Not sure how many other Oppos on here are into photography but this is what I managed to find today - came across the ad around 9AM, shot a few emails / texts back and forth, and purchased and brought back to home by within 12 hours.
In the ‘80s, Minolta was at the forefront of photographic technology, pioneering cameras with blazing fast shutter speeds, automatic exposure, and of course autofocus. Come 1985, they were right in the midst of providing cameras on both the consumer and professional ends - the Maxxum 7000 (and 9000) pictured above was their answer to Nikon’s latest advancements in similar technology, with both taking blows in terms of their primitive software capabilities. The M-7000 (7000 AF in Europe, α-7000 in Japan) featured not a metal body (which is pretty heavy) but also emphasized the importance of in-body auto focus (but no image stabilization), as well as Minolta’s all new A-mount.
Unfortunately, Minolta was found to infringe numerous patents and eventually times got tough financially for the Japanese tech giant - at least until they got bought out by none other than Sony. Suddenly their camera line up starts to make sense, yeah? The lessons learned from Minolta’s R&D into software, body/mount/lens designs were applied to the (then new) A33 and A57 systems, going so far as to retain backwards compatibility with the existing A-mount lenses. Heck, you can even see some of Minolta’s design language in the latest Alpha series devices (A6000, A7, etc).
After shooting with my A6000 for just shy of a year, I’ve found out the hard way that my Sony 55-120mm f4.5-6.3 just wasn’t sharp enough for the kind of work I want to do (motorsports!). Having dropped quite a large sum of cash for my daily driver Zeiss 16-70mm f4 lens, I sure as heck wasn’t going to give Sony any more of my money. Being mirrorless, a lot of owners have praised the existence of Sony E-mount adapters - unfortunately I don’t have another few hundred to spend on Canon / Nikon glass, hence I had to look for something older. Enter the beer can.
Minolta’s 70-210mm telephoto is a constant f4 lens meaning it stays just as sharp near as it is far. While it is quite heavy, being all metal construction, it does have superbly quick auto focus and the zoom ring itself is pretty smooth. As for the name... well, I’m sure you can figure that one out.
Being a system nearly 3 decades old, the previous owners pretty much gave me their entire kit - in addition to the body and the beer can, they also included: 1x Minolta 50mm f1.7 prime, 2x Tiffen filters, a wired remote, flash, and some fitted carrying cases. Total cost: $60 CAD (~$80 USD) not including gas to get there. Pretty happy with the savings, although I’ll still have to pay a couple hundred to get the Sony E-to-A mount adapter in order to use the lens. But that’s a fair compromise when the equivalent Sony lens is well over $1,500 and the next best Canon lens is over 10x the price of the entire combo.
Aaaaand that was my day. To all the other Opponauts on here who do photography - do you have any experience with Sony / Minolta glass? I’d really appreciate any shooting tips you have with this (or similar) combination as well as how to shoot cars, if possible. :)
A more indepth history of Minolta’s best cameras, if you’re interested.