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Best 200mm ?

  1. Jayd
    I'm looking for a good bird watcher lens and i see a ton of old MC mount lenses on the bay but different articles I've read have me a bit confused about which is the best of these 200mm primes.
    It does not have to be a minolta branded lens though, i will likely be using the X700 because it is the next quietest to my Kodak retina reflex IV. MD mount is nice but not essential as I use manual exposure most of the time.

  2. upnorthcyclist
    The holy grail of Minolta 200mm is the MD 2.8, but it's a collector's item and costs a fortune, if you can find one.

    I have a first generation MD 200mm 4 that I'm very happy with.

    Here's a link to an excellent Minolta lens database that explains a lot:


  3. Jayd
    I find the same problem with Kodak retina lenses these days and complicated even more now that someone is making 4/3 digital adaptors for many of these great classic lenses to be used on digital. Good thing there are many more Minolta lens than DKL lemses.
  4. Ralph Javins
    Ralph Javins
    Good morning, Jay;

    Yes, there are several models of Minolta ROKKOR lenses in 200mm focal length, and, as Mike says, up to and including the AUTO ROKKOR 2.8/200. That lens will be several hundred dollars, if you can find one. At this time, KEH has several ROKKOR 200mm lenses from f/4.5 to f/4.0 and f/3.5; all from about $20 to $80 in EXC condition. Getting a suitable 200mm lens for your Minolta should not be a "second mortgage on the house" proposition.

    You might also watch for a Vivitar 4.5/200 or a Tamron 3.5/200 or 4.5/200. I think I even have an old Komura 200mm lens here also, but those are getting rare now. Come to think of it, I have not seen a Soligor for Minolta in that focal length for a long time either. Also, back in the early 1960s, Tamron also had a 2.8/200, but I have not seen one of those.

    Anyway, try www.keh.com and look in the tab "Shop for Gear" for Minolta Manual Focus under Fixed Focal Length Lenses. That should get you started.

    Latte Land, Washington
  5. sakisf
    Wouldn't a Minolta zoom also suit you? Either 70-210/4, 75-200/4.5 or 100-300/5, they seem to go a lot lower than 200mm/2.8-3.5-4 and from what I have read so far they are excellent quality (expecting my 75-200 soon).
  6. Ralph Javins
    Ralph Javins
    Good morning again, Jay;

    Another 200mm lens to consider is the 3.5/200 AF Vivitar Series 1 200mm 1:3.5 VMC AUTO FOCUS TELEPHOTO lens. These do come up occasionally, and the built-in-the-lens Auto Focusing feature of this Vivitar lens can come in handy in quickly changing situations where you are trying to follow the movements of a bird. In my experience with mine, it is not really any slower than my own movements with manually focusing a lens, when the subject has reasonable contrast and illumination. So far I have been happy with the results on the negatives from my samples. No, it is not quite the equal of the Minolta 2.8/200, but the Vivitar can be found more frequently, it is much cheaper, it is lighter, you are giving up only one-half f-stop at f/3.5, and it really does convert one of my Minolta X-700 bodies set in "P" mode into a true "Point and Shoot" camera.

    Enjoy; Ralph, Latte Land, Washington
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