I used to shoot with Minolta cameras in the 80s and early 90s before giving up the hobby. Back then I had an SRT 200 and later added an X-570, along with an MD Rokkor 45/2 and a K-Mart Focal 135/2.8 (Kiron made, I think). I got the zoom bug in the early 90s and bought a Kiron 80-200/4.5 and quickly lost interest in photography as my pictures started to suck.

I recently got back into the hobby with digital (Sony A850 full frame and NEX7 compact), and then in a quest for exceptional portrait lenses for the NEX7, bought into the Leica R system.

Long story, I got a Leica R3 MOT with a 50/2 Summicron for only $30 more than the lens alone and rather than use the lens on the Sony NEX, started buying film. I grew my Leica system to now include 2 bodies (R3 MOT and R6) and 4 lenses (35, 50, 90 and 138, all f2.8). It was only when looking at Leica wide angles and learning that the Elmarit 24/2.8 was actually a rebranded Rokkor that I decided to go back to Minolta.

I am so glad that I did. For under $400 (about 2/3 the price of the Leica-branded Rokkor 24) I was able to buy a mint XE-7, a very nice X-570 and five nice Rokkor lenses (MC 28/2.5, MD 35/2.8, MD 45/2, MC 58/1.4 and MC 135/2.8). The XE-7 is every bit as nice as the R3 with the exception of lacking spot metering. Otherwise, they are functionally identical, though the R3's black surface appears far more durable.

Using the Minolta gear is like coming home. Outstanding lenses and the camera is simply luxurious.