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Rare Minolta Lenses

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Carl View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Carl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 March 2013 at 12:29
Talk of rarity tends to get skewed towards more recent lenses. The 200 Macro was a specialty lens that was only on the market 3-4 years, during which Minolta's market share was slumping, but it wasn't a market flop and in the grand scheme of things is not especially rare. It's price is more a matter of perceived rarity than actual.

Going back to Minolta's earlier years they had a number of products that had extraordinarily small production runs. The 3.5cm/f1.8 rangefinder lens is likely the rarest lens, dating from the same year that Minolta dropped interchangeable lens rangefinder production entirely. It's the only lens that supposedly reached serial production that I have never seen, ever. Perhaps they simply scrapped their production to get them off the books? The rarest that I have seen is the gigantic 100cm/f6.3 mirror lens. Production can't have been more than hundreds, perhaps just tens. The 1600/f16, 600/f6.3, the native SR mount Leica Telyts and Minolta-sold Photars (if they count), the 7.5mm fisheye, the 100/2 and 135/2 and the Micro Rokkor lenses are also quite rare. The Shift-CA, Varisoft and 400 and 100-500 APOs are somewhat more borderline examples. I guess the 17mm for Vectis deserves mention as well.

There really isn't that many rare A mount lenses by comparison, as Minolta had a much stronger market position in the late 80s/early 90s than they did in the 50s and 60s. 85 Limited, 200 Macro, 3x-1x, Urushi 24-85, 300/2.8 SSM. Maybe 100 Soft, being generous. The 300 SSM II and 500/4 are bound to be rare lenses in the future. Probably the Sigma 800 and 1000 APOs and the native lenses from Angénieux and Voigtländer are rarer than any non-limited A mount lens Minolta made.

Edited by Carl - 10 March 2013 at 12:43
 



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Tezzating View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tezzating Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 March 2013 at 15:54
How about the Rokkor 40-80 f2.8? It's got a little box (gearbox?) bolted to the side with a lever for adjusting zoom. Rokkor 135mm f2.0 is meant to be huge, impressive and rare too.
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MichelvA View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MichelvA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 March 2013 at 16:32
Most rare lens is the Minolta 28-70 f/2.8 G SSM i guess. Afaik just 1 made. See this post here on Dyxum.
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matthiaspaul View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote matthiaspaul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 March 2013 at 22:21
Originally posted by MichelvA MichelvA wrote:

Most rare lens is the Minolta 28-70 f/2.8 G SSM i guess. Afaik just 1 made. See this post here on Dyxum.

FWIW. The Minolta AF Zoom 2.8/28-70mm G (D) SSM was officially announced on 2002-03-19 at the PHOTO EXPO 2002 in Japan.

http://www.mi-fo.de/forum/index.php?showtopic=30183&view=findpost&p=285773
http://www.mi-fo.de/forum/index.php?showtopic=287&view=findpost&p=1475 (contains a photo of the lens together with the other new SSM lenses)

I could not find it being mentioned as displayed on shows after 2004, so it appears as if it was already shelved by then.

The only "free" lens IDs in the possible date range are 26, 34, 37, and given that the other two SSMs have IDs 32 and 33, it most likely had lens ID 34 (this is guesswork only, though):

http://www.mi-fo.de/forum/index.php?showtopic=14914&view=findpost&p=295342

As a rumor, the other thread also mentioned a never announced Konica Minolta AF Zoom 2.8/24-70mm G (D) SSM design, which was meant to "replaced" the unreleased Minolta 2.8/28-70mm G (D) SSM. If it ever existed (I have not heard of it) and wasn't somehow confused with the Konica Minolta AF Zoom 2.8/28-75mm (D), a Tamron design, this was most likely an early incarnation of the Sony Alpha Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 2.8/24-70mm ZA SSM (SAL-2470Z), which was mature enough in 2006 to be patented by Sony:

http://www.dyxum.com/DFORUM/great-conversation-with-the-zeiss-guys-at-focus_topic96323_post1147537.html#1147537

Greetings,

Matthias
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matthiaspaul View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote matthiaspaul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 March 2013 at 22:52
Yet another sidenote: Both the Minolta AF Macro Zoom 3x-1x and the Minolta AF Apo Tele Macro 4/200mm G share a rarely known use in industrial applications in conjunction with one of Minolta's professional spectroradiometers, the CS-1000T and CS-1000S. They were available from Konica Minolta up to 2009 or 2010 - possibly one of the reasons, why these lenses are rare on the used market for photo-endusers, and possibly also a reason, why these special lenses were developed in the first place - and not taken over by Sony in 2006...

http://www.mi-fo.de/forum/index.php?showtopic=20948

Greetings,

Matthias
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Pirate View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Pirate Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 March 2013 at 23:34
Don't know about rare Minolta's per-se, but I've come across a Sigma AF 500mm F/4.5 APO EX. See evilBay item: 261181927878 which I think is a pretty rare old bird if you're after a super telephoto. Check out the vendors lens inventory as they also have 2x Minolta AF 400mm F/4.5 APO HS G's (possibly the cheapest I've seen this lens offered for) as one is priced under £2100.00.
 



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Carl View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Carl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 March 2013 at 00:18
Originally posted by Tezzating Tezzating wrote:

Rokkor 135mm f2.0 is meant to be huge, impressive and rare too.

It's more or less the same size as the 85 Limited and 135STF are. It's smaller than the ZA135.

Originally posted by Pirate Pirate wrote:

Don't know about rare Minolta's per-se, but I've come across a Sigma AF 500mm F/4.5 APO EX. See evilBay item: 261181927878 which I think is a pretty rare old bird if you're after a super telephoto. Check out the vendors lens inventory as they also have 2x Minolta AF 400mm F/4.5 APO HS G's (possibly the cheapest I've seen this lens offered for) as one is priced under £2100.00.

2-3 years back the 400/4.5 was selling in the mid US$1xxx range, the price has gone up hugely since then. I wish I had bought one when the times were good (if only as an investment), not that they resolve much higher than the 300 SSM with the 1.4x TC.

The Sigma 500mm isn't too hard to get with some patience. Far more so than the 800mm and 1000mm are.

Edited by Carl - 11 March 2013 at 00:21
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Steve NYC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Steve NYC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 January 2016 at 02:04
The thread-mount Minolta 35mm f/1.8 lens is NOT a legend -- I have one! The lens was sold to me by a fellow-editor at Popular Photography (U.S.) magazine in the late 1970s, along with a matching Minolta 35mm viewfinder.

The front of the lens says:
Minolta W.Rokkor QF 1:1.8 f=35mm 1100176

Aperture range is 1.8 - 22, with full-stop clicks.
Close-focus distance is 3.5 feet (no meter markings).
Filter size is 46mm.
The lens is black and chrome. It's remarkably clean, having spent the past decades in a desk drawer.

The viewfinder says "Minolta 35mm." It has a knurled parallax-adjustment wheel, continuously variable from 3.5 feet to infinity.

Thanks for your tip on the lens's provenance.
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