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Old Jan 16, 2008, 6:32 PM   #1
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Hello, this is my first post, so I apologize if I miss anything obvious. I've looked around and searched the forums for some answers to these questions but still have a few more. I'm looking to get a dSLR at some point (starting to save up now) and have some questions about some old lenses passed down from my mom.

This is what was in the bag:

Minolta x-700
Kiron 28mm f/2 lens
Minolta MD 50mm lens
Makinon x2 converter
Varionar 70-210mm 1:45 Macro lens
Minolta Auto 132px flash
Minolta Auto 280px flash

I didn't find much information about some of those lenses, so I can't imagine they are worth much of anything or useable on today's cameras, but I figured I would ask. Who knows, maybe they are more valuable than paper weights!

I'm thinking I can have enough money to buy things in the entry dSLR price range sometime in the summer. Are things likely to have changed much by then (price or quality)? Thanks for any help you can provide!

Nick

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Old Jan 16, 2008, 7:18 PM   #2
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Minolta introduced its line of autofocus cameras in the mid 1980's, and your stuff predates that. The X-700 was a fine camera in its day, but now all that old manual focus stuff isn't worth very much, and unless you REALLY want to, none of it is usable on current dSLRs.

I'd suggest spending time on eBay watching what some of those items are going for. The X-700 with the 50mmmight draw enough money to make it worth your while, but the rest, if it goes at all, will go for just a few bucks.

Sony bought the camera division of Minolta, just introduced a new dSLR and is likely to introduce another shortly, but it will be at the high end. Pentax is also due to introduce something new. Canon, Nikon and Olympusjust introduced new cameras, so they're likely to be quiet for a while. That's as far as my ability to predict the future will take me.
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Old Jan 18, 2008, 6:13 PM   #3
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If you really want to use your old Minolta Lenses on a Sony dSLR, this is what you need.

Minolta 2X MA Converter S

In addition to mounting manual focus lenses on autofocus bodies, it is also a 2X teleconverter. That means the Kiron 28mm f/2 will have a focal length of 56mm, albeit with a maximum aperture of f/4. (A 2X teleconverter doubles the focal length of the lens, but decreases the maximum aperture by 2 f-stops.)
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Old Jan 18, 2008, 8:28 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tips! The Sony a100 (and potentially 200 now) is one of the cameras I have been looking at, (along with the Nikon D40x, Cannon XTi, and Pentax K10D, ha ha). I'm not sure if the potential for using that Kiron lens is enough of a factor to narrow down the choices. I always did like that one, and it seems to be considered a halfway decent lens from the little information I found googling it, but I'm sure I wouldn't really miss it. All the options look good to me now, I just wish I had the money now to make the purchase! In the very least, waiting a few months should give me ample opportunity to read up and deliberate over my decision.
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Old Jan 18, 2008, 9:23 PM   #5
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nikolaipj wrote:
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... In the very least, waiting a few months should give me ample opportunity to read up and deliberate over my decision.
Good luck with that. Sometimes shopping is a lot offun.
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Old Jan 19, 2008, 1:39 PM   #6
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Well I made my way to the camera store today and actually handled most of the models I had been looking at. It is amazing how much of a difference size can make. I'm a tall guy with big hands and the small D40/D40x and Canon XTi just did not feel very comfortable in my hands. The Sony A100 felt great. My new questions are these: since I am strongly looking at the Sony, is the A200 going to be a significant upgrade? Also, I don't know a whole lot about the storage aspects currently; which types are normally preferrable? I don't think I will need anything other than the kit lens to start, but as I would like to eventually take pictures of wildlife, are there any older Minolta lenses I should look at before they all get snatched up? I'm so glad I found this forum; all of the information I have spotted have been great.
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Old Jan 19, 2008, 2:21 PM   #7
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nikolaipj wrote:
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... The Sony A100 felt great. My new questions are these: since I am strongly looking at the Sony, is the A200 going to be a significant upgrade? ...
The Sony A200 isn't much of an upgrade from the A100, but it is an improvement, and, more important, it's cheaper!

nikolaipj wrote:
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... Also, I don't know a whole lot about the storage aspects currently; which types are normally preferrable?
I presume you're talking about the flash memory cards for cameras.

There are a number of different formats, but the two that stand out are CompactFlash (CF) and Secure Digital (SD). They are widely used, so they are easy to fine and less expensive (per megabyte)than the other formats. And since they are so popular, manufacturers release their newer, bigger, faster cards in CF and SD formats before the others.

nikolaipj wrote:
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... I don't think I will need anything other than the kit lens to start, but as I would like to eventually take pictures of wildlife, are there any older Minolta lenses I should look at before they all get snatched up? ...
It might not be a bad idea to jump on some of the Minolta Maxxum (AF) lenses that are available used, before Sonygets any more market share. There are members of these forums that will tell you that they bought their Minolta lenses before their dSLRs too, so you'd be in good company.That is, if you're certain you'll want to get a Sony dLSR! It would be a good choice. Sony seems to be determined to sell a lot of them, and generally, Sony gets what Sony wants.

There are some good general purpose lenses you shouldkeep an eye out for. The Minolta 70-210mm f/4.0 (affectionately known to it's many fans (me included)asthe "Beercan") is a good choice. It's a goodrange, sharp as a tack, and the constant aperture is great foracurate autofocus. Itmay very well suit yourrequirement for wildlife photography. There's another good Minolta lens that comes in quite handy and is relatively inexpensive, and that is the 50mm f/1.7. With the 1.5x crop factor of the A100/A200/A700 dSLRs,it has the same angle of view as a 75mm lens on a 35mm film camera. And with it's large maximum aperture, it's good for portraits and indoor/available-light photography.

The Beercan usually goes for about $150, and the 50/1.7 can be had for about $75. These lenses are very good and were very popular in their heyday, so there are a lot of them out there. It's not like the supply is going to dry up any time soon, but with more and more people buying Sony dSLRs, the demand will probably go up, and along with that, the price.
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Old Jan 24, 2008, 7:23 AM   #8
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Now I have another wrench to throw into my decision making process, but perhaps a good one. I was looking for the beer can lens and bid on what I thought to be it on eBay. Turns out it was a smaller version of a similar lens (I need to pay more attention before doing these things). Anyway I won this lens (Minolta 28-85mm f/ 3.5-4.5) and I read reviews over on dyxum for it. They seemed to be pretty good. I got waht I think to be a pretty good price. Since that lens covers a similar range to the kit lens on the a100/a200, what should I do? I figure I can do the following: sell the lens and hopefully only lose a little bit of money or maybe even make some; keep the lens and get a body-only model of the a100 maybe even used, I saw one used on www.bhphoto.com for 499, or get the a200 with the kit lens. It's my understanding that the 200 is not being sold body only. Is it worth it do go for the 100 body only, and then save up for another lens? Also, does anyone know if buying a body only camera used from bh comes with a battery/ charger and those basics? Shopping around has been pretty fun, it just keeps opening new options. Also, where do people normally shop around to find the 70-210 beercan?
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Old Jan 24, 2008, 2:09 PM   #9
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The Minolta 'Beercan' is the 70-210mm f/4. There is another lens commonly referred to as the 'Big Beercan'; it is the first Minolta autofocus 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6. It was not as popular as the 'Beercan', so it is harder to find, and later versions of the 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6 have not been as good. THERE ARE NO OTHER BEERCANS!

The 28-85 is a good lens. It is longer and faster than the kit lens, so it wouldn't be a bad lens to keep. Since you want to take wildlife photos, it might be a good lens to take on hikes through the woods, and better than the kit lens for that.

I would have a problem with buying aused camera, butI would have less of a problem buying it from B&H.

I am also disappointed that the A200 can't be had 'body only', but you probably have noticed that there are a lot of Sony 18-70mm f/3.5-6.3 that are listed on eBay as "New In Box". That's where those lenses probably came from. A lot of people are buying Sony A100s and A200s and maybe even A700s with the kit lens, and then selling the lens on eBay.
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Old Jan 24, 2008, 2:59 PM   #10
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Yeah, I know I should have been more careful on eBay! Oh well, that's my own fault. As far as the regular beercan goes, where are some good places to look other than eBay? Do they ever show up on keh.com or b and h? Again, thanks for the tips. I'm glad to hear that the 28-85 isn't a complete waste at least!
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