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Old Jan 4, 2010, 10:12 AM   #1
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Default Older Minolta lenses and Sony DSLR

I grabbed my old camera, and although this was addressed briefly in an earlier thread, I thought I'd ask for some more advice.

My old camera is a Minolta Maxxum 5000i. I have the 50mm lense that came with the kit at purchase, and a Sigma 70-210 mm that I purchased later. Both lenses are AF and manual.

Any ideas if these will work with the Sony DSLRs? I live in a somewhat rural area and do not have access to a real camera store.

Thank you for your help.
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Old Jan 4, 2010, 10:27 AM   #2
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They will.

Some early Sigma autofocus lenses worked fine with Minolta's first generation of Maxxum camera bodies but had trouble with the second and subsequent generations. But if your Sigma 70-210 lens works with your 5000i (a member of the second generation of Maxxum camera bodies) it should work well with Sony's dSLRs.

I will add that, though some of Sigma's 70-210 lenses are very good, some are not so good. So while your Minolta 50mm lens would be a nice addition to a Sony dSLR, the Sigma zoom may not be worth very much, but it will get you started.
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Old Jan 4, 2010, 10:30 AM   #3
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The Minolta 50mm f/1.7 AF lens will work fine (as will any other Minolta AF lens).

The Sigma will probably work OK. But, you'd have to try it to find out, as sometimes older lenses from Sigma have compatibility issues that cause AF problems with newer camera models.

If you scroll through the zoom lens listings at dyxum.com, and look for your specific lens model (Sigma's made a number of different 70-210mm lenses), you can find user reviews from Sony and KM dSLR owners that may be helpful in determining how well it works on a newer dSLR:

http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/results....e=3&offset=140
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Old Jan 4, 2010, 10:35 AM   #4
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I see TCav beat me to it. That's an interesting take.... I didn't realize that the lenses that work OK on a 5000i would probably work OK on a newer dSLR. But, that makes sense.
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Old Jan 4, 2010, 11:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
... I didn't realize that the lenses that work OK on a 5000i would probably work OK on a newer dSLR. But, that makes sense.
Sigma thought they got it right with the Maxxum 7000 (et al), but when the 7000i (et al) came out , they gave up and paid the licensing fees. Since then, Sigma lenses have been just as compatible as Minolta lenses. Sigma also updated earlier lenses that had problems if the owner asked for it, so there's no clear way to determine if an older lens will work or not without trying it.
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Old Jan 4, 2010, 11:45 AM   #6
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They still have compatibility quirks with newer models from time to time, too. Ditto for their Flashes. So, I'm not so sure they're not still using a reverse engineering approach versus licensing the technology, as I've never seen them announce that. IOW, that may be hearsay. lol

The same thing applies to using some of their gear with other camera brands. They've got newer flash models that don't work properly with some newer cameras.

Sometimes they issue a service bulletin when that happens letting owners know they can send it in for an upgrade. Here's one example:

http://www.sigma-photo.co.jp/english...nfo_081029.htm
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Old Jan 4, 2010, 12:14 PM   #7
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P.S.

I'd make sure to let someone else be the guinea pig with any new Sigma lens models for your Nikon, too. LOL

For example, a lot of Canon and Nikon users had severe focus issues with the Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 when it was released (and I've seen some posters say they tried multiple copies of the lens and they all had the issues on more than one camera body), sometimes back focusing at wider focal lengths and front focusing at longer focal lengths (the most commonly reported issue). I've seen posters say that they were so far out that cameras with built in lens correction adjustments couldn't even correct for it.

They can usually rechip them and recalibrate them when that kind of thing happens (once they figure out what they did wrong). But, their reputation is not the best for making fully compatible lenses.

So, I'm not so convinced they actually license any technology from camera manufacturers (or if they do, they could use some more practice implementing it). :-)
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