optical view finder for non tripod live view work. It would not give you a good idea what is actually in the shot.

The 500 series 550 or 500, has a much larger view finder. So for the times you are not shooting in live view. It will be allot more user friendly.
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Old Mar 15, 2010, 4:33 PM   #5
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Let me rephrase my question (or dilemma).

If the A300 will let me focus manually and meter by stop-down I would go witt that, because I'll only loose $ 300,- to play around with my old Minolta glass. I would then keep it to 'fool around' only.

In that case I will save 1.000,- $ to be used towards a D90 instead for my next 'seriouse' camera - specally since I have a brand-new Nikkor AF-S DX 16-85mm kit-zoom on my shelf, waiting...

If the A300 on the other hand does not do the job I ask for - then I have to forget about the D90 and go for the A550 wholheartedly as my next 'seriouse' replacement, giving me a new APS-C camera AND a chance to 'play around' with the old Minolta-glass.

I would prefer the first option.
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Old Mar 15, 2010, 4:35 PM   #6
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why not use a MD/MC adapter for your G1

http://cgi.ebay.com/Minolta-MD-MC-le...-/320468740012

also from novoflex
http://www.novoflex.com/en/products/...dapter-finder/

Last edited by Hards80; Mar 15, 2010 at 4:38 PM.
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Old Mar 15, 2010, 4:36 PM   #7
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All the lenses you've mentioned will work with any Sony dSLR when used with adapters like these:

Minolta MD/MC lens adapter for Sony Alpha / Minolta
Minolta MD/MC lens adapter for Sony Alpha / Minolta AF Confirm

Minolta manual focus lenses won't autofocus (duh), and the adapters won't support autoexposure, so you have to use M Mode and set the aperture on the lens which will dim the viewfinder. The second of the two adapters will support AF Confirm which will cause the AF point to light when the AF system detects a sharp focus.

Some other adapters act as teleconverters, doubling the focal length of the lens, so your 50/1.7 and 28/2.8 lenses become 100/3.5 and 56/5.6 lenses, which may make them less worthwhile to adapt. And some other adapters contain no optics and so act as extension tubes, severely limiting the maximum focus distance (from infinity to maybe 5feet.)

None of the lenses you've got are anything special, and used Minolta AF lenses are quite reasonably priced and will support AF and AE. I originally tried an adapter so I could use the lenses from my SRT-202, especially my bellows. But after trying it for a while, I just gave up, bought used AF lenses and sold or scrapped my old lenses.
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Old Mar 15, 2010, 4:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Yeah, Dustin - I was thinking that way also, but then I'll get the crop-factor of 2 on all that glass, instead of 1,5 - wich will give me a lot of narrow angles......right?
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Old Mar 15, 2010, 4:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter_S View Post
Yeah, Dustin - I was thinking that way also, but then I'll get the crop-factor of 2 on all that glass, instead of 1,5 - wich will give me a lot of narrow angles......right?
well none are that wide anyways.

and it is much cheaper way to just "play around with old glass"
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Old Mar 15, 2010, 4:57 PM   #10
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BTW, you can't mount a Minolta MF lens onto a Minolta/Sony AF body without an adapter of some kind. The bayonet mounts are different.
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