Question on older Minolta Af bodies and lenses.
I came here to post a thread about a couple of Minolta bodies and just read Mike K's recent thread on a 7000 body, so it's answered half my question. The other half is that I've been designated "photographic researcher" by a friend who inherited her late husbands remaining camera collection to find out if "these items are worth anything", and being that I'm not a Minolta camp person (Nikon and Canon; Well so far) I thought I'd ask. Besides the 7000 body, of which I've now read, there is a 7000i in nice shape. With the 2 bodies which are in soft cases, are a Maxxum 50mm AF F1.7, a Maxxum AF 35-80 1:4 zoom, and a Sigma UC AF 70-210 F4-5.6 with the plastic around the lens barrel window being sticky like it's deteriorating. There's also two flashes, a 2800AF and an Auto 200x. With the 7000i are three cards, probably worth something, and a few other things I know are not worth much. My question is can anyone give me the inside line on this equipment. I'm heading out on a trip this weekend and I'm thinking maybe I'll take the equipment along and test it out before it goes anywhere. I appreciate you help.
I think you'll find it's nice equipment. I've seen some of those cameras valued at about 8,000 to 18,000 yen (I live in Japan), though that's from memory, I was actually looking at the Dynax / Alpha 7 cameras. The 50mm 1.7 was the standard kit lens of that generation, it's pretty good (much, much better than any "kit lens" in this current digital generation), and so I've heard of that fetching anywhere from USD$80 to over $100; however, the 50mm 1.4 was the top lens of that generation, and is still really highly regarded now. The 2800 flash probably isn't worth much, now, having a low Guide Number (GN), and being for film, but would definitely be useful for some people. The rest, I don't know much about myself. I think I had the 35-80mm, it was the first of the zoom kit lenses, and it probably delivered good results, though nothing compared the the top rated G lenses of Minolta.
Anyway, I dare say the jewels in that treasure chest are the camera bodies and that 50mm lens. I think you might enjoy using them.
I think you will find the camera and the lenses - at least the 50mm - to be quite up to standards for use, but probably not worth much if she's trying to determine "worth" as in selling them. The 7000 was the first AF camera marketed to the public and aside from what is now considered a very slow AF, is a great camera. However, even Minolta's newest, fastest AF camera - the Maxxum 7 (which came out after the 9 - kind of equivalent to Nikon's F100 and F5) sells for a fraction of what it did new 8 years ago. The digital revolution has made the world a treasure trove for buyers and a barren landscape for those trying to sell camera equipment (case in point: the local "pro" shop which has been selling cameras longer than I've been alive, folded this summer).
If she, or you, want a great camera with good metering, you've got it in the 7000. Halfway through this deployment (I've been in Afghanistan since Feb 2008) I decided I wanted a dependable film camera that I could afford to use and if it broke, it was no big deal. For less than the price of a moderate lens I picked up the Minolta 9000 w/ motor drive and battery pack (about $150). If that's all the 9000 is going for, I'm sure the 7000 is "worth" much less.
It has been a pleasure to use this setup, which is for all practical purposes very similar to that of the Maxxum 7000. They are generationally / technologically from the same era and while the 9000 has a sturdier casing and a few "pro" settings the 7000 lacks, there is nothing wrong with the camera your friend has in her possession. Given a good CLA it is probably good for another decade of shooting.
So tell her not to sell it. Just give it to someone who shoots film and will enjoy it. Better yet, buy her a few rolls of film and go out and shoot the camera with her. It is quite possible she will enjoy using something that was treasured by her husband and may take up a new hobby in the process.
M3, M5, CLE, Minolta XE7, Minolta Maxxum 9, Minolta Maxxum 9000, Nikon F3HP, etc., etc.
The 7000i's value is dependant these days on the amount of led bleed, especially within the viewfinder, which can make life a bit difficult.....grin. I've got a couple of them and they are fantastic cameras to use, most probably the fastest focusing and the most accurate metering of any minolta af camera that I own.
I paid $40.00 for a Maxxum 7000 with a Tamron 28-200 lens late last year so I would assume the resale values are rather low now. It is a great camera, though, and well worth more than I paid for it. Look at what they are selling for on ebay and craigslist to give you a better idea of what to price them at.
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I would suggest going to ebay. Do a search for completed auctions in the last month or so on that camera. I would remove the highest and the lowest sales (in green). Average the rest and either, run a buy it now at that price or slightly under or double it for private sale through a classified or some such. I would not do it consignment through a camera shop because they will do the ebay thing and guage their cut form that, plunging the price down further. And don't bother sending it to an online camera house for evaluation. You will NOT be satisfied with the answer, even IF they are willing to take it off her hands.
Speaking from the UK market. The 50mm 1.7 has actually been going up in price over the last 6 months, and is easily the most valuable of the lot.
The cameras however even in good condition are not worth much at all anymore. As has been said there's a market full of film cameras now. Even the very good ones are incredibly cheap. If the 50mm lens happens to have crossed XXs it might be worth a slight amount more than the normal one, but there are very few people who will care enough. In the UK the 50mm would fetch somewhere in the region of $145 to $195.
Though equipment seems a little cheaper in the US, it's still a very sought after lens as it's a cheaper alternative to the f1.4 version.
I was shocked at the price of the 50mm 1.7. I came across a Maxxum 7000 with a kit zoom, and my girlfriend is using it to learn with. Obviously she can't get the same DOF effects with the f/4 lens, so I went on eBay to find her a 50mm f/1.7 and was surprised to see them going for over 120 bucks. I gather that's the case because they work with the Sony DSLR systems.
This has made me seriously consider getting her a used F100 and my unused 50mm f/1.8 rather than investing in the old Minolta glass. I was expecting reasonable prices like what I got my (excellent) Minolta MD glass for.
They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world's a sunny day, oh yeah.
6 months ago you would have done.
But recently the prices have gone crazy.
Some lenses have doubled in price.
There seemed to be a correlation between the fall of financial institutions and the value of Minolta glass :S
Just for your info though the 1.7 AF is pretty much the same lens as the 1.7 MD
Though it's better than my Nikon 1.8 in comparison.
The time to buy Minolta was when they were pulling out of Digital and when they were taking forever to get into it.
a 2nd hand Minolta 70-200SSM sells for almost as much as a brand new Sony one :S
But the 50mm has jumped from a £50-60 lens with a 7000 attached to over £100 here in no time at all.