Minolta Zeiss Leica Lenses

I first purchased the mk1 Sony A7 as a walkabout camera, i was attracted to the portability whilst still maintaining the 35mm sensor that was similar to my Minolta X300 Film camera i had as a boy. Whilst i purchased the A7 with no native Sony lenses, i thought at that time a Metabones full AF adapter would be OK to use with my existing Canon lenses. On my first attempt i was disappointed with the auto focus speed, i wasn’t alone, many other were saying it was barely usable. With my Canon lenses ruled out for now i embarked on buying some manual focus Minolta lenses, i started cheap, i think i got an X300 body with 50mm f1.7 attached for £20. I then tried the Minolta 28mm f2.8 but still wasn’t that impressed. I then started reading Philip Revee’s blog and looking at his ranking system – something that i intend one day to recreate on here with my own lenses and experiences.  While its still possible to pick up a lens on e-bay cheaply, people have now got quite savvy and many of the stella lenses are no longer the bargains they used to be – that said there are still some really good performers and so long as you sanity check each purchase against what you could have bought a more modern  AF lens for there is still fun to be had.

Many of the lenses listed below are really good quality but the star performer for me is the Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 28mm 2.8. Mine is an older version that has creates “Ninja” sun stars, not to everyone’s taste, but in terms of sharpness and quality i was amazed – combined with the Sony A7ii i took the following photo, i tried to recreate this with me Canon 5DS and 16-35f4 and 24-70mkII lenses and whilst there was slightly more detail as expected from the 5DS, the photo really shone on the Zeiss 28mm and Sony A7ii combination.

Torquay harbour / 2sec / Iso50 / f8 / 28mm Zeiss Distagon 

Millennium Bridge - Torquay




My current A7 manual lens collection consists of the following


  • Minolta MD 28mm f2.8
  • Minolta MD Rokkor 35mm f2.8
  • Minolta MD 50mm f1.8
  • Minolta MC Rokkor 50mm f1.2
  • Minolta MD 50mm f1.7
  • Minolta MC Rokkor 55mm f1.7
  • Minolta MD Rokkor 58mm f1.2
  • Minolta MC Rokkor 85mm f1.7
  • Minolta MD Rokkor 135mm f3.5
  • Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 28mm 2.8
  • Leica Summicron 50mm f2
  • Leica Elmarit 90mm f2.8


  • Minolta 35-70 f3.5 version 2 (design copied by Leica for the Vario Elmar-R)
  • Minolta 35-70 f3.5 Macro version 3

Last updated: June 4, 2016 at 5:39 am

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