There is no question that lenses are to many photographers more important then their camera body. A good lens, well looked after, should last decades, much longer than any digital camera body. That’s why professional photographers spend thousands on their lenses. I am not a professional photographer nor do I have thousands of dollars to spend on my photography equipment. That was one of the reasons that I selected the Sony A65 since it can be used with the older line of high quality Minolta lenses which cost much less then the current lineup of Sony digital specific lenses.
In my last two articles I talked about why Minolta Glass is still popular and which of those lenses are still popular today. Before decided which lenses to buy to add to my two kit lenses I did some research on lens catogories. There are dozens of different types of lens available, designed for use in a wide range of circumstances. The most important factor in any camera lens is its focal length. This determines which type of lens it is, and what subjects it will be able to photograph. Focal lengths range from just a few millimetres up to over a metre, and can be loosely grouped as follows:
Updated 2016-12-30 – Added Minolta AF Maxxum 24mm f/2.8 lens
Though no longer existent, Minolta is still an important name in the world of photography. Many photographers claim that such incredible and well-built lenses are no longer manufactured. This is especially true for Minolta lenses manufactured pre-mid-1990s as they provide unrivaled color and contrast matching. This was because Minolta made all their own glass, from the mix to the coating, they did something which no other maker did at the time. They used the lens coatings to balance color and contrast, so that an entire set of lenses would need no Color Correction filters if tested critically on a single roll of film. Sadly they changed their philosophy considerably once the Malaysian plant was opened.
One criteria for selecting my DSLR was a good selection of lenses. To many it must have come as a surprise when the learned I selected the Sony Alpha 65 as my new camera. I bought the camera with two kit lenses, the Sony DT 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 (SAL-1855) and Sony 75-300mm F/4.5-5.6 (SAL-75300). It was a special bundle price, about $200 less then any other deal at the time that I could not refuse.