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Old 12-01-2012, 02:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Utter Newb To Photog -- Sony / Minolta Q's

Aight, holidays are coming up and I'm thinking of getting the wife something camera related. I bought her a Sony Alpha 300 a few years back. She likes taking pictures of our daughter mainly.

I found this thread here which was quite useful:
http://www.mcarterbrown.com/forums/p...ony-alpha.html

So, with the whole "people pictures in the 2ft to 20ft range" idea, what would be a few older Minolta lenses people would recommend? I've heard that the "Beercan" lens is a good all-around lens, but I don't think it would be super useful to my wife. I'm guessing the lower the F-number the better, and not to worry if the upper range isn't greater than ~100mm to 150mm? Does anyone know if the A300 runs into the issues described here with non-autofocus lenses?

I'm thinking of also grabbing a tripod/monopod for her. Any other gear recommended?

Sony Alpha

We're not looking to start a studio--just take a few nice pics of our kids.

Any input appreciated. Cheers.
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Old 12-01-2012, 03:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Look here.... it looks like the "problem" (read as lack of software) in the early alpha's is gone now.
Minolta AF/Sony Alpha F.A.Q.

Says just by putting the camera in "M" that the old Minolta glass will work. This will work with Maxxum lenses, also called the A (or alpha in Japan... this is where the name for the Sony camera came from) Mount. The really old MD lenses need an adapter to work. I wouldn't bother with these... there are plenty of Maxxum lenses out there that will work, both autofocus and manual.

I have a Konica Minolta 5d and I like it a lot... I have been fearful that when it croaked I'd be SOL and unable to re-use the 4 or so Maxxum lenses I had from my old 35mm, but it looks like Sony bowed to the masses and fixed the manual lens problem.

If M doesn't work, you may have to drill into the custom menus and set the camera to trigger when it doesn't see a lens. You will be able to fire the lens without a lens on... and with a Manual focus Maxxum lens like a fixed focus (I have a Sigma 400mm fixed manual that I have to do this with).

As for what lens to get.... if you get a lens with your camera it will probably be a 18-70.... which replaces the standard 35-80 (or so). This is a good all around lens.

Your next lens should be something like an 80-200. The would be considered a zoom lens (like a beer can lens).

If you are into portrait stuff, get a 35 or 50mm. They are nice, but can be pricey because they are going to have low F's (ie they let in a lot of light).

If you want to photograph birds or things at a distance you can look at Telephoto lenses (different than zoom lenses). These are often 200mm, 300mm or even 400mm and 600mm.

A good place to look (other than Sony's sight for glass) is Sigma. They make nice glass.

And here is another article on using manual (older lenses) on the Alphas:
Using Minolta Lenses on the Sony Alpha | Alphatracks

Good luck and feel free to pm me if you have questions.

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Old 12-01-2012, 05:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Schmitti. I was hoping you'd chime in since you did in that thread I linked. I'll read through the links and chew on that. Cheers.
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