Mar 14, 2021

Minolta 35-105 macro

I am always on the lookout for used Minolta lenses.  Recently, two lenses and a flash popped up for sale locally on FB marketplace for $30, and I took notice.  But, I was too busy to do the research and figured that the Minolta flash would be the older style Minolta mount that wouldn't fit any of my current cameras, so I let them slide.  When, a few days later, the seller lowered the price to $20, I just couldn't resist.

I ended up purchasing a Minolta AF 35-105 f/3.5-4.5 Macro and the Minolta 100-200 f/4.5.  Turns out the flash wasn't the old-style Minolta mount, but a standard mount.  Bonus.  Both lenses were in great condition.  Used, but little dust and no fungus.  Missing the lens hoods, but...otherwise, totally usable condition with a bit of cleaning.

I read some reviews of the lenses on Dyxsum and both get good reviews.  In fact, the 35-105 is pretty highly rated.  I saw someone call the 100-200 f/4.5 the "baby beercan" or the "mini-beercan".  I have one of the beercans, Minolta's 70-210 f/4 lens, and that classic lens works well in many situations.  The 100-200 f/4.5 loses a bit of light, but it really is a more compact lens for travel or stuffing into a backpack.

I haven't tested out the 100-200 yet, but I did go out and take a few snapshots with the 35-105.  The ratings hold up.  It is a fantastic lens, and not just because it costs less than a 6-pack.  It's sharp, the colors are good.  It has a nice feel to it.  The look of the resulting photos are splendid.  Some complain that the minimum focusing distance is too long, but it does have a macro switch after 105, so you can take closeups, just not at the wide angle.  For me, I think this will make a great creek-walking lens.  When shooting creeks, I don't really need much wider than 35, and the ability to go macro for bugs and plants is a bonus.  Sample photos below.