Minolta Lens mount Compatibility

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Nikolaa, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Nikolaa

    Nikolaa Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi,

    Recently I came into possession of a Minolta XG1 with various lenses (as you might have guessed I found it looking though some old boxes stored away ages ago).
    The camera itself does not work, but the lenses are in working order. (from what I can tell)

    So, my question is, can the Minolta (and 1 Vivitar) lenses be used with other cameras of the same generation, ie an olympus or nikon etc.
    If so which ones and if not (which seems to be the general consensus on the internet) which Minolta cameras use the lens mounts of these lenses.

    The lenses are:
    MD Tele Rokkor 135mm 1:2.8
    MD Rokkor X 50mm 1:1.7
    Vivitar 28mm 1:2 MC Wide Angle

    Thanks guys
     
  2. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

    Messages:
    505
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Those lenses can be used with the Minolta manual focus mount.

    If you want them to be used on non-Minolta camera bodies, you need to have a camera body with a shorter flange distance (from the film plane to the mount itself). This is known as the flange focal distance. If the register is longer, the lens usually cannot focus to infinity. Here are references:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flange_focal_distance

    http://www.graphics.cornell.edu/~westin/misc/mounts-by-register.html

    You also need an adapter. The problem is most older cameras cannot support the auto meter readings of adapter systems. In theory there were adapters made to correct for infinity focus, but they used an optic to do so, often of not very good quality. Many mounts have few adapters available due to market size or technical issues.

    You are simply best off acquiring a Minolta mount film camera.

    For a digital camera, there are many adapters out there as well.
     
  3. leicarfcam

    leicarfcam Member

    Messages:
    346
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Location:
    Fort Worth,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    These lens do not work on Canon, Nikon, etc unless you do extensive modifications to the mount which prevents them from being used on the Minolta cameras. However with the adapter usually found on eBay they will work on some micro-4/3 bodies such as the NEX, Panasonic G-1. I also use my Minolta lens via adapter on my E620 and E-300 Olympus digital cameras. These setups will focus to infinity..
     
  4. Nikolaa

    Nikolaa Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thats what I figured, just up until which model can I go...or which model would you recommend?
     
  5. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

    Messages:
    832
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Latte Land,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Good morning, Nikolaa;

    For your Minolta XG-1, there are a couple of things you can do. If you have a local camera technician, I would take it to him first. Most often with a camera that has been just sitting for many years, just cleaning out the old lubricants and putting new more modern formulation lubricants in, plus replacing the foam seals and the foam mirror bumpers will restore the camera to full functionality. Oh, you might also look inside the battery compartment to confirm that an old battery has not been sitting in there oozing out onto the camera and wiring. If that has happened, there will be some additional work to be done to restore the light meter to operation along with the shutter in the "X Series" of Minolta cameras. There really is a reason why they suggest taking the batteries out if you are going to put a camera or other device away for a long while.

    Another possibility that many of the people have reported fairly good results is Garry Airapetov and his Garry's Camera Repair in Niles, Illinois ( www.garryscamera.com ). Garry has probably the most attractive prices for Minolta camera repair.

    And, as others have said, there is really no good way to rebuild a lens made by one camera manufacturer to work on another camera body. The physical characteristics make this a real challenge. There are some where a simple lens flange adapter will work, but, as others have said, you need to have the right combination of lens registration distance and a few other things to make this work. Most of the time you will lose the lens automation. Sorry.
     
  6. leicarfcam

    leicarfcam Member

    Messages:
    346
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Location:
    Fort Worth,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I like the srT's and XE-7. The XD-11 is also a good choice but requires the MD lens version which your 50mm and 135mm are in order to use program mode..
     
  7. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,801
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    So many high quality but cheap older Minolta bodies you should snag one off eBay. We're taking $20-80 for some. I have a fully manual SR-1 that I inherited from my great uncle. Just shot a roll thru it today. Such a great camera from the 60's with a wonderfully satisfying shutter feel and sound plus the advance/shutter button very much resembles early Leicas. I also have an X-370 that was in the same inherited camera bag. Nice AP style body. That 135/2.8 lens is a good one.

    Some great info on the older Minolta bodies here:

    http://www.rokkorfiles.com/Cameras.html

    .
     
  8. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

    Messages:
    832
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Latte Land,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Good morning, Colyn and Nikolaa;

    As a point of information, the only model of Minolta Manually Focusing 35mm Film SLR Camera that "requires" the Minolta ROKKOR Lens "MD" Tab on the Minolta SR Lens Mount, is the Minolta X-700 when it is operated in the "P" or Program Mode, but the MD Tab is necessary only for that mode. However, there are many other ROKKOR lenses where you can work around that requirement to a great degree even in the X-700 "P" Mode. All of the Minolta SLR cameras can use just about any of the Minolta SR Mount lenses made from 1958 through about 2003 when the X-700 was finally discontinued. There are a few lenses where there are some obvious physical interference problems with a few models in the Minolta SR Series of SLR Cameras. The usable lenses can be the original AUTO ROKKOR lenses and the lenses with the MC Tab on the ROKKOR lenses for the Minolta "Meter Coupled" TTL Light Metering System introduced on the Minolta SR-T 101 following the Minolta SR-7v. To be quite honest, the "MD" Series of Minolta ROKKOR lenses was more of a marketing campaign than anything else for people who did not have an X-700 with the "P" mode. Yes, there were continued improvements in the lens element surface coatings, and they did make a lot of the lenses lighter in weight for carrying, but there was no significant difference in operation, other than for use with the X-700 in "P" mode, and the main change in the lens was with the addition of the "MD" Tab for indicating the Minimum Lens Aperture, and the use of lighter weight and "balanced" (equal weight) leaves in the lens diaphragm assembly for faster operation in the "Final Check" Light Metering of the Minolta X-700. All of that effort in making the lenses lighter in weight was more of a development and testing program for the materials to be used with the coming Auto Focusing Lenses where the lighter weight parts were necessary with the power available from the batteries used in the AF cameras for quickly getting the lens elements into position for the best point of focus.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2012
  9. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

    Messages:
    832
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Latte Land,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Colyn, you have made me think.

    I need to go back and look at the book for the Minolta XD-11. At this time, there only two remaining Minolta Manual Focusing 35mm Film Camera bodies I have felt a need to get, because I am asked questions about Minolta cameras often, and I think there is merit in not merely having the manual, but also in having a body in hand for a better feeling for what the camera really is, and those two remaining bodies are the XD-11 and the XK. I need to confirm that the XD-11 was not a Minolta body with an early form of a "Program" Mode. Let me find the manual in the collection. I may need to either post a retraction, or at least an amendment.

    It certainly is possible that the XD-11 had a "P" Mode, if the Minolta Hi-Matic 9 had its "Automatic" mode.
     
  10. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,055
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Montgomery,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Did you try a new battery?
    If the old one's weak or dead, the camera is too.
     
  11. Nikolaa

    Nikolaa Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I wish this were true :smile: But as it turns out, my dad put the camera away because it malfunctioned when it was in use, and repairing it would cost more than getting a new one (this was give or take 20 or so years ago), at least thats what I was told.
    And lets just say repairing it isnt that easy, I live in Croatia, and theyre not too big on "vintage" cameras here, let alone repairing them. So if anything, Ill look into getting one off ebay, the only irony being that shipping is often close to 50% of the total price. But still wroth it :wink:

    So now all I have to do is pick the winning Minolta model.

    p.s

    this whole "film craze" was actually triggered by finding a Minolta 35 Model 1 Type D from 1949 at my Grans house a few months back. And well, curiosity led to other cameras :smile: and here we are...
     
  12. leicarfcam

    leicarfcam Member

    Messages:
    346
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Location:
    Fort Worth,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I should have said X-700. My XD-11 has manual, aperture, and shutter prioriy but no program so they too can fully utilize the MC lens..
     
  13. upnorthcyclist

    upnorthcyclist Member

    Messages:
    60
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The MD series of Rokkor lenses was introduced with the XD camera to utilize its shutter priority setting. The tab indicates to the camera the lens' minimum aperture - f16, f22 or f32 - and that, indeed, an MD lens is attached.

    Generally speaking, the Generation I MD lenses were MC lenses with the addition of the tab, and some say improved coatings representing advances of the day in coating technology. The second generation MD lenses were redesigned to be lighter, in keeping with the light weight of the XD. The tapered barrel form and the reduction of the filter diameter from 55mm to 49mm on some lenses are representative of this design change. Also, more use of plastic in the lens' construction was utilized, both to reduce weight and for cost savings.

    When the X-700 was introduced, with its full program mode, the Generation III MD lenses were offered. These featured the aperture lock switch. The lens is set to its minimum aperture and locked there so that the aperture ring can't be accidentally shifted when the camera is in auto. Focus and shoot! This was cutting-edge technology for interchangeable-lens cameras in its day. The Gen III lenses also lost the Rokkor marque and became plain MD lenses - most of them became much lighter than earlier models with increasing use of plastics, and many of the zooms introduced at that time became variable-aperture as the camera would fully compensate throughout the zoom range.

    The XD has a "stealth" program mode that, at first, wasn't publicized much. In shutter-priority mode, if the camera can't expose properly at the chosen shutter speed, it will change the shutter speed accordingly. The lens has to be set at minimum aperture when the camera is in shutter priority mode so the MD tab can tell the camera the lens' minimum aperture. The MC tab keeps track of maximum aperture. If you prefer this not to happen, the camera can be switched to M mode - it still meters and will lock in your settings.

    Later model XD cameras colored the 1/125 setting on the speed dial green, the S indication on the mode switch green and the MD lenses always had the minimum aperture colored green. An insert started being included in the camera manual that hinted at program mode - it said "Green for Go" - set everything on green and shoot away, the camera would take care of the rest.

    BTW - The XD doesn't require the MD tab to operate, MC lenses work fine. You just can't use the S mode. Aperture Priority and Manual work fine. The X-700 doesn't require the Gen III lenses - the switch was added so that folks that used the camera most of the time in Program mode could leave the lenses locked at minimum aperture, avoiding bad exposures due to the aperture ring not being in the proper position. The X-700 also works fine with MC lenses but, like the XD, some auto functionality is lost.

    MD lenses are backwards-compatible clear back through the SRT era, including the XG and XE - the MD tab was designed not to interfere with the SR mount. I'm not sure about the pre meter-coupled (MC) era.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 26, 2012
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Wade D

    Wade D Member

    Messages:
    900
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Location:
    Jamul, CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Minolta XD-11 & Leica R4 are basically the same body. Minolta & Leica were partners in the design.
    I recently bought a Minolta XD-11 with the camera manual. Aperture & manual modes can be done with the MC lenses. Shutter mode only works with the MD lenses. The XD-11 uses the final check metering that the X-700 has and a lever on the body engages the MD lug on the lens.
    The XD-11 feels very substantial in your hands and is a hair smaller than the X-700. I used X-700's for 25 years and was quite happy with them. It was only when the capacitors went bad that I bought the XD-11 and it is a very fine camera.

    Edit: It looks like a good amount was covered above while I read the manual. Good info.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 26, 2012
  16. upnorthcyclist

    upnorthcyclist Member

    Messages:
    60
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Wade - I think that was the longest post I've ever written on the inter web - too much coffee today.
     
  17. Wade D

    Wade D Member

    Messages:
    900
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Location:
    Jamul, CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    LOL! It may have been long but as noted was good. I'm not only a slow reader but a lousy typist.:whistling:
     
  18. ath

    ath Member

    Messages:
    889
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Actually you can (and I do) use MC lenses with shutter priority on the XD's. You lose aperture indication in the viewfinder and you might end up with a slightly different speed than wanted if the lens does not stop down fast enough.
     
  19. upnorthcyclist

    upnorthcyclist Member

    Messages:
    60
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Good info, Andreas - I always thought that when the camera didn't display the aperture setting it couldn't calculate the exposure. Generally, when I see this, it reminds me to set the (MD) lens aperture at minimum or, when using an MC lens, to change modes. The camera must use the moment-of-exposure final check feature to figure what setting to expose at.

    I read somewhere (but never tried it) that a tiny, carefully shaped wedge could be inserted into the slot that engages the MD tab to fool the camera into thinking that an MD lens was mounted.
     
  20. ath

    ath Member

    Messages:
    889
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The MD tab does not simply activate a switch - it is a three position switch that tells the camera if the min aperture is 16, 22 or 32. This enables the camera to know the needed aperture (number) and show it. For exposure only the number is not necessary, only a relative info is needed (e.g. stop down 5 stops from open (i.e. what was measured) to get a properly exposed picture).
     
  21. Wade D

    Wade D Member

    Messages:
    900
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Location:
    Jamul, CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My lenses are a mix of MC & MD which cover a nice range of FL's. It's good to know that there is a work around for the shutter priority. Something that isn't covered in the camera manual. I will give it a try with the next roll.
    As for the OP's original question it was answered in post #2. The lenses will work with all manual focus Minolta bodies but not the 'A' mount AF bodies.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2012
  22. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Member

    Messages:
    1,844
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Location:
    Rome, Italy
    Shooter:
    35mm
    For an unexpensive and very effective SR mount camera, I suggest a Minolta X-700.
    The more I take picture, the more I get convinced that the most important part of the camera is the viewfinder. People say that a better camera doesn't help you make better picture. False. A good viewfinder, with high magnification and decent coverage, helps you take better pictures. This is probably a part of the specifications that people tend to overlook. I find it much more useful having a better viewfinder than anything else (weatherproof sealing, fast shutter speeds, metering systems which are supposed to make mistakes in my stead, etc.).

    The viewfinder of the X-700 is probably unbeatable. The price is also probably unbeatable.

    This article will clarify what I mean:

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/viewfinders.shtml

    The X-700 also has a stealth programmable-program mode. If you don't close the aperture ring to its minimum, let's say you keep it at f/8, the diaphragm will not close more than f/8 during operation, and the shutter will "adjust" in any case within its specification.
    So you can take pictures of people playing foot-ball with a setting of say f/8 and P mode, which means that you will have a "fast program mode" with exposure levels until the couple with f/8, and an aperture priority mode for all exposure couples above that exposure level.

    Fabrizio

    PS For comparison, Minolta declares for the X-700 a magnification of 0.9x with a coverage of 95% of the 24x36 picture, with standard 50mm lens focused at infinity. That's VERY good on paper and in the field, too.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2012
  23. sohoza

    sohoza Member

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've never understood all the X-700 love, but Diapositivo makes a pretty good case here. Minolta made lots of capable bodies with this mount, so individual preferences usually come down to some pretty specific things. Along these lines, I favor the XE-7 myself, as the weight and stability of that body help me shoot handheld in much lower light than I can with one of the lighter bodies ( the abundance of fast MD glass also helps!). That being said, if getting parts or repairs done is a problem for the OP, I'd suggest one of the earlier "old logo" bodies that doesn't require a battery (or properly working meter) to operate, like an SRT, XE, or XD.

    As I've amassed a collection of Minolta bodies, I've noticed that anything from the XG series forward is likely to have a much shorter lifespan, despite sometimes being a decade (or more) newer than the three I mentioned. I suspect it's the combination of a consumer friendly price point when released, generally cheaper build quality, and the fact that the advance mechanism locks if the battery is low (almost begging for someone to try to force it in the ensuing 30 years).
     
  24. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Member

    Messages:
    1,844
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Location:
    Rome, Italy
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The X-700 looks very ordinary when you look at specifications: shutter speeds limited to 1/1000th, no shutter priority, no whether seals, flash synchro 1/60th, no double exposures.

    It is reputed a very competent high-quality camera because Minolta spent money and brain where it was needed.

    - Very, very good viewfinder;
    - Intelligent "last instant" metering which compensates for discrepancies between real aperture and indicated aperture in automatic exposure modes;
    - TTL flash metering which is something very useful and, at the time, quite rare and expensive (only Nikon F3, Pentax LX and Contax 139 had that when Minolta introduced the X-700).
    - A "finger sensing" switch which senses the conductivity of human skin and turns on the camera instantly when you put the finger on the shutter release (no need to press it). That means the camera can stay "ON" all time and you don't lose a shot, on the other hand, if the finger is not on the shutter release the camera will turn off after some 30 seconds or so and save energy.
    - The little intelligent things: the viewfinder cap is installed in the camera strap and is always with you. The camera strap also has a small container for two spare batteries.

    Overall it is not too heavy, not too small, falls in my hand as if it were custom made, and it is so effective it is a pleasure to use. I also use SRTs, XM but they are heavier, don't fit the hand the same way and don't have the same viewfinder. I find the X-700 viewfinder even better than the XM one and the overall use of the X-700 is more pleasant (ergonomy, softer shutter release).

    Fabrizio
     
  25. Nikolaa

    Nikolaa Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks a lot guys! Ill see if I can find myself a nice X700 on the net.
    If not, there are always lots of other models to choose from.

    Although, one thing I do have to mention, I prefer Minoltas (or rather cameras in general) with the Chromed top :smile: fully black or plastic makes me think 80s n 90s, ie the plastic era.
    Even though, from what I read, there was a X700 with a chromed top released in Japan, but only in smaller numbers...

    In any case, thanks for your answers and suggestions!
     
  26. upnorthcyclist

    upnorthcyclist Member

    Messages:
    60
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Just for clarity, neither the XD nor the XE fully operate without a battery. The XD has an "O" position on the shutter speed dial that will allow the shutter to mechanically operate at 1/100 sec. if the battery dies, and the "B" (bulb) setting also can be used. The XE can use the "X" setting for manual exposures at 1/90 sec. in a pinch, and the "B" setting is also functional.